Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019 - Elite Personal Finance
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Loan Reviews

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

EPF Last Update: December 13, 2019

Millions of Americans end up overpaying for bad credit loans every day. Payday loans and auto title loans cost 10-50 times more than personal loans! Average payday loan APR is 400%!!! Stay away from them!

But what if I’m with bad credit, can I qualify for a cheaper loan? Stay with us, we have something for you! In 2019, qualifying for a cheap personal loans with bad credit loan is possible. And we will prove to you how easy is to get a personal loans with APR 5.99% – 35.99%, $500 – $35,000 in less than a day!

Whether you are looking for a bad credit loan or you want to consolidate your existing payday loans with much more cheap loan, our lenders will ALWAYS help!

All of them are licensed, legitimate and do NOT perform hard inquiry on your credit file, which means you can shop around without worrying that your credit score will be affected!

Here they are!

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

Less Than 580

Amount

$500 – $5,000

Min Credit Score

0

APR

5.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

3 – 36 Months

Amount

$1,000 – $5,000

Min Credit Score

0

APR

Vary By State

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

9 – 36 Months

Amount

$100 – $1,000

Min Credit Score

0

APR

Vary By State

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

7 – 30 Days

Amount

$1,000 – $10,000

Min Credit Score

0

APR

5.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

2 – 5 Years

Amount

$1,000 – $50,000

Min Credit Score

500

APR

3.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

1 – 5 Years

Amount

$1,000 – $35,000

Min Credit Score

0

APR

5.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

2 – 5 Years

Amount

$1,000 – $100,000

Min Credit Score

500

APR

5.34% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

90 Days – 72 Months

Amount

$2,000 – $25,000

Min Credit Score

600

APR

9.99% – 35.99%

Approval

1 – 3 Days

Terms

3 – 5 Years

Amount

$1,000 – $35,000

Min Credit Score

580

APR

5.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

90 Days – 72 Months

 

More than 580

Amount

$1,000 – $35,000

Min Credit Score

580

APR

5.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

90 Days – 72 Months

Amount

$1,000 – $50,000

Min Credit Score

500

APR

3.99% – 35.99%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

1 – 5 Years

Amount

$1,000 – $50,000

Min Credit Score

620

APR

7.99% – 35.97%

Approval

< 1 Day

Terms

2 -5 Years

Amount

$5,000 – $35,000

Min Credit Score

640

APR

5.99% – 24.99%

Approval

1 – 7 Days

Terms

2 -5 Years

Amount

$2,000 – $25,000

Min Credit Score

600

APR

9.99% – 35.99%

Approval

1 – 3 Days

Terms

3 – 5 Years

Shop Around

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But What If I Don’t Qualify for None of The Companies Above?

If you can’t qualify for none of the loans listed above there are more things you can do.

1 Try Alternative Payday Loans.

I know, I know. Just seeing the term ‘payday’ is enough to make you cringe. Alternative payday loans are totally different from payday loans. In fact they have been created exactly to help people avoid payday loans. They are much more cheaper than payday loans and are accessible to borrowers with very bad credit.

To find the latest alternative loans you can go to Google and search for :

payday loan alternative 2019

alternatives to payday loans 2019

or similar

Or if you want o learn about them from us, check out our complete guide on alternative payday loans.

Best Payday Loan Alternatives 2019

2 Download Our Full List of Bad Credit Lenders.

If you can’t get a loan from the companies listed above, then there are more options. Here is the list of all legit bad credit lenders. Note, that some of them can be more expensive than traditional bad credit loans, but they are times better than auto title loans.

Download The List

3 Try Our Loan Help Center.

If you need more help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Loan Help Center. No matter the issue, we’ll find a solution that works for you.

Loan Help Center

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

BadCreditLoans

Loan amounts$500 – $5,000
Typical APR5.99% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score0
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms3 – 36 months
Origination feeN/A
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

When we talk about bad credit loans, BadCreditLoans.com should always be at the top of our list! And there is a good reason for that.  BadCreditLoans have helped millions to get personal loan, while so many people are still paying insane interest on their payday loans. BadCreditLoans.com is a leading company helping people with really bad credit. They are NOT payday loan company!They are huge marketplace connecting people with bad credit with lenders offering UNSECURED bad credit loans. The company offer loans of $500 to $5,000, APR 5.99% to 35.99%. And bad credit is always approved … in less than a day. In fact this is the most successful personal loans company for bad credit that we at ElitePersonalFinance know. Whether you want to get bad credit loan or refinance your existing payday loans with one cheaper loan, try BadCreditLoans.com .

Pros:

  • The Best in The Bad Credit Business!
  • Easy and fast approval.
  • Unsecured loans.
  • Those with really bad credit get approved.
  • APRs in the personal loan range which means less than 5.99% to 35.99%.
  • Not a payday loan company.
  • Amount of up to $5,000.
  • Huge lending network.
  • Free to register and no obligation to accept any offer.
  • Minimum credit score required is 0.
  • No hard inquiry on your credit score, so registering won’t lower your credit score.

Cons:

  • For those with really bad credit, expect high APRs ranging from 15% to 35.99%.
  • People with really bad credit can’t qualify for the highest amount of $5,000, they can expect up to $1,500.
  • Not all loans get approved.

