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If you've found yourself in the not-so-awesome club of bad credit, you're not the only one. In fact, over 70 million Americans could say the same. But what exactly does "bad credit" mean? Well, it's like a grade for your financial history, and if your score is 620 or lower on the FICO scale, you're in the less-than-good category.
And, as you've probably figured out already, getting a loan with bad credit becomes a bit like trying to win a carnival game - harder than it looks. However, there are lenders out there who specialize in helping people with less-than-stellar credit. But here's the catch - they often come with higher interest rates and not the most favorable terms. They're called "bad credit loans". It's like paying a bit extra to play the game.
Monday, February 26th
Upstart, founded by ex-Google employees, stands out in the realm of bad credit loans due to its unique approach that extends beyond traditional credit scoring. Offering loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, Upstart prioritizes factors like education, work history, and overall financial behavior rather than fixating solely on credit scores. The online application process is fast, taking only 5 minutes, and loans are typically funded within one business day. Upstart's excellent reputation, with an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB and over 43,000 five-star borrower reviews, solidifies its position as the top choice for bad credit loans.
LendingTree began back in 1998, marking its role as a pioneer in the peer-to-peer lending sector. Upon submitting your application here, you'll receive multiple offers from a diverse network of vetted and reliable lenders, all selected for their willingness to fund people with bad credit. While specific fee and APR details aren't provided by LendingTree (because those will depend on your selected lender), the average rates posted offer a broad (if frightening) perspective. With a stellar "A+" BBB rating and accreditation, coupled with predominantly positive customer feedback, LendingTree emerges as the best place to get offers from a number of lenders who cater to customers with imperfect credit.
Since 2012, Avant has made it possible for more than two million people to get the money they need, through credit cards and loans. Even if you've got bad credit, you may qualify for up to $35,000 here. The lender has received more than 20,000 five-star reviews from happy clients, especially since loan funds can be deposited in just one day. Avant has made a big jump in our rankings, and we're happy to give them our recommendation as a solid choice for bad credit loans.
Launched in 2017, Upgrade offers a diverse range of financial services and has successfully assisted over 2.5 million customers, extending loans exceeding $24 billion. Bad credit loans at Upgrade are uncomplicated, featuring competitive APRs, as well as origination fees ranging from 1.85% to 9.99%. Thanks to Upgrade's strategic partnerships with two banks, funding is typically completed within a single business day. Maintaining a flawless "A+" BBB rating and earning nearly 40,000 five-star positive reviews, Upgrade earns a resounding recommendation from us.
Despite having a name that doesn't really sound like a financial giant, Best Egg has already helped over a million customers to secure more than $21 billion in loans, even those who have bad credit. While their rates and fees are nothing exceptional, they specialize in quick funding and have earned thousands of five-star ratings. Especially if you've received an offer from them for a higher-than-average loan amount, you should give Best Egg a look.
If your credit score is at least 660 and maybe you've been turned down by other banks, LendingPoint wants to help. They know that you're more than your FICO score, and they actively work to qualify people who don't have a perfect credit profile. You can borrow up to $36,500 here, with interest rates and origination fees that are comparable with other lenders on our list, and you might get a decrease in your rate if you pay consistently for six months. LendingPoint earns a nearly 100% approval rating from its clients, so if you meet their qualifications, we encourage you to apply here.
Bad Credit Loans isn't at the bottom of our list anymore. Over the last few years, they've gone up from an "F" to an "A+" with the BBB and gotten much more transparent about how they work as a referral platform. You could get the loan you need here, but you should be prepared to disclose lots of sensitive personal data first. We're cautiously optimistic about Bad Credit Loans now, compared with our previous review, but we still suggest looking at the higher-ranking lenders and referral services on our list first.
OneMain Financial has been around for over a century, and they're one of the only bad credit loan providers on our list who can help you both online and in person (if you live in one of the 44 states where they operate). Although we greatly appreciate their transparency, their disclosed loan terms, rates, and fees are much higher than most of their competitors. And, pending legal action as described on OneMain's listing with the BBB is worth noting.
Personal Loans advertises that it connects lenders with borrowers, even those with bad credit. And you may be able to qualify for loans here when the other services in our review deny you. The downside is that while you'll likely receive some loan offers, your information will be shared across multiple lending networks. This opens you up to phone calls, text messages, and spammy email. Depenmding on your circumstances though, the bad credit loan you need may be worth it.
What contributes to having a low credit score? Late payments, defaults, or going through a bankruptcy can drag it down. Having maxed-out credit cards or not having much of a credit history at all doesn't help either. Life throws curveballs, and sometimes, we strike out financially. Job loss, medical emergencies, or just plain bad luck - they can all mess with our ability to pay the bills on time.
Unfortunately, traditional banks might not be on your side when looking for a bad credit loan: they'll consider you too risky to qualify, a lot of the time. That's where it pays (literally) to "shop" for your loan online: you can connect with lesser-known lenders, credit unions, or peer-to-peer platforms, many of which have programs designed for the "credit challenged" .
But, be careful. Not every lender out there is going to have your best interests in mind. The last thing you need is to get trapped by a not-very-honest service that hides all of the bad stuff in the teeny-tiny print.
Use these criteria as a rule of thumb when evaluating any site offering you a loan, especially if your credit score is low:
To help you find a loan regardless of your credit, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have researched and ranked some of today's most well-known options for getting a bad credit loan online. Remember, it's not about where you are; it's about where you're going. Having bad credit might slow you down, but it's not the end of the road, especially if you're smart about where you borrow money!
Select any 2 Bad Credit Loan Providers to compare them head to head