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Cash Loan alternatives

  • You could consider a credit card instead
  • Guaranteed credit limit
  • Check your eligibility with no impact to your credit score
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score

Representative example: Amount of credit £1,200. Interest rate: 49.0% pa (variable) Representative 49.0% APR (variable)

What are cash loans?

Cash loans are unsecured personal loans, meaning they are not secured against assets such as your home or vehicle. So, if you need an advance to cover any unexpected costs, a short-term cash loan may be the swift solution you’re after. When applying with any lender, make sure you take the time to assess your personal situation and your affordability, ensuring your financial affairs are not made more difficult.

If you’re searching for a cash loan online, chances are you’re likely to come across payday loans or similar short-term loans. If you have bad credit, you may be thinking these types of loans are the only options available. However, 118 118 Money do consider applications from those with poor credit, so if you think a credit card may be an alternative, please use our eligibility checker to see if you’re likely to be accepted for the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card instead.

Apply for a credit card from 118 118 Money with confidence
Use our eligibility check to find out what credit limit we’ll offer you before you apply, without affecting your credit rating!
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score
Some features of the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card

Not sure a fast cash loan is going to suit you? Our credit card might be a better fit. If approved, you’ll benefit from:

A credit limit of up to £1,200.

The choice to repay in full or via instalments, whichever suits you. However, there will be a minimum monthly repayment to make, and we always recommend paying back more than this if you can.

Up to 51 days interest-free on purchases if you repay your balance in full each month.

Complete an application online.

Being able to check your eligibility with no impact on your credit score.


Want to apply for a credit card?

  • Alternative to a payday loan
  • Check your eligibility with no impact on your credit score

How does a quick cash loan work?

A fast cash loan works in much the same way as any other type of loan. You apply to borrow a certain amount and pay it back in monthly instalments over an agreed period of time. However, one major difference with a cash loan is that some lenders will give you the choice of the funds being electronically transferred to your bank account or delivered to your home in the form of physical cash. This is sometimes known as a doorstep cash loan.

Whichever method you choose, it is recommended that you decide how much you wish to apply for and then see how much you can afford based on the repayment options.

If you can get a low interest rate, you may be able to borrow a larger sum of money with the same monthly repayments. It is important you choose your provider carefully and conduct thorough research to get the right cash loan for you. Before making any decisions, you can use our helpful budgeting tool and loan calculator to work out what you can afford to borrow – and ultimately pay back.

Cash loans, payday loans and some short-term loans however can come with an extremely high interest rate. Depending on your own circumstances, if you think a 118 118 Credit Card may be an alternative, you can use our credit card eligibility checker to see if you’re likely to be accepted or not. This doesn’t impact your credit score, but if you complete a full application we do conduct a full credit search.

How do I choose the right cash loan?

Before entering into any contract, be sure to thoroughly check the terms and conditions of all lenders when comparing your options. Another thing to consider is the documentation you’ll need to provide and the time you’ll have to wait before having access to the funds.

And some lenders will charge upfront fees, so make sure you know all the details before starting the application process. If you need any help deciding what is best for you and your current situation, then why not take a look at our money guidance section for further information, or our guide on how to borrow money.

An important thing to remember is that short-term cash loans can be a very expensive way to borrow. That could make an already difficult financial situation worse, which is why we think the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card could prove a suitable cash loan alternative.

Credit cards or cash loans?

When choosing between any two financial products, you need to understand their key features and how they work. That’s why we’ve put together this summary table comparing some of the features of cash loans and credit cards:



Credit Cards

Cash Loans

Representative APR

Often lower than cash loans

Often higher than credit cards


Made in full, in minimum monthly repayments or any amount in between

Made in monthly instalments, potentially with the option to pay off more and settle the loan early


To be used as a continuous line of credit, within the credit limit

The cash loan agreement ends once you have repaid the money in full plus interest


Do I qualify for a credit card?

If you think a credit card might be the best way for you to borrow, we recommend using our free eligibility tool before you apply. It only takes a few moments, and it will give you an idea of whether we can approve you. It will also let you know the credit limit we can offer, and you don’t have to worry about it having an impact on your credit score. To be eligible for the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card you’ll need to:

  • Be a UK resident
  • Be aged between 18 and 70
  • Earn at least £8,400 a year
  • Not be in arrears with another lender
  • Have had no default payments in the past six months

We’ll also need to know the following details when you use our eligibility checker:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Current employment and residential status
  • Net monthly income
  • Outgoings
  • Home address

Will I have to go through a credit check?

Yes. Any providers of credit cards or cash loans in the UK will have to carry out a credit check when you apply in full. It helps us work out if we can approve you and you can always check your credit report before you start.

And don’t forget that our eligibility checker is completely free and doesn’t affect your credit score.

Will my credit rating be affected if I apply?

Applying for a quick cash loan or a credit card can affect your score. However, if you’re approved and you make the repayments in full and on time each month, it can work in your favour. This shows lenders that you can be trusted with credit and can improve your score.

However, there are some things that can negatively affect your credit rating. For example, if you put in multiple applications over a short period of time, or if you miss or are late with your repayments.

What’s the best way to get in touch?

If you want to know more about credit cards, or how we can help, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Our Customer Services team are available on 02920 548 118, with lines open from:

8am – 7pm Monday to Saturday
9am – 5pm Bank holidays
Closed – Sundays

Apply for a cash loan alternative from 118 118 Money

Want to apply for a credit card with 118 118 Money? You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.

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Cash Loan FAQs

Yes. We do not offer cash loans but you can apply to borrow between and £5,000 to be repaid over one to three years. If you decide this is the best way for you to borrow money, our loan eligibility checker can give you an idea of whether you’ll be accepted before you apply. To qualify for one of our loans, you’ll need to be:

  • A UK resident
  • Aged between 18 and 70
  • The owner of a current UK bank account and debit card
  • Earning a monthly net income of more than £1000
  • Employed or self-employed

And as part of the application process, we’ll need to know your:

  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Employment history
  • Net monthly income
  • Outgoings
  • Bank details

Missed or late repayments on a 118 118 personal loan will incur a £12 charge.

An emergency cash loan can help you deal with sudden, unforeseen costs that leave you in a tricky financial situation. For example, you may need the funds to pay for:

This depends on the lender’s acceptance criteria. 118 118 Money don’t offer cash or payday loans. If you apply for a loan or credit card with us, when we review your application we’ll look at more than just your credit rating. We’ll see if your name is on the electoral register and if you have any CCJs, among other publicly available information.

There are lots of factors that we’ll take into consideration, although we can never guarantee approval until we know all the details.

The monthly repayments on a short-term money loan are likely to be higher than on a long-term loan. However, because the funds are repaid over a shorter period of time, the overall cost of a short-term cash loan could be lower. Ultimately this depends on the interest rates and total amount repayable though.

The interest on our loans ranges between 49.9% and 79.9% and the exact rate you get will depend on your individual circumstances. Your rate will be fixed, so you’ll always know exactly how much you’ll be repaying each month.

Representative example: Amount of credit £2,000 for 24 months. Interest rate: 41.2% pa (fixed). 24 scheduled monthly payments of £123.64. Total amount payable: £2,967.43 Representative 49.9% APR.

We know that if you’re applying for a loan, time is often a factor. That’s why we’ll always try to give you a decision within one hour. If you’re successful in applying for a credit card as a cash loan alternative, your card and PIN will come through the post within 10 days.

If you are declined but then your situation improves and you wish to try again, you can do so after 180 days.


Ready to apply for a credit card from 118 118 Money?

You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.