BEST OF

5 Best Medical Loans for Bad Credit in 2022

Bad-credit borrowers may qualify for medical loans, but interest rates could be high. See your loan options plus other ways to fund medical costs.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

A medical loan is an unsecured personal loan for planned or emergency medical expenses. The best option for borrowers with fair or bad credit (a credit score below 690) may be personal loans from online lenders that consider factors beyond credit score.

Interest rates on bad-credit medical loans can be high, so before taking one, consider cheaper alternatives like a health care provider payment plan or a loan from a family member.

Here are NerdWallet’s top picks for lenders that offer medical loans for low-credit borrowers.

Best Medical Loans for Bad Credit in 2022 From Our Partners

Our pick for

Medical loans for bad credit

Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

6.95-35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Upgrade offers rate discounts and secured and joint loan options, making it a good option for those with low credit scores.

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.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including the loan you're applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 8%.

  • Late Fee: $10.

  • Failed payment fee: $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 6.95%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

Read Full Review
Lending Club
Get rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

6.34-35.89%

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

LendingClub's strong educational resources and borrower support platform make it a good option for bad-credit borrowers seeking to build credit.

Pros

  • Offers joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change the payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from two repayment term options only.

  • Charges an origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Maximum DTI: 60%; 40% for joint applicants.

  • Minimum credit history: More than 18 months.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit report: Two revolving accounts.

  • Monthly income after paying other debts and living expenses should be enough to cover the new personal loan payments.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2% to 6%.

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

A representative example of loan payment terms is as follows: you receive a loan of $13,411 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 12.16% and a 5.30% origination fee of $711, for an APR of 15.99%. In this example, you will receive $12,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $446.46. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths are 36 months or 60 months. Some amounts and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. APR ranges from 7.04% to 35.89% and is determined at the time of application. Origination fee ranges from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 7/1/21 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Loans are subject to credit approval and sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that we subsequently obtain as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan from us. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

Read Full Review
Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

5.42-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Upstart could be a good fit for new and bad-credit borrowers as it considers factors outside of credit scores like education and job history.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

  • Allows borrowers to choose and change payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No mobile app to manage the loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum credit history: None, this lending platform accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Minimum loan amounts vary by state: GA ($3,100), HI ($2,100), MA ($7,000), NM ($5,100), OH ($6,000).This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.4% and 60 monthly payments of $24.62 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $14,775 including a $582 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

Read Full Review
OneMain
Get rate

on OneMain Financial's website

OneMain Financial

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
OneMain

Est. APR

18.00-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,500-$20,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on OneMain Financial's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

OneMain accepts low credit scores, making it an option for bad-credit borrowers, but rates are high.

Pros

  • Option to choose your payment date.

  • Offers joint and secured loans.

  • Able to fund a loan the same or next business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors on debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared to other online lenders.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum income: None; average is $45,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: $25 to $400 or 1 - 10%.

Disclaimer

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $300. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Read Full Review
Universal Credit
Get rate

on Universal Credit's website

Universal Credit

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Universal Credit

Est. APR

11.69-35.93%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Universal Credit's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Universal Credit accepts low credit scores and offers multiple opportunities for rate discounts on personal loans.

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.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including mortgage and the loan you’re applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 5.25% to 8%.

  • Late fee: Up to $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Universal Credit feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 11.69%-35.93%. All personal loans have a 5.25% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 36 to 60 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 28.47% APR (which includes a 22.99% yearly interest rate and a 7% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,300 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $387.05. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $13,933.62. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early .

Read Full Review

Medical loans for bad credit — rates, amounts, terms

Here are key factors to understand about bad-credit medical loans.

Interest rates: Annual percentage rates for personal loans typically range from 6% to 36%. Low-credit borrowers will likely receive a rate at the higher end of that range. While your credit score can play a significant factor in how lenders determine the APR you receive, some lenders that target bad-credit borrowers may consider additional criteria like education or job history.

Fees: Some lenders charge origination fees to cover the cost of processing the loan. These fees can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount, and they’re typically deducted from your loan. Also check for potential prepayment or late fees.

