Best Bad Credit Loans in California in 2024

Bad Credit Loans In California

California occupies a near-mythic status in American culture, from the glamour of Hollywood to the wealth of Silicon Valley to the multitude of its natural wonders. But if you think all is golden in the Golden State, think again.

While it’s true that Californians earn around 11% more than their counterparts nationally, the cost of living in this seeming paradise is 41% higher than the national average. This fact alone means millions of California’s working-class families are struggling financially, and their credit scores may reflect this cold reality.

With such a high number of Californians struggling to make ends meet, there’s little wonder so many turn to personal bad credit loans when things get tight. If used cautiously, a loan like this can prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. However, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable lender with affordable loan terms. In the following article, we’ll present some of our top choices for cash loans, car loans, and home loans, as well as answer some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.

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Bad Credit Installment Loans in California

A personal installment loan, unlike a payday loan, is one that’s paid off in fixed amounts over a defined period of time. Getting an installment loan when you have bad credit can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Lenders that specialize in offering loans like this to people with bad credit or even no credit at all are out there. Here are some we recommend.

  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
Up to $5,000 Varies Varies

See representative example

MoneyMutual is an online network of lenders that matches loan applicants with the right lender for their individual financial circumstances. More than 2 million consumers nationwide have turned to MoneyMutual for its quick and simple online loan form, its fast lender decisions, and its safe and secure application process.

Loan amounts of up to $5,000 are often available in as little as 24 hours. The APR and repayment terms for these loans can vary depending on the lender, so be sure to carefully review the loan offers you receive.

  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
  • See official site, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $35,000 5.99% - 35.99% 60 Days to 72 Months

See representative example

24/7 Lending Group is a lender network specializing in personal installment loans for people of all credit types in amounts of up to $35,000. Interest rates and loan terms will vary based on the lender offering the loan, and the online loan application is safe, secure, and free.

Once you submit the application, any lender who chooses to make a loan offer will notify you — usually within minutes — and you’ll be directed to that lender’s website to view the terms and complete the loan process. After accepting a loan offer, funds are usually deposited into your checking account in as little as 24 hours. specializes in installment loans for amounts ranging from $500 up to $10,000. This lender network lets you request a personal loan for anything from debt consolidation to home repairs or anything in between.

If you meet some basic criteria, such as having at least a certain income level, a checking account in your name, being at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or legal resident, you could receive offers for a loan. The online loan request form is simple and secure, and loan offers are often made in minutes. Rates vary based on individual qualifications, with loan durations available from three months to six years.

Bad Credit Auto Loans in California

One of the things you simply can’t get by without in California is a car. So, what happens if you need to buy a car, but you have bad credit?

Many lenders recognize this need and are willing to work with you, even if your credit is less than stellar. Here are a few of the most reputable bad credit auto lenders that we recommend.

  • Network of dealer partners has closed $1 billion in bad credit auto loans
  • Specializes in bad credit, no credit, bankruptcy and repossession
  • In business since 1999
  • Easy, 30-second pre-qualification form
  • Bad credit applicants must have $1500/month income to qualify
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
3.99% - 29.99% 1999 3 minutes 9.5/10

Auto Credit Express has been connecting bad credit car buyers in the U.S. and Canada with subprime auto finance lenders since 1999. With the largest database of lenders in the nation, prospective California car buyers will have a greater chance of finding financing through Auto Credit Express.

The online pre-qualification form takes just 30 seconds to complete, and you can find yourself with loan offers for a new or used car within minutes. Some qualifications do apply, such as having a minimum monthly income of $1,500 to get approved. But, if you qualify, you could be in your new ride before you know it.

  • Free, no-obligation application
  • Specializes in auto loans for bankruptcy, bad credit, first-time buyer, and subprime
  • Affordable payments and no application fees
  • Connects thousands of car buyers with auto financing daily
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1994 3 minutes 9.0/10 specializes in finding financing for car buyers with bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy in their credit history. In business since 1994, this company works with dealerships that know how to finance all types of credit-challenged drivers.

