How to Get a Loan With Bad Credit: Best Lenders & Types

Anyone who has ever wanted to get a loan knows that your credit score is the primary indicator that affects the likelihood of your application being approved. Typically, the lower your credit score, the less likely you will get a loan on favorable terms.

All credit scores below 670 points are considered “bad credit. If you fall into the category of borrowers with this rating, you may find it challenging to convince a lender that you will pay back your borrowed money on time. But don’t despair; many financial institutions work with this type of borrower so that you can get a bad credit loan.

The most popular types of loans you can get with any credit history are personal, student, or payday loans, credit card cash advances, and all varieties of secured loans.

Best Lenders of Loans for Bad Credit

Finding a reliable lender that will offer you favorable repayment terms is the hardest part of getting a bad credit loan. So that you can save a few hours and choose the financial institution with the best offers in the market, we have compiled a list of 9 companies that provide the best bad credit loans.

In this list, we have included organizations that provide personal, payday, and student loans. Your task is to read all the descriptions and choose the type of loan and the company that suits you best. If you read this article, you won’t ask yourself how to get a loan with bad credit again.

Upgrade

Upgrade Site

Upgrade is one of the most well-known online lenders that operates in almost every state except Iowa, West Virginia and Washington. This financial institution provides personal loans to borrowers with a credit score greater than 560 points.

You will be able to borrow money from Upgrade on the following terms:

Among the main advantages of this option, users note the ability to get a loan quickly, as the company promises to transfer funds to their account within one business day. In addition, credit monitoring programs are available in the Upgrade app to help you improve your VantageScore and educational courses.

To qualify for a bad credit loan in Upgrade, you must have at least $1,000 in free cash flow each month and a DTI of up to 40%. Remember, your score must be at least 560 points to qualify for an unsecured loan.

The main disadvantage of Upgrade is the high origination fees, up to 8%. However, in all other aspects, it is the best option for those who want to get a small unsecured personal loan in one business day.

Upstart

Upstart site

Upstart is one of the few online lenders willing to lend money to borrowers with no credit history. The company does not set a minimum credit score as a primary requirement but looks at other metrics when deciding on a loan.

If you need money for any legitimate personal purpose, you can get it here under the following conditions:

The main advantage of this company is its availability in all states except Iowa and its fast turnaround of 1 day for all loans. In addition, it is essential to note the availability of loans to all borrowers, as Upstart conducts soft credit checks and lends funds even to those with no credit history. There are also free educational programs on the company’s website for those who want to learn how to manage their finances better.

>From the disadvantages of this option, we can note the following:

Upstart is the best option for those just starting to build their credit history.

LendingClub

LendingClub Site

LendingClub is another personal bad credit loan lender. People with poor credit scores above 600 can borrow money here under the following conditions:

From the company’s advantages, we can highlight the low origination fee of 1% – 6%. On the other hand, the main disadvantage of this option is the long time it takes to receive funds, from 4 to 11 working days.

In general, you should only consider LendingClub if you can’t get a loan from the financial institutions described above. They have better offers for people with the same credit rating and a faster repayment period. LendingClub is also suitable for borrowers who want to borrow money with a co-signer.

SoFi

SoFi Site

SoFi is an online lender with some of the best terms on the market. So even if you have bad or poor credit, you can apply on the company’s website to prequalify and find out what terms are available.

What you need to know about loans in SoFi:

Why do borrowers love SoFi so much? Because you can get a great bad credit loan of up to $100,000 at a low APR of up to 23.43% on this app. In addition, users praise this financial institution very much for its lack of fees, availability of special programs for borrowers in need, and the ability to borrow money with any credit rating.

The only drawback to this option is the high minimum loan amount of $5,000. Otherwise, SoFi is an excellent choice for someone who wants to borrow money quickly and get it into their account on the same business day.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is another bad credit loan lender that works with borrowers with low credit scores and income. It does not conduct standard hard credit checks but instead evaluates many other indicators to determine the reliability of borrowers.

See if the company’s terms are best for you:

The main advantage of this company is that it allows you to get a cash loan in a few hours if you go to one of its branches in 44 states. OneMain Financial also works with borrowers who have poor credit and low income.

