With credit below 590, it can be hard to find a quality lender. As long as your credit score is above 550, you can probably get approved.

Before you apply, read reviews of the top bad credit lenders. Once you understand what you're in for, get your loan offers. Word of warning - you won't get the best interest rates out there. Some people opt to boost their credit scores for free, but if you need the money fast, that's not always an option.

A bad credit loan is an unsecured or secured personal loan that has a higher chance of default because of the applicant's past history, low credit score or no credit history.

Traditional lenders are unable to quote on bad credit loans when credit requirements do not meet the minimum credit score ranging from 590 to 640 set by national lending institutions. Lenders like LendingPoint will accept loan applications with a 590 credit score.

Bad Credit Loan Challenges

The most common reason to be denied a bad credit loan is your credit score or credit history has been damaged. Loan providers complete a soft pull on your credit score and if it's below their established credit risk, the lender will not proceed with the loan application. Many lenders will not review the loan application past the credit score.

Your credit score is defined as "bad" when it falls below 590. While credit scores can range anywhere from 300 to 900, most people fall somewhere between 650 and 750, which coincides with "fair" to "good" credit. The national average in the USA is sitting at 703.

Here's a table to help you to figure out what type of credit you have:

Excellent Credit Scores: Over 750
Good Credit Scores: 700 to 749
Fair Credit Scores: 590 to 699
Bad Credit Scores: Less than 590

If you have a bad credit score, you're not totally out of luck. A huge market exists for lenders looking to provide bad credit loans, but there is a pretty strong downside - interest rates range from astronomical to somewhat reasonable options.

So You've Got Bad Credit?

A lot of people have bad or poor credit in the United States. According to Experian's Vantage Score 3.0 data, up to 30% of Americans have bad credit. Converting that to the raw numbers based on the current US population, this equates to over 100 million Americans with bad to fair credit scores. Let's say that if you've got bad credit, you're in a massive club.

Here's the good news: where demand exists, so does supply, and the quantity of bad credit loans is significant, but there is a catch.

When the Banks say NO

If you were to walk into a bank and request a loan for bad credit, nine times out of ten you will be declined a loan. Traditional banks just don't play ball with bad credit borrowers. They follow strict guidelines and a local lender is not able to step outside of the rules set throughout America.

While traditional banks may say no, online lenders have swept in to fill the void. In recent years, the online lending community has begun to flourish. Bad credit borrowers are providing loans where the traditional banks refuse but remember, "buyer beware" with bad credit loans. If your credit score is below 590, you can expect to pay higher interest rates, only have access to loans under $5,000 and have a shorter repayment term.

Traditional banks are declining bad credit customers for a reason - bad credit equals high risk, and high risk equals higher rates of default and a higher possibility of lenders losing their investment. Even a greater expense to the big banks is the staff required to try to manage and collect when their customer is unable to repay the loan.

It's apparent that online lenders play by slightly different rules than regular banks. Many don't have real offices. They don't have the expense of customer service employees like traditional lenders. They don't have to pay utilities. In short, they operate with lower overhead.

Online lenders are in a position to provide loans with lower rates, but do they? Even though these online lenders have a competitive advantage and provide convenience, the interest rates that they charge is very high to cover the risk. Yes, you can "get a loan without leaving the comfort of your own home," there is a high price tag on this loan with interest rates exceeding 100% in some cases.

Monthly payments with bad credit

Before applying, figure out your monthly payment with bad credit. Here's how to calculate your monthly payment and what you can expect from a bad credit loan.

With good credit, you can get a loan with about a 5% interest rate right now. On a $1,000 loan, your payment would be roughly $18/month.

That very same $1,000 loan with bad credit would cost you over $26/month! That's over 40% MORE per month. That assumes an interest rate of 20%, and that's on the LOW end with bad credit.

Good news though - Bad credit is temporary. It might feel like it, but it will change in time. If you want to improve your credit score and get out of debt, we've got a great post about it here.

To calculate your monthly payments on a bad credit loan, use the calculator below. Expect interest rates of 20%+ APR.

What will your payment be?

As you know, bad credit loans can have high rates, but just how high are they? Take a look at what your monthly payment would be on a $5,000 loan with bad credit.

Credit Score Interest rate Monthly payment
Bad credit (<550) 30% $161.77
Fair credit (650-699) 15 $118.95
Good credit (700+) 7 $99.01

As you can see, it's expensive to be poor. With bad credit you end up paying $161 per month for a $5,000 loan over 5 years. The very same loan with good credit would cost more like $99 per month.

The total difference in interest over the 5 year term? $6,035. Ouch

Bad Credit Loan Offers

Where to Apply for a Bad Credit Loan

Some of the bad credit loan providers below list that "any credit score can apply" and do not use traditional credit scoring in the application process. The lenders focus on the borrower's employment history and monthly income other than credit score. The private lenders provide smaller loans with shorter terms than standard unsecured personal loans with higher interest rates to offset the risk. In most cases, they will not exceed $1,000.00 without security. 

