Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit [Short-Term Options]

Sometimes life doesn’t go quite according to plan. Emergency expenses crop up at the worst possible time, and it’s easy to burn through your savings. When you need help in a hurry, you don’t have time to ensure that your FICO score is perfect.
But what are your options?
We’ve got you covered. This post reviews the top companies that offer installment loans for bad credit to help you find the best deal.
Sections that We Cover:

  • ✓  Methodology
  • ✓  Company Comparisons
  • ✓  Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit in 2020
  • ✓  Low Credit Score Installment Loans Explained
  • ✓  Bad Credit Installment Loans Key Benefits
  • ✓  How Installment Loans For Poor Credit Work
  • ✓  Installment Loans For Bad Credit vs. Payday Loans
  • ✓  How To Choose A Bad Credit Loan Lender – Guide
  • ✓  Wrap Up
  • ✓  FAQ

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Best Online Installment Loans For Bad Credit - Compared

1. PersonalLoans

You may borrow against a tax refund if you qualify

A range of conventional financial institutions and alternative solutions

You may qualify with a low income and a score of 580

Best Lender For Those With A Rating Of 580 Or More

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PersonalLoans.com provides a simple, efficient service. It partners with installment loans companies for bad credit and conventional institutions. As a result, you get the best range of options available. The companies on the website usually provide competitive rates. If you have a low rating, you’ll pay more but aren’t necessarily excluded altogether.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

2. Oportun

Generous repayment terms

Easy to qualify

The firm provides financial counseling

Best Lender For Low-Income Earners

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Oportun provides low and middle-income consumers with access to affordable financing. They offer a range of credit solutions centered on improving your credit history. They’re responsible lenders who take a holistic look at your situation before considering their response. Low ratings are not necessarily a disqualifying factor.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

3. LendingClub

Prequalification won’t affect your credit

Simple application and qualification process

Allows joint applications

Best Lender For Monitoring And Improving Credit History

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LendingClub takes a little longer to pay out the money, but that’s because they vet applications more thoroughly than most peer-to-peer lenders. Their thoroughness puts them in the position of one of the best installment loan companies for bad credit. They provide consumers with useful tools and finance options that they can afford.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

4. Slick Cash Loan

You complete the process online

Best installment loans for bad credit from direct lenders

A simple way to apply

Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit With Easy Approval

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Slick Cash Loan is a good option for those who typically fall below the minimum credit score. The firm has an extensive network of people willing to provide you with a loan. Many of these are speculative investors willing to risk low credit loans for a higher return. The process is simple, and there are no restrictions on what you may use the money for.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

5. Avant

Flexible payment solutions

Quick finance options available

Allows secured installment loans for bad credit

Best Lender For Middle-Income Earners

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Avant provides clients with attractive loan options at reasonable rates. While stricter than some low credit lenders, they’re flexible enough to provide a useful service. They are one of the few companies that allow refinancing and earn a spot as one of the best installment loan lenders for bad credit.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

6. NetCredit

The firm will lend to almost anyone

Quick application process

Installment loans for bad credit with fast funding

Best Lender For People With Terrible Credit

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NetCredit is a lender that caters to consumers unable to get conventional financing. It’s a quick application process, and fast payouts make it a useful emergency solution. While you’re paying a high premium for the service, it’s a simple way to get quick and easy installment loans for bad credit.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

7. Upstart

Works with banks, not peer-to-peer lenders

Allows borrowers with a scant credit history

You get the money fast

Best Lender For Recent Graduates And Borrowers With No Credit History

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As a non-traditional platform, it’s interesting to see how Upstart works. The system shows that there’s more to creditworthiness than only past behavior. The company provides a range of lending options sourced from banks, ensuring that the client gets a fairer deal. The firm’s unique model ensures that everyone, even recent college grads, has access to financing.

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Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

Credibility & Reputation

Fees & Repayment Terms

How We Created This List - Our Methodology

In looking for the best online installment loans for bad credit, we did extensive research. We looked at each company objectively in terms of the following:

  • Application process: Is the process simple and easy to follow? Does the company assist you?
  • Type of lenders: Under what category does the lender fall: mortgage, direct, or secondary market?
  • Eligibility requirements: Which applicants does the firm accept? What are the minimum requirements in terms of minimum credit score, wages, and so forth?
  • Fees and repayment terms: What does the firm charge for their service? In some cases, they’re willing to be lenient, but at a high cost to the consumer. How easy is it to repay the loan? Does the firm offer discounts for an early settlement?

