Best Loans for Bad Credit of June 2024

Annie Millerbernd
Written by
Last updated on June 3, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Kim Lowe
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Best Loans for Bad Credit of June 2024

2024 Best Personal Loan for Bad Credit
Upgrade
Upgrade
Best for Overall bad credit loans
5.0
Rate discount
Est. APR
8.49-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
View details
Upstart
Upstart
Best for Thin credit
4.5
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Est. APR
7.80-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
None
BestEgg
Best Egg
Best for Secured loans
Secured loans
Wide range of loan amounts
Est. APR
8.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$50K
Min. credit score
600
LendingPoint
LendingPoint
Best for Easy application process
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Est. APR
7.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$37K
Min. credit score
660
Get rate
on LendingPoint's website
on LendingPoint's website
Avant
Avant
Best for Fast funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Est. APR
9.95-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$35K
Min. credit score
550
Universal Credit
Universal Credit
Best for Credit-building tools
Fast funding
Rate discount
Est. APR
11.69-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
2024 Best Personal Loan for Bad Credit
Upgrade
Upgrade
Check Rate
on NerdWallet
on NerdWallet
Best for Overall bad credit loans
Est. APR
8.49-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Best for Overall bad credit loans
Rate discount
Upstart
Best for Thin credit
Est. APR
7.80-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
None
Best for Thin credit
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Best Egg
Best for Secured loans
Est. APR
8.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$50K
Min. credit score
600
Best for Secured loans
Secured loans
Wide range of loan amounts
LendingPoint
Get rate
on LendingPoint's website
on LendingPoint's website
Best for Easy application process
Est. APR
7.99-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$37K
Min. credit score
660
Best for Easy application process
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Avant
Best for Fast funding
Est. APR
9.95-35.99%
Loan amount
$2K-$35K
Min. credit score
550
Best for Fast funding
Fast funding
Flexible payments
Universal Credit
Best for Credit-building tools
Est. APR
11.69-35.99%
Loan amount
$1K-$50K
Min. credit score
560
Best for Credit-building tools
Fast funding
Rate discount

Compare the top bad credit lenders

These bad-credit loans were selected based on our analysis of more than a dozen lenders. Read more about how we chose these lenders.

Best overall bad credit loan

Upgrade
Read full review
Est. APR8.49-35.99%
Est. APR8.49-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit score560
Min. credit score560
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
on Upgrade's website
Est. APR8.49-35.99%
Est. APR8.49-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit score560
Min. credit score560
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
on Upgrade's website
Pros
  • Secured and joint loans.
  • Multiple rate discounts.
  • Mobile app to manage loan payments.
  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.
Cons
  • Origination fee.
  • No option to choose your payment date.
Upgrade personal loans offer multiple rate discounts and direct payment to creditors. A low minimum credit score requirement makes the perks stand out even more.
  • Average borrower credit score is 672.
  • Credit insights including score summary and simulator.
  • Repayment terms up to 7 years on larger loans.

Best bad credit loans for thin credit

Est. APR7.80-35.99%
Est. APR7.80-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit scoreNone
Min. credit scoreNone
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
on Upstart's website
Est. APR7.80-35.99%
Est. APR7.80-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit scoreNone
Min. credit scoreNone
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
Repayment terms:3 to 7 years
on Upstart's website
Pros
  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.
  • Fast funding.
  • Option to change your payment date.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Seven-day customer service availability.
Cons
  • May charge origination fee.
  • No joint or co-signed loans.
  • No direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.
Upstart personal loans offer fast funding and may be an option for borrowers with low credit scores or thin credit histories. Upstart is a solid financing choice for large purchases.
  • May approve borrowers with limited credit history.
  • Uses artificial intelligence to make loan decisions.
  • Often provides instant approval decisions.

Best bad credit loan with credit-building tools

Est. APR11.69-35.99%
Est. APR11.69-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit score560
Min. credit score560
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
on Universal Credit's website
Est. APR11.69-35.99%
Est. APR11.69-35.99%
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Loan amount$1K-$50K
Min. credit score560
Min. credit score560
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
on Universal Credit's website
Pros
  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • Fast funding.
  • Offers multiple rate discounts.
  • Offers free credit score access.
Cons
  • Charges origination fee.
  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.
A Universal Credit loan is a sound option for bad-credit borrowers looking to build credit, but rates are high compared to similar lenders.
  • No minimum income requirement.
  • Offers credit score monitoring and simulator tool.
  • Unlimited payment due date changes allowed.

