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Best bad credit loans in November 2023

Nov 28, 2023


Find out if you prequalify for personalized loan offers in 2 minutes or less—with no impact to your credit

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Personal loans

Best loan for limited credit history

Est. APR
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Term: 3-5 yrs
Min credit score
Not specified
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Personal loans

Best loan for fast funding

Est. APR
with AutoPay
Loan amount
$1k– $50k
Term: 2-7 yrs
Min credit score
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Personal loans

Best for debt consolidation

Est. APR
Loan amount
$2k– $50k
Term: 3-5 yrs
Min credit score
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Personal loans

Best secured loan

Est. APR
Loan amount
$1.5k– $20k
Term: 2-5 yrs
Min credit score
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Personal loans

Best loan for a range of repayment options

Est. APR
Loan amount
$2k– $35k
Term: 1-5 yrs
Min credit score
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Personal loans

Best loan for small loans

Lending Point
Est. APR
Loan amount
$2k– $37k
Term: 2-6 yrs
Min credit score
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On Bankrate

In the last two years, we helped fund over $744 million in loans. Let’s fund yours next.

Get a bad credit loan in 3 easy steps

1. Answer a few questions

Take a few minutes to answer questions about yourself and the loan that you need, and we can match you with potential lenders. This service is free and will not affect your credit score. 

Make sure you have good credit, look into a co-signer or find a lender that works with bad credit borrowers.
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2. Compare your offers

Get prequalified and compare loan product offers based on important factors like APR, loan amount and minimum monthly payments. 

Take your time and check with multiple lenders to ensure you get the best deal possible.
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3. Lock in your rate

Choose a lender and visit its website to complete the application process. If you’re approved, you could get funding within a few weeks.

Make sure you have financial documents regarding existing loans, income verification, etc.

How to compare bad credit loans

A bad credit loan isn't a one-size-fits-all product. Consider the steps below to choose the best bad credit loan for your needs. Determine the best type of bad credit loan for you. Cash advance loans, secured loans, unsecured loans and payday loans are the four main types of bad credit loans available. Know what each offers before selecting one.

  1. Determine what loan terms best fit your needs. Use a loan calculator to help you figure out the loan amount, repayment term and interest rate you can afford.
  2. Prequalify with three or more lenders. To find the best deal available, prequalify with at least three different lenders. Prequalifying will allow you to compare real offers side-by-side, without impacting your credit.
  3. Look at customer experience and reviews. Look into a lender’s customer service options before applying, especially if you prefer in-person service. Additionally, check out customer reviews to determine whether it’s worth doing business with that particular lender.
  4. Identify unique features and useful perks. Lenders sometimes offer perks like introductory APRs and online financial tools and apps, especially if you're already a member of the institution.

Compare bad credit loan rates in November 2023

Upstart Limited credit history 6.40%-35.99% $1,000-$50,000 3 - 5 years No requirement
Upgrade Fast funding 8.49%-35.99% $1,000-$50,000 2 - 7 years 600
Best Egg Debt consolidation 8.99%-35.99% $2,000-$50,000 3 - 5 years 600
OneMain Financial Secured loans 18.00%-35.99% $1,500-$20,000 2 - 5 years Not specified
Avant A range of repayment options 9.95%-35.99% $2,000-$35,000 1 - 5 years 550
LendingPoint Small loans 7.99%-35.99% $2,000-$36,500 2 - 6 years 600

A closer look at our top bad credit loans

Here's a deep-dive into each lender, why it's the best in each category and specifically who would benefit most from borrowing from the lender. 

Upgrade: Best for fast funding

Overview: Upgrade has a low minimum score requirement of 600 and a smaller-than-average minimum amount of $1,000. Plus, the lender carries competitive starting APRs, especially for a lender that caters specifically to those who have less-than-perfect credit.

Best Egg: Best for debt consolidation

Overview: Best Egg has funded over 1.1 million loans since its inception in 2014. Headquartered in Delaware, the lender has gained a positive and trusted reputation amongst both bad and fair credit borrowers, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating.

OneMain Financial: Best for secured loans

Overview: In exchange for providing collateral, OneMain Financial lends to those who wouldn't otherwise qualify for a personal loan due to having less-than-stellar credit.

