How Can I Get a $500 Loan?

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Getting an extra $500 can seem overwhelming if you’re looking for fast cash. But with some creativity and research, you can consider options beyond just a $500 loan. For example, you could get a cash advance, personal loan, credit card advance, or even earn extra cash. 

Cash flow issues can be scary. With the solutions below, you should be able to manage this $500 need and prepare for future requirements. 

Why you may need a $500 loan

A $500 loan can go a long way to help make ends meet. It can help with sudden car repairs, last-minute gifts, or higher-than-expected utility bills and other surprise expenses. Consumers have several choices to get an additional $500 in their pocket. 

Personal loans, lines of credit, cash advances, title loans and payday loans are some of your choices, but some are better than others. Searching for competitive loans can help you save on fees and interest, while a cash advance could give you access to cash a few days early without additional interest or fees. It all starts with knowing how to obtain a $500 loan. The guide below can help you get the money you need. 

Where to get a $500 loan: 5 options and alternatives

There are several options to obtain a $500 loan. Depending on your specific needs and financial situation, some may make more sense than others. 

1. Cash advances

A cash advance is a short-term financing solution different from a personal loan. You can also get a credit card cash advance (more on that below). If you want a cash advance without high interest or fees, consider InstacashSM from MoneyLion. 

Instacash is not a loan. Instead, you can access up to $500 of your hard-earned cash when needed. There’s no interest, no credit checks, and no mandatory fees. You’ll get the cash within one to five business days or up to $500 cash advances today for a fee. 

2. Personal loans

Not all lenders will approve personal loans for $500, as some require higher loan amounts. However, it’s worth exploring, as personal loans allow you to plan repayment terms with fixed interest rates over time. Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than high-interest options like payday loans or credit card cash advances. 

MoneyLion’s personal loan marketplace is a great place to research personal loan options that fit your needs. You may be able to get a quick $500 loan or even find $500 instant loan options. 

3. Credit card cash advance

Credit card cash advances aren’t the best option on this list because they come with high interest rates and fees. However, if the other options don’t work for you, many credit card issuers do allow you to take a cash advance. The maximum allowed depends on your credit limit and card issuer limits. 

Cash advance fees on credit cards are usually 3% or 5% of the total amount of each cash advance. In addition, the average APR on a credit card cash advance is around 25%. With high interest rates and fees, it’s essential to understand the terms and consider the costs involved.

MoneyLion can help you explore a wide variety of credit card options tailored to different needs and preferences.

4. Credit builder loans

If you cannot get a personal loan, a credit builder loan could be the solution. A credit builder loan is a smaller loan option that allows you to take on a small amount of debt and demonstrate responsible repayment to build your credit history. Regular repayments can help you build a positive credit history. 

However, sometimes credit builder loans require a deposit of the full amount of the loan ahead of time, making it an impractical solution if you need $500 fast, so you’ll need to research options. These loans also may come with higher interest rates compared to traditional financing, so make sure to understand the terms and conditions thoroughly. You can find small loan options to build credit or a personal hybrid loan to build credit

5. Payday loans

Payday loans are short-term loans that typically must be repaid on your next payday. They are quick to obtain but often come with high interest rates and fees. You’ll want to be careful about payday loans, as people have been known to fall into a cycle of debt after borrowing them. You can find online payday loans with same-day deposits here

How to qualify for a $500 loan

How to qualify for a $500 loan depends on the lender and application process or cash advance app. Each financing institution has its own requirements. Some apps allow you to apply for a cash advance without a credit check or additional requirements. 

Some lenders have more flexible requirements than others. Online lenders and credit unions tend to have easier qualification standards than big banks for small personal loans. You may have to provide government-issued ID plus documentation like pay stubs and bank statements, to help your approval odds. 

Here are some typical requirements to qualify for a $500 personal loan:

Credit score

Most lenders will want to see a credit score in the fair to good range, usually 600-620 or higher. While some lenders specialize in loans for bad credit, they typically have high interest rates. In general, the higher your score, the better interest rate you’ll qualify for.


You must show you have enough steady income from employment, self-employment, benefits, or other income to repay the loan. Many lenders want to see a debt-to-income ratio of below 40-50%.

