Best Installment Loans for Bad Credit

The COVID-19 crisis carries serious impacts for personal finances. To help manage consumer debt, many financial institutions are temporarily reducing credit card APRs, waiving fees and offering lower interest rates on personal loans. But what happens if your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for a loan from a traditional lender?

Installment loans for bad credit offer an alternative to help manage credit card debt, pay for emergencies or consolidate current liabilities. Here’s what you need to know about the best personal installment loans for bad credit.

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    In this article

      The 5 best installment loans for bad credit in 2020

      Best bad credit installment loans at a glance

      LenderAPRTermsLoan SizeKey Benefit
      Peerform5.99%–29.99%36–60 months$4,000–$25,000Simple application process
      Rise Credit99%–149%5–26 months$500–$5,000Rates lower over time
      NetCredit34.99%–99.99%12–60 months$1,000–$10,000Offers loans for low credit borrowers
      OppLoans99%–199%6–36 months$500–$4,000Funds available the next day
      Avant9.95%–35.99%24–60 months$2,000–$35,000Provides larger loan amounts

      Best for easy application – Peerform

      Peerform offers an easy approval process for online installment loans and higher-than-average borrowing amounts with loans up to $25,000, but funding from Peerform also comes with substantial origination and late fees.

      Fixed APR
      N/A
      Loan Amount
      $4K–$25K
      Term
      12–36 months
      SimpleScore
      3.8 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Peerform 3.8
      Rates 5
      Loan Size 5
      Terms 3
      Support 5
      Fees 1

      Peerform makes it easy to apply for an installment loan if you have bad credit, and you can get up to $25,000 with terms ranging from 36 to 60 months. While Peerform’s APR is substantially less than payday loan providers, you may end up paying more than you expect, since the company charges origination fees between 1% and 5% depending on your location and financial status.

      Best for rate drops – RISE Credit

      RISE Credit is a great fit if you have bad credit and need a small installment loan, but comes with substantial APR.

      Fixed APR
      N/A
      Loan Amount
      N/A
      Term
      4–26 months
      SimpleScore
      3 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore RISE Credit 3
      Rates 1
      Loan Size 4
      Terms 2
      Support 3
      Fees 5

      If you have bad credit and need an installment loan to help with unexpected expenses or necessary purchases, RISE Credit may be a good fit. The company offers loans between $500 and $5,000 and terms between five and 26 months, and there are no hidden fees or prepayment penalties if your financial situation improves and you pay back your loan early. When it comes to APR, however, RISE has the highest rate on our list at 149%.” two_cents_text=”RISE Credit is a great fit if you have bad credit and need a small installment loan, but comes with substantial APR.

      Best for bad credit – NetCredit

      NetCredit offers installment loans for borrowers whose low credit scores preclude them from getting loans elsewhere. The trade-off is higher-than-average APR that can reach 99.99%.

      Fixed APR
      N/A
      Loan Amount
      $1K–$10K
      Term
      6–60 months
      SimpleScore
      3.2 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore NetCredit 3.2
      Rates 2
      Loan Size 3
      Terms 5
      Support 3
      Fees 3

      Need an installment loan with bad — or even really bad — credit? NetCredit can help with loans between $1,000 and $10,000 and terms from 12 to 60 months. But before you sign on the dotted line, review the terms of your agreement: NetCredit charges origination fees up to 5% of your total loan amount and APR up to 99.99%.

      Best for fast funding – OppLoans

      OppLoans lets you get loans up to $4,000 — fast — with next-day deposit in most cases. An APR of 199% and shorter term options, however, can make regular payments a challenge for borrowers.

      Fixed APR
      N/A
      Loan Amount
      $500–$4k
      Term
      Up to 3 years
      SimpleScore
      2.8 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore OppLoans 2.8
      Rates 2
      Loan Size 1
      Terms 3
      Support 5
      Fees 3

      OppLoans offers fast installment loan approvals and funding, with money typically deposited the next business day. Customers can get loans between $500 and $4,000 for terms between 6 and 36 months. Worth noting? Origination fees vary by location, and OppLoans’ APR is substantial at 199%.

      Best for large loan amounts – Avant

      Avant is a great choice if you need larger installment loan funding, but the lender also charges a substantial origination fee.

      Fixed APR
      N/A
      Loan Amount
      $2K–$35K
      Term
      24–60 months
      SimpleScore
      4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Avant 4
      Rates 2
      Loan Size 5
      Terms 5
      Support 5
      Fees 3

      Need a large installment loan with bad credit? Avant has you covered with loans up to $35,000 and terms between 24 and 60 months. While the company offers lower-than-average APR at 35.99%, clients will pay higher-than-average origination fees of 4.75%.

      Avant Disclosure

      The actual loan amount, term, and APR amount of loan that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and state law. Minimum loan amounts vary by state. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

      What are installment loans?

      Installment loans typically come with fixed terms and fixed interest rates, and the money you owe is paid back in regularly scheduled and frequent payments. If you have a “poor” credit score — less than 600 — you’ll often be rejected for personal loans from more traditional lenders, making online installment loans a solid choice.

