How We Get Paid

We want this to be a “win-win” situation. So we only want to get paid if we bring you value in the form of finding a personal finance option that works for you. Not by selling your data. Credible receives compensation by the lender if you finish the loan process and a loan is disbursed. The amount of our compensation does not impact how and where lenders appear on our site, and Credible charges you no fees of any sort. Some lenders may take traffic sources into account when offering credit terms.

Bad credit loans

How We Get Paid

We want this to be a “win-win” situation. So we only want to get paid if we bring you value in the form of finding a personal finance option that works for you. Not by selling your data. Credible receives compensation by the lender if you finish the loan process and a loan is disbursed. The amount of our compensation does not impact how and where lenders appear on our site, and Credible charges you no fees of any sort. Some lenders may take traffic sources into account when offering credit terms.

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Advertiser Disclosure
The rates that appear are from companies which Credible receives compensation. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear within the table. The rates and information shown do not include all financial service providers or all of the displayed lender's available services and product offerings.
Advertiser Disclosure
The rates that appear are from companies which Credible receives compensation. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear within the table. The rates and information shown do not include all financial service providers or all of the displayed lender's available services and product offerings.
LenderRates from (APR)Loan termLoan amount
Avant
9.95% - 35.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $35,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Axos
6.79% - 17.99%3 - 6 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Best Egg
4.99% - 35.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $35,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Discover
Personal Loans
5.99% - 24.99%3 - 7 yearsUp to $35,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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FreedomPlus
7.99% - 29.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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LendingClub
7.04% - 35.89%3, 5 yearsUp to $40,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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LendingPoint
9.99% - 35.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $25,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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LightStream
2.49% - 19.99%2 - 7 yearsUp to $100,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Marcus by Goldman Sachs
6.99% - 19.99%3 - 6 yearsUp to $40,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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OneMain Financial
18.00% - 35.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $20,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Payoff
5.99% - 24.99%2 - 5 yearsUp to $35,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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PenFed
5.99% - 17.99%1 - 5 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Prosper
6.95% - 35.99%3, 5 yearsUp to $40,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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SoFi
4.74% - 19.28%32 - 7 yearsUp to $100,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Universal Credit
8.93% - 35.93%3, 5 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Upgrade
5.94% - 35.97%3, 5 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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Upstart
4.37% - 35.99%3, 5 yearsUp to $50,000Show detailsCheck Rate

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available. Read more about rates and terms*

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Why get a personal loan?

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Personal loans typically offer lower interest rates than credit cards.

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Making on-time payments can improve your credit score.

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Most personal loans don’t require collateral, so you won’t need to use your home or vehicle to secure it.

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By Jamie Young

Jamie Young is a Credible authority on personal finance. Her work has appeared on Time, CBS News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, AOL, MSN, and more.
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& Matt Carter

Matt Carter is a writer, editor and student loan authority for Credible. His work has been featured by CNBC, CNN Money, Consumer Reports, Money, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Yahoo Finance and more.
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Updated August 13, 2021

Generally, no — personal loans are still widely available despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which could be especially valuable if you need help making ends meet. You’ll still typically need good credit and verifiable income to get approved for a loan with most lenders, including online lenders, banks, and credit unions. Keep in mind that some lenders might have more stringent requirements to ensure that borrowers can repay their loans, though.

Additionally, some lenders are offering coronavirus hardship loans that might be easier to qualify for if the pandemic has impacted your employment. These small emergency loans might come with low or even 0% interest, depending on the lender.

While many personal loan lenders require borrowers to have good to excellent credit, there are also several lenders that offer personal loans designed for borrowers with bad credit.

Because these bad credit personal loans are more of a risk to the lender, their interest rates are usually higher compared to the rates on good credit loans — meaning you’ll pay more overall for one of these loans.

A good way to understand what a bad credit loan will end up costing you is to look at the annual percentage rate (APR). This percentage represents both the total amount of interest plus any fees — such as origination or late fees — that you’ll pay on a yearly basis for your loan.

A bad (or poor) credit score is generally considered to be a score below 640. Here are the credit score ranges you can typically expect to come across:

  • Poor (less than 640): It can be hard to qualify for a personal loan if you have a score in this range — unless you work with a lender that offers bad credit loans. You might also be able to get approved by applying with a cosigner. Borrowers with poor credit are typically offered the highest available interest rates.

