7 Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

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  1. Best for Quicker Approval

    LendingPoint

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      Recommended 580

    • Loan Amounts:

      $2,000 to $36,500

    Get Started

  2. Best for Co-Borrowers

    Lending Club

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      Recommended 630

    • Loan Amounts:

      $1,000 to $40,000

    Get Started

  3. Best for Shorter Credit Histories

    Upgrade

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      Recommended 560

    • Loan Amounts:

      $1,000 to $50,000

    Get Started

  4. Best for Flexibility with Repayment Terms

    OneMain Financial

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      No requirement

    • Loan Amounts:

      $1,500 to $20,000

    Get Started

  5. Best for the Armed Forces

    Navy Federal Credit Union

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      No requirement

    • Loan Amounts:

      $500 to $50,000

    Get Started

  6. Best for Same-Day Funding

    Rocket Loans

    Our Partner

    • Minimum Credit Score:

      Recommended 580

    • Loan Amounts:

      $2,000 to $45,000

    Get Started

A personal loan can be used for everything from consolidating debt, financing home improvements, or emergency expenses. While having bad credit (a score of 600 or below) doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a personal loan if you need one, many lenders do require good to excellent credit scores. You just need to find lenders who look beyond your credit score to determine eligibility.

The lenders we list below offer online personal loans for bad credit with a wide range of loan terms. Be warned that if you’re looking for a loans without a credit check, you won’t find that on this list. Even bad credit lenders typically perform a credit check.

However, depending on how low your score is and how much you need to borrow, the following bad credit lenders might enable you to secure the funds you need. They offer fair annual percentage rates and flexible terms that you don’t always find with poor credit online lenders.

Our Top Picks of the Best Loans for Bad Credit

  • Navy Federal Credit Union — Best for the Armed Forces

  • Rocket Loans — Best for same-day funding

  • Lending Club — Best for co-borrowers

  • Happy Money — Best for fewer borrowing fees

  • Upgrade — Best for shorter credit histories

  • LendingPoint — Best for quicker approval

  • OneMain Financial — Best for flexibility with repayment terms

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit Reviews

The following lenders were evaluated on APR, loan amounts, minimum credit requirements and customer service. Start with these picks if you’re wondering where to apply for loans with bad credit.

Why we chose it: Active and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces with less than good credit aren’t likely to find a better personal loan than they can get from Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU). It has no minimum credit score requirements and provides a few ways to get discounted APRs.

Pros

  • Has loan ranges to fit most lending needs

  • Allows a co-applicant

  • No origination fee

Cons

  • Is only available to NFCU members

  • No pre-qualification option available

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
36 to 60 months
Loan Amounts
$500 to $50,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
No credit score requirement

Personal loans from NFCU are only available to credit union members. To become a member, you must have a connection to the U.S. Armed Forces, the Department of Defense or the National Guard. However, members can get generous APRs and repayment terms of 36 to 60 months.

Navy Federal Credit Union is one of the few lenders to offer small personal loans for bad credit. You can borrow as little as $500, or you may qualify for as much as $50,000 without paying a loan origination fee.

NFCU allows for co-applicants if your credit score is very low or you want to try for a better rate with a co-applicant. If you have an NFCU savings account or a certificate, you may get a personal secured loan against your account for a lower interest rate than an NFCU unsecured personal loan.

For the most part, NFCU gets positive reviews on its in-branch customer service. Some members attempting to reach customer service over the phone have reported long call wait times, but most members report a positive customer service experience.

Why we chose it: Rocket Loan borrowers who sign loan documents before 1 p.m. EST Monday through Friday often receive same-day funding and may be a good option for people who need an emergency loan.

Pros

  • Offers an auto-pay discount

  • Has lower late fee than other lenders

Cons

  • Doesn't lend less than $2,000

  • Doesn't allow co-signers or co-borrowers

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
36 or 60 months
Loan Amounts
$2,000 to $45,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
580

Most personal loan lenders have relatively quick lending times, but few are as fast as Rocket Loans. If you have an emergency requiring quick access to personal loan proceeds, Rocket Loans might be a good option. If the lender does not need additional information to complete your application and you sign your loan documents before 1 p.m. EST on a weekday, you can usually have your funds later that same day.

