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Emergency Loan Alternatives

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  • 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: 34.0% pa (variable) Representative 34.0% APR (variable)

What is an emergency loan?

Whether it be car repairs or fixing issues around the home, if you’re suddenly faced with a hefty bill that you hadn’t accounted for, you may find yourself in need of some emergency cash to cover these unforeseen costs.

In these circumstances, people end up searching for an ‘emergency loan’ which is designed to help you deal with these unexpected events. These types of loan are usually personal unsecured loans, without the need of a guarantor. Some lenders do also offer cash alternatives, often referred to as emergency cash loans.

Dependent on the lender, some of these loans can be for smaller amounts of money and are repaid over shorter timeframes, so the interest rates can be higher than longer-term agreements.

If you’re in need of some funds to help you out of a difficult situation, subject to eligibility, we offer loans of £1,000 to £5,000 over one to three years.

But you may find that the features of an emergency loan mean its not quite right for you. Perhaps the interest rate is a little higher than you'd like, or you'd prefer greater flexibility in terms of how you make repayments. You may want to consider a credit card as an alternative. With the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card, you might be able to access a lower interest rate and you'll benefit from a continuous line of credit, so it could be an alternative worth considering. This is dependent on your own circumstances however, and you should do your research and consider all lines of credit very carefully.

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
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The features of the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card

If you decide this credit card could be a better option than an emergency loan, you’ll benefit from:

Get a credit limit of up to £1,200.

51 days interest-free if you repay your balance in full each month.

No fees. However, some third parties may charge you – for example, when you take out cash from an ATM.

You can repay in full or instalments, whichever works best for you. There will always be a minimum monthly repayment and it’s recommended that you pay off more than this if you can.

The ability to check your eligibility without any impact to your credit score.

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Want to apply for a credit card?

  • Alternative to an emergency loan
  • No fees*
  • Check your eligibility with no impact on your credit score
Check my eligibility *We do not charge any fees. However, third party vendors may have their own charges. An example of this is an ATM where a usage fee could apply.

The difference between emergency loans and payday loans

Many people see emergency loans and payday loans as the same thing, but we look at them very differently. We do not offer payday loans, which are typically very short-term and come with high interest rates attached. A payday loan is usually for a few hundred pounds and is taken out over a period of a few months. It is designed to see you through until you receive the next chunk of your salary.

By contrast, our loans start from £1,000 and the minimum repayment period is one year. Not only that, but our interest rates are typically much lower than those on a payday loan.

If you’re considering alternatives sources of credit, our 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card may be an alternative which can provide you access to finances to cover your short term spending.

You could use our eligibility checker to see if you’re likely to be accepted or not too, remember this doesn’t impact your credit score.

Credit cards vs emergency loans

When deciding between financial products of any kind, it’s important that you understand the key differences in terms of their features and how they work. Of course, everyone’s circumstances are unique and what’s right for one person may not necessarily be right for another. Make sure you do your own research when weighing up the pros and cons. But to give you a general overview, here’s a few differences as examples to help you work out whether a credit card or an emergency cash loan might be best for you: 

 

Credit Cards

Emergency Loans

Representative APR

Usually lower than some emergency loans

Usually higher than credit cards

Repayments

Balance to be repaid in full, or a minimum monthly instalment or any amount in between

Money to be repaid in fixed monthly instalments, possibly with the option of increasing those amounts to repay early

Credit Limit/Amount

Used as a continuous line of credit, within the credit limit

Agreement comes to an end once the loan plus interest has been repaid in full

You may also be considering whether a credit card can be an alternative to an emergency loan. Yes, if you think a different repayment style better fits your personal circumstances. If you require access to credit for a very short period of time, the features of a credit card mean if you repay it all within a certain period, then there may not be any interest applied on your balance.

A credit card however may not be a feasible alternative if you wish to have fixed term payments over a certain period. Perhaps you require someone to act as a guarantor for you; credit cards don’t usually offer this feature.

So it depends on your own circumstances whether you consider a credit card as an alternative to emergency loans and you should always do your own research into your options.

