The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, September 28, 2020

10 Best Low-Credit-Score Loans

Low Credit Score Loans

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: January 7, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Most people conjure images of big banks when they think of loans. But the best low-credit-score loans typically don’t come from these financial institutions.

Thanks to the boom in online fintech startups, you can find dozens of lending options not affiliated with big-chain banks. And, while that may give pause to some consumers, these startups could present you with a great financial opportunity.

With no overhead costs and a strong desire to compete for your business, these lenders are eager to make loans more accessible to consumers who have bad credit histories. Several types of loans are designed for applicants with poor credit scores — you can use the links below to jump ahead to the type of loan you’re interested in.

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Low-Credit-Score Personal Loans

While many loans restrict how you use the money you borrow — such as mortgage loans for a home or auto loans for a new vehicle — personal loans let you spend the money any way you choose.

The options below aren’t actual lenders, but rather networks that partner with lenders that each review your single prequalifying application. That means you could potentially receive multiple loan offers to choose from.

  • 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

CashUSA.com offers one of the longest repayment periods, with loans of up to $10,000 and terms that extend to 72 months. The network’s lenders often approve applicants who may struggle to find loans through traditional banks.

CashUSA lenders can approve and fund a loan within 24 hours.

  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $5,000
  • Experienced provider established in 1998
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Easy online application & 5-minute approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.6

BadCreditLoans.com specializes in loans for applicants who have low credit scores, as its name implies. Lenders on this network offer loans of between $500 and $5,000, with competitive interest rates and repayment terms that range between three and 60 months.

Most approved applicants can receive funding by the next business day.

  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Lending partners in all 50 states
  • Loans can be used for anything
  • Fast online approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★
4.4

With PersonalLoans.com, you could qualify for a loan of between $500 and $35,000 from a lender in one of the largest online financial networks. Your single application can yield a response — and potentially multiple loan offers — within minutes.

Most lenders on the network can process and payout loans within one business day, and have a long history of working with bad-credit applicants.

Low-Credit-Score Credit Cards

Although you may not think of a credit card as a loan, these little pieces of plastic can give you access to revolving credit. So, while a loan goes away when you pay it off, the cards below will allow you to continue to use your credit line as long as you make on-time payments.

Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.9/5.0
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

The Milestone® Mastercard® is a top option that offers a competitive interest rate with fewer fees than most of the cards in this category.

Milestone® offers multiple credit card options for consumers with bad credit histories. And, with the prequalifying application, you can easily find out if you qualify for any of the cards without impacting your credit report.

Total Visa® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Terms
See Terms
Fair, Bad Credit

Applicants for the Total Visa® Card must have an active checking account from which they can make payments. Other than that, the card has very accommodating acceptance standards and often approves applicants who have bad credit histories.

You can use this card at any location that accepts Visa, and, with responsible use of the card, you can improve your credit score since the issuer reports your payment history to the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

The Indigo® Mastercard® provides a lower than usual interest rate for a subprime card and a slightly below-average fee structure. You’ll receive a quick decision and fast access to your credit line upon approval.

First Access Visa® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • Checking Account Required
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
  • Easy and secure online application
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • The First Access Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Terms
See Terms
Bad Credit

The First Access Visa® Card claims to accept many applicants who may struggle to to get a credit card elsewhere. If approved, you’ll gain access to an initial $300 credit line — though you’ll have to pay a program fee from that available credit when you activate your card.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Seeing if you Pre-Qualify is fast, easy, and secure
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply
  • Rewards post automatically to your account each month
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Pick a card that fits your style. Multiple card designs are available, a fee may apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor

The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® offers potential credit limits of between $300 and $3,000, based on your creditworthiness. Cardholders can also earn 1% cash back on all purchases and enjoy fraud protection against unauthorized card use.

Low-Credit-Score Home Loans

You can shop for mortgage loans and compare rates and terms you may qualify for on the LendingTree network. Approved applicants can receive up to five loan offers within minutes and take their time to choose the best option for their needs.

  • Find lenders for new home purchases, refinancing, home equity loans, and reverse mortgages
  • Lenders compete for your business
  • Offers in minutes
  • Receive up to 5 loan offers and select the right one for you
  • Founded in 1996
  • Over $250 billion in closed loan transactions
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.9

The company claimed in early 2019 that 84% of its borrowers received interest rates of 5% or less on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Those terms save customers more than $36,000 over the life of an average $300,000 loan.

Low-Credit-Score Car Loans

Auto Credit Express works with a network of dealer partners to find auto loan options for consumers who have bad credit or no credit. The network boasts that it can often find loan options for applicants who have recent bankruptcies or repossessions.

