Easiest Personal Loans to Get in 2021

Easiest Personal Loans To Get
GUIDE
Aaron Crowe
By: Aaron Crowe
Posted: April 22, 2021
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The easiest personal loans to get usually don’t come from a bank, especially for people with bad credit. For subprime borrowers, alternative sources that specialize in helping them obtain financing can make it easier to borrow money with minimal requirements.

Online lender-matching services can be a good place to start. They work with a network of lenders and can give you multiple options shortly after submitting one form for free online.

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The Easiest Personal Loans to Get Online

You may need a quick personal loan for a host of reasons. An emergency such as a hospital visit, a car repair, or getting just enough money to buy groceries before you receive your next paycheck can pop up from time to time.

Here are seven companies that help borrowers get approved for personal loans, even for someone with a poor credit score.

  • Short-term loans up to $2,500
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
Up to $2,500 Varies Varies

See representative example

MoneyMutual connects borrowers with lenders that can give them a fast personal loan, with up to $2,500 deposited in their account as soon as the next day.

The company says its online form takes less than five minutes to complete. Lenders will review your information in real time and decide if they would like to work with you. If so, you’ll be redirected to their website to complete the lender’s lending process, review the loan terms, and if acceptable to you, sign for the loan.

CashUSA.com is one of our top picks in part because it’s one of three companies we recommend that help consumers find personal loans from $500 to as much as $10,000. That can help pay for a major hospital bill if you’ve been in an accident or a loved one has to go to the emergency room.

Its website does a good job explaining how the loan process works for someone with a bad credit score and details the simple eligibility requirements and how to fill out a loan application. While many lenders may not care much about your minimum credit score, they do care about your income. CashUSA.com requires users to have a steady monthly income of at least $1,000 after taxes.

BillsHappen also has simple requirements for borrowers. It starts with identifying information, such as your driver’s license and cellphone number, and continues with other simple requirements, including having a bank account, a job, and a home address.

A fast personal loan can be approved very quickly. After submitting your information, you’ll receive an on-screen message if you’re approved and connected with a lender. It may take a minute or more to determine whether a lender will work with you, so BillsHappen recommends not closing or navigating away from its webpage after completing the form.

CreditLoan.com helps people with poor credit get a personal loan, even if they have had a bankruptcy that has been fully discharged. It doesn’t, however, accept applications from people with a pending bankruptcy.

We especially like CreditLoan for its wealth of information on how a small personal loan can be affected when you have anything but excellent credit, and how you can improve your chances of getting a loan.

Bad Credit Loans offers some of the smallest loans around, making it easy to solve a small financial problem quickly. Loan amounts of $500 to $5,000 at repayment terms of three months to three years are available.

As with other lender networks, its lenders don’t require collateral for a small personal loan, and applicants won’t be denied a loan because they have a poor credit history. A steady income and checking account are the only security required.

PersonalLoans.com offers the highest loan amounts among the lending networks we’ve reviewed with loan amounts of up to $35,000. Your loan can be used for any purpose, which means you can renovate your home, use it as a business loan to get your small business off the ground, or as an auto loan to help you buy a car, among other things.

PersonalLoans has two separate lending networks. One focuses on helping people with a poor credit score, and the other works with people with good and excellent credit. If your credit score is so bad that none of its lenders offer you a loan, it may share your contact information with other partners that can offer you debt relief, credit repair, credit monitoring, or other services.

CashAdvance.com helps people find a payday loan of between $100 and $999.

“Short-term loans are meant to be used only as a last resort option and paid back on or before a borrower’s next paycheck,” according to the site’s FAQs page.

CashAdvance also requires borrowers to earn at least $1,000 per month after income tax. Other requirements include verified employment, a valid home and work telephone number, and a valid email address.

What Makes a Loan Easy to Get?

The lending networks we recommend make getting a personal loan easy by giving you multiple loan offers to choose from after you fill out a short loan application form online. We’ll go into how that process works below, but it takes only minutes, and the approval requirements are easy for most people to meet.

