Borrowing money when you have bad credit can be difficult and your loan options may be limited. Thankfully, this does not mean you’re completely out of options. There are various ways to get either an unsecured or secured loan with bad credit.

Even if you don’t qualify for standard loan terms and rates, some providers offer bad credit loans and guaranteed approvals. These financial institutions provide loans for bad credit, often unsecured personal loans, which can be a good option for people with credit scores of 500 or less. 

In this article, we explore a range of lending options for borrowers with bad credit. Whether you require quick funding or need money to cover an unexpected expense, it’s important to avoid loans with high-interest rates and unfavorable loan terms. For that reason, we compiled a list of the best financial institutions for bad credit loans on the market today.

SiteBest For
Bad Credit LoansNo application fees
Personal LoansShort-term loans
Cash USAFast funding 
MoneyMutualFavorable interest rates on unsecured personal loans
UpStartFor those with credit scores above 600

Bad Credit Loans

Bad Credit Loans is an online loan marketplace that matches lenders with borrowers looking for bad credit loans. There are lending options available for everyone on Bad Credit Loans, regardless of your credit score. The company is not considered a direct lender and instead operates as a middleman throughout the transaction. 

Bad Credit Loans was founded in 1998 and has strived to provide options for people with bad credit since its inception. Loans that can be found on the platform include payday loans, student loan assistance, debt consolidation, auto loans, and more. Many people also use Bad Credit Loans to help with their mortgages.

Bad Credit Loans marketplace is known to have excellent customer service, quick loan approvals, and a user-friendly online application. Most of the personal loans from Bad Credit Loans clear within two business days or less. Even with the complex nature of the online lending marketplace, Bad Credit Loans continues to excel in providing versatile loans for bad credit borrowers.

The Lending Process 

The lending process is one of the fastest and simplest in the business, with minimal personal information required when applying. Getting started and applying for a bad credit loan will only take a few minutes. There is a wide range of unsecured personal loans for bad credit to choose from, as well as payday loans.

Once connected with a lender on the platform, they may request additional information. Loan requests are often processed on the same day, making the entire loan approval quick and easy.  

The specifics of your loan, including the monthly payments, interest rates, repayment terms, origination fees, and the loan amount, will depend on the lender. Most interest rates offered on the platform are within the industry standard, typically ranging between 5.99% and 35.99% APR. 

The Bad Credit Loans platform uses an advanced algorithm to match you with compatible lenders. It also offers various lender comparison features, allowing users to easily compare lenders and loan offers. This creates a competitive environment, where lenders are incentivized to provide you with the best possible interest rates and loan terms. 

That is not to say, however, that Bad Credit Loans is for everyone. There is a cap on loan amounts, which is set at $10,000. There are also certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify. Despite this, no loan from Bad Credit Loans will require a good credit score.


  • Extensive marketplace for different types of personal loans
  • No application fees
  • No collateral is required for any personal loan 


  • Not a direct lender, removing some safeguards around an unsecured personal loan
  • Can’t borrow more than $1000 if your credit score is below 500
  • Poor Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating

Personal Loans

Personal Loans is one of the longest-standing online loan marketplaces in the business. Founded in 2001, the platform maintains comprehensive market knowledge dating back two decades. Personal Loans is known to offer the gold standard in unsecured loan financing, with an effective algorithm-based approach to loans for bad credit. 

The data-driven platform uses key metrics to evaluate borrowers. This enables simple approval processes, fast funding, and favorable loan terms. If you’re looking to connect with a lender quickly and securely, then this lender platform is one of the best. 

The Lending Process 

Personal Loans is not a direct lender. Instead, they work to connect lenders and borrowers on their platform. This lender marketplace thrives in this unsecured personal loan niche and is a great option for bad credit borrowers. 

They offer high loan amounts of up to $35,000. Personal Loans also provides flexibility around monthly payments, what bank account you can use, and overall personal loan packages. The platform is completely free to use and it only takes a few minutes to start connecting with lenders. 

One area that the platform excels in is debt consolidation. Many lenders on the platform can help to consolidate your debt and get your financial health back on track. The higher your credit score, the more favorable options you’ll have available to you. 