Best bad credit loan with fast funding

Est. APR9.95-35.99%
Est. APR9.95-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$35K
Loan amount$2K-$35K
Min. credit score550
Min. credit score550
Repayment terms:1 to 5 years
Repayment terms:1 to 5 years
on Avant's website
Est. APR9.95-35.99%
Est. APR9.95-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$35K
Loan amount$2K-$35K
Min. credit score550
Min. credit score550
Repayment terms:1 to 5 years
Repayment terms:1 to 5 years
on Avant's website
Pros
  • Fast funding.
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Mobile app to manage loan.
  • Wide range of repayment term options.
  • Seven-day customer service availability.
Cons
  • May charge an origination fee.
  • No co-signed, joint or secured loans.
  • No direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.
Avant personal loans are an option for fair- and bad-credit borrowers who need fast funding, but it lacks features that help you build credit or consolidate debt.
  • Can approve a loan within one business day.
  • Low minimum credit score requirement, even among bad-credit lenders.
  • May provide multiple loan offers through pre-qualification.

Best secured bad credit loans

Est. APR8.99-35.99%
Est. APR8.99-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$50K
Loan amount$2K-$50K
Min. credit score600
Min. credit score600
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
on Best Egg's website
Est. APR8.99-35.99%
Est. APR8.99-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$50K
Loan amount$2K-$50K
Min. credit score600
Min. credit score600
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
Repayment terms:3 to 5 years
on Best Egg's website
Pros
  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.
  • Wide range of loan amounts.
  • Unsecured and secured loan options.
  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • No late fees.
Cons
  • Origination fee.
  • No rate discounts.
  • No option to choose initial payment date.
  • No mobile app to manage loan.
Best Egg offers personal loans for borrowers who want to consolidate debt and need cash fast.
  • Borrowers can use a household fixture or vehicle as collateral for a secured Best Egg loan.
  • Allows changes to payment due date three times per year.
  • Can approve loan applications instantly.

Best bad credit loans with an easy application process

Est. APR7.99-35.99%
Est. APR7.99-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$37K
Loan amount$2K-$37K
Min. credit score660
Min. credit score660
Repayment terms:2 to 6 years
Repayment terms:2 to 6 years
on LendingPoint's website
Est. APR7.99-35.99%
Est. APR7.99-35.99%
Loan amount$2K-$37K
Loan amount$2K-$37K
Min. credit score660
Min. credit score660
Repayment terms:2 to 6 years
Repayment terms:2 to 6 years
on LendingPoint's website
Pros
  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.
  • Fast funding.
  • Offers mobile app to manage loan payments.
  • Option to change your payment date.
  • Free credit score access.
Cons
  • May charge an origination fee.
  • Reports payments to two of the three major credit bureaus.
  • No joint, co-signed or secured loans.
  • Does not directly pay creditors with debt consolidation loans.
LendingPoint personal loans are a solid borrowing option for fair- and bad-credit borrowers. They are funded quickly and have some flexible features.
  • Can approve an application as fast as five seconds.
  • Wide range of repayment terms for flexible monthly payment options.
  • Offers credit score tracking and personal finance management tool through the LendingPoint app.

From the writer: How I made this list

"To build this list, I asked myself ‘which lenders would I recommend to a friend?’ The answer was those with the right mix of approachable borrowing requirements, high star ratings, the ability to fund a loan quickly and low enough minimum APRs that folks have a chance at getting a good rate.

Then, I considered what else a person seeking a bad-credit loan may need. That’s why there are lenders here that offer features like credit-building help, secured loan options and perks for consolidating debt. The goal is to have a versatile list of lenders that could fit many different borrower needs."

Annie Millerbernd, Assistant Assigning Editor, Personal Loans

On this page

What are bad credit loans?

A bad credit personal loan is for borrowers with low credit scores or thin credit histories. Bad credit loan amounts range from about $1,000 to $50,000 and annual percentage rates are capped at 36%.

Like all personal loans, bad credit loans have fixed rates and are repaid in fixed monthly installments over a period of one to seven years. These loans typically aren’t backed by collateral — they're unsecured.

