20 Best Bad-Credit Personal Loans Guaranteed Approval ($5000 & Up)

20 Best Bad-Credit Personal Loans Guaranteed Approval ($5000 & Up)

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Have you ever been approved for a loan but the amount was not enough for your purposes? Although being rejected for a loan outright can be tough, being accepted for a loan that is simply too small to meet your needs can, in some ways, almost be worse.

Unfortunately, there’s no real way to guarantee a loan of a certain size no matter what your credit score. Furthermore, it’s impossible to even guarantee acceptance at all for those with the worst credit scores.

That said, there are things you can do to increase your chances of being approved as well as increase the amount for which you can qualify. It all starts with finding a loan provider that won’t disqualify you based on your credit score alone. Below, we’ll explore some top providers of bad credit personal loans for $5,000 and up, and we’ll offer some valuable tips to increase your chances of being improved for a loan.

20 Best Bad Credit Personal Loans Guaranteed Approval $5,000 & more

Regardless of your credit score, no lender can truly guarantee approval until they review your application. While some lenders may review your credit file, others will approve you based on other factors, such as your employment history and income.

Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be able to find a personal loan through a local bank or credit union. If you have bad credit, however, you probably have a better chance of getting approved for a personal loan up to $5,000 with an online lender.

Some online lenders service loans themselves, while others are loan marketplaces that connect borrowers with a network of banks and lenders. If you have bad credit and need a personal loan $5,000 and up, here are five online lenders to consider.

1. PersonalLoans.com

If you need to borrow a larger amount of money, it’s worth checking out PersonalLoans.com, which allows borrowers to request up to $35,000. If your credit is poor, however, you might be restricted to a lower loan figure.  

PersonalLoans.com is a loan marketplace, so you’ll receive offers from a variety of lenders. Interest rates vary from 5.99% to 35.99%, and repayment terms can be as short as 90 days or as long as 72 months. 

2. CashUSA

CashUSA is an online loan marketplace that lets borrowers connect with lenders that offer loans up to $10,000, even with bad credit. To qualify, you’ll need to earn at least $1,000 per month and provide other information depending on individual lender requirements. 

According to online reviewers, CashUSA processes loans quickly, with many people receiving their funds within one day. You can choose from a variety of loan terms, including repayment periods up to 72 months. 

3. BadCreditLoans.com

BadCreditLoans.com is another loan marketplace (also known as an aggregator) that matches borrowers with a network of lenders. It’s free to apply, and there is no obligation to accept a loan offer. 

Borrowers with bad credit may qualify for loans up to $10,000, but approval depends on each individual lender’s requirements and criteria. Interest rates vary, with a range between 5.99% and 35.99% depending on your creditworthiness.  

4. Monevo

Monevo is an online loan marketplace with a network of 30 lenders, many of which are willing to work with borrowers who have low credit scores. Loan amounts can go as high as $100,000, with interest rates varying between 3.49% and 35.99%. 

According to Monevo’s site, it uses technology to submit your information to lenders in real time, so you don’t have to wait to find out which lenders are willing to make you an offer. This can speed up the application process, giving you access to funds the same day. 

5. Avant

Avant is different from many other lenders in that it states explicitly that borrowers need a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify. Interest rates vary between 9.95% and 35.99%, and you can request anywhere between $2,000 and $35,000. 

There are no fees to apply for a loan through Avant, and Avant does not charge loan origination fees or prepayment penalties. Avant also reports to all three credit bureaus, so you can use your loan to help build your credit score. 

