Best Bad Credit Loans of 2022

Borrowing money when you have bad credit can be stressful and limit your loan options. But a bad credit rating isn’t a dead end. Even if you can’t qualify for the best loan terms, there are loans for bad credit.

The consequence of bad credit is that you could need to make trade-offs and compromises. For example, personal loans for bad credit can offer access to funds, but that access might come with a high interest rate and other restrictions that don’t apply to borrowers with a good credit score.

This guide will help you understand how bad credit loans work, how to apply for and get a loan, and how to choose the best bad credit lender.

SoFi

4.74% to 20.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Happy Money

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

Not disclosed APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
300 (or insufficient history) Min. Credit Score

Wells Fargo

5.74% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Rocket Loans

5.97% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

LendingUSA

Up to 29.99% APR
$47,500 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Upgrade

5.94% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

PNC Bank

5.99% to 28.74% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Oportun

6.99% to 35.99% APR
$10,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

6.24% to 10.24% $50,000 Not disclosed

4.74% to 20.28% $100,000 Not disclosed

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 550

Not disclosed $50,000 300 (or insufficient history)

5.74% to 19.99% $100,000 Not disclosed

5.97% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

Up to 29.99% $47,500 Not disclosed

5.94% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

5.99% to 28.74% $35,000 Not disclosed

6.99% to 35.99% $10,000 Not disclosed

U.S. News selects the Best Loan Companies by evaluating affordability, borrower eligibility criteria and customer service. Those with the highest overall scores are considered the best lenders.

To calculate each score, we use data about the lender and its loan offerings, giving greater weight to factors that matter most to borrowers. Personal loan companies are evaluated based on customer service ratings, interest rates, maximum loan term, minimum and maximum loan amounts, minimum FICO score, online features, and origination fees.
The weight each scoring factor receives is based on a nationwide survey on what borrowers look for in a lender.

To receive a rating, lenders must offer qualifying loans nationwide and have a good reputation within the industry. Read more about our methodology.

Best for same-day loans online

If you need money fast, Alliant Credit Union typically makes same-day online personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. The $14 billion Chicago-based credit union, founded in 1935, is one of the biggest in the nation, with 600,000 members.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans range from $1,000 to $50,000.

  • Funds are often deposited the same day.

  • No prepayment penalties apply if you pay off all or part of a loan early.

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Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The nationwide lender was founded in 2011 and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, auto and student loan refinancing, home loans, and small-business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • SoFi doesn’t charge late fees.

  • You can borrow up to $100,000.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

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Best for debt consolidation

Happy Money offers the Payoff Loan, which is designed to consolidate credit card debt. Loans of up to $40,000 are available everywhere except Massachusetts and Nevada.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers are not charged late or returned payment fees.

  • Applicants can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Poor-credit borrowers may be eligible.

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Best for borrowers with no credit or poor credit

Upstart is a lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to improve access to affordable credit. Based in California and founded by former Google employees in 2012, Upstart also applies AI to reduce lending risks and costs for its bank partners. The lending intermediary provides unsecured personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 to borrowers anywhere in the U.S. except West Virginia or Iowa.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 300 (or insufficient history)
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Upstart says 99% of applicants who accept their loans by 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday will get their money in one business day.

  • Upstart offers loans to borrowers with no credit scores, which traditional lenders may not do.

  • You can repay all or part of your loan anytime without being charged a fee.

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Best for Wells Fargo customers

Wells Fargo was established in 1852 and is one of the largest banks in the country, servicing 1 in 3 U.S. households. The financial services company makes customizable personal loans of up to $100,000 with flexible terms from 12 to 84 months.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $3,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: NR

Best Features

  • Wells Fargo offers annual percentage rates starting at 5.74%, which includes a relationship discount.

  • Borrowers pay no origination or closing fees.

  • Relationship discounts of 0.25 to 0.5 of a percentage point are available if you have a qualifying Wells Fargo checking account and make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo deposit account.

