Best Short Term Loans: Direct Lenders Compared

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Last Update: January 19th, 2017

Compare Short Term Loans for Bad Credit (+Prime)


Short term loans are simply payday loans with added flexibility. Whilst traditional firms require a repayment when you are paid at the end of the month, you have the freedom to set your own date here. You only pay for your selected term that was until recently a major benefit over the payday firms whereby a full monthly charge was required even when repaying in a few weeks. This USP however diminished through FCA capping that limits lender pricing at 0.8% daily. There has been a notable squeeze on the lenders listed below since they see minimal interest profits and they must cover fast transfer fees on their side (to meet the cap).


This niche was pioneered by Wonga back in the year 2007. It took them a few years to get going, but in time they became the UK’s most popular lender. Does Wonga provide the best short term loans online? You’d say that they do offer the most complete package. In the early days you could choose any single day within the month alongside the specific loan sum from £1 onwards. There is still great flexibility offered, but they have now set the minimum loan to £50. This was one of the first lenders to take advantage of Faster Payments. This rapid speed was supported by 24/7 operations (now cut back). Their technology automates the payout process and so existing customers don’t have to wait around.


UK resident, 18 and over and currently working. The typical required monthly wage is £750. Bad credit including arrears, defaults, late payments etc should be ok, but a CCJ would likely see a decline. Documents may be requested or there could be a workplace call.

Market Size:

There are just 14 brands listed. This tally was larger, but a selection of companies moved over to instalments as a result of the cap. This has been expected since the real profit comes from keeping the user on contracts. Sizing has also shrunk through a number of closures. The attached lenders are also listed in the Payday Loans Comparison where they are scored over 30 days.

We Have Compared:
Cost (C): Total cost of a £100 weekly loan (7 days)
Operations (O): Opening days and times
Sums (S): How much can be borrowed (New = N and Return = R)
Terms (T): What repayments can be selected (marked in days)

– Listings are sorted alphabetically.

Best Short Term Loans: Direct Lenders Compared:

100Pounds (2012)
C: No 7 day term
O: Mon/Fri (9am/6pm)
S: £100 (N) and £300 (R)
T: 10 (20 or 30)*
* Unavailable. The 20 and 30 day terms are for existing customers

Cash ASAP (2012)
C: £5.56
O: Mon/Fri (8am/9pm), Sat (8am/7pm), Sun (9am/7pm)
S: £50 to £300 (N) and £750 (R)
T: 1 to 31 or 3 months
* Starts from £100 for 3

CreditStar (2011)
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Sun (9am/8pm)
S: £100 to £300 (N) and £700 (R)
T: 5 to 30

Drafty (2016)
C: £1.26
O: Mon/Sun (7am/10pm)
S: £200 to £3000 (N) and £5000 (R)
T: 1 day+
* No fixed repayment. Can draw £50 (1st) and then £20 on re-loans

MPP Money (2013)
MPP Money
C: No 7 day term
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5.30pm)
S: £100 to £500 (N and R)
T: 15 to 90
* Unavailable repayment. Must show 2 payslips

MyKredit (2015)
C: No 7 day term
O: Mon/Fri (9am/6pm)
S: £100 to £400 (N) and 1000 (R)
T: 20
* Existing customers can receive 24/7 funding. SMS apply option

NextCredit (2012)
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Sun (9am/11am)
S: £100 to £300 (N and R)
T: 7, 14, 21 or 28

Payday Aid (2011)
Payday Aid
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Fri (10am/2pm)
S: £50 to £200 (N) and £500 (R)
T: 7 to 45

PiggyBank (2012)
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Thu (8am/7pm), Fri (8am/5pm), Sat (9am/1pm)
S: £100 to £400 (N) and £1000 (R)
T: 7 to 35 days or 2 to 5 months
* 2/5 amounts differ as £150 to £1000 (N and R)

SafetyNet Credit (2012)
SafetyNet Credit
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Fri (8am/7pm), Sat (9am/5pm)
S: £100 to £500 (N and R)
T: 1 to 40
* Banking access required. Sunday funding for return users

Smart Pig (2012)
Smart Pig
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Fri (9am/7pm), Sat/Sun (10am/6pm)
S: £50 to £350 (N and R)
T: 1 to 180 (next SLC pay date or sooner)
* Student only loans

The Money Platform (2016)
The Money Platform
C: No 7 day term
O: Mon/Fri. Times unknown
S: £250 to £1000 (N and R)
T: 21 to 84
* Must be 20+ to qualify with good credit
* Unavailable. Minimum term is 21 days

Vivus (2016) (Original/2012)
C: No 7 day term
O: Mon/Fri (9am/7pm), Sat (9am/2pm)
S: £100 to £500 (N) and £1000 (R)
T: 10 to 41
* Unavailable. Minimum term is 10 days

Wonga (2007)
C: £5.60
O: Mon/Sun (7am/10pm)
S: £50 to £400 (N) and £1000 (R)
T: 1 to 35 or 3 months (Flexi)
* Existing customers can receive 24/7 funding
* Flexi amounts differ as £150 to £400 (N) and £1500 (R)

Comparison Insights:

Cheapest Short Term Loans (/£100 for 7 Days):

1) Drafty: £1.26 (0.180%)
2) The Money Platform: 21 or 28 days only (0.400%)
3) Vivus: 10 days+ only (0.400%)

Note: Other than those above, you’ll see price matching at the market cap (0.8% daily). Daily rates shown to 3DP. The Vivus starting term is 10 days, but you should be able to settle early. This doesn’t look to be possible with The Money Platform (peer-to-peer), but we have included their daily rate anyway. They’d need you to borrow £250+. The 50% off Vivus deal is for time customers only.

Experience: Wonga

Wonga’s launch in 2007 sparked this niche into life.

Flexibility: Drafty

Drafty’s facility is available for as long as you need it and so funds could be used for days or years.

Loans on Sunday: Various

Cash ASAP, CreditStar, Drafty, MyKredit (return), NextCredit, SafetyNet Credit (return), Smart Pig and Wonga all issue funds on Sundays.

Payouts (24/7): Drafty, MyKredit, Wonga (all return only)

These lenders deliver instant short term loans 24/7 for existing customers. This is through automated tech rather than 24/7 business hours.

Sums (Smallest): Drafty
Drafty’s service allows £20 boosts, but this is when returning (the initial draw is £50). Various companies then start from £50.

Sums (Largest When New): Drafty

£3000 is available to first time customers. This is some way ahead of the next biggest option that is MyKredit at £1000. In general, most firms restrict initial sums to a few hundred.

Sums (Largest When Returning): Drafty

This impressive lender that arrived in 2016 stretches to £5000.