Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit ($5,000 & Up)

Unexpected expenses happen, but some of those expenses are more costly than others. If your roof suddenly starts leaking during the rainy season, you could be looking at repairs of $10,000 or more.

Very few of us would be able to cover these costs out of pocket. As a result, there is a good chance a loan would be necessary.

If you find yourself in such a predicament, you might be wondering what your options are. The good news is that you have a few of them. Let’s take a look at a few of those options and what they offer.

3 Personal Loans for Bad Credit ($5,000 & Up)

Before we dive into the specific sites we recommend for bad credit loans, it’s important to note that each of these sites is actually a lending network. That means that the sites below are not the ones lending money.

Instead, they partner with lenders to help connect them with potential borrowers like you. Why does that matter? The main reason is that these lending networks cannot tell you how much you’ll be able to borrow – or whether you will be approved at all.

All borrowers must meet the basic eligibility requirements. Beyond that, it’s up to the lenders to decide whether they will work with you.


LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    Up to $10,000
  • Loan Term
    3 – 72 months
  • APR
    5.99% – 35.9%

Features & Benefits

  • Flexible borrower requirements
  • Loan request can be approved within minutes
  • Money deposited as early as 1 business day
  • All credit types accepted

CashUSA connects borrowers with lenders. Each application is sent to the lender most likely to lend to the borrower. This platform caters to a diverse range of credit profiles, making it more than just a broker for those with poor credit.

Interest rates vary depending on the lender, so make sure you read through the terms for each emergency loan before you choose. Applying online only takes a few minutes, and funds are often available the next day.

LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    $500 – $10,000
  • Loan Term
    3 – 60 months
  • APR
    5.99% – 35.99%

Features & Benefits

  • No cost to check loan approval
  • High approval rate despite credit history
  • Funds available as soon as next business day
  • Assisting people with bad credit since 1998

Bad Credit Loans is an online lender marketplace that allows you to connect with multiple lenders by filling out a single application. The service is 100% free.

Once you’re approved, your lender will provide you with the APR, loan fees, and other terms.

Read through the terms, compare all the offers you’ve received, and only accept the loan you’re most comfortable with. You are not obligated to accept the personal loan from any lenders that you are matched with.

LetMeBank’s rating
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  • Loan Amount
    $1,000 – $35,000
  • Loan Term
    3 to 72 months
  • APR

Features & Benefits

  • Multiple loan types available
  • Fast loan decision
  • Funds deposited as soon as you accept an offer
  • Nationwide availability

You can get a loan through with credit scores as low as 600. Each lender in their network offers its own unique interest rates.

The quick and easy online application only takes minutes. You’ll have a decision within a business day of submission.

Evaluating Loan Offers: What to Look For

Securing a loan, especially with bad credit, can seem like a relief at first. However, not all loan offers are created equal, and some can end up costing you more in the long run. Here’s what you should pay attention to when reviewing loan offers to ensure you make an informed decision.

Interest Rates (APRs)

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a critical factor to consider. It represents the cost you’ll pay each year to borrow money, including any fees or additional costs associated with the loan. A lower APR means the loan will cost you less over its lifetime. Compare APRs across different offers to find the most cost-effective option.

Fees and Penalties

Origination Fees

Some lenders charge an origination fee upfront, which is typically a percentage of the loan amount. This fee can either be deducted from the loan proceeds or added to the loan balance. Be aware of how much this fee will affect the total amount you’ll receive or owe.

Prepayment Penalties

Check if there are any penalties for paying off your loan early. Lenders may impose prepayment penalties to compensate for the interest they’ll miss out on. If you plan to pay off your loan ahead of schedule, look for options without these penalties.

Repayment Terms

Repayment terms not only dictate how long you’ll be paying back your loan but also impact your monthly payment amount and the total interest you’ll pay. Longer terms mean lower monthly payments but more interest over time. Assess your financial situation to determine which term offers a manageable payment while minimizing total interest costs.

Total Cost of the Loan

Understanding the total cost of the loan involves looking beyond the monthly payment. Calculate the total amount you will have paid by the end of the loan term, including all interest and fees. This figure provides a comprehensive view of what the loan will cost you, helping to compare different offers accurately.