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Best for digital customer care

RocketLoans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all states except Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available for up to $25,000.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

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Best for low interest

LendingUSA was founded in 2015 as a lending solution for borrowers and merchants. The company provides point-of-sale customer financing through more than 10,000 merchant partners in various sectors, including medical, pet, funeral and other consumer services.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $47,500
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Find loans to help you pay for cosmetic procedures, dental implants, funeral expenses and more.

  • Borrow from $1,000 to $47,500.

  • Pay no interest on principal if repaid within six months.

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Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade offers access to personal loans, the Upgrade card with a personal line of credit, rewards checking, and credit monitoring and educational tools. Founded in 2017 in San Francisco, the firm also has operations offices in Phoenix and Montreal.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for low fees and discounts

PNC Bank can trace its history back to 1852 and the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Co. Today, PNC Bank is the seventh-largest bank in the U.S., and it features a wide range of consumer and business banking services. Among its suite of products, PNC offers personal, unsecured installment loans up to $35,000. Applicants are considered based on satisfactory credit history, ability to repay and income.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No prepayment penalty and no origination or application fee.

  • Get a 0.25-percentage-point discount if you set up autopay using a PNC checking account.

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Best for flexible credit requirements

Founded in 2005 and based in San Carlos, California, Oportun originates unsecured personal loans of up to $10,000 in 12 states. Loans are available in 27 additional states through Oportun’s partnership with MetaBank.

Before You Apply:

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $300 to $10,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No credit history requirement.

  • In some states, there is an in-person application option in addition to the online application.

  • Secured and unsecured loan options available in some states.

See full profile

Even if you have bad credit, you could save by shopping around for the best interest rate on a personal loan. Compare bad credit personal loan offers with national average trends for personal loans to know whether you’ve found a good deal.

The average personal loan rate is 9.54%. Last week’s average rate was 9.54%.*

*Rate as of Mar. 16, 2022

Select your desired loan amount and loan purpose, your credit score range, and your state to see estimated annual percentage rates and loan terms.

Loans may be available for people with bad credit scores or no credit. Different lenders have different credit criteria, but it may be possible to get a personal loan with a FICO credit score in or below the fair range (580-669). Riskier types of loans, such as payday loans and alternative installment loans, are also available to borrowers with low credit scores or no credit.

The weaker your credit score, the greater the risk to the lender, which is why bad credit loans can be costly. Generally, you’ll pay higher interest rates and receive shorter repayment terms than people with good credit scores.

Here is one example for comparison. If you took out a $10,000 loan at an APR of 25% and repaid it over three years, you would pay about $398 monthly and about $4,300 in total interest. With better credit, you could qualify for a lower APR – say 11% on the same three-year $10,000 personal loan. You would pay about $327 monthly and less than $1,800 in total interest. Having a higher credit score would save you more than $2,500 in this instance, making it less expensive to take out a loan for debt consolidation, home improvements, car repairs, unexpected expenses or something else.

Even with bad credit, you can choose from many types of loans. Some present more risk to borrowers than others. Here are some of your options:

Personal loans for bad credit

Personal loans have fixed rates as high as about 36%, and they are generally safer than options such as payday loans, auto title loans or alternative installment loans. You can typically repay loans in set amounts over a few years. Lenders may offer small and large personal loans, so check the lender’s minimum loan amount to make sure it meets your needs.

Generally, this type of loan is unsecured, which means you don’t have to put down collateral. Collateral is a valuable asset, such as your car or savings account, that the lender can claim if you default on a loan.

With a poor or fair FICO credit score, it can be difficult to qualify for a standard personal loan. If you have bad credit, you may want to consider taking out a secured personal loan that uses a valuable asset as collateral. Although secured loans put your assets on the line, you are more likely to get approved and could receive a better APR. Some lenders also allow co-signers on personal loans, which can help riskier borrowers get approved.

A payday loan is a small, short-term loan intended to cover expenses until your next payday, when you can pay it back. Payday loans have a reputation as predatory, with lenders targeting consumers with poor credit scores and few options who need quick access to cash.

Loan limits, often $500, are typically much lower than personal loan limits, and payday loans usually have to be paid back in weeks, not years. Fees can be very high, often equivalent to triple-digit APRs.

