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Compare Installment Loans for Bad Credit in June 2023

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Did you know that a third of Americans have a credit score lower than 600? Do you currently suffer from poor credit and require a loan? Explore installment loans for bad credit, what they’re used for, and when. Read on to learn more about these loans so you can prevent more debt.

Where Can You Get an Installment Loan?

You can get an installment loan either through a credit union, bank, or an online application.

Some of the best nstallment loans online for poor credit are the following:

  • Upstart

  • Upgrade

  • OneMain Financial

  • Avant


Upstart is a good option for those who have shorter credit histories and is great for those who are looking for a longer-term loan.


  • Quick funding
  • Accepts borrowers who are new to credit


  • There’s no co-sign option
  • There’s no secured option


Upgrade is an option for building your credit with loan terms of 36-60 months, but you’ll need a strong cash flow.


  • Hardship plans
  • Credit building tools
  • Will pay creditors directly for debt consolidation


  • Late fees
  • Origination fees

One Main Financial

OneMain Financial is another option for those with poor credit. It does come with higher origination and starting rates.


  • You can check your credit score for free
  • Quick funding
  • Secured loan options
  • Joint options


  • High rates
  • You might have an origination fee
  • The origination fees do vary by state


Avant is for those with lower incomes and credit scores.


  • You don’t have repayment fees
  • You can have a lower credit score
  • There are refinancing options


  • Doesn’t offer direct payments to creditors for debt consolidation
  • No secured loans
  • No co-sign options

Who Else Offers Installment Loans?

You can take out installment loans from your local bank, credit union, or online. A quick and easy way to find installment loans is online through a verified website.  If you’re looking for no credit check, you can try the websites OppLoans and Oportun. Credit unions tend to have lower rates than online options, but you’ll need to become a member first.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an installment loan?

Installment loans are an option for those looking to borrow all at once and then repay in monthly installments. When you’re looking for installment loans online for less than perfect credit, a lender will take into account how much you make, monthly transactions, and your current debt. An example of an installment loan is a home mortgage. You’ll be expected to pay a certain amount on established dates until it’s paid off. Before signing, ensure you read the entire contract. If you have poor credit especially, you want to make sure you’ll be able to afford the entire loan amount within the time established. If you can’t pay your poor credit installment loans on time, it can impact your credit score.

What is considered bad credit?

A poor credit score varies from lender to lender. Home mortgage lenders tend to consider anything under 620 a poor credit score. Other lenders can consider a score that’s 640-680 to not be ideal.  Poor credit can impact your life such as halting you from getting that dream car or home.

You might find it hard to:

  • Obtain affordable car insurance
  • Have cell phone contracts
  • Secure student loans

Credit bands are typically batched in the following manner:

  • Excellent credit tends to be considered 800-850
  • Very good credit is normally 740-799
  • Good credit is 670-739
  • Fair credit is 580-669
  • Poor credit is under 580

Can I get an installment loan with bad credit?

While it’s harder to get a loan with poor credit, an installment loan may be possible. Lenders will check your credit score, the money you make, and employment. Your credit score normally isn’t factored in whether you’ll be approved or not. There are even specific installment loans that are made for those with poor credit. Some personal installment loans might be what’s known as secured loans. Secured means you’ll have collateral the lender can seize if you don’t pay. Whereas an unsecured loan does not have that setup. Keep in mind that with poor credit, you might have higher interest rates with loans.

How do installment loans work?

Installment loans work by having you repay the loan with installments or regularly scheduled payments. You’ll need to pay toward the principal amount plus interest. The amount of the loan payment depends on the interest rate, length of the loan, and amount of it. Some examples of installment loans are personal, mortgage, and auto loans. They tend to have lower interest rates and flexible terms. Disadvantages include loss of collateral (if it’s a collateral loan) and the risk of defaulting. Most installment loans are what’s called fixed-rate loans which means the interest rate is fixed over the term of your loan. Since the interest is fixed, it’s a great way to budget for this option.

How can I get an installment loan with bad credit?

When you’ve decided you can do monthly installment loans for poor credit, you’ll want to either go online or visit your credit union or bank. Tell the lender about your situation and that you’re looking to apply for an installment loan. Credit unions have plenty of options when it comes to unsecured and secured loans. You might be able to find a lender faster online than the traditional route. Some employers also offer loans to their employees. You probably don’t want to go with the employer route if you haven’t worked there for long. If you have collateral (equity in your home, electronics, or a paid car), it’ll be easier to be approved for a loan.