However, it is essential to note that its APR rate is relatively high compared to its competitors. So if you have more than 600 FICO points, you should try to prequalify on the websites of other lenders to see what terms and conditions are available for you.

Universal Credit

UniversalCredit Site

Universal Credit is one of the lenders that specialize in debt consolidation loans. You can take advantage of the offers of this company if your credit score is above 560 points and you are suitable for its terms and conditions:

The main disadvantage of this option is a very high origination fee of 5.25% to 8.99%. That said, it is one of the few financial institutions that provide bad credit loans in Iowa, which is a big plus for Universal Credit. In addition, users praise the company for its speed, as most of them get the borrowed funds into their accounts within one day.

To be eligible for a Universal Credit personal loan, you must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of 2 years of credit history, and have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 75%. The company has no minimum income or formal employment requirements, so this option is best for people without full-time jobs.

College Ave Private Student Loan

CollegeAve Site

College Ave Student Loans is one of the best companies providing loans with virtually no fees. Here you can choose from various repayment plans available to anyone whose credit score is above 600 or who has a co-signer with good or excellent credit.

What services does the company provide?

You can borrow with the company from $1,000 for 5 to 15 years at a fixed APR of 3.99% to 14.96% or a variable APR of 2.99% to 14.86%. It is important to note that you will not have to pay origination or prepayment fees, only late penalties of $25 if you miss monthly payments.

College Ave Student Loans allows you to choose any convenient way to repay your borrowed money. For example, you can pay back your loan in fixed payments from the first month you receive your money, or you can make interest-only payments while you are attending college or university. Borrowers also have the option of flat payments ($25 each month while you’re enrolled and full payments after graduation) and deferred ones (you’ll repay the loan only after graduation).

You can apply to the company to refinance your old student loan from $5,000 to $150,000. This offer is available for undergraduate or graduate loans.

The company’s main advantage, in this case, is that there are 11 repayment term options, among which you can choose the one that suits you best. Usually, the term in which you have to repay the borrowed amount is up to 15 years.

Refinance loans have more favorable interest rates than the previous option – fixed rates range from 4.49% to 7.99% APR, while variable rates range from 3.69% to 7.99%. All other terms and conditions, including fees, are the same as the student loans described above.

Users of College Ave Student Loans say that the company’s main advantages are finding precise terms after a soft credit check and choosing one of 11 repayment options. In addition, students with poor credit or no credit history respond positively to the opportunity to get a loan from this financial institution with a co-signer, which is not available at all private companies.

However, it is essential to note that College Ave Student Loans are unsuitable for those who want to get a loan before starting school. However, it may be the best option for undergraduate or graduate students.

Ascent Independent Student Loan

Ascent Site

Ascent Funding is one of the few financial institutions where you can get a student loan without a co-signer, even if you do not have a good credit history. Also, it is the best option for students from other countries, as to be eligible, one doesn’t need U. S. citizenship.

What terms and conditions does Ascent Funding offer?

The main advantage of this company is that you can get a loan without a high credit score and a co-signer, even if you are an international student. However, its main disadvantage is that you must be enrolled at one of the educational institutions that partner with Ascent Funding to take advantage of the offer.

Edly Private Student Loan

Edly Site

Edly is a financial institution where you can get a loan even with a poor credit history and pay it back after graduation from your income. The company focuses not on credit scores but on the potential of its borrowers and the prospect of their post-graduation earnings.

How does it work?

Edly sets floating payments, the amount of which always depends on the amount of your income. The more you earn, the more payments towards your loan will be. If you cannot repay the loan because your income has dropped below $30,000 for the year, the loan will go into deferment for up to 12 months until you can repay it again.

The main disadvantage of this option is that it is not available to all students but only to those who are enrolled in potentially lucrative majors and have high academic performance.

However, this company also has many advantages, including the absence of any up-front fees, the ability to get a loan even with a poor credit history without a co-signer, and the availability of a so-named grace period of up to 12 months for those with low income.

The terms and conditions for loans at Edly are as follows:

Overall, this is an excellent option for those confident about their future profession. If you cannot repay a loan while studying because you want to devote yourself fully to your studies and achieve the best results in this field, investors with Edly may be your best choice.

What Are Bad Credit Loans?

Bad credit loans are loans for borrowers whose credit score is below 670 points. Some companies in the financial market work only with this category of people, for example, Upgrade, SoFi, LendingClub, etc.

Most often, borrowers with low credit scores can get unsecured or secured personal loans, student or auto loans, and credit card cash advances. Because most of these loans have high interest rates, people use them to cover unexpected expenses or pay large bills (medical or tuition).

You can get a loan from a bank or credit union, but the easiest way to do it would be with an online lender. When choosing a lender, consider factors such as APR, loan terms and amounts, and the availability of any hidden fees.

How to Get a Bad Credit Loan

You should prepare and learn more about the process to get the best credit terms. You can use our plan below if you don’t know where to start.

Check Your Credit Score

A credit score is often the first thing lenders look at before lending to someone. It is a number that summarizes your entire credit history and shows financial institutions whether you are a reliable borrower.

There are several categories of credit scores, from poor to excellent. Borrowers with good credit (from 670 points) have the best chance of being approved, but people with poor credit can also get a bad credit loan, just on less favorable terms.

You need to know your credit score to approach the right lender. For example, banks often only work with borrowers whose score is more than 670 points, while some online lenders are willing to lend money even to those with only 560 FICO points.

You can check your credit score for free in your bank’s app, on particular websites, or in your credit report.

Be Sure You Can Repay

Before you sign a loan agreement, you should make sure that you can repay the money you borrowed on time. In addition, it is crucial to understand that the loan is a commitment for several years, so you must have a stable income and employment to avoid problems with repayment.

Remember that every late payment you make on your loan can take away your FICO points, so you won’t be able to borrow money on favorable terms for years to come. In addition, unpaid loans often prevent you from getting a job, renting a place to live, or even getting insurance, so calculate carefully before you sign a contract with a financial institution.

Remember to account for hidden fees and penalties and calculate monthly payments and APR.

Compare Bad Credit Loans

Every percentage of the APR can cost you hundreds of dollars a year, which is why it’s so important to compare all the terms and conditions available to you from different lenders. Refrain from settling for the first offer you receive, even if it looks favorable. Instead, compare each lender’s terms and conditions and choose the one with which you will pay the slightest interest and have the lowest monthly payments.

Get Prequalified

Online lenders often allow you to determine what loan terms will be available. Besides, unlike banks, they conduct soft credit checks that do not harm your FICO score and will enable them to ensure that you are a reliable borrower.

To prequalify for a loan, you usually need to complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the lender’s website and find the “Apply” or “Prequalify” button.
  2. You will then need to enter your personal information, such as your first name, last name, and residential address, and provide a Social Security Number.

You will see all the interest rate offers in a few minutes. Compare them and choose the one that suits you best.

Prepare Documents

If you have already found the best option, you should prepare to sign the contract and collect all the necessary documents. Usually, banks and other financial institutions ask borrowers to provide a standard set of documents, which include:

You will also need to provide the company with your bank account information so they can transfer funds to it. Some financial institutions and loan apps also use information about your income and bank account expenses to determine how much of the loan you can pay each month.

Apply For The Loan

Once all the documents are collected, you can apply for the most advantageous option you have found. To do this, you just need to click on “Apply,” wait for confirmation from the lender, and sign the loan agreement.

Be careful and read the contract before you sign it. Pay special attention to all fees and penalties, and ensure that the documents contain all the terms you and the lender have approved.

Usually, after signing the agreement, lenders will send the funds to your bank account immediately, but the transfer itself may take a few days.

Where to Get Bad Credit Loans

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get bad credit loans from all financial institutions, as many of them prefer to work with borrowers with good credit. However, you still have plenty of online companies willing to lend to just about anyone.

Banks

Banks provide all types of loans except payday loans, but they rarely work with borrowers with low credit scores. They are more reliable than many online lenders and have better terms, but they also impose stricter requirements on borrowers because of this.

Another advantage of this option is that banks often set lower fees for their loans and allow you to get the money in cash. On the other hand, it is essential to remember that some do not issue loans online, which will cause you to wait in line or even wait a few days for the funds to be transferred.