That said, you’re not guaranteed to be approved for a loan or have multiple loan offers after applying. But chances are, if you meet the minimum requirements, at least one lender will offer you a loan.

The basic requirements are:

  • Age: At least 18.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or resident with a valid Social Security number.
  • Income: Reliably collect a specific minimum amount of income or benefits each month, usually $800 to $1,200 after taxes.
  • Bank account: Have an active bank or credit union account in your name.
  • Identification: Provide a Social Security number, a valid email address, bank account details, and work and/or home phone numbers.

The loans are easy to get in other ways, too. The lenders know that applicants will likely have bad credit.

While lenders may prefer people with an excellent credit history, they realize that people with huge credit card debt, late payments, and other credit problems still need a personal loan from time to time. That’s why lenders are willing to provide loan amounts from $100 to $35,000 to borrowers with bad credit.

A personal loan isn’t a secured loan, meaning that you haven’t put up your home or other valuable possession as collateral in case you don’t repay the personal loan. To make up for the risk the lender is taking, subprime lenders usually charge higher interest rates than what borrowers would likely find if they had a good credit history.

Other types of loans that are generally easy to get are auto loans and federal student loans. Lenders understand that people need vehicles, and the government doesn’t limit access to federal student loans because young borrowers don’t yet have established credit profiles.

How Do I Apply For a Personal Loan?

Applying for a personal loan through a lending network is easy. Each may have its own process, but in general, it follows a certain order.

The online lender starts by asking you to fill out a loan application. The information it may ask you for includes:

  • The reason for the loan
  • Name
  • Zip code
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Loan amount
  • Monthly income

Some matching services may stop there and may only want the most basic information from you. Others may send your application on to the lender, who will ask for more information, or the matching service may require it during its prequalification process. Other information that either may ask for can include:

  • How long you’ve lived at your address
  • If you own or rent
  • Employment status
  • Length of employment
  • How often you’re paid
  • Whether you’re active military
  • Gross monthly income
  • Next payday
  • Employer’s contact information
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Type of bank account you have: checking or savings
  • If you’re paid via direct deposit or paper check
  • How long you’ve had your bank account
  • Credit score (OK to be unsure)

Within minutes, if not seconds, the matching service will identify lenders interested in funding your loan. You may just have to next provide bank details, such as your bank’s routing number and account number, so it knows where to deposit your loan proceeds.

The matching service will then likely transfer you to the lender’s website, where you’ll finish the application process by providing more information. This may include the lender asking your permission to conduct a credit check.

The lender should be able to do a credit check within minutes. If you meet its minimum credit score requirement, among other things, then you will receive a loan agreement with the rate and terms of the loan. Read the loan terms and make sure you understand all of them — you’re under no obligation to accept the loan offer.

The loan will likely have a fixed rate, meaning the interest rate will be the same during the repayment term, and the monthly payment will be the same every month. Loan amounts for an unsecured personal loan can be as high as $35,000, though loan approval is easier for smaller loan amounts.

If you accept the loan offer, you’ll complete the paperwork and e-sign the agreement. The cash should be deposited into your bank account in one to two business days. Your loan payment will usually be automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month.

The loans are generally repaid in three to 72 monthly fixed installment loans. The loan shouldn’t have a prepayment penalty, allowing you to pay it off early without charging you an additional fee. There is no charge to use any lender matching service.

Is a Personal Loan Easy to Get With Bad Credit?

Having bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for an unsecured personal loan. And it doesn’t have to be a secured personal loan that requires collateral, such as a car loan.

A loan may not be so easy to get from a bank, credit union, or another traditional lender if you have a poor credit history, but the lending services we’ve reviewed are all ready to work with people who have bad credit.

As we listed above, the qualifications for a bad credit loan are usually pretty lenient. MoneyMutual requires only earning a regular monthly income of $800. If you’re only working part time, that requires a salary of $10 per hour before taxes, based on working 80 hours each month, or 20 hours per week.

