Tips for Comparing Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Tips for Comparing Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Even though Upstarts three- and five-year loan terms are more restrictive than other lenders, it’s likely to be an acceptable tradeoff for applicants who might not be approved in a more traditional lending environment. Plus, it’s available in every state except West Virginia and Iowa, so it’s as widely available as many other top lenders.

We reviewed 18 popular lenders based on 14 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process

  • Accessible to borrowers with fair credit
  • Offers prequalification with a soft credit check
  • Ability to choose a custom payment date

We reviewed 18 popular lenders based on 14 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process

  • Charges an origination fee up to 8% of the loan amount
  • No secured or co-signer option
  • Loans only available for three- or five-year terms

Eligibility: Upstart stands out because it uses an AI-based platform to consider a range of non-conventional variables when evaluating borrower applications. And, while the platform advertises a minimum credit score of 600, Upstart may even accept applicants who don’t have enough credit history to have a score. When evaluating prospective borrowers, Upstart considers college education, job history, residence, debt-to-income ratio, bankruptcies and delinquencies and number of credit inquiries.

Borrowers also must have a full-time job or offer starting in six months, a regular part-time job or another source of regular income-with a minimum annual income of $12,000. Co-signers and co-applicants are not permitted.

Loan uses: Upstart’s personal loans can be used for credit card and other debt consolidation, special events, moving and relocation, medical and dental costs and home improvements. In contrast to many other traditional and online lenders, Upstart also lets borrowers use personal loan funds to cover educational expenses (except in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Washington and the District of Columbia).

Turnaround time: Upstart provides next-business day funding for borrowers whose loans are accepted before 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. Loans that are approved after 5 p.m. are typically funded the following business day, or the day after that. That said, Upstart reports that 99% of loan applicants receive their money one business day after accepting their loan terms. Loans for education-related expenses may take up to an additional three business days after loan acceptance.

We reviewed 18 popular lenders based on 14 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process

  • Compare the top-end range of interest rates. Because interest rates largely depend on your qualifying credit score, you’re likely to land a rate at the top end of the range with bad credit. So, when comparing personal loans for people with bad credit, be sure to compare the maximum rate.
  • If possible, prequalify with a provider. Several providers offer the opportunity to prequalify you for a personal loan. This means you can submit details like your income information, desired loan use installment loan companies Idaho and housing situation to learn about potential loan limits, rates and repayment options. Prequalifying also only requires a soft credit check, which doesn’t hurt your credit score, so you can safely find the best rates.
  • Check for additional fees. Some personal loan providers charge no origination fees, late payment fees or prepayment penalties. However, there are some that may charge all or some of these fees. When comparing bad credit personal loans, be sure to look at the fee structure beyond the potential interest rate you can receive.
  • Evaluate the lender’s customer support options. If you’ve found a lender, there’s one more thing to consider before signing the loan agreement. While customer support may not seem like a big deal, it can make a huge difference if you encounter issues with payments or face a financial hardship during your repayment period. Review the lender’s customer service resources and read reviews to make sure it’s a good fit.

Methodology

We chose lenders that have a minimum credit score requirement of 600 or lower and ranked them based on the weighting assigned to each category: