How to Get a Loan if you have Bad Credit

If you have bad credit but need a loan, rest assured you may be able to earn loan approval. Not all loans require high credit scores. In fact, there are many lenders that offer small loans that could be an option for people with poor or bad credit. If you're wondering how to get a loan if you have poor or bad credit, follow these steps.



Check Your Credit Score

Before you apply for a loan, it's important to understand where you stand credit wise. Visit to get free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Scores above 620 will likely be considered for most loan types, where scores below 620 are best suited for smaller loans.


Know the Loan Types That Fit Your Credit Score

Once you're familiar with your credit, figure out what types of loans you may qualify for. Personal bank loans and home equity loans are often reserved for borrowers with good or excellent credit.

Advance America's offerings, which include payday loans, title loans, installment loans, and lines of credit, on the other hand, are an option for every level of credit, even when you have bad credit. Our loans come with lenient requirements so you're likely to get approved if you can prove you can repay the loan given your income, even if you don't have the best credit.


Review Lenders that offer loans for a variety of credit scores including poor or bad credit

After you've done your research, it's time to review lenders that provides loan services for all credit types - good, poor or bad credit. Websites such as the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot can help you choose a reputable lender that is licensed to service small loans for people with bad credit. Take a close look at ratings and customer reviews so that you can make an informed decision and select a lender with transparent loan products and reliable service.


Apply Online or In-store

As soon as you've explored places to get a loan with bad credit and chosen a lender, you can apply. With Advance America, you can apply in-store at a nearby location or fill out an online application from the comfort of your own home or on your mobile phone.

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

For online applications, make sure you have a valid Social Security number, valid email address, an active checking account, and source of income on hand.


Build a Repayment Plan

Upon loan approval, carefully read the terms of your loan. Make sure you can repay it on time, as scheduled. If you're unclear about any piece of information outlined in the terms, don't hesitate to ask your lender for clarity.


Work to Improve Your Credit Score

The higher your credit score is, the lower interest rates or higher loan amounts and more favorable terms you'll be able to land in the future. Therefore, it's well worth your time and effort to improve your credit score. To do so, pay all your bills on time, design a plan to reduce your debt, and only borrow money when you absolutely need to. Repaying a loan on time as scheduled is one way to provide positive payment history to your credit history, which can help you improve your credit score.

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.
148+ million
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900+ stores
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25+ years
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