You should not think that online lenders or credit unions are always less advantageous options than banks. The best solution in this situation is to compare all offers from different financial institutions and decide only which one to get a loan from.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are the best place to get a loan, as these organizations allow you to lend money even to those with a low FICO score. In addition, they often look at the borrower’s credit score and other indicators, which is a plus for people with poor credit.

Another advantage of this option is the low APR. Credit unions are known among people for their favorable terms, so many people strive to get into them. That’s the main drawback of this option – to get into a credit union, you often need to pay a membership fee and meet specific requirements. For example, one of the most famous credit unions, the Navy Federal, provides loans only to the military or people employed in the field and their immediate family members.

Online Lenders

Online lenders are a real lifesaver for those with poor credit, as they often do not check your credit history and allow you to lend money to almost anyone you want. In such financial institutions, you can get a small amount in a loan for several years at a higher APR than in banks or credit unions, which is the main disadvantage of this option.

Also, it is imperative to go to reliable lenders and avoid scammers who ask you to pay loan applications or give you access to your bank account and credit cards. Otherwise, you may fall into the hands of scammers and end up with no money.

To choose a suitable lender, you can read reviews about them on websites and platforms like BBB, Google Play, or App Store.

Types of Loans for Bad Credit

If you have a low FICO score, you’re better off focusing on the few types of loans you have the best chance of getting. We’ll describe each of them in more detail so that you can understand their advantages and disadvantages and choose the best option.

Secured Personal Loans For Bad Credit

You can get up to $100,000 if you apply to a financial institution that provides secured personal loans. To qualify, you will need to put real estate or orher property as collateral, as the lender wants to ensure you pay back all the money when it is due.

This type of loan allows you to borrow money at a lower APR, which is its main advantage. However, it is essential to remember the main disadvantage of this option – if you do not pay back the borrowed funds on time, your property provided as collateral will go to the lender.

You should only choose secured personal loans if you are confident you can repay them when it is due. This way, you will have lower monthly payments than unsecured loans, allowing you to refund the money faster. In addition, lenders are more willing to grant such loans and set less stringent requirements for borrowers, which is also a big plus.

However, be careful and consider the timing of getting the money, which in the case of secured loans can take up to several weeks due to the collateral valuation stage. Therefore, if you need cash urgently, it is better to choose the option described below.

Unsecured Personal Loans For Bad Credit

Unlike the previous option, unsecured personal loans do not require collateral. As a result, lenders providing such loans often work with borrowers with low credit scores but set less favorable terms.

This option has the following advantages:

However, this option also has a few disadvantages. For example, you will have to pay a higher interest rate and have at least 600 FICO points to qualify for most financial institutions that provide personal loans for people with poor credit. In addition, bad credit loan lenders will often ask you to pay an origination fee of 1% to 10% of the amount borrowed, which is also a significant disadvantage.

Unsecured personal loans may also not work for you if you borrow more than $100,000. In that case, home equity loans or other loans with collateral may be a better choice.

Payday Loans for Bad Credit

If you need to borrow a few hundred dollars before your paycheck, you can borrow it from payday lenders or install a particular app for instant loans. Typically, these loans are for a maximum of $1,000 and are granted for 2 to 4 weeks at a very high APR of up to 800%.

This option has the following advantages:

Of course, it is essential to note that this type of loan is hazardous for borrowers with poor credit because it often leads them into a debt trap. In addition, the high interest rate and additional fees make it challenging to pay back such a loan. It is also essential to remember that financial institutions specializing in this type of service only lend money for a few weeks, so if you do not have a stable income, you may find yourself in a difficult financial situation because of payday loans.

Student Loans for Bad Credit

As you understand from the name, this type of loan is only suitable for students who want to pay for their education and living while studying. Since they belong to the category of people with no or minimal credit history, they have to approach only lenders who specialize in this type of loan, narrowing down the available loan options a lot.

The main benefit of student loans is the ability to pay for the tuition you like. They also have low interest rates and different repayment options, some of which allow you not to worry about the loan until you graduate from school.

However, there are still more disadvantages to this option. Instead of saving to buy your first home or other things for your comfort, you will pay off a considerable monthly loan for about ten years. Even worse, if you can’t pay back the borrowed funds on time, you won’t be able to get rid of the negative mark on your credit report, which will negatively affect your chances of getting a loan ever in the future.