  • Dealer partner network has closed over $1 billion in auto loans
  • Can help those with bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy, and repossession
  • Established in 1999
  • Easy, 30-second pre-qualification form
  • Bad-credit applicants must have $1500/month income to qualify
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.9

Once you fill out a brief prequalifying application, a local dealer will contact you to set up a meeting to go over your financing and vehicle options. You aren’t obligated to accept the loan, but you can use the contact to explore your possibilities.

How Can I Get a Loan with Poor Credit?

There is strength in numbers. And if your credit score isn’t a strong number, you may be better suited to work with an online lending network that can put your single application in front of several potential lenders.

These networks take your single prequalifying form and send it to all their partner lenders for review. That type of competition often leads to more loan offers and better loan terms.

FICO Score® Ranges

Many of these networks partner with lenders that specialize in loans for consumers with bad credit histories. Since most banks won’t consider loans to these applicants, a new wave of lenders has emerged from the internet to serve these underbanked consumers.

You may also receive multiple loan offers from which to choose. Just remember that every lender on each network has unique acceptance standards and terms.

Make sure you examine every potential loan offer before choosing one. This will help lower your chances of running into hidden fees or charges that can make some loans far more expensive than others.

Collateral-backed loans, such as auto loans, often have more lenient approval standards. That’s because the lender has a valuable piece of property (the vehicle) it can repossess and sell if you stop making payments.

Personal loans, on the other hand, have nothing to back them. If you stop making payments, the lender’s only recourse is to sell the loan to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. Doing that too often can lead to big financial losses for any lender.

What is the Best Online Loan for Bad Credit?

This depends on the kind of loan you need. You wouldn’t go to a lender that specializes in personal loans if you’re looking for an auto loan.

CashUSA.com Logo

Our preferred personal loan lending network is CashUSA.com. Most loans feature very competitive rates and flexible repayment terms that work with just about any budget and credit score.

Auto Credit Express Logo

For auto loans, our top recommended dealer network is Auto Credit Express. You’ll work alongside a local dealer that will help you understand your loan options and find a vehicle that not only meets your needs but also fits your budget.

Auto Credit Express partners with dealerships throughout the country, so you shouldn’t have an issue connecting with a local dealer that’s ready to get you behind the wheel of your new ride.

LendingTree Logo

LendingTree offers the most robust network of mortgage lenders on the web. These lenders remain somewhat rare in the mortgage space because many work to find home loan options for consumers with poor credit.

Historically, consumers have found that mortgage loans are the most difficult to acquire. That’s because they’re often for six-figure sums and require payments for as long as 30 years.

The lender takes on a substantial risk when lending such large amounts  — especially when dealing with an applicant who may have a recent history of late payments or defaults.

But with LendingTree, you can connect with multiple lenders who will consider your application and possibly extend an offer that can get you out of the renting world and into the life of a homeowner.

Can I Get a Loan without a Credit Check?

Lenders often want to see your credit history before handing money over. Otherwise, they’re blindly trusting you to pay them back, and that’s not a very smart way to conduct business.

Example Costs of No-Credit-Check Loans

That said, some lending networks partner with lenders that will consider your application without an official credit check. Keep in mind that these loans often come with high costs. That’s how the lender offsets the risk taken by not running a credit check.

Some lenders, specifically payday lenders, will extend short-term, high-cost loans without running a credit check. The lender will require recent pay stubs to prove your income and will base any potential loan offer on those documents.

These loans often act as bridges between paydays and have repayment windows that rarely extend beyond 30 days. And, if you fail to pay the loan back on time, you can find yourself stuck in an endless cycle that can cost a substantial amount of money to get out of.

Consider your alternatives before applying for a payday loan. Even if you have a bad credit history, you may still find a loan option that works for you — and costs far less than a payday loan.

While many of these loans require a credit check for approval, they also feature more relaxed acceptance standards. Many also include prequalifying forms that can give you an idea of your approval chances without placing a potentially damaging hard inquiry on your credit report.

By sticking with these options, you can increase your approval odds whenever you decide to submit an official application.

It’s Never Been Easier to Find a Loan with Poor Credit

You aren’t limited to your local bank or credit union when looking for a loan. In fact, the rise of online lending networks may make your local financial institution your least-attractive option.

You’ll increase your approval odds by putting your application in front of a host of lenders that specialize in bad credit loans and regularly compete for borrowers’ business. And, if a traditional loan isn’t your thing, you can still tap into some cash with a good credit card for people with low credit scores that lets you reuse your available credit line when you make monthly payments.

Either way, today’s financial landscape makes finding a low-credit-score loan easier — and more affordable — than ever.

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