Though you may qualify for a personal loan with bad credit, your rate will likely be on the high end of a lender’s range, and your approved loan amount may be smaller than what you request.

Pros and cons of personal loans for bad credit

A bad-credit loan can help you get through an emergency, consolidate other high-interest debt or make necessary home repairs, but consumers with poor credit frequently get the highest personal loan APRs and fees.

Review the pros and cons of bad-credit loans, and compare them with other ways to borrow money.

Pros

  • Fast funding. Some lenders can approve a loan application instantly, while others may take a day or two. Once approved, funding can happen the same day or take a couple of days.

  • Fixed, predictable payments. Unlike most credit cards and credit lines, personal loans usually have fixed interest rates, meaning you’ll have the same monthly payment for the full loan term.

  • On-time loan payments build credit. Payment history is the biggest factor that determines your credit score, so paying on time can give you a big boost.

  • Rates may be lower than credit cards and other high-interest loans. Though a low credit score often results in a high personal loan rate, your rate may still be lower on a personal loan than some credit cards and other high-interest loans.

Cons

  • Rates are often high. Bad-credit borrowers can expect an annual percentage rate on the high end of a lender’s range. Personal loan rates max out at 36%, and it‘s possible someone with a low score could get a 20% APR or higher.

  • Consumers with the lowest credit scores may not qualify. Minimum credit scores among bad-credit lenders are often between 550 and 660. A score that meets the minimum requirement doesn’t guarantee approval, and those with scores below the requirement are unlikely to qualify.

  • Collateral or a co-signer may be required. If you fail to qualify for a personal loan, the lender may suggest you add a co-signer or get a secured loan. These options may help you qualify, but late payments will risk your collateral or co-signer’s credit.

  • Predatory lenders may seek out bad-credit borrowers.Predatory lenders — those that use deceptive practices to provide potentially harmful loans — may seek out consumers with low credit scores who fear they won’t qualify elsewhere. (More on how to spot a personal loan scam below.)

How to compare bad credit loans

Qualification requirements and cost are the most important features to consider when choosing a personal loan for bad credit. Here are some tips to compare personal loans for bad credit.

Borrowing requirements. Bad-credit lenders consider many factors on a loan application, including:

  • Credit score: If a lender has a minimum credit score requirement, you’ll need at least that score, but ideally a higher one, to qualify.

  • Debt-to-income ratio: This is the percentage of your monthly income that goes to debt payments. Lenders typically like to see that you can cover your monthly bills, including any other loan or credit card payments, and have money left over after your new personal loan payment.

  • Co-applicant and collateral: If the lender offers a co-signed or secured loan, the person or item you add to the application becomes a factor in deciding whether you qualify.

Annual percentage rate range. Consumers who qualify with bad credit are likely to get a rate near the top of a lender’s range, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to that number. A loan’s APR consists of the interest rate plus any fees. Many bad-credit online lenders charge an origination fee. The highest APR an affordable bad credit loan should have is 36%, according to most consumer advocates.

Legitimacy. Read online reviews from other borrowers, verify the lender’s state license and physical address to ensure the lender is providing fair, legal loans. (More on how to spot loan scams below.)

Monthly payments. Review your budget to determine what an affordable monthly payment would be. Then, use a personal loan calculator to see what rate and repayment term you’d need to get that monthly payment.

