Installment loans for bad credit
Need a loan but have bad credit? Find out if you’re eligible for an installment loan that gives you time to pay back what you owe.
Securing a loan from a traditional lender, like a bank or a credit union, can be challenging if you have a bad credit score, however there are other options available to you. Some lenders specialize in providing installment loans to people who have poor credit histories. Rather than looking at your credit background, these loan providers tend to look at your ability to repay your loan.
When you receive an installment loan, you’ll repay your borrowed funds over a specified period of time, usually 6 months. Traditional payday loans generally allow you to borrow money for 2 weeks to 1 month. So, if you need more time to pay your loan back, you may want to consider an installment loan.
What's in this guide?
- Compare installment loans
- Will lenders approve me for an installment loan if I have bad credit?
- How does an installment loan work?
- Some of the features that come with installment loans
- Benefits and drawbacks of installment loans
- What to watch out for with installment loans
- Are payday loans available in my province or territory?
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions?
Compare installment loans
Will lenders approve me for an installment loan if I have bad credit?
While the most important eligibility requirement for most loans is a good credit score, not every lender will have this as a requirement. Even if you have struggled with money issues in the past, there are lenders who might approve you for a loan despite your poor credit score.
Lenders that offer loans to those with poor credit typically care more about your ability to repay your loan. If you have a steady income and a bank account, a bad credit installment loan lender will generally approve you for a loan. Traditional lenders like banks, credit card companies and credit unions will be less likely to offer loans to those with bad credit.
Before you apply for a bad credit installment loan, make sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements listed on the lenders page. You’ll likely need to meet the following basic requirements:
- Be 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid bank account
- Have proof of a steady income
Even if you meet the basic criteria, there is no guarantee that you’ll be approved for the loan.
- Only apply to loans that you’re eligible for, since every time you apply for a loan your credit score takes a small negative hit of 5 points or so.
- Furthermore, only apply for as much money as you need. Don’t apply for more money than you can pay back, or else you may find yourself in a spiral of debt.
How does an installment loan work?
Most bad credit installment loans work in the same way. After checking that you meet the eligibility requirements, you start the process by submitting your application. In most cases, you can find out if you’ve been approved within just minutes. Following approval, you’ll receive your loan within the hour if you apply in person or as soon as the next business day if you apply online.
Rather than repaying the loan in one lump sum on your next payday, the payments are spread out over a period of a few months. The amount you can borrow will depend on a few factors, including any provincial or territorial laws and your ability to repay your loan. If you default on a payment, you may be charged late fees.
If your loan goes into collection due to multiple missed payments, your credit might be negatively affected. As with any short term loan, you must be certain that you can repay both the principal and accrued interest before signing the loan contract.
Some of the features that come with installment loans
If you’re considering applying for an installment loan with a direct lender or with a loan-matching service, here are some features that might interest you:
- Varied loan amount. The maximum amount of money that you can borrow will depend on your income, your existing financial situation and any local regulations in place. You can borrow more with an installment loan than you can with a payday loan. Some lenders may require that you work up a tiered application system before you can borrow the maximum amount.
- Varied loan terms. Depending on where you live, loan terms will likely vary between 6 and 24 months. The longer the repayment term, the more you’ll end up paying in interest and fees.
- Varied processing times. Some lenders take longer than others to process your application and make your funds available. If you need money quickly, opt for a lender who can get your funds to you as soon as possible.
- Varied fees and charges. Regulations in different provinces and territories govern how much lenders can charge in interest and fees. Keep in mind that some lenders charge lower interest and fees compared to others, so shop around.
Benefits and drawbacks of installment loans
- Choose from multiple lenders. There are plenty of different lenders in the loan space. Compare your options online and find the right lender and installment loan for you.
- Take time to repay the loan. You don’t have to worry about repaying your loan by your next payday as you do with short term loans. Repay your loan in installments as per the repayment plan set out in your loan contract. Keep in mind that the longer you take to repay your loan, the more interest your loan will accrue.
- Bad credit is OK. Lenders don’t rely solely on your credit score when it comes to approving your application. As long as you can demonstrate your ability to repay whatever you wish to borrow, you’re able to apply for an installment loan.
- Get money quickly. If you apply in person at a store, you can get your money soon after your application is approved. When applying online, your loan will be transferred directly into your bank account as soon as the next business day. Keep in mind that not all lenders will be able to get your loan to you quickly.
- High interest. Installment loans typically have higher interest rates than some other types of loans. Furthermore, lenders will typically charge higher rates than traditional lenders like banks.
- More long-term budgeting is required. You’ll need to budget carefully to ensure you can repay your loan in the coming months. You’ll also need to account for any unexpected expenses that may come up while you’re repaying your loan. Budget carefully and leave yourself some room to make your repayments.
- Disreputable lenders. There are many disreputable lenders operating online who prey on people with bad credit, so make sure you evaluate the lender before you apply. Read customer reviews and check to make sure the company is legitimate.
- Direct debit repayments. Many lenders will direct debit the loan repayments from your account. While this can be a positive since you don’t have to worry about remembering to make your repayments, it can prove a costly option if your account becomes overdrawn by your lender automatically withdrawing owed funds.
What to watch out for with installment loans
If you have a bad credit score and need a loan, an installment loan can be a good idea if you have a repayment plan in place and have a steady income that will help you make your repayments on time.
- If you think you may have trouble making your repayments or that the repayments might put a strain on your budget, you should reconsider applying for an installment loan. If you fail to make your repayments on time, you may have to pay additional fees and it can negatively affect your credit score if the lender reports your missing payments to the credit bureau.
- Before you accept a loan contract, read through the terms and conditions carefully so that you have a clear idea of how much money you may have to pay in fees and charges.
Are payday loans available in my province or territory?
Payday loans are available in all provinces and territories across Canada. You should be aware that payday loans are regulated by individual provinces, which means costs and fees can vary. Ensure that any lender you choose abides by the laws of the place you live.
At the time of writing in January 2019, the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have legislation regulating payday loans at the territorial level. Payday loans are regulated in the territories at the federal level only.
Even if you have a bad credit score, you still have a few different options in terms of borrowing money.
An installment loan gives you the ability to repay your loan over time, instead of paying it on your next payday.
While you will need to create a strict budget in order to make your repayments on time, installment loans give you much more time to pay off what you owe compared with other short term loan options, meaning you will be less likely to default on your repayments than with a payday loan.