Finding yourself in need of a small amount of money fast can happen to anyone. Your car breaks down, an unexpected medical bill shows up, or maybe you just need some extra cash to tie you over to your next paycheck.

Whatever the reason, getting a quick personal loan of $400 or less can provide relief when you need it most. But where do you go when banks won’t approve such a small loan and taking out a payday loan seems too risky?

The good news is there are more options available today than ever before. Online lenders now specialize in providing fast small-dollar loans with minimal eligibility requirements. While not the cheapest form of financing, they offer a convenient way to get emergency funds deposited directly into your bank account within days.

This comprehensive guide will walk through everything you need to know to get approved for a $400 personal loan quickly and start putting your cash to use right away.

Qualifying for a Small Personal Loan

The main appeal of a $400 loan is the low barrier to entry compared to traditional bank loans or lines of credit. Requirements are straightforward and approvals can happen in minutes.

Here are the typical eligibility criteria to qualify:

  • Minimum age: 18 years old. Some lenders allow applicants as young as 19.
  • Income: Most lenders require regular income from a job, self-employment, government benefits, or other sources. The minimum required ranges between $800 – $1500 or more per month.
  • Credit history: No credit history is OK with some lenders but most look for at least some active credit accounts. Having very poor credit scores under 580 will make approval difficult.
  • Bank account: An active checking account is required to receive the loan proceeds. Savings accounts or prepaid debit cards do not qualify.

As long as you meet these basic criteria, your chances of qualifying are good. Lenders understand applicants have imperfect credit and income so they don’t set the bar too high.

Compared to alternatives like payday and auto title loans, the eligibility criteria is less strict. For example, you won’t need to provide your car title as collateral.

That makes online installment loans one of the more accessible options for fast cash when funds are needed urgently.

Loan Amounts and Terms

Personal loans under $400 are considered “microloans” in the lending industry. Here are some key points on available amounts and repayment terms from most lenders:

  • Loan amounts: Anywhere between $100 to $400 is typical. Some lenders cap at $500.
  • Loan term: Usually 3-6 months. For larger loans above $300, 12 month terms may be available.
  • Payments: Equal installments are scheduled weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Payment amounts depend on loan size and fees.
  • Prepayment: Paying off early is allowed without penalties. This saves on interest costs.
  • Loan uses: No restrictions on how proceeds are used once deposited into your account.

While a $400 three month loan is common, don’t hesitate to inquire about customized loan sizing and terms that better suit your situation.

Interest Rates and Fees

With these small personal loans, you pay for the convenience and quick funding. Expect interest rates between 30-60% APR on average.

Here are explanations of the typical fees charged:

  • Origination fee: One-time fee to process and fund the loan. Usually ranges from 1-5% of principal.
  • Maintenance fee: Added monthly fee on top of interest charges. Approximately $6-$15 per month.
  • Late fees: Ranges from $15-$30 for each late payment. Some lenders allow 15 day grace periods.
  • NSF fees: $15-$35 fee applies if automatic payment is declined due to insufficient funds.

Always verify full cost details upfront so you know the total fees owed. While not cheap, costs are still lower than payday loans or overdraft fees.

Fast Online Application Process

Applying for a small personal loan takes just minutes thanks to automated and mobile-friendly application systems. Follow these steps for quick loan decision:

  1. Pre-qualify: Many lenders let you answer basic questions to see if you meet eligibility criteria for pre-approval before completing full application.
  2. Apply online: Request desired loan amount up to $400 and choose repayment term that fits your budget. Provide personal and employment information.
  3. eSign loan documents: Review and electronically sign the loan agreement outlining all terms and conditions. This authorizes credit check and account verification.
  4. Get decision: Online approvals are instant in many cases so you’ll know in minutes if approved. If pending items need review, decision may take 1-3 business days.
  5. Verify info: Provide supporting documents like paystubs, bank statements, government ID to validate details submitted. Upload digital copies for quick verification.

The entire process from application to funding can be completed in as fast as one business day for borrowers who qualify. Waiting for snail mail or visiting a store is not necessary.

Receive Funds With Same Day Direct Deposit

Once approved, how long does it take to actually get the money? Funding speed is a major perk of online loans.

  • Instant approvals receive funds same day or next business day.
  • Verifications pending approvals take 1-3 days for underwriting review before depositing funds.
  • Direct deposit via ACH transfer goes right to your connected checking account.

Having the money directly deposited ensures quick access compared to waiting for a check by mail. Make sure the bank account you provide for deposits is already verified and active to prevent funding delays.

Same day or next business day funding means you get your emergency cash when it’s needed most.

