The Best Bad Credit Loans of 2020
When faced with a large expense like medical bills, credit card debt, or home improvement costs, many Americans take out a personal loan as a way to spread the expense into a series of monthly payments instead of a huge up-front sum. Personal loans are typically unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put up any personal collateral (such as your home or car) against the loan if you’re approved. Personal loans are usually reserved for people with good credit scores, but if you have bad credit, we found the best options available for borrowing money to cover urgent expenses.
|Lender||Current APR Range||Minimum Loan Amount|
|LendingClub||6.95% – 35.89%||$1,000|
|LightStream||3.99% – 16.99%||$5,000|
|Marcus||5.99% – 28.99%||$3,500|
|SoFi||5.99% – 17.67%||$5,000|
|Prosper||6.95% – 35.99%||$2,000|
|Avant||9.95% – 35.99%||$2,000|
|Upgrade||7.99% – 35.89%||$1,000|
|Upstart||4.73% – 35.99%||$1,000|
|OneMain||18.00% – 35.99%||$1,500|
What Is a Bad Credit Loan?
A bad credit loan is just a personal loan to an individual with a low credit score. If you have bad credit because of debt, defaults, or even bankruptcy, it can be hard to find a lender willing to provide you with the money you need. The good news is you still have borrowing options, but the bad news is you’ll likely have to pay higher interest since the lender sees you as a higher risk. Before you take out a loan, make sure to find the best possible interest rate and calculate your total monthly costs.
Bad Credit Loans For Debt Consolidation
One of the most common uses for a personal loan is to consolidate debt into a single monthly payment. If you have large credit card payments across multiple cards or other high-interest loans, you can apply for a bad credit loan to reduce the amount of monthly interest owed across all of your debt. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t rack up new debt on your credit cards after you’ve paid them off with the money from your loan.
Bad Credit Loans For Home Improvement
In order to finance home repairs and maintenance, some homeowners choose to take out personal loans. Borrowing money can be a good way to pay for improvements, but use caution when determining which repairs are worth going into debt for. If the improvements are more cosmetic than urgent, wait until you’ve saved enough money to afford the upgrade. Consider whether the investment in your home’s future resale value is worth increasing your debt in the present.
Bad Credit Loans For Moving Expenses
Between movers, new furniture, and packing supplies, the costs associated with moving can add up quickly. You can apply for a moving or relocation loan with bad credit, but just like other personal loans, you’ll want to be mindful of high fees and interest rates.
Bad Credit Loans for Weddings
If you’re planning a big wedding or a destination event, you could end up stuck with a big bill. Personal loans can be used to assist with wedding expenses, such as catering, entertainment, flowers, venue rentals, and wedding rings. Some lenders offer special wedding loans designed for people with poor credit history. Even with bad credit, you can find a loan to help plan your perfect day, but stick to a strict budget to minimize the amount of debt you’ll accumulate from your wedding.
Bad Credit Loans For Vacations
Taking time off from work is important to avoid burnout, but vacations can be quite costly. In general, applying for a bad credit loan for a vacation isn’t a good idea, since you probably have more pressing financial concerns. We recommend improving your credit score and building up your savings first, so that you can either get a much better rate on a vacation loan in the future, or use your savings to cover the cost instead of borrowing money.
Bad Credit Loans for Autos
Buying a car is a large expense, particularly when your credit is not where you would like it to be. It is important to shop around when you are looking to buy a car on bad credit, and an effective way to do that is to use an online auto loan marketplace to receive quotes from various lenders.
The Best Bad Credit Loans of 2020
LendingClub provides personal loans for individuals who want to consolidate debt, pay for a vacation, pay off medical expenses, or cover other big expenses. Its loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 with a current APR range of 6.95% – 35.89%. LendingClub was the first lender to use the “peer-to-peer” lending model, where investors supply loans to borrowers. While LendingClub typically works with recipients who have credit scores above 600, you can also apply for a joint loan with someone who has a better score. LendingClub doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, so you won’t be hit with extra charges if you pay back your loan earlier than anticipated.