Best for: Really Bad Credit

Opploans

Loan amounts$500 – $5,000
Typical APR99% – 199%
Min Credit Score0
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms9 – 36 months
Origination feeN/A
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
CHECK RATES

For those with really bad credit, who can’t quality for a personal loan, we recommend alternative payday loans. These companies are more expensive than personal loans, but much more better than payday loans. The company offers loan amounts that range from $1,000 to $5,000, with APRs that range from 99% to 199%. Loan duration range from 9 months to 36 months and Opploans charges zero prepayment penalties. Their loans are unsecured – which means no upfront collateral is required – and as you continue to make on-time payments, you build your credit score in the process. Moreover, if your loan is approved, you can receive funds in as little as one business day.

Pros:

  • Easy approval process.
  • Those with very bad credit can still get approved.
  • Opploans offers installment loans and lines of credit.
  • Opploans does not check your credit score but will assess your financial transaction history.
  • Loans are unsecured and do not require any collateral.
  • There are no prepayment penalties.
  • Opploans offers refinancing options to select borrowers.
  • Alternative loan sites like Opploans have lower APRs than payday or car title loans.

Cons:

  • APRs are high, ranging from 99% to 199%.
  • Loan origination fees range from 0% to 3% and other fees can apply.

Best for: Really Bad Credit

LendUp

Loan amounts$100 – $1,000
Typical APR30% – 1252%
Min Credit Score0
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms7 – 30 days
Origination feeVary
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
CHECK RATES

As another reliable alternative lender, LendUp offers unsecured loans that range from $100 to $1,000. Loan duration range from seven to 30 days for single payment loans and three to 12 months for installment loans. If approved, you can also receive funding in as little as one business day.

LendUp doesn’t directly list its APRs, because – according to its site – APRs vary depending on your credit score and state of residence. However, as a quick reference, loans in California – which include fees – have APRs that range from 214.13% to 917.71%. In Louisiana, APRs range from 156.43% to 971.17% and in Mississippi, APRs range from 237.25% to 1,016.79%. As well, on average, APRs tend to range from 134% to 1,252% for single payment loans and 30% to 180% for installment loans.

Through its LendUp Ladder, you can also rebuild your credit profile. Each time you make on-time loan payments and complete its free education courses, points are credited to your account. As you reach new millstones, you’re able to access increased borrowing amounts and can also have your credit history sent to major credit bureaus. The program is designed to help borrowers increase their credit score and receive more favorable loan terms.

Its milestones look like this:

  • Silver members can receive up to $250 for a single payment loan.
  • Gold members can receive up to $250 for a single payment loan and up to $200 for an installment loan.
  • Platinum members can receive up to $250 for a single payment loan and up to $500 for an installment loan.
  • Prime members can receive up to $250 for a single payment loan, up to $500 for an installment loan and up to $1,000 for a Prime loan.

As well, Platinum members can opt-into the credit reporting program, while Prime members are automatically enrolled.

Keep in mind though, LendUp’s alternative loans are only available in select states. These include: California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Pros:

  • Loans are available to those with bad credit.
  • Receive funds in as little as one business day.
  • LendUp has no annual income requirement.
  • Installment loan APRs are extremely affordable and range from 30% to 180%.
  • Through its LendUp Ladder, you earn points that can lead to larger borrowing amounts and help increase your credit score.
  • LendUp offers credit education courses that aim to increase your financial knowledge.

Cons:

  • Single payment loans have APRs that range from 156.43% to 1,016.79%.
  • Loans can have fees upwards of 20% of the amount borrowed.
  • Loans are only available in California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Best for: Really Bad Credit

CashUSA

Loan amounts$1,000 – $10,000
Typical APR5.99% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score0
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms24 – 60 months
Origination feeN/A
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

Designed specifically for those with bad credit, CashUSA offers installment secured personal loans for people with bad credit. APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99%, but even if you have bad credit, putting a collateral to your loan can lower the APR as low as 10%. CashUSA offers loans up to $10,000, but – according to their website – the amount can be increased under certain conditions. But remember, if you fall behind on your payments, there is a chance you could lose your car. We only recommend secured loans if you’re sure you can repay the debt on-time and in-full.

Pros:

  • Easy approval.
  • Those with really bad credit can still be approved.
  • The company applies personal loan APRs ranging from 5.99% to 35.99%.
  • People with bad credit get as low as 10% APR.
  • Borrowing amounts can exceed $10,000, but you have to speak with them directly.

Cons:

  • Secured loans put you at risk of losing your collateral.
  • Bad credit means a higher APR; although it’s still much lower than a traditional car title loan.

Best for: Secured Personal Loans

LendingTree

LendingTree Personal Financing Site Logo
Loan amounts$1,000 – $50,000
Typical APR3.99% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score500
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms1 – 5 years
Origination fee0 – 3%
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

With over 10 billion in loans provided, LendingTree is one of the largest online personal loan companies in the marketplace today! Since LendingTree offers unsecured loan to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500, it’s a great place to apply if you have extremely bad credit. You can borrow up to $50,000 but if you’re credit is poor, the amount you receive will be less. As well, its APRs range from 3.99% to 35.99%, but if you have bad credit, expect an APR near the top-end of the range.

Pros:

  • As one of the largest online loan companies, LendingTree is a name you can trust.
  • APRs range from 3.99% to 35.99%.
  • Low credit score requirements (500 minimum).
  • 1-day approval process.

Cons:

  • Some people with extremely bad credit won’t be approved.
  • A loan origination fee of 0-3% can apply.