6. Payoff

  • No prepayment penalties, application fees, late fees, or hidden fees. Because no one wants to do that
  • You can consolidate all your credit card payments down to one monthly, affordable, fixed-rate payment between 5.99% and 24.99% APR

7. Marcus

  • No Fees. Ever. We don’t deduct a sign-up fee from your loan amount.
  • Loans from $3,500 to $40,000 and fixed rates from 6.99% to 19.99% APR. Only the most creditworthy applications qualify for the largest loan amounts and lowest rates.
  • Discount when enrolled in Autopay
  • You may be required to have some of your funds sent directly to creditors to pay down certain types of unsecured debt

8. Upstart

  • Personal loans $1,000 to $50,000
  • Check your rate online in minutes
  • Pay loan off any time with no prepayment penalty
  • Funds deposited directly, as early as next business day

9. LeadingPoint

  • Personal loans from $2,000 to $25,000
  • Checking your loan offer won’t affect your credit score
  • Loans funded quickly, as soon as next business day
  • Personal information is secured and protected

10. OneMain Financial

  • Personal and auto loans from $1,500-$20,000 (GA minimum $1,500 existing customers for new loans $3100 for others)
  • A quick decision on your loan request
  • Clear loan terms with no hidden fees and no prepayment penalties
  • Apply online, by phone or at your local branch.

11. Freedom Debt Relief

  • The leader in the debt negotiation with over $10 billion in debt resolved
  • Over 500,000 clients enrolled since 2002
  • Request a free debt consultation
  • Find out if you could settle your debt for less than you currently owe
  • Get debt relief in as little as 24-48 months (Terms Apply)

12. Axos Bank

  • Rates: 6.49% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Fees: No prepayment penalty
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 740
  • Time to get funds: Next business day
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

13. BestEgg

  • Rates: 5.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except DC, IA, VT, and WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 1 – 3 business days after successful verification
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

14. Discover Personal Loans

  • Rates: 6.99% – 24.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $2,500 – $35,000
  • Fees: None as long as you pay on time
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: Funds can be sent as soon as the next business day after acceptance
  • Loan uses: Auto repair, credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home remodel or repair, major purchase, medical expenses, taxes, vacation, and wedding

15. FreedomPlus

  • Rates: 7.99% – 29.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $7,500 – $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: Does not disclose
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except CO, CT, HI, KS, MA, ME, NH, NV, NY, ND, OR, RI, VT, WV, WI, and WY
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: As soon as 2 business days
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, wedding, travel, medical expenses, and other purposes

16. LeadingClub

  • Rates: 10.68% – 35.89% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 600
  • Time to get funds: Usually takes about 3 days
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, paying off credit cards, home improvement, pool loans, vacations, and other purposes

17. LightStream

  • Rates: 3.99% – 19.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except RI and VT
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 660
  • Time to get funds: As soon as the same business day
  • Loan uses: Credit card refinancing, debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes

18. PenFed Credit Union

  • Rates: 6.49% – 17.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Loan amount: $600 to $20,000 (depending on loan term)
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Does not disclose
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: No
  • Min. credit score: 670
  • Time to get funds: 2 to 4 business days after verification
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, transportation, medical, dental, life events

19. Prosper

  • Rates: 6.95% – 35.99% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 3, 5
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Fees: Origination fee
  • Discounts: None
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except IA, ND, WV
  • Min. income: None
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: 640
  • Time to get funds: On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer
  • Loan uses: Debt consolidation, home improvement, vehicles, small business, new baby expenses, and other purposes

20. SoFi

  • Rates: 5.99% – 18.83% APR
  • Loan terms (years): 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Fees: None
  • Discounts: Autopay
  • Eligibility: Available in all states except MS
  • Min. income: Does not disclose
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Soft credit check: Yes
  • Min. credit score: Does not disclose
  • Time to get funds: 3 business days
  • Loan uses: Solely for personal, family, or household uses

Best bad-credit loan rates in 2021 Comparisions

Bad Credit LoansPoor credit scoresNot specified5.99%–35.99%Not specified$10,000
UpstartLimited credit history6008.69%–35.99%$1,000$50,000
OneMain FinancialSecured loansNot specified18.00%–35.99%$1,500$20,000
TD BankLow rate capsNot specified6.99%-21.9%$2,000$50,000
AvantRange of repayment options580*9.95%–35.99%$2,000$35,000
LendingPointSmall loans5859.99%–35.99%$2,000$25,000
UpgradeFast funding6207.99%–35.97% (with autopay)$1,000$35,000
LendingClubOnline experience60010.68%–35.89%$1,000$40,000

Pros vs. cons of loans for bad credit

There are pros and cons to bad credit loans. It’s important to understand what you’re getting into before you apply, so you don’t take on a situation that further damages your creditworthiness. 


