If you have bad credit, having access to different financing options can undoubtedly be a daunting task.
Lenders check your credit report to be sure that you won’t default before approving your loan application.
In other words, lousy credit can be a sign that you’re likely to default in your loan payment, and lenders might use it as a reason for denying you an installment loan.
There are dozens of loans out there. Unlike most loans, installment loans are meant to offer short-term financing options for unprecedented emergencies.
Typically, installment loans are designed to be paid in fixed monthly installments based on the amount you borrowed, period, APR, and repayment terms.
An installment loan for bad credit can take a period anywhere between 90 days and seven years. At the same time, the loan amounts can range from $2000 to $40,000 depending on the lender.
One notable element about installments is that they tend to be more flexible and more accessible for most consumers.
However, having a less-than-stellar score can be an instant disqualifying factor for your installment loan application.
Installment loan stats
Before applying for this loan, it is imperative to fulfill the following requirements and comprehend the loan requirements.
You’ll need to have:
- Age evidence of at least 18 years
- Social security number
- Valid contact information and address
- Bank details
- Proof of income
- APR or at most 36%
- Agree to pay the loan within the stipulated period
Pros of installment loans
Flexible payment terms
An installment loan has repayment terms made clear by the loan issuer.
You’ll know the principal and interest payments in advance and exactly how much you should pay.
This will enable you to prepare your budget appropriately and repay the loan in good time
Building your credit report
If the loan issuer reports account activity to the three credit bureaus, making timely payments will work to your leverage.
As long as you avoid delinquencies, making timely payments will add positive activity to your credit report, which will, in turn, improve your credit score.
In many cases, the APRs are less than other types of loans like personal lines of credit, payday loans, and personal loans.
The 36% APR is mostly flexible compared to other loan types whose APR can go way beyond this threshold.
Lower monthly payments
More extended repayment periods mean you’ll be making lower monthly payments.
A longer amortization of about 15 years means each monthly payment will be affordable and more comfortable with making.
Besides, getting approval for your installment loan will take at most two weeks.
Some consumers have reported getting money as early as one day after applying without using lots of documentation.
As a result, the application process is quick and the extended repayment period means you’ll have sufficient time to clear all payments without much hassle.
Cons of installment loans
Limited provision for revision
While an installment loan offers flexible payment terms, the provision to revise the loan terms is limited.
Once you accept and sign all papers, making other changes and changing a re-approval regarding the loan or fees may prove futile.
The extended repayment period means you have sufficient time to clear the payments. Still, you’ll also incur hundreds of dollars in interest rates and additional costs.
If you are not cautious of the interest rates, credit check fees, prepayment, and finance fees, these charges could end up piling tremendously.
Remember that installment loans are mainly designed for consumers experiencing unprecedented financial emergencies.
If something comes up along the way and you’re unable to make timely monthly payments, your account activity will tank your credit score.
Multiple delinquencies will drop your credit score dramatically and cripple your ability to access loans with friendly interest rates in the future.
How to choose an installment loan
With dozens of installment loan providers, choosing the ideal one can be a daunting task.
Qualifying for an installment loan is the first step, but selecting one that suits your specific fiscal needs relies on the factors listed below
Choose a term that makes your monthly payments controllable.
The longer the payment term, the less you’ll pay monthly, but you’ll incur a lot in interest charges.
On the other hand, a short repayment period means you’ll pay a massive amount per month, but the interest rates will be minimal in the long term.
Depending on the loan term that suits your business needs, you should calculate your monthly payments then choose the ideal one.
Understand interest rates and fees
Some loan issuers charge an origination fee that spans between 1% and 6% of the loan amount.
Other loan issuers charge a prepayment fee for making an early prepayment.
At the same time, these charges come with annual percentage rates ranging between 6% and 36%.
Overall, don’t agree to sign the papers before reading through the fine print and understanding all the charges and interest rates.
The impact of installment loans on your credit
Installment loans can work to your leverage or plunge you into problems, depending on your utilization.