Best for: Unsecured Personal Loans

PersonalLoans

Loan amounts$1,000 – $35,000
Typical APR5.99% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score580
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms90 days – 72 months
Origination fee1 – 5%
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

PersonalLoans offers unsecured loans ranging from $1,000 to $35,000, and because the company only requires a minimum credit score of 580, PersonalLoans is a great place to obtain a bad credit loan. Its APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99%, but to qualify, you need to have some form of recurring income. It can be full-time employment, self-employment, regular disability or Social Security benefits. Keep in mind though, loans are not available to residents in Arkansas, Georgia or New York.

Pros:

  • Low credit score requirements of 580.
  • Low income requirement of $1,000.
  • Bad credit is ok.
  • Highest amount allowed is $35,000.
  • Available in many states.

Cons:

  • People with really bad credit can’t apply.
  • You can’t have an account with a late payment for longer than 60 days or a recent bankruptcy.
  • You can’t have any recent charge-offs or late payments.

Best for: Bad Credit

SignatureLoan

Loan amounts$1,000 – $35,000
Typical APR5.99% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score0
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms24 – 60 months
Origination feeN/A
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

Offering loans to borrowers of all credit scores, SignatureLoan provides reliable financing in as little as five minutes. Loans range from $1,000 to $35,000, but large amounts are usually only accessible to those with high credit scores. Its APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99%, but loans are not available to residents in the state of Maine. As well, you must have a minimum monthly income of $1,100 to qualify. The application process is quick and easy, and through its e-signature feature, you can even receive funding without mailing in any physical paperwork.

Pros:

  • Low credit score requirements of 0.
  • Bad credit is ok.
  • Highest amount allowed is $35,000.

Cons:

  • People with really bad credit can’t apply.
  • Risk to lose your partnership.

Best for Co-signer Loans

Credible

Loan amounts$1,000 – $100,000
Typical APR5.34% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score500
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms90 days – 72 months
Origination fee0% – 8%
Debt-to-income ratioN/A
Check rates

Offering a $200 credit if you find a better rate from another competitor, Credible has no hidden fees and offers pre-qualified rates in as little as two minutes. Loans range from $1,000 to $35,000, but if you have bad credit, you’ll likely qualify for $5,000 or less. Its APRs range from 5.34% to 35.99% and you can repay the funds in as little as 61 days to upwards of 10 years. Keep in mind though, Credible places a lot of emphasis on your debt-to-income ratio and you also need to show the lender you have steady income.

Pros:

  • Free to use and no hidden fees.
  • Fair APRs ranging from 5.34% to 35.99%.
  • Receive rates in as little as 2 minutes.

Cons:

  • Loan origination fees range from 0% to 8%.
  • Loan amounts on your debt-to-income ratio.

Best for: Unsecured Personal Loans

Upgrade

Upgrade Disclaimer:Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.99%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your bank account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early.

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. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC.

Loan amounts$1,000 – $50,000
Typical APR6.99% – 35.97%
Min Credit Score620
Time to funding1 Day
Loan terms2 -5 years
Origination fee1% – 6%
Debt-to-income ratio40%
CHECK RATES 

Offering a unique approach to online lending, Upgrade is the only lender that considers your free cash flow. The company offers loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 and its APRs range from 7.99% to 35.89%. To qualify though, you must have at least $800 in disposal income leftover each month. But, the company allows high debt-to-income ratios and if you happen to suffer an unexpected emergency – like a job loss or other type of financial hardship – you can receive a reduction in your monthly payment. Keep in mind though, loans are not available to residents in Iowa, Maryland, West Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut or Vermont.

Pros:

  • APR range: 6.99% – 35.97%.
  • Amount: $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Terms: 3 – 5 years.
  • Upgrade has an A rating on BBB.
  • No minimum income requirement.
  • Time to receive funds: 1 day.
  • No prepayment fee.

Cons:

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 40%.
  • Minimum credit history required is 3 years.
  • Returned payment fee: $10.
  • Late fee: $10 after a 15-day grace period.

Best for: Unsecured Personal Loans

Payoff

Loan amounts$5,000 – $35,000
Typical APR5.99% – 24.99%
Min Credit Score640
Time to funding1 – 7 Days
Loan terms2 -5 years
Origination fee0% – 5%
Debt-to-income ratio50%
Check rates

Payoff, a well known company specializing in debt consolidation loans is another great resource to obtain a bad credit loan, because of their low credit requirements. You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000 and APRs range from 5.99% to 24.99%. However, to qualify, you must have an annual income of at least $40,000, a debt-to-income ratio of less than 50%, and a FICO score of at least 640. But, if you fall behind on your payments, the company doesn’t charge any late payment fees. Keep in mind though, loans are not available to residents in Mississippi, West Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Massachusetts or Nebraska.

LendingPoint

Loan amounts$2,000 – $25,000
Typical APR15.49% – 35.99%
Min Credit Score585
Time to funding1 -3 Days
Loan terms36 – 60 months
Origination fee0 – 6%
Debt-to-income ratio35%
Check rates

LendingPoint has APRs that range from 9.99% to 35.99% and the company offers unsecured loans that range from $2,000 to $25,000. But, to qualify, you must have an annual income of at least $20,000 and a minimum credit score of 600. You can choose between bi-weekly or monthly repayment, and the company looks at factors other than just your credit score to determine whether or not you qualify: factors like your credit history, employment status and credit card debt, Keep in mind though, loans are not available to residents in Colorado, Nevada, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Vermont, New York or West Virginia.

