Arkansas state officials have worked diligently to protect their citizens from exorbitant interest fees from payday loan and bad credit loan providers. The maximum interest rate allowed is 17%. Bad credit loan providers are unable to offer personal loan services without a much higher interest rate to cover their risk. 

While the state is doing their best to protect people from high-interest loans, people do run into issues that can drive their credit score into a  position of not being able to get any type of loan. Some very common issues are:

  • Job loss is number one
  • Separation and divorce
  • medical bills
  • Death in the family
  • Business loss
  • credit card abuse/overspending
  • addiction

We can ruin our credit score so easily, even if you're making a great income. If you do not have a home to use for security when times are difficult, then what? If your credit score falls under 600 to 620, most banks and credit union will not lend money to you. Lenders that will lend to people that are a higher risk will not operate in the state when interest rates are too low. We completely understand that payday loans should be banned, but where is a middle ground?  

Credit card and bank interest rates do not fall under the 17% usury laws. The banks and credit card companies are allowed to charge the same interest rates based on the laws of the state in which the bank is chartered. - reference below

"Accordingly, it is our position that Section 521 authorizes state-chartered FDIC-insured banks to charge interest at the rate allowed to the "most favored lender" by the laws of the state in which the bank is chartered, even if that rate exceeds the maximum permitted by an out-of-state borrower's state of residence. That authorization necessarily includes the right to charge late fees and other charges permitted by the bank's home state which are either a component of interest or material to the determination of the interest rate."

We are looking for a few ideas that may help you with your search for a personal loan in Arkansas.


Another alternative to securing a personal loan is asking a family member or friend to co-sign a personal loan for you. This process is quite simple. Your family member or friend becomes responsible for this loan if you miss a payment or default.

There are a few things you need to consider before you go down this path.

  1. Are you earning enough to support the new payment on this loan amount?
  2. Is your current job and salary stable? You may have recently graduated from university or college and never had the opportunity to establish your credit score. You've hit a rough spot and messed up your credit, now your trying to clean it up. Both of these are very common occurrences.
  3. A great rule to follow for you and your cosigner's comfort level is your debt to income ratio of 35% or less. Your debt to income ratio is all of your monthly payments divided by your gross monthly income.
  4. Will you be paying off or consolidating debt when you take this loan?
  5. You want to be sure that you will be able to live and afford this new monthly payment.

The last thing anyone wants is to damage a close relationship over money.

Freedomplus Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $10,000 to $35,000 
  • Credit Score:  600+ Rates decrease with a qualified Co-signer or a retirement fund with a minimum of $40,000
  • APR:  See freedomplus Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  2 to 5 years
  • Fees: Origination fees range from 0 to 5%
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Offering co-signer loans
    • Minimum income of $30,000 to apply
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Debt to income of 40%

The Risks of Co-Signing a Loan

If you are considering co-signing for someone, we recommend that you and the borrower prepare yourself for the downside of co-signing a loan. We call them the co-signee because when you arrive in court, that is how the judge will refer to them not your friend.

  1. We suggest that you budget this new loan into your monthly expenses for the term of the loan. If the borrower defaults, this becomes your loan. You can pay it off early without penalty, but it's now your loan.
  2. If you are planning any future purchases that require credit, the co-signed loan amount will be sitting on your credit history. It will increase your credit risk and may drive up the interest rate offered on any new loan you're trying to apply for. 
  3. Consider how the loan default will affect your relationship with the person you are co-signing for. If you are doing this for one of your children to improve their credit score, that can be a great idea as long as your child is ready to be responsible with money. 
  4. If you are co-signing for a friend that has a poor credit history, we would suggest giving them the money from your bank account and consider the money gone. If you can afford the gift, then no problem. If you cannot, the issues that come up from co-signing are not worth the friendship.
  5. If the borrower fails to pay, it's your loan. You can sue your friend or family member to pay you back, but they did not have money in the first place and you are assured you will never speak to each other again in the same way. You can get a judgment and go through the hassle of going into the court system but for what? It's a hassle for you that you do not want or need.
  6. If you are considering co-signing for a mortgage, we suggest going to your attorney to discuss all of the look term ramifications. 