  • Short-term loans up to $2,500
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
Up to $2,500 Varies Varies

See representative example

Those who are self-employed and people on a fixed income, such as through Social Security benefits, can also qualify if they have at least $800 in monthly income. Some lenders will accept a pension, disability, and other types of benefits as qualifying income.

What Credit Score Do I Need For Loan Approval?

These personal loans are a type of signature loan, meaning you only need to sign a legal document agreeing to repay the loan. You don’t have to put up collateral. Without collateral, lenders may use an applicant’s credit score to weigh the risk of whether they’ll repay the loan on time.

FICO is one of the credit score providers often used by lenders. A FICO score below 580 is considered poor or simply bad. FICO scores can be as low as 300, but some lenders may still approve a small loan for someone with this score.

FICO Score Ranges

Lenders must receive your permission to access your credit report. This is called a hard inquiry and can cause your credit score to drop a little.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, a low credit score shouldn’t prevent you from being approved for a loan. Other criteria lenders may look at include:

  • Stable employment history
  • Not changing addresses often
  • Steady payment history of bills and debts on time
  • No late payments
  • Existing debt of no more than 30% of your income

But each lender will have its own approval criteria.

Will My Credit History Be Checked?

Maybe, but you should assume your credit history will be checked by any lender offering you a fast personal loan.

A credit check probably won’t happen during the prequalification phase with a lending network, including the networks we recommend. But once a loan option is presented to you, then a lender will likely ask for your approval to run a credit check with at least one credit bureau.

This is a good sign and can mean that your loan funding will be approved. Your interest rate will depend heavily on your credit score, with a lower interest rate likely if you have good to excellent credit.

A hard inquiry on your credit report may lower your credit score a little bit, but it shouldn’t be by much, and the effect won’t be for long.

If you’re worried about your approval chances, you may want to work on raising your credit score. It’s the best way to increase your approval odds for a personal loan since these are a type of unsecured loan, and a credit score is used to determine the chance that a borrower will repay the loan.

Paying your bills on time and keeping your debt levels low are the best ways to raise a credit score. One measurement lenders use is the debt-to-income ratio or DTI. It measures your debt payments compared to your income, and most lenders prefer that your DTI not be higher than 36%. That is, your monthly debt payments don’t exceed 36% of your income.

Credit card debt is another issue. Lower your credit utilization ratio, or CUR, to below 30%. To calculate this ratio, divide the amount of your total credit used by the total available credit you have (card balances divided by credit limits). The less of your available credit you’re using, the better.

Your credit utilization and other debts owed account for 30% of your FICO credit score, so paying down your debt will both lower your CUR and raise your credit score.

FICO Credit Score Factors

Debt consolidation can also help. If you’re paying down a few credit cards, and some have much higher interest rates than others, then consolidating them through a 0% APR balance transfer to one credit card can help you pay off your credit card debt faster.

Are These Loans Payday Loans?

You may be offered a payday loan if you live in a state that permits them, or you may also be offered an installment loan.

Other than CashAdvance and MoneyMutual, most of the lending networks we recommend work with lenders that allow years to repay the loan. That’s not how a payday loan is typically defined, and it doesn’t have to be a repayment option for you.

CashAdvance works with lenders that provide payday loans that must be repaid in 15 to 30 days, and at interest rates starting at 300% and as high as 2,290%.

These personal loans use your next paycheck as collateral if you don’t pay. Almost half of these loans end up in default, some studies show. That means your next paycheck will be swallowed up whole by the payday lender, and your debt will increase.

These should be your last loan option for small emergency loans. They’re high-interest loans and payment is due quickly, and since half of such borrowers default on the loans, it’s a clear sign that they’re difficult to afford.

Only paying part of the loan, having a late payment, or not paying the loan back at all can cost you additional fees and you could face collections from your lender. If you think you may miss a payment, you should immediately contact your lender and discuss your options. Most lenders are often willing to work with you if you need help.