  • Apply online – Most bad credit lenders offer online applications, and you can usually receive your funds without visiting a brick and mortar location. This makes it possible to apply for loans from a wider range of lenders. 
  • Bad credit okay – Obviously, the lenders willing to work with borrowers with bad credit are more flexible when it comes to credit score requirements.
  • More affordable than alternative types of borrowing – Bad credit personal loans are generally much more affordable than other forms of lending, including payday loans and title loans that typically charge usurious interest rates that can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. 


  • High APR – Perhaps the biggest downside to a bad credit loan is the likelihood of a higher annual percentage rate (APR). Depending on your credit score, you can expect to pay a much higher rate compared to someone with a more favorable score.
  • Watch out for scams – Unfortunately, having bad credit can make you vulnerable to scammers and lenders that prey on people who find it difficult to get approved for a loan. As you shop around for loan offers, make sure you thoroughly research each lender to make sure they are trustworthy and ethical. 

What are bad credit personal loans with guaranteed approval $5,000?

If you have bad credit, you should be realistic about the loan process. Specifically, you will almost certainly pay a higher interest rate compared to someone with a better score.

This is because lenders charge higher rates to offset the risk you pose as a borrower. Statistically, the lower someone’s credit score, the likelier they are to fall behind on payments or default on their loan. 

However, bad credit personal loans are typically much more affordable than other types of lending, including payday loans and title loans. The latter can have interest rates in the triple digits, and they are generally short-term loans with low borrowing limits. 

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria for a bad credit personal loan for $5,000 and up will vary from lender to lender, so it’s important to review each lender’s requirements before you apply. With that in mind, most lenders require borrowers to meet the following criteria: 

  • At least 18 years old
  • Earn a minimum income each month (often $1,000 or more) through employment or benefits
  • Be employed or receiving benefits for a certain period of time 
  • Have a bank account
  • No recent bankruptcies 

Generally, the more you want to borrow, the more stringent the lender’s eligibility criteria. In addition, some lenders are more flexible than others, and you might find one or two willing to approve you even if you have a recent bankruptcy or very poor credit.

How to get a bad-credit loan?

Getting a personal loan with bad credit isn’t impossible, but it requires diligent research to find the most affordable loan possible. Here are a few steps to get a personal loan if you don’t have strong credit.

  1. Check your credit score. Learn how your credit stands by requesting a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the credit reporting agencies, though you can currently access weekly reports through April 2021.
  2. Ensure that you can repay the loan. Evaluate your income and budget to make sure that you can support an additional monthly loan payment.
  3. Compare bad-credit personal loans. If you have an existing relationship with a bank or credit union and your accounts are in good standing, it may have a personal loan option for you. You can also research personal loans for bad credit online, but make sure to read the fine print and independent reviews about the lender.
  4. Take advantage of prequalification. Before you apply for a loan, many online lenders allow you to check whether or not you will qualify without doing a hard credit check. This is a good way to shop around for a bad-credit loan without impacting your credit score further.
  5. Look into secured loans. Some lenders offer secured personal loans, which are often easier to get if you have below-average credit. These loans must be backed by an asset like your home or car, but they typically have lower APRs.
  6. Add a co-signer if necessary. Co-signers take on partial responsibility for the loan and may be required to pay back the loan if you fall behind on payments. However, adding a co-signer who has good credit could help you qualify and may net you lower interest rates.
  7. Gather financial documents. When applying for a loan, you’ll likely have to provide pay stubs, tax documents, employment information and more. By gathering all of these documents in advance, you’ll speed up the process of acquiring your loan.
  8. Be prepared for a hard credit check. While you can get prequalified with many lenders without initiating a hard credit check, the actual application will result in one of these checks. A hard credit check can temporarily damage your credit, though you should be able to recover the points lost once you begin making payments on the loan.