In general, many financial experts recommend doing without student loans if you can wait 1-2 years and earn your degree. However, if you want to get a degree now and not lose precious time, you can get a similar loan, for example, with one of your parents as a co-signer under a lower APR.

Auto Loans for Bad Credit

You can use car loans if you need to buy a car and don’t have enough money on your card. As car dealers say, sometimes buying a car on credit is a better solution than paying the total amount all at once because you can get additional discounts that way.

Let’s look at the merits of this option:

Of course, like any other option, auto loans have disadvantages. First of all, it is worth mentioning the high interest rates, because of which you will pay twice as much for your car with a 5-year loan. Also, it is essential to understand that if you buy a car more expensive than you currently can, you will put yourself in a difficult financial situation because maintaining such a car will also be costly.

Financial experts recommend using such loans only to buy a car when you need it for work or your family. They also believe that it is crucial to buy a car that you can afford to maintain and to take out a fixed-rate loan so that you can plan to pay it back.

Home Equity Loans for Bad Credit

A home equity loan is a second mortgage you can get secured against your home a few years after getting the first one. This option will allow you to borrow a large amount of money (up to 80% of your home equity) at a low APR, which is why many borrowers love it.

Of course, this option is best for those who need to borrow more than $100,000. You can divide the amount into fixed payments and pay it off over the next 15 to 20 years. These loans are often used for home renovations or to buy a second home, as there are no other loan options with such low interest rates for people with poor credit.

However, you need to consider the disadvantages of this option before choosing it:

Remember that such a loan is also secured, so you should not take it if you are not sure you will be able to pay all monthly payments on time. Otherwise, you can not only ruin your credit history, but you can also lose your house.

HELOCs for Bad Credit

This option is very similar to the previous one; its only difference is that it works on the credit card principle. When you have accumulated equity in your home, you can also go to a lender and set up a certain amount with them that you can spend and pay back as many times as you need over the next 10 (or more) years.

This option is usually best for those who don’t want to spend too much at once. For instance, if you’ve started a home renovation project, you might not want to spend $100,000 right away, which you have to pay back the first month you use the funds, but only $5,000 in the first couple of months. Also, like with a credit card, you will only need to pay APR when you carry a balance of more than one billing cycle.

Cash Advances For Bad Credit

This option is similar to payday loans but allows you to get money faster and even offline. To use it, you will need to find out if this service is included in your credit card options.

The easiest way to get a cash advance is to use the nearest ATM. You will need to insert your credit card into an ATM, enter a password and request a cash advance. You will receive the cash advance within a few minutes, regardless of your credit score or income level.

It is important to note that before you request a cash advance, you must determine the terms of use. Pay attention to the interest rate, repayment period, and the maximum amount available; this information is often listed on your credit card issuer’s application.

This option’s benefits include getting money very quickly and at a lower interest rate than payday loans. However, at the same time, it is essential to remember that banks usually only allow you to get a cash advance of a couple of hundred dollars for 2-3 weeks, so do not count on this option if you need to cover significant expenses.

How to Avoid Bad Credit Loan Scams

Because bad credit loans are intended for the least well-off people, many scammers take advantage of this and present themselves as financial institutions. They copy the names of actual companies and the design of their websites, offer to lend money even over the phone, and try to find your bank account information by any means possible.

To avoid falling into the hands of scammers, remember these basic flags that indicate someone is trying to scam you:

To avoid scammers, turn to lenders with many reviews on independent platforms.

FAQ

More often than not, lenders who provide secured loans have the most specific requirements for borrowers. For example, you do not have to prove a high income or have a good credit score to apply for a loan if you provide the lenders with collateral to guarantee that you will pay back the borrowed funds on time.

Lenders typically allow you to get up to $100,000 if your credit score exceeds at least 560 FICO points. However, the more precise amount depends on whether you provide your property as collateral, your income level, and whether you have formal employment.

First of all, check your credit report and make sure that there are no mistakes on it. If you find them, you can dispute them with the credit bureau and have them removed, as each such mark is usually worth about 100-200 points. On the other hand, if everything is correct on your credit report, start monitoring your loans and paying them off immediately. Then, gradually close your debts to reduce your credit utilization ratio and increase your FICO score.