Loan details
Your loan estimateMonthly payment$212.47
  • Total principal

    $10,000.00
  • Total interest payments

    $2,748.23
  • Total loan payments

    $12,748.23
  • Payoff date

    06 / 2029
Payment datePrincipalInterestMonthly paymentPrincipal balance
Jun 2024$129.14$83.33$212.47$9,870.86
Jul 2024$130.21$82.26$212.47$9,740.65
Aug 2024$131.30$81.17$212.47$9,609.35
Sep 2024$132.39$80.08$212.47$9,476.96
Oct 2024$133.50$78.97$212.47$9,343.46
Nov 2024$134.61$77.86$212.47$9,208.85
Dec 2024$135.73$76.74$212.47$9,073.12
Jan 2025$136.86$75.61$212.47$8,936.26
Feb 2025$138.00$74.47$212.47$8,798.26
Mar 2025$139.15$73.32$212.47$8,659.11
Apr 2025$140.31$72.16$212.47$8,518.80
May 2025$141.48$70.99$212.47$8,377.32
Jun 2025$142.66$69.81$212.47$8,234.66
Jul 2025$143.85$68.62$212.47$8,090.81
Aug 2025$145.05$67.42$212.47$7,945.76
Sep 2025$146.26$66.21$212.47$7,799.51
Oct 2025$147.47$65.00$212.47$7,652.03
Nov 2025$148.70$63.77$212.47$7,503.33
Dec 2025$149.94$62.53$212.47$7,353.39
Jan 2026$151.19$61.28$212.47$7,202.20
Feb 2026$152.45$60.02$212.47$7,049.74
Mar 2026$153.72$58.75$212.47$6,896.02
Apr 2026$155.00$57.47$212.47$6,741.02
May 2026$156.30$56.18$212.47$6,584.72
Jun 2026$157.60$54.87$212.47$6,427.12
Jul 2026$158.91$53.56$212.47$6,268.21
Aug 2026$160.24$52.24$212.47$6,107.98
Sep 2026$161.57$50.90$212.47$5,946.41
Oct 2026$162.92$49.55$212.47$5,783.49
Nov 2026$164.27$48.20$212.47$5,619.22
Dec 2026$165.64$46.83$212.47$5,453.57
Jan 2027$167.02$45.45$212.47$5,286.55
Feb 2027$168.42$44.05$212.47$5,118.13
Mar 2027$169.82$42.65$212.47$4,948.31
Apr 2027$171.23$41.24$212.47$4,777.08
May 2027$172.66$39.81$212.47$4,604.42
Jun 2027$174.10$38.37$212.47$4,430.32
Jul 2027$175.55$36.92$212.47$4,254.76
Aug 2027$177.01$35.46$212.47$4,077.75
Sep 2027$178.49$33.98$212.47$3,899.26
Oct 2027$179.98$32.49$212.47$3,719.28
Nov 2027$181.48$30.99$212.47$3,537.81
Dec 2027$182.99$29.48$212.47$3,354.82
Jan 2028$184.51$27.96$212.47$3,170.31
Feb 2028$186.05$26.42$212.47$2,984.25
Mar 2028$187.60$24.87$212.47$2,796.65
Apr 2028$189.17$23.31$212.47$2,607.49
May 2028$190.74$21.73$212.47$2,416.75
Jun 2028$192.33$20.14$212.47$2,224.42
Jul 2028$193.93$18.54$212.47$2,030.48
Aug 2028$195.55$16.92$212.47$1,834.93
Sep 2028$197.18$15.29$212.47$1,637.75
Oct 2028$198.82$13.65$212.47$1,438.93
Nov 2028$200.48$11.99$212.47$1,238.45
Dec 2028$202.15$10.32$212.47$1,036.30
Jan 2029$203.83$8.64$212.47$832.47
Feb 2029$205.53$6.94$212.47$626.93
Mar 2029$207.25$5.22$212.47$419.69
Apr 2029$208.97$3.50$212.47$210.71
May 2029$210.71$1.76$212.47$0.00

What is bad credit?

Bad credit is reflected in a credit score that’s typically below 630, but lenders and credit scoring companies use different ranges to signal bad credit. The FICO credit scoring considers a score below 580 poor, while VantageScore calls a score of 600 or lower “subprime.”

Here are the top factors that determine your credit score, according to FICO:

  • Payment history: 35%.

  • Amounts owed: 30%.

  • Length of credit history: 15%.

  • Credit mix: 10%.

  • New credit: 10%.

How does bad credit affect your ability to get a personal loan?

Having a bad credit score makes it harder to qualify for a personal loan. If a lender sees that you’ve missed payments toward credit cards and other types of loans, or that you’re using a lot of your available credit, it may signal to them that adding to your debt with a personal loan could be risky for them.

If you do qualify for a personal loan with bad credit, the lender will often make up for the risk that you may default by charging a high interest rate.

What are current bad credit loan rates?

The average pre-qualified personal loan rate for a bad-credit borrower was 21.93% in April 2024, according to aggregate, anonymized data from NerdWallet.

Personal loan interest rate tracker

Borrower credit rating

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

11.85%.

Good

690-719.

14.12%.

Fair

630-689.

18.05%.

Bad

300-629.

