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Bad credit is an unfortunate part of life. The effects of bad credit can ripple through every domain of your life—that is why it is crucial that you choose the best bad credit loan.
Credible offers personal loans that can be used to consolidate credit card debt, finance weddings, fund home improvement projects, pay for moving expenses, and so much more.
In some cases, having no credit is worse than having low credit. Because the details of bad credit loans are more complex than typical credit loans, some education about them is necessary.
Before you complete an application, you should know your credit score. A credit score will give you an idea of your financial standing and allow you to choose the best bad credit loan.
The benefit of choosing the right bad credit loan is that you fulfill financial obligations and mitigate financial risk.
The Best Bad Credit Loan Providers for 2023
Comparison of the Best Loans for Bad Credit
SoFi provides financial products that includes student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing, and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.
Credible is the best way to save money on student loans, personal loans, and your mortgage. Compare top lenders and find low rates in just minutes.
Upgrade offers affordable and responsible loans and cards, and no fees and high rewards checking accounts.
Upstart is an AI lending platform that partners with banks and credit unions to provide consumer loans using non-traditional variables.
OppLoans is a leading financial technology platform focused on helping middle income, credit-challenged consumers build a better financial path.
PersonalLoans.com provides an easy and convenient way for consumers to be connected with a personal loan through our network of lenders and the other third-party lender networks we use.
LendingTree helps you get the best deal possible on your loans. By giving consumers multiple offers from several lenders, we make comparison shopping easy.
Fiona is the fast, easy way to search financial services from top providers, connecting you with loans, savings accounts, and credit cards.
1. SoFi - Best Overall
SoFi is the clear winner for the best overall credit loan of 2023.
SoFi offers low rates, no fees, and a variety of loan options. SoFi places higher precedence on credit quality than quantity, so borrowers with a short credit history can obtain a loan if they have a good credit score.
SoFi features an entirely digital experience with an easy-to-use mobile app that offers a good user experience.
You can obtain a SoFi loan in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. SoFi is a good option for numerous applications because of the wide range of available funds.
2. Credible - Best Marketplace
Credible is the best loan marketplace because it offers several lenders on its platform.
Most Americans face the heavy burden of crushing student loans. Credible is not a lending agency but is a free online loan marketplace. The specialty of Credible is that it allows comparing lenders for student loan refinancing and private student loans.
Credible receives commissions from displaying lenders on the Credible platform.
3. Upgrade - Best for Fixed-rate Loans
Upgrade is a good choice for fixed-rate loans that offer the predictability of the same payment each month. Upgrade features unique programs, including a financial hardship program and a rewards program.
Hardships such as job loss may qualify for a temporary monthly payment reduction. Your APR can lower if you join the Upgrade Rewards program.
Upgrade's fixed-rate loans are best for borrowers with fair or bad credit.
4. Upstart - Best Lending Platform
Upstart is different from traditional online lenders because the platform uses artificial intelligence to make decisions. The platform focuses on younger lenders with limited-to-no credit history.
Because young lenders often lack credit history, the innovative Upstart finds different ways to lend money. Artificial intelligence tools consider metrics like education, employment history, and place of residence to make loan decisions.
5. OppLoans - Best for Installment Loans
OppLoans is an installment loan for those with bad credit who are also in a pinch. OppLoans does not charge application or origination fees. There is no penalty for loan installation prepayment.
OppLoans charges APRs that can reach 160 percent on unsecured installment loans; the APR rate is exorbitantly high.
OppLoans is not a good option for those with fair credit or people looking to fund a short-term emergency. OppLoans is only available in 37 states, so you must check for availability in your state.
6. PersonalLoans.com - Most Competitive Rates
PersonalLoans.com is a good choice for finding competitive rates, and it offers peer-to-peer, personal installment, and personal bank loans.
PersonalLoans has a quick funding time, with money available in as little as one business day. PersonalLoans does not do a hard credit pull which is a perk to many.
PersonalLoans is not a direct lender but does connect you with direct lenders for unsecured loans. The platform offers flexible options for prospective borrowers.
7. LendingTree - Best Comparison Site
LendingTree is the best comparison loan site because of its sheer number of lenders. There are no fees for LendingTree because it is not a direct lender. LendingTree earns money by commission from offering access to direct lenders.
Expect to receive offers from potential lenders within seconds of inputting information into LendingTree.
The accessible and fast nature of LendingTree makes it attractive to borrowers. There are pros and cons of every lending platform—LendingTree is no exception.
Expect to receive tons of emails from LendingTree once you use the app or website.
8. Fiona - Best for Debt Consolidation Loans
Fiona is a platform that offers access to debt consolidation loans via other lenders. Fiona is not a direct lender but offers you access to direct lenders.
The platform asks for information about your credit score, annual income, location, and needs. The purpose of these questions is to pair you with the best lenders.
Entering information into Fiona is not a guarantee that you will receive offers. In fact, some very low borrowers do not receive any debt consolidation loan offers.
What Are Bad Credit Loans?
Bad credit loans describe personal loans for people with no credit or low credit scores. Individuals seeking bad credit loans typically have financial hardship.
Financial hardships include high medical bills, unexpected car repairs, unemployment. Bad credit loans function like personal loans.
Types of Bad Credit Loans
The types of bad credit loans are unsecured loans and secured loans.
Unsecured Bad Credit Loan
An unsecured loan does not require collateral. Instead, unsecured bad credit loans often charge interest and fees.
Examples of unsecured credit loans include student loans, personal loans, and credit cards. The lack of collateral from an unsecured credit loan places the lender at a higher risk.
Because there is no collateral, a bad credit score makes them harder to obtain. Additionally, unsecured loans frequently feature higher interest rates and fees.
