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Personal loans for bad credit

NerdWallet’s personal loans tool helps you compare bad credit loans and find a lender with flexible terms - looking beyond just your credit score.


Easily compare real loan offers — not just ranges or estimates.

It's fast, free and won't affect your credit.

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.

We found 2 options from our lending partners

3 year loan

Upstart

Upstart
APR 
11.77-35.99% 

Mo. payment 
$196 

Min. credit 
580 


Min. credit

580

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 580.

  • Minimum credit history: none, this lender 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.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

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

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

Disclaimer

1)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 received 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. 2) § 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. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. 3) ‡ The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. 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.

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR 
30.7% 

Mo. payment 
$214 

Min. credit 
600 


Min. credit

600

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600. LendingClub uses FICO 8 credit scoring model.

  • Minimum credit history of three years.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% combined for joint applicants.

Pros

  • Offers co-signed and joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Borrowers can only choose from two repayment term options.

  • Rates are high compared to other online lenders.

  • Charges an origination fee.

Disclaimer

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer. Loans require sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued.


Bad Credit Loans: What You Need to Know

January 11, 2021

What is a personal loan for bad credit?

An unsecured personal loan is a fixed-rate loan that is not backed by collateral. Instead, lenders consider your credit score, credit report and debt-to-income ratio. Having a bad credit score (300-629 on the FICO scale) doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting a personal loan, but it lowers your chances of approval. If you do qualify, you may get an interest rate at the high end of a lender’s range.

Bad credit loans are often repaid in monthly installments, usually over one to five years. You can use the funds for almost any purpose, whether you need to cover a large expense or consolidate your debt.

What rate should I expect on a bad credit personal loan?

Personal loans can have high rates for borrowers with low credit scores. Bad-credit borrowers can expect an annual percentage rate in the high 20s or 30s. Some lenders may consider what you’re using the funds for and the amount you request when calculating your rate.

Personal loan interest rates by credit score

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850

11.8%

Good

690-719

17.4%

Fair

630-689

23.4%

Bad

300-629

28.7% (Lowest scores unlikely to qualify.)

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender.

Can I get a personal loan with a bad credit score?

Some online lenders cater specifically to people with bad credit. Many of these loan companies review your credit score when deciding whether to lend you money, but they may also consider factors beyond your score, such as your education, where you live and the type of work you do.

Consider these four steps for getting a loan with bad credit:

  1. Check your credit report: Before you apply for a personal loan, check your credit report and address any errors that could be impacting your score. Bumping your credit several points can not only boost your chances of qualifying, but also get you a lower interest rate. NerdWallet offers free access to your TransUnion credit report. You can also get a free report from each of the three big credit bureaus (the other two are Experian and Equifax) from AnnualCreditReport.com.

  2. Visit a credit union: Personal loans from reputable online lenders are fast and convenient, but you may get a lower rate and more personalized service from a credit union. The maximum annual percentage rate offered at federal credit unions is 18%.

  3. Pre-qualify online: If you can’t get a loan through your local credit union, compare offers from multiple online lenders. The easiest way to compare actual rates is to pre-qualify. Pre-qualifying typically involves a soft credit check, which does not impact your score. You can also use a personal loan calculator to see what rates may be available to you, based on your credit and the loan amount you want.

  4. Submit an application: Applying for a loan can take anywhere from one business day to a week, and the process triggers a hard credit inquiry. That can temporarily hurt your credit score, but it should rebound over time as you make on-time payments on the personal loan.

How to manage your personal loan

As with any debt you take on, have a plan to pay off your personal loan.

Update your budget: Follow a budget that divides your income into needs, wants, savings and debt to ensure timely monthly payments toward your personal loan.

Set up autopay: Setting up automatic payments ensures you’ll make them on time. Over time, this will help improve your credit score. Some lenders offer rate discounts to customers who use autopay.

Keep in touch with the lender: If you lose your job or encounter a surprise expense and think you may fall behind on payments, contact the lender right away to work toward a solution. Some lenders offer hardship programs or will temporarily defer your payments and waive late fees until you get back on your feet.

How to choose a bad-credit lender

NerdWallet has reviewed more than 30 lenders to help you compare and choose one that’s right for you. Here are lenders that offer personal loans for bad or fair credit:

Upgrade: Best bad credit loan for debt consolidation and credit tools

Upgrade’s personal loan seems tailor-made for debt consolidation, even though you can use the loan for almost any expense. The lender will not only send your loan proceeds directly to your creditors to pay off your balances, but it may also discount your rate for choosing this option.

Upgrade

NerdWallet rating

Loan amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Minimum credit score

580

Other qualifying data

Free cash flow.

Fees

  • Origination: 2.9% - 8%.

  • Late: Up to $10.

  • Less-than-full payment: $10.

Funding time

One business day.

Upstart: Best bad credit loan for borrowers with limited credit history

Upstart stands out among bad-credit lenders because of its sophisticated underwriting model. The lender takes non-credit data  —  like college education and residence — into account when reviewing a loan application. This model may help young applicants with thin credit histories or lower credit scores but higher earning potential qualify for a loan.

Upstart

NerdWallet rating

Loan amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Minimum credit score

580

Other qualifying data

Earning potential, college education, job history, residence, other alternative data.

Fees

  • Origination: Up to 8%.

  • Late: Greater of 5% of payment or $15.

  • Returned/failed payment: $15.

Funding time

One business day.

Avant: Best bad credit loan for flexible payments and refinance options

Avant can fund a loan as quickly as the business day after an application is approved. It has competitive rates for bad-credit borrowers and allows you to change your pay date as often as you need to. You can refinance an Avant loan or a loan from another lender to get a potentially lower rate.

Avant

NerdWallet rating

Loan amount

$2,000 - $35,000

Minimum credit score

550

Other qualifying data

Income, existing debts.

Fees

  • Origination: Up to 4.75%.

  • Late: $25.

  • Unsuccessful payment: $15 in most states.

Funding time

One to three business days.

OneMain Financial: Best bad credit loan for joint and secured loan options

OneMain doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, instead prioritizing ability to repay and overall credit stability. This lender offers joint loans and vehicle-secured loans, which may help borrowers qualify or get a lower APR.

OneMain

NerdWallet rating

Loan amount

$1,500 - $20,000

Minimum credit score

None

Other qualifying data

Ability to repay, credit stability, collateral.

Fees

  • Origination: $25 - $400 or 1% - 10%, depending on state.

  • Late: $5 - $30 or 1.5 - 15% of payment depending on state and loan.

  • Nonsufficient funds: $10 - $50.

Funding time

Same day if approved by noon.

LendingPoint: Best bad credit loan for fast funding

LendingPoint has higher rates than some other bad-credit lenders, and it reports payments to only two of the three major credit bureaus. It lets borrowers choose a payment date and can fund loans the business day after an application is approved.

LendingPoint

NerdWallet rating

Loan amount

$2,000 - $25,000

Minimum credit score

585

Other qualifying data

Past and present income, credit behavior, job history.

Fees

  • Origination: Up to 6%.

  • Late: $30.

Funding time

One business day.

More bad credit loans


Disclaimers

Annual Percentage Rates (APR), loan term and monthly payments are estimated based on analysis of information provided by you, data provided by lenders, and publicly available information. All loan information is presented without warranty, and the estimated APR and other terms are not binding in any way. Lenders provide loans with a range of APRs depending on borrowers' credit and other factors. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend on factors like credit score, requested loan amount, loan term, and credit history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval.