8 Best Bad Credit Loan Options

Updated on April 9, 2024

According to predictive analytics company FICO, 34% of people have “bad credit”. A bad credit score is anything in the poor-fair range or a score between 300-669.

If you have a bad credit score, your access to loans will be severely limited–leaving mostly predatory loans with high interest rates and unfavorable terms.

But if you’ve got a bad credit score, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t favorable loan options that you can explore. Here are our picks for the best bad credit loans for people with bad credit as well as some additional information to help you choose a safe loan decision that meets your needs.

Bad Credit Personal Loan Interest Rates

Your credit rate on a personal loan is determined by a number of factors, but primary among those factors is your credit history and your ability to repay your loan. Here are the average interest rates for personal loans by credit score:

How's your credit?Score rangeEstimated APR
Excellent720 - 85013.90%
Good690 - 71918.00%
Fair630 - 68921.80%
Bad300 - 62927.2%

8 Best Bad Credit Loans Lenders At a Glance

LenderBest ForEstimated APRLoan TermMinimum Credit ScoreExampleVisit
AvantBad Credit Loans9.95-35.99%24-60 Months580$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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Capital Good FundBad Credit Loans10.00-24.00%24-36 MonthsNone$5000 at 12.00% APR = $235.37/month for 24 months ($5648.82 total)

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LendingClubBad Credit Loans6.95-35.89%36 or 60 Months600$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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OneMain FinancialBad Credit Loans18.00-35.99%24-60 MonthsNone$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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OportunBad Credit Loans20.00-67.00%Up to 12 MonthsNone$5000 at 33.50% APR = 288.65/month for 24 months ($6927.62 total)

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ProsperBad Credit Loans6.95-35.99%36-60 Months640$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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UpgradeBad Credit Loans6.98-35.89%36 or 60 Months600$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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UpstartBad Credit Loans5.67-35.99%36 or 60 Months620$5000 at 17.99% APR = $249.60/month for 24 months ($5990.31 total)

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Credit Union Bad Credit Loans

If you’re wary of taking a bad credit loan from a big bank or online lender, your local credit union is a comparable alternative when you need a loan quick. Credit unions can be good options for borrowers (especially immigrants) with bad credit because they take a more holistic approach to risk assessment and consider criteria beyond just your credit score. Additionally, you might find that your local credit union offer lower rates and terms

Generally speaking, to become a member of your local credit union, you must work, study, or live within a certain distance or be associated (directly or peripherally) to a particular group. To open an account, you will have to purchase a share of the credit union, which usually costs between $5 and $25.

Considerations When Choosing a Bad Credit Loan

Application-to Disbursement Time: Depending on your circumstances, getting your loan disbursed quickly may be very important. Depending on the lender, disbursement times can range from 2 days up to a week.

To help streamline the loan process and save time, make sure to provide all of the required documentation in a timely manner and track the progress of your loan application to make sure you’re not missing anything.

Associated Fees: Even if you need your loan in a hurry, you should never commit to a loan without knowing what fees are associated with the lending agreement. Make sure you know what the APR on the loan is as well as the loan term. Generally, a lower APR and longer loan term will mean smaller monthly payments.

Before committing to a loan, always use a loan calculator to determine the total cost of your loan (principal + interest) and know upfront what you’re monthly payments will be and if you can afford them.

Lender Features: While considering the associated costs of your loan, it’s just as important to consider the features your lender offers. Some beneficial features to look for are the ability to change your due date, the option to forgive a late payment, and the option to skip a payment if needed.

Bad Credit Loan Alternatives

When you need money quickly or for an emergency, a bad credit loan might seem like the best option, but you should always exhaust all of your non-loan options before looking for a bad credit lender. Try these options first:

  • Ask family and friends to lend a hand
  • Inquire about getting a paycheck advance
  • Reach out to non-profits, religious organizations, and charities
  • Research income-driven repayment plans other repayment options

Plan for Emergencies with Savings

Your best option when it comes to bad credit loans is to not need one when an emergency hits. Most financial experts recommend that you have somewhere between three months and six months of basic living expenses in your emergency fund. The three-month recommendation is for general for those with salaried incomes. Those with hourly wages and other non-salaried income are encouraged to maintain at least six month’s worth in their emergency savings.

Regardless of whether you are salaried or have non-salaried income, you can head over to Money Under 30’s Emergency Loan Calculator to start planning your emergency fund.

Methodology

Stilt considers a wholistic range of features when considering personal loan lenders, including, but not limited to: accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education, flexible payment options, related fees, soft credit checks, and transparency of loan rates and terms. We also review consider the complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Stilt is not compensated in any way for our reviews and recommendations

Frequently Asked Questions

What are personal loans for people with bad credit?

Personal loans for bad credit are unsecured personal loans available to borrowers with poor or limited credit histories and lower credit scores. These loans typically have higher interest rates to offset the risk of lending to borrowers with lower creditworthiness.

Who offers personal loans for bad credit borrowers?

Many online lenders and some banks and credit unions offer personal loans for borrowers with bad credit. These lenders consider other factors beyond a credit score when evaluating loan applications to expand access to borrowing.

What credit score is required for a bad credit personal loan?

The minimum credit scores required for bad credit personal loans range between 500 and 600 typically. Each lender sets its own qualifying credit score threshold. Those with very poor scores below 500 may have difficulty qualifying.

How much money can I borrow with bad credit?

Loan amounts offered for bad credit borrowers typically range from $1,000 to $50,000. The maximum amount allowed depends on factors like income, existing debt levels, and the lending policies of the specific lender.

What APRs are charged on bad credit personal loans?

Borrowers with bad credit should expect higher APRs on personal loans, often between 10% and 36%. The actual APR offered depends on the lending institution, loan amount, and applicant’s credit profile specifics.

What are common uses for bad credit personal loans?

Borrowers often use personal loans for debt consolidation, emergency expenses, auto repairs, medical bills, vacations, moving expenses, and major purchases. The loan funds can be used for almost any legal purpose in most cases.

How can I improve my chances of getting approved?

Boosting your approval odds involves checking and resolving errors on your credit reports, maintaining low credit utilization, including a co-signer with better credit if available, and verifying your income before applying. Also, shop among multiple lenders to compare offers.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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