The Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit

The Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit

It is definitely not easy getting an installment loan when you have bad credit, however; there is a good list of lenders out there who specialize in offering installment loans to people with low credit scores and need a second chance.

What is an installment loan?

First thing’s first, what exactly is an installment loan and how is it different from other types of loans you might find being offered by a bank?

Installment loans work like this: a bank will lend you a large sum of money and then you will pay it back in installments (monthly, weekly etc…) until it’s paid off.

Installment loans are usually offered for expensive items like furniture, cars and houses.

They can be either short-term or long-term. A loan for something small like a piece of furniture might have a payment schedule that spans only one year whereas a mortgage could be paid off over the course of several decades.

Can I get one if I have bad credit?

Most lenders will do a full profile on you before approving your installment loan with them and that includes how much debt you have and your credit history.

Some companies will be more lenient on how much debt their customers have and these are what we consider to be the best installment loans for bad credit.

What are the best installment loans for bad credit?

1. Upgrade

Upgrade Loans: Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit
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According to our research, Upgrade is one of the best installment loans for bad credit.

They offer a range of services including a checking account and credit score montioring software, but today we are focusing exclusively on their personal loans.

Upgrade offers loans up to $50,000 for things like debt consolidation, major purchases, home improvement and to refinance credit cards.


They are flexible when it comes to your income and credit score and offer a ton of perks including discounts for setting up auto-payments.

Their loans have a very low APR rate when compared to other lending companies (5.94% – 35.47%). They also allow customers to acquire loans with a credit score of 560 making it one of the best installment loans for bad credit.

Upgrade also offers a discount of 1-5% when you get a loan for the purpose of debt consolidation and also allow Upgrade to pay it off for you. Most lenders will only offer 0.5-1%, whereas Upgrade can give you up to 5%.

On their website, you will find free credit building tools including tips on how to build credit, a credit score simulator and a credit monitoring app.

Another cool plus of getting an Upgrade installment loan is that you can lower your APR rate by offering a valuable item (like a car) as collateral.


Many lenders guarantee “same-day funding”, however; Upgrade does not. You can expect to wait a few days to find out whether you’re approved or not and then one more day for the money to land into your bank account.

Upgrade charges an origination fee (which is like an administration fee) of 2.9-8%. Compared to other companies, this rate is actually quite high.

2. Upstart

Upstart Loans: Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit
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In our opinion, Upstart is one of the best installment laons for bad credit and for people who have a short credit history.


Upstart does not discriminate when it comes to credit score. In fact; you don’t even need to have a credit history in order to apply for one of their installment loans.

They use AI technology to analyze potential borrowers and focus more on things like education and job history as opposed to credit score and income.

One of the best things about Upstart is how fast they are. They can automatically approve your application in as little as 5 minutes and have the funds in your account in less than 24 hours.

Another thing that really makes Upstart unique is that they allow customers to change their monthly payment date (within an allotted grace period) at no extra cost. This makes Upstart one of the best installment loans for bad credit and perfect for someone looking for a loan that allows for a flexible payment structure.


Upstart offers a similar APR rate to Upgrade: 5.22% – 35.99% but does not offer discounts for auto-payments. They also charge an origination fee which can range from 0%-8%.

When it comes to customer service, Upstart falls just a little bit short. They have a help line that is open seven days a week, however; they do not have a monitoring app which most other lenders tend to offer.

Upstart does not allow a co-signer for your loan which means you might have a lower chance of getting approved.

3. LendingPoint

Lendingpoint Loans: Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit
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LendingPoint is a great option when searching for the best installment loans for bad credit. They provide loans between $2000-$35,000 and are very lenient when it comes to low credit scores with a cut off of 580.


Unlike most other lenders, LendingPoint allows their customers to take out loans to cover existing LendingPoint loans and loans from other companies.

They are also very fast (on par with Upstart) where your application is instantly approved and money is sent within 24 hours to your bank account.

Borrowers can choose to either pay weekly or monthly and can change their payment dates once a year with no penalty. This makes LendingPoint a great choice for people who need more flexibility in their payment program.

LendingPoint accepts payments in a myriad of ways including through their mobile app, phone, online or physical check. If you are someone who prefers to pay through mail or phone, then you definitely will want to consider LendingPoint.

Like most other lending companies, LendingPoint allows potential customers to do a soft credit check with them. This doesn’t affect your credit score and lets LendingPoint pre-approve you for their loans.