Credit Score Rebuilding

If you are living with bad credit today, you understand better than anyone just how crippling it is when you are unable to borrow, have a credit card or any other form of credit. We all dream of purchasing a home, condo or apartment at some point in our lives. Maybe buy a car, get married, plan a trip and all the other great American dreams. When your credit is in the tank, our options become very limited.

Our recommendation to anyone that plans on continuing to live in Arkansas state with the lending laws that are in place today, you cannot live a full life with bad credit. The people that implemented these laws honestly are doing their residents a huge favor. Just imagine how much you would have borrowed if someone would have given you the money? 

Credit Score Rebuilding Help

By the time most of us are in a position to understand budgeting and making our payments on time, we've already ruined our credit score. The state of Arkansas is telling you to go figure it out how to manage your money. 

America Loan Service is developing a new credit rebuilding program. Its free today as we continue to develop the product. We are looking for a few hundred people to come to join Novita. We will be talking with you one on one, looking for your feedback to understand what you really need to get back on track. If you are serious about getting your life back on track, we are here to help at no charge for now.

Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

The equity in your home or property can be a great way to secure a loan with great interest rates. The lender is not required to take as much risk when you put up your property for security. There are two ways to complete this.

The home equity loanis secured against your home and set up as a monthly or bi-weekly payment until its paid off

HELOCis a credit line that is also secured against your property. The HELOC will allow you to pay interest only or make a monthly payment to pay it down. The credit line will stay in place even after the loan is paid off. 

Auto Refinance

If you have a vehicle that is paid off or you have some equity in it, you can refinance the vehicle. This will provide the lender security to approve your loan even if your credit is a bit tarnished. 

Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is a great way to develop new habits and improve your credit score. This card is perfect for someone trying to establish credit for the first time or repair credit. This card will feel more like a debit card than a credit card, but it helps your credit score. You deposit an amount of money on this card and then use it as a credit card. When the cash runs out, you deposit more cash. There are lots of options for secured credit cards. If you are dealing with a local bank or credit union, that is a great place to start. There are many secured credit cards that do not charge a fee so shop around.

Quick Personal Loan Information in Arkansas

Upgrade Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 to $50,000 
  • Credit Score:  620+
  • APR: See Upgrade Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Fees: 1% to 6% Origination Fee and will vary by loan term
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Debt to income of 50%
    • Funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications.
    • Unsecured Line Of Credit to $50,000 (coming soon)


SoFi Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $100,000 
  • Credit Score:  660+
  • APR: See SoFi Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  3,4,5,6, or 7 years
  • Fees: No application fees, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Will consider borrowers with limited credit history with great cash flow
    • Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, SoFi will temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job (unique to SoFi. Check out their disclaimer on the SoFi website for full details)

Earnest Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $5000 to $75,000 
  • Credit Score:  680+ 
  • APR:  See Earnest Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  2 to 5 years
  • Fees: No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Earnest Offers Lower Rates Through Better Data: The Earnest driven application process gives extra credit for financial responsibility
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Faster response times because they use technology to improve and accelerate their decisions
    • Lifetime service provided in‐house. Unlike other lenders, Earnest will never pass you off to third-­‐party services

Payoff Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $5000 to $35,000 
  • Credit Score:  660+ 
  • APR:  See Payoff Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  2 to 5 years
  • Fees: No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Payoff is a team of financial services professionals, research and clinical psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, Member Advocates and technology experts working together to better understand and accelerate people’s journey toward financial wellness.
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Specialize in consolidating credit card debt

LendingPoint Detailed Review

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Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $2000 to $25,000 
  • Credit Score:  590+ 
  • APR: See LendingPoint Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  2 to 5 years
  • Fees: Origination fees range from 0 to 6%
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • The company specializes in fair credit loans starting at 590+.
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Was established in 2014 offering personal loans throughout America. The company is based in Kennesaw Georgia and has an A+ rating with the BBB.

