Did you know that 50% of Americans have less than $500 in the bank… and that over 48 million Americans cannot get a loan because they have bad credit? This is a nightmare that thousands of people have to face every day when they need money urgently but they cannot borrow it while also searching for guaranteed installment loans.
Are you in the same boat? You are not alone, because we are here to bring you hope and a solution, thanks to our ranking of the best bad credit installment loans of 2023.
If you want money urgently to cover any type of emergency or expense, now you can do it by borrowing cash from our selected lenders. Let’s show you how you can do it right now.
Top 5 Personal Installment Loans for Bad Credit: Get Yours Now
Here you have our ranking so you can request your loan right now - find it below to apply for your installment loan now:
Viva Payday Loans: Overall Choice for Bad Credit Installment Loans
Credit Clock: Fast Loans
Big Buck Loans: for Bad Credit
Heart Paydays: Broker for Bad Credit Installment Loans
Low Credit Finance: Borrowers with No Credit History
Just choose the option from our ranking that better matches your needs and goals, click on the name and apply for the loan on their website.
If you want to know more about each lender before applying for a loan, then our reviews are going to help you with that. Find the reviews and individual analysis below.
Viva Payday Loans: Overall Choice for Bad Credit Installment Loans
Viva Payday Loans is our best choice for bad credit installment loans because it allows you to borrow up to $5,000 USD and brings you the choice to pay it back in as many as 24 months - the ideal combo.
The approval rate for bad credit borrowers is amongst the highest in the industry, bringing you a solid chance at getting approved. And since the application process is smooth and easy, you can request it in 5 minutes or less. They’re one of the most inclusive lenders in the US.
They also keep the paperwork at a minimum, making it much easier for you to get the money you need for any type of situation or emergency.
They also keep the prices low, even for bad credit loans that tend to be a lot more expensive. Viva Payday Loans protects its customers like you, because you deserve a chance to get a loan at a fair price.
Furthermore, the customer support is incredible and they will bring you access to other products once you become a responsible user by paying the loan in time.
All in all, Viva Payday Loans is our #1 choice because it scores high in all the areas that matter, so you can get an excellent bad credit installment loan.
However, keep in mind that Viva Payday Loans is not available in all states, but this is actually a sign of a legit company. Because they’re only available in the states they have a license to operate in.
Credit Clock: Fast Loans
Credit Clock honors its name by giving the fastest bad credit installment loans, because they usually only take 5 hours to credit your account (once you’ve been approved). In an industry where most lenders take anywhere from 24 to 48 business hours, Credit Clock is surely the Formula 1 from the segment.
On top of bringing the fastest loans in this segment, they also keep the APR and fees low. And just like Viva Payday Loans, you can also request up to $5,000 USD - making it ideal for different types of situations.
The only thing we’d improve here is the customer support department. It’s competent, but when compared to Viva Payday Loans, it’s noticeably slower.
Big Buck Loans: Bad Credit
If your credit is absolutely bad, there’s nothing to worry about because Big Buck Loans is ready to help you even with a credit score in the 300 points range. That’s why we’ve tagged it as the best option for bad credit, because they have the highest approval rate for applications with the lowest credit score.
Just like Viva Payday Loans, they’re ready to bring you up to $5,000 that you can pay in 2 to 24 months. You will have plenty of flexibility for managing your loan.
The application process is beginner friendly and smooth - even if you’re never requested an online loan before, you’ll find that Big Buck Loans makes the process as easy as possible.
The only con of Big Buck Loans is that they take longer to approve your application and deposit the loan amount in your account, when compared to Viva Payday Loans or Credit Clock.
Heart Paydays: Broker for Bad Credit Installment Loans
If you want to get a bad credit installment loan from a direct lender, then Heart Paydays is an excellent broker that won’t disappoint. Since it has a massive pool of available lenders, you can freely navigate it to find your next loan.
