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Personal Loans for Low Credit Scores

Loans for low credit scores provide access to funds when other lenders may turn you down.
loans-for-low-credit-scores-bad-credit
loans-for-low-credit-scores-bad-credit

When your credit is good to excellent there are a variety of loan options available. But when trying to find a variety of loans for low credit scores, you are bound to encounter roadblocks and obstacles.

Borrowers with low credit scores should expect higher rates for bad credit loans, but it's also possible to get loans without prepayment penalties. Loans with no prepayment penalties can save borrowers money in the long run, as they can be paid off faster, avoiding additional interest charges.

5 Personal Loans for Low Credit Scores

1. Upstart

Upstart offers unsecured personal loans for a variety of purposes with competitive interest rates. If you have a low credit score, Upstart offers a solution by taking into account other factors besides credit scores. This means that even if you have struggled with credit in the past or have little to no credit history, you may still have a chance at approval.


Upstart Loan Features

  • There is no minimum credit score requirement so your credit score can be as low 350.
  • Minimum annual income: $12,000; this lender accepts income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security, rentals, trusts, pensions, disability and scholarships.
  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Interest rates range from 7.8% to 35.99% APR.
  • Upstart has two options for repayment, with term lengths of 36 or 60 months.
  • Get your rate in 5 minutes without affecting your credit score.
  • Loan origination fee can range from 0% to 12% of the loan amount. This is a one-time fee that’s deducted from the loan proceeds before they are delivered to the borrower.
  • Upstart does not charge prepayment penalties for borrowers who wish to pay off their loan early.
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2. Universal Credit

Universal Credit offers personal loans specifically for those with bad credit or fair credit. These loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 and have fixed interest rates. Repayment terms are between three to five years, and if you're approved, you could receive your funds within one business day after completing any necessary verifications. Don't let bad credit hold you back from getting the financial assistance you need.

Universal Credit details:

  • Suggested minimum credit score is 560
  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 – $50,000.
  • Repay monthly, over 3, 5, or 7 years.
  • Estimated APR: 11.69% to 35.99%.
  • Loan origination fee of 5.25% to 9.99% of the loan amount which is deducted directly from your loan funds.
  • Universal Credit reports loan payments to all three major credit bureaus.
  • No prepayment fee.
  • Offers a 0.5 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.
  • Universal Credit borrowers have free access to their credit score, credit monitoring and a credit score simulator tool.
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3. Upgrade Credit

Upgrade lends to borrowers with all types of credit scores include borrowers with low credit scores. Upgrade's features, such as rate discounts, direct payment to creditors for debt consolidation loans, and extended repayment terms for home improvement loans are benefits not commonly offered by other lenders for low credit scores.

Upgrade Credit details:

  • Suggested minimum credit score is 560
  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 – $50,000.
  • Get $200 when you open a Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions.
  • Repay monthly, over 2 to 7 years.
  • Estimated APR: 8.24% to 35.97%.
  • Loan origination fee of 1.85% to 9.99% of the loan amount which is deducted directly from your loan funds.
  • Upgrade Credit reports loan payments to all three major credit bureaus.
  • No prepayment fee.
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4. Happy Money

Happy Money's bad credit personal loans can be a helpful tool in getting your finances back on track. While their interest rates may not be as low as those offered to borrowers with good credit, they may still be lower than the rates on your current credit card. If you're approved for a loan from Happy Money, you can expect to receive your funds within three to six business days.

Happy Money details:


  • Suggested minimum credit score is 640.
  • Loan amounts range from $5,000 – $40,000.
  • Repay monthly, over 2 to 5 years.
  • Estimated APR: 11.72% and 17.99% APR.
  • The minimum rate for loan amounts above $15,000 is 12.45% APR.
  • Loan origination fee of 0.00% – 5.00% of the loan amount which is deducted directly from your loan funds.
  • No prepayment fee.
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5. CashUSA

CashUSA loans range up to $10,000, with funding available as soon as the next business day. Loan amounts are lower than some competitors but no collateral is required. CashUSA considers lower credit scores.

CashUSA details:

  • Suggested minimum credit score is 500
  • Loan amounts up to $10,000.
  • Repay monthly, over 90 days to 72 months.
  • Estimated APR: 5.99% to 35.99%.
  • Loan origination varies and is deducted directly from your loan funds.
  • No prepayment fee.
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What Is A Personal Loan For Low Credit Scores?

A personal loan for low credit scores is a type of loan that is specifically designed for borrowers that may have past credit issues or little to no credit history. They are different from bad credit loans where borrowers may have current credit issues or a history credit mismanagement.

Borrowers with a low credit score often have difficulty getting approved for traditional loans, such as those offered by banks and credit unions. The loan terms may vary depending on the lender, but they typically have higher interest rates and fees than traditional loans.

Borrowers should carefully read the loan terms and conditions before accepting the loan to ensure they fully understand the cost and repayment requirements.

By taking out a low-credit score loan and making timely payments, borrowers can start to rebuild your credit and become eligible for low-interest loans with better terms and other financial opportunities.

How To Get A Loan With Low Credit Scores

Getting a loan with low credit scores can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting approved for a loan:

Check your credit score. Before applying for a loan, check your credit reports for errors along with your credit scores to see where you stand. You can get a free credit report once a week from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) but you will likely have to pay to check your accurate credit scores.

Compare multiple loan offers. Pre-qualifying for loans makes it fairly easy to compare loan offers. This process allows you to see what rates you might be eligible for without harming your credit score, as it only generates a soft credit inquiry. By comparing prequalified offers from multiple lenders, you can find the best loan option for your needs and budget.

Complete a loan application. Once you choose the best loan rates and terms based on the pre-qualification process, it’s time to submit a formal application. This will trigger a hard credit inquiry, which will temporarily lower your credit score. The lender may take a few business to approve or deny your application. During this time they may need to verify the information submitted on the application.

Alternatives To Loans For Low Credit Scores

If you have low credit scores and are unable to obtain a loan, there are alternatives that you may want to consider. Here are several options:

  • Peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending platforms connect borrowers directly with individual lenders, cutting out the middleman of traditional banks. These platforms typically have more flexible lending criteria than banks and may be willing to work with individuals with low credit scores.

  • Credit counseling. A credit counselor can work with you to develop a budget, negotiate with creditors, and create a debt management plan. This may be a good option if you are struggling with debt and need help getting back on track.

  • Consider a secured loan. If you have collateral, such as a car or savings account, you may be able to qualify for a secured loan. Since these loans are less risky for lenders, they may be more willing to work with borrowers with low credit scores.

  • Get a co-signer. If you have a friend or family member with good credit, they may be willing to co-sign on a loan for you. This means that they will be responsible for the loan if you are unable to make payments.

  • Improve your credit score. While it may take time, working to improve your credit score can increase your chances of getting approved for a loan in the future. This includes making on-time payments on your current debts, paying down credit card balances, and disputing any errors on your credit report.

It's important to carefully consider your options and choose the one that best fits your financial situation.

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