Somewhere between a loan shark and a bank lies the truth.
August 24, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyone who loans money based on the situation, rather than on a credit score/computer without any explanation?


- Poor credit (but am currently on time with all payments)
- Begin a lucrative job in late 2010 (over 150k / year in salary)
- No current income until then
- Will have an $8,000+ tax refund in early 2011
- Need to borrow $10,000 - $15,000 to get me from here to there

Are there any non-traditional places to turn for a loan? My credit is bad, but if someone that wasn't a computer looked at my situation, they would see that I am good for the money. I can back up the upcoming job, the tax refund situation, etc. The job is with an extremely stable company in a very good field.

I don't really have the ability to get help from family, and would prefer not to disclose this to all my friends searching for someone who could help personally.

I'm looking for a short term loan of about $15k, paid back within 1 year, and know that I would have to pay a high interest rate to compensate for the risk. I am comfortable with this, just have no idea if this is even a viable option in 2010.

Are there any banks/credit unions/etc. that loan money like this without letting a credit score/computer simply say "No" without looking at the situation?

Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have credit cards you can use for cash advances? Normally, paying with credit cards is a bad idea, given the usurious interest rate, but if you know you're going to pay this off aggressively in the next few months, it may be a viable option.

Would it be possible to get an advance on your salary? When I graduated law school, my future firm gave me a $7,500 advance to tide me over for a few months.

Also, can you not just get a job? Not being snarky, but if I had a job starting at the end of the year but needed money now, I'd find income before I found a loan.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:29 PM on August 24, 2010

A lot of credit unions/banks have human beings who look over loan applications. If you are a member, or close to a neighborhood bank, just go into the bank and speak to someone. Do you have a contract for your upcoming employment? Some kind of proof that you're getting this $8k tax return? Bring that in with you. They're still probably going to turn you down, but you never know.

Otherwise, plan on tending bar/waiting tables/working retail until then, unless there's some crazy reason you can't work until your new job starts.
posted by two lights above the sea at 2:34 PM on August 24, 2010

You could try getting a loan through, which does pooled lending, but they will display your credit score to potential lenders, so your interest rate may be pretty bad.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:56 PM on August 24, 2010

Do you have some asset (a car maybe) that you could use as collateral for a loan?
posted by brain at 3:08 PM on August 24, 2010

Do you have any life insurance policies? Those allow you to loan against them with no questions asked.
posted by yoyoceramic at 4:01 PM on August 24, 2010

Seconding the credit union approach. If you can gain membership into one, the credit requests are generally approved by a person instead of a computer.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 4:04 PM on August 24, 2010

Try peer-to-peer lending, like and
posted by GnomeChompsky at 4:42 PM on August 24, 2010

Just be aware, places like Prosper and Lending Club still expect you to have a minimum credit score before they'll let you apply for a loan -- with Prosper it's 640 and with Lending Club it's 660 (according to their Help pages). I tried to apply at Prosper a couple of years ago when I was trying to buy a car, but I didn't even make it past the checking-your-score stage, sadly. (My ex did a spectacular job of wrecking my credit, like with nuked-from-orbit thoroughness. Curse those community property laws.)
posted by Gator at 5:45 PM on August 24, 2010

Please don't do this if it's at all possible. Anything can happen between now and when your job is supposed to start. If the job falls through, you will be up Shit Creek.

Start looking for a part-time/temporary job. Sign up with all the hiring agencies in your area. Lowball your resume and experience if necessary. Get whatever job will hire you. Cut your expenses to the bone. Get a job delivering pizza at night. In short: work really reall hard.

Do whatever it takes to get through this on your own. You can get through the next four months on your own, without taking a ridiculously awful loan or living on credit cards. (The interest rates! My god, the interest rates!)

You can do it, I promise you.
posted by ErikaB at 6:07 PM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'll be honest, as someone who manages collections for a non-traditional lending environment you are SUPER high risk. You are asking someone to take you at your word and business just doesn't work that way anymore. If you have collateral you can likely find someone willing to risk a few thousand maybe but I'm not sure that you'd even find that.

If the job is as good as you say talk to them and see if they will float you part of the cash until you get there. Otherwise I wish you luck.
posted by ThomasBrobber at 6:15 PM on August 24, 2010

if someone that wasn't a computer looked at my situation, they would see that I am good for the money

I don't think that's realistic. A human, without evidence that you can hold down a well-paying job, will think

- Maybe this job offer will fall through before it starts. It's likely, even with a contract, that the company is entitled to let you go with perhaps a week's notice. A lot can happen in a few months.

- Maybe you will start the job and flake out completely. Do you have any evidence that you can hold down a position like this successfully for a long period of time?

- Maybe the company will realise quickly that you are not a good fit, and let you go.

- Maybe you will decide before the end of the year that what you REALLY want is not a boring 9-5 job but to go travelling in Asia on your borrowed cash.

- Maybe when you get the job you will immediately spend all your money on things you can't afford, get a luxury car on credit, move into an extra swanky apartment and still find yourself unable to pay off your loan.

A couple of these reasons are also reasons why it's risky for YOU to borrow the money, and you'd be a lot better off doing almost anything else if you can manage it.
posted by emilyw at 12:57 AM on August 25, 2010

Maybe there are details that you didn't provide that help make sense of this question, and maybe those would sway a person looking over your loan app. Just looking at the face of things:

* You're getting an $8,000 refund in "early" 2011; is this before or after April 15, 2011? That's roughly 8 months from now, or the better part of 1 year.

* Your verb tense indicates you have not yet, but will in the next 4 months, begin a lucrative job. If you have not actually started this job yet, and surely if you are not past the usual trial periods of 30-60-90 days or have a contract, a lender is going to feel a little wary about this point. This may feel like a sure thing to you, but to anyone thinking about putting up $15,000 as a loan, they're going to be more cautious in that anything can happen between now and 90 days past when your start date.

* What does your poor credit look like? I realize you may not want to tell us publicly, but you should be thinking about it. Why is your credit score low -- late payments, even if they're all current now? Bankruptcy? What's going on here and what will it look like to a lender?

* $15,000 over 8 months is $1,875/month; $10,000 is $1,250/month. Any way you can scale that back? Can you possibly find some part-time or consulting or freelance work? When you start your job, I assume you will have a salary for at least 4 of these 8 months, so can you just take enough for the next 4 months? Maybe $5,000-$7,500? Smaller amounts will be of somewhat less concern to a lender.
posted by asciident at 1:30 AM on August 25, 2010

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