Thanks to the massive pool of lenders, you can compare different offers and pick the one that better meets your needs. Be it a lower APR, a larger period for paying the loan back, or a higher loan amount, Heart Paydays makes it possible for you to find the ideal bad credit installment loan.
However, keep in mind that it could take longer to get your loan approved since the application needs to be reviewed and approved by the direct lender.
Low Credit Finance: For Borrowers with No Credit History
If you have bad credit and a very small credit history, then chances are most of the lenders you’ve tried have denied your application. However, you have nothing to worry about because Low Credit Finance is ready to lend you up to $5,000 USD even in this situation.
Low Credit Finance understands that not all people have a good credit score and that this shouldn’t be used as a barrier that prevents them from getting a short term loan. They’re here to help, with a higher approval rate for borrowers with bad credit and a short credit history.
Furthermore, since you can request as much as $5,000 USD for any purpose, you can use it to improve your credit score and build your credit history.
However, keep in mind that the APR tends to be a bit higher than our other recommended lenders and brokers, but it’s a fair price to pay for the chance to get a loan.
How to Apply for a Bad Credit Installment Loan in 5 Steps
It’s okay if you don’t know how to apply for a bad credit installment loan online, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here’s how you can do it in only 5 steps:
Select a lender from our ranking
Go to their website
Fill out the application form
Submit your application for review
Wait for the approval and receive the money in your account!
The process is straightforward because we have only selected lenders that make the application process as simple as possible. You need money right now and we’ve done our best to make sure that you get it fast if you’re approved.
What Are Bad Credit Installment Loans?
They are like the classic installment loans that you can pay over several months, but these ones are especially designed for customers with bad credit. If you have a credit score that is in the poor or fair category, then a bad credit installment loan might bring you the funding you need right now.
You can pay these loans over several months, being the most usual range from 6 to 36 months. However, some of our lenders will allow you to pay it back in as much as 60 months. This makes bad credit installment loans a great choice, because you get plenty of flexibility and freedom to handle the loan expenses.
Furthermore, since you can pay the loan over several months, the limits tend to be higher as opposed to quick loans or payday loans. Here you will be able to get over $1,000 easily, even with bad credit.
In essence, this is what bad credit installment loans are, and you can see in our ranking, they are a great choice for solving any emergency or fund a project, since you get higher limits and the flexibility to pay it back over several months.
The Pros and Cons of Bad Credit Installment Loans
We can vouch for the loans we recommend, but because our end goal is to help you make the best decision, we need to share with you the pros and cons of these installment loans. Here you have our complete revision.
Let’s explore the multiple advantages that our recommended installment loans can bring you:
Get Money Now: Our lenders are ready to review your application fast, and if approved, they will credit your bank account as soon as possible with the money you need.
Pay It Back at Your Own Pace: You can pay these loans over several months, anywhere from 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 or even 60 months - bringing you the opportunity to pay it back at your own pace.
Use It As You Please: Be it for a last-minute emergency, paying your tuition fees, investing in your business or any other purpose, you can use these loans as you please, making them perfect for any situation where you need money now.
High Limits: If you need more than a $500 loan, then a bad credit installment loan from our recommended companies is what you need. You will get access to higher limits to request as much money as you need and the lenders are willing to lend you.
Access to More Products: By getting a bad credit installment loan and paying it back on time, you will open yourself to more and better financial products. Be it credit limits or installment loans with a lower APR, all of this might be possible if you request your loan now and pay it responsibly.
Improve Your Credit Score: If you want to improve your credit score, then our recommended loans are a great way to accomplish it. By paying on time, you will create a positive credit record and activity that will contribute towards increasing your score.
The advantages are more than clear, and the wise action here is to request your loan a soon as possible because our recommended companies are ready to review your application now.
These loans are great as you can easily see - but there are two disadvantages worth mentioning:
Higher Cost: This is the inevitable truth about bad credit installment loans, they are more expensive than regular loans, but we’ve taken all the necessary steps to only select the companies with the lowest APR and fees to make your bad credit loan as affordable as possible.
