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Best personal loans for bad credit

A select few providers accept credit scores below 580, but watch out for high interest rates.

Editor's choice: Monevo personal loans

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  • Quick online decision
  • Award-winning service
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The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on Americans’ finances. If you lost your job and are considering taking out a personal loan to cover bills, you might have a difficult time qualifying. Read our financial guide to COVID-19 to explore other options available to you.

You can still get a personal loan with bad credit — a credit score between 300 and 579, according to FICO. But the few options available to people with bad credit come with high interest rates and short loan terms. If you can wait, take steps to improve your credit before you borrow, like paying down debt or signing up for credit counseling.

We reviewed more than 260 lenders before selecting these best lenders. We paid special attention to interest rates, fees, customer reviews and reporting to credit bureaus, which can increase your credit score.

In 2021, we also added two installment loan providers. These offer more options to people with the lowest credit scores. But they often charge higher interest rates than many states legally allow on a personal loan.

7 best personal loan providers for bad credit

Best personal loans for bad credit

If you want to skip the middleman and apply directly with a lender, these are our top picks when you have less-than-perfect credit.

OneMain Financial personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 3.4 / 5

★★★★★

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at OneMain Financial personal loans’s secure site

Best for bad credit overall: OneMain Financial personal loans

300
Min. Credit Score
18%
Starting APR
$20,000
Max Loan Amount

OneMain is a direct lender that specializes in personal loans for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, offering the opportunity to back your loan with collateral to get lower rates. While you can get started online, you have to complete your application at a branch. This might take more time, but it gives you the chance to get real-time answers to your questions and find the best terms for your budget. If you change your mind after seven days, you can also return your loan at no cost.

  • Turnaround as soon as the same day
  • Secured and unsecured options
  • No minimum credit score
  • Origination fee on all loans
  • APRs start at a high 18%
  • High late fee of $5 to $30 or 1.5% to 15%
Loan Amount $1,500 – $20,000
APR 18% to 35.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Min term 24 months
Max term 60 months
Turnaround Time As soon as the same day
Disclaimer
* OneMain Disclosures:
Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Stilt personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

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at Stilt personal loans’s secure site

Best for people with bad credit but otherwise strong finances: Stilt personal loans

Not required
Min. Credit Score
7.99%
Starting APR
$25,000
Max Loan Amount

Stilt specializes in loans for nonresidents who haven’t had time to build their credit. But it can also be a great option for citizens who have bad credit due to a one-time event, like a divorce or unpaid medical bill. Instead of looking at your credit score, Stilt considers other aspects of your personal finances, such as your spending habits, education and work experience. But it’s only available in 11 states and is a relatively new company with a limited track record.

  • Specializes in funding nonresidents
  • No credit score required
  • APRs are capped at 15.99%
  • No loans over $25,000
  • Only available in 16 states
  • No loan terms over 3 years
Loan Amount $1,000 – $25,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min term 6 months
Max term 36 months
Turnaround Time 2 to 3 business days

Best installment loans for bad credit

Best for credit scores under 550: OppLoans Installment Loans

$500 – $5,000
Loan amount
1 business day
Turnaround time
Yes
Online application

This highly rated installment loan provider offers relatively low rates compared to other providers that accept borrowers with credit scores in the lower end of the bad credit range. Where many similar lenders charge rates over 300% APR, OppLoans doesn’t go higher than 199%. It also reports repayments to the three major credit bureaus to help improve your score. But it’s still expensive compared to a personal loan and should be saved for emergencies.

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Available in most states
  • Lower rates than other installment loan providers
  • Minimum income as high as $3,600 in some states
  • Requires bank account at least 90 days old
  • Must be paid with direct deposit to qualify
Product Name OppLoans Installment Loans
Min. Amount $500
Max. Amount $5,000
Loan Term 9 to 24 months
Loan Security Secured
Turnaround Time 1 business day
Costs 59% to 160% APR, varies by state
Requirements Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state

Best for repeat borrowers: Lift Credit Installment Loans

$100 – $2,500
Loan amount
Soon as the same day
Turnaround time
Yes
Online application

Lift Credit’s rates are higher than OppLoans — at least the first time around. But if you take out a second loan with this provider, you see a rate reduction as high as 100 points. It also offers free educational resources to help you get your finances back on track and has a cashback program in Idaho or Utah if you refer a friend. If Lift Credit seems like a good option for you, also look into credit counseling to help you get your finances back on track. Taking out multiple high-interest loans can trap you in a cycle of debt and lower your credit score even more.

