Cara Bradley

Written by

Cara Bradley

5 min read

Updated: 18th June 2024

Could your finances do with a temporary boost to help fund a one-off payment, such as an unexpected bill?

Whether our savings don’t quite cover the cost, or we’re weeks away from payday, we may find ourselves unprepared for life’s curveballs and the expense they bring. When you find yourself in this position, you might wonder if a short-term loan is a sensible option to consider.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to tell you all you need to know about short-term loans.

Are short-term loans the same as payday loans?

No, they’re not the same. While payday loans are classed as a type of short-term loan, they differ in that they are designed to tide you over until your next pay cheque when they are usually required to be repaid in full.

Short-term loans can be repaid over a longer period, allowing you to spread the cost of repayments. While a longer term can mean a lower monthly repayment amount, the overall cost of the loan is likely to be higher, as you will be charged interest for longer.

Before you apply

A loan is a big financial commitment.
You should never take out a loan unless you are 100% confident that you can afford to comfortably manage the monthly repayments.
Failure to keep up with or make your repayments could lead to financial stress, additional fees, and a decline in your credit rating.

How much money can I borrow?

Viva Money is a credit broker, not a lender. We work with a range of lenders who provide loans between £100 and £10,000.
You should think carefully about how much money you need to borrow before you apply. Never borrow more than you actually need or can afford to comfortably repay.

How long can I borrow the money for?

Our lenders offer loan terms from 3 to 60 months. The term options will vary depending on how much money you choose to borrow.
It’s good to remember that although borrowing over a longer term may result in lower monthly repayments, the overall cost of borrowing is likely to be higher.

Who can apply for a short-term loan?

To apply for a loan, you must:

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

Can I apply for a short-term loan if I am currently unemployed?

If you are in regular employment with a steady income this suggests to lenders that you are more likely to afford your monthly repayments.
Finding a loan may be more difficult if you are unemployed or a student.

I have a low credit score – can I apply for a short-term loan?

We welcome all credit scores to search for a loan.

Once you have filled out our simple and straightforward online form, we’ll scan our panel of lenders for a suitable match within 60 seconds.

Viva Money will provide every effort to find you a loan. If we are not able to do this, we may transfer you directly to alternative firms and services, such as credit building tools, which may incur a monthly fee if you choose to use them. You are under no obligation to use these services.

What will better my chances of being accepted for a short-term loan?

Increasing your credit score could improve your options when applying for credit. Applicants with higher credit scores may be offered better interest rates.

Happily, improving your credit score is something you can begin working on today.

Here are five tips to get you started on your journey towards a healthier credit score.

  1. Register to vote.
  2. Check that the details on your credit report are correct and up to date.
  3. Make sure any current credit commitments and bills are paid on time.
  4. Avoid making too many financial applications. Too many hard credit searches over a short space of time can have a damaging effect on your credit score.
  5. Think about any joint accounts you have. If the other person has a poor credit score, this could affect your own rating.
  6. Keep your current credit utilization low.

If your need for a loan is not urgent, you might want to wait until your credit score has improved before applying.

Can you tell me how exactly the short-term loan process works?

Sure – we’re more than happy to help.
We’ve broken the loan application process down into five simple steps.

  • Choose your preferred loan amount and term, and complete our online form.
  • Using the information you’ve provided, we’ll run a soft credit check and scan our panel of lenders for a suitable match. We’ll let you know the outcome in just 60 seconds.
  • If we match you to a lender, you will be redirected to their website to make a full application. You’ll be shown the terms of the loan offer; these could change. If you’d like to continue, the lender will carry out further checks, including a hard credit search.
  • If you are offered a loan, be sure to carefully read the credit agreement and ensure that you can afford the monthly repayments before signing.
  • Make your monthly repayments on time every month until the balance is cleared.

I’m struggling to keep up with my repayments. What can I do?

Please try not to panic. Although this is a stressful situation, remember that help is available, and you don’t have to face this alone.

We understand that talking about money doesn’t always come easily, but it’s better to contact your lender as soon as possible. They’ll be able to guide you through your options and help you get your account back on track.

For free, impartial advice, you can visit Citizens Advice Bureau, StepChange, MoneyHelper, and National Debtline.