The Complete Guide On Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

You’ve heard the saying knowledge is power.

Well, when it comes to getting the best bad credit loan, it couldn’t be more true. With so many lenders out there and thousands of products to choose from, you’re often left spinning trying to figure one is right for you. If that’s not enough, you’ll also encounter manipulative lenders that try and market destructive products as helpful for your financial situation. It’s a terrible practice and we see it all the time.

So block out the noise and avoid unreliable recommendations by unqualified bloggers. Many of them don’t have the financial knowledge needed provide reliable loan advice.

So what ends up happening? You do a lot of hard work but end up more confused than when you started. Worse of all, if you do fall victim to some bad advice, you’ll end up losing a lot of money in the process.

So what should you do?

Well, at ElitePersonalFinance, we take pride in doing the work for you, so we can give you the best advice possible. That’s why we put together a bad credit loans manual that explain everything you need to know about obtaining a bad credit loan. You’ll learn what types of loans are available and how they work, how to minimize loan fees and how to avoid bad credit loan scams.

So, if you have the time, we can take you from beginner to expert in less than hour!

How Has The Bad Credit Lending Market Changed In 2019?

In 2019, you can get a installment personal loan online easy, if you have bad credit. You just have to be persistent.

If you applied in the past and were denied, don’t give up. It’s a different world now. As the market continues to evolve, more and more lenders are now offering online personal loans to borrowers of all credit scores. As more companies enter the marketplace over time, competition increases. The increased competition now has lenders decreasing their minimum credit score as a way to generate more revenue. For you, this means higher approval rates and better loan terms.

Credit scoring models have evolved as well.

Instead of analyzing just your credit score, in 2019, lenders now look at factors like your work history, education, annual income, spending activity and savings balance – all of which can help overcome a bad credit score.

Next up is loan terms.

Even if you have bad credit, many lenders now offer higher loan amounts, lower APRs, flexible refinancing options and charge no late payment fees. More importantly, loan contracts have become much more transparent – leading to less or often times, no hidden fees.

So keep your head up. The lending market is improving and we can point you in the right direction!

What Type of Loans Are Available for People with Bad Credit?

As you conduct your search, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. But like many financial products, loans are filled with complicated terms that are new or unfamiliar to many borrowers. But don’t worry, before you shop around, we’ll get you up to speed.

 

Loan TypeExpected APRExpected AmountRisk
Unsecured Personal Loans15% – 39.99%< $1,000 – $5,000Low
Secured Personal Loans10% – 20%< $1,000 – $10,000Low
Co-Signer Loans10% – 20%< $1,000 – $10,000Low
Credit Unions18% – 28%< $1,000 – $5,000Low
Alternative Payday Loans35,99% – 400%<$1,000 – $5,000Medium
Cash Advance20% – 30%$300 – $5,000Medium
Cash Advance Apps5.99% – 67%$50 – $35,000Low
Credit Cards for Bad Credit20% – 35%$300 – $5,000Low
POS Financing20% – 30%$35.000 – $65,000Medium

Not Recommended:

Loan TypeExpected APRExpected AmountRisk
Payday Loans400%<$1,000High
Car Title Loans300%$1,000 – $10,000High
Payday Advance Apps400%<$1,000High

Note: although many loans are available to those with bad credit, the main types are: unsecured personal loans, secured personal loans, co-signer loans, alternative payday loans and credit unions. The other types are considered loan variations.

Unsecured Personal Loans for Bad Credit: Even if you have bad credit, an unsecured online loan should always be your first option. The term ‘unsecured’ means you are not required to put up any collateral, so you never have to worry about losing your property. Loans are repaid in installments and have APRs that range from 5.99% to 35.99%. You can borrow up to $100,000, but typically, the amount is capped at $50,000. Repayment terms range from a few months to up to 10 years and unsecured loans have plenty of flexibility. Conclusion: To be classified as an unsecured personal loan, the APR can’t exceed 35.99%. Many companies offer products that are marketed as personal loans even though they’re not. So be careful. If the APR ever exceeds 35.99%, it’s not a personal loan.

In the past, borrowers with bad credit were often denied when applying for a unsecured personal loan with bad credit. But, in 2019, things have changed. The lending market is completely different now, so if you have bad credit, stay persistent. You can get approved! But remember, because bad credit means increased risk for lenders, you won’t get the highest loan amount or the lowest APR. To give you an idea, most borrowers with bad credit obtain loans between $1,000 and $5,000, with APRs of roughly 15% to 35.99%. And while it isn’t cheap, the terms are much better than any payday loan! You can also choose to secure your loan. If so, you’ll need to put up collateral, but it will lead to a lower APR.

Secured Personal Loans for Bad Credit: If you aren’t approved for the amount that you want or you want to lower your APR, you can get a secured personal loan or add a co-signer. The term ‘secured’ means you are required to put up collateral. You can use your car, home or any other valuable asset you own. By putting up collateral, you’re less risky to lenders. Because of this, you’ll receive more attractive loan offers. But be careful, securing your loan puts your property at risk. Only use this option if you’re sure you can repay the loan on time. When you use a co-signer, you don’t need any collateral, so you don’t risk losing any of your property. However, you do risk hurting your friendship with the co-signer, so be careful in both instances. Pro tip: When you apply for secured loan or a co-signer loan, look carefully at flexibility options, options for late payments, refinancing options and other terms. For example, if you can’t make a payment, it’s much better to pay a late fee than lose your collateral. As well, always discuss flexibility options with your lender before you sign the contract.