Emergency loans for bad credit

This is often what people search for if they think or know they have a less-than-perfect credit history. People are often left under the impression that high interest loans such as a payday loan, or short term loans are the only option available to them in these circumstances. This is not always the case though. Yes, your own credit history plays a part in whether you’re accepted for a card or a loan. However there are lenders, including 118 118 Money who could still consider your application even if you have ‘bad credit’. 118 118 Money offer an eligibility check option if applying for our card, this doesn’t impact your credit score but if you complete a full application, we are required to complete a credit search which leaves a mark on your credit file.

Am I eligible for the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card?

You can check your eligibility for our credit card before you apply. It’s a simple tool that takes just a few moments to use, and it won’t have any effect on your credit score. To qualify, 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

If you’re using our eligibility checker, we’ll also need to know your:

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

Will you do a credit check when I apply?

Yes. Whenever you apply for a credit card or an emergency loan in the UK, a credit check will be done. We’ll have a look at your borrowing history, and this will help us to make a decision.

Before you apply, you can always check your credit report. And we recommend using our eligibility checker to find out if you’ll be approved as well as seeing what credit limit we can offer. The eligibility check doesn’t leave a mark on your credit file, a full application does however require a full credit check.

Will applying affect my credit score?

Applying for the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card or an emergency loan in isolation may not have an impact on your credit score. However, if you make multiple applications in a short space of time, that could have a negative effect on your rating.

If you’re approved for credit and you make your repayments in full and on time each month, it could improve your score. This is because it demonstrates to lenders that you can manage credit responsibly.

How do I get in touch?

Want to know more about our loans or the available alternatives? Please feel free to get in touch with a member of our Customer Services team.

You can call us on 08000 118 222. Lines are open 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday and Bank Holidays. Alternatively, you can use our web or App chat.

Apply for an alternative to an emergency loan

Our credit card could be a more suitable option than seeking emergency money through a loan. Before you apply, use our eligibility checker to find out if you’ll be approved and see what credit limit we can offer. And don’t worry, it won’t affect your credit score, a full application does require a credit search, however. 

Apply for an emergency 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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Emergency Loans Alternative FAQs

We offer loans of £1,000 to £5,000 to be repaid over one to three years. So, if you’re suddenly dealing with an unexpected bill and you don’t have the funds readily available, an emergency loan could help you deal with with a tricky financial situation. 

Different lenders have different criteria. We’re direct lenders, so you don’t need to worry about dealing with any brokers. In order to qualify 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 £1,000

• Employed or self-employed

When using our eligibility checker, we’ll also need you to provide us with a few basic details such as your:

• Mobile phone number

• Email address

• Home address

• Employment status

• Net monthly income

• Outgoings

This depends on many different factors, your credit score being one and the lenders terms being another. We know that there’s much more to your application than just your credit score. That’s why we take everything into account when we make a decision. We don’t offer short term or payday loans; our loans are for a longer period. We do however consider applications from those with bad credit, so if you have an adverse credit history, short term/ high interest rates aren’t your only option. If you wish to apply for a longer term loan or a credit card, then you may wish to consider us as an alternative to emergency loans.

The interest on our range between 49.9% and 79.9%, depending on your individual circumstances. Our rates are fixed, so you’ll always know exactly how much your monthly instalment is going to be. Meanwhile, the representative APR on our credit card is %, which is one reason why you might see that as a more suitable alternative to an emergency loan.

If you’re hit with an unexpected bill and you don’t have enough in your savings, an emergency credit card could offer an important safety net. As long as it’s affordable for you, it enables you to cover the costs of the bill upfront and pay for it later, when you’ve had a chance to get things in order. And with the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card, you’ll get 51 days interest-free if you repay your balance in full.

When you apply, we’ll look at your credit rating. We’ll also look at publicly available information, such as whether you are on the electoral register and if you have any CCJs. If you are approved, your credit card and PIN will arrive in the post within 10 days. And if your application is rejected but then your situation improves, you can try again after 180 days.

If you are declined, it can be tempting to see if you will be accepted elsewhere. But remember, multiple applications in a short space of time can negatively affect your credit score, which could make it even harder for you to gain access to credit in the future.

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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.

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