In today’s financial climate, one of the most important things you can do to protect your financial health is to do your research before you apply for a personal loan, especially if you have bad credit. “I can’t stress enough the importance of educating yourself as a consumer and shopping around for the right financial product to assist you with your goals,” says Leslie Tayne, a debt resolution attorney. “A low credit score does mean you have limited options, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have many options. There are products that assist borrowers with low or bad credit.”

How to apply for bad credit personal loans

If you need a bad credit personal loan for $5,000 and up, you can apply by following these steps. 

  1. Shop around – Start your search by doing side by side comparisons of various lenders so you can be certain you’re getting the best deal for your financial situation.
  2. Submit applications – When you’re ready to apply, gather all your personal and financial information and submit your application. However, be careful not to submit too many applications at once, as this can hurt your credit score if lenders do a hard pull of your credit report. 
  3. Upload any required documents – In many cases, online lenders will ask you to verify certain information, such as your income. You can do this by uploading documents like your pay stubs or W2s. 
  4. Sign the loan agreement – When you’re ready to accept a loan offer, the lender will send you the final loan agreement. In some cases, you can sign electronically and submit your signed agreement over the internet. 
  5. Get your loan funds – The majority of online lenders will deposit your money directly into your bank account, and many lenders can do this within one to two business days. 

7 types of bad-credit loans

There are two main options when it comes to getting a personal loan if you have bad credit: secured and unsecured. But if you’re having trouble qualifying for a traditional personal loan, you have other options.

1. Secured and unsecured personal loans

Standard personal loans can be secured or unsecured. Secured loans require collateral, like a home or car. Generally, they offer more favorable rates and terms and higher loan limits, since you have greater incentive to pay back your loan in a timely manner. And if you have bad credit, it may be easier to get a secured loan than an unsecured one.

If you default on the loan, however, you risk losing your home, car or other collateral. The most common types of secured loans are mortgages, home equity loans and auto loans, although some lenders offer secured personal loans.

Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral, and the rate you receive is based on your creditworthiness — meaning they may be harder to qualify for if you have below-average credit. Since it’s not secured by an asset, this type of loan typically comes with a higher interest rate and lower loan limits, but you don’t risk losing your assets if you fall behind on payments.

Pros: Personal loans tend to come with high loan limits, and you don’t necessarily need any collateral to qualify.

Cons: If you opt for an unsecured personal loan, APRs may be far above what you’re able to pay, and you may not qualify at all.

Takeaway: Secured loans and unsecured loans can both be useful tools to get the funds you need, but weigh the pros and cons of the different types to make sure you’re not putting your assets at risk.

2. Payday loans

Payday loans are short-term loans, typically for $500 or less. They charge incredibly high fees in exchange for fast cash, and repayment is typically due by your next paycheck.

Pros: Payday loan lenders don’t run credit checks, so it’s easier to get approved with them than with other lenders.

Cons: The overall cost of borrowing is high — sometimes up to 400 percent in interest — so it’s important to weigh your other options first. Payday lenders can also be predatory in nature, so make sure to thoroughly research any potential companies you’re looking into before signing up.

Takeaway: Payday loans have the potential to put you in more debt due to extremely high interest rates. They can also be predatory, and it’s best to start your search for a personal loan with more reputable lenders.

3. Cash advances

A cash advance is similar to a short-term loan and is offered by your credit card issuer. The sum you receive is disbursed in cash and is borrowed from the available balance on your credit card.

Pros: Cash advances are one of the fastest ways to get money, so they may be worth looking into if you have urgent needs.

Cons: If you have an unsecured credit card, your cash advance interest rate will likely be higher than your card’s standard purchase APR and higher than interest rates on personal loans.

Takeaway: A cash advance can be a useful way to pay off any unexpected expenses but is not recommended for frequent use. Because there is no grace period, interest accrues immediately, which can put you in an unfavorable financial position.

4. Bank agreements

Depending on your bank’s policy, it may approve you for a short-term loan or minimal overdraft agreement. This is, of course, dependent on your banking history and ability to keep your account open. For more information, contact your bank and ask about your options.

Pros: If you have a good relationship with your bank and need access to a small sum of cash, a bank agreement could be a good short-term solution.

Cons: Because bank agreements are not official policies, they are not reliable ways to borrow money.