Rocket Loans doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score requirement. However, it does state that it considers your FICO score along with your monthly income, debt-to-income ratio and other factors to determine eligibility. It’s recommended you have at least a 580 credit score. If you’re not sure you’ll qualify, you can prequalify with Rocket Loans in just a few seconds.

Rocket Loan’s repayment terms aren’t as flexible as other lenders, as there are only two repayment options: 36 or 60 months. Additionally, some borrowers may have up to a 7% loan origination.

Rocket Loans customers consistently give great reviews to Rocket’s quick and simple loan process and helpful customer service.

Why we chose it: Many bad credit personal loan lenders don’t allow co-borrowers, but LendingClub will consider two borrowers’ incomes and credit scores to improve the chance of approval and get a better APR.

Pros

  • Provides direct payment of loan proceeds to creditors

  • Allows borrower to change the payment-due debt

Cons

  • Has higher maximum APR than some lenders

  • May require a slightly higher credit score than some lenders

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
24 to 60 months
Loan Amounts
$1,000 to $40,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
630

LendingClub may have slightly higher credit score requirements than some lenders, but applying with a co-borrower can help you qualify and get a better interest rate than solo borrowing. LendingClub doesn’t publish its minimum credit score requirement, but an article in its resource center recommends that applicants who have been denied a personal loan bring their credit score above 630 to improve their chance of qualifying.

LendingClub has loan repayment terms from 24 to 60 months, and loan origination fees range from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. According to LendingClub, one-third of borrowers get funded within 24 hours after loan approval. Customer reviews reflect a positive customer service experience; many customers claim to have borrowed more than once with LendingClub.

Why we chose it: Many Happy Loan borrowers have a loan origination fee of 5% or less, with some having a 0% fee — and no one pays an application fee with Happy Money.

Pros

  • Has no late fees

  • Has one of the lowest minimum APRs of the featured lenders

Cons

  • Has a high minimum loan amount

  • Does not offer co-signed or joint loans

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
24 to 60 months
Loan Amounts
$5,000 to $40,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
640

If you’re looking to borrow with as few fees as possible, you’ll find Happy Money’s list of “no fees” appealing. According to the site, it has no late fees, returned check fees, annual fees, application fees, prepayment penalties or check processing fees. Some borrowers may have a loan origination fee, but Happy Money’s maximum 5% origination fee is lower than many other bad credit lenders.

Happy Money does not offer small loans for bad credit. The minimum loan amount is $5,000, which may be much more than you need. Repayment options are between two and five years, but with Happy Money, you, of course, won’t pay any prepayment fees.

You might only need a credit score of 640 for a Happy Money loan, but you’ll be ineligible if you have any delinquencies on your credit report. You can prequalify before applying.

One notable complaint from some borrowers is the inability to pay more than the monthly minimum payment using the Happy Money app. However, Happy Money reviews show a pattern of satisfaction with its customer service.

Why we chose it: Having a short credit history can make it just as challenging to get approved for a personal loan as having bad credit, but Upgrade seems more willing than other lenders to lend to new credit borrowers.

Pros

  • Has a low minimum loan amount

  • Provides many ways to receive APR discounts

Cons

  • Has higher maximum APR than some other lenders

  • Could have an origination fee as high as 8%

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
24 to 48 months
Loan Amounts
$1,000 to $50,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
560

Upgrade doesn’t publish minimum credit score requirements, but it does offer prequalification, and reportedly lends to those with a credit history as short as two years.

This lending platform provides many loan options for getting a reduced APR, offsetting what can otherwise reach high rates. These options include using auto-pay and debt consolidation loan borrowers allowing Upgrade to pay third-party creditors directly.

Upgrade offers loans from $1,000 to $50,000 in every state except Iowa, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. There are no prepayment penalties, though this lender does charge origination fees.

While Upgrade does receive some negative remarks regarding some of its other product offerings, it typically gets excellent feedback regarding its customer service.

Why we chose it: Many personal loan lenders provide fast approvals, but LendingPoint can give most lenders an answer within seconds of submitting the initial application.

Pros

  • Allows the refinance of personal loans

  • Lowers APR for some after six months of on-time payments

Cons

  • Requires a minimum annual income of $35,000

  • Has origination fees up to 7%

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
24 to 72 months
Loan Amounts
$2,000 to $36,500
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
580

LendingPoint claims it can offer approvals within seconds of applying, so there’s no waiting around for an email to find out if you qualified. Loan processing and finalization will take a bit longer, but you could have funds the same day or within one business day after approval.

According to LendingPoint, they “believe you are more than your credit score” and look at other factors beyond your score to determine creditworthiness, such as your income and employment history.

If you do have a low credit score, you aren’t likely to qualify for LendingPoint’s best rates, however. Origination fees range from 0% to 7%. The lender doesn’t guarantee reporting to all three credit bureaus.

Customers report top-notch customer service even when receiving calls from LendingPoint regarding overdue and late payments. Loans aren’t available in Nevada or West Virginia.

Why we chose it: OneMain Financial makes it easy for borrowers to choose a repayment schedule that works for their budgets, offering 24, 36, 48 and 60-month repayment options.

Pros

  • Allows co-applicant

  • Has no minimum credit score requirement

Cons

  • Has high minimum APR

  • Requires high origination fees from some borrowers

HIGHLIGHTS

Repayment Period
24, 36, 48 or 60 months
Loan Amounts
$1,500 to $20,000
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
No requirement

OneMain Financial offers a lot of flexibility in repayment options — via mail, app, or phone, in participating retailers, or with autopay — but less in your choice of loan amounts. The maximum that qualifying borrowers can be approved for is $20,000, which is a bit on the lower end for the industry.

OneMain Financial doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement and may lend to those who can’t approval from other lenders. However, it does have high minimum APRs, so you might get a better rate from another lender if your score and income aren’t too low. Depending on the state in which you live, you may have a flat-rate origination fee of $25 to $500 or a percentage-based origination fee of 1% to 10%.

Whether receiving customer service by phone or in person at a OneMain Financial branch, most customers report a positive customer service experience.

Other Companies That We Considered

We researched many lenders to find the best personal loans for people with bad credit. The following lenders didn’t stand out in any of our selected categories.

TD Bank

TD Bank has attractive APRs, and loan amounts from $2,000 to $50,000. It seems like a good option with no origination or application fees and no prepayment penalty. However, TD Bank loans are only available to borrowers in a limited number of states.

Pros

  • Very good APRs

  • No origination fee

Cons

  • Only available in a limited number of states

Universal Credit

Universal Credit may lend to those with a credit score as low as 560. The best rates require auto-pay and using the loan proceeds to pay off creditors directly.

Pros

  • Offers several APR discounts

  • Offers loans as low as $1,000

Cons

  • Charges a 5.25% to 8% origination fee

  • Requires auto-pay for the lowest rates

Prosper

Prosper is one of a few providers of loans for bad credit online that allows co-applicants, but the co-applicant may need a credit score of 600 or better. Prosper borrowers will pay a loan origination fee of 1% to 5%.

Pros

  • Low minimum APR

  • Allows co-applicants

Cons

  • Charges origination fee on all loans

Personal Loans for Bad Credit Guide

If you’re unsure how personal loans work or whether online loans are available to you, this quick guide can help.

What are personal loans?

A personal loan is a type of loan offered by many financial institutions and online lenders, allowing qualified borrowers to obtain funds, usually at a fixed rate, and pay these back in monthly installments. Most lenders don’t put limits to what you can use the loan for, so the personal loan proceeds can be put towards almost any purpose, including debt consolidation, home improvements, and emergency expenses.

How do personal loans work?