If you have bad credit, secured personal loans or co-signer loans can be a great option. Many of our customers report us they received loans with APRs as low as 10% – which is really low for those with bad credit. As well, when you secure a loan or use a co-signer, your borrowing amount can also increase. However, the amount is determined mostly by your income, debt to income ratio and the amount of the collateral.

Alternative Payday Loans: If you don’t qualify for unsecured personal loan or if you don’t want to risk your collateral – try alternative payday loans. They are designed for people with very bad credit who don’t quality for personal loans but want to avoid payday loans. We define alternative loans as those with APRs that are higher than personal loans but less than payday loans. APRs range from 35.99% to 400% and we know reliable lenders that can offer an APR of about 100%. Their loans range from $1,000 to $5,000 and offer more benefits than payday loans. These include: more flexibility, options to skip payment with a click of a button, refinancing options no penalty fees and more. For more information, see our guide on alternative payday loans and read our reviews of the best alternative loans.

Cash Advance Apps: If you don’t qualify for a personal loan, consider  cash advance apps. They’re easy to use and have become very popular these days.

Credit Card Cash Advance: It’s very expensive, so only use it as a last resort. Be aware, a credit card cash advance in completely different from a cash advance app. A credit card cash advance is borrowing funds from your credit card issuer, while a cash advance app allows you to withdraw money from your paycheck that you’ve already earned. To learn more, read our guide on cash advance alternatives.

Payday Advance Apps: These are payday loans you can obtain through a mobile app. Most are offered by payday loan companies themselves and used to manipulate people into thinking they’re a cash advance app. Don’t be fooled. There is a big difference between cash advance apps and payday advance apps.

Credit Unions: If you have really bad credit and don’t qualify for the options above, we recommend you check the offers at your local credit union. Credit unions offer cheap loans to borrowers with bad credit, but certain requirements prevent everyone from participating. However, many credit unions provide cash advance alternatives with APRs of 28%.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit: If you have bad credit, a credit card can be a viable option. However, if your credit score is really low, it can be tough to get approved. And even if you do, your credit limit won’t be very high. Most of the credit cards for bad credit are secured, which means you have to put up a security deposit. The amount is determined by your credit score, and can be less or equal to your credit limit. Even if the security deposit is less than the limit, when you add-on the annual fee, the money you get from the card is actually very low. But, if you keep your balance in good standing over time, your issuer may offer you an unsecured card – which allows you to increase your limit and upgrade to better terms. However, this can take while. Conclusion: If you manage your balance properly, getting a secured credit card will boost your credit score and help you obtain better terms in the future. However, if you have bad credit and need fast cash, a credit card probably isn’t the best option. But, you can use it as a last resort as you shop around for a better alternative.

To calculate the actual money you can borrow from a secured credit card, here is the formula:

Actual Money = Credit Limit – Security Deposit – Annual Fee – Minimum Monthly Payment * N

For example, imagine you apply for a secured credit card with a credit limit of $500. If the security deposit is $250, your annual fee is $50 and your APR is 18%, your minimum monthly payment works out to $20. Say you plan to make the minimum payment for one months – just to hold you over until you obtain a finding money to pay it. The math looks like this:

$180 = $500 – $250 – $50 – $20 * 1

So while $500 credit limit seems like a great detail, in reality, you only end up with $180.

Point-of-Sale (POS) Financing: If you can’t get approved for one of the options above, you should consider POS financing. Instead of using cash or juggling several credit cards to come up with the funds, you can take out a POS loan right at the checkout counter. Whether it’s a new TV or the latest tablet, POS financing – in-store or online – offers you installment loans right at your fingertips. You simply select the platform logo, type in your name, date of birth, phone number and sometimes the last four digits of your Social Security number. In a matter of minutes, the platform reviews your financial history and lets you know whether you qualify for a loan. For advice on how to choose the best lenders – including one that caps its APRs at 6% for active military members – checkout our POS guide.

Tips To Land The Best Bad Credit Loan

Shop Around: Without question, this is the most valuable tip we can give you. When you apply to several online lenders, it allows you to compare offers and choose the one that’s best for you. Remember, the lending market is extremely competitive and companies are always trying to land new clients. But, in order to know which offer is the best for you, you have to try. Now you may be thinking: if I apply for too many loans, won’t it hurt my credit score? Well, don’t worry, because applying through our recommend lenders will NOT affect your credit score in any way. Unlike credit card companies or mortgage lenders, our recommended lenders only perform a ‘soft’ credit pull to assess your creditworthiness. Because of this, you never have to worry about damaging your credit. Keep in mind though, once approved and your loan is finalized, the lender will perform a ‘hard’ credit pull. This will hurt your credit score, but the damage is only about 5 to 10 points. As you continue to repay your loan in-full and on-time, lenders will report your repayment behavior to credit bureaus and you will find a raise. And what does this mean for you? A higher credit score, better loan terms and lower APRs in the future! Conclusion: When you apply for loans, set aside about one hour so you can submit multiple applications. Use your free time on a Sunday afternoon, or choose a day when it’s raining and you’re stuck inside. Whatever your preference, we recommend that you select 10 lenders and see what they have to offer. In no time, you’ll have plenty of loans to choose from and save plenty of money in the process.