Takeaway: If you’d like to set up a bank agreement, the best way to find out your options is to contact your bank directly and ask about its policies.

5. Home equity loans for poor credit

Like personal loans, home equity loans disburse a lump sum of money upfront, which you pay back in fixed monthly installments. These loans use your home as collateral, meaning the lender has the right to seize your home in the event that you don’t make payments. However, because this is a type of secured loan, interest rates may be lower than what you’d find in standard personal loans.

Pros: Because home equity loans are secured by your home, they may be easier to acquire for people with bad credit.

Cons: Since your home is collateral for the loan, if you fail to make the monthly payments on time, you run the risk of losing your home.

Takeaway: Home equity loans can be ideal for things that require a large sum of money upfront, like larger home improvement projects or debt consolidation.

6. HELOCs for poor credit

HELOCs are similar to home equity loans in that they are based on your home equity and secured by your home itself. HELOCs, however, are functionally similar to credit cards in that they allow you to borrow only as much as you need, when you need it, then repay funds with a variable interest rate.

Pros: HELOCS allow you to take out money at your own pace. So if you’re planning smaller home improvement projects spread out over a period of time, a HELOC could be what you need to fund those projects.

Cons: As with a home equity loan, you use your home as collateral, which puts you at risk if you don’t make the payments on time.

Takeaway: A HELOC is a valid loan option for people with bad credit, since you’ll secure the loan with your home. It’s also a good option if you don’t need all of your funds upfront.

7. Student loans for bad credit

While not a type of personal loan, a student loan may meet your needs if you’re trying to pay for education costs, like tuition, textbooks, room and board and more. Many personal loan lenders do not allow you to use funds for education, so you’ll have to start your search with dedicated student loan lenders for bad credit.

Pros: Student loans are sometimes the only way to get funding if you need to pay for your college tuition or related expenses.

Cons: Cons: Student loans are not offered by many personal loan lenders, and if you have bad credit, you’ll almost certainly need a co-signer to qualify.

Takeaway: Unlike the other options on this list, student loans can only be used for one purpose, but almost all student loan lenders accept co-signers if you have poor credit.

Alternatives to bad credit personal loans

While a bad credit personal loan can get you much-needed cash in a financial pinch, there are several alternatives worth exploring. If you’re unable to qualify for a bad credit personal loan or you just want to see what else is out there, here are some other types of funding to consider. 

  • Home equity loan – If your credit score is holding you back, you might have a better shot of approval if you apply for a secured loan, such as a home equity loan. These loans are secured by your home, so lenders take on less of a risk and may be more willing to work with you as a result. 
  • Borrow from your retirement plan – Some employers allow employees to take out loans from their retirement plan. While you have to pay interest, you are essentially borrowing from yourself and paying yourself back. 
  • Credit card – A credit card gives you access to a set credit limit, which can be a good fit as long as you’re certain you can afford the payments. Look for a card with affordable terms, including a reasonable interest rate and no annual fee. 
  • Peer to peer loans – Peer to peer loans are funded by investors rather than banks, and they are often more flexible about working with people with bad credit scores. For example, the peer to peer lending site LendingClub lets borrowers request up to $40,000 in alternative financing.
  • Borrow from a friend or relative – If you’ve struck out with banks and online lenders, you can try asking a friend or family member to loan you money. If you go this route, it’s best to put everything in writing so you avoid any misunderstandings down the road. 

Get Best loan for Poor Credit Scores

LENDERBad Credit Loans
MIN. CREDIT SCORENot specified
EST. APR5.99%–35.99%
LOAN AMOUNTUp to $10,000
TERM LENGTHS90 days to 6 years

Get Best loan for limited Credit History

EST. APR8.69%–35.99%
LOAN AMOUNT$1,000–$50,000
TERM LENGTHS3 or 5 years
FEESOrigination fee: 0% to 8%; Late fee: 5% or $15; Returned check fee: $15

