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

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

EPF Last Update: December 10, 2018

Best loans for bad credit are personal loans. People with bad credit can expect an APR of 20% to 35.99%. That is considered relatively high because of your risk factor, but if you compare that with traditional payday loans with the average APR of 400%, this is much better. People are targeted by payday loan lenders and manipulated into believing that they have no other option. However, this is simply not true. The lending market is much more flexible and there are lenders who say yes to bad credit. If you have really bad credit, then your options are limited, but there are companies that we call Improved Payday Loans. They are expensive but still much cheaper than payday loans. We at ElitePersonalFinance recommend them only if you have no other option. People with bad credit who work on improving it can receive much better offers! People who can’t get a loan can discuss with the lender their ability to repay the loan. Those who are sure that they can repay the loan on time can get more personal loan offers with even with a 10% APR if they go secured or add a co-signer. However, be careful with these options if you are not sure that you can pay the loan on time.

Elite Personal Finance highly recommend that people avoid:

  • Payday loans
  • Auto title loans.

These are predatory!

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2019

CompanyAmountMin Credit ScoreLoan Features

Personal Loans

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$35,000580APR: 5.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term: 36 to 72 months

Time to Fund: 1 Day


Bad Credit Loans

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$5,0000APR: 5.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term: 36-60 months

Time to Fund: 1 Day



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$35,000640APR: 8% – 25%

Loan Term: 24-60 months

Time to Fund: 1 – 7 Days



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$50,000620APR: 8.16% – 35.99%

Loan Term: 3-36 months

Time to Fund: 1 – 3 Days


Lending Tree

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$35,000500APR: 5.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term: 24-60 months

Time to Fund: 1 Day

If you want to see a full list of offers, shop around.

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Personal Loans


Best for: Any Type of Loan

Personal Loans, run out of Houston, TX, is a service that will pair you up with a lending institution that will lend you cash for any need: emergency, leisure, or to pay something due quickly.

We’ve ranked Personal Loans at #1 for a lot of reasons. First, it allows you to borrow the largest amount of any of these lending portals: up to $35,000. Second, they accept applicants with any credit score. Third, they give you the longest time to pay: from 6 to 72 months to repay the loan without it going into collections!

In this list, we’ve compiled all the basic info needed to understand the service that you will be using. This way, you can easily determine what criteria we used to rank these loans, and you can make your decision based on the information given.

  • APR Range: 5.99 – 35.99%. Smaller loans command higher APRs.
  • Application Length: Short. They ask for contact info and employment verification, and they’ve separated the process into two easy steps.
  • Amount: $1,000 – $35,000.

Personal Loans offers the lowest APRs, the longest payback times, and the highest possible loan amounts. It’s simply the best on the list, and there’s no comparison. However, the biggest thing that makes it shine is the ability to borrow up to $35,000. This could mean the ability to pay off medical bills, fixing a destroyed car, or some heavy home damage.

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Best for: Really Bad Credit!

They do exactly what their name suggests – lend money to people with really bad credit. Although no one can be sure that they will actually get money, BadCreditLoans is one marketplace that you can’t skip. If you are in need of money and have a low credit score, you don’t have a lot of choices. This company connects people with low credit score to creditors that are willing to lend money. The amount that you can expect from them is $500-$5,000, which is significantly lower than what other personal loan companies typically offer ($1,000-$50,000). The APR is: 5.99% to 35.99%, which is something that not many loan companies would offer if your credit score is low. However, there are some cases when it can be higher. So, after you complete the registration process in full (which is not different from other loan companies), apply and wait for the offer. Be sure to read carefully all the terms and fine print before getting the money.

  • APR Range: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Amount: $500 – $5,000
  • Credit Score Required: 0
  • Loan Term: 3 – 36 months

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Best for: Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Payoff provides fixed-rate loans to people solely for the purpose of paying off credit card debt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for really bad credit like BadCreditLoans does. You need to have a credit score of 640 or higher and debt-to-income ratio lower than 50%. They will check your credit history for last 3 years. But if you meet their criteria, PayOff can be a great pick. Their APR is really great. Here are more details about them:

  • APR Range: 8.00% – 25.00%
  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $35,000
  • Credit Score Required: 640
  • Loan Term: 24 – 60 months
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 50% or lower
  • Origination fee: 2% – 5%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late fee: None
  • Time to funding: 1 – 7 days

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Best for: No or Low Credit History!

Upstart can’t help you if you have really bad credit. However, if you meet their criteria, this can be a great company for you. Is your credit score 620 or higher? If you have low credit score, Upstart will also consider your education, employment and income. These are the factors that play role in their decision to give you money. Here are more details about them:

  • APR: 8.16% – 35.99%
  • Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Minimum income: $12,000
  • Credit Score Required: 620
  • Loan Term: 36 – 60 months
  • Debt-to-income ratio: 45% or lower
  • Origination fee: 0% – 8%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of past-due amount
  • Time to funding: 1 – 7 days

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Lending Tree

Best for: Any Type of Loans

  • APR: 5.99 – 35.99%. Smaller loans command higher APRs.
  • Application Length: Short. They ask for contact info and employment verification, and they’ve separated the process into two easy steps.
  • Amount: $1,000 – $35,000

LendingTree offers the lowest APRs, the longest payback times, and the highest possible loan amounts. It’s simply the best on the list, and there’s no comparison. However, the biggest thing that makes it shine is the ability to borrow up to $35,000.

