Written by, Marija Petkova
Updated August, 5, 2023
If you need quick cash, a payday loan may just be the right choice for you.
Payday loans are short-term loans available at high street and online direct lenders that can get you a small amount of funds typically within one day of approval. If you are set on this route and don’t know where to apply for the best payday loan in the UK, we have provided you with a list of direct lenders that can meet your needs.
Fast, free and convenient, THL Direct tops the list of best UK payday loans.
THL Direct is not a direct lender but rather provides loan matching services for all types of borrowers, including those with low income and bad credit.
This means that instead of comparing fees and T&Cs of dozens of online lenders, you can fill out a THLD application and find a suitable loan provider in minutes. The company partners with a huge network of responsible direct lenders and tries to match you to one that best suits your needs and unique financial situation.
Best of all, there are no fees, and if approved, funds can be transferred to your account within the same day.
Cashfloat has been on the scene since 2014, helping hundreds of thousands of Brits get quick funding.
Cashfloat offers payday loans between £300 and £2,500 over 3 to 9 months and has simple eligibility requirements and no upfront fees. Funding is available as early as 20 minutes from the time the loan underwriter approves your application.
The company aims to make your loan more manageable by encouraging early repayments and introducing a unique Easy Start Technology, which allows you to pay less on the first instalment. This gives you more time to get a handle on your financial situation—an invaluable feature, especially if this is the first time you are taking out a payday loan.
Unlike traditional payday lenders in the UK who offer a lump sum, Tappily Loans will provide you with a revolving line of credit for up to £2,500. The funds are available to you at all times, so you can take out money when needed (or automatically top up your balance) and repay only when you can afford to.
The platform charges just 34p a day for every £100 you borrow. Plus, interest is collected only for the days you borrow the money and capped at 75 days on each loan amount you receive, making the loan more affordable and easier to repay.
Finally, Tappily boasts easily-accessible money management tools that can track and analyse your spending, helping you save in the process.
Representative Example: Borrow £900. Interest rate 0.34% per day for up to 75 days or 25.5% (variable) per annum.
Fund Ourselves is an innovative peer-to-peer lending platform that matches borrowers to investors who are willing to lend to them.
The company is known for its relaxed eligibility criteria (accepting self-employed applicants and bad credit), instant loan decision (applications can be approved in minutes) and flexible repayment terms (you decide on the repayment frequency and payment dates).
What’s more, Fund Ourselves has one of the most affordable short-term loans in the UK, giving you up to a 12 months extension without applying any late fees. Interest rates are competitive as well, and you can repay your loan early without incurring any penalty.
Mr Lender is a direct UK lender that specialises in providing short-term loans to all borrowers, even ones with bad credit.
With Mr Lender, you can take out a payday loan from £200 to £1,000 (first-time borrowers are limited to £500), while repayment periods range from 3 to 6 months.
The company offers competitive APR rates, no late or early repayment fees and flexible repayment schedules (you pick the day you want to make repayments). However, what really makes this loan provider stand out on the list of payday lenders in the UK is that Mr Lender reduces the amount due each month, so you only pay interest on the current outstanding balance, thus making the loan more affordable and manageable.
Lending Stream is one of the fastest and best payday loan companies in the country, promising to approve your application and transfer funds in minutes.
The award-winning platform is not only fast but secure and reliable as well. Regulated by the FCA, Lending Stream has been on the market since 2008 and has over 25,000 positive online reviews.
It is also flexible in terms of how much you can borrow. Applicants can get loans from as low as £50 and repay the money between 6 and 12 months. There are no early repayment fees, which means you can pay off your loan before the term is up and save tons on interest.
Representative Example: Borrow £200 over 6 months in 6 instalments of £64.44. Total amount payable: £386.6. Interest rate 292% p.a. (fixed).
QuidMarket offers a variety of short-term loans, however, it specialises in providing personal loans to borrowers with bad credit or applicants who have been rejected for payday loans in the past.
Unlike other payday lenders in the UK, QuidMarket does not look at just your credit score but evaluates your current financial circumstances to determine whether you can repay the loan. What’s more, each application for credit is personally assessed by a human employee rather than a computerised system, so you have a higher chance of getting approved.
With QuidMarket, bad credit loans can go up to £1,500 (or £600 for new customers), while interest rates are fixed, so you will not have any surprises when repaying your loan.
Fair, responsible and transparent, Dot Dot Loans provides small personal loans to borrowers that cannot take advantage of traditional financing options.
When it comes to the best payday loans in the UK, this direct lender lets you borrow up to £1000 and spread out the repayments over 3, 6 or 9 months. Plus, the application procedure is quick and straightforward, while funds are transferred round the clock.
Dot Dot Loans also has an easy-to-use online portal where you can manage your account (make a payment, check your loan status) or apply for more credit once you have paid off your existing loan. Best of all, the platform is accessible on desktop and mobile devices, giving you the freedom to track your loan while home or out and about.
CASH4UNOW is a responsible UK-based direct lender that offers short-term smaller loans up to £1,000. The company has a free and convenient online application process, which takes minutes to complete, and flexible repayment terms, ranging from 4 to 6 months with no early repayment fees. It also provides reliable and helpful customer service, as well as competitive interest rates.
