Loans from
$300 – $5,000

Repayment term
4 – 24 Months

Minimum credit score
No min. to apply

The figures provided are representative of a typical installment loan made or arranged by CreditNinja and are not guaranteed rates or terms that you may qualify for.

By Izzy M
Modified on April 8, 2024

Illinois, also known as the Prairie State, is a midwestern state in the United States. Illinois is rich in history and is best known for the lively city of Chicago. If you are an Illinois resident facing a financial emergency, rest easy knowing you have various loan options available!

One advantageous loan option is a Personal loan. Personal loans are an emergency option for people that need to borrow money quickly. Eligible borrowers can get quick cash for car repairs, medical bills, and unexpected travel. The approval process is generally streamlined, so eligible borrowers could get money quickly. 

However, it’s a good idea to learn more about the standard loan options in Illinois before filling out a personal loan application. Knowing how financial products differ from each other can help you choose the best loan for your current situation.

Installment Loans

An Installment loan provides a lump sum to borrowers, who repay the loan in small monthly payments over the course of months or years. Installment loans are ideal for Illinois residents who cannot afford to pay off a high loan amount immediately. Installment loans can be a great way to pay for car repairs, or other unexpected expenses.

Standard installment loan options include the following:

  • Auto Loans: Auto loans provide funding for the purchase of a new or used vehicle. Borrowers make monthly payments that help them build equity in their cars. Most auto loans have a 24 or 60-month repayment schedule.  
  • Mortgage Loans: A mortgage loan provides high loan amounts for the purchase or maintenance of real estate property. Mortgages are also known as home loans. Most mortgage loans have a 15 or 30-year repayment length. 
  • Personal Loans: Lenders provide small or large lump sums for personal expenses. The repayment length can last a few months or a couple of years. 
  • Student Loans: Helps students pay college tuition and other school-related expenses. There are federal and private student loan options. Most lenders offer deferred payment options allowing students to defer payments until graduation.  

Installment loans are convenient and offer flexible repayment plans. Suppose you can only afford a small monthly bill. In that case, an extended repayment length may provide a more affordable payment amount. Many borrowers take out short-term loans because they believe they cost less money. But this is not always the case. A short-term loan typically has high monthly payments and a high overall cost. Since a short-term loan is paid off within a few months, the lender makes less money on interest fees. To increase their capital, many short-term lenders charge higher interest rates. Your total loan cost on a short-term loan may rival the amount you borrow.  

The interest rates for an installment loan are fixed or variable. Fixed rates result in a precise pay-off date and monthly payment amount. Fixed rates are ideal for consumers that want to budget their money. In contrast, variable rates frequently change due to a benchmark interest rate or index. Variable rates can get very low, but they can also increase unexpectedly. Although some lenders offer fixed and variable interest rate loans, remember that your income and credit score ultimately determine your final rate. 

Some installment lenders offer introductory interest rates. As a new applicant, you may get a zero-interest loan that allows you to pay only the principal balance for a short period. Initial rates typically only last a few months, so ensure you know exactly how much time you have to make interest-free payments. Be aware that interest rates often skyrocket at the end of a promotional period. Ask about the standard interest rate before applying for an installment loan with a 0% intro APR. You may be better off with a traditional installment loan option. 

No Credit Check Loans

Borrowers have to contend with credit checks during the loan application process. There are soft and hard credit inquiries. Soft credit inquiries do not negatively affect creditworthiness, although a credit bureau may record it on a credit report. On the other hand, hard credit checks decrease credit scores by a few points and remain on credit reports for up to two years. Credit checks concern low-credit borrowers who want to avoid further dips in their bad credit scores. 

One financing option is a No Credit Check Loan, which is a loan that does not require a hard credit check for approval. The main qualifying factor for these types of loans is income. A lender will determine whether your income is steady enough to reliably make payments every month. Many lenders may be willing to accept alternative income from retired, self-employed, or unemployed individuals. Ask the lender what types of documents you can provide as proof of payment.     

