If you have bad credit, it can be tough to get approved for a personal loan. OppLoans is an online lender that specializes in working with bad-credit borrowers, giving them a decent alternative to predatory short-term loans.

That said, the lender charges APRs as high as 199 percent, so you’ll want to think twice about whether you need the funds and check to see if cheaper alternatives are available before you apply for a bad credit loan.

Is an OppLoans personal loan right for you?

OppLoans personal loans aren’t cheap, but they can provide financing to people with few alternatives when they need it. Here’s how to find out if it’s right for you:

  • You have bad credit and can’t get approved with other lenders
  • You want to avoid pricier short-term alternatives like payday and title loans
  • You don’t have a co-signer who can help you qualify for a better loan

Get pre-qualified

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

Lending terms

OppLoans personal loans range from $500 to $5,000 and are designed for borrowers with bad credit.

APRs range from 99 percent to 199 percent, depending on your creditworthiness and the legal maximum interest rate for your state. Terms range from six to 24 months, giving you far more time to repay the debt than you’d get with a payday loan or title loan.

The lender doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score or income requirement, but you must live in one of the 36 states where the lender operates, or the District of Columbia. Other requirements include:

  • You’re at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska)
  • If your income is through employment, you’ve been working with your current employer for at least three months
  • You’ve had a traditional bank account in your name for at least 90 days
  • You receive your paychecks through direct deposit (New Mexico residents are exempt from this requirement)
  • You’re not a covered borrower under the Military Lending Act

If you get approved, you’ll receive the loan funds as soon as the next business day. Here’s how OppLoans compares with payday loans:

OppLoans Payday loans
Loan amounts $500 to $5,000 $100 to $1,000
APR range 99% to 199% APR 390% to 780% APR
Repayment terms Six to 24 months Two weeks
Origination fee None None
Minimum credit score Not disclosed None
Time to funding As soon as the next day As soon as the same day

Fees and penalties

OppLoans doesn’t charge an application fee, origination fee or a prepayment penalty. With APRs as high as they already are, the lack of fees can be a relief. The lender may, however, charge a late fee, depending on the state where you reside.

How to apply

OppLoans offers online applications only, and you can apply for a personal loan through the lender’s website using your computer, smartphone or tablet.

To start the process, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself, including your name, address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number. You’ll also be asked to create an account with OppLoans with your email address and a password.

Then you’ll be asked to share information about your employment situation and income and provide your bank information, so OppLoans can send your funds if your application gets approved.

After you submit your information, OppLoans will run a credit check, but it won’t affect your credit score because the lender doesn’t check with any of the major credit reporting agencies. Instead, it checks your credit score through Clarity Services, Inc., another credit bureau, whose report doesn’t impact your credit score.

The lender does, however, report your payment activity to the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — so paying on time can help improve your credit score.

You may also need to provide some documentation to prove income sources, such as alimony, disability or Social Security benefits.

Before you accept a loan, though, take a little time to see if you might be able to qualify for more favorable personal loan rates from other top lenders.

What to do if you’re turned down

If you don’t qualify for an OppLoans personal loan, you may have a difficult time getting approved with another lender. If you don’t need the cash immediately, take some time to build your credit score and try again. If you do need the money, however, consider getting a payday alternative loan from your local credit union, which has an APR capped at 28 percent.

Also, consider reaching out to family and friends for a short-term solution until you can get back on your feet. Whatever you do, try to avoid payday and title loans. While these loans have low eligibility requirements, they can throw you into a vicious cycle of debt.

Get pre-qualified

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

A brief history of OppLoans

OppLoans is a Chicago-based lender founded in 2010 by Todd Schwartz. The lender works specifically with bad-credit borrowers to provide a more affordable and customer-friendly loan than payday lenders. OppLoans has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

How Bankrate Rates OppLoans

Overall Score 3.0
Availability 3.1
Affordability 2.8
Customer Experience 3.0

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.