At a Glance

  • APR rates are reasonable
  • You may borrow against a tax refund if you qualify
  • A range of conventional financial institutions and alternative solutions
  • You may qualify with a low income and a score of 580
  • There’s no way to work out costs before you receive your offers
  • The platform is an intermediary, so you should research the company making the offer too
  • Hardly any extras

PersonalLoans.com is a lending platform that matches lenders and borrowers. The streamlined application process and lower credit requirements make it simple to get the financing that you need.

The platform works with a peer-to-peer bank and direct lenders to provide a range of financing.

The process is as simple as completing the online application. PersonalLoans.com checks if you qualify and determines which lenders are best suited to your needs. If approved, you’ll receive several offers to choose from.

The efficiency of the platform makes it a good source of trusted installment loans for bad credit.

To qualify you must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen over the age of 18
  • Earn at least $2,000 a month
  • Score at least 580 with the credit bureaus
  • Have a checking account

Benefits

Intuitive Platform

You’re getting a no-frills experience that’s simple to use. There’s no need to waste time working out how and where to apply.

Offers Tax Refund Advances

Few loan companies allow you to borrow against your tax refund. PersonalLoan.com facilitates the process by connecting you to firms that provide this service. You may need to show some tax documents to prove your case, but there’s no need for other documentation.

Restrictions

You must explain what the money’s for upfront, but the lenders don’t typically tell you how to spend it. If you need trusted installment loans for bad credit with as few questions as possible, this is a good option.

LOAN AMOUNTS $1,000 to $35,000
APR RANGE 5.99% to 35.99%
REPAYMENT TERMS 90 days to 72 months
FUNDING TIME At least one business day

At a Glance

  • The turnaround time is fast
  • Generous repayment terms
  • Easy to qualify
  • The firm provides financial counseling
  • Not available in every state
  • The firm not clear on fees or APR before you sign up
  • The website knowledge base is poorly organized

Oportun is the best option for online installment loans instant approval. As long as you provide the requisite information, you’ll have your answer in ten minutes or less. The firm targets low to mid-income earners with a limited credit history.

The firm is a direct lender and provides: 

  • Personal Loans: Both secured and unsecured
  • Credit Cards: These start with a low credit limit, allowing you to build a credit history
  • Auto Loans: Secured against the value of your vehicle

The firm places less emphasis on your credit history, focusing instead on: 

  • Your Income
  • How you service your existing debt
  • Payments toward utilities, rent, and cell phone bills
  • Whether you’re able to afford the repayment
  • They don’t require a minimum credit rating

To qualify for one of the best installment loans for bad credit in 2020, you must: 

  • Provide proof of your identity on a government-issued document
  • Have a verifiable phone number and address
  • Give proof of regular income, preferably from permanent employment
  • Live in one of the states that the company operates in

Oportun allows you to have a co-signer if you don’t qualify on your income alone. They may require security in the form of an asset.

Benefits

Improves Your FICO Score

Oportun assists clients in creating a credit history because it reports payments on all of its products. As long as you make your payments on your installment loans online or via automatic payments on time, you have a good foundation for a great score.

Community-Focused Company

The federal government certifies the firm as a Community Development Financial Institution. It is therefore obliged to assist in uplifting the communities it operates within. The company does so by providing financial education.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has not registered any complaints against the firm.

Free Coaching

Oportun partners with UnidosUS. The organization aids in the upliftment of Latino communities through financial education, childcare, emergency aid, and finding employment.

Adheres to Conservative Lending Principles

While Oportun is lenient in terms of qualifying criteria, they’re strict about affordability. They typically don’t allow you to borrow more than 5% of your monthly income.

Restrictions

Unlike college loans, there are no restrictions and you may use the funds for whatever you like.

LOAN AMOUNTS $300 to $10,000
APR RANGE 19.90% to 35.99%
REPAYMENT TERMS 6 months to 48 months
FUNDING TIME 2 to 24 hours

At a Glance

  • Reasonable interest rates
  • Prequalification won’t affect your credit
  • Simple application and qualification process
  • Allows joint applications
  • Charges between 2% and 6% loan origination fees
  • No mobile app available
  • Funding takes a bit longer

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer or secondary marketplace lender. It offers financing for:

  • Personal loans
  • Paying off debt and credit cards
  • Major expenses
  • Home improvement
  • Medical bills
  • Business finance
  • Small, unexpected expenses

The firm rates as one of America’s biggest online lending platforms and provides you with an agreement within minutes.