Get Best Secured Loan

LENDEROneMain Financial
MIN. CREDIT SCORENot specified
EST. APR18%–35.99%
LOAN AMOUNT$1,500–$20,000
TERM LENGTHS24 to 60 months
FEESOrigination fee:$25 to $400 or 1% to 10%; Late payment fee: $5 to $30 or 1.5% to 15%; Nonsufficient funds fee: $10 to $50

Get Best Loan for Low Rate Caps

MIN. CREDIT SCORENot specified
EST. APR6.99%-21.99%
LOAN AMOUNT$2,000–$50,000
TERM LENGTHS12 to 60 months
FEESLate fee: 5% or $10

Get Best loan for range of repayment options

MIN. CREDIT SCORE580 FICO, 550 Vantage
EST. APR9.95%–35.99%
LOAN AMOUNT$2,000–$35,000
TERM LENGTHS24 to 60 months
FEESAdministration fee: up to 4.75%; Late fee: $25; Dishonored payment fee: $15

Get Best Small Loans

EST. APR9.99%–35.99%
LOAN AMOUNT$2,000–$25,000
TERM LENGTHS24 to 48 months
FEESOrigination fee: up to 6%

Get Best Loan for Fast Funding

EST. APR7.99%–35.97% (with autopay)
LOAN AMOUNT$1,000–$35,000
TERM LENGTHS36 or 60 months
FEESOrigination fee: 2.9% to 8%; Late fee: $10; Returned check fee: $10

Get Best Loan for Online Experience

EST. APR10.68%–35.89%
LOAN AMOUNT$1,000–$40,000
TERM LENGTHS36 or 60 months
FEESOrigination fee: 2% to 6%; Late fee: 5% or $15

Bad-Credit Loans FAQs

How can I fix my credit in order to get a better loan?

If you want more loan options with better terms, work on improving your credit. Although the process can take time, there are several things you can do to raise your credit score:

  • Pay your bills on time. Having a history of timely payments indicates to credit agencies that you’re a reliable borrower. If possible, set up automatic payments with your bank for at least the minimum balance due each month.
  • Pay down your debt. By decreasing your overall debt balance, you improve your debt-to-income ratio. One good way to do this is the debt avalanche method, where you focus on paying off the highest-interest debt first. You can also start by paying off the smallest debts first and gradually working your way up.
  • Use credit score-boosting programs. Some credit cards are designed to help you boost credit, reporting your timely payments to all three of the major credit bureaus. Some companies, like Experian, also offer programs that allow you to add items like utility and phone bills to your credit history.
  • Leave unused credit cards open. Even if you have a credit card that you never use, it’s best to leave the account open; credit bureaus favor accounts with long histories. Keeping unused credit cards also increases the amount of overall credit you have, which improves your credit utilization ratio.
  • Don’t open too many credit cards at the same time. Every time you open a credit card, the lender will do a hard pull of your credit report, which temporarily damages your credit score. If you’re looking to consolidate debt using credit cards, it may be best to start with one balance transfer credit card and focus on paying off any remaining debt on your old cards.
  • Fix errors on your credit report. Make sure to periodically read through your credit reports and contact the credit bureaus with any errors that may be lowering your credit score. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the bureaus each year, and some banks will even provide you with a monthly credit score update. If you notice any patterns you can’t explain, follow up with the bureaus as soon as possible.

What is an unsecured personal loan?

Most personal loans, including all of the lenders listed above, are unsecured. An unsecured loan is a loan that does not require you to secure your loan with collateral. However, if you have extremely bad credit, you may want to search for a secured loan, which uses your home, car or a savings account as collateral. With a secured loan, that collateral may be seized if you fall behind on loan payments.

How much can I borrow?

Personal loans are commonly anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. With that said, you may not qualify for all loan amounts; lenders may reserve higher loan amounts for people with higher credit scores, and some states have required minimums and maximums. You can find out how much you are eligible to borrow by going through a lender’s prequalification form.

Can you get a small loan with bad credit?

You can get a small loan with bad credit, but you’ll have to ensure that you’re not applying for a predatory loan. Many smaller loans under $1,000 come from payday lenders, which charge astronomically high interest rates. If you’re looking for a relatively small loan, it’s best to shop around with more reputable lenders first. Most lenders set their lowest loan amount around $1,000, but you may have more luck finding a loan for a few hundred dollars with your local bank.

