The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, April 18, 2024

6 Guaranteed Installment Loans for Bad Credit (April 2024)

Guaranteed Installment Loans Bad Credit
Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer
Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Few financial services companies will dare to use the term “guarantee” for, well, anything. There really are no guarantees in finance, and claiming to guarantee anything, like approval for a credit product, is simply asking for angry customers (and a potential lawsuit).

In other words, the closest you’ll get to a guaranteed installment loan is finding a lender with flexible credit requirements that specifically caters to those with bad credit. While every credit application comes with risk, the right lender can make it almost guaranteed.

With that being said, below, we’ll explore some of what could be considered the closest thing to guaranteed installment loans for bad credit. We’ll also present alternative options to consider, such as credit cards.

Top Personal Loan Providers For Bad Credit

Personal installment loans can be used for a wide range of financing needs, from auto repairs to debt consolidation. They’re repaid through monthly payments over the course of the loan term, which makes them ideal for large purchases that you need to pay off over months or years.

Most personal installment loans are unsecured loans — meaning there’s no collateral — which can make them hard to find (and expensive) if you have bad credit. Online lending networks, like those below, can be a good way of finding a flexible lender with reasonable terms.

  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.8
  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7
  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Receive a loan decision in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7

An important thing to note is that online lending networks are not direct lenders. Instead, lending networks partner with direct lenders so they can connect with borrowers from across the country.

When you choose an offer from an online lending network, you’ll be redirected to the lender’s individual website to see the full loan agreement and to complete the loan. Once you’ve started working with a lender, the lending network’s role in the process is done.

Top Consumer Credit Cards for Bad Credit

In many ways, a credit card line of credit can operate much like an installment loan. For example, both products allow you to break your repayment up into multiple payments over time, but both also have a required minimum payment each month.

Credit cards, however, differ in a few key ways, the first of which is reusability. Once you’ve paid off your balance, you can use your credit card again and again for short-term financing. Given the typically small limits of subprime cards, this makes credit cards often ideal for smaller purchases you can pay off quickly.

Milestone® Mastercard® Review

at Milestone Mastercard®'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Greater access to credit than before - $700 credit limit
  • Get a Mastercard accepted online, in store and in app
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • $0 liability* for unauthorized use
  • Access your account online or from your mobile device 24/7
  • *Fraud protection provided by Mastercard Zero Liability Protection. If approved, you'll receive the Mastercard Guide to Benefits that details the complete terms with your card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See terms
See terms
Fair/Good
PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card Review

at PREMIER Bankcard®'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • PREMIER Bankcard credit cards are for building credit.
  • Start building credit by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time each month.
  • When you need assistance our award-winning US-based Customer Service agents are there to help.
  • Credit Limit Increase Eligible after 12 months of consistent responsible account management.
  • We report monthly to the Consumer Reporting Agencies to help you build your credit.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Provider Website
See Provider Website
Fair/Poor
Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • No credit check to apply
  • Adjustable credit limit based on what you transfer from your Chime Checking account to the secured deposit account
  • No interest* or annual fees
  • Chime Checking Account and qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more required to apply. See official application, terms, and details link below.
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is issued by The Bankcorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.
  • *Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and OTC advance fees may apply. View The Bancorp agreement or Stride agreement for details; see back of card for issuer.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
$0
None

Another valuable way credit cards differ from loans is that most credit cards provide the ability to enjoy 0% short-term financing. It’s called the grace period and nearly all cards — even subprime and secured cards — offer this feature.

In essence, the grace period is the time between when your statement closes and when your bill is due. If you pay off your entire balance during the grace period, you won’t be charged any interest fees on that balance.

The grace period isn’t good for everything, however. First, some cards may not have one, so check your card’s terms and conditions or your cardholder agreement to verify that your card has a grace period.

And the grace period doesn’t apply to every type of transaction. If you make a balance transfer or a cash advance, for instance, your transaction will likely start accruing interest the moment it posts to your account (you’ll also typically be charged a fee for these transactions, so read the terms and conditions).

Alternatives to Guaranteed Installment Loans

Bad credit borrowers have options outside of traditional lenders, including the following:

  • Pawn loans: These are loans secured by collateral. You take an item of value, such as jewelry or electronics, to your local pawnshop. The pawnbroker will offer you cash equal to a small percentage of the item’s value. When you pay the loan off, you get your item back. If you don’t, it goes up for sale in the shop. No credit check is required.
  • Credit union Payday Alternative Loans (PALs): These are installment loans of up to $2,500 offered by select credit unions. They have low APRs and friendly repayment terms, as they were created as an alternative to expensive payday loans. You must become a member of the credit union to qualify, but these are probably the best alternative available. Good credit is not required, but you will have to undergo a credit check.
  • Auto title loans: This is another type of secured loan that requires you to own the title to a vehicle. You find an auto title lender that will take your vehicle’s title in exchange for a cash loan. Just like a pawn loan, when you repay the loan as agreed, you’ll receive your title back. These loans are especially risky because you could lose your vehicle if you don’t repay. It is reported that 1 in 5 auto title borrowers loses their vehicle. A credit check generally isn’t required.
  • Cash advance apps: These aren’t installment loans, but they are an easy means to an end. A few apps, such as Dave, let borrowers link their bank account for an advance on their next paycheck. You must receive direct deposit to qualify, but no credit check is involved. Some of these apps don’t even charge for the service.
  • Friends and family: This is another no-credit-check with low- or no-interest option if you know someone who may be willing to loan you the money. While the terms are friendly, you may jeopardize your relationship if you don’t repay them as agreed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides a good worksheet for writing up an agreement.

Finding Bad-Credit Financing is Possible

Certainty is great. Nothing is more reassuring than the absolute knowledge that what you’re about to do is guaranteed to be successful.

Unfortunately, there are few guarantees in life — and fewer still in finance, where failed guarantees are swiftly met with legal documents. No, the best you can do to find a guaranteed loan or credit product is research, research, research.

When you have bad credit, the key to being approved for an installment loan — whether for personal financing or business expenses — is to find the right lender. Look for one that frequently works with less-than-stellar credit profiles and is comfortable with the financial risk that can entail.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.