Although this financing option sounds ideal for someone who has difficulty meeting the minimum credit score requirement of loans, no credit check loans can ultimately be expensive. The high-interest rates make no credit loans a struggle to pay off in some cases. 

Cash Advance Loans

A Cash advance provides fast cash to eligible borrowers that need small loans. Various financial products qualify as cash advance loans. Popular options include credit card cash advances, employer advances, and payday advances. Each cash advance loan offers different benefits and loan terms, so knowing how they differ is essential. 

  • Credit Card Cash Advance: Credit card borrowers can withdraw cash using convenience checks or at an ATM. Borrowers are subject to cash advance APRs and fees. 
  • Employer Advance: Some workplaces allow employees to borrow money from future paychecks. Ask your employer if they allow employer advances and if there are fees.      
  • Payday Advance: A payday advance is a small dollar, short-term loan that provides funding for emergencies. 

Cash advance loans provide same-day funding, which can quickly cover the cost of upcoming bills. However, cash advance loans typically cost a lot of money due to high-interest rates and additional fees. Borrowers have to pay for the convenience of fast cash. 

Suppose you use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Credit card cash advances have no grace period, so you must start paying interest the day you withdraw a cash advance. In addition, you may have to pay an ATM operator fee and a flat cash advance fee. These fees can add up to a significant amount that may not be worth the cost of borrowing money.  

Borrowing through a cash advance loan may not always be worth the cost, so it’s a good idea to calculate how much you will pay in total before withdrawing cash. 

Online Loans for Less than Perfect Credit

Qualifying for emergency funding is challenging when your credit history is less than perfect. Your payment history and total debt are the most critical factors affecting your credit. If a lender is not confident that you can repay the loan on time, you could be ineligible. Using a co-signer may help a consumer get approval, but involving another party complicates the repayment process. 

If you need money in your bank account quickly to pay credit card debt and other bills with poor credit, there are Bad Credit Loans. A bad credit loan provides flexible qualification requirements despite low credit. While most lenders require good FICO scores of at least 670 points, you may be eligible with a lower score. Bad credit loans are a financing option for individuals still working on improving their credit history. However, keep in mind that lenders who offer bad credit loans may still have a minimum credit score requirement.  

Although it may seem obvious to apply for a bad credit loan with bad credit, you may want to take caution. Bad credit loans typically have extremely high interest rates. High rates are generally the main reason borrowers have difficulty paying their loans on time. Lenders charge higher than average rates to offset the risk of default. Higher fees increase the profit a lender makes. As a borrower with poor credit, you may think that bad credit loans are the only suitable loan option available, but there are more affordable options.  

Payday Loans Alternative

A Payday loan is a small dollar loan that typically has a two-week repayment term. Borrowers can get emergency cash quickly to tide them over until their next paycheck. 

However, payday loans are notoriously hard to repay. Predatory lending practices are standard, as many payday lenders have sky-high rates, short repayment lengths, and hidden fees. If a borrower fails to repay the total loan amount plus fees within two weeks, the payday loan rolls over. A rollover, also known as a renewal, extends the loan for an additional two weeks. 

If you need money immediately to avoid more significant financial issues, a good alternative is a personal loan. Personal loans are installment loan options that offer flexible loan terms and generally decent rates. Borrowers can get higher loan amounts and extended repayment periods that last up to a few years.  

The money from a personal loan can be spent on almost any emergency expense. Borrowers use their loan money on childcare costs, credit card debt repayment, unexpected costs, and much more. Some borrowers use personal loans for non-emergency reasons. For example, some people use personal loans as home improvement loans. However, financial experts recommend against doing so because loans cost money and alter your credit history. Ideally, using cash in a savings account for weddings, travel, furniture, and other non-essential purchases would be better. 

There are secured and unsecured personal loans. A secured personal loan requires the borrower to provide collateral. Collateral is any valuable asset that secures the loan and lowers the lending risk. Once the personal loan is repaid in full, the lender releases the lien on the asset. 