It works simply: 

  • Input the amount you require and the reason for the loan
  • Fill in some personal details
  • The company performs a soft pull, not a hard credit check, to see if you qualify
  • You’ll be prequalified and receive multiple loan offers
  • You select the offer best suited to your needs

To qualify, you must:

  • Have a credit score of 600 or more
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States
  • Have an established credit history of at least three years
  • Have a debt to income ratio of under 35% to 40%
  • Be able to provide pay stubs or proof of regular income

Benefits

Member Center

Members have access to a set of robust credit assessment tools to help them monitor and improve their credit history.

Company Assigns Grades

The company grades each client in terms of income and credit history. These grades are useful to investors and help the borrower secure better interest rates.

Debt Consolidation Service

Apply for a consolidation loan, and LendingClub will pay up to twelve creditors on your behalf.

Allows Joint Loans

The firm allows two people to apply jointly. They’ll consider the application only if the DTI ratio falls below 35% for both.

Transparent Pricing 

You’ll pay between 2% and 6% as an origination fee. This only applies if you accept the loan, prequalification is free. The interest rates are capped at 35.89%. The company also charges a late payment fee of $15 or 5% of the amount, but only if the payment is more than 15 days late.

Restrictions

If you apply to repay debt, you must pay the funds to your creditors.

LOAN AMOUNTS $1,000 to $40,000
APR RANGE 10.68% to 35.89%
REPAYMENT TERMS 36 to 60 months
FUNDING TIME Up to 7 days

At a Glance

  • A choice of offers
  • You complete the process online
  • Best installment loans for bad credit from direct lenders
  • A simple way to apply
  • They don’t give you any idea of rates or fees as they’re an intermediary
  • Some lenders charge excessively high interest
  • There’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to find a match for your loan request

Slick Cash Loan is another secondary marketplace credit provider. They facilitate transactions between willing borrowers and lenders. They provide a range of loans, such as:

  • Installment
  • Payday
  • No credit check
  • Bad credit
  • Short-term
  • Personal

The firm is an intermediary and doesn’t issue the cash itself. You’ll find the best installment loans with no credit check here. With the wide variety of lenders associated with the site, you’ll find a good match for your needs.

The process is simple: 

  • Complete the form online
  • The company performs a soft credit check
  • It then matches your application with suitable lenders within the network
  • You receive offers that you’ll need to choose from

To qualify you must: 

  • Be a resident of the United States
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have an established credit score, even if it’s poor
  • Have valid contact information that they can use to contact you
  • Provide a bank account for the direct deposit
  • Be permanently employed

Benefits

The process of applying is quick and easy. They have a pool of lenders who may be willing to take more risks than banks and financiers. Funding comes directly from the lender, not through Slick Cash Loan.

Restrictions

There are none. You may do what you like with the money.

LOAN AMOUNTS $200 to $5,000
APR RANGE Depends on lender
REPAYMENT TERMS Depends on lender
FUNDING TIME About 2 days

At a Glance

  • Able to fund loans within one business day
  • Flexible payment solutions
  • Quick finance options available
  • Allows secured installment loans for bad credit
  • An origination fee of 4.75%
  • Avant doesn’t allow co-signing
  • A very simplistic product range

Avant is another big player and provides some of the best installment loans for poor credit. It offers attractive interest rates for people with good credit scores but will also consider lending to those with lower ratings. Its target market is middle-income Americans.

They assist clients in improving their credit scores by offering low-limit credit cards. These range between $300 and $1,000. The company may grant customers not immediately qualifying for a loan this facility instead.

The firm offers unsecured or secured loans, so you may have to provide collateral.

The process is simple. You complete the form online, and the company runs a soft check. If you qualify, they make you an offer. For an unsecured loan, it takes around 24 hours for the funds to appear in your account.

If there’s collateral involved, it takes a little longer as there are documents to sign.

To qualify: 

  • There’s no minimum length of credit history, but your score must be 580 or more
  • You must be a resident of the United States with a valid SSN
  • You have to be 18 or over and permanently employed
  • You’ll have to provide your banking details
  • Clients must earn an annual income of $20,000 or more

Benefits

Refinancing

The firm does allow clients to apply for refinancing after they’ve made at least six monthly payments. Clients with late payments in the last six months don’t qualify.

Improve Your Credit Score

Avant reports to the big three credit bureaus. Ensuring that you pay on time every month will help you build a strong credit profile.

Flexibility

Clients may pay in extra amounts or repay the money early without penalties. When necessary, they may also alter the date of their monthly installments.

Useful Mobile App

The Avant app works on both Android and iOS systems. It allows borrowers to manage their accounts and make payments easily.

Restrictions

Not applicable.