Credible Detailed Review

Apply Now with Credible

Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $1000 to $50,000 
  • Credit Score:  640+ 
  • APR: See Credible Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  2 to 5 years
  • Fees: Fees will vary by lender
  • Check this out Arkansas 
    • Apply once to Lending Club, Prosper, Avant, Upstart, FreedomPlus, Payoff, Best Egg
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, SoFi will temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job (unique to SoFi. Check out their disclaimer on the SoFi website for full details

Secured Personal Loans

A few things to know about secured loans:

  1. Usually used for a larger loan amount
  2. Access to capital can take longer if the asset used for security requires an appraisal
  3. Home equity loans have large fees similar to taking out the first mortgage

Secured auto loans are processed quickly with lower interest rates because the vehicle secures the loan.

home equity loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is an excellent option for higher loan amounts, and you have the time to wait. For many people that have just purchased their home or if the equity is not available to secure a home equity loan, an unsecured personal loan can get the job done, and it can be completed very quickly.

When to consider a Secured Loan and Line of Credit

Secured Loan

Secured loans and lines of credit are protected against assets and provide the lenders the ability to increase the borrowing amount, lower interest rates and work with a lower credit score. The main advantage of a secured loan is that you can access more capital when you use an asset to protect the lender. Secured loans require collateral, and the process can be longer as the collateral must be verified by the lending institution. This step can be well worth your time when you receive lower interest rates. If you need a larger amount of capital for debt consolidation or home repairs, you may want a Home Equity line of credit or secured loan. If you have a low credit score, the lender is usually more willing to lend you money as they have security that they could take to repay the loan.

Where to find the best Secured Loan

LendingTree is a great option for those looking for a secured loan with over 1500 providers to choose from. 

Business Loan vs. Personal Loan

With any business, you may need to make a cash injection and or help with cash flow. If your business in grossing over $50,000 annually, you can qualify for a loan using for business for security even with a poor credit score as low as 500.

Small business loans can be taken with your name as collateral for secured or unsecured loans.

The Difference between Secured and Unsecured Personal Loans

A personal loan is unsecured based on your signature and credit report where a secured personal loan is protected by the collateral you provide. Typical uses of unsecured loans are credit cards, lines of credit, student loans and personal loans for debt consolidation and home improvements. Secured loan collateral may be the item you’re purchasing an RV or vehicle that the lender is securing. In many cases, a secured loan could also be referred to as a home equity loan as they both require collateral. The home equity loan is your house as the collateral and lenders feel secure in that none of us want to risk losing our home. Interest rates may be less with a secured loan as the lender is taking less risk in the transaction. If you are not taking out a lot of credit, a secured loan may be the way for you to go if it saves you money in interest over the long term.

Net-Worth Statement to prepare for a Personal Loan from a Bank

If you decide to go to a bank to apply for a personal secured or unsecured loan, you will need to complete a personal net worth statement. This link will offer you an example of what most banks will be looking for today. You can also go online to the bank you are planning on using, and they may have their net worth documentation online. This may save you a trip back to the bank if you have this prepared before you go. Completing a net-worth statement will also help you understand the positive and negative issues the lender will question. Take the time to answer these questions before you get to the bank. The person you are talking to will need to forward information up to the bank's risk assessment group. In most cases, they are not making the decision, only passing along what you are telling them. Write out your explanation or email it to the bank, so it is easy for the lender to get the information into the right hands. Remember that we are all responsible for our financial futures and if we don’t look after it, someone else will.

Electronic Records

Online lenders will require that you agree to the use of electronic records. As the entire transaction is completed online, the lenders are sending and receiving your private information over the Internet. Read the statement of the use of Electronic records to make sure you are comfortable with any lenders policies and their terms of use. 

  1. Understanding FICO Scores - Understanding FICO Scores acquired July 2018
  2. Exceptions to the usury law - Exceptions to the usury law
  3. Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Arkansas Usury Law - Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Arkansas Usury Law acquired July 2018