  • Rate discount for repeat borrowers
  • Cash back for referring a friend
  • Online resources to help improve finances
  • APRs as high as 450%
  • Only available in Utah, Idaho and Wisconsin
  • Requires monthly income of $1,300 after taxes
Product Name Lift Credit Installment Loans
Min. Amount $100
Max. Amount $2,500
Loan Term 3 months to 1 year
Loan Security Unsecured
Turnaround Time 1 business day
Costs 99% to 450% APR
Requirements Ages 18+, resident of Utah, Idaho or Wisconsin, $1,300+ monthly income, employed 3+ months at current job, no bankruptcies

Best connection services for bad credit

Want to compare rates first? Then you might want to start with a connection service before applying with a direct lender.

Monevo personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate

at Monevo personal loans’s secure site

Best for borrowers with scores under 500: Monevo personal loans

None
Min. Credit Score
3.49%
Starting APR
$100,000
Max Loan Amount

Monevo is a loan connection service that can help you compare offers from over 30 lenders by filling out a quick online form. Its network of lenders offer one of the widest range of loan amounts and lowest rates for borrowers with a credit score of 500. While you likely won’t get anything near the starting APR with bad credit, it could help you find one of the more competitive deals out there for where you’re at financially.

  • Terms up to 12 years
  • No minimum credit requirement
  • Loans as low as $500
  • Potentially long turnaround with some partners
  • Terms as short as three months
Loan Amount $500 – $100,000
APR 3.49% to 35.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min term 3 months
Max term 144 months
Turnaround Time Varies by lender
LoanStart.com personal loans logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Check my rate

at LoanStart.com personal loans’s secure site

Best for long loan terms: LoanStart.com personal loans

Varies by lender
Min. Credit Score
4.84%
Starting APR
$40,000
Max Loan Amount

If you’re on the hunt for a long loan term, LoanStart may be able to help. Its lenders offer terms up to seven years and accept borrowers with bad credit. You’ll still need to meet some credit requirements, however. Recent bankruptcies, late payments and overdue accounts may impact your ability to qualify with one of LoanStart’s partner lenders. And with bad credit, you won’t be eligible for the low starting APR of 4.84%

  • Terms as long as seven years
  • No hard credit requirements
  • Offers personal and installment loans
  • Lack of information on website
  • Loans max out at $40,000
  • Potential high-rate and short-term loans
Loan Amount $1,000 – $40,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Max term 84 months
Turnaround Time Varies

Best for customer satisfaction: Lendvious personal loans

550
Min. Credit Score
5.99%
Starting APR
$100,000
Max Loan Amount

Lendvious is one of the few connection services out there with reviews — and the vast majority are positive. And while you may need to provide more information than other connection services, it will help you find a lender that best matches your finances. Best of all, its network of lenders accept cosigners. So even if you have bad credit, you may be able to score a lower rate if you have a friend or family member willing to help.

  • Accepts coapplicants
  • Loans offered in amounts up to $100,000
  • Few hard requirements
  • No customer service line
  • Not a direct lender
  • Potential high-rates
Loan Amount $1,000 – $100,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 550
Min term 24 months
Max term 60 months

Bad credit loan rates

The average rate for a bad credit loan is over 100% APR, according to a report from online connection service Lending Tree. People with credit scores between 560 and 579 received an average rate of around 102% APR in 2021. People with credit scores below 560 received an average interest rate of around 156% APR during that same period.

These numbers are high because they also include interest rates from payday and installment loan providers. If you apply for a personal loan, you won't pay more than 36% APR in most states. And if you improve your credit before you apply, you could qualify for a lower rate.