In general terms, installment loans cover your immediate financial requirements while giving you the chance to show financial responsibility by making timely payments.
If you fail to consistently pay on time, the defaulted activity will be reported to the three credit bureaus, and it can severely drop your credit score.
One way to ensure you’re on track is by setting up automated account debits. This payment method often comes with some perks such as positive account activity and APR discounts that some lenders might offer to consumers.
Risks with installment loans
Most loan issuers offering installment loans for bad credit have risk-free policies, especially if you’re borrowing for the first time.
If you had borrowed an installment loan from previously, and you had a good repayment history that wasn’t documented, try contacting them to make your application easier.
Although there are hidden charges associated with some lenders offering installment loans for bad credit, such type of loans are mostly risk-free.
Best Guaranteed Installment Loans for Bad Credit
A nether credit rating shouldn’t worry you since you can still qualify for an installment loan.
After scouring the market for the best installment loans for bad credit, below are the top three loans you might want to consider.
Money Mutual has been in business for a decade and has served over 2 million consumers.
One notable thing about this installment loan issuer is that borrowers don’t get money directly from the company.
Instead, you fill out an application form on their website, after which the system helps you find an ideal match with lenders who might be a perfect fit.
Money mutual stats
- A straightforward application form that’s filled out online
- Disbarment period of at most 24 hours
- A loan amount that goes up to $2,500
This loan issuer gives you a platform to relate solely with lenders that issue loans to people with bad credit.
You’ll need to have monthly earnings of at least $1000 after charges and have legitimate contact information that matches the records in an active checking account.
- Loan amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000
- The loan issuer deposits funds to your bank account directly
- It takes one business day for your money to appear in the account after approval
PersonalLoans.com will give you access to loan issuers that provide loans ranging from $1,000 and going as much as $35,000.
You can complete the application form and see your account credited within a day.
- 24-hour approval period
- Access to financing even if you have bad credit
- A repayment period between 3-72 months
- Interest rates can be as low as 6%
Guaranteed short-term loans for bad credit
While installment loans are ideal for somewhat significant purchases like a vehicle or a house, short-term loans enable you to meet small financial obligations.
Unlike conventional installment loans, short-term loans have limited repayment cycles.
Typically, repayment periods vary depending on the loan issuer, but most span within 3 to 6 months.
At the same time, you could find some cash advance loans with repayment periods of up to 7 days.
Short-term loans work pretty much the same way as other medium and long-term loans, with the only difference being the repayment period.
You’ll be given a lump sum upfront, and you’ll have to repay the amount within the given period.
Unlike other loans that have a repayment frequency of two weeks or one month, you’ll be required to make weekly payments over a short period.
Besides, short-term loans have high-interest rates, but one notable element is that consumers end up paying much less than they would with a conventional loan.
While short-term loans are excellent for people with bad credit, you should be careful of the interest rates and hidden charges.
Lenders often prefer liquidity over credit history when assessing your creditworthiness for a short term loan.
Before settling on a specific interest rate, however, lenders will peek at your credit history to determine the amount you’ll accrue in interests.
When should you take a short-term loan?
Without a doubt, short-term loans sky-high payment terms.
If you have a financial need that you want to settle pretty quickly, a short-term loan can be an ideal way to finance the venture.
A short-term loan can be an ideal way to purchase small equipment and meet necessities that would have otherwise interrupted business transactions.
One notable perk of short-term loans is the foreseeability. In other words, you can conclusively predict the state of your business in the next 24 months better than you would if you were told to tell how the finances would be in 10 years.
That said, it’s only viable to take a short-term loan when you feel you have no other options. This is because the cumulative repayment cost is usually significant, and penalties for delinquencies are severe.
If you have bad credit and you default in your repayment, your credit score will not only drop, but you’ll end up paying much money in charges.
Genuine scenarios where a short-term loan is viable is when you have to probably clear impending invoices or fulfill a critical pending business order
Pros of short-term loans for bad credit
- Simple application process
The application process of a short-term loan is straightforward, especially if you opt for online options.
