September 12, 2017
Best loans for borrowers with bad credit
If you’ve had a few late payments, non-payments, or other negative items on your credit report, then you need to find a lender who will approve you, transfer cash quickly, and offer an interest rate you can afford. You need to know exactly what you’re paying, whether it’s origination fees, early termination fees, or monthly payments. Unfortunately, companies who offer loans to people with bad credit are the most likely to hide these fees.
If you have bad credit and looking for a loan, there are three options: a personal loan, an installment loan, and a payday loan. The summary of the best option in each category is below:
- Best personal loan option: Avant
- Best installment loan option: OppLoans
- Best payday loan option: BadCreditLoans.com
Scroll down to see our full guide. We’ve done the research to find you companies who specialize in lending to borrowers with bad credit or no credit at all.
BrightRates guide to borrowing with bad credit
Some borrowers have what’s known as a “thin file.” This means that you have not applied for credit in the past, so the credit bureaus just don’t know much about you. Other borrowers may have paid late or have other negative reports on their credit history. Unfortunately, it is all the same to your credit score. No credit history is the same as bad credit history, and it makes it difficult to be approved for new credit.
This does NOT mean you cannot obtain a loan. It simply means that you will pay a higher interest rate than someone with good or excellent credit.
The interest rate is important because the lower the interest rate, the lower your payments. And if your payments are lower, that means more money you can save so that you do not need a loan in the future. With bad credit (or no credit history), what options do you have? We’ve broken them down into three groups.
Personal loans typically refer to an unsecured loan where a company gives you cash in exchange for monthly payments that you pay back over a series of months. You may pay an interest rate of anywhere from 25-45%. Personal loans can also be secured, meaning you own a car, home, or other assets that act as collateral against the loan. Personal loans start as low as $1,000 and can go as high as $35,000.
Technically, an installment loan is no different than a personal loan, but the industry has come to use the term as a sort of middle-ground between personal loans and payday loans. You still make monthly payments just as you do with a personal loan, but the interest rate can be 5-8x what you would pay with a personal loan and the maximum amount is usually $5,000 or so.
A payday loan is unsecured, meaning there is no collateral, and you can qualify with no credit or bad credit. Payday loans are expensive. For a $100 loan, a borrower may pay $30-40 depending on the payback period. But the real issue is that payday loans should ONLY be used in emergencies, and many consumers end up “rolling-over” their payday loan or taking out a new one to pay the first. Proceed with extreme caution on payday loans.
Best personal loan
Over the last five years, Avant has been one of the fastest growing lending platforms and has originated over $1 billion for more than 300,000 borrowers. Clearly, they’ve been doing something right.
Avant offers unsecured loans, meaning that you don’t need a car, house or other asset to act as collateral against your loan. To qualify, you only need to reside in one of the 45 states in which they operate and meet their other underwriting criteria. Technically, Avant lends to FICO scores as low as 580. However, a FICO score of at least 600 is recommended for your best chance to qualify.
Avant does charge an origination fee of 4.75%, but this is typical for lending platforms that work with subprime borrowers. Their maximum amount of $35,000 is more than you will typically find, and they have high marks on customer service.
Avant does not charge any prepayment fees if you pay the loan early, and other costs are very reasonable for the industry.
Operates in 46 U.S. states + Washington D.C. and transfers cash as soon as the next day*. Very easy online application process.
* Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday.
Avant has very strict underwriting criteria. So if your FICO score is in the 580-650 range, while technically above their maximum, you may still be declined.
For more information, see consumer ratings and our full BrightRates editorial review on Avant.
Best installment loan
Since 2010, OppLoans has emerged as a leader in the installment lending space. Based in Chicgao, OppLoans has some of the highest customer service ratings of any lending company across any financial products.
The OppLoans tagline is “You deserve better than a payday loan.” Depending on your credit profile, you may get an interest rate that is much better or only marginally better; interest rates range from as low as 22% to as high as 199%. OppLoans only lends in 18 states today, but it is rapidly expanding. If you don’t live in their service area, see our loan search tool to find a highly rated lender near you.
For more information, see consumer ratings and our full BrightRates editorial review on OppLoans
Best payday loan
BadCreditLoans.com is a not a direct lender. They are a payday loan matching service owned by a company called LeadsMarketplace. They work with a large number of lenders to get you a payday loan quickly, but they do not necessarily try to find a low rate from amongst payday lenders. They just offer you a lender that services your area and can approve you – it’s a payday loan…payday loans are expensive.
24/7 Fast Funds can transfer cash quickly and does have a large number of direct lenders, so they can usually find an approved loan for most borrowers regardless of credit. They are also in all 50 states.
Prices for payday loans will be expensive, and the 24/7 models is not focused upon finding the lowest rate.