22.68%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified through NerdWallet from May 1, 2024, through May 31, 2024. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below 500 — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with maximum APRs below 36%.

  • Lender

    APR range

    Upgrade

    8.49% - 35.99%.

    Upstart

    7.80% - 35.99%.

    Universal Credit

    11.69% - 35.99%.

    Avant

    9.95% - 35.99%.

    Best Egg

    8.99% - 35.99%.

    LendingPoint

    7.99% - 35.99%.

What fees do bad-credit lenders charge?

One of the most common bad credit loan fees is an origination fee, which is 1% to 10% of the loan amount. The fee is included in your APR, but a lender may take it before sending you the funds, effectively reducing your loan amount, or add it to your monthly payment.

A two-year, $10,000 loan with a 20% interest rate and a 5% origination fee has an APR of 25.14%. If the lender takes the origination fee before sending you the loan, you’d receive $9,500 and the lender would keep $500.

Lenders also usually charge late payment and non-sufficient funds fees.

How to get a personal loan for bad credit

Here are the steps to get a bad credit personal loan:

1. Check your credit

Review your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. Fixing errors on your report before applying may improve your chances of qualifying. You can get your credit reports for free on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Review your budget

Check your monthly income and expenses to see what you can comfortably afford to pay toward a personal loan each month. A missed loan payment will damage your credit score, so take this chance to determine how much you can commit to paying.

3. Pre-qualify with multiple lenders

Many lenders let you pre-qualify online to preview potential loan offers. You provide some information about yourself, like your income, desired loan amount and loan purpose, and the lender does a soft credit pull to determine your potential loan rate, amount, repayment term and monthly payment. No two lenders have the same borrowing requirements, so it pays to pre-qualify with multiple lenders.

4. Submit an application

Once you’ve found the right lender, gather documents, including proof of income and employment, a government-issued ID and bank statements. Most lenders have online personal loan applications, but your local bank or credit union may require an in-person application. The lender will do a hard credit check when you apply, causing your score to temporarily drop. Expect a decision within a few days.

5. Add the new loan payment to your budget

On-time loan payments can build your credit. Add loan payments to your monthly budget and set up autopay to avoid missing any.

Other tips to qualify for a bad credit loan

Include all your income. Many lenders accept income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support and social security payments. Showing a lender that you have enough income to make the payments is crucial to approval, so be sure to include all sources of income when you apply.

Don’t ask for more than you need. Asking for a smaller loan won’t guarantee approval, but the larger your requested loan, the riskier it may look to a lender. Requesting a loan amount you can comfortably repay goes a long way with a lender.

Where to get a personal loan for bad credit

Online: Some online lenders offer personal loans specifically for bad-credit borrowers. These lenders may consider information beyond your credit and income to qualify you, though those are still major factors in a loan decision.

Credit unions: Credit unions rely more on traditional information like credit and income but may also consider your history as a member. A member in good standing with the credit union may qualify for a personal loan despite a low credit score.

Types of bad credit loans

Unsecured personal loan

An unsecured loan doesn’t require collateral. Instead, a lender determines whether you qualify based on factors like your credit score, income and cash flow.

When to use an unsecured loan:

  • To make large purchases, debt consolidation and home improvement projects.

  • If you get a low rate.

Secured personal loan

A secured loan requires you to pledge collateral — usually a vehicle or bank account — to borrow money.

When to use a secured loan:

  • The rate is lower than with an unsecured loan.

  • Pledging collateral is worth the risk.

Co-signed personal loan

A co-signed loan requires someone to vouch for your ability to repay the loan.

When to use a co-signed loan:

  • The rate is lower than without the co-signer.

  • The co-signer understands the risk.

Joint personal loan

A joint loan is one you get with another person, meaning they share responsibility for payments and can access the funds.

When to use a joint loan:

  • You get a lower rate than without a co-borrower.

  • You and the co-borrower need equal access to the funds.

Home equity financing for bad credit

Home equity loans and credit lines allow you to borrow money against the equity in your home. Home equity loans are fixed-rate, lump sum loans while HELOCs usually have variable rates and allow you to draw on the funds as you need them. Because they’re secured by your home, you risk losing your house if you default.

When to use a HELOC or home equity loan:

  • For home improvement projects and repairs.

  • You have enough equity to borrow against.