Personal Loans has one of the most user-friendly platforms on the market. Their website, mobile app, and online portals all function seamlessly. Users continue to provide positive feedback about the user experience and online interface available. 

There is also tons of customer support available to help borrowers and lenders alike. If you’re struggling to find a lender or need more options to pay your loan, representatives from Personal Loans are ready to help. You can access their support team online within minutes.


There are also some drawbacks that should be considered. Those who have poor credit, for example, will likely only be able to secure a $1,000 loan. Most of the higher loan amounts are reserved for borrowers with credit scores above 600.

Additionally, Personal Loans is not rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) even though the company has been in business for over two decades. 


  • No minimum credit score requirement
  • Flexible loan options and amounts
  • Ideal for short-term loans


  • Requires a lot of personal information to sign up
  • The majority of loans offered are under $1,000
  • Not rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Cash USA

For those struggling with a bad credit score, it can be difficult to avoid high-interest rates on unsecured personal loans. Many lenders offer high interest rates to borrowers with existing debt, another loan agreement, and poor credit reports.

Cash USA works to bridge that gap and provide a middle ground for its customers. They operate slightly differently than other platforms offering secured loans, unsecured loans, payday loans, etc. Instead of matching lenders and borrowers directly, users post what they’re looking for and lenders find them.

This approach provides two main benefits: better quality secured personal loans and fair minimum credit score requirements. If you need an online personal loan today, then Cash USA is one of the best in the business.

The Lending Process

The lending process is quick, transparent, and secure on Cash USA. While the Cash USA platform does pull a soft credit check, many lenders are flexible on the credit scores they accept. For example, low credit scores won’t immediately disqualify you from using the Cash USA approval process. You can always find a loan agreement that works for you on Cash USA.

Depending on the loan amount and annual percentage rate, you will be expected to adhere to a monthly payment plan. Thankfully, Cash USA provides support options to help curate bad credit loans that work for you. Plus, many lenders on Cash USA do not require an origination fee.

What sets Cash USA apart from its competitors also brings in a range of drawbacks as well. There are more rigid controls around what certifies a user to seek loans for bad credit. Furthermore, users will be expected to have an income, provide valid contact information, and be US citizens.


One of the biggest drawbacks of Cash USA is the loan process. Many customers have reported limited customer support after a loan is finalized. At this point, Cash USA expects you to only work directly with your lender. Furthermore, Cash USA will require you to choose between a bank or credit union.

Even though Cash USA provides bad credit loans to borrowers with a decent credit history, this opens up other issues. For instance, the average annual percentage rate of bad credit score loans on Cash USA is higher compared to other platforms. Users should expect higher interest rates and monthly payments. 


  • Users with bad credit or no credit history are eligible
  • Fast loan offers and funding clearances
  • Best industry-standard encryption on the market


  • Only offers modest loan amounts between $500 -$10,000
  • Certain loans may come with high-interest rates
  • A significant vetting process is required for users


MoneyMutual is a personal loan platform that specializes in short-term loan options, even if you have bad credit. The platform has no origination fee, supplies funds quickly, and accepts almost all US bank accounts. Many online lenders are active on MoneyMutual to provide payday loans or personal loans below $5,000.

While many platforms that connect lenders on this list provide superior lending amounts, MoneyMutual excels elsewhere. They focus on connecting lenders and low credit score borrowers, while maintaining lower interest rates. Additionally, there are various options for debt consolidation and other loan types. 

Borrowers with fair credit or excellent credit can expect to receive a loan offer with a low annual percentage rate (APR). For those with bad credit, however, how can MoneyMutual also give loans with lower annual percentage rates? What differs is the loan amount offered. MoneyMutual specializes in smaller online personal loans, which lowers the risk for lenders.  

The Lending Process

MoneyMutual has an easy loan application process that allows you to view the best loan options within minutes. You must first enter some basic personal information like your name, contact information, and bank account details. 

Then you will wait for lenders to review the application and determine whether or not you’re eligible for a loan. Multiple lenders can contact you and offer you a loan, allowing you to pick a favorable deal. 

After you have been approved for a loan, you can access the funds in as little as one business day. MoneyMutual provides quick approvals and lightning-fast money deposits. It typically takes 12-24 hours, which is an excellent benefit if you need money ASAP. Many of the other financial internet companies have approval times ranging between a few business days, and in some cases, up to 1 month.

A credit report is not required in the loan application process. However, a lender may request a credit report from you later on.  


The MoneyMutual platform lacks some features on the website and protections for its users. For example, there is an unclear screening process, confusing information about interest rates, and limited support for debt consolidation loans. Additionally, MoneyMutual is not responsible for the loan’s safety once you accept the offer from a lender. 


  • Funds are delivered quickly, often on the same business day
  • Several lending options for those with bad credit scores
  • Lowest interest rates for small and mid-sized personal loans


  • Lacking information about the interest rates for unsecured loans
  • Not available in all 50 states
  • Unclear loan application process and screening checks


Obtaining a personal loan with a poor credit score can be difficult for many reasons. For example, lenders may offer high interest rates and fees, low loan amounts, and unfavorable loan terms overall.

Upstart is a reputable lending company that has low credit score requirements compared to other online lenders. Upstart works with eligible borrowers who have credit scores as low as 300. This makes Upstart a good option for borrowers with poor credit who are seeking fast funding. 

Upstart also offers a wide range of loan amounts, ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. Interest rates on these loans typically range between 3.22% – 35.99%. However, maximum loan amounts can vary depending on where you live. For example, the max amount you can borrow if you live in Georgia is just over $3,000

For certain loan amounts, there is even a cash advance option, if you need it. This option is more restrictive for those using a credit union, as credit unions require longer clearance for deposits.

The Lending Process

This financial institution provides a range of manageable loans for those who have poor credit. Upstart does this without the high-interest rates typically attached to unsecured loans. Upstart also ensures your loan approval process proceeds seamlessly.

The Upstart platform is built around a revolutionary analytics approach to screen users. This means they evaluate users based on unique criteria–like college education, job history, and residence–instead of relying solely on financial records and a minimum credit score requirement.

Experts in the financial sector have taken notice of Upstart’s underwriting approach and vetting process. When it comes to providing the best personal loans for both lenders and users, it excels in mitigating risk on both sides. It’s not uncommon to encounter a similar process when pursuing a secured loan today with a different provider.


This approach does not come without its drawbacks, however. The origination fee for Upstart loans can be up to 8%. Compared to other bad credit loan providers, this fee can be considerable. 

Despite offering some of the best personal loans on the market, Upstart is surprisingly limited when it comes to monthly payment options. Regardless of the loan amount, you’ll be forced to pick from only two options. 

Additionally, maximum loan amounts can be low in certain states. For borrowers in Iowa and West Virginia, Upstart doesn’t even offer any bad credit loan options and you cannot apply with a co-signer. This means you’ll need to qualify based on your own creditworthiness.


  • Uses an advanced underwriting analytics model to screen new users
  • Lower interest rates compared to other lender marketplaces
  • Offers direct creditor payment options for credit card debt consolidation loans


  • High origination fee, up to 8% of loan’s total value
  • No mobile app available for the platform
  • Only two repayment term options are available for users

Personal Loans with Bad Credit – FAQ

Let’s take a moment to cover some of the most frequently asked questions about personal loans for bad credit.

Who Can Get a Personal Loan?

Most people are eligible to get some type of personal loan. Different lenders will have different criteria they consider to determine the loan terms and interest rate. This may include credit score, credit history, existing debt, total income, college education, current employment, and more.

Similarly, different lender platforms, like the ones listed above, will evaluate different factors when determining loan terms. Some specialize in a large sum, low-interest rate loans, while others provide smaller payday loans at higher interest rates. 

Why Do People Get Personal Loans?

People who need to apply for a loan do so for varying reasons. Some need cash assistance right away to cover bills or emergency expenses. Others may take out a personal loan to be used as a type of debt consolidation, especially when it comes to credit card debt. 

A secured personal loan is often pursued by people looking to pay down existing debt at a lower rate. This is called debt consolidation, or more specifically, a debt consolidation loan. This process will require an origination fee but saves money on interest in the long term. 

