400 dollar loan

Whether it’s because of an unexpected bill, a new expense, or a change of employment, we can all find ourselves short on funds. In those times, a $400 loan or cash advance could make all the difference. But if you have bad credit, can you even get a loan? 

There are times when a bad credit loan can be a lifesaver. You can get the money you need in a matter of hours, and you don’t have to worry about credit checks and other complicated processes. That being said, finding a safe and affordable bad credit loan can be more challenging. 

Only 1.3% of Americans have a perfect credit score1, so, just about everybody may need help finding a loan that fits their personal financial situation. If you’re currently in the market for a $400 loan, read on to learn about your options!

Although the process might be a little different from a traditional financial institution like a bank or credit union, getting a $400 loan regardless of your history is possible. How? Hang on; we’ll talk about that more in a minute. But first, let’s take a look at one of the most important numbers when it comes to getting a loan, cash advance, or any other type of financial assistance: your credit score.  

Know Your Credit Score Before Applying with Direct Lenders 

Before you apply for any $400 loan or cash advance, you must have a clear picture of your financial situation. And to do that, you must know your credit score.  

A credit score is a number that provides a general indication of your creditworthiness based on the data of millions of other people. It is a formula that compares your credit information to the data of other consumers and tells lenders and creditors how likely you are to repay a loan or line of credit.

For the most part, everyone understands that good credit is better than bad credit, but many people don’t know where their scores come from, let alone what it is. 

Five significant factors determine a consumer’s credit score:  

Payment History 

Your payment history records all the late and on-time payments you have made to your creditors, which is the most crucial part of your credit score. Lenders will use this information to determine if they will work with you. Even if your overall credit score is poor, a decent payment history may make the difference in a loan decision. If reported to a collections agency, a late or delinquent payment can take as many as 100 points off a credit score. This is why it’s essential to pay bills on time continuously, all the time. 

Credit Utilization 

Credit utilization is the percentage of a person’s available credit that they are using. Having credit readily available means that you can keep your debts under control. To illustrate credit utilization, let’s look at an example. Let’s say a person has a credit card with a limit of $1,000. At the end of a month, the balance on the card is 250 dollars. That means they have a credit utilization ratio of 25 percent. Good credit scores have utilization rates at 30 percent or below.

Credit History 

Your credit history is a list of your past and current credit accounts, which will help creditors predict your future credit habits. A good credit history with positive accounts in good standing will help you get the best score possible.

New Credit 

When you apply for a new credit line or loan, it’s not always a good idea to use other lines of credit at the same time. Doing so may make it seem as if you’re in some financial trouble, and therefore not a good candidate for a loan.

Credit Mix

A high credit mix is a sign of stability to creditors. An excellent example of a solid credit mix is a secured auto loan with a steady installment plan and an unsecured credit card with a revolving balance that varies from month to month. While a good credit mix is helpful, it is not weighed as heavily as the other factors.

Your credit score is a part of a financial profile called a credit report. Companies issue credit reports called credit bureaus that analyze an individual’s history with credit. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They can provide a credit report on just about anyone who has ever rented a home, bought a car, or applied for a credit card or loan. 

From that credit check, lenders can see your credit score—a three-digit number that ranges from 300-850. The higher the number, the better your creditworthiness:

Below is a breakdown of how credit score ratings work: 

Credit Score RangeCredit Rating
300-580 Considered poor credit scores
581-669Fair Credit
670-739Good Credit 
740-799Very Good Credit 
800-850Excellent Credit

It’s not always easy to know what a decent credit score is. A credit score of 580 or below is generally considered harmful. On the other hand, good credit scores are seen as a lower risk to lenders, so they are more likely to get better interest rates and loan terms than bad credit. 

Although there are more options available for someone with good credit, It’s not impossible to secure a 400 dollar loan with poor credit. So let’s take a look at one of the easiest, fastest, and most convenient ways to get money fast: The payday loan. 

The Dangers of Payday Loans

A payday loan otherwise known as a quick cash loan is a personal loan designed to provide a short-term solution for short-term cash problems. Payday loans are usually smaller in size than other types of personal loans. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the average lending amount is just 350 dollars. 

With over 23,000 lenders in the US alone, A payday loan is a popular option because of its massive availability. You can either visit a brick-and-mortar payday loan store, use a mobile app, or visit a payday loan website to apply for one.

A payday loan is also one of the most “hassle-free” financing options around. Unfortunately, many lenders use this as a selling point for dangerous and expensive loans. Another reason for their popularity is that there is less paperwork needed for a payday loan than for a more traditional loan application. A potential borrower will only need to meet these requirements:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Possess a valid government-issued photo ID
  • Have an active email address and phone number 
  • Have a valid bank account (checking or savings) 
  • Provide Proof of income (a pay stub or Bank statement that shows regular deposits) 

Should You Get a 400 Dollar Loan Via a Payday Loan?

