There are many good reasons to seek a personal loan, such as paying down higher-interest debt, doing home improvement and covering unexpected expenses. Luckily, less-than-perfect credit doesn’t have to be a barrier to getting this type of financing. The key is finding the right lender.
You’ll see that many lenders that offer personal loans will approve borrowers with credit scores as low as 600, sometimes even as low as 550. Figure out which lender is right for you by pre-qualifying with a range of lenders. Prequalifying requires a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score. Online marketplaces, such as LendingTree, will offer quotes from up to five different lenders after you fill out an online form.
Here’s where to start your search for personal loans for bad credit, plus lenders to consider.
Start with LendingTree
A great place for those with credit scores below 700 to start looking for personal loans is LendingTree, which is the parent company of Student Loan Hero. LendingTree works with a range of lenders that could offer you terms for a loan after you provide your information via an online form. The process involves a Soft Pull that won’t ding your credit score, and you could see up to five potential loan amounts and interest rates from lenders based on your creditworthiness.
LendingTree is a smart jumping-off point for those who aren’t experienced with shopping for loans, don’t know where to look for lenders that are a good match or are overwhelmed by the many choices available to them.
OneMain Financial provides personal and auto loans from $1,500 to $30,000, which come with fixed rates and payments. The company has been in the personal lending business since 1912 and prides itself on having a human touch — a key part of the application process is meeting face-to-face with a representative at one of OneMain’s 1,600 branches across 44 states.
Applicants can quickly apply for a OneMain Financial loan using the bank’s online application system. They will then be invited to meet a representative face-to-face at one of the company’s branches. APRs for these personal loans range from 16.05% to 35.99%, rates are fixed, and term lengths are 24 to 60 months.
Loans generally range from $1,500 to $30,000, though there are differing minimum and maximum loan amounts for residents of various states. For example, while Californians have a $3,000 minimum loan amount, residents of North Carolina and Mississippi face a $7,500 maximum. Make sure to ask about the specifics for your state when you apply. OneMain charges no prepayment fees.
- Loans up to $30,000
- No prepayment penalties
- Customers receive personal and individualized attention
- Relatively high starting APR of 16.05%
- Loan minimums and maximums may depend on state of residency
- Those interested in online transactions may not want to meet in person
OneMain Financial is interested in helping borrowers navigate the loan process with the help of a real human advisor That “human touch,” along with the solid reputation and long history of this lender, may be attractive to those who have found it a challenge to engage with the credit industry in the past.
Avant is an online lending company that offers fast approval and access to funds — often as soon as the next business day. Its fixed-rate loans from $2,000 to $35,000 are unsecured yet are open to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. Most Avant borrowers have credit scores between 600 and 700. However, those with bad credit may pay extremely high rates, with APRs topping 35.99%.
Avant’s APRs range from 9.95% to 35.99%, and its loan terms range from 24 to 60 months. Each borrower pays an origination fee Up to 4.75%. Eligibility is based on various factors, including applicants’ credit scores and income. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
- Extremely fast — as quick as next-day
- Borrowers with a wide range of credit scores can get capital
- Fixed terms and rates
- No prepayment fees
- APRs as high as 35.99%
- Origination fee Up to 4.75%
Avant is an accessible way for borrowers with bad credit to get a loan fast. However, its relatively high interest rates may mean this isn’t the best option for those who are able to qualify for funding elsewhere.
Apple Federal Credit Union
Apple Federal Credit Union has several personal loan options, including secured and unsecured loans and a personal line of credit. The organization’s Savings Secured Loan is particularly good for those looking to build or repair their credit. Apple is a member-owned, nonprofit financial cooperative based in northern Virginia, with more than 20 branches around the region.
Apple Federal Credit Union offers personal loans up to $50,000 with terms up to 60 months. APRs on Apple’s secured loans go as low as 2% plus the dividend rate paid on the deposit account. Unsecured loans offer APRs as low as 9.24%.
You can apply online; you’ll need a government issued photo ID and a recent pay stub, W2, or tax returns.
- Unsecured loans up to $50,000
- Loan terms from 12 to 60 months
- No early payoff penalties
- Secured loans—best for those with poor credit—are limited in amount
- Application has extra steps, as you must become a credit union member before applying for a loan
Apple Federal Credit Union provides a solid choice for those seeking to rebuild their credit with a personal loan. Good rates, a welcoming attitude and an easy online application process make this an attractive option.
Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union defines personal loans as unsecured loans only, and notes that these may be best for those with higher credit scores. However, the organization does offer some other consumer loan products that may be a better fit, such as a special “year-end loan” up to $3,000 designed to cover holiday shopping, energy expenses, bills and other one-time contingencies.
Affinity is New Jersey’s largest credit union, with 23 branches in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The cooperative’s concern with encouraging the financial well-being of its members is evident in its extensive education programming about credit and financial management.
Affinity offers terms of up to 60 months on its personal loans, with APRs starting at 9.75%. The special Year-End Loan of up to $3,000 comes with a fixed 10.90% APR for a 12-month term as of the date of publishing.
- Reasonable fixed rates
- No origination fee or prepayment penalties
- Quick online application
- Unsecured personal loans are better for those with higher credit scores
- Application has extra steps, as you must become a credit union member before applying for a loan
Affinity Federal Credit Union has a demonstrated interest in helping its members learn to steward their financial resources well, and provides solid personal loan products with reasonable fees.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 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. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com
**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
|5.74% – 16.99%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|7.54% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.89%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%2||$5,000 - $35,000|
|5.99% – 29.99%3||$7,500 - $40,000|
|6.79% – 20.89%4||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%5||$2,000 - $25,000|
|6.95% – 35.89%6||$1,000 - $40,000|
|6.99% – 18.24%7||$5,000 - $75,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|