Provided you can access the web; you can apply at the comfort of your home
- Fast approval
Short-term loans for bad credit get approved within 24 hours of application.
While other applications might take slightly longer than this period, you won’t have to wait for decades for the money to appear in your account.
- Available for people with bad credit
Without a doubt, you can get a short-term loan even if you have bad credit.
Keep in mind that lenders often prefer liquidity to your credit history when assessing your ability to repay the loan.
As long as you have income and no other defaulted payday loans, you’ll be good to go.
Cons of short-term loans for bad credit
- Limited amount
While short-term loans are generally suitable for emergencies, you can only borrow a small amount of money.
The upper threshold is usually around $2,000, but if you’re borrowing for the first time, you might get allocated an amount lower than this limit.
Once you prove to the creditor that you have good financial habits, however, you’ll find your loan amount increased up to close to $10,000.
- High interest rates
Short-term loans come with incredible flexibility, but you’ll have to pay a considerable price in terms of interest rates.
With as high as 400% above the market rate, interest rates for short-term loans can pile up in the tune of hundreds of dollars.
Top short-term loans for bad credit
BadCreditLoans.com has been in business since 1998.
It bridges the gap between consumers and operational institutions that give short-term loans.
With loan amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 and repayment periods that go as long as 36 months, loans offered by this creditor are ideal for someone with bad credit.
Like most loan issuers, CashAdvance.com links lenders with potential consumers based on their financial needs and creditworthiness.
Applying is easily done online, and loan amounts range from $100 to $1000 depending on the lender.
Best “Credit Card” loans for bad credit
While your credit score is just a three-digit number, it is a facet of your financial health and a representation of how well you use credit.
Along with other factors, your credit rating determines whether or not lenders will accept your application.
Having a low credit score can make it difficult for you to get credit, but it’s not always the determining factor.
If you’re searching for such a card, you need to consider a couple of elements.
First, you should determine the kind of credit card you want and whether you intend to use it for daily transactions or build your credit.
For instance, if you’re looking for a card that offers cash backs and rewards on purchases, one with a low APR will be ideal.
Besides, you should consider the kind of cards whose probability to qualify for is high. Credit cards designed for people with excellent credit might be hard to get, so you shouldn’t waste time applying for such.
Remember that applying for new cards can eat out a few of your points through a credit inquiry. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid applying for several cards simultaneously since it won’t do you any good.
At the same time, you might consider secured credit cards on which you place some deposit as security. Typically, you’ll have to deposit at least $20, depending on the loan issuer, to secure the credit card despite having bad credit.
The great news is that secured credit cards are designed for people with limited or bad credit history; hence applying can be a little less daunting.
Tips for choosing a credit card for bad credit
It’s unsurprising to find credit cards for bad credit charging exorbitant fees.
While card issuers boast that you can apply without deposit, they often hit you with maintenance fees, annual charges, and other expenses that can hit more than $120.
Good cards have reasonably modest annual fees and no obscured charges. While you can pay a deposit, you can be sure to get that money back.
Credit bureau activity
A credit card will help you establish credit only if it sends data to the three financial agencies.
Look for a credit card issuer that sends all your transactions to the financial agencies.
Besides, remember that you have to make timely payments and maintain your credit utilization below 33%, so you get good account activity reported.
In addition to other annual and monthly maintenance charges, being charged to retrieve your credit score can pile up the costs in the long term.
Ideally, a good credit card issuer should give you resources like debt calculators and informative resources that will help you track your fiscal health.
Once you start seeing progress in your credit score, it would be great to get a card with better terms.
If you have a secured credit card, moving to an unsecured card will offer you fringe benefits that will undoubtedly favor you.
How to compare different installment loan issuers
If you have multiple loan options, choosing the best and most affordable loan can be a daunting task.
With various loan terms, monthly payments, and timing, finding the best once can be confusing.
There are some primary considerations to make when considering and analyzing loan terms.