Penalties: All lenders will punish you in some way if you don’t pay on time, but when it comes to bad credit loans, the monetary penalties tend to be more severe.
With only 2 cons that you can overcome by shopping for the cheapest lender from our list and by paying on time, the benefits are more than evident and they bring you strong reasons to apply for your bad credit installment loan right now.
Verdict: Is it a good idea to apply for a bad credit installment loan?
Yes, it’s a good idea because it’s a fast way to get the money you need while paying the loan over several months with a fair APR and low fees. Furthermore, since you can request more money than a common payday loan or other products for bad credit customers, it’s an excellent choice for handling any type of emergency or project.
Our Selection Process for Building the Ranking of Guaranteed Bad Credit Installment Loans
Building this ranking has been an extensive, demanding and exhausting experience - but it’s been worth it because we’ve been able to identify the real best bad credit installment loans of 2023. Here you will find all the details on how we did it, to bring you enough reasons to trust this ranking.
Phase 1: Checking the Company Background
We begin our selection process by answering the following questions:
Is the lender registered in the states it does business in?
Does it have a good number of positive reviews and ratings?
Does it have a clean record?
If we can answer these 3 questions with a solid yes after doing our research, then we move on with the next phases. Because this will mean that it’s a reputable and legal lender, however, there’s still more to check to see if it’s a good choice.
Phase 2: Analyze the Bad Credit Installment Loan Offer
If the lender is legal and reputable, then we proceed to check their bad credit installment loan offer, to see if it’s a good product. However, it’s worth noting that we will also analyze other aspects of it in the following phases.
Here you have the elements we check during this phase of the selection process:
How much can you borrow?
Over how many months can you pay the loan?
Does it allow you to pay off the loan in full early?
An installment loan should bring you higher limits, and hence, we only select lenders that are willing to bring you $5,000+ USD, so you can use the money for any type of emergency or project.
Furthermore, because the essence of a proper installment loan is to be able to pay it over several months, it should bring you at least 12 months to pay the loan back. However, some of our options can easily give you up to 36, 48 or even 60 months.
Finally, we also make sure that the lender will allow you to repay the installment loan in full earlier than agreed, but without consequences. Our recommended loans will bring you the freedom you need without penalties.
Phase 3: Check the Eligibility Requirements
If the loan offer is solid and generous for you, then we proceed to check the eligibility requirements. Since we are talking about bad credit installment loans, these have to be minimal, so you can have a high chance of getting approved - here is what we check:
Do they have a minimum credit score requirement?
Do they require a verifiable income source?
Do they check the debt-to-income ratio?
We focus on the most “complex” eligibility requirements because the other ones are being a US citizen or permanent resident, being at least 18 years old or having an active bank account.
During this phase we verify that the verifiable income source requirement is fair and realistic, so you can request the money you need and stand a firm chance at getting your application approved.
When it comes to the credit score and debt-to-income ratio requirement, since we are recommending bad credit loans, we only select lenders that are the most understanding and generous in this aspect. It means that they will accept a credit score as low as 300 points or even a high debt-to-income ratio, as long as you have a solid verifiable income source.
However, keep in mind that even though we’ve made it sure to keep the credit score and debt-to-income ratio requirements as low as possible, it does not mean that your application will be instantly approved, despite having a high chance of getting approved.
We will take this opportunity to tell you to stay away from any lender that advertises guaranteed approval installment loans for bad credit, because no reputable company can offer it. Every single application has the possibility of being rejected due to not meeting a requirement such as having a verifiable income source.
Phase 4: Review the Loan Terms and Contract
If the company is reputable, the loan offer is generous and the eligibility requirements are easy to satisfy, then it’s time to review the loan terms and the contract… which is the most demanding and complex phase of the selection process.
If the contract is clear and does not contain “trap” clauses or terms that might affect you as a borrower, then we approve it and proceed to review the other factors.