Access Over 100 Lenders With One Application

ALS Detailed Review

Apply Now 

The America Loan Service online request form connects consumers to hundreds of personal loan lenders at one time with rates starting at 5.99%. The service is designed to connect consumers based on lender credit criteria. 

The process is very simple:

  • Fill out the short form, it is safe and secure
  • See if you are approved in real time from a large network of lenders
  • Check your bank account to see if the money arrived as early as the next business day if you are approved

Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts: $1000 to $35,000 
  • Credit Score:  580+
  • APR:  See ALS Detailed Review for up to date APR information
  • Terms:  3 to 36 months
  • Fees: Vary by the lender

The lenders will review your request quickly to determine whether your information meets the lender's loan qualification criteria. You will receive notice within a few minutes if there is a lender interested in discussing a loan. Loans are normally funded within 1-5 business days depending on the lender and if they have all information required to fund.

If a lender is satisfied with all of the information with your request and has decided to offer you a loan, you will be directed to the lender's website. At this point, you will leave America Loan Service and we recommend that you review the terms and conditions of the lender. Take your time to go through all of the information from the loan provider. We recommend that you ask every question to be sure you fully understand the loan. The lender should explain the following information:

  • Loan amount offered
  • Finance charge and fees
  • Annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Loan term
  • Payment schedule 

Unsecured Personal Loan from $500 to $5,000

Any Credit Score Can Request A Loan

Bad Credit Loans Detailed Review

Not available in the following states:

  • AR, AZ, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VT, WV
  • Interest rates from 5.99% to 35.99% although rates can be higher
  • Loans from $500 to $5,000
  • Bad Credit loans is not a lender. They will attempt to find a lender that matches your credit score and ability to pay


Any Credit Score Can Request A Loan

OppLoans Detailed Review

When you have poor to bad credit and are trapped in a payday loan or title loan

Interest rates from 99% to 199%

OppLoans offers installment loans in 26 states and a line of credit in 3 states

Alabama Florida Michigan Nevada South Carolina Idaho
Arizona Illinois Mississippi Ohio Utah Line of Credit
Alaska Georgia Minnesota New Mexico Texas Kansas
California Indiana Missouri Oklahoma Wisconsin Tennessee
Delaware Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Wyoming Virginia

Key points of an installment loan:

  • Set number of monthly payments that lowers the principal with every payment
    • When this loan is paid in full, it will improve your credit score if all payments are made on time 

      OppLoans reports to:

    • Transunion
    • Equifax
    • Experian
  • While the interest rates are high, you will pay off the payday loan
  • No risk of losing your car
  • No collateral required 

LendingPoint Detailed Review

Apply Now with LendingPoint

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 for a bad credit option
  • 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

Freedomplus Detailed Review

Apply Now with Freedomplus

Quick Snapshot

  • Loan Amounts:  $10,000 to $40,000 
  • Credit Score:  Co-signer credit score 670+
  • Interest 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 out Freedomplus with a co-signer
    • Offering co-signer loans
    • Minimum income of $30,000 to apply
    • Soft Pull only to start
    • Debt to income of 40%

Any Credit Score Can Apply

  • Loans $500 to $10,000
  • Applying will not harm your credit score
  • Loans available from 3 months to 72 months. Short terms loans will have higher interest rates
  • Not available in the following states:
  • AR, AZ, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VT, WV
  • The APR on a personal loan from the network of lenders varies, with many lenders offering rates of 5.99% to 35.99% and loan durations between 90 days to 72 months, although the terms of your specific loan may differ depending on your qualification.
  • Additional fees vary by lender


  • Any Credit Score Can Apply
  • Loans $500 to $10,000
  • Applying will not harm your credit score
  • Loans available from 3 months to 72 months. Short terms loans will have higher interest rates
  • Not available in the following states:
  • AR, AZ, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VT, WV
  • The APR on a personal loan from the network of lenders varies, with many lenders offering rates of 5.99% to 35.99% and loan durations between 90 days to 72 months, although the terms of your specific loan may differ depending on your qualification.
  • Additional fees vary by lender


  • Loan from $100 to $1000 | This is a Payday Loan
  • Applying will not harm your credit score
  • Loans available from 90 days to 72 months. Short terms loans will have higher interest rates
  • Not available in the following states:
  • AR, AZ, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VT, WV
  • Additional fees vary by lender


Payday Alternative Loans (PAL's)

The credit unions have developed a program called PAL's to help people stuck in revolving payday loans. The credit union will want you to become a member for a few months before this program can be implemented. 

PAL's features:

  • Loan amounts $200 to $1,000.
  • Must be a credit union member for one month
  • Loan terms range from 1 to 6 months
  • There may be a fee for setting up the application of $20.00
  • Contact your local credit union to get some help.

What is the Concern of a Bad Credit Loan?

Credit Score

Will the borrower make payments on time and will the lender get their money back? Is the lender's profit worth the risk of trying to collect?