Alternatives to personal loans for bad credit

A personal loan may not be the right option if you have bad credit. Even if you’re approved, you’ll likely pay a high APR. Consider these alternatives before borrowing.

  • Borrow from a trusted friend or family member. It may help to have a plan for interest, repayment terms and payment frequency in mind when you ask for the loan. Then you and the lender can formalize the details in a family loan agreement.

  • If you’re struggling to cover rent, utilities or credit card payments, consider asking for an extension or getting on a hardship program. Your credit card issuer, mortgage lender or utility company’s website may have an online application for hardship assistance, but you may have to ask a landlord directly.

  • Medical bill negotiators, medical credit cards or a payment plan with your provider may help take some of the stress and urgency out of paying a steep medical bill. These options may come with fees or interest, so compare medical bill payment options to find the most affordable one.

  • Buy now, pay later” is an at-checkout financing option that lets you split a purchase into smaller installments. It’s typically best for necessary purchases that will otherwise stretch your budget and if you have a plan to make the payments on time.

  • A cash advance app gives you an advance up to a few hundred dollars and withdraws repayment — plus any tips and fees — on your next payday. These apps can help bridge a temporary income gap, but be sure you can cover regular expenses when the advance is taken from your next paycheck to avoid falling into a debt cycle.

How to spot a bad credit loan scam

The lenders on this page offer legitimate personal loans. Here are a few red flags to look out for when you're shopping for a personal loan for bad credit.

  • No credit check or guaranteed approval. Reputable lenders dig into your finances, including your credit and income, to determine whether you can repay the loan. A lender that doesn't do this may charge exorbitant rates that could land you in a debt trap.

  • No state license. The Federal Trade Commission requires lenders to register in states where they do business. Many lenders list state licenses on their websites.

  • Asking for a gift card. No legitimate lender asks for a gift card in exchange for a loan. If you're asked to provide a gift card — even by someone who says they work for a popular lender — consider it a scam.

  • No fee disclosures. The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to disclose the loan's APR, total interest and total repayment amount before you sign a loan agreement. Ask to see this information before signing and walk away if the lender refuses.

Frequently asked questions

  • Our picks for the best personal loans for bad credit are from these loan companies:

    • Upgrade: Best overall bad credit loan.

    • Upstart: Best for thin credit.

    • Universal Credit: Best for credit-building tools.

    • Avant: Best for low credit scores.

    • Best Egg: Best for secured loans.

    • LendingPoint: Best for an easy application process.

  • First, build your credit by fixing errors or catching up on late payments. Consider adding a co-signer with good credit, or securing your loan. It's always a good idea to pre-qualify to check the rate and loan amount you might get. Pre-qualifying does not affect your credit score. Learn all the steps to get a personal loan with bad credit.

  • A bad credit score may not prevent you from getting a loan. Lenders like those listed here provide personal loans for borrowers with bad credit, however, you may not qualify if your score is below 500. In that case, alternatives to bad credit loans include family loans, payment plans with medical and utility providers, local financial assistance programs, cash advance apps and buy now, pay later plans.

  • Yes, but it may be risky. A no-credit-check lender provides a loan without reviewing your credit history. Instead, these lenders consider information like your bank account transactions, income and employment status. Because these lenders don’t conduct a credit check, making loans is riskier for them and they make up for that risk by charging sky-high interest rates.

    All of the lenders listed on this page check credit.

  • Bad credit loans are generally from $1,000 to $50,000. Your loan amount depends on your credit, income, outstanding debts, the lender you choose and the type of loan you get.

Last updated on June 3, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 technology companies and financial institutions. We collect over 50 data points from each lender and cross-check company websites, earnings reports and other public documents to confirm product details. We may also go through a lender’s pre-qualification flow and follow up with company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. Our ratings award fewer points to lenders with practices that may make a loan difficult to repay on time, such as charging high annual percentage rates (above 36%), underwriting that does not adequately assess consumers’ ability to repay and lack of credit-building help. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Loans for Bad Credit of June 2024

  • Upgrade: Best for Overall bad credit loans
  • Upstart: Best for Thin credit
  • Avant: Best for Fast funding
  • Universal Credit: Best for Credit-building tools
  • Best Egg: Best for Secured loans
  • LendingPoint: Best for Easy application process
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