Loan amounts: Depending on the lender, personal loan amounts can range from $1,000 to $50,000. Borrowers with low credit scores may not qualify for the highest loan amounts. Once you are approved, lenders will disburse the loan as a lump sum, which you repay in monthly installments.

Loan terms: Loan terms — the period during which you must repay the loan — range from two to seven years. A shorter term may mean higher monthly payments, while a longer term can cost more in interest.

For example, here’s how the loan term affects a $5,000 loan with a 21% APR:

2-year loan

5-year loan

Monthly payment

$256

$135

Total interest

$1,166

$3,116

How to get a medical loan with bad credit

  1. Check your credit. Your credit score can determine if you qualify for a loan and how much you can get. Review your credit report to know your credit score and to check for any incorrect delinquencies or potential errors. Try to resolve past-due balances on your accounts since missed payments can significantly impact your credit scores.

  2. Figure out how much you need and can budget for. Your medical expense will often determine how much you need to borrow, but you can also use a personal loan calculator to figure out what you can afford. You’ll want to get a medical loan with payments that fit within your budget.

  3. Get pre-qualified. Most online lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a loan using a soft credit check. This means you can know if you’ll be approved without negatively impacting your credit score. Pre-qualifying also allows you to see potential loan terms, APRs, amounts and payments, so you can compare offers and choose one that gives you the amount you need with payments you can afford.

  4. Add a co-borrower or collateral: Co-signed, joint or secured loans are less risky for lenders and can increase your likelihood of approval. You may even get a lower rate. With co-signed loans, the co-signer is responsible for repaying the loan if you miss payments. A secured loan requires collateral that you can lose if you default.

  5. Apply. Once you choose a loan that best fits your needs, you can formally apply. Online lenders make the application simple to complete and have the funds deposited into your bank account after approval.

How to compare medical loans for bad credit

Affordable APRs and payments: APR is the total cost of a loan, including interest and fees. It allows you to make an apples-to-apples comparison between loan costs. Look for lenders with rates below 36%, which is the maximum that financial experts agree is affordable.

Credit reporting: Making consistent on-time payments toward your loan can help improve your credit. So, choose a lender that reports your payments to at least one major credit bureau — and preferably all three.

Funding time: Consider the amount of time it will take to receive funding. Is the medical expense an emergency expense or a procedure planned for the future? Some online lenders approve and disburse loan funds within 24 hours after approval, while others take up to a week.

Customer support: Some lenders provide support through multiple customer contact channels including an app, while others may offer assistance by phone or email only. Consider how you would like to manage your account and the level of customer support you might need.

Other features: Depending on the situation, some lenders provide features like hardship plans or flexible payment options that may help if you hit a financial speed bump. They may also offer free financial education resources.

Other ways to pay medical bills

It's best to consider a medical loan only after you’ve tried low- or no-cost options. Here are other funding options to help you cover medical costs.

Payment plan: Medical providers may offer payment plans that allow you to pay a medical bill in monthly installments, typically with no interest. The amounts and terms depend on the agreement you negotiate with the physician.

Family loan: A family loan can be a low-interest option to fund medical expenses. A successful arrangement includes a formal written agreement outlining interest and terms between both family members. Also, consider IRS guidelines and the impact a family loan can have on the relationship.

Credit union loan: Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that may offer loans with lower interest rates and more flexible terms than online lenders. During the application process, they are also more likely to consider your overall financial picture. However, credit unions require membership, and many don't offer an option to pre-qualify.

CareCredit: CareCredit is a specialty credit card for financing health care expenses. CareCredit doesn't have a minimum credit score requirement and considers factors like income and credit history in addition to your score. Its standard APR is 26.99%, but participating physicians may offer promotional financing options like zero-interest deals, which require you to pay the balance in full by a set time to avoid retroactive interest charges.

Nonprofit or charity: The Patient Advocate Foundation and the National Organization for Rare Disorders are examples of nonprofit organizations that offer payment assistance for medical expenses like copays, medications and treatment. PAF works with insured patients who have chronic illnesses, while NORD supports patients with rare diseases.

Last updated on August 2, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. 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. 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.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. 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 Medical Loans for Bad Credit in 2022

Frequently asked questions