Please note: High-cost short-term credit is unsuitable for sustained borrowing over long periods and would be expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing.
Compare short-term loans for bad credit
What's in this guide?
- Compare short-term loans for bad credit
- How does bad credit affect my ability to get a loan?
- Can I actually get a payday loan with bad credit?
- Payday loans and bad credit: 5 things you need to know
- The dos and don'ts of bad credit payday/short-term loans
- What other types of loan can I get with bad credit?
How does bad credit affect my ability to get a loan?
If you have a low credit score, trying to find a loan can be difficult. Tight credit requirements can put conventional loans from banks out of your reach, as lenders will consider you too much of a risk when it comes to repaying the loan. Even if you’re approved, you’ll likely be very limited in how much you can borrow, and will receive a much higher interest rate compared to someone with good credit.
Short-term loans are one alternative for those with bad credit. However, payday or short-term loans should only be an option for those times when unexpected expenses crop up, from car repairs to dental work and just about anything in between. They’re not something to make a habit of.
Instead, you should first try and improve your credit rating before taking out a loan. Check out our credit builder guide here.
Can I actually get a payday loan with bad credit?
Yes, you will likely be able to get a short-term loan even if you have bad credit.
Payday lenders operate with different lending criteria to institutions like high street banks, and this is the primary reason they can offer loans to borrowers with bad marks in their credit report. Most payday lenders will focus more on your ability to repay than your credit score, and will consider your employment situation and your income/expenditure when deciding if they will offer you a loan.
The good news is that lenders do want to issue loans. So in many instances, if a lender has to decline a loan application, they may offer you a lower amount, or a different duration.
While regular borrowing using payday/short-term loans isn’t a smart idea, it is worth bearing in mind that lenders will want to start small. Once you’ve proven your ability to repay their loans on time, this is perhaps a stronger signal to them than your credit record.
Payday loans and bad credit: 5 things you need to know
The dos and don’ts of bad credit payday/short-term loans
Applying for one of these loans is simple. You can either go online to a lender website or visit a high street store near you. The applications are usually quick, and when you’re approved, you can have your funds in a matter of hours or within a working day. Just keep in mind these crucial do’s and don’t before you apply to save yourself time and money.
- Compare your options. There are plenty of lenders out there who will consider applications from borrowers with diverse credit backgrounds, so having less than perfect credit doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. It’s important to compare a decent range of loan companies and find the one that’s best-suited to your situation.
- Review the eligibility criteria. While these lenders do accept applicants with bad credit, they still have criteria that needs to be met. Check the minimum age, income and residency requirements to avoid being rejected.
- Only apply for what you can afford. Although lenders can’t offer you more than you can pay for, the repayments may still be difficult if the term is short. You should determine what you can manage and find a loan that works with your budget. Also, though it probably goes without saying, only borrow what you need.
- Check for discount codes. Some short term lenders offer promotional codes which let borrowers save money on their loan. You may wish to browse our QuickQuid discount code and Satsuma discount code pages before applying with these lenders, for example.
- Budget to cover your repayments. When you’re approved for a loan, your repayments will generally start on your next payday so make sure you’ve budgeted to cover the added expense.
- Aim to align repayments with your paydays. Many lenders let you decide whether to repay monthly, fortnightly or weekly, so it’s a smart idea to match repayment days up with your paydays.
- Repay your loan early if you can. If you find yourself able to, you should aim to repay the loan early. It obviously cuts out the risk that you’ll miss any repayments, but could also save you money on interest. Once your loan is paid off, it will be visible on your credit file, and should be an encouraging sign to future lenders.
- Apply without checking the eligibility criteria first. Not only would this be a waste of your time, but any declined applications are likely to be visible on your credit report. Plus, some lenders stipulate that you must wait a minimum amount of time before applying again, so if your circumstances change, you don’t want to have closed the door on any potential lenders.
- Apply for the first loan you come across that you’re eligible for. Since there are plenty of lenders who’ll consider your application, comparing them first is a must.
- Apply for multiple loans in a short space of time. While it shouldn’t affect your credit score, each application is likely to be visible on your credit file. Multiple applications for credit in a short space of time on your credit report could give the impression of financial trouble, and put off future prospective lenders.
- Apply to borrow more than you can afford. This would obviously be dangerous if you were approved for the loan, and if you weren’t, it’s a waste of your time and a rejection on your credit report.
- Borrow money and miss repayments. This is possibly the worst thing you could do in terms of your credit report and your ability to borrow.
- Take out a payday/short-term loan for non-essential spending. If you can avoid taking out a payday loan by deferring spending, then you’re likely to save yourself money in the long run.
- Use payday/short-term loans as a regular source of credit. These loans aren’t suitable for sustained borrowing. Read more about alternatives to payday loans at the government’s moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Amanda's emergency car repairAmanda’s car broke down on her way to work. She took the morning off to visit the mechanic, who estimated her repair costs at around £200. As a shift worker, she had already missed out on that morning’s pay and her paycheck wasn’t due to come until the following week.
She needed her car repaired to get to work, but with her low credit score, she felt like she had limited options.
Instead, Amanda looked at how much a bad credit payday loan would cost her. There was room in her budget for the high fees, and since she was going to be paid soon, Amanda knew she could afford it. By the next day, she had enough to pay for the repairs and was able to pull extra shifts to make up the difference.
What other types of loan can I get with bad credit?
Your borrowing options may be slightly more limited if you have bad credit but you do still have options. If you find that your bad credit is preventing you from taking out a loan, the below could help:
- Secured loans. If you have equity in your house, you can use it as security against a loan. As this type of loan represents less risk to the lender, you’re more likely to be approved, even if you have bad credit.
- Guarantor loans. If you have a family or friend that is willing to stand as your guarantor and pay back your loan if you are unable to do so, then this could massively increase your chances of borrowing. You would pose less of a risk to a lender if you have a guarantor to back you up. This type of loan is an option for bad credit but also if you are unemployed or on benefits.
- Doorstep loans. This type of loan should be avoided at all costs, please refer to our debt guide to find out more about debt management. Doorstep lenders lend cash regardless of your credit score and are often delivered straight to your door, but these loans have a much higher interest rate than other types of loans.
- Logbook loans. If you have bad credit but you own a car then you might find securing your loan against your vehicle could improve your chances of being approved. However, with logbook loans you officially pass ownership of your car over to your lender until you repay your loan. This type of loan is high risk and should be avoided if possible.
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