  • Fair (640 to 699): While you might have a somewhat easier time getting a personal loan with fair credit, you can generally expect to pay higher interest rates. Applying with a cosigner might help you qualify for a better interest rate.

  • Good (700 to 749): Having a good credit score will help you get approved for personal loans with most lenders as well as get you better interest rates. If you have a good credit score, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a cosigner to qualify for a loan — though having one might help you get a better interest rate than you’d get on your own.

  • Excellent (750 and above): With an excellent credit score, you’ll likely qualify for the vast majority of personal loans as well as be offered the lowest interest rates advertised by lenders.

If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan, follow these four steps:

  1. Check your credit. When you apply for a personal loan, lenders will check your credit to determine your creditworthiness along with your interest rate — so it’s a good idea to see what shape your credit is in before you apply. You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureau to potentially boost your score.

  2. Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms, any fees charged by the lender, and qualifying requirements. After researching your lender options, choose the loan that works best for you.

  3. Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation — such as tax returns or pay stubs.

  4. Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the money can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval.

This depends on the lender. For example, online lenders are usually the fastest option, sometimes offering approval decisions within minutes. Traditional banks and credit unions, on the other hand, could take longer.

The time to fund for a personal loan also varies by lender. Here are the funding times you can typically expect:

  • Online lenders: Less than five business days

  • Banks: One to seven business days

  • Credit unions: One to seven business days

There are also some lenders that provide fast personal loans with quicker funding times. For example, several Credible partner lenders offer next- or even same-day personal loans.

If you want to get your funds as soon as possible, a couple of ways to avoid delays include:

  • Filling out the application as accurately as you can

  • Providing any required documentation in a timely manner

Most personal loans are unsecured -- meaning you don’t have to worry about collateral. However, some lenders provide secured personal loans, which are secured by collateral like a car or jewelry.

Because there’s less risk to the lender with secured loans, you might have an easier time qualifying for one if you have bad credit. But keep in mind that if you can’t make your payments, you risk losing your valuable item.

Other options you might come across when trying to get a personal loan with bad credit include car title loans, payday loans, or pawn shop loans. While these loans can be easier to qualify with poor credit, they also tend to come with astronomical interest rates and fees. Because of this as well as the risk of predatory lending practices, these types of loans should only be used as a last resort.

When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This could cause a slight dip in your credit score — though the effect is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months.

Additionally, there are a few ways that taking out a personal loan could have a positive impact on your credit score. For example, you could:

  • Build a positive payment history by making on-time payments

  • Diversify your credit mix by adding a personal loan

These potentially good effects on your credit score could end up far outweighing any initially negative consequences. Just be sure to only take out a personal loan if you can comfortably afford it so you don’t risk damaging your credit down the road by missing payments.

If you have bad credit, applying for a personal loan with a cosigner could greatly improve your chances of getting approved. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify for a personal loan, having one might get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.

A cosigner can be anyone — such as a parent, other relative, or trusted friend — that has good credit. Just remember that a cosigner shares responsibility for the loan, which means they’ll be on the hook if you can’t make your payments.

Also keep in mind that while some lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, not all of them do. Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer cosigned personal loans:

There are several strategies that could help you improve your credit score so you can more easily qualify for personal loans and better rates in the future. Some of these include:

  • Making on-time payments on all of your bills: Your payment history is one of the biggest factors that make up your credit score. If you pay all of your bills on time, you could see an improvement in your score over time.

  • Paying down credit card balances: Your credit utilization ratio is the amount you owe on revolving credit lines (like credit cards) compared to your total available limits — it’s also another major factor in your credit score. If you can pay down balances on credit card accounts, your score could go up.

  • Limiting new credit if possible: Taking out new loans can temporarily lower your credit score while also adding to your overall debt loan. Try to avoid applying for new loans while working to build your credit.

There are many lenders that offer personal loans, which is why it’s important to compare as many of them as possible to find the right lender for you. As you research lenders, be sure to consider interest rates, repayment terms, and any fees charged by the lender so you can get a loan that best suits your needs and financial situation.

Keep in mind that the best personal loan lenders provide low interest rates, minimal fees, and inclusive eligibility requirements.

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