It all starts by filling out an easy three-minute online loan request, and you can be paired with a local car dealer that’s ready to help get you on the road. There are no fees or obligations when you apply, and same-day approval is available in many cases. has a reputation for quick and easy financing, even for car buyers with bad credit. This company offers loans for new cars, used cars, and even refinancing a lease or loan on your current vehicle.

Applying for a loan with is fast, free, and secure — and there’s no obligation to accept any loan offer that’s made. And, if you want to estimate your loan amount, there’s an easy-to-use payment calculator and interest rate estimator right on the website. When approved for a loan, a check or loan certificate is usually available within 24 hours.

Bad Credit Home Loans in California

California home prices are some of the highest in the nation. If you’re in a position to make that investment but your credit just isn’t up to snuff, you may be wondering about your options.

Many prospective homebuyers with bad credit assume their credit history automatically disqualifies them from getting a mortgage — but that’s not always the case. We’ve identified some lenders and services ready to work with bad credit buyers to make their homeownership dreams come true.

  • America's largest mortgage lender
  • The entire process is completed online
  • Options for new mortgages and refinancing existing mortgages
  • Award-winning customer service and cutting-edge digital platforms
  • More than 90% of clients would recommend us
  • See application, terms, and details


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1985 5 minutes 9.5/10

Rocket Mortgage is a well-known and reputable source for securing a home loan. Rocket Mortgage is a direct lender, so there’s no middleman involved.

Rocket Mortgage operates online to simplify the process of getting approved for a home loan. You can get prequalified on its site before you start home shopping so you’ll know exactly how much loan you qualify for.

  • Options for home purchase or refinance
  • Get 4 free refinance quotes in 30 seconds
  • Network of lenders compete for your loan
  • Trusted by 2 million+ home loan borrowers to date
  • Interest rates are near all-time lows
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 2004 4 minutes 8.5/10

FHA Rate Guide is a resource for homeowners with bad credit looking to refinance and save money. By answering a few quick questions, this unique service will walk you through a simple application process, and you could be presented with loan offers within seconds from a network of lenders that want to help you get the refinancing you need.

Borrowers with bad credit are encouraged to apply, as lenders in the FHA Rate Guide network are willing to consider all types of financial situations.

  • Easy to OwnSM programs give options for those with lower income, limited credit history, and low down payment needs.
  • Provides the potential for minimal out-of-pocket expenses with seller contributions.
  • Offers loans that don't require monthly mortgage insurance.
  • Requires less cash upfront for your down payment and closing costs.
  • See application, terms, and details.


Overall Rating

Interest Rate In Business Since Application Length Reputation Score
Varies 1852 6 Minutes 8.0/10

Wells Fargo is one of the largest home mortgage lenders in the country, offering a variety of loan types even to borrowers with bad credit. With fixed- and adjustable-rate loans to government-sponsored FHA and VA loans, Wells Fargo offers plenty of flexibility.

Wells Fargo also offers special loan programs, like the Easy-to-Own™ guaranteed rural housing program and military lending programs for active and veteran service members. Many of these special programs allow for lower down payments, making mortgage financing in California more attainable.

How Can I Get a Personal Loan with Poor Credit?

Getting a personal installment loan when you have bad credit can be a challenge, but it’s not out of reach. Here are some things you should keep in mind when you start your search.

  • You’ll pay a higher interest rate when you have bad credit than if your score were better. For this reason, it can sometimes pay to raise your score before you apply for a loan. The simplest way to do this is to start by reviewing your credit report for errors that may be holding your score down. Dispute any erroneous entries, and wait 30 days or so to see what happens with your score.
  • Don’t overpay for a loan just because you need quick cash. Payday and short-term lenders prey upon people who are in desperate need of cash, and they can charge exorbitant APRs and fees because of this. Lenders are required by law to tell you the APR you will be charged for a loan. Review this carefully and if it seems too high, walk away.
  • As an alternative to loans with high APRs, consider getting a loan from a credit union. Most credit unions cap the amount they charge in interest to 18% APR for member personal loans. That sure beats the 200% or more payday lenders can charge.
  • Consider borrowing from a friend or relative. Often family or friends can be in a position to help out financially, especially if you offer to pay a little in interest. Just be sure you treat this as a formal loan, along with a loan agreement and payment schedule. And be sure you pay it back as agreed.

