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
- 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!
- 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
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.
at Mission Lane'ssecure website
at Mission Lane'ssecure website
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.