Phase 5: Check the APR and Fees
Regardless of how good a lender is, bad credit installment loans are going to be more expensive than regular installment loans - because there’s a higher risk that the borrower will not pay back the loan. However, we’ve made it sure to pick the lenders with the lowest APR and fees, to keep your loan cost as affordable as possible.
Phase 6: Analyze the Approval Speed
Since our main focus is ensuring that we are only recommending installment loans that have a high approval rate for bad credit customers and offer them good conditions, we leave the approval speed for phase 6. Here’s how we analyze this aspect:
How easy it is to submit the application - the easier and faster, the better
Quality of the software used to review the application
In general, our recommended lenders will analyze your application fast and then proceed to notify you if you’ve been approved as soon as possible. And when it comes to depositing the loan funds, it can take up to 24 hours.
Phase 7: Test the Customer Support Service
To conclude with our selection process, we proceed to test the customer support service. It’s important for a competent lender to offer quick answers and effective solutions to the questions or problems you might experience. That’s why we verify that our lenders can bring it by checking the following factors:
Number of customer support channels: live chat, email, phone and forum
Ensure that there’s 24/7 availability
Make sure that the response time is fast
Only select the lender with a capable customer support team that can bring clear answers and solutions.
How to Choose the Perfect Bad Credit Installment Loan
You already have the ranking but you might not know how to pick the perfect option - and here’s why we are here to show you how. Follow our instructions and you will be able to select the best option from our ranking for your specific needs and goals.
How much do you need to borrow?
This is the first step you need to take, because you have to choose a lender based on how much money you need to borrow. Our recommended lenders have high limits, but some of them are willing to lend you more money than others, so you should start by analyzing this factor.
How much time will you need to pay it back?
Each lender will allow you to pay the loan over a fixed set of several months. Some top up at 24, while others can bring you as many as 60 months to pay the loan back. Use this to pick the ideal lender for you.
Compare the loan cost
Once you’ve found 2 or more lenders that can bring you the money you need and will allow you to pay it back within your desired number of months, it’s time to compare the APR and fees. This final phase should allow you to identify the perfect lender for you.
Compare additional benefits
In case you still have 2 or more available lenders, you can use the additional benefits to pick the best option. Be it access to new products, better APR under certain circumstances or even prizes, use this to choose your ideal bad credit installment loan.
Do Bad Credit Installment Loans Affect Your Credit Score?
Yes, they can affect your credit score positively or negatively - it depends on how responsible you are at the hour of paying the installments on the agreed date. Even if you’re late with only 1 payment, it’s more than enough to decrease your credit score even more. You don’t have to allow this to happen - create a payment schedule right after receiving your loan.
Now, considering that you will pay on time, here’s how a bad credit installment loan will affect your credit score positively:
Since 35% of your credit score will be calculated based on your payment history, paying your bad credit installment loan on time will have a massive positive effect. Now, you can either pay on the due date, or if you prefer, you can pay some days earlier, in order to allow you to manage the loan better.
If you pay your installment loan on time, then you will be happy to know that it will stay in your credit report as a closed account in good standing. They will have a great positive effect on your credit score.
Paying it on time will open you the doors to more financial products with better conditions, which at the same time, will help you to keep repairing and improving your credit score.
If you want to speed up the process even more, then you should consider hiring a credit repair company, or simply dispute the incorrect information on your credit report on your own, because if the negative item is removed from it, then your credit score will increase considerably. However, keep in mind that this process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
The Best Alternatives to Low Credit Installment Loans
If you have decided that installment loans will not help your particular situation, then you should explore the following alternatives.
If you have a credit card then you can use it to get a cash advance - only call your credit card company and ask for it. Even though being approved for this type of “loan” is subject to approval, it’s a great way to get quick cash to cover any emergency. However, the APR and fees tend to be quite high, and you can usually only get small amounts of money, especially if you have bad credit.