Can you get a loan if you’re unemployed?

Employment is one of many factors that lenders consider when you apply for a personal loan. It’s still possible to get a personal loan if you’re unemployed, but you’ll likely have to compensate with a high credit score and proof of a regular source of income. This can include Social Security benefits, child support, investments, disability income and more. If you have poor credit and you’re unemployed, it will be harder to convince lenders to extend you a loan.

Is there risk in bad-credit loans?

As a borrower, you take on some risk whenever you accept a personal loan. If you default on a secured personal loan, for instance, the lender could seize your collateral, and your credit score could take an even bigger hit. With any type of loan, you also risk racking up even more debt if you don’t pay bills on time.

With bad-credit loans, specifically, much of the risk comes from predatory lenders. Payday lenders and scammers are more likely to target people who have trouble qualifying for loans elsewhere; it’s important to vet any company with bad-credit loans that seem too good to be true.

Can you get a loan with no credit check?

There are no-credit-check loan companies, but if you’re considering this route, proceed with caution. Companies that don’t check credit often compensate by charging an exorbitant amount in interest, sometimes upward of 400 percent. Because of this, it’s best to start your search with traditional banks or reputable online lenders, some of which extend loans to people with credit scores below 600. If you do choose to borrow from a no-credit-check lender, keep an eye out for any potential loan scams.

Can you get a loan without a checking account?

It is possible to get a loan without a checking account, but your options are likely limited. Generally, without a checking account, you’ll have to either put up collateral or turn to payday lenders, which can be predatory and charge extremely high interest.

What’s the easiest loan to get with poor credit?

If you have bad credit, it’s likely easiest to get a loan from a payday lender or other no-credit-check lender. However, just because that’s the easiest option doesn’t mean it’s the best. The convenience of these types of loans often comes at the cost of high APRs, short repayment periods or even loan scams.

To get a loan with bad credit, we recommend starting with the lenders we review above. Many of these have prequalification options, allowing you to see your eligibility and rates so you can easily compare lenders. While not every lender will accept borrowers with poor credit, many do.

Can you get a personal loan with a credit score of 550?

It can be difficult to get approved for a personal loan with a credit score of 550, especially if the loan is unsecured. If you get approved for the loan, there is a good chance that the loan will have a high APR and lots of fees.

If you are unsure if you’ll qualify due to your credit score, you may have a better chance with the help of a co-signer who has good credit. However, while the job of a co-signer isn’t to make the monthly payments for you, co-signers do hold some responsibility if you fail to pay and could see their own credit score impacted.

Is it possible to get a loan with no credit?

Most lenders require you to have some credit before lending, but some may lend small loans to people with no credit. Institutions like credit unions are more likely to do this, especially if you already have an account with the credit union. Just keep an eye out for predatory lenders like payday lenders, which target people with little credit history.

How long does it take to get my loan?

From application to disbursement, it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get your loan, depending on the lender. Typically an online lender’s process is the quickest. If you apply with a bank or credit union, the approval process may take longer.

To expedite the process, gather the information you’ll need to apply for the loan. This might include your Social Security number, employment information, income information and financial history. Being prepared when you apply allows the process to advance more quickly.

How will applying for a poor-credit loan impact my credit score?

When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will run a hard credit inquiry to assess your creditworthiness. Because of this, you’ll likely see your credit score decrease a few points.

That said, the long-term credit benefits that come with a personal loan can outweigh the few points that may get temporarily knocked off your credit score. You can also prequalify for many loans before officially submitting an application; this allows you to see whether or not you qualify with a lender without activating a hard credit check.

What documents are required to apply for a bad-credit loan?

During the application process for a loan, you’ll likely have to provide documentation like proof of identity (driver’s license, passport, certificate of citizenship, etc.), employer and income verification (pay stubs, tax returns, W-2s, etc.) and proof of address (utility bill, lease, proof of insurance, etc.). Pulling together these documents in advance will save you time during the application process and could get you your funds more quickly.