What happens if you don't pay an installment loan?

If you can’t pay your installment loan back, as far as what happens depends on if you went with a secured or unsecured loan. For a secured loan, the lender will seize your collateral. They could take you to small claims court to make up for their losses. Before getting to this point, if you can’t pay off your installment loan, speak to your lender immediately. You can ask them what your options are or if you could have more time. They can roll your amount due into the next month where you’ll pay double to make up for the amount missed. You can also consider what’s called a deferment. This stops payments temporarily until you’re financially secure to pay it off. Another option is for you to consider debt consolidation. This will reconsolidate due dates, interest rates, and bills into one.

Can you have more than one installment loan?

Yes, you can have more than one installment loan. To do this, you normally need some trust built up financially for the lender. If you can prove you’re paying your first installment loan on time, you’re more likely to get approved for a second. You can also consider choosing multiple lenders for different loans.

How to pay off installment loans?

If you’re looking to pay off your installment loan quickly, one method is to round up your payments. During each payment cycle, try to add a bit more money each time to get it paid off quicker and avoid racking up more interest.

You can also earn extra cash whether that’s bringing people around in your car such as Lyft, or delivering groceries. Or consider a second job. The additional income you make you can put toward your loan to pay it off faster. If you can, try to double your payments or ask about different discounts you can save. Sometimes, if you sign up for automatic payments out of your checking account, you can save on certain fees.

How to choose an installment loan?

Before signing on the dotted line, check out multiple options for the best installment loans. Ensure you understand the fees such as an origination fee.  An origination fee is a fee that’s charged to cover the cost of processing the loan.
When you sign up, see how long you have to pay off the loan. Keep in mind that the longer it takes, the more interest you’ll pay over time.  Certain lenders offer perks for borrowing money. See which lenders will send the money straight to creditors for you. Some might let you change your due date.  Most importantly, check the different rates for each loan. Keep in mind that unsecured loans have higher rates than secured since there’s more risk involved.

What's the difference between an installment loan and a payday loan

You can find payday loans at loan agencies and online. The interest and fees associated with payday loans tend to be high since there’s no collateral.

Payday Loan pros

  • Lenient option
  • Convenient since located all over the U.S. and online
  • Obtain them quick
  • If you have a stable job, it’s easy to obtain one

Payday Loan cons

  • There are some scams out there so you must be vigilant
  • You need to plan to avoid living paycheck to paycheck
  • It’s more expensive since the interest rates are extremely high
  • Installment loans can be unsecured or secured, and more short-term
  • While the interest rates are high, they tend to be less than payday loans
  • You’ll agree to pay the amount by a certain date in multiple payments

Installment Loan Pros

  • There can be longer terms since it takes longer to pay it back
  • It’s quick and convenient to apply and receive the money
  • Since the interest rate is fixed, you can know how much you’re expected to pay monthly

Installment Loan Cons

  • Some require you to add collateral which you can lose if you don’t pay
  • High interest
  • There are penalties if you miss a payment date

When deciding which is right for you, keep in mind that defaulting on payments can negatively affect your credit score. How low your credit score is might affect if you’ll qualify for an installment loan.
If you’re looking to pay the money back over time, then installment loans are a great option. If you’re looking to pay it all off at once, payday loans might be a better option.

What are alternatives for installment loans?

There are alternatives to installment loans if you feel they’re not the right fit for you. You can ask friends and family for a loan through a loan agreement. You can also get a pawnshop loan by using collateral. Another option is to reach out to different religious or charitable organizations.

Will installment loans affect my credit?

Installment loans can affect your credit negatively if you don’t pay them on time. To avoid missing payments, sign up for autopay, and then it’ll automatically come out of your account.

What can you use installment loans for?

Whether you’re looking for debt consolidation or help with car repairs, installment loans can help. Sometimes unforeseen medical expenses can creep up and these loans are a great way to pay for them even if you don’t have the best credit score.

Other examples:

  • Work expenses
  • Home improvement
  • Home emergencies
  • School expenses
  • Dental bills
  • Life events such as funerals, divorce, or a newborn

It’s also a common loan for auto loans and home loans. If you need a personal loan, turning to installment loans could help since you can pay it off over time. For those who are looking to go back to school, you can take out student loans as an installment loan.

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