Other reasons people are in need of personal loans include moving costs, home improvement and repairs, weddings, and outstanding medical bills. 

What Is the Difference Between a Personal Loan and a Credit Card Loan?

Personal loans have been around for a considerably longer time than credit card loans. These days, a credit card loan is easier to get and is issued by your credit card company directly. However, the loan amount is also more restrictive with credit card loans.

The core difference between these two options comes down to monthly payment plans and interest rates. Credit card loans have much higher interest rates in general and often come with strict monthly payments as well. A personal loan is more popular for those with a poor credit score, as it offers more flexibility and long-term payment options.

Why Does My Credit Score Matter When Taking Out a Loan? 

Lenders check your credit score to determine your creditworthiness and ultimately whether you will be eligible for a loan. Your credit score serves as a gauge of your financial health and how responsible you are with your financial commitments. Lenders check credit scores to evaluate loan eligibility to protect themselves and ensure you will eventually pay back the owed debt. 

Several formulas determine credit scores, often formulated by credit bureaus. The five main factors that make up a credit score are repayment history, credit history, types of credit, bank accounts, and debts owed.

​​A bad credit score can hold you back from getting a mortgage on a house, a car loan, or a personal loan. The online providers listed above are excellent resources when seeking bad credit loans. 

How Are Interest Rates Determined by Personal Loan Lenders?

Lenders will determine your interest rate based on varying statistics that centralize around risk. People with good credit, or fair credit, that seek out a personal loan will be seen as low risk. Because of this, the offered interest rates are typically lower compared to higher-risk loans, like unsecured loans. 

Adversely, personal loan lenders that offer loans to borrowers with bad credit often view the transaction as risky. With inherently higher risk, interest rates will also be higher and the loan terms will likely be stricter. Higher interest rates are also often the result of borrowing a larger amount of money.

Does It Cost Anything to Apply for a Personal Loan?

Once the screening process is finished and the loan has been finalized, there is often an origination fee attached. This fee is only charged once and is designed to help the lender pay for the cost of issuing a loan.

If you are seeking out a loan with bad credit, then an origination fee should be expected. A typical origination fee is between 2% and 10% of the total loan value. This can vary significantly depending on the lender and loan amount.

Why Does My APR Go Up if I Pay Off My Loan Early?

For the most part, the longer you’re paying back a loan, the more you’ll pay in interest over the lifetime of the loan. It seems obvious that paying off your personal loan early would be a good idea, but that’s not always the case. 

Some lenders may charge a prepayment penalty fee for paying the loan early. The fee may be calculated as a percentage of your total loan balance or the amount the lender would lose in interest if you pay the remaining balance before the loan term has ended.

These calculations will vary depending on the lender and any prepayment penalties would be stated in your loan agreement.

How Quickly Will I Get My Money After a Loan Is Approved?

The answer to this question vastly differs depending on where and when you apply for a loan. Almost all lenders will try to get you the funds within 24 hours, however, certain factors can add extra delays. 

Loans that take longer than a day to clear often require a more in-depth application process. If your credit score is very low or if the loan amount is very high, it can lengthen the approval process. This means your credit score will play a part in the efficiency of a loan approval process.

Can I Get Another Personal Loan if I Already Have One?

This depends on a range of factors, but it is entirely possible to obtain two loans at once. Lenders will simply reassess your creditworthiness, including your credit score and existing debt. 

As long as the lender can verify you are capable of paying back the loan, there isn’t much that can stop you. If the loan amount is low, then the approval process is usually straightforward. However, a low credit score will also affect your eligibility to take out a second loan.

What Is the Difference Between a Loan That Is Unsecured or Secured?

The difference between unsecured and secured loans all comes down to collateral. Secured loans have an asset attached to them to allow lenders to recoup the value of the loan if it is unpaid. The most common secured loans are auto loans or mortgages.

Unsecured loans have no assets attached to them, so they often come with higher rates due to the higher risk. Lenders will often attach extra fees, such as origination fees, to cover the added risk. This is not always the case, however, depending on the loan amount.