Secured Bad Credit Loan
A secured loan is a loan backed by collateral which can be any type of asset. The most typical kinds of secured loans are car loans and mortgages.
When you have a car loan and mortgage, the collateral is your home or car—a lack of loan payment results in the repossession and loss of your collateral.
Because secured bad credit loans require collateral, they are easier for those with bad credit to obtain.
How to Pick the Best Bad Credit Lender
To find the best bad credit lender, you should research various factors. The best bad credit lender will suit your needs and work with you.
Minimum Credit Score
The best bad credit lender will likely have a minimum credit score they accept. You must meet the minimum credit score if you wish to borrow money. Research the minimum credit scores so that you can choose a lender that suits your needs.
The term describes how long you have to pay back the loan. Some prefer a long-term loan that offers lower interest rates, while others prefer a short-term loan with higher interest rates.
Each company has different loan amounts that you can borrow. To pick the best bad credit lender, select the one that offers the loan amount you desire.
APR is the interest rate plus origination fees. The APR is the interest rate if there are no fees. The APR is critical because it informs you how expensive money is to borrow.
How to Get a Loan with Bad Credit
Getting a loan with bad credit is not easy, but it is not impossible. Here are the steps that inform you how to get a loan with bad credit.
1. Check Your Credit
Because most lenders have a minimum credit score, check your credit score with a free credit report. Sometimes, individuals spot errors on the credit report that adversely impacts the credit score.
Before completing an application, it is a good idea to know where you stand by obtaining a free credit report. As a bonus, you might see some errors that, once removed, will improve your credit score.
2. Compare Lenders to Find the Best Rate
You can compare lenders and enter information about your finances to see the offers you might be eligible to receive.
Be careful not to get hard credit checks, or hard inquiries, because those adversely impact your credit. Obtaining rates and eligibility from lenders based on your credit information is known as pre-qualification.
Get your financial information ready, including your social security number and pay stubs. Tax information like W-2s may also be a requirement. Be sure to have financial information handy when you apply to make the process occur more quickly.
4. Wait for Loan Approval
The time you will wait for loan approval depends on the lending company. Some companies offer next-day approval, while other lending companies take a few days.
After you apply for a bad credit loan, all you can do is wait.
5. Receive Money
Once your credit loan is approved, you will receive money. Depending on the terms of your loan, this money may go directly to the creditors or your bank account.
After loan approval, money disbursement can occur in minutes, or days, depending upon the company.
A bad credit loan is customized to you, a person with bad credit. A bad credit loan can help you improve your credit score and enjoy better interest rates in the future.
A bad credit loan is tough to obtain, but with the proper education, it is not impossible. Now that you know what a bad credit loan is and how to get one—you can get started.
Remember to avoid hard credit checks whenever possible, as these will reduce your credit score.
Bad Credit Loans FAQ's
- Very poor: 300 to 579
- Fair: 580 to 669
- Good: 670 to 739
- Very good: 740 to 799
- Excellent: 800 to 850
- Very poor: 300 to 499
- Poor: 500 to 600
- Fair: 601 to 660
- Good: 661 to 780
- Excellent: 781 to 850
The amount of money you can borrow with bad credit depends on the lender you choose and the type of loan. Other considerations for how much money you can borrow include debt, payment history, and income.
An unsecured loan does not require collateral and may permit a lower amount to those with bad credit. Because a secured loan requires collateral, the amounts allowed are typically higher.
There are a few risks associated with bad credit loans, and borrowers should be prudent.
Credit unions and big banks take privacy more seriously than some lenders. Some lenders share your personal information, and this includes obvious privacy implications.
Interest rates are the amount the lender charges you to borrow money. A risk of high-interest rates is that you may end up paying twice the amount you borrow. A high-interest rate can bring your financial situation from bad to worse.
Fees and penalties
Fees are prevalent in bad credit loans as a way for lenders to make money. Some potential fees include application fees, origination fees, and early payment fees. You must be aware of the fees to prevent yourself from financial harm.
One way to get bad credit loan approval is to obtain pre-approval. You provide a lender with financial information and desired loan amount, and the lender pre-approves your bad credit loan.
Consider improving your credit score
This option may not be viable to those in a tight spot. You should consider improving your credit score wherever possible, as this increases the chance of approval.
Get a cosigner
A co-signer is someone who signs their name to your loan application. That means if you do not pay your loan, the lending company can come after your co-signer.
A co-signer improves the likelihood of bad credit loan approval, especially if the cosigner has good credit.
You need many documents when applying for a bad credit loan.
The first document you need when applying for a bad credit loan is the application. Each direct lender will have an application that you must fill out. When you apply with a personal loan platform, the application process will be different.
You provide the platform with financial information, and the service provides your information to direct lenders. Regardless of your method of applying, you will need to have an application.
Proof of identity
You cannot borrow money in your name if you cannot prove who you are. Lenders require proof of identity to prevent identity theft and fraud. You will have to provide at least two documents that prove your identity, including:
- Driver’s license, military ID, or state-issued ID
- Certificate of citizenship
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
Most companies will accept a copy of your proof of identity, so it is helpful to make copies.
Employer and income confirmation
Employer and income confirmation are particularly important in unsecured personal loans because there is no collateral. A lack of collateral increases the risk that a lender faces. Pieces of documentation that you can submit to prove income include:
- Tax returns
- W-2s and 1099s
- Bank statements
Proof of address
Proof of address offers the lender more information about you. Some lenders only operate in specific states, and proof of address is necessary to determine legality. Paperwork that constitutes proof of address include:
- Utility bill
- Lease or rental agreement
- Mortgage statement
- Proof of insurance
- Voter registration card
- Bank or credit card statement
SoFi offers low rates with no fees and allows you to lock in a fixed rate and borrow up to $100,000.
Best Bad Credit Loan Provider Recap