Having bad credit can affect anyone. Default on a repayment today, and you might be paying for it over the next five years. Luckily, there are personal loan options available for people who have negative entries on their credit file, and they don’t involve risking your car or the equity in your house to access them.
Unsecured, bad credit loans give you the option of flexible eligibility criteria. There are different types of unsecured credit loans, so be sure to compare your options and find the right one for your needs.
⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans
If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the MoneyTalks helpline operated by FinCap on 0800 345 123. It is open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged.
Alternatives to short-term loans
Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
Use online Government resources. The Commerce Commission New Zealand website explains how loans works and what to be aware of when borrowing from a lender.
Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you.
Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.
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Fees: $28 - $48 Establishment Fee
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Flexible repayment schedule
Unsecured loans you can consider applying for
What exactly is an unsecured bad credit loan?
An unsecured, bad credit loan is a personal loan which has more flexible requirements than those of the big, major banks and lenders. Unsecured loans do not require the use of an asset, such as a car or property as collateral.
This type of financing can sometimes be a viable option for people who have negative listings on their credit file but still need access to credit. Due to a greater risk for the lender, your loan may have a higher interest rate.
Do you have bad credit? Here’s how to get a loan
Find a lender with whom you’re eligible to apply, using the table above.
Check the loan meets your requirements, ie the loan amount, fees and turnaround time.
Click the “Go to Site” button to go through to the lender’s site and review your options for a loan.
Apply. If you’re eligible and want to apply after reviewing the loan details, you can do so using the secure online form. You will usually see if the lender approves your loan in a few minutes and receive your funds on the same or next business day.
What types of unsecured bad credit loans are available?
There are a few different types of unsecured bad credit loans that you may want to consider:
Payday loans. These loans are designed to cover you until you in the short term. You can usually borrow between $100 and $2,000 and repay it between a period of 2 days and 12 months. Loans are unsecured and eligibility criteria is flexible, so if you have bad credit it usually isn’t a problem.
Cash advance. A cash advance is when you receive cash through a credit card, using an ATM withdrawal or at a branch, but have also come to be known as payday loans. Bear in mind, if you have bad credit, lenders will generally not approve you for a credit card. So, if you’re looking for a credit card cash advance, you already need to hold a card. For a payday loan, cash advance, you can search for a payday lender with a physical location.
If you are taking out an unsecured, bad credit loan, here’s what you need to consider
Before applying for an unsecured, bad credit loan, you should think about the following information:
What fees and interest rate are involved? Fees charged on these loans are represented as a percentage. That being said, these fees can be considered costly. Bad credit lenders are taking a risk lending to you and without an asset guaranteeing the loan, the costs are going to be higher, whether in the form of fees or interest. An example of a one-year unsecured personal loan of $1,000 with Harmoney, will have you incurring 16.49% p.a. and repaying $90.96 per month. However, you will also find yourself paying a rather hefty application fee of $500.
Who is the lender? It’s also important to check the lender’s reputation before you borrow from them. The internet has made it easy for dodgy lenders to appear reputable, so make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully and compare your options before you apply. Also, read online customer reviews for lenders, to see other people’s borrowing experiences. Never submit any payment to a company online to receive a loan!
A bad credit loan for Darren
Two years ago, Darren split from his wife and has now fallen into a cycle of debt, as they go through an expensive divorce and divide their assets. Darren has a few payment defaults listed on his credit file and now finds himself unable to get a loan.
A few days ago, Darren received another bill from his solicitor. The invoice is more substantial than expected and he doesn’t have the money to cover it. Darren reviews his budget and sees that while he can’t pay the amount upfront, a short-term loan is affordable. Darren then considers his options for an unsecured, bad credit loan.
The features you can expect with unsecured, bad credit loans
These loans offer people with bad credit a secure option, through which they can access money. They also provide the following:
Apply conveniently online Lenders who offer unsecured, bad credit loans usually have an online application form and approval system, which makes it easy to apply.
Choose from a range of options These type of loans are a viable option if you need to consolidate debt or have negative marks on your credit file.
Fast access to your funds You can normally receive the funds in your account on the same day you apply. At the latest, lenders will have the loan with you on the next business day.
Repay according to when you get paid Lenders usually structure repayment according to your pay schedule. Depending on the lender, you can usually have the repayment amount direct debited from your account on the repayment date. So, there is no need to remember to send your funds across.
Are you eligible for a loan?
These loans have flexible lending criteria when it comes to your financial circumstances. Typically, you will need to be over the age of 18 and able to demonstrate a regular income. You are also required to list the other assets and debt you have, and some lenders may need you to be employed, although you may be considered for a loan if you receive Work and Income payments.
Unsecured, bad credit lenders look more at your current financial situation rather than defaults or negative listings on your credit history.
How to apply
To apply for an unsecured, bad credit loan, you can follow any of the lender’s links on this page to their secure online application form. You will need to provide specific personal and financial details. Most lenders offer a quick turnaround for approval, so there’s no waiting period to see if you are eligible for a loan.
If you have bad credit and currently receive Work and Income payments, you may still get access to funds. However, there are tighter restrictions on how much you can borrow and under what circumstances. For more information, check out our guide on how to get a loan if you are on Work and Income.
Having defaults and missed/late payments on your credit file can be a significant hindrance to your application, if you are applying for credit products with major banks and lenders. However, the credit brands compared on this page look at your situation as it stands over the past three months, not the past seven years. Compare your options, to ensure you have the best chance of the lender approving your application.
If you have bad credit, you may be considering whether a no-credit-check loan is a good option. It is something to think about, but keep in mind there are bad credit lenders available. Since no-credit-check providers cannot verify your credit history, they place more emphasis on other aspects of your application, such as your employment or income. Consider your personal credit history and whether a no-credit-check loan is necessary.
Matt Corke is the head of publishing in Australia for Finder. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
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