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Wednesday, June 23rd
Personal Loans is one of several services in our review that acts as a third-party connection between borrowers and lenders. In order to qualify for a bad credit loan, you'll need to meet certain minimum criteria, like being at least 18 years old and having some form of reliable income.
Not many specifics
While Personal Loans does have a Rates and Fees page, they don't offer many specifics. When it comes to your APR, costs or loan terms, you'll only find those out when you complete the application process and get matched with a lender. Example loans on that page show interest rates from 12-24%, but our research shows that you can expect a range that's actually between 5.99% (fantastic!) to 35.99% (not as fantastic). Repayment timeframes stretch between 3 and 72 months, depending on the size of your bad credit loan.
Short online form
To get started in your search for a lender willing to give you a bad credit loan, start with the short online form. Enter the amount you're requesting, your credit score range (this site uses "Below 500" as their criteria for poor credit, for what it's worth), and why you need a loan (emergency situation, pay down debt, and so on). On the second page, you'll have to get much more personal, including your driver's license number and full SSN. That always makes us pause a minute, especially if we're not sure of a provider's reputation.
So, how does this company's reputation stack up against the rest? Personal Loans had a "C+" rating from the BBB at the time of our most recent visit. The explanation was that the company had failed to respond to one customer complaint in the past 3 years. That doesn't seem like it would result in such a low grade, but it's worth keeping in mind. We found a few inconsistencies on the site (one page saying we should see their coverage map to see if our state is one they service, but not finding any maps on the page we were told to visit), but nothing too bad.
On the other hand, we noticed that Personal Loans used the exact same online form as our lowest-ranked source of bad credit loans. That did cause some concern, because that service is known for doing little more than giving away people's information to telemarketers. Plus, clicking on the "Positive Reviews" link on the page that says the service has been trusted by over 500,000 people in the last 15 years... only took us back to Personal Loan's "About Us" page. There was nothing else on the site to connect us with feedback from actual customers.
Not worth it
At the end of the day, Personal Loans comes across as a repackaging of a service with very negative reviews, just with a different name. The only reason we gave the newer site a slightly higher score is because of their slightly higher rating from the BBB. But, when it comes to a provider you can believe in, Personal Loans is not a trustworthy option for bad credit loans.
With so much economic turmoil, there's never been a time where bad credit loans have been more in demand. No matter what caused your credit score to be below 600 - the typical threshold for a "bad" credit rating - you're far from alone.
Out of approximately 230 million Americans who qualify for a credit score, almost 70 million have poor credit. Some of the most common reasons for low credit scores are expected financial hardships (like job loss or medical expenses), not using credit responsibly, or simply being unaware of the factors that contribute to having a healthy credit history.
Unfortunately, getting a loan when you have bad credit can be a paradox: in order to qualify for the best loans, you need a good credit history. But, to establish a good credit history, you often need to have demonstrated that you are responsible with credit - by making on-time payments, not overutilizing the credit you've been extended, and so on. On the other hand, without a loan to pay off debts and handle current financial demands, you could find yourself even deeper in the hole as calls from collection agencies start coming in and the pressure mounts.
Does this sound familiar? If so, take a deep breath and recognize that there's hope - because there are providers out there who offer loans to people with bad credit. And no, you won't have to sign away your life to qualify, though you should be aware that the terms will probably not be as favorable as those offered to people with high credit scores. That's only fair, as the lenders are taking on more risk when they give money to people with a less-than-sterling track record.
How can you tell which lender to use for your bad credit loan? That's an excellent question to ask. After all, you want to be sure that any loan you accept is going to help you get back on your feet financially, with terms you can actually meet. Here are several criteria that can help you choose the right lending partner for your situation:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best bad credit loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you to quickly get the money you need, with terms that are fair and affordable, so that you can get back on your feet financially!
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