Every lender has a unique list of acceptable collateral, but many borrowers use the following:

  • Certificates of deposit (CD)
  • Vehicle titles
  • Real estate titles
  • Money in a savings account
  • Investment accounts 

Secured personal loans offer more flexible qualification requirements, which can help low-credit borrowers qualify for fast emergency cash. However, secured loans can be financially risky for the borrower. In the event of default, the borrower will lose possession of their asset. Suppose someone uses their only vehicle as collateral and cannot repay the loan due to unexpected financial issues. In that case, the lender may seize the asset, and the borrower could lose their only reliable transportation source!  

However, the good news is that most personal loans are unsecured. You may still qualify for financial relief if your credit score is less than perfect. Personal loan lenders typically have lenient requirements, so it’s worthwhile to inquire with different lenders to find the best personal loan offer. 

As with other financial products, personal loans come with fees. Specific lenders charge more fees than others. Ask if there is an application or origination fee before filling out a loan application. Some lenders charge prepayment penalties, which are fees for paying back the loan early. Comparing loan offers can help you reduce the cost of borrowing money. 

Getting a Personal Loan in Illinois: The Bottom Line

Personal loans are a fast cash option for Illinois residents. The approval process is generally quick, and eligible borrowers can get money deposited directly into their bank account.  

Personal loans are available through banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Online personal loans are the same as traditional options, but they tend to have a faster and more convenient process. To qualify for personal loan funding, you will need to provide specific documentation. You can provide paperwork to a lender at a brick and mortar or submit photos to online lenders. 

Typically you will be asked to provide the following primary documents for personal loans:

  • A government-issued photo ID (driver’s license or state identification card)
  • Proof of income (paycheck stubs, bank statements, etc.) 
  • Proof of address (credit card statements, utility bills, etc.)
  • Verification of asset ownership (if applying for a secured loan)
  • References (typically can be either professional or personal)

Once a lender verifies your information, you can usually get your money quickly through an electronic payment. You will need an active bank account to receive a direct deposit. Your lender will ask you for your bank name, routing number, and account number. 

Your first monthly payment will be approximately 30 days from the date you sign the loan agreement. It is critical that you make every monthly payment on time. Late payments can decrease your credit score and result in a costly late fee. Loan payments over 30 days late are typically reported to the major credit bureaus. If this occurs, your late payment will remain on your credit reports for up to seven years. Negative entries on credit reports can negatively affect your future financial opportunities. 

However, maintaining a good payment history can reflect positively on your credit history. Continuous, timely payments can help you improve your credit over time. Higher credit scores prove that you can responsibly manage your finances. Lenders may feel more secure offering you lower interest rates, higher loan amounts, and extended repayment terms. 

The best personal loans in Illinois have affordable rates and convenient repayment terms. When you finally decide to start looking for a lender, take time to compare your options. Never settle for the first loan offer you get because there could be a better option available. Many lenders offer pre-approval offers, so inquire with multiple lenders to find the best rates and repayment terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, we offer unsecured loans up to $5,000. However, the amount you’re offered if approved will vary based on your specific qualifications, as well as the regulations in Illinois, or whichever state you live in.

The length of your repayment term will depend on the specific loan you receive, as well as the state where you live. This may range from six to 18 months.

CreditNinja personal loans in Illinois are designed for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. While we do consider an applicant’s credit history, it’s not the only factor we review. This means that having a low credit score doesn’t necessarily bar you from being approved!

CreditNinja personal loans are “unsecured,” meaning we don’t require borrowers to provide collateral in order to qualify. Approval will be based on an applicant’s credit history, income, and ability to repay the loan, among other factors.

CreditNinja offers quick and reliable personal loans for borrowers in need. The entire process is online, from the application to funding, and even repayment. Apply today for a CreditNinja personal loan in Illinois, get a decision right away, and get the cash you need to get your life back on track.

What our borrowers are saying