On the other hand, our recommended installment loans have a lower APR, less fees and you can request more money, be it $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 or even more. Therefore, now it will be easy for you to choose: if you have a credit card and you only need a few hundred dollars, then a cash advance is a good option, but if you need more money and you want to pay it over several months, then an installment loan is the perfect product for you.
If you only want to borrow a maximum of $1,000 USD, you want to pay it as soon as possible and you’re currently employed, then a payday loan might be a good choice for you. These lenders usually accept people with bad credit, making it possible to obtain it. You will have to pay it all in one payment, the next day after you receive your paycheck.
However, you need to consider that these loans come attached to a higher APR, more expensive fees and stricter late payment penalties. Furthermore, they don’t usually lend more than $1,000 USD, bringing you limited opportunities for using the loan.
If you want to see if a payday loan will be better for you than an installment loan, then it’s easy: just compare the pros and cons and the answer will be clear to you.
Line of Credit
You could also opt for a line of credit, because they are more flexible and tend to have cheaper interest than a conventional credit card. If you can qualify for this option, then you should go for it, but the hard thing here is being approved for it with bad credit.
Unfortunately, a line of credit will have strict requirements, amongst which is a good credit score, a solid credit history and a verifiable source of income. However, there are some lenders that might approve your application even if you have bad credit, but this will be discussed in another ranking.
Secured Personal Loan
If you have an asset that you can use as a collateral - be it a property, a car, jewelry, etc. - then you could apply for a secured personal loan. Since you will be leaving a valuable item as a guarantee that you will pay back, your application will have a high probability of being approved, even if you have bad credit.
These loans usually offer a lower APR, less fees and better overall conditions than a regular bad credit installment loan, but if you don’t pay the loan on time, then the lender will have the full rights to keep your item.
If you don’t want to risk a valuable asset of yours, then the better choice is clear: you should apply for a bad credit installment loan from our ranking.
If you want to explore more details about our recommended bad credit installment loans, then here you have concise answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Are installment loans good for bad credit?
Yes, because you can use them to improve your credit score by paying on time. It’s important to remember that your recent credit activity will contribute towards calculating your score, and if you pay on time, then you will start building a stronger credit history that will bring you access to better loans in the future.
Are bad credit installment loans the same as payday loans?
No, payday loans are not the same as bad credit installment loans. Payday loans usually top off at $1,000 USD and you have to pay it all the next day after you receive your paycheck, and you will be subject to a higher APR. On other hand, a bad credit installment loan will allow you to borrow more money - be it $5000, $10,000 or even more - you can pay it in installments over several months and the APR is usually lower.
What are the consequences of defaulting on an installment loan?
If you default on a bad credit installment loan, then your credit score will be affected negatively, and you will have to face severe penalty fees. Furthermore, if you used a collateral to get the loan, then the lender will have the right to keep it. Therefore, you need to be sure that you will be able to pay off the loan on time, otherwise the consequences will hurt your finances even more.
Do bad credit installment loans check your credit?
It depends on the lender. Some of them will perform a credit check while others will not, but since we are talking about bad credit installment loans, you can get approved even with poor credit, because they will place more importance on factors such as your income source, employment, credit activity, assets, etc.
Do bad credit installment loans work for debt consolidation?
Yes, our recommended installment loans are an excellent solution for debt consolidation. If you have multiple loans/credit products and you want to group them all, then our listed companies can help you, so you only have to focus on paying only one bill.
Can you pay off a bad credit installment loan earlier than agreed?
Yes, our recommended lenders have favorable terms for early repayment, so you won’t have to deal with early repayment penalties nor other consequences. We are here to help you, and that’s why you will have the chance to decrease the total cost of your loan by paying it off earlier. And unlike other loans like payday loans, you can truly take advantage of early repayment.
Can you get a bad credit installment loan if you are unemployed?
Yes, you can still get it even if you are unemployed, but you will need to prove that you have a consistent income source that will bring the lender the certainty that you will pay the loan back on time. Our lenders will accept alternative income sources as long as they meet their own requirements.