LendingPoint’s origination fee stops at 6% which is lower that the previous two lenders we have mentioned.


While most other companies who offer guaranteed installment loans will report payments to all 3 credit bureaus, LendingPoint only reports to two (TransUnion and Experian). This can be a bit of a downside, especially if you are dead set on finding the best installment loans for bad credit.

There is no option for a co-signer, similar to Upstart and they don’t do direct payments to creditors which might be an inconvenience for people who are specifically looking for a guaranteed installment loan that is paid off automatically.

In general, LendingPoint offers one of the best installment loans for bad credit. If you want your money fast and a flexible payment schedule, then this might be your best option.

4. Seedfi Borrow & Grow Personal Loans

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Seedfi personal loans are a great option for people who are looking for the best installment loans for bad credit and have a low/extremely low credit score (520 is the cut off). They offer loans between $1200 and $7000 which is perfect for things like emergencies or big ticket purchases.

Seedfi is a great choice for people looking for guaranteed installment loans, no credit check needed.


The CEO of Seedfi sees the importance of getting his clients out of the debt cycle which is why he has incorporated a savings structure into every loan given by the company.

When you are apporved for a loan with Seedfi, you will be given a portion of the money right away. The rest of the money will be kept in a savings account for you. This gives the borrower a chance to get started on their savings while also paying off their loan.

The APR rate is low (6.95-29.99) compared to other, more expesive personal loan lenders.

Seedfi also does not charge an origination fee which might be reason enough to choose them over the other lenders in our list of the best installment loans for bad credit.

They also technically don’t charge any late fees because all late fees are returned to the borrower once the loan is repaid in full.

Seedfi is known to be very fast when it comes to approving and processing applications. If you get approved right away, you can expect the money to land in your bank account within 1-2 days.


There are a few things that we don’t really like about Seedfi and that includes their payment plan.

Most lending companies who offer guaranteed approval installment loans for bad credit will also allow some flexibility in the payment schedule. Seedfi does not offer this and will only let you change the date of your monthly payment if you can prove your pay-check schedule has changed.

While the “borrow & grow” model can be helpful to some (getting the chance to start a savings account is very valuable, especially if you have been in debt for a long time), for others it can just be an extra cost that they don’t want to deal with.

If starting a savings account is something that is important to you, then applying for a loan with Seedfi would be the perfect option for you.

In our opinion, Seedfi is one of the best installment loans for bad credit and for people who want to get out of the debt cycle quickly.

5. Oportun

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Oportun is one of those rare companies who offer installment loans to people with no credit history. So no matter what your credit score, Oportun will not discriminate!


They offer loans between $300 and $10,000, so if you are looking for just a little bit of money to cover a small purchase, then Oportun might be the right choice for you.

Oportun considers your credit score as part of your application, however; they pride themselves on having a low bar when it comes to credit history. Anyone can take out a loan from Oportun, even if you have never used a credit card.

They focus more on monthly income, employment and rent when considering whether or not to accept you. This makes Oportun one of the best installment loans for bad credit. There are literally no barriers of entry for people with low or no credit scores.

Oportun also has a hardship program. So, if you’re having difficulty paying off your loan or need to take out a loan due to something like a medical emergency, then Oportun may extend your payment terms or lower the APR rate.

It is also an option to add a co-signer to your loan application which gives you a higher chance of getting approved.


The downside to taking out a loan with Oportun is that their APR is quite high (27.74-35.95) and they only report payments to two out of the three major credit bureaus (most lenders will report to all three).

They also don’t allow borrowers to change their payment date once it’s been set. Usually a lender will allow a borrower to change the date once a year, but Oportun is not flexible in this sense.

Despite having high rates, Oportun is still considered one of the best installment loans for bad credit, especially if you have a very low credit score or no credit history whatsoever.

Takeaways: The Best Installment Loans For Bad Credit

We have covered the pros and cons of the best installment loans for bad credit. Some of the companies we’ve mentioned offer very low APR rates, some high.

Not all the companies mentioned report payments to all three credit bureaus and some companies are more flexible than others when it comes to payments schedules.

When choosing an installment loan for bad credit, think about what is most important for you as a borrower. Is it…saving money? If so, a company with a lower APR rate is your answer. What about flexibility in the payment term? Do you need your money immediately? Or can you wait a few days? These are all things to keep in mind when considering our list of the best installment loans for bad credit.

Just because you have a low credit score, doesn’t mean you can’t take out a loan. Choose from one of these five companies and start making your dreams a reality.

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