Lower The Loan Amount: If the lender just won’t budge and denies you at every turn, ask if lowering the loan amount will increase your chances. Lenders can feel uncomfortable loaning large amounts of money to borrowers with bad credit, but they may be willing to offer a ‘test’ loan with a smaller balance. If that doesn’t work, talk to the lender directly and ask why your loan was denied. Moreover, ask the lender what steps you can take to improve your chances in the future.

Lower Your Credit Risk In The Eyes of Lenders: While it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, appearing more creditworthy to lenders requires increasing your credit score and developing a stable and predictable financial profile. Small changes, like fixing your spending habits or even maintaining a stable living address can all increase your chances. For more information, see our guide on how to appear more creditworthy.

Work On Unique Risk Factors: While your credit score, annual income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) are the three main factors lenders use to determine your credit risk, there are plenty of unique factors you should be aware of. These include things like your marital status, your level of education, and surprisingly, how often you change your phone number. To read the entire list, check out the full article.

Get Grace Period. Most loans don’t have a grace periods – which means you need to make payments right away. However, if you are not sure that you will be able to pay next installment, you can increase the loan amount and use it to cover next month’s fees.

What Are The Most Common Loan Fees And How Do They Work?

When most people apply for a loan, they have one thing their mind: I NEED TO GET THE LOWEST APR! The lower your APR, the lower your costs, right? It’s not complicated. And while decreasing your interest costs is a top priority, we don’t want you to forget about loan fees. These pesky charges are found deep within a lender’s terms and conditions and pop up when you least expect them. To help you understand loans fees we created a guide.

How To Overcome A Bad Credit Score

Alright, so your confidence is up. You know the exact loan you want and have your eyes open for all those pesky fees. But it’s still not enough. And lenders keep zeroing in on your bad credit score! Look, we understand how frustrating this is. You’re making better decisions. You’ve changed your spending habits. Yet, you still can’t escape the mistakes of the past.

Work On Your Credit Score. We know it’s easier said than done. And we know it’s hard. But don’t get discouraged! Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process and it requires a lot of work. We could lie and say it’s easy, but we both know that won’t help. So our advice is keep trying. And most importantly, keep your head up! For more information on how to get your credit score back in tip-top shape, see our guide on 30 ways to increase your credit score.

Dispute errors. There is only one legit way to boost your credit report fast. Read your credit report and if you find errors on it dispute them. According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 25% of consumers found errors in their credit report that impacted their credit score. And 80% of consumers who filed disputes about the errors had the issue rectified in some way.

Ask Your Lender to Report Your Payments. Last, if you currently have a loan and are making in-full and on-time payments, ask your lender to report your repayment behavior to credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Most lenders do, but if yours doesn’t, the action will definitely boost your credit score.

How To Make Money And Avoid Getting A Loan

If you want you can try make some money online to avoid getting a loan. Some of them require some time, skills or investments, that probably is not what you are looking for. However there are many that are many fast and free ways to make money online.

How Can I Avoid Bad Credit Loan Scams?

Information on how avoid loan scams, you can find on our guide about legitimate personal loans.

No credit, no problem! Guaranteed approval! Act now! Fast Cash!

When you see phrases like these, RUN!

Now, when you see terms like fast cash, no credit/no problem, easy approval – there isn’t anything wrong with these terms. But, we see this terminology used by predatory lenders as a way to promote their businesses. When you see shady language, you often find a shady business! For example, there are plenty of legitimate lenders that offer loans to those with bad credit. They also provide funding within the same day. But, they don’t use this language as a way to promote their business. So, keep your eyes open, and don’t become their next victim!

How Can I Spot A Manipulative Website?

Avoid sites like MyBestPersonalLoanToday.com.

When you visit the site, you see a well-designed page that looks legitimate. But then you see: APRs less than 35.99%! APRs less than 5.99%! Trust us, we’ve reviewed hundreds of lenders and we can tell the difference between real and fictitious loan companies. So what’s the problem with MyBestPersonalLoanToday.com? Well, it’s simply a lead generation site. It makes false promises to access to your personal information. Then, it sells this information to actual lenders. This creates two problems. One, it leaks your personal information. Two, your “guaranteed” APR isn’t real! When you receive your actual offer, your APR will be much higher. Take a close look at their terms and conditions. You’ll see phrases like: we are not a lender. We only connect you with lenders that determine your APR based on your credit score and other risk factors. If your credit score is very low, you can be required to pay more. Worst of all, the majority actual offers have APRs that exceed 100% or even 400%. We’ve even seen APRs that exceed 1,000%! It’s rare, but it does happen. So remember, if an APR is greater than 35.99%, it’s not a personal loan.

Watch Out For The Term “Short-Term Loan”

To try and confuse you, lenders use manipulative language to disguise predatory payday loans as “short-term loans.” Remember, short-term loans are NOT PAYDAY LOANS! And while time horizons are similar, that’s the only thing they have in common!

To define the term, short-term loans are loans that you payback in periods of one month to upwards of one year. Short-term loans can be personal loans, payday loans, alternative payday loans or any other loan that has a short time horizon. And this is the reason so many borrower get confused! When predatory payday lenders use this term to disguise their harmful products, people don’t know what they’re buying. So, here’s how to empower yourself. If you need a short-term loan, only apply for installment personal loans with APRs of 5.99% to 35.99%. Remember, any higher and it’s not a personal loan!

