Instant Loans

Cara Bradley

Written by

Cara Bradley

6 min read

Updated: 30/01/2024

Sometimes, financial emergencies pop up out of the blue and threaten to leave a hole in our pocket.
If you need money to fund an unexpected bill or an urgent car repair, you may be thinking about applying for an instant loan.

What is an instant loan?

An instant loan could offer a solution if you need help covering the cost of an essential, emergency expense.

What’s the difference between an instant loan and a payday loan?

As the name suggests, payday loans are designed to tide you over between paydays and are repaid in full within a month.

Instant loans offer longer repayment terms so you can spread the cost of your borrowing.

Viva Money work with a panel of trusted lenders who offer loan terms between 3 and 60 months, depending on how much money you borrow.

How long will it take to find out if I have been approved for an instant loan?

While we understand that a packed up boiler simply can’t wait ‘til your next payday, you still need to think very carefully about whether applying for a loan is right for you. Don’t be rushed into making a decision.

If you do decide to apply for a loan, and you’re confident you can afford your monthly repayments without this affecting your other bills, such as your mortgage or rent, it’s important to be realistic about the process.

Many lenders will be able to give you an instant decision and let you know if you have been approved for a loan; other lenders may ask you to send them additional information first, such as a wage slip or proof of address.

If accepted, your money could be sent to your bank account the same day your loan is approved.* However, the time it takes for the money to show as available in your account will depend on your bank’s policies and procedures, such as if they accept Faster Payments.

How can Viva Money help me search for a loan?

When you fill in the online form at Viva Money, we’ll search for a suitable loan using soft search technology. This process takes around 60 seconds and your result will be shown on your screen.

If you’ve been matched with a loan, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s website where you’ll be asked to provide some further information.

It may be a good idea to have certain documents to hand, such as proof of identity, proof of address, and copies of recent payslips, to prevent any delays.

Once the lender has completed a hard credit check, they will let you know if your loan application has been approved.

We’ve broken the Viva Money process down into four straightforward steps.

Step one

Choose your ideal loan amount and repayment term. Remember, it’s important to only borrow what you need, and can afford to repay.
Complete our online application form – this should take less than five minutes.

Step two

Using the information you have provided, we’ll run a soft search on your credit history and scan our panel of lenders for a match.
We’ll get back to you with the results of our search in just 60 seconds.

Step three

If we’ve been able to find you a loan, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s website, where you’ll be required to undergo some further checks, including a hard search.
If the lender is happy with the outcome of their checks, you will be sent a loan agreement. Be sure to read through this carefully before signing and accepting. Make sure that you can afford your monthly repayments without this affecting your other essential outgoings.

Step four

Pay back your loan in monthly instalments until the balance is cleared.

If approved, how quickly will I receive the money?

Many of the lenders on our panel are able to send your money on the same day that your application is approved.

Each lender has their own payout timeframe, so if you’re applying for an instant loan, it’s best to check this with them when you apply so you know what to expect.

Who can apply for an instant loan?

You can search for a loan with Viva Money if you:

  • Are over the age of 18 years old;
  • Have a UK-registered address;
  • Have a UK bank account and valid debit card; and
  • Have a regular income paid directly into your bank account.

Can I apply for an instant loan with bad credit?

Yes, you can apply for an instant loan with bad credit, although bear in mind that your borrowing options may be limited and, if you are approved, you may find that you are offered a higher interest rate.

It is not impossible to get approved for an instant loan with bad credit. Some of the lenders on the Viva Money panel specialise in loans for those with less-than-perfect credit scores. However, all loan applications are subject to affordability checks and a hard credit search.

How might taking out an instant loan affect my credit score?

Taking out a loan could affect your credit score either way, depending on how you manage your repayments.
If you make your repayments on time each month, and clear the balance of the loan within your chosen term, you could see an improvement to your credit score.

However, making late repayments or missing repayments altogether could result in a decline to your credit score.

If you’re concerned about your credit score, it may a good idea to avoid making multiple instant loan applications directly with lenders over a short period of time.

When you apply for credit, the lender will carry out a hard search on your credit file. Each search can remain on your file for up to 12 months, and will be visible to other lenders. Too many hard searches could cause your credit score to drop.

You could avoid this by using a credit broker, like Viva Money.

Viva Money use soft search technology to scan our panel of lenders and find the most suitable option for you. Soft searches do not impact your credit score in any way, and will only be visible on your file to you and the company who carried out the search.

If you are matched with a loan product, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s website to complete further checks, including a hard search.

I’m struggling to make my repayments, what can I do?

If you find that you can no longer comfortably manage your monthly repayments you should contact your lender. It’s better to let them know of the situation as soon as you can, rather than falling behind on your repayments.

Your lender will appreciate you getting in touch, and they should be able to offer you a number of possible solutions to help ease the pressure.

Free, impartial debt and money management advice can be found online on websites such as National Debtline, MoneyHelper, and Citizens Advice.

Viva Money have linked up with charity StepChange to bring you a Money Health Check quiz, which can be completed online confidentially, free of charge. The answers you provide in the quiz will generate advice tailored to your situation, offering practical tips on what to do next.

*The time it takes for the money to appear in your account depends on your bank’s policies and procedures.