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

Lender APR Terms Loan Size Key Benefit
Peerform 5.99%–29.99% 36–60 months $4,000–$25,000 Simple application process
Rise Credit 99%–149% 5–26 months $500–$5,000 Rates lower over time
NetCredit 34.99%–99.99% 12–60 months $1,000–$10,000 Offers loans for low credit borrowers
OppLoans 99%–199% 6–36 months $500–$4,000 Funds available the next day
Avant 9.95%–35.99% 24–60 months $2,000–$35,000 Provides larger loan amounts

Best for easy application

Peerform

Peerform offers an easy application and approval process for bad credit installment loans.

APR
5.99%–29.99%
Terms
36–60 months
Loan Amount
$4K–$25K
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Peerform
4.2
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Amount
    5
  • Terms
    5
  • 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.
Full review

Our Two Cents — 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.

Best for rate drops

RISE Credit

RISE Credit offers small installment loans with APR that can decrease over time.

APR
99%–299%
Terms
5–26 months
Loan Amount
$500–$5K
SimpleScore
3 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
RISE Credit
3
  • Rates
    1
  • Loan Amount
    2
  • Terms
    4
  • 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%.
Full review

Our Two Cents — 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 is a great choice for borrowers with bad credit scores to get loans up to $10,000.

APR
34.99%–99.99%
Terms
12–60 months
Loan Amount
$1K–$10K
SimpleScore
3.2 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
NetCredit
3.2
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Amount
    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%.
Full review

Our Two Cents — 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%.

Best for fast funding

OppLoans

OppLoans helps you get cash — fast — with most loans funded by the next business day.

APR
99%–199%
Terms
6–36 months
Loan Amount
$500–$4K
SimpleScore
2.8 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
OppLoans
2.8
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Amount
    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%.
Full review

Our Two Cents — 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.


Best for large loan amounts

Avant

Avant offers the largest loan amounts on our list, letting borrowers access up to $35,000.

APR
9.95%–35.99%
Terms
24–60 months
Loan Amount
$2K–$35K
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Avant
4
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Amount
    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%.
Full review

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


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.

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.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

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.

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.

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.

Too long, didn’t read?

Online installment loans for bad credit offer a way to bridge financial gaps if you find yourself struggling during the current global pandemic. While scheduled payments help ensure you don’t miss a payment and completely pay off your loan over a fixed term, be on the lookout for sky-high APR and extra fees that could make these loans more costly than expected.

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Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For bad credit personal loans, we compared interest rates, loan terms, loan amounts, transparency and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a personal loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best personal loan that fits your specific needs.

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

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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 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.