A division of SunTrust Bank, LightStream advertises its services as “loans for practically anything,” and offers personal loans at different rates, depending on the purpose of the loan. Borrowers can apply for loans between $5,000 and $100,000, with fixed rates between 3.99% and 16.79%, depending on how the funds will be used. As with LendingClub, LightStream tends to work with borrowers who have solid credit, but allows low-credit borrowers to apply for loans with co-signers. Its low rates and high borrowing amounts make LightStream personal loans an attractive option if you have someone with good credit willing to apply for a joint loan with you.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus offers personal loans between $3,500 and $40,000, with APR rates ranging from 5.99% to 28.99%. Its rates remain fixed for the entirety of your repayment plan, and the company doesn’t charge any additional fees whatsoever. Borrowers commonly use Marcus to get an unsecured personal loan for debt consolidation, home improvement, weddings, and moving expenses.
SoFi offers unsecured personal loans to help borrowers consolidate credit card debt, cover large expenses (such as a medical procedure or relocation), or complete home improvements. The company’s loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 and include rates of 5.99% – 17.67%. Receiving a loan from SoFi grants you membership to its exclusive programs, which include members-only dinners, career coaching, financial advice, and more.
Another peer-to-peer lender, Prosper offers smaller loans ranging from $2,000 to $40,000, with rates from 6.95% to 35.99%. Its specializes in loans for debt consolidation and home improvements, but borrowers can use a loan for any purpose they choose. Prosper does not charge fees for early repayment, which is beneficial for borrowers who receive small amounts and are able to pay them back quickly. For each application, Prosper ranks borrowers on a scale and grants better rates to people with stronger credit histories. You can check your rate instantly and receive the funds in your bank account in less than a week.
Avant specializes in borrowers with lower credit scores. You can borrow between $2,000 and $35,000, with rates of 9.95% – 35.99%. Avant offers unsecured loans to fund unexpected expenses, consolidate debt, or pay for a major purchase. Once approved, borrowers can expect to receive their money within one business day. Avant does not offer co-sign options and charges various fees for administration and late payments, but it’s a solid choice if you have bad credit.
Another strong candidate for the best bad credit loans, Upgrade can provide borrowers with $1,000 to $50,000 at fixed rates of 7.99% to 35.89%. Upgrade doesn’t charge pre-payment fees and allows you to check your rate, choose your loan, and receive funds within a couple of business days. Borrowers typically use their Upgrade loans to refinance credit cards, consolidate debt, make home improvements, or complete major purchases.
If you’re just starting to build up a credit history, Upstart may be the right lender for you. They provide loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, with rates from 4.73% to 35.99%. Their benefits include no pre-payment fees and quick access to funds once approved. Many borrowers use Upstart loans for debt consolidation, moving expenses, and wedding planning. Upstart is unique because it takes an applicant’s earning potential into account (in addition to your credit score) when making loan decisions.
OneMain helps people with poor credit history obtain an unsecured personal loan. Its loans are on the low end, ranging from $1,500 to $20,000, with higher rates from 18.00% to 35.99%. While these rates are higher, OneMain’s credit score requirements are lower than many of your other options. Uses for OneMain loans include medical expenses, debt consolidation, and automotive purchases or repairs. When you apply, you’ll get a decision quickly but may need to visit a branch in-person to receive your money.
The Impact of 0.1% on a $10,000 Personal Loan
All of these rates and fees can be confusing, so let’s put them into real-life terms. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that you have bad credit and need to take out a $10,000 personal loan. How would a 0.1% increase in your interest rate impact your monthly payments over time?
If your interest rate was 20.00%, you would accrue $1,116.13 in interest over the course of a one-year loan term. If your rate was 0.1% higher, your interest would increase to $1,121.89.
Not a huge difference, right? But what if it takes you five years to pay back the loan? Even then, your interest payments would only increase from $5,896.28 to $5,929.51. But that’s just a 0.1% increase, so imagine the difference between a low rate like 9% and a high rate like 39%.