Having bad credit doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on life’s opportunities when they strike. Just because you’ve had past financial mistakes doesn’t mean you’re defined by that history forever.

A bad credit score also doesn’t have to mean that you’re simply out of luck when an emergency occurs. Just because you don’t have the money doesn’t mean that you have to take what life dishes you squarely on the chin. Fortunately, that’s not the world we live in. There’s usually a way. You just have to know where to look.

Installment loans and short-term loans for bad credit do exist. In fact, there are more than a few options out there.

Best Installment Loans for Bad Credit Borrowers

Installment loans have amortized payments, meaning each payment is the same throughout the entire life of the loan. Installment loans have a predictable payment structure and generous loan terms, which, can be as high as seven years.

If you have a large purchase you need to make, installment loans online are a great choice because many lenders offer loans from $500 to $35,000. Unlike payday loans or a cash advance, this type of personal loan usually does require a credit check. However, these lenders offer unsecured loans to people with bad credit.

CashUSA.com

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on CashUSA's secure website

Loan Range

$500 – $10,000

Loan Term

6 to 72 months

APR

Varies

CashUSA.com connects borrowers with direct lenders willing and wanting to work with them. They’re not solely a bad credit loan broker but are instead flexible with their borrower requirements. You can borrow anywhere from $500 to $10,000 and can choose a loan duration between 90 days and 72 months.

APRs vary with each lender in the network, so be sure to read through the terms and conditions of the loan if you’re made an offer.

Applying only takes a few moments of your time, and funds are often deposited as soon as the next business day.

Features and Requirements

  • Loans can be used for any purpose
  • Connects you with multiple brokers
  • Must have an active bank account for the deposit (same account will also be used for automatic withdrawals)
  • Borrowers often receive funds the very next business day
  • Borrowers must make at least $1,000 after taxes each month
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PersonalLoans.com

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on PersonalLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $35,000

Loan Term

3 to 72 months

APR

Varies

PersonalLoans.com works with credit borrowers with scores as low as 600, but they’re not actually a direct lender. They have a large network of partnered lenders and each of which offers its own unique APRs and loan terms. Depending on what you need, you can get funds as small as $500 or as large as $35,000.

Applications are reviewed and accepted within the same business day, and funds are usually deposited into the borrower’s bank account the same day as the application. Income requirements vary depending on which lender you work with, but you’ll need to make at least $2,000 a month after taxes for a P2P lender, and $3,000 a month after taxes for an installment lender.

Features and Requirements

  • Is partnered with a large network of lenders nationwide
  • Applications are approved within one business day
  • Funds are often deposited the same day as application
  • Works with three different types of lenders
  • Cannot have had a late payment more than 60 days
  • Cannot have a recent bankruptcy
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BadCreditLoans.com

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on BadCreditLoans' secure website

Loan Amount

$500 – $5,000

Loan Term

3 to 60 months

APR

Varies

BadCreditLoans.com, as you might expect, works with borrowers who have poor credit scores. You can get loans from $500 to $5,000 and can choose a loan duration of between 90 days and 60 months.

It’s easy to get a loan with BadCreditLoans, however, you must have a steady source of income for the past 90 days before the application and being able to afford the monthly payments.

If BadCreditLoans.com pairs you up with a direct lender, you’re never under any obligation to work with them. Visit their website to determine if the lender’s offer is a good fit for you and your financial situation.

Features and Requirements

  • Online loan marketplace
  • Works with borrowers with extremely poor credit
  • Must have had a steady income for the past 90 days (but can be from social security, a disability, or through a job)
  • No minimum credit score, but every applicant is not guaranteed a loan
  • If approved, you’re not under any obligation to work with a lender if you choose to not proceed
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The loan marketplaces listed above work with lenders that each has its own set of requirements. However, all of them will want you to have an active checking account and meet basic income requirements. Income requirements, of course, vary depending on your credit history and the size of your requested loan.

Before choosing which lender you’d like to work with, be sure to read the terms and conditions of the loan. Most people decide solely on the size of the monthly payments and interest rates. While this should definitely be a contributing factor, it shouldn’t be the sole consideration. Also, look at APR and loan term. Although one might be more expensive each month, if the loan term is shorter, you’ll pay less when all is said and done.