How to choose the best personal loan

Follow these tips to find a loan with the lowest rate and most favorable terms you're eligible for.

  • Make sure you meet eligibility requirements before applying. Most lenders advertise minimum requirements for credit score and income. Some might not serve every state.
  • Check that the lender offers the loan amount you need. If a lender's funding range is too low or too high for your needs, look somewhere else.
  • Prequalify with your top choices to find out what rates you might get. Most bad creidt borrowers qualify for rates on the higher end
  • Look at the lender's turnaround time to make sure you have a chance of getting your money when you need it.
  • Read customer reviews to look out for red flags and gauge your customer service experience is to read reviews from former borrowers. Just take them with a grain of salt — people tend to only write reviews in extreme situations.

Personal loan alternatives

If you have bad credit, you might want to consider options besides personal loans, since many personal loan providers are off the table. These include:

  • Pay advance apps offer hourly workers an advance on the salary they've already earned through apps like Earnin — typically up to $500 per pay period for a tip or monthly fee.
  • Paycheck advances may be available through some employers as a company benefit, typically without a credit check and at the same cost for everyone.
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs) allow you to use your home as collateral for a loan, making it easier to qualify with poor credit.
  • Payday alternative loans (PALs) are low-cost credit union loans from $200 to $1,000 with APRs capped at 28%.

How to improve your credit score

6 tips to qualify for a personal loan with a low credit score.

Got some time? Consider taking steps to improve your credit score before you apply to qualify for lower rates, higher amounts and an all-around better deal:

  • Check your credit report for mistakes that could be negatively affecting your credit, and contact the creditor if you see anything off.
  • Stay on top of your bills and reach out to your creditors if you think you might be late on a payment. The most important factor in your credit score is your history of on-time repayments.
  • Pay off debts can increase your credit score and make it easier to qualify for a loan when you apply. Focus on paying off higher-interest debts to save the most on interest.
  • Keep your credit cards open even after you pay off your credit card debt. The more access to unused credit you have, the lower your credit utilization ratio — which also plays into your credit score.
  • Consider a credit-builder loan if your credit history is too thin. These can add a history of positive repayments to your credit report — often while helping you build an emergency fund.

Summary of best lending companies for bad credit

18% to 35.99%

Bad credit overall

No credit score minimum and the option to back your loan with collateral for a lower rate.

Starting at 7.99%

People with bad credit but otherwise strong finances

A program that looks at factors like spending habits instead of credit history.

Starting at 59%

Credit scores under 550

No bank account required — even with bad credit.

Starting at 99%

Repeat borrowers

Overwhelmingly positive customer reviews and the option to apply with a cosigner.

3.49% to 35.99%

Credit scores under 500

No credit score minimum and a sizable network of 30 partner lenders.

Starting at 4.84%

Long loan terms

Partners that offer terms as long as seven years.

Starting at 5.99%

Customer satisfaction

Overwhelmingly positive customer reviews and the option to apply with a cosigner.

Bottom line

If you have bad credit, you might only be eligible to apply with a handful of personal loan providers. But you aren't totally out of options. Connection services can be particularly useful because they allow you to compare rates and terms you might qualify for with multiple lenders at once.

You can compare more options for all credit types by reading our guide to personal loans.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to common questions about getting a loan with bad credit.

Can I qualify for a personal loan with bad credit?

You might qualify for a personal loan with bad credit if other aspects of your personal finances are in good shape, like having at least $1,000 in free cashflow each month. Some providers that specialize in bad credit borrowers only require you to show you can afford tp repay the loan and skip the credit check.

However, you might want to avoid these lenders. They tend to charge higher rates and fees than bad credit providers that check your credit.

What's the easiest loan to get with bad credit?

The easiest loan to get with bad credit is an installment loan, which you can often find with payday loan providers. However, these are some of the most expensive types of financing out there and can come with interest rates well over 300%. Consider a personal loan provider instead if that's an option. These lenders cap rates at 36% and a few work with all credit types.

What's the minimum credit score needed for a personal loan?

It depends on the lender, but generally you won't have many options if your credit score is below 500.

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