  • The credit score is lower than accepted by lenders 
  • The credit score below 590

No Credit History

Just starting out in your life, heading off to college, university or your first job

  • No credit history is an issue when starting in your career and applying for the first loan or credit card
  • Not had time to establish a credit history

Credit History

Time creates a credit history. Making payments on time month after month

  • Credit history demonstrates if the borrower makes their payments on time
  • Your credit score has dropped from nonpayment
  • Loan or credit cards have gone to collections
  • Vehicle or other asset repossessed
  • Missed credit card payments, may have gone to collections

High Debt to Income Ratio

Can you manage another payment with the debt you already have?

  • Debt to income is monthly income before taxes divided by your monthly payments.
  • If the debt to income percentage is above 50%, lenders are concerned that your income cannot support the loan payment


Lenders are looking for long-term employment and stability

  • The lender will review current work history
  • May request pay stubs for proof of employment

Debt Relief and Debt Settlement

Take a look at debt relief and debt settlement before you take the step of more loans. Bad credit loan providers traditionally cap their loans at $5,000.00 but do expect these loans to be anything more than a larger dressed up payday loan. In the end, you will be trapped and a bit further in debt. So what is the answer? 

Help and Advice on Debt Settlement Services, Debt Management, and Debt Negotiation

Credit Score's Can Improve

Just because you have bad credit today does not mean you have to stay in this position. With discipline, you can raise your credit score over time if you can stay focused on a few key items. If you require help with getting organized, Novita is a great choice to start the process of getting your credit score back in order.

Once your credit score increases, you should expect an improved interest rate, better loan terms and access to the best credit card services with fair interest rates.

By starting to pay all of your debts on time, you will start to pull yourself out of the bad credit category. There are three credit bureaus that provide credit reporting, they are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. This group of credit bureaus offers a free service called Aunnualcreditreport.com where you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company. Once you have received this information, you will start to have a better understanding of what these reports look like and what information your creditors are reporting your credit history to the lenders.

Your credit score is your financial report card showing the history of payments like credit lines, secured and unsecured loans, mortgage and credit card information.

Secured Credit Card

You see credit cards advertised with travel miles and cash incentives and rewards. When you have bad credit, you're looking for solutions to pay off the credit cards you already hold and which one to cancel first. This is usually a simple process of which one has the highest interest rate and how fast can you pay it off. Try to keep your oldest credit card when possible. Your oldest credit card will help with your length of credit history.

If you are in a position where you cannot get a credit card, a secured credit card may be a good solution. This card requires a cash collateral deposit that serves as a credit line for the account. The credit card provider will report your payment history to the credit reporting agencies. This will allow you to rebuild or improve your credit score if payments are made on time and by keeping the balances low in relation to the credit limits. Discover it® will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.

18 Month Interest-Free Balance Transfer 0% Credit Card

Earn Up to 5% Cash Back With The Discover it® Balance Transfer Card

If you have fair credit and considering debt consolidation, an 18 month 0% balance transfer credit card is an excellent way to clear high-interest expense instead of taking out a personal loan and paying interest now. You will also receive 0% interest for 6 months on purchases.

Secured Loans

Another loan option is a secured loan. Quite simply, you use your home, auto or any other asset that has value as collateral to borrow against. This becomes a great option when you have bad credit. Sometimes when you cannot qualify for anything else, you can still get a secured loan against your property. You can use this loan for debt consolidation to clear off your credit cards and any other debt that has accumulated. Here are a few options for a home equity loan, home equity line of credit and mortgage refinancing. Make sure to check your debt to income before you apply to be sure you can manage the payments. 

Auto Loan and Auto Loan Refinancing

If you have a vehicle that is paid off or has considerable value, you can look at auto loan refinancing.  This type of refinance becomes a secured loan by using your vehicle as collateral. When you use your vehicle as collateral, you are offering the loan provider a great deal of security and you should be able to get a good interest rate on the loan your applying for.  

Staying Away From Payday Loans

There is still only one solution with bad credit, and that is repairing your credit score before you attempt to borrow more money. The last thing people want is advice on how to fix their credit score in their time of need. Credit repair takes time, and consumers are looking to buy groceries and pay rent? They are applying at dozens of lenders at a time trying to get through to their next paycheck. Payday and high-interest installment loan providers step in and take advantage of people when they are desperate. There are a few lenders that are not charging payday loan rates.

  1. “Payday and Car Title Lenders Drain $8 Billion in Fees Every Year” Center for Responsible Lending. Acquired May 8, 2018 - “Payday and Car Title Lenders Drain $8 Billion in Fees Every Year” Center for Responsible Lending
  2. Why loans are capped at 36% NCLC acquired May 2018 - Why loans are capped at 36%
  3. McDonalds’ vs. Payday Lenders California State University Northridge. Acquired. May 4,2018 - McDonald's Restaurants vs. Payday Loan Locations