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Best Bad Credit Loans

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Bad credit loans are personal loans geared toward consumers with low credit scores. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvements or large purchases. The best bad credit loans come with fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments, multiple repayment options, a wide range of loan amounts and low fees.

Be aware, however, that people with lower credit scores generally do not get the best terms for loans, which generally means higher interest rates.

To make our top choices, our research team evaluated 31 personal loan lenders and selected 6 based on factors including minimum credit score required, maximum APR and repayment terms. Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations.

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Upgrade logoUpgradeCredit Direct logoCredit DirectAvant logoAvantUpstart logoUpstartLendingPoint logoLendingPointRocket Loans logoRocket Loans
Rating4.84.13.90.00.00.0
# of reviews56680197200
Our pick for Bad credit Small loans Debt consolidation No credit history Repayment terms, low fees Fast funding
Minimum credit score 560 No minimum required 550 300 580 580
Loan amount range $1,000 - $50,000 $1,000 - $47,500 $2,000 - $35,000 $1,000 - $50,000 $2,000 - $36,500 $2,000 - $45,000
Repayment terms Not available 12 to 60 months 12 to 60 months Not available Not available 36 or 60 months
Co-signers allowed Yes Yes No No No No
Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
All information accurate as of time of publication.

Compare our top 6 choices for bad credit loans

The best bad credit loans give you a chance to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 for any number of goals, whether you need to make a large purchase or consolidate high-interest debts.

Best overall Upgrade
  • Max loan amount: $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Minimum credit score: 560

Our choice for the best overall lender for borrowers with bad credit is Upgrade. It offers a range of financial products that include personal loans. These loans are offered in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, with repayment terms that last from 24 to 84 months.

Upgrade lets applicants check their rates without impacting their credit, and the majority of its loans are unsecured, with no collateral required. This lender also lets people apply online within minutes, then choose a repayment term and monthly payment that fits their budget. Annual percentage rates (APRs) for personal loans from Upgrade range from 7.46% to 35.97% at the time of publishing. Origination fees fall between 1.85% to 8% of the loan amount.

Read our Upgrade profile for more information on this lender.

  • No application fees
  • Competitive interest rate range compared to other lenders
  • Longer repayment terms available than with many other lenders
  • Joint applications are allowed
  • Origination fees equal 1.85% to 8% of the loan amount
  • Interest rates for bad credit can be high (up to 35.97%)
ConsumerAffairs readers who have used the company overwhelmingly report positive experiences overall.

Its best reviews tend to center around the easy application process and speedy loan funding. One reviewer, Melanie from Huntington Station, NY, stated, “When my loan was approved the larger portion of the loan was paid to my credit card to pay it down. The lesser amount was deposited into my checking account. All of this was done within 2-3 business days so it was fast. I found the entire process to be easy and convenient and I appreciate it.”

However, some reviewers complained about high origination fees and poor customer service after receiving their money.

Best repayment terms and low fees LendingPoint
  • Max loan amount: $36,500
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 72 months
  • Minimum credit score: 580

Borrowers needing a personal loan with flexible repayment terms and low fees might want to consider LendingPoint. LendingPoint offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $36,500, and applicants can check their rates online without affecting their credit. From there, they can see if they qualify and how much they can borrow. Borrowers also get the option to choose their repayment terms (anywhere from 24 to 72 months) and monthly payments before receiving loan funds as soon as the next business day.

Rates for LendingPoint loans range from 7.99% to 35.99% APR at the time of publishing. LendingPoint loans may have origination fees of up to 7% of the loan amount, but it’s also possible to have no origination fee at all. There are no prepayment fees, either.

LendingPoint doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score requirement, but it states that it’s able to serve 85% of the FICO population. LendingPoint does list a minimum income requirement of $35,000 for applicants, though, and loans are not available in West Virginia or Nevada.

Read our LendingPoint profile to learn more about this company.

  • Origination fees can be as low as 0%
  • Available in 48 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Funds loans as soon as the next business day after approval
  • Lets applicants check their rates with no impact on their credit
  • No option for joint applications
  • Lower maximum loan limit than some other lenders
  • Minimum income requirement of $35,000
  • Interest rates for bad credit can be high (up to 35.99%)
There are no ConsumerAffairs reader reviews available for LendingPoint at the time of publishing.
Best for small loans Credit Direct
  • Max loan amount: $47,500
  • Repayment terms: 12-60 months
  • Minimum credit score: No minimum credit score required

If you need a small loan, Credit Direct offers personal loans starting at $1,000. Borrowers get to check their rates without hurting their credit, and funding can be sent within 24 hours of signing loan documents. Repayment terms can last from 12 to 60 months, with rates from 4.99% to 29.99% APR, and these loans don't come with any administration fees.

