Online vs Bank Short Term Personal Loans

Short term personal loans are loans for people needing quick cash with a short repayment term (less than 5 years). These loans generally have a low maximum amount (e.g. between $100 and $3,000) and high interest rates. Many people get short term personal loans to pay for home improvements, auto repairs, medical bills, or other unforeseen expenses. Some even use these loans as a means of debt consolidation.

You can apply for short term personal loans in-person at a bank, or online with any participating financial institution.

Online Loans

Short term personal loans through online banking provide borrowers with an even easier way to get quick cash and catch up on expenses. Most online banking loans have a minimal application process, and once you're approved for the loan, you'll have the money within 24 hours. These "paperless loans" offer convenient payment options as well.

To get short term personal loans online, simply fill out the online application, which generally includes such information as:

  • Personal information like your name, date of birth, address, and phone number
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's License Number
  • Income status
  • Average monthly income
  • Bank account information

 Bank Loans


Unlike some online lenders, short term personal loans from a bank provide borrowers with a sense of protection, because there is a physical address that you can visit if there is a problem with your loan. Bankers can help answer all of your loan questions and help you decide which type of loan (e.g. personal loans or commercial loans) is right for you.

As with online loans, bank short term personal loans have a relatively simple application process. The turnaround time, however, is usually a little longer (~2 to 3 business days) than with online banking. If you need cash quickly, consider visiting a bank and speaking with a financial advisor in-person.

Choose Your Lender Wisely

Whether you decide to go with a bank or an online lender, be sure to assess their reputation and customer service. Don't settle with the lender who can get you money the fastest, or the one who offers the lowest interest rate. Often, these lenders have hidden charges like high loan fees and penalties. Before you sign the dotted line in-person, or click "submit" online, be sure you've chosen a lender that you can trust and has debriefed you regarding all of your loan's rates, fees, and terms.

Need Cash Now? Get a Cash Advance