Best Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit Borrowers

Installment loans are used for larger purchases and come with longer repayment terms. Short-term loans are just the opposite — they’re used for smaller purchases and come with shorter repayment terms. Short term loans often have a loan duration of just a week, but can extend for as long as six months.

Another key difference between installment loans and short-term loans is that short-term loans are often paid off in one big sum (with principal, interest, and fees all paid at the same time). Installment loans allow borrowers to pay off the funds borrowed in smaller monthly chunks and may be easier to manage within a tight budget.

However, short-term loans can save borrowers money in interest over the long run because of the shorter repayment period. Short-term loans also often have smaller loan packages. Generally, they range from $100 to $1,000.

The providers listed below are online lender marketplaces, meaning they connect borrowers with lenders but aren’t direct lenders themselves. Loan brokers are a great way to keep credit applications from dinging your credit too much. Instead of applying to each lender individually, your one application is sent to many lenders at the same time.

Here are our favorite short-term lenders.

MoneyMutual

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on MoneyMutual's secure website

Loan Amount

Up to $2,500

Loan Term

Varies

APR

Varies

MoneyMutual is a great short-term loan broker but is also a good installment loan broker. They work with a variety of credit types and have flexible requirements. At the moment, the maximum loan amount borrowers can receive by working through MoneyMutual is $2,500. Loan terms and APRs vary depending on which lender you choose.

MoneyMutual is available in all U.S. states except New York. Applying only takes a few minutes and funds are usually deposited in less than 24 hours. With over 2,000,000 customers served, MoneyMutual is clearly a reputable loan broker.

Features and Requirements

  • Online loan broker that connects lenders and borrowers
  • Currently not available in the state of New York
  • Funds are often deposited into the borrower’s bank account in less than 24 hours
  • Applying online takes most borrowers less than 5 minutes
  • Over 2,000,000 borrowers have used MoneyMutual
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NorthStarCash.com

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Get Started

on NorthStarCash's secure website

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $10,000

Loan Term

6 to 60 months

APR

Varies

NorthStarCash.com doesn’t have strict credit history requirements, and its network of lenders offer repayment options as small as 6 months to as long as 5 years. You can take out funds anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. Of course, APRs vary depending on your credit score and the amount of funds you borrow.

To work with NorthStarCash.com you must not have had any recent bankruptcies or missed a payment by more than 60 days. You also must have a consistent source of income. To apply online only takes a few minutes, and if you’re accepted you will get funds in as little as one to five business days.

Features and Requirements

  • Flexible credit score requirements
  • Must not have had any recent bankruptcies
  • Must not have any late payments longer than 60 days delinquent
  • Fast and easy online loan form gets borrowers’ applications sent to every lender in North Star Cash’s network
  • Borrowers are never under any obligation to accept a loan
  • Funds are deposited in one to five business days
Learn More →

Short-term loans often have flexible credit history requirements, but, because of this, borrowers with bad credit scores are often charged much higher APRs. Indeed, it’s common to see APRs as high as 400%. This can cause some financial difficulties when it comes time to repay the loan. Borrowers have to pay the full amount borrowed plus any interest and fees. If you’re unable to pay the full amount when it’s due, you’ll then be hit with late fees as well.

Of course, it is possible to extend the loan for a few weeks or months, which can help with late fees, but doing so will add on another round of charges to the full amount. If this seems like it could be a very real possibility, you should consider taking out an installment loan instead so you’ll have easier monthly payments to handle.

Use Your Loan to Boost Your Credit Score

Bad credit can make life unnecessarily difficult; finding a lender willing to work with you may be just one of many potential headaches for you. Luckily, as you can see, there are options out there. Though some of the networks above aren’t solely for borrowers with bad credit, they at least have flexible requirements, which in many cases is just as good.

Once you have a loan, make sure you use it to your advantage. Loans are great ways to boost your credit score if you make all of your payments on time. By doing so, you should see your score get a healthy boost. Done correctly in conjunction with other ways to raise your score, and over time you’ll see that you have more credit options available to you as you rise to the “good credit” categories.

Obviously never take out money that you don’t need just to raise your score, but if you do, make sure you use in such a way that helps you in more than one way. Many people don’t understand that money is a tool, and like any tool, it should always be taken care of and respected.