By taking the time to evaluate these aspects of loan offers, you can select a loan that meets your needs without imposing undue financial strain. Remember, the goal is to find a loan that helps you address your current financial situation while keeping future obligations manageable.

Next Steps: How to Apply

Once you’ve evaluated your loan options and identified the best offers for your needs, the next step is to proceed with the application. This process can vary slightly between lenders, but here are the general steps and tips to ensure a smooth application process.

Research Lenders

Start by making a list of potential lenders, including online platforms, credit unions, and local banks. Research their loan terms, interest rates, and customer reviews. Ensure they cater to individuals with your credit profile and that you meet their eligibility criteria.

Prepare Necessary Documents

Gather all the necessary documents before applying. Typically, lenders will ask for proof of identity (such as a driver’s license or passport), proof of income (like pay stubs or tax returns), and proof of residence (utility bills or a lease agreement). Having these documents ready can expedite the application process.

Complete the Application

Fill out the application form with accurate information. Be honest about your financial situation. Errors or discrepancies can delay approval or lead to a rejection. If applying online, double-check your entries before submission. For in-person applications, organize your documents and be prepared to answer questions about your financial history.

Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before submitting your application, review the terms and conditions carefully. Pay close attention to the APR, repayment schedule, fees, and any penalties. Understanding these details can prevent surprises down the line.

Submit Your Application

Once satisfied with the information and preparedness, submit your application. Online applications may offer immediate preliminary responses, while traditional banks or credit unions might take a few days to process your application.

What to Do If Your Application Is Rejected

If your application is initially rejected, don’t despair. First, ask the lender for the specific reasons for the rejection. This information can help you address the issues, whether it’s improving your credit score, reducing debt, or correcting errors on your credit report.

Consider applying with a cosigner to increase your chances of approval on a subsequent application. A cosigner with a strong credit history can significantly improve your loan terms.

Finally, explore other lending options or alternative financing solutions that may have different eligibility criteria, more suited to your current financial situation.

Following these steps can streamline the loan application process, making it less overwhelming and increasing your chances of approval. Remember, preparation and understanding your options are key to successfully securing a loan, even with bad credit.

Alternative Financing Options for Individuals with Bad Credit

In a financial pinch, especially with a bad credit score, it might feel like options are limited. However, beyond traditional bank loans and lending networks, there are alternative financing avenues that could be more forgiving of your credit history while still helping you meet your financial needs. Let’s explore some of these alternatives.

Finding a Cosigner

If direct loans are out of reach due to credit issues, finding a cosigner with good credit can enhance your loan eligibility. This strategy relies on leveraging the cosigner’s creditworthiness to secure better loan terms. It’s important to consider the potential impact on your relationship with the cosigner, as they will also be responsible for the loan if you cannot repay.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending offers a unique approach by directly connecting borrowers with individual lenders through online platforms. This method is particularly beneficial for those with bad credit, as lenders may consider a broader range of criteria, including employment history and the loan’s purpose. With competitive rates and a straightforward application process, P2P lending is a viable option for various financial needs.

Credit Union Loans

Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that often provide more favorable loan terms and lower interest rates for their members, including those with poor credit. Membership usually requires opening an account and a small deposit. Credit unions take a personal approach to lending, potentially making them a more accommodating option for personal loans.

Grants and Assistance Programs

Grants and financial assistance programs offer a no-repayment-needed solution for individuals facing financial difficulties. These programs, provided by non-profit organizations, government entities, and community groups, can help cover emergency expenses. While finding and applying for grants requires some research, the effort can lead to much-needed financial relief without the burden of debt.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

For homeowners, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. This can be a powerful tool for large expenses or debt consolidation. However, it’s essential to proceed with caution, as failing to repay a HELOC could put your home at risk of foreclosure.


Getting a personal loan with bad credit might seem challenging, but it’s far from impossible. By carefully evaluating loan offers, preparing your documents in advance, and following a clear application process, you can increase your chances of approval.

Remember, every lender has different criteria and offers various terms, so it pays to shop around and compare options. If you face rejection, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your financial standing and explore alternative solutions.

With persistence and informed decision-making, finding a loan that suits your needs and budget is achievable. Stay positive and proactive in managing your finances, and you’ll be better positioned to take control of your financial future.