When you have bad credit, it seems like it comes back to haunt you at the most inconvenient times. Whether you have a medical emergency or your car gets totaled, there may come a time when you need extra cash fast.
You don’t have to automatically resort to title loans or payday lenders. There are actually several online lenders who specifically cater to people with bad credit.
With the installment loans below, you will receive a higher interest rate than borrowers with good credit. But, they can sometimes be used to pay off credit cards with even higher interest rates.
To help you with your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best online personal loans for people with bad credit history. You’ll see a diverse mix of options and ideally find the right choice for you.
$250 - $2,500
Min. Credit Score
MoneyMutual is an online matching service for small short-term loans. Although it is not a direct lender, it can help you find the best lender for you.
To get started with MoneyMutual, you will fill out a form with your information for lenders to review. You may get several offers in a few minutes from a variety of lenders.
Remember, you are under no obligation to accept any of the offers. Make sure to read through the terms of each offer and ensure it fits into your budget before accepting the loan.
A few of the borrow requirements include some form of consistent income that totals at least $800, a minimum age of 18, a legal resident of the U.S., and an active checking account. If you can provide information that confirms each of these requirements, it is fairly likely that you will receive several loan offers.
If you need money quickly, then this could be a good option because you may be able to receive the funds within 24 hours.
$500 – $10,000
3 to 72 months
Min. Credit Score
CashUSA is an online lending portal that puts you in touch with offers from a partner lender.
Income and credit requirements are flexible, so it’s a quick and easy way to access personal loan funds, regardless of your credit history. So if you have poor credit but need a personal loan, you could potentially qualify for a loan through CashUSA’s network.
Lenders through this website offer personal loans for bad credit for as little as $500 or as much as $10,000. APRs range from 5.99% and 35.99%.
What are some of the requirements for a loan through CashUSA’s network?
You need to be 18 years old and have a valid bank account. This is used for both depositing your funds and automatically withdrawing your monthly payment on the due date. You also need to make at least $1,000 after taxes each month.
To submit a loan request, you fill out one simple form through their website.
When you accept a loan you like, you can get funds fast — sometimes as fast as the next business day.
$500 – $5,000
3 to 60 months
Min. Credit Score
Rather than being a direct lender, BadCreditLoans.com serves as a loan marketplace.
That means that after filling out a single request form, the website sends your information to their large lender network that can then respond to you with a loan offer.
As the name implies, they truly cater to people with extremely low credit scores who need cash fast.
Here are some of the requirements the lenders are looking for. You need to be at least 18 years old, a legal U.S citizen, and have a steady income for the last 90 days (either through a job, disability or Social Security).
You must wait to receive an offer from the website’s network of lenders. Depending on your request, you may or may not be offered a loan.
You’re never under any obligation to accept any offer you receive, so you can make sure it fits your budget before making a decision.
$500 – $35,000
6 to 72 months
Min. Credit Score
580 – 600
PersonalLoans.com is another loan marketplace where you get connected with a lender based on a single online form.
Because the lenders vary, the available APRs vary as well. Expect to see rates anywhere from 5.99% to 35.99%.
They work with three different types of lenders, each of which has different minimum requirements. P2P lenders require a minimum credit score of 600 and you must also earn at least $2,000 a month in verifiable income.
Both installment lenders and bank lenders require just a 580 score, although with a bank loan you’ll need at least $3,000 in income. For all loans, you must be at least 18 with a social security number, regular income, and a valid checking account.
Another requirement is that even with bad credit history, you cannot have had an account with a late payment longer than 60 days or a recent bankruptcy.
If you meet these requirements, this could be an excellent choice for several different types bad credit loans.
$1,000 – $10,000
Min. Credit Score
NetCredit has a Built-In Credit-Builder program ensures that your payments are reported to two credit bureaus (Experian and TransUnion) so you can take full advantage of paying back your personal loan on time.
Here’s what you need to know about NetCredit loans.
They will check your credit, but it’s only a soft pull so it won’t hurt your credit. If you qualify, you can either accept the terms as they are or choose to “modify your loan details.”
Loan rates and term lengths with NetCredit vary depending on the state in which you live. In general, expect to start around 36%. In some states without rate limits, you might see that number jump up to 155%.
NetCredit loans are available in the following states:
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin.
You’ll want to be careful of the high end of NetCredit’s interest rates. However, you may want to consider them if you live in one of the eligible states and don’t have excellent credit.
$1,000 – $35,000
2 to 5 years
Min. Credit Score
Avant is a solid lender for borrowers of any credit type. They offer higher loan amounts and interest rates range between 9.95% and 36% APR.
But here’s what we really love about Avant.
Most borrowers with this lender actually report quick upticks in their credit scores. Why? More than half of all Avant loans are used to consolidate credit card debt. Users report an average of a 12-point jump in credit score within the first six months of having the loan.
If you don’t need to consolidate your debt, you can also apply for a loan to either pay for home improvement costs or pay for unexpected emergency expenses.
With over 600,000 customers helped and a decision within minutes of applying online, they offer a lot to borrowers who need financial help while remedying bad credit.