Watch Out For The Term “Bad Credit Loans”

Again, bad credit loans are NOT payday loans!

Payday lenders use this terminology to trick borrowers into purchasing their product. By using generic terms and making the process extremely confusing, they hope you won’t realize what you’re buying. Remember, payday lenders are not your friend! And they don’t have your best interest at heart! Their goal is to trap you in a mountain of debt and force you to rollover your loan. You pay more and more interest and allow them to generate more profits. But like we said at the beginning of this guide, we won’t less this happen to you!

What Are Payday and Car Title Loans And Why Should I Avoid Them?

Payday Loans for Bad Credit: Payday loans allow you to borrow up to $1,000 and you repay the proceeds when you receive your next paycheck. Payday loans are designed to “help” those with very bad credit, but the truth is, they’re a terrible option. APRs average nearly 400%, making payday loans the most expensive form of borrowing in the marketplace. Also, they’re actually illegal in many states! Regulators know how harmful payday loans are, so they’re banned in many states. States that do allow the practice place strict limits on the APRs, fees and harassment practices of payday lenders. Imagine you miss one of your payments. Payday lenders will let you rollover the loan. You will be required to pay only the interest fee, which doesn’t lower the principal amount. This is how a debt trap begins! We highly recommend to avoid payday loans.

Car Title Loans: Car title loans are similar to payday loans. However, here you use your car as a collateral for the loan. The downside? If you can’t repay the proceeds, the lender will actually seize your car! It’s a dangerous practice and one we don’t recommend.  And while collateral will allow you to obtain a higher loan amount, APRs are still roughly 300%. Not much of a discount, huh? Keep in mind though, even though the terminology is confusing, there is a big difference between car title loans and secured personal loans. In some cases, we actually recommend secured personal loans. They’re used a lot in business and can offer substantial benefits.

Car title loans are predatory and are also illegal in many states. For that reason, and many others, please avoid them. Why would you secure a loan to receive an APR of 300%? If you plan to get a collateral loan, put your collateral on a personal loan. Even if you are with bad credit you will be approved and the APR will be 5.99% to 35.99%, in many cases as low as 10%, which is many times better than these 300%.

Now, let’s have a look at some statistics from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other reputable sources:

  • According to CFPB, two-week payday loans charge a $15 fee for every $100 borrowed. This works out to an APR of almost 400%.
  • If you can’t repay the loan on time, you will be allowed to rollover the balance. However, high fees keep you from lowering the principal. As the process continues, you end up paying two, three or four times the amount borrowed. Sadly, the CFPB found the average payday borrower remained in debt for nearly 200 days.
  • The CFPB also found that 20,000 bank account holders who made payments to online payday lenders incurred an average of $97 in overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees. The figure is nearly three times more than the $34 incurred by the average American.
  • The average APR on car title loans is 300%.
  • Nearly 20% of people who take out car title loans end up losing their car.

What Is Annual Percentage Rate (APR) And How Does It Work?

To understand how much you’re paying on your loan, you need to understand APR. Your interest rate only factors in the interest charges on your loan, while APR is holistic measure that incorporates interest, fees and any added charges that apply. Remember, APR is always equal to or greater than your interest rate, so it’s a much better measure of your cost of borrowing.

When applying for a loan, reputable companies will always list their APRs. But, many predatory lenders choose to list their interest rate instead. What gives? Well, it’s done to disguise hidden fees and make the loan appear more affordable than it really is. Once you do the math, your 30% interest rate can quickly turn into a 200% APR!

As a general APR formula for a 1 month loan, take a look at the equation below:

APR = [(Interest Rate + Loan Origination Fee + All Other Applicable Fees) / Principal) * 12 * 100]

For example, say you take out a one month loan where the lender charges $10 for every $100 borrowed. In this case, your APR works out to 120% [(10 / 100) * 12 * 100)].

How Total Interest Paid Varies By Loan Term?

Remember this rule: the longer the loan term – same APR – the higher your total interest paid. We know. We know. It’s common knowledge that the longer you borrow money, the more it will cost you in the end. But for those that prefer an example, we constructed a table that shows how the cost of borrowing increases as you increase your loan duration. The key takeaway? The shorter the term the better!

Loan Amount:APR:Total Interest Paid: 1-Year Loan:Total Interest Paid: 3-Year Loan:Total Interest Paid: 5-Year Loan:
$1,00020%$111.61$337.95$589.77
$1,00030%$169.84$528.29$941.58
$1,000100%$619.91$2,178.40$4,045.47

How Total Interest Paid Varies By Loan Term Graph

As you can see, decreasing your loan term makes a big difference. Under the 20% APR scenario, decreasing your loan term from 3 years to 1 year saves you $478.16 in total interest costs. When you increase the APR, the results are even more staggering. If you lower your repayment term from 5 years to 1 year – under the 100% APR scenario – you save a whopping $3,425.56 in total interest paid!

To further illustrate the point, check out the table below:

Loan Amount:APR:Total Interest Paid: 1-Month LoanTotal Interest Paid: 3-Month LoanTotal Interest Paid: 6-Month LoanTotal Interest Paid: 12-Month Loan
$100100%$8.33$17.10$31.11$61.99
$100400%$33.33$72.96$143.30$313.31
$1,000100%$83.33$171.11$311.03$619.91
$1,000400%$333.33$729.72$1,433.06$3,130.65

How Total Interest Paid Varies By Loan Term Graph

When comparing the 100% APR, $100 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $53.66 in total interest paid. Even more, when comparing the 400% APR, $100 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $279.98 in total interest paid.