LOAN AMOUNTS $2,000 to $35,000
APR RANGE 9.95% to 35.99%
REPAYMENT TERMS 24 months to 60 months
FUNDING TIME 24 hours

At a Glance

  • Qualifying couldn’t be simpler
  • The firm will lend to almost anyone
  • Quick application process
  • Installment loans for bad credit with fast funding
  • The APR is very high
  • No additional benefits like unemployment protection
  • Rates are high compared with other bad-credit lenders
  • The balance doesn’t drop quickly

NetCredit provides services to consumers who wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for credit. They don’t specify a minimum rating or history. All they look at is your ability to repay the debt.

Be warned; the rates start at a level most other companies set as a maximum. This is not a good alternative if you have fair or even slightly poor credit. If you’re desperate for financing, however, you’re almost guaranteed installment loans for bad credit.

You may apply if:

  • You’re a U.S. citizen and 18 or older
  • You have a regular source of income and a verifiable address

Benefits

Benefits include the ease of application and the lenient approval criteria. The firm’s fees are low in comparison to other companies. It may charge up to 5% for an origination fee depending on state law. It’s one of a small group of niche lenders.

Restrictions

None.

LOAN AMOUNTS $1,000 to $10,500
APR RANGE 34% to 155%
REPAYMENT TERMS 6 months to 60 months
FUNDING TIME Same-day or within 24 hours

At a Glance

  • You get the money fast
  • Works with banks, not peer-to-peer lenders
  • Allows borrowers with a scant credit history
  • The origination fee may be as much as 8%
  • Types of interests vary extensively between banks
  • No co-signed or secured loans

Upstart is a thoroughly modern secondary lender. Its unique evaluation model makes it one of the top-rated installment loans for bad credit.

The firm uses sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms to evaluate more than just your credit history. It takes education, residence, job history, and several other factors into account and assesses your earning potential.

You may apply for loans for: 

  • Medical bills
  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvements
  • Vacations or large purchases
  • Private student loans

To qualify you must: 

  • Have a credit score of at least 600
  • Not have any delinquent loans
  • Have no recent bankruptcy
  • Have less than six enquiries with the credit bureau (exceptions apply)
  • An annual salary of at least $12,000

Benefits

The primary benefit is that the company offers the best pre-approved installment loans for bad credit.

Consolidation Service

If you apply to pay off other loans or credit cards, Upstart sends the money to your creditors.

Flexibility

Unfortunately, there’s no autopay discount. One of the conditions of approval is that you set up an automatic payment. You may, however, change the date of the debit throughout the term if necessary.

You may schedule payments to match a monthly or weekly payday. This feature is one that all the best short-term installment loans share. It makes it convenient for the client.

Hardship Program

Upstart makes allowances for clients facing financial hardship in certain instances. They’ll provide a payment holiday for qualifying cases. This does not count against you as a non-payment as long as you resume the installments as agreed.

LOAN AMOUNTS $1,000 to $50,000
APR RANGE 6.16% to 35.99%
REPAYMENT TERMS Between 6 months and 60 months
FUNDING TIME Usually, one working day

How To Choose A Bad Credit Loan Lender - Guide

When selecting a company to work with, there are a few things to consider.

Stay away from: 

  • The promise of high loan amounts despite adverse listings
  • Installment loans for bad credit with awful reviews
  • Companies that insist you pay cash to “verify” your application or clear your credit
  • Unregistered firms or those without a physical address
  • Businesses offering guaranteed approval

Before accepting any offers, check: 

  • What fees do you pay? Some companies seem to charge low-interest rates and make up the difference with administration, application, and administration fees. Work out what your APR (interest rate with all fees included) is for a fair comparison.
  • What are the installment loans for bad credit reviews from other users like? Every company in this industry has its share of negative press, but there should also be many great reviews. If there aren’t, don’t accept the offer.
  • What are the repayment terms? How easy is it to make payments? Must you go to one of the company’s offices, or can you make direct deposits?
  • Are there penalty fees? Firms may levy late payment fees, recovery charges, unpaid item charges, or even lodge a penalty for settling the amount early.
  • Restrictions: Are there any restrictions in terms of what you may do with the money? Are you able to refinance or apply for a second loan later?

Key Bad Credit Installment Loans Benefits

Benefits include:

  • Instant access to cash in emergencies: Loans are there for you when you need money in a hurry.
  • Allows you to build a credit history: By paying on time every month, you show that you’re a responsible borrower.
  • Affordable repayment schedule: You choose a term that’s affordable for you.
  • More affordable than payday loans: As the term is spread out more, the interest rate is more affordable.
  • Not a revolving credit facility: With a loan, you aren’t typically allowed to draw down the paid off balance. Credit card debt can continue indefinitely.