If you can’t repay the loan in full by the end of the term, you may be able to extend your loan by paying more fees. Some payday loans ultimately cost more in interest and fees than the original loan amount.

Alternative installment loans

Alternative installment loans may look a lot like standard personal loans: The lender sends you funds and you follow a repayment schedule to pay the loan back. But they can also resemble payday loans because they are easier to obtain for consumers with bad credit and tend to charge high interest rates, often well above 100%.

Generally, alternative installment loans have fixed monthly payments and can have repayment terms as short as several months or as long as a few years. But you should expect steep interest rates when you turn to alternative installment loans.

If you’re considering a loan because you can’t afford your educational expenses, you should make sure to consider student loans. You’ll generally get the most value out of federal student loans, but even private loans can provide better terms for students than other loan options for consumers with below-average credit.

Student loans tend to offer a wider range of repayment terms, ranging from five to 20 years for private loans. You can qualify for a federal student loan for yourself without a credit check, and you may be able to add a co-signer to help you qualify for a private student loan.

Credit card cash advances

Like payday loans, credit card cash advances can get you quick access to cash, but they come with a high price. When you get a cash advance, you are taking out a loan from your credit card. You’ll often be on the hook for a cash advance fee of at least $10, and the loan will come with an interest rate higher than what you’re charged for purchases.

A credit card cash advance can be helpful if you pay it off quickly, but advances can also harm your credit score by bringing up your card’s balance.

U.S. News Survey

U.S. News Survey: Many Consumers Don’t Know How Loans Work

U.S. News surveyed consumers in August 2020 about financial literacy, or their ability to manage money: in this case, loans. Even with good credit, qualifying for a loan can be tricky, thanks to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

The survey revealed that, whether people have bad credit or good credit, they may not know how to shop around for loans or avoid hiccups such as missing payments.

Additional Survey Insights

Top purposes for personal loans are making major purchases or paying down debt.

Most consumers said they don’t need to borrow money because of COVID-19 hardship. Those who do need to borrow said 0% APR credit cards, personal loans and home equity loans are the best options.

Many consumers said they aren’t clear on how deferred interest loans work.

Most consumers don’t realize the potential damage of missing a loan payment.

About 1 in 5 consumers said they’ve taken out a loan to pay off debt.

Most consumers said they don’t think payday loans are a good idea.

U.S. News Survey Methodology

Survey Results

You can qualify for a loan with bad credit, but you’ll get the best deal if you do some homework. Start by checking your credit report, budgeting for your loan payment and shopping around for the best terms.

  1. Check your credit report. You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Use your report to identify ways to improve your credit, such as by paying off a debt in collection or paying down a high credit card balance. Also check for errors that could be lowering your score. Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy for Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, recommends checking your credit report and score at least three months before applying for a loan.
  2. Budget your loan repayment. Figure out how much you need to borrow, and come up with a plan for your payments that fits into your budget. Your loan amount, repayment period, APR and any fees the lender charges will help determine your monthly payment. The longer you have to repay the loan, the more you will pay in interest but the lower your monthly payment will be.
  3. Shop around for the best interest rate. Lenders often use a soft credit inquiry to grant preapproval or prequalification for loans. Soft inquiries don’t affect your credit score, and applying for preapproval is a good way to compare interest rates and terms before you apply. Applying for a loan may trigger a hard credit inquiry, which can affect your credit.
  4. Beware of scams. Spotting a bad credit loan scam can be difficult, but look out for some key signs. Scammers often require upfront fees, ignore your credit record, pressure you to take out a loan, ask you to pay with a prepaid card or aren’t licensed to make loans in your state.
  5. Repay the loan. After your lender disburses the loan funds, you will become responsible for making payments. It’s important to make on-time payments to avoid paying late fees and harming your credit score. You’ll also owe more interest if you delay payments. “If you miss a payment or due date, credit profiles will suffer,” says Joseph Toms, president and chief investment officer of Freedom Financial Network, a debt management business. “That can reduce the consumer’s ability to get credit in the future. Before applying, be sure you can make the payment every month.”

