Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit (Not Payday Loans)

Personal Loans

If you have bad credit, you may think your options are limited when it comes to personal loans. This holds true especially if you have been denied before.

While there is some truth to this idea, it doesn’t mean you have no options at all. More importantly, it doesn’t mean you must turn to payday loans or other predatory loans.

The problem with payday loans is they provide quick access to cash while approving almost anyone. However, if you aren’t able to repay them, you could find yourself in a vicious, inescapable cycle.

Luckily, there’s a better way. Here are some of the best personal loans you should consider if you have bad credit.

Best Loans for Bad Credit

There are many loan providers out there and it can be overwhelming to try to sift through them all. The good news is that there are also sites out there that will help connect you with the right lender.

Also known as lending networks, these sites only require you to fill out a simple form to determine your eligibility. As long as you meet the basic requirements, you’ll be shown a list of a slew of different lenders. These requirements will be similar, but loan amounts can vary greatly.

Let’s take a look at some different lending networks.


LetMeBank’s rating
Apply Now
  • Loan Amount
    Up to $5,000
  • Loan Term
  • APR

Features & Benefits

  • Application takes less than 5 minutes
  • Get a decision on your loan within minutes
  • Funds are available within 24 hours
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 borrowers

MoneyMutual is an online marketplace of lenders. They make it quick and easy to find a short-term cash advance loan in as little as 24 hours.

One application can potentially get you multiple loan offers. MoneyMutual has been trusted by more than two million customers. They serve borrowers with bad credit from all 50 states except New York and Connecticut.


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
Apply Now
  • 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
Apply Now
  • 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.

Why An Installment Loan Makes Sense

As we mentioned in the intro, you may be quick to turn to payday loans if you have bad credit. But failing to repay these loans in time can trap you in a never-ending debt spiral. The extremely high-interest rates of these loans can add up so quickly that they become nearly impossible to pay off.

With a payday loan, all the money you borrow is due on (or before) your next paycheck. And if you can’t pay, the repercussions could be steep. The CFPB says the following about failing to pay:

Some payday lenders give borrowers the option to renew or rollover their loans if they cannot afford to pay off the loan when it’s due. However, many states limit or ban these renewals or rollovers.

If your loan is renewed or rolled over instead of being repaid in full on its due date, you are paying a fee to extend the loan due date. Renewing by paying just the fees does not reduce the principal amount you owe.

Note that some states don’t allow rollovers. But creditors may take other actions, such as bringing you to court. For these reasons and more, installment loans are a much better option.

Some states also ban payday loans entirely, so keep that in mind. In these cases, even creditors offering loans online are usually prohibited from lending to residents in these states.

Comparing Payday Loans and Installment Loans

The most significant difference between the two is when you pay. As mentioned, with payday loans, you typically must pay the entirety of the loan on or before your next paycheck. With installment loans, the term will be at least a few months up to a few years.

Also, the average APR for payday loans is 400%. The reason lenders can charge this much is because they’re dealing with small amounts of money over a short period of time.

For example, they might lend you $200 and charge you $30 in interest to be paid back two weeks later. That doesn’t sound like much, but that works out to $780 of interest annually, or 390% interest.

With payday loans, creditors can charge as much as they want. But with installment loans, there are laws that cap interest rates. Typically, this is up to 36%, though in some cases it can be higher.

How to Secure a Better Loan

One thing that draws people to payday loans is the prospect of having cash in hand almost immediately. Unsurprisingly, though, another factor is credit ratings. People with bad credit may have trouble getting approval for anything other than a payday loan.

Even though many of the sites above don’t have explicit requirements in terms of credit score, improving your credit can only improve your approval odds.

If you currently have other forms of credit, try to be sure those are in good standing before applying for a personal loan. Remember that borrowing money in any form is considered credit.

In other words, if you have a mortgage, auto loan, student loans, or even credit cards, be sure you are at least making the minimum payments if possible.

Use Payday Loans Only as a Last Resort

You may find yourself in a situation where you have exhausted all installment loan options. If no one approves you, but you need to keep the lights on, a payday loan might be your only option.

But the point here is to be sure you’ve looked everywhere else first. Each of the above options will put you in contact with numerous lenders. As such, you should have plenty of options before a payday loan becomes necessary.

Only after you have explored every alternative should you consider a payday loan. And, even then, you will want to proceed with caution.