Active bank account

You’ll need an active checking or savings account into which you can deposit loan funds and withdraw future payments. 


You must provide a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID.

No recent delinquencies

While recent late payments, delinquencies, or defaults on other credit accounts can hurt your chances of approval, some lenders may still approve a $500 loan or cash advance with other strong factors. 

Considering a way to build your credit? Join MoneyLion WOW membership and apply for up to a $1,000 Credit Builder Loan with a competitive rate and no hard credit check*.

What to know before taking out a $500 loan

Before taking a $500 loan, you’ll want to consider other options, from dipping into savings to borrowing from family and friends. If you are ready to take out a loan, consider these tips and best practices:

  • Don’t borrow more than you need. If you only need $200, take that instead of $500. 
  • Have a repayment plan in place to make sure you’ll be able to make on-time payments.
  • Don’t borrow $500 if you can wait and save up for it and plan for the expense.
  • If you take a $500 loan or cash advance, compare interest rates and fees to find the best available options. 

Consider alternative options for cash

Alternative options for obtaining $500 without taking out a loan include dipping into savings, getting a side hustle or saving up over time. If you need $500 fast and have the savings, you could use the savings and pay yourself back over time. 

If you have time to save up, you could set a budget and save extra or get a side hustle to earn more. The right alternative will depend on your financial situation and cash needs.

Understand the various wait times

Some lenders can give you access to cash within 24 to 48 hours, while others have a four to five-day wait time. Whether you can afford to wait will depend on your specific financial needs. 

Understand the associated costs

Costs can add up and aren’t always expressed with the same words among lenders. For example, some may state interest rates, while others will show the annual percentage yield (APR). Loan repayment terms also vary. Carefully compare total fees plus APR to find the most cost-effective solution that meets your needs. 

Have a repayment strategy

Loans, cash advances, and other financing options can give you money when needed for essential expenses, but you have to pay it back. Loans and cash advances have varying repayment plans, and knowing what you’re walking into can make repayment more manageable. 

Be sure to review the loan’s schedule before accepting the terms to ensure you can pay it back. If you are nervous about the monthly payments, you can ask the lender about extending the loan’s term to make repayment more manageable. 

Many lenders charge extra fees if you make late payments. Setting up automatic payments can be a solution to help ensure that you do not miss any payments and avoid any late payment fees.

Always spend borrowed funds responsibly

A loan is a financial obligation that you have to pay back over time. The extra funds can help you cover emergency or unexpected expenses and save you from short-term financial obstacles. 

A loan is a useful financial product for emergencies, but turning loans into a habit can weaken your finances. Too many loans can pull you into debt and increase your costs as you shell out more on interest rates. 

Get the extra cash you need for an unexpected expense

A $500 loan can help you out of a jam and give you time to repay the debt. When used responsibly, loans can aid your finances and offer stability. As long as you repay the loan according to the terms, they could even help you build a positive credit history. 

Whether you need to get a 500 loan instantly or need a backup plan while you build emergency savings, the options above can help. You never know when a surprise expense will show up, but having access to short-term loans, cash advances, and other financing solutions can make those costs more manageable to plan your budget.


Can you get a $500 loan if you have bad credit?

Yes, you can get a $500 loan if you have bad credit. You may have a higher interest rate if you have bad credit. Not all lenders offer loans to borrowers with bad credit, but if you shop around, such as on MoneyLion’s marketplace, you can find lenders to meet your needs. 

What are the options for getting a $500 loan?

Some banks, credit unions and online lenders cater to borrowers with bad credit. You can also consider cash advance apps and peer-to-peer lending platforms.

How long does it take to get approved for a $500 loan?

Each lender has a different approval timeframe. Some lenders give you funds within 24 hours, while other lenders may take a week to give you a $500 loan.

Are there any restrictions on how I can use the funds from a $500 loan?

Normally there aren’t restrictions on how you can use a $500 loan. However, some lenders place certain restrictions on personal loans. For example, you may not be able to use the funds for gambling, illegal purchases, college tuition, or business expenses.

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