      Online installment loan companies typically work with you to assess your credit score, analyze your finances and find a payment schedule that works for you. This provides peace of mind — you get the money you need to cover unexpected expenses or pay off debts, but also have a plan to pay it back.

      Check Your Personal Loan Rates

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

      Get Started

      with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

      Top banks that offer installment loans

      One of the top lenders offering installment loans is Peerform. Users can borrow up to $25,000 with rates between 5.99% and 29.99%, and Peerform is known for its straightforward and speedy application processes. By using a peer-to-peer lending platform that splits risk among multiple funders, Peerform makes it easy to find bad credit installment loans with no collateral. Peerform is great for quick approvals, but it comes with origination fees between 1% and 5%.

      RISE Credit is a great choice if you need a small loan, fast. Borrowers can access between $500 and $500 if they have both a steady source of income and an existing checking or savings account. Where RISE doesn’t rise to the occasion is APR: Rates vary between 50% and 299% depending on your creditworthiness, but rates can fall over time as you make consistent payments.

      NetCredit offers personal installment loans with fast funding and flexible terms between one and five years. Borrowers can access up to $10,000 even with poor credit scores and APR ranges from 34% to 155%. If you can’t qualify for a traditional personal loan, NetCredit is a solid choice for bad credit installment loans — but comes with both high APR and up to 5% origination fees depending on your location.

      OppLoans provide short-term personal installment loans up to $4,000 with terms up to three years. You’ll pay between 99% and 199% APR, and in many cases, your funds are available within 24 hours of approval. If you need cash — fast — and can handle the higher interest rates, OppLoans is a solid choice.

      Avant lets you borrow the largest amount on our list — get up to $35,000 with an APR between 9.95% and 35.99% and terms of 24 to 60 months. You’ll also pay an administration fee of up to 4.75%, making it a costly option for long-term borrowing, but a good choice if you need to borrow large amounts with low-to-poor credit.

      How to choose an installment loan

      When it comes to choosing an installment loan, start with the amount you need. Ideally, you want to borrow as close to the exact amount as possible to lower the amount of interest you pay over time. It’s also worth considering APRs, origination fees and late penalties when making your decision. While some loan providers offer almost-instant approvals and cash-in-hand, high APRs mean you’re paying back far more than the original loan amount.

      Term length is also important. While longer terms mean more time to pay back your loan and smaller installments each month, you’re also paying more interest over time.

      Tips for getting an installment loan with bad credit

      If you’re looking for an installment loan with bad credit, start by comparing several online options. Some — like Avant and Peerform — let you access substantial loan amounts — while others, such as NetCredit and OppLoans — are designed for borrowers with very low credit scores.

      However, if you have bad credit, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a loan

      1. Improve your credit. While this is easier said than done, even 10 or 20 points’ increase in your credit score can improve your chances of approval or secure yourself a decent APR. You can also dispute any inaccurate information on your credit report, removing detrimental information and improving your credit.
      2. Shop around. Compare different rates that lenders offer. You can use pre-approval and pre-qualification tools on the lender’s website to get an idea of your loan term and rate before moving forward with a company. Furthermore, most of these lenders only perform a soft credit check for pre-approval and qualification, so your credit score isn’t dinged too much.
      3. Request only exactly what you need. If you can find a way to bridge part of the financial gap that you’re experiencing and only need a helping hand to lend you a little bit, it could improve your chances. Because borrowing a smaller amount is a smaller risk — to both you and the lender — it’s easier to get approved with decent rates.

      Check Your Personal Loan Rates

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

      Get Started

      with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

      Things to keep in mind

      While installment loans for bad credit are ideal if you need to consolidate debts or handle unexpected expenses, they also come with potential pitfalls.

      The biggest is APR: Some lenders on our list have loan APRs over 150%, which means you’ll pay back substantially more over time in interest than you borrowed initially. Term length also matters. While longer terms mean more time to pay, if you’re unable to make payments partway through your term you could end up on the hook for substantial late fees or default on your loan entirely.

      We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

      Methodology

      SimpleScore

      The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

      For every review, our editorial team:

      • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
      • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
      • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

      Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best personal loans of 2020.

      Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

      To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

      However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare NetCredit’s personal loans according to our criteria for the best personal loans, it scores a 2.3 out of 5. But when we compare NetCredit according to the criteria for the best bad credit personal loans, it scores considerably higher, since the criteria for the latter review are more lenient (lenders who serve borrowers with bad credit will always offer higher rates, so we needed to adjust our category methodology to account for different industry standards).

      Questions about our methodology?

      Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

      Rates

      We looked at the maximum APR for each lender — the lower their maximum rate, the higher their score.

      Loan Size

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with more generous loan sizes.

      Customer Satisfaction

      We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Personal Loan Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each lender. (If a lender wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

      Support

      We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

      Fees

      We looked at the three most common fees — origination, late payment, and pre-payment — and penalized lenders for each fee charged.

      Doug Bonderud

      Contributing Writer

      An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement.

      Reviewed by

      • Courtney Mihocik
        Courtney Mihocik
        Editor

        Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.