With a bit of research and due diligence, you can obtain the best financing option for your situation.

Are Online Loans Legal in California?

California has some pretty stringent consumer protection laws, but no current laws or regulations prevent online lenders from making loans. However, the state does have some progressive laws designed to prevent usury — or unfair profiting from loan interest — and another bill that may soon change the lending environment in California is working its way through the legislature.

California Assembly Bill 539 was designed to put a limit of 36% interest on all loans between $2,500 and $10,000 — including personal installment and car title loans. While loans made in amounts lower than $2,500 won’t be affected by this new rule, other measures to protect consumers using these products already exist.

Lending Stock Photo
Online loans in California are legal, but regulations cap the interest rates that can be charged.

Short-term cash advance loans are also covered by some pretty strict regulations in California, namely the Civil Code 1789, which regulates check cashing and payday lending operations. This regulation caps the amount of a short-term loan at $300, and the maximum time to repay at 31 days. It also caps the fees that can be charged for such loans at 15%.

It’s still unclear what impact this will have on the lending landscape in the Golden State, but it’s not likely to affect the reputable online lenders we’ve listed in this guide. Loans made by lenders in the national networks used by these services already offer some of the lowest rates and fees around.

Although it’s hard to predict with certainty, it’s very unlikely that even California’s progressive lawmakers would limit online loans in the state, simply due to the popularity of these very necessary products.

What Happens if I Don’t Repay My Loan in California?

Millions of Californians who take out personal loans do so because they’re in dire financial need. If that need gets to be unmanageable and they’re unable to continue making payments, there’s often very little they can do. Defaulting on a loan, or failing to repay it, is seldom a good thing to do — but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable.

The consequences of defaulting on a loan can be severe and can follow you around for a very long time. The subsequent hit to your credit will make it even harder to get a loan in the future and can make things like renting an apartment, getting approved for utilities, and even landing a job that much more difficult.

If you do find yourself in default on a loan, don’t simply ignore it or pretend the problem isn’t there. Doing that can lead to your debt being sold to a collection agency; along with the hassle of dealing with collection calls. It could also mean repossession of a car, furniture, or other property you may have used as collateral.

Facing the problem head-on is a far better decision and can make things more bearable in the long run. Contact the lender as soon as you realize you can’t repay your loan. Explain your situation clearly and honestly, and ask if they will work out a plan for you to extend or modify your terms. For many creditors, a smaller payment is better than none.

In-Person Options for Bad Credit Loans in California

In many ways, borrowers in the Golden State have an advantage over much of the rest of the country. Bad credit loans in California are plentiful, and protections for consumers are among the most progressive in the country.

Lenders are willing to work with bad credit borrowers, but keep in mind, you still need to do your research and make sure the loan you’re signing is one you can repay. Here are some in-person options for bad credit loans in California:

Camino Financial
309 E 8th St #601
Los Angeles, CA 90014

OneMain Financial
6165 El Cajon Blvd Ste l
San Diego, CA 92115

Mariner Finance
3150 Almaden Expy Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95118

OneMain Financial
5221 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

Primo Personal Loans
2111 W Shaw Ave Ste 102
Fresno, CA 93711

4940 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95820

OneMain Financial
1 World Trade Center Ste 630
Long Beach, CA 90831

4413 Foothill Blvd
Oakland, CA 94601

Mariner Finance
3603 Coffee Rd Suite 200
Bakersfield, CA 93308

968 S Euclid St
Anaheim, CA 92802

Advance America
5800 Van Buren Boulevard STE 114
Riverside, CA 92503

Lendmark Financial Services LLC
3421 Brookside Rd Suite C
Stockton, CA 95219

JED Financial
16808 Armstrong Ave # 215
Irvine, CA 92606

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