If you have bad credit, finding the right loan can be a challenge. However, in January 2024, there are several options available to help you get the funds you need.

From personal loans with flexible repayment terms to fast cash approval options that charge little or no interest, there are lenders that cater to individuals with less-than-perfect credit scores. Whether you need a small loan or a larger one, there are options to explore.

In this article, we will explore the best loans for bad credit in January 2024, so you can make an informed decision and get the funds you need.

5 Best Loans for Bad Credit

The best loans for bad credit in the UK in January 2024 include options from various lenders. According to NerdWallet, some of the top lenders for bad credit loans are Upgrade, Upstart, Best Egg, OneMain Financial, and Avant.

These lenders offer loans with features such as low minimum credit score requirements, low starting rates, fast funding, and flexible payment options.

Below, I have provided comprehensive information about these loan lenders, including the advantages and disadvantages of each loan they offer.

1. Upstart

Many lenders typically offer loans directly to individuals, but Upstart operates as a loan marketplace. When you fill out an application with Upstart, your details might be shared with numerous banks and credit unions.

Upstart

Upstart utilizes an AI-powered fair lending model to assess your creditworthiness, considering your complete financial situation rather than just your credit score. If you’ve faced challenges getting approved for a loan in the past, Upstart aims to connect you with a lender who is open to working with your unique circumstances.

Upstart Eligibility Requirements

Unlike many other lenders, Upstart considers your education level and employment status to assess your eligibility for a loan, although there is no specified minimum education level required.

Upstart sets a flexible minimum credit score of 300, which contrasts with the more rigid requirements of some other lenders.

Furthermore, Upstart indicates a willingness to consider applicants with a limited credit history, but it’s important to note that this may lead to higher interest rates for such borrowers.

Pros:

  • You can receive the funds within one business day.
  • There’s no extra fee for paying off the loan early.
  • Upstart considers your complete financial situation, not just your credit score.

Cons:

  • You can only choose between a three- or five-year term.
  • The highest amount you can borrow is $50,000.
  • There may be fees associated with processing the loan.
  • Until you opt-out, you might be contacted by several lenders.

2. Upgrade

Upgrade collaborates with banks to offer personal loans and various lending products. They provide several options for borrowers to lower their interest rates, such as an autopay discount and a reduction for consolidating debt.

upgrade

Additionally, Upgrade incentivizes customers by offering a special bonus for those who open an Upgrade checking account and direct their deposits to that account.

Upgrade Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an Upgrade loan, you need to be 18 years old or the age of majority in your state. Additionally, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid visa.

Having a valid bank account and email address is also necessary. It’s important to note that Upgrade doesn’t disclose its specific minimum credit score or income requirements.

Pros:

  • You won’t face an additional fee for paying off your loan ahead of schedule.
  • The borrowed money can be deposited within just one business day.
  • Upstart provides a range of loan repayment options, spanning from 24 to 84 months.

Cons:

  • There is an origination fee, ranging from 1.85% to 9.99%. This fee is a one-time cost associated with processing the loan.

3. Best Egg

Best Egg provides unsecured personal loans for individuals with fair to excellent credit. While those with FICO credit scores of 600 and above can qualify, the most favorable rates are reserved for applicants with a minimum credit score of 700 and an annual income of at least $100,000.

Best Egg

However, even if you have fair credit, it’s worth applying. Unlike some similar lenders that primarily work with individuals with good to excellent credit, Best Egg may still extend a loan offer to you. While you might not secure the lowest rates, you could receive approval when other lenders might not approve your application.

Best Egg Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska).
  • Have a valid bank account. 

Pros:

  • You can check your eligibility without impacting your credit score.
  • Best Egg’s loans are available to a wide range of borrowers.
  • The option for direct payments can simplify the process of consolidating debts.

Cons:

  • There is a fee associated with processing the loan.
  • The highest annual percentage rate (APR) offered by Best Egg is relatively high.
  • Unlike some lenders, Best Egg does not provide discounts for automatic payments.

4. Avant

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans primarily for people with fair credit. They use WebBank, a state-chartered, member FDIC bank, to issue loans. Avant offers a range of loan options, with amounts ranging from $2,000 to $35,000, APRs from 9.95% to 35.99%, and loan terms from 12 to 60 months.

Avant

They also offer emergency loans, which can help cover unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies or important payments. These loans are accessible to borrowers in a wide variety of credit situations and are issued quickly.

Avant Eligibility Requirements

Avant doesn’t mention the lowest credit score you need, but most people who borrow from them usually have scores between 600 and 700. To qualify, you also need a bank account and to show that you have a job.

Pros:

  • You can receive the borrowed funds as soon as the next business day.
  • Avant provides a credit app for making payments, adding to the convenience of managing your loan.
  • You can choose repayment terms ranging from 12 to 60 months.
  • You won’t face any extra fees for paying off your loan early.

Cons:

  • The highest amount you can borrow is limited to $35,000.
  • There is an administrative fee, which can be up to 4.75% of the loan amount.

5. OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial provides personal loans to borrowers with fair to poor credit. While the average loan size tends to be small, borrowers who might not qualify at other online lenders or banks may find it easier to be approved for a loan through OneMain.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial offers personal loans ranging from $1,500 to $20,000, with fixed interest rates ranging from 18.00% to 35.99%.

OneMain Financial Eligibility Requirements

The OneMain Financial doesn’t exactly tell you the specific things you need to qualify for a loan. They look at different stuff like your credit score, how much money you make, and what you want the loan for.

To apply, you’ll need a Social Security number, proof of income, a government ID, and something that shows where you live.

Pros:

  • You won’t be charged extra for paying off your loan early.
  • Branches are available in 44 states, making it more accessible.

Cons:

  • There is a fee to set up the loan, which can be a flat amount ($25 to $500) or a percentage of the loan (1% to 10%).
  • The amount you can borrow is restricted, ranging from $1,500 to $20,000.
  • The initial annual percentage rate (APR) is relatively high, starting at 18%.

When You Might Consider a Bad Credit Loan?

If you’re in a tough spot or need to deal with expensive credit card debt, you might think about getting a loan, even if your credit isn’t great. But before you go for a loan, try to find other ways to get financial help. For example, if you have medical bills, see if the hospital has a program to help in tough times.

Keep in mind that loans for people with bad credit often have high-interest rates and extra charges. It’s a good idea to avoid them unless you have no other choice. If you’re not sure what’s the best thing to do, it’s smart to talk to a money expert for advice.

Alternatives to Bad Credit Loans

Loans for people with bad credit are known for having high-interest rates, and this could lead to ongoing financial challenges for some. Before committing to a loan that you’re not sure you can handle, consider these alternatives.

Break down big purchases

Instead of taking out a loan, check if the seller or service provider offers a payment plan. Having a conversation and making a plan might help you avoid the need for a bad credit loan.

Get a secured credit card

If you have a bit of extra cash and can get one, a secured credit card could be a good idea. If you use it smartly and pay most of your balance, your credit score might get better, and you won’t have to deal with those tough loans in the future. Just be careful not to spend more than you can pay back in a month or two.

Use a payment plan

For unexpected bills, especially medical expenses, check if there’s an interest-free or low-interest payment plan available. This not only makes paying off the expense easier but could also save you a lot in interest.

Borrow money from family or friends

Lending money to family and friends can be a sensitive matter and should be approached with caution. It’s not the easiest choice, but the people close to you might help out. To keep things good between you, make a plan together on how you’ll pay back the money and stick to it.

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