Here’s a breakdown of how payday loans work: 

A borrower visits a payday loan lender to fill out an application. If approved, the borrower writes the lender a personal check for the cash they want to borrow, plus the lender’s fees and interest. The payday loan lender will disburse the loan amount to the borrower in cash, check, or a direct deposit transfer to the borrower’s checking account.

At the end of the loan term (anywhere from two weeks to a month), the direct lender cashes the borrower’s check. Today, most payday loans are processed online, and the borrower and lender make deposits and withdrawals through electronic funds transferring. The borrower can either repay the payday loan in installments or pay a lump sum. If the payday loan is not repaid by the end of the term, it will roll over to become a new payday loan. 

This Is How Payday Loans Can Get Expensive:

Many borrowers assume that when their account rolls over, it’s simply an extension. They believe that they will continue to make payments on the original 400 dollar payday loan. 

Many borrowers don’t realize that the rollover is a new loan agreement, and they are now subject to another round of processing fees and interest. This whole process keeps repeating itself until the loan is paid off. 

A 400 dollar quick cash loan can be a quick and easy solution to financial troubles. But, you need to pay it off quickly to avoid the high interest and fees. Also, getting into more debt is never an excellent solution for getting out of debt. 

A $400 loan can seem like a small amount of money, but it can come at a high cost. If you have poor credit, higher rates, and shorter terms (like those found in payday loans), you will want to consider a solid repayment plan and stick to it.

Think About Wants vs. Needs

Think hard about your actual needs and what you want. Do you need a $400 loan, or do you want to buy something nice? Think about how much money you have in the bank, and decide if this is a necessary expense. Sometimes we want to borrow money to tackle a problem, but this is not always the best solution. With a little more time and financial planning (budgeting!), you may be able to discover the answer.

Even though a 400 dollar loan is small, it is never a good idea to blindly enter into a loan agreement. Instead, make sure you scrutinize any contracts to know what is expected of you from your first installment payment to the last.

$400 Loan FAQ

Do I Need an Active Bank Account To Get a $400 Loan?

Not all direct lenders require that borrowers have an active bank account in order to receive loan approval. However, having a checking account allows lenders like Credit Ninja and others to submit your approved loan funds via direct deposit, which is typically the fastest way to get your loan money.

Who Are Payday Loan Lenders?

Payday loan lenders are financial institutions that offer short-term, high-interest loans that are typically due on the borrower’s next payday. They can be direct lenders who loan money directly to the borrower or indirect lenders who serve as intermediaries between the borrower and a network of lenders.

What Is a Direct Lender?

A direct lender is a financial institution that directly provides loans to borrowers without the involvement of any intermediaries or brokers. Credit Ninja is an example of a direct lender. This means that the borrower deals directly with the lender throughout the loan approval process.

What Is a Loan Request Form?

A loan request form is a document that a borrower fills out to apply for a loan. It typically requires personal information, employment details, and financial data. The information provided is used by the lender to determine the borrower’s eligibility for the loan.

Can I Get a 400 Payday Loan With a Bad Credit Score?

Yes, many payday lenders offer loans to borrowers with poor or bad credit scores. However, these loans often come with higher interest rates and fees compared to loans offered to borrowers with good credit or borrowers getting a quick cash three month payday loan.

What Is a Soft Credit Check?

Soft credit checks is a type of credit inquiry that does not affect your credit score. It’s typically used for pre-approvals and initial eligibility checks. Some payday lenders may perform soft credit checks during the loan approval process.

What Are the Differences Between Payday Loans and Personal Loans?

Payday loans are small dollar loans that are typically due on your next payday, while personal loans can be larger and have a longer repayment period. Personal loans usually require a good credit score, but payday loans are often accessible to bad credit borrowers.

What Is an Installment Loan?

An installment loan is a type of loan where you borrow a specific amount of money and pay it back in a series of regular payments, or installments, over a set period. These loans are typically offered by traditional lenders like banks or credit unions, but some payday lenders also offer installment loans.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for a $400 Loan?

Eligibility criteria can vary by lender, but typically include being at least 18 years old, having a valid government-issued ID, an active email address and phone number, a valid bank account, and proof of income. Even with a poor credit score, you may still be eligible for a $400 payday loan.

What Is the Loan Approval Process Like?

The loan approval process typically involves filling out a loan request form, after which the lender will review your application. They may perform a soft credit check and verify your income. If approved, the loan amount will be disbursed to your bank account. The process can be quick, often within a few hours or the next business day.

A Note From CreditNinja

Before you get a $400 loan or other short term loan online, make sure you consider all your available options! It may be more convenient in the long run to dip into your own savings, ask a close friend or family member for a small short-term loan, or even organize your budget to free up some extra cash. 

If you ultimately decide that a $400 loan is the right choice for you, be sure to research your available options. Direct lenders like CreditNinja seek to be a more affordable alternative to quick cash advances and payday loans, especially for borrowers who have poor or bad credit. So, before you commit yourself to a $400 payday loan, look into your other options, like CreditNinja!


  1. People with perfect credit scores have 3 key traits in common, Experian reports
  2. What Is a Payday Loan and How Does It Work?
  3. How Do Payday Loans Work


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