When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will typically allow you to choose some of the loan terms. Most lenders have a minimum and maximum amount they will lend, and you can choose any amount up to the maximum amount you qualify for. You can typically also choose a repayment period, often 24 to 60 months.

You’re responsible for making your fixed monthly payments over the life of the loan. Most lenders allow you to prepay the loan, though some may have a prepayment penalty, so you should carefully read the terms before accepting any personal loan offer.

All lenders charge an APR, or annual percentage rate, which is the yearly interest charged on loans. Ideally, you’d look for a low APR, since that will be the less expensive option.

Some lenders charge a loan origination fee, which is a fee to cover the costs of processing the loan. The origination fee is deducted from your loan proceeds, which means you’ll receive less than your approved loan amount.

Types of loans

There are a few different types of personal loans to consider when borrowing, especially if you have poor credit. Not all of these options are easy loans to get for borrowers with a low credit score. Depending on how bad your credit is, all or none of these options might be available to you.

Unsecured loans

An unsecured personal loan doesn’t require you to use any collateral to secure it. Lenders often have stricter loan requirements for unsecured loans and often charge higher interest rates since they assume more risk. If you default on the loan, the lender doesn’t have collateral to help recoup the loss.

Secured loans

A secured loan is backed by an asset you put up as collateral. Quite often, with personal loans, the asset is a car or a deposit account that the lender can legally take if you default. Secured loans are often easier to get for those with poor credit or a low income and may have a better interest rate than an unsecured loan.

Payday loans

Whereas personal loan repayment terms are typically 24 months to 60 months or longer, payday loans are a form of short-term borrowing. A pay stub is often required to get a payday loan and the amount you can borrow is based on your income. Payday loans are often one of the most expensive ways to borrow money, with many having excessive fees and extremely high APRs.

Installment loans

An installment loan lender disperses the loan proceeds to you in one lump sum, and the loan is repaid over a period defined in the loan agreement. You pay the same fixed amount monthly until the loan is repaid. Part of each monthly payment goes to loan interest and the remainder toward the loan principal. Installment loans usually have a fixed interest rate.

Cosigned loans

Some lenders are willing to approve a loan to someone with bad credit if they have another person with better credit or more income who can cosign the loan. The cosigner has a legal obligation to repay the loan if the primary borrower defaults. Many personal loan lenders don’t allow cosigners, but those that do usually give a better interest rate on a cosigned loan than one to a single borrower with bad credit.

What to look at in personal loans

Before worrying about how to get a personal loan, you need to choose a lender. You want do more research than just performing an online search for “personal loans for bad credit near me.” Several factors should be considered before choosing a lender and accepting an offer.

Loan terms

The loan term, or APR, will vary by lender and is based on your creditworthiness. While creditworthiness considers more than your credit score, usually, the lower your credit score, the higher the APR you’ll get when you borrow. The higher the APR, the more you’ll pay in interest over the life of the loan. Pay close attention to the APR when comparing lenders since it can make a big difference in the cost of borrowing.

Minimum credit score requirement

Very few bad credit lenders don’t have a minimum credit score requirement. Most won’t lend to someone with a credit score below 580; some may require a score of at least 640. However, many lenders allow you to prequalify so you can determine which options might be available to you without further damage to your credit score.

Repayment periods

Repayment periods vary by lender, but many allow you to choose a repayment period that will result in a monthly payment that best meets your budget. The shorter the repayment period, the higher your monthly payment will be. However, some lenders increase the interest rate as the repayment period increases. That means you may get a better APR and pay less interest if you choose a shorter repayment period, but your monthly payment will be higher.

Customer service

Customer service shouldn’t be one of the primary factors when choosing a lender, but it should be considered. You want to know that if you have a problem with your loan, you don’t have to spend hours or days trying to get in touch with someone who can assist you.

