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Best personal loans for bad credit

Find the best deal for your financial situation.

Your options are limited if you have bad credit and need a personal loan. Most lenders require good to excellent credit to qualify at all — let alone get a good rate. But there are a few lenders out there that accept low-credit borrowers and can help you get your credit back on track.

How we selected top personal loans for bad credit

We reviewed several personal loan providers to come up with a list that best suits the needs of a borrower with bad credit. We included lenders with a credit requirement of 300 and up and considered factors like APR, loan amounts and terms available. We also took into account benefits that might appeal to bad-credit borrowers and lenders that offer funding based on factors other than credit.

No single personal loan will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before applying.

Top 2 direct lenders 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.

Best for larger loan amounts: Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan

300
Min. Credit Score
10%
Starting APR
$500,000
Loan Amount
The Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan offers loans in amounts of $10,000 to $500,000 using the equity in your home as collateral. Get approved in as quick as 24 hours with any credit score.
Min. Loan Amount $10,000
Max. Loan Amount $500,000
APR 10.00% - 22.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Maximum Loan Term 60 months
Pros
  • Easy application
  • Quick approval
  • Fast deposits
  • Financing for self-employed
  • Bad credit doesn’t matter
Cons
  • High interest rates
  • High fees
  • Uses your house as collateral
  • Not available in some provinces
  • No home equity lines of credit
  • No in-person service

Best for building your credit: Refresh Financial Credit Builder Loan

300
Min. Credit Score
19.99%
Starting APR
$25,000
Loan Amount
The Refresh Financial Credit Builder Loan places your funds into a secured loan account which can be accessed once you pay off the loan. The premise of this loan is to help you build your credit score.
Min. Loan Amount $1,250
Max. Loan Amount $25,000
APR 19.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Minimum Loan Term 3 years
Maximum Loan Term 5 years
Pros
  • Boost your credit score
  • Access your loan at a later date
  • Affordable monthly payments
Cons
  • Delayed funds access. You get your funds once your loan is paid off.

How to choose the best personal loan for you

Not sure which lender to go with? Here are a few pointers to help narrow down your choices:

  • Make sure you meet eligibility requirements. Before applying, check that you meet the lender’s minimum requirements for credit score and income.
  • 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.
  • Compare costs to find the most affordable option. If possible, fill out prequalification forms to find out what rates you might get, since you likely won’t get the lowest advertised rate with bad credit. Use our calculator to compare the monthly cost of different offers to find the most competitive deal.
  • Ask how fast you’ll get your money. 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. A great way 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.

Can I get a personal loan with a credit score of 550?

It’s possible to get a personal loan with a credit score of 550 or lower, but you’ll likely end up with the maximum rate the lender offers if you qualify at all. Applying with a cosigner can not only boost your chances of approval, but it can also help you score a better rate.

If you’re using a connection service, watch that you’re not connected to an installment loan provider instead of a personal loan provider. These can come with rates in the triple digits and shorter loan terms. If that’s all you can qualify for, you might want to consider improving your score before going down that road.

6 tips to get a personal loan with a low credit score

  • Check your credit report. Request a free copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus. Contact your creditor if you notice any mistakes.
  • Rebuild your credit. If you aren’t pressed for time, rebuild your credit before applying. This might include taking out a credit-builder loan.
  • Shop around. If you can’t wait to rebuild your credit, take the time to prequalify with a few lenders to fund the best offer available to you.
  • Apply with a coapplicant. Adding a family member to your application who has good credit and a high income can significantly increase your chances of approval.
  • Opt for a secured loan. Lenders may be more willing to offer you personal loan – and at lower rates – if you back it with collateral.
  • Watch out for scams. Check review sites like the Better Business Bureau to verify the lender is legit. Also read over your loan agreement carefully so you know all the costs before you sign.

Alternatives to bad-credit personal loans

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. Hourly workers can get an advance on the salary they’ve already earned through paycheque advance apps — typically up to $500 per pay period for a tip or monthly fee.
  • Installment loans. These loans usually run from $1,000 to $10,000 with no credit requirements — but rates can reach the triple digits.
  • Payday loans. You can typically borrow up to $500 for a fee of around $10 to $15 per $100 borrowed, which you repay when your next paychequ comes in. No-credit-check and no-bank-account options might be available. These are best saved as a last resort, since the high costs leave many borrowers stuck in a cycle of debt. Consider these alternative to payday loans instead.

How much will my loan cost me?