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People with bad credit are a great target for predatory lenders. Be careful!

It’s easy to get into a bad financial bind. You might get laid off, you might get a divorce, you might have a child, or you might incur an expense that you simply were never expecting. Often times, this happens to even the best and most responsible of us.

Then, one day, you realize that under all of the bills you have to pay there’s still one that will have to go unpaid. This is where it start. One thing, then another, then another, and all of a sudden you have something in collections. After that, your credit score spirals out of control.

No longer can you qualify for the loans you used to be able to qualify for. No longer are you able to get a new credit card. However, this doesn’t mean all your options are exhausted.

There are a class of loans specifically for people with poor credit that are in a financial bind. Sometimes, getting a loan to get you out of the bind will be what it takes to get your credit up, to get that item out of collections, and to eventually strike them off of your record for good.

We at Elite Personal Finance try to make everything to avoid that if you are with bad credit, giving you an in-depth look at what to expect from them, their application process, and how much you can expect to pay. Toward the end of the article, we’ll be talking about how you can improve your credit to prevent yourself from ever having to take a bad credit loan ever again.

What are Predatory Bad Credit Loans?

They’re short term loans designed specifically for people who have bad credit. If you have bad credit, it’s often too hard to get a loan from a bank. Sometimes, you might need a loan in order to pay a bill right then and there, even if you don’t have the cash. If you have bad credit and cannot get a bank loan or a credit card, this could leave you open to a financial emergency.

They’re made specifically for people who don’t have a very good credit score. They require no collateral. Instead, they will require you to verify that you have a job.

Some bad credit loans will check your credit, but many lenders do not. Many lenders will ask for enough information to run a credit check but won’t reject those with poor credit. Because of this, these loans are often exactly what you might need.

However, the annual percentage rates (APRs) can be exorbitant, and there’s often hidden fees associated with the loan such as finance charges and late fees.

The typical APR is 400%.

Predatory loans are:

  • Payday loans
  • Auto title loans.

Are Bad Credit Loans Legit or a Scam?

There is a difference between personal loans for bad credit and bad credit payday loans! The difference is huge!

Predatory bad credit lenders have a poor reputation, and for many good reasons. Many lenders use predatory and unfair practices in order to squeeze every last bit of cash out of their borrowers. These loans are well known for keeping people in a trap of poorness, making it next to impossible for them to stop borrowing money.

How can we know whether or not this applies to all lenders? Let’s look at what bad credit loans are used for.

These loans are meant to be used only for emergencies. They’re not to be used frivolously, and should be paid back as soon as possible. They’re meant for the customer that has low credit due to an inconsistent payment history, a medical emergency, lawyer bills, or due to having items left in collections.

Some lenders use predatory lending practices and obscure the information that they give about finance charges or effective APRs. Predatory lending, by definition, takes advantage of people who don’t quite understand what the charges mean, don’t understand compound interest, and are irresponsible with their payments.

Lenders that do this are absolutely wrong. However, you can prevent yourself from being taken advantage of.

If you understand the following, you will be able to prevent yourself from becoming a victim:

Repayment due date: Your repayment due date is the date when your principal (the amount of the loan borrowed), interest (the surcharge per dollar borrowed) and finance charges (any extra charges added on top) are due in full. You MUST repay your loan by the due date! Otherwise, expect to be hit with a large late fee and compounding interest.

The total amount due: This number is the amount of money owed by the due date. This includes the principal, interest, and any finance charges. Most bad credit loans do not allow installment payments, but will allow early repayment. However, repaying it early does not make the loan cheaper.

So, Which Bad Credit Loans Are The Best?

There are a lot of poor credit lenders on the Internet, sending money directly to your bank account whenever you need it. However, not all of them are the same. Most of them are simply affiliate sites for larger lenders. These affiliate then advertise all over the Internet, collecting your information and selling it to other lenders. This is a common way for identity thieves to steal your information, and we want to prevent against that.

Typically personal loans don’t have to exceed APR of 35.99%.

Payday loans that are predatory comes with about 400%.

For people with really bad credit who can’t get a personal loans there are options that are more expensive than personal loans, but much more better than payday loans.

Should I Use Bad Credit Loans?

If you have to ask this question, 99% of the time, the answer is no. These loans are extremely expensive and are not to be used for most expenses. Don’t use these loans to buy clothes, or to purchase a vacation, or to finance a celebration. They are not to be used for frivolous purposes.

Also, do not use this money to take care of anything that can be put off until your payday. Instead of taking out a loan, negotiate with your landlord to pay the rent a little bit later. Instead of using a lender, contact your electric company and pay large due payments in installments. Wait a little while before you fix something, because taking out a loan will cost you so much more. Negotiate with your doctor, hospital, or insurance company to pay smaller payments on your medical bills.