$3,500 – $20,000
24 to 48 months
Min. Credit Score
LendingPoint targets poor and fair credit borrowers looking for a personal loan. You can borrow anywhere between $3,500 and $20,000 with interest rates ranging between 17.46% and 35.99% APR.
All loans are subject to a flat origination fee of 5%. To qualify, you’ll need a minimum gross annual income of $25,000.
Another requirement is that your debt-to-income ratio should be no more than 45%.
Finally, applicants must live in one of the following states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. If you meet these basic qualifications, then you’re a strong candidate for a loan.
Their loan application process is easy. Just pull together some basic documents, like your proof of employment and income, recent bank statements, a voided check, as well as your driver’s license.
Once you sit down to apply online, it should take no more than five minutes. If you’re approved, you’ll be provided with different loan options to choose from. Pick one and receive your funds as soon as one day later.
$1,500 – $25,000
Up to 60 months
Min. Credit Score
OneMain is a well-established lender specifically targeting individuals with bad credit. Typical APRs range from 25.10% and 36.00%.
The amount you can borrow depends on where you live, but you’ll find the scale goes anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000. The origination fee ranges from $25 to $40.
To qualify for a loan with bad credit, you’ll most likely need to take out a secured personal loan. You can use an automobile, truck, motorcycle, camper, or RV as collateral.
Whatever you choose, you must have an appraisal completed to ensure its value meets the amount of your loan. Vehicles also must be insured while the loan is active.
An interesting step in OneMain’s loan approval process is that you must actually go to a physical branch location to bring in your documents for verification and discuss your loan options.
Once you get your loan, you have flexible payment options each month. You can pay online or through their app, at a branch, through the mail, or even at a Walmart Service Desk. However, there is a fee each time you pay by debit card or at a Walmart.
How to Get a Personal Loan with Bad Credit
Even with a bad credit score, there are several places you can go to look for a loan. One option is a local bank or credit union, especially if you’re already a member.
Credit unions – Credit unions offer unsecured loans for bad credit with less stringent lending guidelines and you may get a lower interest rate. The only issue is, you’ll likely need to apply in person and you may have to wait longer to get the funds once you’re approved.
Get a co-signer – Some lenders allow you to add a second borrower to the application to include their credit and income to improve your chances of approval. The installment loan will also appear on their credit report, however, so any late payments or delinquencies affect them as well.
Home equity loans – If you have equity in your home, you may also want to consider a home equity loan.
Online lenders – It’s often the easiest and most convenient way to apply for personal loans for bad credit. That’s because there are lenders who specifically work with credit-challenged individuals.
Remember that you should only consider taking out an unsecured personal loan if you’re confident in your ability to repay it.
What to Look for in an Online Lender
The two biggest things to look at with an online lender (especially those who brand themselves as bad credit lenders) are transparency and security.
Unfortunately, the Internet is riddled with scammers and predatory lenders, but there are several steps you can take to avoid getting into trouble. In most cases, you should also avoid taking out payday loans. The interest rates on payday loans are far higher than other types of loans for bad credit borrowers.
First, make sure the lender is registered to do business in your state. You can find this out by contacting your state’s financial institution regulatory bureau.
Also, make sure the lender’s website begins with “https” rather than just “http” — that indicates a safe, secure site where your personal information can’t easily be compromised.
Once you’ve established these two items, next look for transparency in fees and loan terms. Carefully read all of the fine print on the lender’s website.
You should never be asked to pay any fees upfront before receiving your loan funds. In fact, reputable lenders deduct their origination fees from the loan funds, so you never pay anything except your monthly bill.
A final tip is to check and see if the lender reports to the major credit bureaus. It helps to improve your credit score if your timely payments are regularly reported.
What to Expect with a Bad Credit Loan
When you start looking for online personal loans, it’s important to be aware of a few different things. The worse your credit is, the higher your APR will be — both your interest rate and often your origination fee.
Don’t be surprised to see your loans with an APR of 20% or more. It’s also likely that you’ll only have access to lower loan amounts.
If you have really poor credit, you might only qualify to borrow $1,000 or $2,000. Pay careful attention to your actual loan needs and what your monthly payments look like. If it is really going to pinch your budget, it may not be worth it.
This is especially true if your lender requires you to use collateral for a secured loan. That’s how many lenders are able to offer bad credit loans. They have you use your personal property to secure the loan — whether it’s your car, boat, or savings account.
In the event you default on your loan, the lender then takes possession of that collateral to offset the cost of the loan. This really ramps up the stakes of a bad credit loan, so just be sure to proceed with caution.
However, if you pay off the loan quickly and on time, those regular payments could positively affect your credit report. This will put you on the path to better credit (and consequently, better credit offers in the future).
For most people, a bad credit loan is not a great option to pay off high-interest credit cards as credit card debt usually already has lower interest rates. But, in some cases, it might make sense.
If your goal is to consolidate credit card debt, the best way to do that is to first work on improving your credit history. Then, you can qualify for either balance transfer credit cards or debt consolidation loans. Getting a debt consolidation loan would allow you to pay off all types of debt, not just credit cards.