Need quick access to over $1,000? Installment loans give you just that, plus longer repayment terms.
Sometimes referred to as the more respectable cousin of payday loans, installment loans are designed for one-time expenses that need a quick fix.
Check out our guide below to learn more about how online installment loans work to see if they’re right for you.
A selection of online installment loans
Here are some providers that offer online installment loans. Keep in mind that that the maximum loan amount is based on the lender’s maximum amount. The amount will vary based on your state of residence.
A selection of lender matching services
These lender matching services are not lenders, loan brokers or agents for any lender or loan broker. They also do not make credit decisions. They focus on trying to match you with a lender that might be able to provide you with the funds you’re looking for. Keep in mind that the maximum loan amount is based on the matching services maximum amount, but it will vary based on your state of residence. If you decide to go with one of these services, confirm that the lender is reputable by checking with your local government.
What’s an installment loan?
Installment loans are a type of short-term loan that get their name from the way you pay them off — in installments over a period of time. They’re typically available in larger amounts than payday loans — sometimes up to $5,000 — and have longer terms. They’re also not as heavily regulated.
Like payday loans, some installment loans are designed to attract borrowers with bad credit — but watch out: Those can come with incredibly high interest rates.
How do installment loans actually work?
Installment loans work by giving you all of your funds at once, which you then have to pay back plus interest in fixed amounts. Payments are usually due on your payday and last between six months and five years.
What are the benefits?
Online installment loans come with various features. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering applying for one:
- Convenient application process. You can apply conveniently online, and some lenders even provide smartphone apps. With most lenders, you can find out about your application status in minutes, and if approved you can accept the loan contract. Once you do this you can expect the money in your bank account as early as the next business day.
- Flexible eligibility criteria. Getting online installment loans with bad credit is possible, primarily because lending norms are slightly more relaxed. “No credit check” online installment loans generally don’t make hard inquiries on your credit score, but you’ll need to demonstrate how you’ll be able to repay the loan.
- Variable fees. The state you live in along with the amount of money you borrow has an effect on how much you pay in fees. Not all lenders charge the same fees, so keep this in mind when comparing your options.
- Loan amount and terms. Both these aspects depend on state laws. In some states you can borrow up to $10,000 and the repayment period can extend up to five years.
What should I look out for?Sometimes people take out online installment loans even though they know they might have trouble making repayments. This something you should try to avoid because it can lead to additional charges, collection activity and damage your credit score.
Once you get the loan, avoid making late payments. And if you set up autopay, make sure you have the enough funds in your account before each due date to avoid paying NSF fees.
Just some of the top installment loan providers we compare
Who qualifies for installment loans?
People who qualify for installment loans typically have:
- Verifiable income. This doesn’t mean you need to be employed. Some lenders accept alimony and pension as income.
- An active checking account. If you don’t have a checking account, you can sometimes get a cash installment loan from a brick-and-mortar storefront.
- Government-issued identification. Lenders might ask to see your driver’s license to verify that you meet the age requirements.
Top four factors to consider when comparing installment loans
- Loan amounts. Will you be able to take out exactly how much you need? Try to avoid unnecessarily larger loans — that can lead to extra debt.
- Interest rates. Be skeptical of lenders that won’t give you an interest rate upfront. Try to get an estimate of your APR — your combined interest and fees — as early as you can.
- Fees. Will you have to pay a fee to apply? To get your loan? What are the conditions for late payments?
- Loan terms. Your loan term will determine how long you have to repay it. It’ll also determine how much you pay in interest — a longer-term loan might seem more manageable but it could end up being hugely expensive.
Is an installment loan right for me?
You may want to consider an installment loan for the following reasons:
- Fast turnaround time. Providers of online installment loans tend to process your application very quickly, sometimes in minutes. If you accept the loan contract, you can get your money as soon as the following business day.
- Bad credit applicants are accepted. Conventional loans normally come with stringent lending criteria, but most employed people can consider applying for online installment loans with bad credit, as long as they can show their ability to repay the loan.
- More manageable repayments structure. Unlike short-term loans or cash advance loans that you have to repay by your next payday, you can take longer to repay your installment loan. Most lenders even give you the ability to choose between making payments once or twice a month.
You may want to consider other options if you’re concerned about:
- Fees. Online installment loans normally charge higher fees especially in comparison with more conventional forms of credit.
- Higher repayments due to higher loan amounts. Installment loans have higher loan amounts than standard payday loans, and while you have lower ongoing repayments because you’re paying it back over time, the APR can still be quite high, resulting in a total overall repayment. Make sure the repayments are manageable on your budget.
Getting an online installment loan can be a good idea if you want some more time to repay the money you borrow, but given the choices on offer, make sure you compare a few before applying.
Some questions you might have had
How much time do I need to complete an online application?
If you have all the required information easily accessible, completing your application should take around 5 to 10 minutes. Much the same as a payday loan.
Can anyone apply for an installment loan?
Remember that not all lenders provide installment loans in all states. In states where they do, you have to meet minimum age requirements, you should show you have a regular source of income, and you that you have an operational bank account.
What information do I have to provide to apply?
You’ll have to provide personal details, employment details, and your bank account details.
How long will an installment loan be on my credit file?
The answer to this question lies in how you’ve been making payments, your total credit limit and a whole range of other factors found here.