What Happens if I Can’t Repay the Loan Amount or Fall Behind on Payments?

You should reach out to your lender as soon as possible if you miss a payment. Lenders may work with you and sort out other arrangements before you are months behind on payments. This differs between lenders, however, so be careful if you’re having trouble paying back the loan. 

In the worst-case scenario, if you remain behind on payments, then the lender may report this to a credit agency. This will then affect your credit score and hurt your ability to take out future loans. Lenders will usually work with you to get you back on track, so don’t be too concerned.

If My Credit Score Is Really Low, Can I Still Get a Loan?

Yes, you can get a loan with a low credit score. However, the lower your credit score, the more expensive it will be to get a loan. This is because lenders will see a higher risk in loaning funds to low credit borrowers. 

As long as you provide correct documentation and are upfront and honest with your lender, you should be able to get a loan. If you have missed payments before, or are unemployed, this process can be more difficult. Take the time to browse some of the lender marketplaces above and check out all of your options.

What Is a Floating Rate Loan?

The majority of loans, especially personal ones, will come with a fixed interest rate. Yet, some loans will allow the interest rate to change over time after an initial period. This period will typically be one year but can differ between loans.

If your interest rate tends to increase or decrease over time, then it is likely a floating rate loan. This means your monthly payment can fluctuate between months, based on several factors the lender will outline. You must always pay close attention to if your loan is a floating rate loan.

What Should I Look Out for When Taking a Loan With Bad Credit?

Getting a loan is a big step financially and shouldn’t be taken lightly. First, you should consider how much you can realistically afford to borrow and payback on time. Consider the monthly payments required and the total amount you’ll end up paying back on interest.

There are a few areas regarding the terms of the loan that you should also focus on. This includes the repayment terms, interest rate, loan amount, loan term, and origination fees. 

What Are Prime Borrowers?

There is no strict definition for prime borrowers, it is more of a loose industry term. It mostly refers to borrowers that have a credit score above 720. Prime borrowers can also be people with no debt, long credit histories, and more.

In summary, a prime borrower is the best possible candidate for a loan. If you see lenders looking for prime borrowers and you have bad credit, you may not be eligible. Some lenders will highlight “prime borrower terms,” which can differ from terms provided for those with bad credit.

If I Don’t Have Established Credit, Can I Get a Loan?

If you don’t have a credit score at all, you may be put in the same category as having bad credit. However, this isn’t entirely accurate. It simply means you don’t have an established credit history, which makes it hard for lenders to evaluate the risk of lending to you.

Those without a credit history can still apply for a loan and will usually get it. This does mean you may have to take on more unfavorable terms, much like someone with poor credit. Pursuing a secured loan may be a better option if you have assets you can put up for collateral.

What Documents Will I Need to Apply for a Loan?

The process of applying for a loan is vastly different depending on the lender. Some lenders require very little information, while others require a more comprehensive overview of your entire financial situation. Still, there is a range of basic documents that will always be required, regardless of your specific lender.

This information includes your full name, address, contact information, source of employment, credit score and/or history, education history, tax returns, pay stubs, and more. Some lenders may not require all of this info, but they will typically need a majority of it. Keep this in mind when trying to secure a loan.

Why Do I See Different Loan Offers Today Compared to Yesterday?

The world of lending is a competitive one. It’s not uncommon for lenders to try and outdo each other. If you see different loan offers every day, it’s likely because lenders are competing to gain you as a client.

Loan offers can also change depending on your creditworthiness, which is often determined by the platform you’re using. If something changes in your creditworthiness, then the offers you get will probably change as well.

Key Takeaways 

There are a variety of reasons you may find yourself in need of some quick cash – whether it’s an emergency cost, a high medical bill, or outstanding credit card debt with a high-interest rate. Regardless of the reason, a bad credit score and/or history shouldn’t hold you back from fixing your financial well-being. That’s why we’ve taken the time to outline these incredible bad credit loan lender options above.

There is a lender out there for every potential borrower. It only takes a few clicks to get started and apply for a personal loan. Each platform is slightly different, however, so make sure to take the time to pick the one that’s right for you.