Tips for Satisfying Repayment Terms

Like any loan, it’s essential to have a plan to pay back the $400 principal and fees within the 3-6 month term. Follow these tips to avoid missed payments or rollovers into new debt:

  • Auto-pay: Set up automatic payments from checking account on each due date to avoid missed payments.
  • Allow time for processing: Log in 3-5 days before due date to manually make payments to ensure they process in time.
  • Stay on top of finances: Carefully track income, expenses, and upcoming bills to make sure you can cover the loan payment each period.
  • Pay early: Making additional principal payments shortens the loan term saving on interest. Paying off entirely early avoids ongoing fees.
  • Communicate issues: If unable to make a payment, immediately contact the lender to discuss options. They may allow fee-free extensions or alternative due dates.
  • Avoid defaults: Missing multiple payments in a row leads to defaults or collections. This severely damages credit.

Most customers successfully repay these short-term loans as agreed without issue. But have backup options in mind to avoid missed payments just in case.

Compare the Best $400 Loan Lenders

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to pick the right lender for your $400 loan needs. Keep these factors in mind when comparing leading online lenders:

  • Loan amounts: Each lender offers different minimum, maximum, and incremental amounts.
  • Approval requirements: Check if their listed eligibility criteria match your profile.
  • Funding speed: See if they truly offer next day direct deposit when verified.
  • Fees: Interest rates and origination fees vary. Compare total costs.
  • Customer service: Check reviews on helpfulness and ease of contacting support.
  • Flexibility: See if they allow things like early repayments or payment date changes.
  • Website experience: Is the application process simple and fully online?

While there are always new lenders entering the space, these are some of the top rated $400 loan providers based on the criteria above:

  • MoneyMutual
  • CashUSA
  • BadCreditLoans
  • Personal Loans
  • FundsJoy
  • Credit Loan

Be sure to get pre-qualified and compare personalized loan offers before applying to decide which lender best matches your financial situation.


Still have some questions? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about getting a $400 personal loan online:

What are the main requirements to qualify for a $400 loan?

The main requirements are that you’re over 18 years old, employed with at least $800 in monthly income, have a checking account, and either fair credit or some credit history.

How many months can I take to repay a $400 loan?

Typical repayment terms for a $400 loan range from 3 months (12-13 weeks) up to a maximum of 6 months (24-26 weeks) for most online lenders. Longer 12 month terms may be available from select lenders depending on eligibility.

What happens if I miss a payment?

Missing payments leads to late fees, additional interest accrual, and negative credit impacts. Multiple missed payments may result in the entire loan being sent to collections. Communicate right away if you expect toCan I get approved with bad credit or no credit history?

Approval is possible with credit scores under 600 or limited credit history, but you will get better rates with ‘fair’ scores over 600. Most lenders use ‘soft checks’ so applying will not hurt your credit.

Do I need collateral like my car for a $400 loan?

No, these are unsecured personal loans so no collateral is required. Your promise to repay as agreed is sufficient security, which makes qualification easier.

Where does the money come from?

Online lenders partner with banks and institutional investors to provide the capital for loans. The funds you receive come directly from these sources.

What if I pay off the loan early?

You can make early repayments or pay off the full balance anytime without prepayment penalties. This saves on interest costs.

How do I pick the right lender?

Compare interest rates, fees, approval criteria, and customer reviews across multiple lenders. Apply with several that you pre-qualify with to find the best loan offer.

What are the alternatives to a $400 loan?

Other options include credit card cash advances, 401k loans, payment plans on bills, borrowing from friends/family, credit union loans, or paycheck advance apps. But each has pros and cons to weigh.

Key Takeaways

  • Online personal loans up to $400 are available from direct lenders with streamlined qualification based on basic eligibility criteria.
  • Interest rates are higher but funds can be deposited in as fast as one business day when your application is verified.
  • Sticking to the 3-6 month repayment schedule is important to avoid spiraling into long term debt obligations.
  • Compare multiple loan offers after pre-qualifying and apply with lenders best matching your financial situation.
  • Set up auto-payments and budget ahead to make sure you can comfortably afford the monthly dues.
  • Short term loans provide quick cash in an emergency but consider all alternatives before borrowing at high rates.


We all face times when we could use a little extra money right away with no judgment or tedious paperwork. Online personal loans up to $400 cater well to these urgent financial needs. Within days, funds are directly deposited and you can use the cash however makes most sense to cover emergencies or bridge the gap until paychecks resume. Just make sure to only borrow what is absolutely necessary and repay on time. This ensures you reap the short term benefits without unwanted long term debt obligations.