However, there are instances where using these loans is appropriate. First of all, if you have something due immediately that will go into collections otherwise, it may be appropriate to borrow from one of our approved lenders. Second, if you have an expense that simply cannot be spared (a car repair, for example) then taking out a loan may be what you need to get back on track.

However, do not lose perspective of the bigger picture. These loans are expensive and should be used with absolute caution. They can be safe and useful if used properly, but if used frivolously or carelessly, they can leave you in a cycle of debt that will be hard to shake.
Why Do I Have Bad Credit?

Bad credit is a result of a combination of factors. First of all, you might not have bad credit at all: just no credit.

No credit just means that you’ve never taken out a loan that is factored into your credit report. No credit history, in many ways, makes it even more difficult to get a loan than someone with poor credit. This is because lender don’t know what to expect from someone with no credit history: technically, lending to someone with no credit is the most risky investment they can make.

If you have no credit, you can start a credit history by getting a secured credit card from the bank. This requires that you take out some cash and put it down as collateral, but if you pay it off every month (and get a balance increase at the end of the year), you will have built a credit history.

However, some people have poor credit. This can be due to having an inconsistent payment history. This basically means that if you have put on even just a few late payments, your credit could be badly impacted. Late payments are difficult to strike from your credit report, and are one of the biggest factors in considering your creditworthiness.

Another factor in having poor credit is having multiple closed accounts. If you have opened credit accounts and then closed them quickly, for any reason, this too will show on your credit report and signal that you do not keep accounts for long. This impacts your credit score.

Probably the most important factor in whether or not you have bad credit is whether or not you have items in collections. Collections items appear on your credit report and are the result of non-payment of far past due debts. Collections items, however, can be stricken from your credit report after paying them and contacting your credit bureau. It may take a while for your credit score to recover, though.

Even a single collections item, no matter how small, could mean the difference between qualifying for a bank loan and not being able to.

How Can I Fix My Credit?

Your credit history is the result of many years’ worth of decisions, and it can seem difficult to turn this aspect of your life around. However, it can be done, and if you have a credit score below 620, then you need to follow these tips so that you can be able to borrow money, get better credit cards, and one day buy a house.

The first tip is to pay off any existing collections items. This is your first priority, and should be treated as such. Your credit will not improve much if you have things still in collections. Once you pay them off, call the credit bureaus and ask to strike the item off of your report. They will inform you of the procedure, and it may take a year or longer for it to disappear.

The second tip is to pay any payments that are currently late. A 30 day late payment will impact you less than a 60 or 90 day late payment, so if you know you’re going to be late, pay as soon as possible. Prioritize the debts that are the most late.

The third tip is to pay down any balances on maxed out credit cards. Don’t charge these cards: pay the balances down as fast as you can. Use your lowest rate card that isn’t maxed out for daily expenses, but make sure you’re able to pay that one off too.

Lastly, start using credit responsibly. If you incur a balance on your credit cards, pay them off in full if you can. Reduce your spending on your credit cards. Pay any debts down faster. If you have any large debts outstanding, see if you can negotiate for a lower interest rate, or refinance the debt.

Here are some dos and don’ts regarding responsible credit usage:

  • DO: Pay your bills in full, or nearly in full, as much as you can afford.
  • DON’T: Carry a large balance month to month.
  • DO: Pay your bills on time on an automated basis.
  • DON’T: Let bills lapse into the late period.
  • DO: Open new accounts when the need arises, or every few years.
  • DON’T: Open new accounts, multiple at a time.
  • DO: Keep accounts open, using them every once in a while.
  • DON’T: Close accounts or let them go a long period without ever being used.
  • DO: Keep on top of payments that might go into collections, and negotiate any payments that might be late.
  • DON’T: Let any debts go into collections for any reason.

Follow these rules and you will be able to stay out of the ‘bad credit’ zone.

What Is My Credit Score?

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your risk to banks and lenders. It ranges from 300 to 850 (FICO only) and is taken into account when applying for loans, credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, and car financing.

The credit score is impacted primarily by five things: payment history, debt burden and usage, length of history and age of accounts, variation in types of credit used, and recent credit inquiries made on your behalf. It does not tell the entire story and lenders do not use the credit score as the sole consideration when providing loans.

Bad credit lenders do not take credit score into consideration at all, and are not the type to reject people on the basis of their credit. This means they take on more risk when they lend money, and this results in the money lent being more expensive to borrow. This shows itself in the outrageously high APRs and extra charges.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

The best way to improve your credit score is to use credit responsibly, as per our outlined dos and don’ts. Bumping up your credit score often takes a period of months and years, and is not as simple as taking a test or filling out an application.

If you want to make sure your credit score goes up over the next year, you should do the following:

  • Pay off any collections items. Pay down your credit cards and outstanding loans as fast as you can. Don’t be afraid to refinance, either: a lower rate might be what you need to pay down your loan.
  • Once you pay down as much as you can, keep your credit usage low. Don’t take out new loans, and use your credit cards sparingly (but you still have to use them!)
  • Don’t close any credit card accounts that are currently open. Just leaving your accounts open will increase your credit score, by virtue of your average account age going up.

Elite Personal Finance

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