Credit Direct allows co-signers and joint applicants on its loans, and all its loan options are unsecured. While this company offers some of the best bad credit loans available today, they are only available in 11 states at this time — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The minimum credit score you’ll need for a Credit Direct loan is not disclosed.

Read our Credit Direct profile for more information.

  • No hidden fees
  • Co-signers and joint applications are allowed
  • Lower interest rate range than many other bad credit lenders
  • Borrowers can check their rates with no impact on their credit
  • Only available in 11 states
  • Some loans may be funded through partners of Credit Direct
  • Funding usually takes 48 to 72 hours, though it’s sometimes faster
Credit Direct has mostly positive reviews from ConsumerAffairs readers. Customers praise the lender's fast and easy application process as well as its courteous and professional customer service reps. Sandra of Mechanicsburg, PA, had this to say about their experience: “Once the application was sent in, I was contacted immediately. I was able to say what I needed and the payment I would need to get the loan. They worked with me to get what I needed. Was very fast and efficient. I was very happy with how it was handled and how quick.”

However, some reviewers claim this lender can be overly aggressive when it comes to following up with loan inquiries via phone and email.

Best for fast funding Rocket Loans
  • Max loan amount: $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: 580

If you’re looking for quick, same-day funding, consider Rocket Loans.

Rocket Loans is the personal loan arm of Rocket Companies, which also includes Rocket Mortgage (one of the best mortgage lenders in the United States). Its personal loans are offered in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $45,000, and repayment terms can be for either 36 or 60 months. Rates can range from 8.416% (with an autopay discount) to 29.99% APR.

Borrowers should also be aware that there is an origination fee of up to 7% for each loan, and late fees and insufficient funds fees are $15 for each instance. There is no prepayment penalty, though.

Rocket Loans are available in 47 states (excluding Iowa, West Virginia and Nevada).

  • Same-day funding available
  • Completely online process
  • Borrowers can check their rates with no impact on their credit
  • Only two repayment terms available — 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fees of up to 7%
There are no reviews for Rocket Loans from ConsumerAffairs readers at the time of publishing.
Best for debt consolidation Avant
  • Max loan amount: $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: 580

Avant offers several financial products, including personal loans that range from $2,000 to $35,000. Borrowers can use these funds to pay for medical bills, home projects and unexpected expenses, and loans can be funded as soon as the next business day after an application is approved.

Borrowers can check rates and compare options without affecting their credit, and rates range from 9.95% to 35.95% APR. Repayment terms can last from 12 to 60 months. Be aware that an administration fee of up to 4.75% applies to each loan, though.

Read our Avant profile to find out more about this lender and how to apply for its loans.

  • Online application process
  • Potential for funding as soon as the next business day
  • Checking your rate won’t affect your credit
  • Lower maximum loan amount than our other top picks
  • Most successful borrowers have credit scores between 600 and 700
  • High interest rates for bad credit (up to 35.95%)
Some ConsumerAffairs reviewers complain about payments being slow to post their Avant accounts or incorrectly applied to their balances.

However, many of the company’s positive reviews focus on its easy application process and good customer service. For instance, Atha of Hiram, GA, said: “The application process was easy and quick. They rushed to assist my needs and the payments were just right. They are the best in professional quality service and do their best to answer each/any questions you may ask easily. I enjoyed working with their company!”

Best for no credit history Upstart
  • Max loan amount: $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Minimum credit score: 300

Borrowers should consider Upstart if they have extremely low credit scores or no credit histories at all. Its personal loans are available for $1,000 to $50,000, with rates ranging from 5.6% to 35.99% APR. Applicants can also check their rates with no effect on their credit.

Minimum loan amounts may be different depending on where you live, however. According to Upstart, these states have higher minimums: Georgia ($3,100), Hawaii ($2,100), Massachusetts ($7,000), New Mexico ($5,100) and Ohio ($6,000).