Avant: Best for a range of repayment options

Overview: Avant's loan amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000, making it a good alternative to fund home improvement projects and small to midsize purchases alike. Its convenient mobile app and easy-to-navigate website also give borrowers a smooth online experience that allows you to stay on top of payments, adjust payment dates and view your loan details and payment history.

Upstart: Best for limited credit history

Overview: Headquartered in San Mateo, California and founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart has originated about $33 billion in personal loans to-date. The lender charges a low minimum APR of 5.2 percent — the lowest one on this list — and is ideal for those who need funds quickly. The company asserts that after approval, the funds can be available in as soon as one business day.

LendingPoint: Best for small loans

Overview: LendingPoint offers personal loans to borrowers in 48 states across the U.S. — residents in Nevada and West Virginia are unable to apply. The lender is unique in that it allows those who have a bankruptcy on their credit report to get approved for a loan — as long as it was discharged at least 12 months prior to applying.

How we choose our best lenders

To select the best personal loans, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:

  • Checkmark
    The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score. We also give bonus points to lenders offering rate discounts, grace periods and that allow borrowers to change their due date. 
  • Checkmark
    Minimum loan amounts, number of repayment terms, eligibility requirements, ability to apply using a co-borrower or co-signer and loan turnaround time are considered in this category.
  • Checkmark
    Customer experience
    This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Checkmark
    For this factor, we consider how well information is presented to the borrower on the lender’s website. This includes listing credit requirements, rates and fees, in addition to offering prequalification.
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years in business
Credit Card Search
lenders reviewed
loan features weighed
data points collected

What is a bad credit personal loan?

When you apply for a loan, lenders will look at your credit score and credit history to determine how risky it could be to lend you money. A bad credit loan is one that’s designed for borrowers whose credit scores fall between 300 and 579.

Getting loans with bad credit can be a tall order, but it’s not impossible. You'll likely need to do some digging to find lenders that offer loans specifically for individuals within that credit profile. That said, these loans tend to come with higher interest rates and fees than other personal loans, as you’ll be seen as a riskier borrower to lenders.


Bankrate Tip

Before applying for a bad credit loan, make sure you absolutely need it. The higher rates and potentially unfavorable terms could not only make repayment harder but also send you down an endless debt cycle, if not handled properly.

How to get a personal loan with bad credit 

There are five key steps to keep in mind when getting a loan with bad credit. For a more in-depth explanation as to why these steps are crucial and how to find the loan for your credit situation, visit our guide on how to score a personal loan with bad credit


Bad credit loan fees


Bankrate Tip

The average personal loan interest rate comes out to just above 11 percent, while bad credit loans rates range on average from about 18 percent to 32 percent. Look for lower fees to cut your total cost.

These are the three primary fees to take into account when comparing lenders to ensure you get the most affordable loan.

  • Origination fee: Origination fees can be anywhere from 1 to 10 percent of the total loan balance. It is generally taken out of your total loan amount, but some lenders may let you pay off the fee in one lump sum. 
  • Late payment fees: Late payment fees vary by lender and are likely higher for those with lower credit. However, most of the time you'll be charged a one-time flat fee between $15 and $25, or five percent of the late payment amount.
  • Prepayment penalty: Some lenders charge a fee for paying off your loan ahead of time. Although these are a rarity amongst most personal loan lenders, those that offer loans for bad credit may still tack on this extra fee.

Interest rates are also much higher when it comes to bad credit loans. For example, the average personal loan interest rate comes out to just above 11 percent, while bad credit loans have average rates ranging from about 18 percent to 32 percent or more. While this may not seem like a huge jump, here's what this difference could cost you if you were to take out a $5,000 loan with a five year repayment period.

Interest rate Monthly cost Interest accrued Total cost
11% $108.71 $1,522.73 $6,522.73
20% $132.47 $2,948.17 $7,948.17

While all rates have increased due to the current economic environment, if you're offered a higher rate from multiple lenders, it may be best to explore alternative borrowing options or work on your score before signing on the dotted line.

Even if the monthly payment seems manageable, it's important to think about the long-term implications that interest accrual could have on your financial goals and well-being.

What are current loan interest rates?

Loan interest rates have seen a significant increase in the past year. Rates range between about 5 percent to 36 percent, depending on your credit score. If you have a low credit score you can expect to be on the higher end of interest rates. As of November 22, 2023, the average personal loan interest rate is 11.53 percent.