Low Credit Score Installment Loans Explained

Installment loans allow consumers access to instant financing with an affordable monthly repayment schedule. The loans may be:

  • Secured: Here, the lender requires the borrower to provide collateral. This will be an asset such as a car, house, or insurance policy with a cash value that matches the loan amount. If the borrower doesn’t repay their loan, they forfeit the asset. Having collateral often allows borrowers to secure better rates.
  • Unsecured: Here, the lender simply provides the cash against the promise that the borrower will repay it.

How Do the Best Installment Loans For Poor Credit Work?

Installment loans are one of the simplest forms of financing. You receive the cash upfront and then pay off the interest and capital in installments weekly or monthly.

How to Apply

The easiest way is to find a reputable company and apply through them. You’ll typically have to provide:

  • Your full name and address
  • Proof of identity and income
  • Permission to pull your credit record
  • Your social security number or proof of residency

Most firms provide an online portal to make the process easier.

How it Works When You Submit Your Application

Online vendors generally use an algorithm to perform a simple preapproval. The computer runs a soft check against your credit to check for adverse listings. This won’t affect your score; it’s merely a way to vet your creditworthiness.

The algorithm will factor in the other information and calculate how much you may qualify for. The firms with the best installment loans for bad credit with easy approval have fewer requirements. The firm will then produce an approval in principle. In it, you’ll get information such as the repayments, initiation fee, and APR.

Should you accept, the application proceeds to the verification stage. Here someone in the company typically confirms that the information you provided is accurate.

If everything checks out, the process moves to the final stages. This may include more paperwork, such as the signing over of collateral.

You’ll typically get an initial approval in minutes. The funding of the loan normally takes between one and seven business days.

You get to decide on which lender to work with. You’ll either apply through to the finance company directly or through a loan aggregator. With the finance company, you receive one offer. With the aggregator, you receive several and must decide on the best one for your needs.

When you’re looking for the best online installment loans for bad credit, it’s often best to choose an aggregator. They provide you access to a range of offers. Just take care to read the offers carefully so that you know what you’re signing up for.

The lenders match the rate to the perceived risk of the loan. If you have a history of late or missing payments, they’ll assign a higher risk and interest rating.

Installment Loans For Bad Credit vs. Payday Loans

Bad credit loans are typically different from payday loans in that they’re usually taken out over a longer period. The company may require a co-signatory or some form of collateral. Such loans typically attract a lower interest rate than payday loans, but stretching out the installments adds to the overall cost.

Payday loans, on the other hand, are strictly short-term. They’re far simpler to get than installment loans for bad credit but must be repaid either over one or, at most, two paydays. The interest rate for such loans is typically extremely high, so they’re strictly for emergencies.

Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit At A Glance

  • PersonalLoans.com: Best lender for those with a rating of 580 or more
  • Oportun: Best lender for low-income earners
  • LendingClub: Best lender for monitoring and improving credit history
  • Slick Cash Loan: Best installment loans for bad credit with easy approval
  • Avant: Best lender for middle-income earners
  • NetCredit: Best lender for people with terrible credit
  • Upstart: Best lender for recent graduates and borrowers with no credit history

Wrap Up

Installment loans for bad credit provide a valuable service for consumers. They may give you breathing space through debt consolidation. They could help you pay for unexpected expenses. Used smartly, they can become a valuable tool in helping you to establish or rebuild your credit score.

The first step in reclaiming your financial future is partnering with one of the reputable firms on our list. Let them help you to manage your debt more effectively with intelligent debt solutions.

FAQs

What’s the easiest loan to get with bad credit?

The best guaranteed installment loans for bad credit are generally found through the secondary market. Private lenders are more willing to take risks than the traditional finance sector but may ask for security. Payday loans provide an alternative, short-term solution.

How can I get a $5000 loan with bad credit?

You’ll typically need some form of collateral or apply at a loan aggregator. Loan aggregators place your request on a marketplace. Investors then partially or fully fund the request. The annual percentage rate (APR) will be high.

Can I get a loan with a 500 credit score?

500 is below average and considered a very poor score. There may be lenders willing to assist, but you’ll pay high interest rates. You’re more likely to qualify for payday financing or secured loans than standard personal financing options.

Can I get an installment loan with bad credit?

Some lenders specialize in installment loans for bad credit. Secondary market lenders are probably your best option here. Bear in mind that you will pay a lot more for your financing.