Unlike most online payday lenders who use complicated language to confuse borrowers, CASH4UNOW is 100% upfront and transparent about the fees they charge. As a member of the Consumer Credit Trade Association, the platform will inform you of all costs, including late fees, before you sign the loan agreement, so you can set your monthly budget accordingly.
If you are looking for a trusted direct lender, Creditstar is a great option to consider. This platform is part of Creditstar Group, an international fintech company with over 15 years of experience in the business and more than a million users in 8 countries across Europe.
Creditstar also offers flexible repayment options (loan terms start from 6 to 18 months and extensions are possible) and transparent fees (the lender does not have any registration or early repayment fees), while the application and approval process do not take longer than 30 minutes. What’s more with a representative APR of 100.96%, this is one of the lowest interest rates on payday loans you can get right now.
Here is a quick list of the factors you need to consider when looking through the best payday loan companies in the United Kingdom.
Payday loans can be a great solution when you need money for unexpected circumstances, but can not get funding from traditional banks.
However, they do come with very high-interest rates. What’s more, navigating through terms like representative APR or maximum APR can be confusing. Even though most direct lenders will provide you with a representative example of how much it will cost to repay the loan, you need to get informed about your specific situation and carefully calculate how much the loan will cost you.
A good idea is to ask the lender about the projected costs before you sign the loan agreement. Never borrow more than you can afford to pay back.
Another important aspect is fees, which can include anything from application to late payment fees. The best payday loan companies in the UK, such as CASH4UNOW, are upfront and transparent about all the fees they charge so you can compare several lenders and choose the one that offers the lowest fees.
You should also discuss fees with your lender before signing to make sure that no hidden costs pop up once you start repaying the loan.
Sharing personal information online always requires caution. It is estimated that 85% of all ID thefts are carried out online, so it never hurts to be careful.
When searching for the best payday loan from a direct lender in the UK, make sure that they are regulated by the FCA and have encryption protocols in place to protect your personal data.
Also don’t trust lenders that promise not to run credit checks. All payday loan providers will check your credit history before they approve the loan, so avoid the ones that say they won’t.
A short-term loan is cheaper if you pay it back faster. However, sometimes you might need to stretch the repayments to fit your monthly budget. Luckily, most payday loan companies in the UK offer flexible repayment terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years, so you can easily find one that meets your needs.
Another thing to look out for is repayment dates.
Payday loans are typically repaid when you receive your monthly or weekly salary, hence the name. However, most payday lenders in the UK, like Mr Lender and Fund Ourselves, will let you pick a repayment date that suits you best.
The best payday loan in the UK pays out fast, usually within 24 hours of getting approved for funding, while some like Lending Stream can transfer funds in under 90 seconds.
Keep in mind that some lenders might take longer to process your application while others might require you to make a visit to one of their offices, so ask how long it will take to get the money before signing.
Most payday lenders in the UK accept all types of borrowers, even ones whose credit rating is less than perfect. In fact, payday loan providers, such as QuidMarket and Cashfloat do not have strict eligibility criteria, as they only require you to be a UK resident of 18 and over, have a job (not be self-employed), and a valid bank account and phone number.
You never know when you might come into a large inheritance or get a work bonus that would allow you to pay off the loan early, so ask if the lender charges early repayment fees.
A trusted payday loans provider in the UK should be available for contact whether it is through email, a ticketing system, live chat or physical office. If you find a lender that does not have any options for making contact, you should move on to the next one.
They should also provide you with an app or system that will allow you to track and manage your loan, making it easier to stay on top of your repayments. Tappily and Dot Dor Loans are good examples of loan companies that offer money management tools.
As mentioned above, payday loans can be a great option if you have unexpected expenses, such as paying for a wedding, medical bills, vehicle repairs or even high utility bills. However, payday loans have very high-interest rates and can be a nightmare to pay back, especially if you borrow more than you can afford to pay back.
This is why payday loans need to be taken out only as a last resort, i.e. after you have explored all other options, such as:
Make sure that you can’t get the money anywhere else. Use one of the best budgeting apps to check whether you can rearrange your budget and find the money you need this way.
We provided you with a list of the ten top 10 payday loans providers in the UK that can offer a short loan, usually between 500 and 3,000 pounds. Now it’s up to you to choose the best one for your needs.
There are several lenders that can help you get a payday loan without meeting strict eligibility criteria, Tappily being the most hassle-free way to get quick cash. In fact, most loan providers only require borrowers to be residents of the country, be employed and have a valid bank account.
Most direct lenders in the UK have mobile apps that offer the same features as the desktop version, which can not only let you apply quickly on the go but also help you track your payments and interest rate.
Yes, payday loans are normally used to cover emergency situations, such as your boiler or car breaking down or unexpected medical bills. With prices and utility bills skyrocketing lately, more and more Brits are finding themselves in a situation where they have to apply for short-term loans to make ends meet every month.
The best payday loan in the UK can range from £500, repaid over 3 months, to up to £5,000 over 2 years.