Where can you get a loan for bad credit?

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If you need money but your credit is not in very good condition, it is possible to find loans for bad credit. Find out where to get them and how to qualify. (Shutterstock)

If you need to cover an unexpected expense, a personal loan can be useful. But if your credit is rocky, it might be difficult to get financing. Fortunately, you have options, even if your credit history isn’t perfect.

Here’s where you can find a bad credit loan and some things you can do to get it.

Where to find a loan for bad credit

Lenders want to know how you’ve handled your debts in the past, so they look at your credit score and credit history to predict how likely you are to repay a loan. While having bad credit can make it difficult to get a personal loan, it’s not impossible. Some lenders work specifically with borrowers who have poor credit histories or no credit at all. But to offset their risk of lending you money, lenders charge higher interest rates to borrowers with bad credit.

If you are looking for a loan for bad credit, visit Credible for view your prequalified personal loan rates from various lenders, without affecting your credit.

Online lenders

One of the most convenient options for a personal loan with bad credit is through an online lender. You can complete the entire process, from application to approval, without meeting in person. Some lenders may require a phone call, but you can apply for and accept your loan in your pajamas.

Advantages

  • Practice – You can apply for a loan from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Lower interest rates — Many online lenders offer slightly lower rates if they don’t have the overhead of maintaining a physical location.
  • Quick – Many online lenders offer fast application decisions and funding times. You can get your money in just one to two business days, although some online lenders offer to fund your loan the same day you apply.

The inconvenients

  • No in-person service — Customer service will not happen in person with an online lender. Although you may receive a phone call or two, you will primarily be working on your application and documents online.
  • Fewer discounts — Many banks and credit unions offer loyalty discounts on their loan products to existing customers, but you may not be able to find this type of discount from an online lender.
  • More difficult to qualify if you are self-employed — If you run your own business, you may find it difficult to qualify for an online loan. You will need to provide additional documents when you apply, such as tax returns and several years of tax returns.

Banks

Banks are popular for personal loans, especially for customers who already have accounts with a specific institution. Although some banks offer online applications, you may be able to have a more personalized experience by visiting a loan officer to apply in person.

Advantages

  • In-person service — Getting a personal loan from a bank allows you to talk to a human. Working face-to-face can make getting a loan a little easier, as the loan officer can take your personal circumstances into account.
  • May be able to save on interest – If you take out a loan from a bank you already have a relationship with, you may be able to get a lower interest rate. You can also easily set up automatic payments.
  • Peace of mind – You will not have to provide any personal information online.

The inconvenients

  • No pre-selection option — You may not be able to check possible interest rates without affecting your credit score.
  • Longer processing time — Banks may take a little longer to process your loan and distribute your funds.
  • May not be as willing to work with lower credit scores — Although working directly with someone can be helpful, some banks do not offer loans to borrowers with bad credit.

credit unions

Credit unions are another option for personal loans. A credit union operates similarly to a bank, but often has membership requirements. Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives. Unlike banks, members can vote on board and bank matters.

Advantages

  • Can be more accessible as a member — If you already have an account with a credit union, it may be easier to qualify for a loan, even with a lower credit score.
  • More personal – Credit unions make loans to other members with funds from current members. Credit unions are often local in the community, so you would keep funds where you live.
  • Reduced Fees and Interest Rates — Credit unions may offer lower rates and costs due to the structure of their lending process.

The inconvenients

  • Can be exclusive — Most credit unions have membership requirements, and you usually need to be a member to apply for a loan. You may also be required to maintain a minimum balance in your savings account.
  • Fewer locations than banks — Credit unions often have fewer locations, so you may need to travel a little further to meet with a loan officer.
  • May have fewer bells and whistles — As non-profit institutions, credit unions may not offer the latest in banking technology. Options for accessing your account may be more limited than with an online bank or lender.

How to qualify for a personal loan with bad credit

When you’re ready to apply for a bad credit personal loan, you can make the application process more manageable with some preparation. The documents you will need include:

  • proof of incomelike pay stubs and tax returns
  • Proof of employment, such as W-2
  • Identity proof
  • Bank statements
  • Co-signer information (if you choose to use a co-signer)
  • Small business documents if self-employed, including bank statements showing deposits
  • Proof of address

If you have bad creditHere are some steps you can take to improve your chances of getting a personal loan:

  1. Have someone co-sign. Ask a friend or family member with excellent credit to co-sign your loan. This can increase your chances of being approved and getting a lower interest rate.
  2. Apply for a secured loan. Consider applying for a secured loan, which will require you to provide an asset as collateral, such as a car or a savings account. You should only do this if you are sure you can maintain your payments, as you could lose your collateral if you don’t repay the loan.
  3. Consider several loan options. Would you like get a small loan? Are you ready to pay a higher interest rate? Compare the rates and terms of multiple lenders to find the option that’s right for you.

Qualifying for a bad credit loan can be tough, but you have options if you’re willing to do a little homework.

Credible lets you quickly and easily compare personal loan rates from various lenders, all in one place.

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