The best loan for bad credit depends on many factors. When choosing a lender for a bad credit loan, consider these key criteria:

  • Eligibility requirements, including credit history and employment. The credit score you need to get a loan will depend on the lender and the type of loan you want, with higher scores increasing your options. Lenders may also consider parts of your background besides credit, including income and debt-to-income ratio. “Traditional credit data does not necessarily account for your complete financial profile and ability to pay debts,” Toms says. If you can’t qualify for a loan with your own credit or income, some lenders allow you to add a co-signer.
  • Interest rates and types. Make sure you’re comparing interest rates when considering which loan is the best. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will most likely be. Personal loans typically come with fixed interest rates, which means your rate remains the same for the duration of your loan. Private student lenders often offer fixed and variable interest rate options. Variable-rate loans have interest rates that can fluctuate in tandem with an index rate.
  • Loan terms. Before accepting a loan, make sure to review its terms, including APR, loan period and loan restrictions. You should be comfortable with the terms and confident you can make on-time payments.
  • Fees and penalties. Origination, late, returned payment and other fees may apply, depending on your lender and in some cases your state. Some lenders don’t charge origination fees to make a loan, while others may charge a percentage of the loan amount. LendingClub, for instance, charges an origination fee of between 3% and 6% for personal loans. If your lender charges for late payments, you may have a grace period of up to 15 days before the lender charges a fee.
  • Repayment options. Lenders usually offer multiple payment options, including online, check and automatic payments. Automatic payments might come with a discount. Some lenders also provide flexibility with your payment date, so you can change it to a date that works best for you.
  • Customer service ratings and reviews. Getting a loan is a big commitment, so make some time to read lender reviews before you sign on the dotted line. It’s also a good idea to search the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database to learn about common gripes consumers have about lenders.

Best for fair credit

Chicago-based Avant has lent more than $6.5 billion to borrowers since its 2012 founding. In partnership with WebBank, Avant offers secured and unsecured personal loans and a credit card. Most borrowers have credit scores between 600 and 700, according to Avant.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit scores can qualify.

  • Funds for unsecured personal loans can be generally deposited the next business day after approval.

  • Secured and unsecured loans are available.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook and has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa and U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

See full profile

Best for borrowers who need to improve their credit

Universal Credit is an online lending platform that is powered by the fintech firm Upgrade, which has been in operation since 2017. Universal Credit is not a bank itself, but facilitates loans through its lending partners. It specializes in personal loans, especially for debt consolidation.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers who sign up for autopay or have their funds sent directly to creditors as part of a debt consolidation loan qualify for interest rate discounts.

  • Borrowers can access a number of credit-building tools offered through Upgrade, including access to their credit scores, weekly updates and custom recommendations.

See full profile

Best for small loan amounts

Founded in 1912, OneMain Financial is the largest lending-exclusive financial company in the U.S., offering secured and unsecured personal loans. The company has about 1,400 branches in 44 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Secured and unsecured options are available.

  • Borrowers can get prequalified with a soft credit check.

See full profile

Best for customer service

Rise offers personal loans of up to $5,000 to borrowers in 33 states. The lender allows borrowers to pick their own repayment schedule and offers lower rates to borrowers who make on-time payments.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $5,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 26 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Personal loans as low as $500 are available.

  • A five-day guarantee allows borrowers to cancel their loan and still avoid fees.

  • Rise offers a lower annual percentage rate to those who make on-time payments.

See full profile

Best for health care professionals

Bankers Healthcare Group, or BHG, started in 2001 and in 20 years has exceeded $8 billion in funded loans and ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies 15 times. The Davie, Florida, business provides direct loans to licensed health care professionals of all kinds, including dentists, physicians, veterinarians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $20,000 to $200,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • BHG offers loans of up to $200,000 for qualified borrowers.

  • Repayment terms of up to seven years are available.

  • BHG has an array of financial solutions to meet the needs of different borrowers.

See full profile

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who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
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does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.

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