You can see how average interest rates have increased over time below. Ensure that you compare loan offers to see what you are eligible for before applying for a bad credit loan.

Average rates as of November 22, 2023

Personal loans 11.53%

What to know about your credit score and securing a loan

Lender's often base rates off of creditworthiness — a borrower's overall credit health. Borrowers with excellent credit are eligible for the most competitive rates and terms, while those with a thin credit history or a less-than-ideal score are more likely to be offered higher interest rates. 

Here's a rundown of the estimated APR you could receive based on your credit score.

Estimated APR by FICO score range

Excellent 800-850 21% 10.30%-12.50%
Very good 740-799 25% 10.73%-12.50%
Good 670-739 21% 13.50%-15.50%
Fair 580-669 17% 17.80%-19.90%
Very poor 300-579 16% 28.50%-32.00%

Source: FICO and Bankrate

Does applying for a loan hurt your credit score?

When you apply for a personal loan — or any type of loan — lenders must do a hard credit inquiry, which can cause your score to drop by as much as 10 points. However, this drop is temporary. Once you start making payments, your score should start going up again.

That said, there are some instances when applying for a personal loan can hurt your credit score long-term. For example, if you fail to pay on time or if you default on your loan, your score could drop for up to seven years. Additionally, by taking out a personal loan, you’re adding debt to your portfolio, so your debt-to-income ratio will also increase. This can limit your eligibility for future credit or prevent you from getting the lowest rates.

On the flipside, if you get a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt, it will reduce your credit utilization ratio, which can boost your score. Likewise, making on-time payments will contribute to your payment history, which makes up 35 percent of your FICO score. Adding a personal loan to your portfolio could also improve your credit mix, which accounts for 10 percent of your credit score. In the end, whether applying for a loan will hurt your credit score really depends on how you manage your account.

What is considered a bad credit score?

There are a few credit-scoring models that you can use to check your credit score, but the FICO credit scoring system is one of the most popular. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with the scores on the lower end considered poor or fair.According to FICO, a bad credit score is within the following ranges:A poor or fair credit score can impact your ability to get approved for larger loans, like a mortgage or auto loan. If you get approved for a loan with bad credit, you'll likely be charged the highest interest rates and fees. However, there are long-term habits that you can develop to improve your credit score.

What makes up a bad credit score?

FICO calculates your credit score using the following five factors. If your finances fall short in one or more of these areas, your score will drop. For instance, falling behind on payments will impact your payment history, while taking on more debt will impact the amounts owed portion of your score. 

  • Payment history. 35 percent. Your payment history is the most important factor in determining your score. If you have a habit of making late payments, then your score is most likely to drop by a significant amount.
  • Accounts owed. 30 percent. Also known as your credit utilization ratio, your amounts owed makes up the total amount of debt you carry. The more debt you carry in relation to your annual income could be interpreted by lenders as a higher risk of default.
  • Length of credit history. 15 percent. How long you've had active credit accounts plays an important role in your score. This includes how long your accounts have been established and how long it's been since you've utilized specific lines of credit or accounts.
  • New credit. 10 percent. How many new credit accounts you have and how many you've opened in the recent past makes up 10 percent of your score. If possible, avoid taking out too many new accounts in a short amount of time to avoid multiple hits to your credit.
  • Credit mix. 10 percent. Your credit mix is the amount of different credit types you have. This includes installment loans, revolving lines of credit or retail accounts. It's typically best to have a healthy, diverse credit mix. 

Where to get a loan with bad credit

You can look for bad credit loans at the same institutions you’d typically go to when applying for other types of loans.

  • Banks. Although banks tend to have more stringent credit requirements than other institutions, it’s always a good idea to start your loan search with a bank you already have a longstanding relationship with. Some banks, particularly local ones, may be more flexible with their criteria when it comes to lending to existing members. 
  • Credit unions. Unlike banks, credit unions are member owned. Because of this, they tend to be more flexible with their lending requirements and also offer more competitive rates. That said, you’ll need to become a member to be able to apply.
  • Online lenders. Although these tend to have higher APR caps and fees than banks and credit unions, many online lenders cater specifically to those with bad credit, making it easier to qualify for loan. Additionally, online lenders tend to offer faster funding turnaround times than most banks and credit unions — some lenders even offer same-day funding.

When comparing bad credit loan options, you may be wondering whether it’s better to pursue an online lender or a brick-and-mortar institution.

