How to Get a Loan with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit but need a loan, there is good news. Even if you have problems with your credit report, it’s still possible to receive approval when you apply for a loan.

Not all loans require good credit scores. In fact, there are many lenders offering small loans that could be an option for borrowers with poor or bad credit.

If you're wondering how to get a loan with bad credit, here’s what you need to do:

Check your credit score

Lenders typically run a credit check to see your credit score. They then use that score to decide suitable loan options, interest rates, and loan amounts.

Before you apply for any type of financing, it's important to know what your credit score is and the credit range you fall into: good, fair, or bad credit. Scores above 620 will likely be considered for most traditional loan types, while scores below 620 are best suited for smaller loans. Your score may also determine whether a secured or unsecured loan will best fit your situation.

Visit to get free copies of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Research the loan types available for bad credit

Once you're familiar with your credit, figure out what types of loan offers you may qualify for. Traditional bank loans and home equity loans are often reserved for borrowers with good credit. But don’t worry – there are several loan options you can apply for even with a bad credit score!

Advance America has loan options for borrowers at every level of credit. Depending on where you live, we offer Payday Loans, Installment Loans, and personal Lines of Credit.

Unlike traditional lenders, we consider factors such as your employment status and the amount you earn in our loan approval decisions. To us, you’re so much more than your credit score!

Review lenders offering loans for bad credit

After you've researched the kinds of loans that fit your credit score range, look for lenders that provide loan services for all credit types. Google, social media, and review websites can help you narrow down your list of reputable lenders that service small loans for people with bad credit.

Take some time to look over each lender’s ratings and customer reviews so you can make an informed decision and select a well-reviewed company with transparent loan products and reliable service.

For over 25 years, Advance America has been offering loan products to hard-working consumers with all types of credit. We have more than 200,000 reviews on Google and a 4.8-star Trustpilot rating.

Apply for a loan online or in-store

After you've chosen a lender that offers loans for poor credit, it’s time to apply. With Advance America, you can apply in-person at a nearby location or fill out an online application from your computer or mobile device.

If you visit an Advance America store, you'll need to bring a government-issued ID, proof of an active and open checking account, and a paystub or other document that can serve as your most recent proof of income.

For online loan applications, make sure you have your Social Security number, valid email address, routing and account numbers for an active checking account, and proof of income on hand.

Review your repayment plan

Once your personal loan is approved, carefully read the terms before signing. Go over your monthly budget to make sure you can repay it on time. You may want to set up reminders on your phone so you won’t miss your payment date.

If you're unclear about any piece of information outlined in the loan terms, don't hesitate to ask your lender for clarification.

Work to improve your credit score

The higher your credit score is, the more likely you’ll qualify for lower interest rates, higher loan amounts, and more favorable terms in the future. Therefore, it's worth your time and effort to improve a low credit score, and it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Boosting a poor credit score is as simple as:

  • Paying all your bills on time.
  • Creating a plan to reduce your debt.
  • Borrowing money only when you absolutely need to.

Repaying a loan on time as scheduled is a good way to build a positive payment history in your credit history, which can improve your credit score.

Advance America helps borrowers with bad credit

If you have bad credit and need a loan to cover expenses, there is hope! Advance America offers a variety of loan products, and you don’t need good credit to be approved! Applying online is quick and convenient. Once you submit your loan application, you’ll know our approval decision within minutes.

Ready to apply? Stop by your nearest location or start your online application now.

About the Author

Bree Ewers has contributed to Advance America since 2023. Writing from her home office in Portland, Oregon, she shares a relatable perspective on the financial triumphs and challenges many readers face.

The Advance America advantage

Since 1997, Advance America has helped millions of hardworking people with a variety of financial solutions including Payday Loans, Online Loans, Installment Loans, Title Loans and Personal Lines of Credit.
157+ million
loans issued
800+ stores
and online loans
25+ years
providing loans