The cost of borrowing also increases as we increase the loan amount.

When comparing the 100% APR, $1,000 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $536.58 in total interest paid. And when comparing the 400% APR, $1,000 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $2,797.32 in total interest paid.

As you can see, reducing your repayment duration has a significant impact on your total cost of borrowing. But again, we know it’s difficult to increase your monthly payments, especially when times are tough. If it was that easy, everyone would do it, right? Either way, we want to provide you with the best advice possible and finding ways to lower your interest costs are critical to getting your finances back in order.

How Can I Lower My APR?

We won’t lie to you, lowering your APR requires time and effort. To obtain the best terms, you need to show lenders you’re a stable and predictable borrower. Step 1 is working on your credit score. Make sure all of your bill payments stay current and keep your credit card usage below 30% of the total balance. Both of these metrics are important because they play a key role in determining your FICO score. If you get both in order, your credit score will start to move in a positive direction. Step 2 is working on unique factors. How often you move, your employment history, your spending habits – all of these affect your credit score, and therefore, determine your APR. For more tips on how to raise your credit score, see our full guide.

And let’s say is again. The only one way to find the best APR is to shop around. You don’t lose anything.

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

So we’ve covered APR. It’s extremely important and our analysis above shows that. But, don’t ignore the minor details. Late payment fees, refinancing options, flexibility options, late payment grace periods and whether or not you can a skip payment are all important factors. Before signing on the dotted line, always read the terms and conditions. That way, you’ll understand the product inside and out and know whether the loan offer is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

At ElitePersonalFinance, we do our best to help you understand every issue that may come up during your loan application. But, with all of the complicated financial jargon embedded in these products, many readers still find the process a little confusing. To help ease the burden, we compiled a list of a few questions you may ask along the way.

Can I Get A Personal Loan If I Don’t Have A Bank Account?

If you don’t have a bank account, it’s tough to obtain a “personal” loan. Reputable lenders require a bank account to assess your financial history and deposit funds. Without it, you’ll have to move on to other alternatives. Your two options are car title loans and pawn shop loans. Both of these are secured loans because they require upfront collateral. We don’t recommend either of these options as they often do more harm than good. Our advice is to open a bank account and apply at reputable lenders. That way, you can obtain a reliable loan without putting your property at risk.

Can I Get A Personal Loan If My Income Is Low?

You can, but we don’t recommend it. Many lenders don’t have annual income requirements or will overlook your income if you check some of their other boxes. But, a better approach is to take steps to increase your financial health. There are plenty of other ways to make money in today’s digital economy. For more information, see our complete guide. And who knows, after a few a few gigs, you may not need that loan after all!

Can I Get A Bad Credit Loan If I’m Unemployed?

It’s possible, but again, we don’t recommend it. If you follow some of the tips from our guide above, not only will lenders offer you better financing terms, but you may end up earning enough money to forego the loan altogether.

Can I Get A Personal Loan Today?

Absolutely. In today’s marketplace, loan applications are processed so quickly that you can receive funding in as little as a few hours. However, it’s better to wait a few days before accepting any offer. As more and more lenders view your application, more offers will come rolling in. If you accept the first one, you’ll likely miss out on a better option.

Will Applying For A Loan Hurt My Credit Score?

Not at all. Most lenders perform a “soft” credit pull when they receive your application. As such, it doesn’t have a negative effect on your credit score. Keep in mind though, for credit card applications, the lender performs a “hard” credit pull, which can shave 5 to 10 points off your credit score. Pro tip: When applying for a credit card, use the company’s pre-approval tool and be sure you meet their eligibility criteria. If not, you’ll end up wasting your time and hurting your credit score in the process.

How Do I Apply For A Personal Loan?

Step 1 to analyze your credit report. Make sure there aren’t any errors or missing information. As well, make sure your credit score meets the lenders minimum requirement. For more information on how to read your credit report, see our detailed guide. The next step is to shop around for the best offers. You should apply to at least 5 to 10 lenders. This way, you’ll have plenty of great offers to choose from. You can also narrow your search by the amount of money you need, which lenders have the best APRs and which lenders offer repayment terms that fit your budget. Next, gather all of your personal information, bank account information and any other information that a lender requires. Now you just need to hit submit! Once your application hits the wire, offers will start rolling in. Analyze the options available and choose the loan with the lowest APR and the most favorable terms.

Conclusion

Personal loans. Secured loans. Alternative loans. Payday loans. With so many products available in the marketplace today, borrowers are often left spinning trying to figure out which one is right for them. When most people apply for a loan, it’s not because they want to. It’s not a fun experience or a story they can tell their grandchildren. The goal is to help overcome the financial challenges of life. And with so many predatory lenders out there, a harmful product only makes a bad situation even worse. That’s why we always recommend personal loans as your first option. But keep in mind, many lenders will use complicated financial jargon to disguise their harmful products as personal loans. And the key to spotting the scammers is to check their APRs. If APRs are capped at 35.99%, you know the product is a personal loan. Any higher, and you’re in a different category. Remember, knowledge is power! And by reading this guide, you’re equipped with all the knowledge you need to find the right loan and get your finances back in order. But, the next step is up to you. We know you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself! Hope this helps a lot! Thank You!

Elite Personal Finance

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