What Will My Interest Rate Be?

Some of the lending networks we’ve reviewed list sample interest rates from the lenders they work with. The rates range from 6% to 36%, with the highest rates charged to people with a bad credit history. CashAdvance focuses on payday loans and charges interest rates of 300% to 2,290%. The highest rates, of course, are for borrowers with a low credit score.

Personal Loan APR Graphic

Lending networks will usually warn potential customers that the interest rate varies and depends on the lender. Once you’re approved and matched with a lender, you’ll be transferred to its website where you can review the loan terms, repayment schedule, and all other fees associated with this loan option.

Still, lenders often provide representative examples of interest rates. Bad Credit Loans indicates on its website that its network of lenders often charge between 5.99% and 35.99%, and that APRs vary according to the information you supply in your loan request.

It gives the representative example of borrowing $2,000 for 12 months with a 19.9% APR and a monthly payment of $183.63. The total repayment will be $2,203.56, meaning you’d pay $203.56 in total interest over a year to borrow $2,000.

The company reminds customers that installment loans are somewhat expensive when compared with other loan products. They’re not recommended as a long-term financial solution such as debt consolidation, and should only be taken out for emergency financial needs. A debt consolidation loan can take years to pay off.

Another site, CreditLoan.com, gives a representative loan example of a $4,000 loan at 15% APR. The monthly payment would be $193.95 for two years, for a total payment of $4,654.72.

The interest rate is lower than that of the Bad Credit Loans example above it, but the loan term is twice as long and for twice as much money, making the CreditLoan.com overall payment about $450 more. This is one reason why paying off a smaller loan faster is the best way to save money on a personal loan, even if the interest rate is higher.

Can I Use My Credit Card For an Easy Loan?

Unless you have excellent credit and have a low interest rate on your credit card, putting an emergency expense on a credit card can get expensive. Opening a new card with a 0% introductory period, for example, can be a smart way to manage credit card debt.

If you’re sure you’ll have the money to pay the credit card bill off completely when it arrives, then charging the expense to the card may be a good choice. If not, you’ll be paying interest that averages almost 24% for borrowers with fair credit. And if you’re late with a monthly payment, your card provider may charge a late fee.

Another option is a credit card cash advance, which can be done with a secured or unsecured credit card. You can borrow up to a certain percentage of the card’s credit limit.

Credit Card Cash Advance Graphic

The APR on a cash advance is usually around 25%. You’ll be charged fees of around 5% of the advance, with a minimum of $5 to $10. Daily interest charges begin immediately, which differs from purchases on the card that often have a grace period of 30 days or so. The interest on an advance on your credit card can be much higher than it would be on a personal loan.

The good news is that advances don’t require approval, and the money is available immediately. They’re easy to get for an emergency expense, though it’s a type of emergency loan that you’ll want to repay as quickly as possible to avoid high interest charges.

Do These Loans Require Paying an Origination Fee?

These personal loans normally don’t charge customers an origination fee, though you should check with the lender before agreeing to a loan to see whether they charge such a fee. An origination fee is often charged in a large traditional loan, such as a home loan, to cover the expenses involved in providing a loan.

The lending networks we’ve reviewed don’t charge for their services and are only paid by the lenders when a loan is made.

Your Best Options For the Easiest Personal Loans to Get

The easiest personal loans to get, especially if you have a low credit score, can come from lending networks that specialize in working with borrowers with poor credit.

A cosigner isn’t necessary, though having a cosigner can improve your approval chances and possibly get you a lower interest rate. Instead, you’ll need to meet a few simple, minimum requirements. These include having at least $800 per month in income, a steady job, and a bank account.

The interest rate will likely be higher than it would be if you had good credit, but these types of personal loans are meant for people with poor credit. You can use the money as an emergency loan for whatever you need, and pay it off as quickly as possible.

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