The best places to get a $500 loan are local credit unions or friends and family. A credit card is another good option for borrowing $500 for personal reasons. Credit cards with $500+ credit limits are usually available to people with good credit or better (though people with fair credit might have a chance). Unfortunately, the most popular and best-rated lenders on the market don’t offer personal loans below $1,000. And many of them won’t even lend less than $5,000.
A lot of places that advertise $500 personal loans are “bad credit” lenders that will lend to almost anyone but charge extremely high interest rates. For example, one of the more well-known of these lenders is RISE Credit, which offers APRs of 50% - 299%. WalletHub gives these loans 0.5/5 stars.
In addition, you’ll want to avoid so-called “payday lenders,” which offer small personal loans against your next paycheck – and require immediate payment with interest after you receive the check. The APRs on these loans can be over 400%. You’ll want to pursue less costly options as a result.
Where to get a $500 personal loan:
Credit unions: A few credit unions that anyone can join (with a small donation) offer $500 personal loans: First Tech FCU, Georgia’s Own CU and PenFed CU. You can find credit unions in your area on WalletHub.
Friends and family: You may find someone close to you who’s willing to lend you the money. And they might give you lower interest rates than a regular lender because of your personal relationship. The most important thing to do when borrowing from friends or family is to create a written contract so everyone is clear on the terms.
Credit card: Many credit cards have minimum credit limits of $500 or more. The best cards for borrowing money over time are 0% APR credit cards, which require minimum monthly payments but charge no interest for a certain number of months after you open an account. It’s best to pay off the entire amount within the introductory period because after that, you start owing interest at the card’s regular APR.
Oddly enough, your options for a decent $500 personal loan are more limited than your choices for higher loan amounts. But there are still ways to borrow with reasonable interest rates. There are also plenty of predatory options. So be sure to read the terms and conditions in full before accepting anything.
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