Where to get a very short term loan?

Say I want to buy a car for $50k. I only have $25k saved up, but my current car will sell for $30k. Where do I get a $25k loan for a very short term (I can typically sell a car in a week or two)?

Our credit is great, the house is paid for, no debt of any kind.

That’s a bridge loan. Loan to your bank or the local credit union about one. They usually take your car’s title as collateral.

One of the most convenient ways of getting any kind of loan instantly, for any term you like, including very short-term, is to establish a PLC (Personal Line of Credit). There’s generally no downside to maintaining one, and the available credit actually helps your credit score, if you care about that sort of thing.

A loan to buy an asset like a car is generally secured by the car itself. If you’re buying a car from a business that sells cars, most of them can arrange financing. If not, then talk to a bank. They all have an auto loan department. Just make sure that there’s no prepayment penalty and you can pay off the loan whenever you sell the old car.

This. Even if you have shabby credit, with a 25k down payment they’re gonna do whatever they can to get you financed.

I remember when I was a young man, I had most of the money to buy the truck I wanted. I was just waiting on a bonus from work to pay off the rest. The sales guy set me up so I could put down the big down payment, and then pay the rest off before X date (after my bonus check) interest free.

I did something similar a few years ago. I needed £20k for a week to pay for a car. I looked online for loans but in the end decided that an overdraft was the cheapest and simplest solution.

I made an appointment and spoke to an ‘advisor’ who clearly thought I was bonkers. He took the details and made a call. Twenty minutes later I walked out with the credit in place. I think it cost me about £15 interest for a week.

Sometimes it pays to have a long history with a bank.

Also, the OP says that @Capn_Carl owns his house without a mortgage, so perhaps a home equity line of credit would work?

There are online companies that make loans. I’ve used two–Prosper and Lending Club–at various times. I don’t know if they would do a loan term for that short a period, but the setup at both makes it easy to pay off the loan early.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s a loan you can pay early with no penalties.

oh and avoid ones that makes a big thing about having no or bad credit… you end up paying double to triple digit interest on those… funny they used to put guys named tommy and Guido or luigi who ran places thatdid that in jail …

The interest was built into the price they gave you. It wasn’t “free”.

I also recommend a personal line of credit. I needed money on Friday when I was getting a paycheck on Monday (really). I asked at the bank and they opened a PCL and I wrote the cheque I needed. On Monday, I walked in to pay it and there was not even any interest charged. The assistant manager at the bank explained that the PCL would not have been approved till Monday and so she had arranged an interest free loan until the approval happened. AFAIK, the PCL is in effect, although I have never used it.

I imagine that a PCL is what we over here would call an authorised overdraft.

It’s actually PLC – Personal Line of Credit.

I don’t know the banking terminology over there (in the UK, I presume) but over here having an authorized overdraft just means you can overdraw your account, generally for a modest amount like $1000 and probably for a limited time. Whereas a PLC can be pre-authorized for an arbitrarily large amount. Once you borrow from it, a minimum monthly payment is required but you’re free to pay back any larger amount at any time. It’s like a pre-approved open loan.

Yeah, I have a personal line of credit, my bank offers it based on my “positive net worth”, it is not secured by any asset. I also have a home equity line of credit that is backed by my equity in my home. I keep both because there is some value, in my opinion, with having credit lines for emergencies. I’ve never had to tap the home equity line and only occasionally tapped the personal line of credit, but it’s generally better than other options in many scenarios. For example if it is very short term I actually would prefer to tap a personal credit line vs spend savings (especially long term savings which may have conversion costs to liquidate.)

I have a pre-authorised overdraft of £2,400. I set it up about twenty years ago and never bothered to change it.

Of course, even when authorised, an overdraft is an expensive way to borrow money, but for very short terms, the interest rate hardly matters. What you want is simplicity and not having to wait while someone does credit checks etc.

In the UK you can sometimes get a credit card to agree a temporarily increased limit. Pay by credit card and if the timing is right you get nearly two months interest free credit if you then pay off the whole balance after the next bill.


Last time I needed to buy a car I had the money but I needed the car faster than I could free the cash, so I went to my credit union and applied for a car loan with decent but not great credit. I told the guy up front I intended to pay it back in full next week, and he didn’t care. Handed me a blank check good for up to $15k on the spot. I made certain there was no pre-payment penalty. Paid it back in full 5 days later. Didn’t cost me a penny.

Now that you got some good answers - I got a guy. We’ll call him Vinny. He specializes in short-term loans. Interest rates a bit high and late payments are discouraged but there are no credit checks or anything and the loan is made in cash.

Overdraft and PLC are different things. A PLC is not an expensive way to borrow money. My HELOC (home equity line of credit) tied to my mortgage and as the name implies secured by my house has a rate of 3.45% (annual) and a limit that expands automatically as I pay down principal on the mortgage. These are dangerous for people who max out available credit, but pretty awesome if you don’t. An unsecured PLC will have rates a percentage or two higher and a fixed limit, but is still much cheaper than overdraft fees or interest on a credit card cash advance. Either way there’s no authorization required to borrow against them, just a minimum payment schedule for repaying.