Evaluate your options and select one with the shortest loan term available for you.
While a short term loan may increase your monthly payments, you’ll find yourself paying a smaller amount in the long term.
Although experts argue that short-term loans are expensive, most consumers report that they end up paying less with a short-term loan than a long-term loan.
The APR is one of the critical considerations to make when shopping around for the best loan.
For several loans, analyzing the interest rates is reasonable. Still, the APR is a cumulative figure worth consideration.
It includes all fees and is a better way to determine how much the loan will cost you in the long run.
However, for some variable loans, comparing different interest rates might be daunting, so the comparison is whether you can handle the constant interest rate variations.
With an installment loan, the monthly payment is a fixed amount that’s easy to budget.
If you’re considering a credit card, you should be sure to pay more than the minimum amount, so you don’t fail to make progress I paying off your debt.
The meaning of “Guaranteed Credit.”
If you’re looking for a loan and you have bad credit, you might find offers that promise to give you instant credit despite your credit score.
The truth is that no lender can approve your loan application without examining your credit score.
Among other factors, loan issuers examine your credit score, income, and credit utilization before approving your application.
“Guaranteed Credit” is common with car dealers that offer their tailored financing.
These loan offers aren’t necessarily scams, but it’s essential to examine them with a keen eye.
While they sometimes offer flexible repayment terms, you may end up paying much more in interest rates and annual charges.
It’s essential to shop around to see if you can get loans with favorable interest rates to avoid burdening yourself.
Your credit score
You’ve probably been wondering why so much importance is attached to the three-digit number.
When you’re scouring the market for a loan, lenders will want to check your credit score to determine your creditworthiness.
Your credit score is a facet of the appropriateness with which you utilize credit.
If you have a low score, it can indicate that you haven’t heard good credit history in the past, or you’ve had zero credit history.
A high credit score, in contrast, shows you’ve had good use of your credit and that you’re less risky to potential loan issuers.
In a bid to win you over, financial institutions will give you favorable interest rates and flexible payment terms.
Credit scoring models vary with institutions. At a glance, here’s how the scores look when broken down:
- Above 799: Perfect
- 740 – 799: Exceptionally good
- 670 – 739: Good
- 580 – 669: Average
- Below 580: Poor
Since you won’t have to secure personal loans with collateral, getting them with bad credit can be challenging.
According to MyFICO.com, over 60% of people with a score of below 580 end up with defaulted payments.
If your score falls below this threshold, it’s better if you started working to build your credit so that you qualify for friendly loan terms.
If you’re looking for a loan with bad credit, payday loans might seem to be a good fit, but it’s ideal to avoid these terms since they often snatch your control of debt.
According to CFCB, more than 80% of such loans are rolled over to new loans and can be overwhelming for borrowers to pay them off.
The report also indicated that approximately 15% of payday loans are associated with a credit pecking order of at least 10.
Borrowers end up borrowing until they find themselves in an endless cycle of debt.
Improving your credit score
Rather than waiting for your credit score to drop then shopping for bad credit loans, it’s essential to start working on improving your credit score.
Watch your utilization
Your loan usage is the second most important element in credit score calculation.
Since it makes up slightly over a third pf your total score, a high credit utilization ration can prevent you from getting good loans.
Overall it’s crucial to maintain this utilization ratio below 33%.
Making timely monthly payments contributes significantly to improving your credit score and building your report.
Your payment history takes up over a third of your credit score and is a critical factor.
A history of timely payments will show potential lenders that you are discipline to pay your bills without defaulting.
Diversify your credit
Having a mix of credit will show loan issuers that you can handle credit well.
If you have a business loan, you can consider other loan options that might suit you, like a personal loan.
Loan issuers like to see a broad diversity of credit, and it accounts for up to 10% of your score.
Bad credit makes getting new loans difficult yet possible.
If your score is significantly low, you should brace yourself to pay much more in interests.
Overall, working to improve your score before taking out a loan is the best actionable strategy.