Reputable lenders

Most financial experts and consumer advocacy groups agree that most lenders that charge APRs greater than 36% are predatory and should be avoided. Reputable lenders do not typically charge more than a 36% APR and are transparent with loan terms, repayment periods and associated fees when approving a loan. When searching for legit personal loans for bad credit, steer clear of lenders who charge high APRs and excessive fees or are sketchy about loan details you need to make an informed borrowing decision.

Minimum and maximum loan amounts

Most lenders have a minimum and maximum amount they will lend, but you may not qualify for the maximum loan amount. Most lenders have minimum loan amounts of $1,000 or $2,000, which might be more than you need.

How to get started with the borrowing process

Before you apply for a personal loan, it can help to know how to apply for loans with bad credit and the documentation you may need to have on hand.

1. Know your credit score

Knowing your credit score before applying will help you narrow your lender options. Some lenders allow you to prequalify with a soft inquiry of your credit report.

2. Research your options for bad credit lenders

Determine which lenders will most likely lend to you and note their APRs, repayment terms and applicable fees. Also note which have prequalification, APR discounts or any other factors that may help you narrow your options.

3. Determine which type of loan fits your needs

With some lenders, you’ll have a choice between an unsecured, secured, or cosigned loan. Each type has pros and cons, so carefully weigh your options before choosing.

4. Complete the online loan application process

Most lenders list the documentation you’ll need to submit during the loan application process. You may have to upload copies of a W-2 or paystub and photo ID. Make sure you complete the application accurately and provide any requested documentation, so the loan process isn’t delayed.

5. Make sure you read the terms and borrowing requirements

If your loan request is approved, the lender will provide you all of your loan details before your acceptance so you can make an informed decision. Review all terms and requirements carefully so there are no surprises or confusion after you accept. You want to review the loan amount, APR, monthly payment, repayment period, and any fees or penalties. Some lenders will provide a few offers for your review.

6. Accept the offer

If you get an offer you like, you’ll accept the offer, and the lender will finish processing your loan. Depending on the lender and your bank, you should have the loan proceeds in your account within two business days, if not sooner.

7. Make your payments on-time

The lender will notify you when your first payment is due. Set up auto-pay if available to ensure you’re always on time with payments (and remember some lenders give better APRs if you use automatic payments). If you make all of your payments on time, it can help improve your credit score so you can get a better APR the next time you borrow.

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit FAQ

How do you consolidate personal loans?

Depending on your credit and the amounts of your loans, you might have a few options for consolidating personal loans. Homeowners may be able to use a home equity loan. For small loan amounts, you can possibly use balance transfer credit cards to consolidate. Some personal loan lenders let you to consolidate multiple personal loans into one new personal loan.

What banks offer personal loans?

Most banks and credit unions offer personal loans, or you can go through one of the many online lending platforms that will match you with a personal loan lender.

How do personal loans affect your credit score?

A personal loan may initially lower your credit score depending on your current debt obligations. The loan likely will increase your debt-to-income ratio, and the hard inquiry of your credit report performed during the application process can also have a slightly negative impact. However, by making on-time payments, the loan may increase your credit score once it is paid off.

How We Chose the Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Our ranking methodology for choosing our picks for best personal loans was determined based on the following categories:

Minimum credit score requirements

We selected lenders with no minimum credit score requirements or who reportedly lend to those with a credit score considered “poor” on the FICO scale.

Loan amounts

The selected lenders offer a wide range of loan amounts to meet the needs of most borrowers.

Customer service and satisfaction

To determine customer service satisfaction, we researched customer reviews on third-party sites. We considered both positive and negative customer service reviews.

APR

Some bad credit loans come with extremely high APRs. We only considered lenders that cap their maximum APR at 36%, the maximum rate considered affordable by most financial experts and consumer advocacy groups.

Summary of Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

  • Navy Federal Credit Union — Best for the Armed Forces

  • Rocket Loans — Best for same-day funding

  • Lending Club — Best for co-borrowers

  • Happy Money — Best for fewer borrowing fees

  • Upgrade — Best for shorter credit histories

  • LendingPoint — Best for quicker approval

  • OneMain Financial — Best for flexibility with repayment terms

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