While starting rates from this lender are lower than what many competitors offer, it's worth noting that its best rates are for consumers with good or excellent credit. Also, an origination fee of up to 10% of the loan amount can apply. Late fees equal 5% of the past due amount or $15, whichever is greater, and other fees may apply, including an unsuccessful payment fee. Additionally, loan terms are limited to either 36 or 60 months.

Read our Upstart profile for more information on this lender and its personal loans.

  • Accepts applicants with minimal credit histories
  • Its lowest interest rates are better than many other lenders’ minimums
  • Borrowers can check their rates without hurting their credit
  • Funding can take as little as one business day
  • Origination fee can be as high as 10% of the loan amount
  • Bad credit borrowers face high interest rates (up to 35.99% APR)
  • Only two repayment terms offered — 36 or 60 months
At the time of publishing, there aren’t enough reader reviews for Upstart on ConsumerAffairs for us to draw a fair conclusion.

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How to get a loan with bad credit

Applying for a loan when you have bad credit may seem stressful and overwhelming, but the lenders that made our ranking have taken steps to make the application process simple. For example, every lender in our top picks gives you the option to check your rate before you apply. This typically requires you to submit basic information such as your name, address, income, employment details, and full or partial Social Security number (SSN).

From there, you can see what your rate will be if you apply and possibly look over available repayment terms and monthly payment options. Checking your rate with these companies will not result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, so you can take this step without affecting your credit score as you search for the best loan.

If you decide to move forward with a loan application, you'll have to submit a full application where you may be asked to provide other documentation. You will likely need to supply a government-issued ID, and you may also need to submit pay stubs or other proof of income as well as proof of your address.

If you're approved for a personal loan, you'll typically receive funding within a few business days, depending on the lender.

Frequently asked questions

What is a bad credit score?

The range of credit scores considered “bad” depends on the credit scoring model you're using.

According to FICO, a “poor” credit score is any score below 580. However, a “poor” VantageScore falls between 500 and 600, and a “very poor” VantageScore is between 300 and 499.

Can I get a personal loan if I have bad credit?

Personal loans are available for people with bad credit, although they are often much more expensive over the long run. For example, bad credit loans can come with origination fees as high as 10% and interest rates well over 30%.

What are the types of bad credit loans?

Most bad credit loans are installment loans, which means they require you to make recurring (usually monthly) payments and have a set repayment term that will not change. However, you can also find lines of credit for borrowers with bad credit, as well as credit cards for bad credit.

Are there small loans for bad credit?

You can find loans for $1,000 or less even if you have bad credit. These loans can be useful for paying off unexpected bills or other expenses.

Can I get a loan if I have bad credit and low income?

You can likely get a loan if you have bad credit and low income, although your choices will be limited. Having a co-signer or co-borrower may increase your odds of getting approved, especially for purchases like cars, so you might want to consider using a lender that allows for that option.

If you have bad credit and want to buy a home, it may be possible. There are programs available to consider, and there are lenders that are willing to work potential home buyers who have poor credit.

Methodology

To make our choices for the top bad credit loans, we collected 26 individual data points for 31 popular personal loan lenders, including over 10,000 customer reviews and overall ratings from ConsumerAffairs readers submitted between 2020 and 2022. We then used this data to examine the factors that have the most impact on borrowers.

Since customer feedback is a critical indicator when evaluating companies, these were an important criteria when selecting our top picks. However, for those companies on our list with no ratings from ConsumerAffairs, there were other variables that made them stand out for borrowers with bad credit, which factored into our decisions.

  • Minimum credit score: We considered any lender that offers loans to borrowers with a credit score of 580 or below.
  • Loan ranges: We gave higher consideration to lenders offering a wide loan amount range and lower loan minimums ($2,000 or below).
  • APR: We looked for lenders that have maximum APRs below 36%.
  • Flexible repayment terms: We examined payment term ranges and noted which lenders offer repayment terms of at least 36 months (three years) or higher.
  • Time to funding: We reviewed how quickly borrowers could receive their funds and considered those lenders with funding times of two days or less.
  • Fees: We considered lenders that offer low origination fees, low or no late fees and no prepayment penalty.

All of our top picks offer loans to borrowers with credit scores in the “poor” range, have maximum APRs below 36%, offer a range of loan amounts and repayment terms, and fund loans within one day following approval.

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:

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