The reality is that many banks and credit unions are already offering online applications. But, in some cases, you may have to go to the institution itself to finalize the paperwork. With an online lender, everything is done electronically, which is often more convenient and you’ll likely gain access to the funds much faster.

In the end, whether an online lender or an in-person lender is the best option will depend on what you’re most comfortable with. If you prefer in-person assistance and don’t need the funds urgently, an in-person lender may be the best option. But if you prefer a speedier process and a more hands-off approach, then an online lender may be the better choice.

8 types of bad credit loans

There are different types of loans that fall under the bad credit loan umbrella. Each of these serves a different purpose and caters to a specific financial need. 

Pros and cons of bad credit loans 

While every loan comes with advantages and disadvantages, borrowers with low credit will need to carefully consider the potential drawbacks to avoid getting into high-interest debt down the road.


  • Checkmark

    Flexible lending guidelines: Loans for borrowers with imperfect credit are more likely to use alternative data, such as education and job history, for approval.

  • Checkmark

    Credit building: A positive repayment history is one of the fastest ways to grow a credit score. That’s because payment history accounts for 35 percent of your FICO score.

  • Checkmark

    Lower rates than credit cards: While loans of this nature carry higher rates when compared to other personal loans, they generally have lower interest rates than most credit cards.


  • Fees: Before applying, read the fine print in the terms and conditions to look for any hidden fees. Many bad credit loans charge high fees that can detract from the overall value of the loan.

  • High interest rates: Interest rates are highly dependent on creditworthiness, with the best rates going to those with the highest credit scores. Taking out a loan while your score is low may mean unaffordable payments.

  • Collateral requirements: Some lenders only offer secured loans for borrowers who have low credit, which poses a risk to the borrower should they become unable to make the monthly payments.

  • Increased predatory potential: Many predatory lenders will advertise their products similarly to bad credit loans. However, these often come with rates that are near impossible to manage and leave the borrower in years of debt.

Alternatives to bad credit loans

Bad credit loans carry a reputation for high interest rates — which for some could lead to long-term financial damage. Before signing off on a loan you're not positive you can manage, consider the alternatives below, along with others you can find here.


How to spot bad credit loan scams

While shopping for a personal loan, avoid potential scams by being aware of these eight red flags:
  1. The lender guarantees approval. Reputable lenders generally want to see personal information, like your credit report and annual income, before extending an offer. If you come across a lender that isn’t interested in your payment history, you might be getting lured into a payday loan or another type of predatory lending product.
  2. The lender isn't registered in your state. The Federal Trade Commission requires that lenders be registered in the state where they do business. Research whether the business is licensed in your state.
  3. The lender demands payment upfront. While application, origination or appraisal fees are common loan charges, these charges are often deducted from the total amount of your loan. If a lender requires you to provide cash or a prepaid debit card upfront, it's not legitimate.
  4. The lender calls, writes or knocks. Phone calls and door-to-door solicitation are not considered legitimate advertising practices for trustworthy lenders. Similarly, loan offers that pressure you into taking action immediately are designed to get you to accept without due consideration.
  5. The lender has no physical address. A reputable lender should have a physical address listed on its website.
  6. The lender pressures you to act immediately. High-pressure tactics and immediate calls to action are a few hallmarks of personal loan scams. If a lender claims that it can press charges if you don't accept, or claims that the offer expires within the same day, you can guarantee it's a scam.
  7. The website is not secure.  A lender's site should be secure, meaning the website address should begin with "https" and feature a padlock symbol on any page where you're asked for personal information.
  8. It sounds too good to be true. If a lender is promising you will get an extraordinarily low rate without even applying, it is most likely a scam.

Bankrate Insight

If you end up getting involved in a bad credit loan scam, dispute the charge with your bank or credit card issuer, change your passwords, keep an eye on your accounts and report the scam to the FTC.

Frequently asked questions

Ask the experts: If I get a bad credit personal loan can I refinance it later?

Nationally recognized student financial aid expert

You may be able to refinance a bad credit personal loan, depending on your specific circumstances. You might qualify for a new loan at a lower interest rate if your credit score has improved or prevailing interest rates have decreased. If your income has increased or you’ve paid down other debt, your debt-to-income ratio may have decreased, making you more attractive to potential lenders. Adding a cosigner with very good or excellent credit can help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Lender criteria may vary, so it pays to shop around.