How much your loan costs depends on your loan amount, rates and terms. Bad-credit borrowers typically qualify for higher rates than other types of borrowers — and you might not be eligible for the highest loan amounts, depending on the lender.

How to improve your 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. Check for mistakes that could be negatively affecting your credit, and contact the creditor if you see anything off.
  • Stay on top of your bills. The most important factor in your credit score is your history of on-time repayments. Reach out to your lender if you think you might be late to see if they can adjust your term.
  • Pay off debts. Having a high debt load can decrease your credit score and also makes it harder to qualify for a loan when you apply. Focus on higher-interest debts to save the most on interest.
  • Keep your credit cards open. After you pay off your credit card debt, keep those cards open. 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. These low-cost small-dollar loans are designed to add a history of positive repayments to your credit report — often while helping you build an emergency fund.

Compare more personal loans for bad credit

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Credit Score Link
LoanConnect Personal Loan
Secured from 1.90%, Unsecured from 5.75%-46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 120 months
Currents debts must total less than 60% of income
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
An online broker who helps inform clients towards better finances. Get pre-approved by different lenders for unsecured or secured loans in 5 minutes with any credit score.
Spring Financial Personal Loan
17.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $15,000
9 - 48 months
Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Min. credit score: 400
Go to site
More Info
An online lender offering unsecured personal loans and credit builder loans. Those filing for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal can also apply. If you're not eligible for an unsecured loan, you may be offered a loan to help rebuild your credit.
Loans Canada Personal Loan
Secured from 2.00%, Unsecured from 8.00% to 46.96%
$300 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
An online broker with the largest lender network in Canada. Get matched for free with lenders offering both unsecured and secured loans through one quick application regardless of your financial situation.
FlexMoney Personal Loan
18.90% - 46.93%
$500 - $15,000
6 - 60 months
Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Min. credit score: 500
Go to site
More Info
An online lender offering flexible unsecured loans. Apply in less than 10 minutes and if approved, receive financing in as little as 24 hours. Pay off your loan at any time.
Mogo Mini Line of Credit
47.42%
$1,000 - $3,500
No end dates
Min. income of $13,000 /year
Min. credit score: 500
Go to site
More Info
An online lender offering a flexible line of credit up to $3,500. Apply online and get pre-approved in just 3 minutes. Non-employment income also accepted. Pay back the principal loan amount at any time.
Loan Away Personal Loan
19.90% - 45.90%
$1,000 - $5,000
6 - 36 months
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
A lender that approves unsecured loans in as little as 20 minutes. Get affordable monthly repayments with any credit score.
LoanConnect Installment Loan
32% + brokerage fee
$500 - $2,500
3 - 6 months
Currents debts must total less than 60% of income
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
Get approved by different lenders in as little as 60 seconds with any credit score. Access resources to help you work toward better finances.
FlexMoney Installment Loan
18.90% - 46.93%
$500 - $15,000
6 - 60 months
Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Min. credit score: 500
Go to site
More Info
Apply online in less than 10 minutes and if approved, receive financing in as little as 24 hours. Pay off your loan at any time.
Loans Canada Installment Loan
8.00% to 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
An online broker with the largest lender network in Canada. Get matched with lenders for free through one quick application regardless of your financial situation.
Mogo Installment Loan
9.90% - 46.96%
$200 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Min. income of $13,000 /year
Min. credit score: 500


Mogo offers a 100-day money-back guarantee. If you're not happy with your loan, pay back the principal and get your 100 days of paid interest and fees back.
Go to site
More Info
An online lender who aims for a hassle-free process through same-day unsecured loan approval and funding. Get a loan fast and track your credit score for free.
SkyCap Installment Loan
12.99% - 39.99%
$500 - $10,000
9 - 36 months
Min. income of $1,200 /month, stable employment
Min. credit score: 550
Go to site
More Info
An online lender offering installment loans to borrowers with a wide range of credit scores. Apply in less than 5 minutes and if approved, receive financing in as little as 24 hours.
Loan Away Installment Loan
19.90% - 45.90%
$1,000 - $5,000
6 - 36 months
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
Get approved for an installment loan in as little 20 minutes. Get affordable monthly repayments no matter your credit score.
Refresh Financial Credit Builder Loan
19.99%
$1,250 - $25,000
3-5 years
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 300
Go to site
More Info
No funds are provided by Refresh upfront. Instead, funds are placed into a secured account to be accessed later. Your payments are reported to the credit bureaus, potentially impacting your credit score.
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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. You can compare more options for all credit types by reading our guide to personal loans.

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