8 Best Loans for Bad Credit with Online, Instant Decisions

8 Best Loans for Bad Credit with Online, Instant Decisions
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Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: May 7, 2018
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

Although the typical computer is nowhere near as fast as the world’s most powerful supercomputer, many everyday tasks have become significantly quicker since they’ve been handed off to computers — including consumer loan applications.

What once took days (or even weeks) can now take just minutes thanks to the power of the internet and computer algorithms, letting you know if you’ve been approved almost instantaneously. Below are our picks for the top installment, short-term, and revolving loans with instant approval decisions.

Installment | Short-Term | Credit Card

Best Online “Installment” Loans for Bad Credit

When you need funding to cover the cost of a large purchase, the ideal loan is generally an installment loan. That’s because, as the name implies, installment loans are repaid over time through a series of monthly payments, or installments, over a period of months or years, with the typical installment loan lasting at least three months and up to five years (60 months).

Additionally, installment loans are also the loan of choice for any large purchases, as they’re generally available in larger amounts than short-term loans. In fact, you can find installment loan lenders offering loans up to $35,000, even with poor credit, particularly if you do a little comparison shopping through an online lending marketplace, like our favorite picks below.

   
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $10,000 5.99% - 35.99% 3 to 72 Months

See representative example

+See More Personal Loans for Bad Credit

While many poor-credit lenders will have flexible credit requirements for approval overall, specific requirements will vary by lender, and you’ll still need to meet any non-credit requirements. Specifically, most lenders will have a minimum income requirement for approval, as well as requiring that you have an active checking or savings account.

You’ll also want to look carefully at all the factors of your loan options as you compare quotes to ensure you wind up with not only an affordable loan, but one that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in interest fees by the time it’s paid. This means looking at more than just the minimum monthly payment, but also the APR (lower is better) as well as the length of your loan.

Best Online “Short-Term” Loans for Bad Credit

More or less the opposite of an installment loan, short-term loans, often called cash advance loans, are designed for smaller purchases that you can repay in full within a short period of time. In fact, the typical short-term loan lender will only offer loans between $100 and $2,500, making them a poor choice for larger purchases — particularly since you’ll need to repay both the principal and finance fees all at once on your due date.

Furthermore, since the average short-term loan has a duration of days to weeks, and a maximum length of about six months, it’s a poor choice for anyone who needs a longer period of time to repay their loan. Short-term cash advance loans also tend to have higher interest rates, though you can potentially minimize your fees by carefully comparing quotes through an online lending marketplace, such as our expert-rated options below.

  • Short-term loan of $100 to $1,000
  • Bad credit is no problem
  • Large network of lenders
  • Loan decision as fast as a few minutes; funding as soon as next business day
  • Required: Income of $1000+/month and at least 90 days on job
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
             
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$100 to $1,000 200% - 2,290% Varies

See representative example

+See More Personal Loans for Bad Credit

The biggest concern when it comes to short-term personal loans is being positive you can repay the full amount when your loan comes due. Unlike installment loans, which can be repaid in increments, short-term loans require you to make a single lump-sum payment that includes both the full principal and all applicable fees, including finance charges.

And while borrowers often have the option to extend their loan due dates if they can’t manage to repay the loan, those extensions often come with high fees that can add up quickly. Since most short-term loan fees already equate to triple-digit APRs, adding even more fees on top of the already high payments can turn a pricey loan into a devastatingly expensive one.

Best Online “Credit Card” Loans for Bad Credit

Although not usually considered a loan in the traditional sense, the line of credit extended to you by a credit card issuer can often be a legitimate source of short-term financing, particularly if you’re already considering a short-term cash advance loan. Basically, with the high fees charged by most short-term loans, a credit card’s two-digit APR (even the higher two-digits charged by a subprime credit card) can be more affordable.

The caveat here will be the size of the loan you need, since the typical subprime credit card caps its initial credit limits around $300 to $500, depending on your credit risk. On the plus side, since credit cards are associated with a revolving credit line, you can reuse the loan once you’ve repaid what you borrow. Plus, many issuers, like some of our top picks, will provide regular credit score updates to help you stay on top of your score.

  • Checking account required
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
6 minutes See issuer website Yes 9.5/10
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10

+See More Credit Cards for Bad Credit

While credit cards can often be a more affordable choice than a short-term cash advance loan, this is particularly true if you only need a few weeks to repay the funds you borrow. The vast majority of credit cards, including a large number of subprime credit cards, offer what’s known as an interest charge grace period during which your new purchases won’t accrue interest.

In most cases, the grace period extends from when your purchase posts to when your bill for those purchases is due, generally 25 to 28 days after your statement posts. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that only new purchases fall under the grace period; balance transfers and cash advances will usually start accruing interest fees as soon as they post to your account. If you’re unsure if a particular credit card offers a grace period, check the Rates & Terms document or your cardholder agreement.

A Loan Decision Can Be Minutes Away

Until the advent of the advanced supercomputer, the human brain was the fastest, most advanced processing unit on the planet. Today, our brains are the slow cousins to many of our lightning-fast mechanical creations, possessing only a small fraction of the processing speed. Thankfully, we can put the speed and power behind our computers to good use, making everything from advanced calculations to simple everyday tasks quicker and easier than ever before.

Among those things made faster by the digital evolution is the loan process, where everything from the application to the decision has been given a turbo-boost in speed. With online applications and computer-algorithm based lending decisions, you can go from zero to approved almost instantaneously, receiving funds in hours instead of weeks, all without ever stepping foot in a bank.

But while computers have made the application process quick and easy, actually getting approved for a loan is still up to you — which can be a challenge with poor credit. One of the best ways to maximize your chances of being approved instantly online may be to use an online lending network to find a lender with flexible credit requirements.

Additionally, no matter how fast the process becomes, you should never rush into taking out a loan (or any financial product, for that matter). Always make sure you can afford to repay your debt before you accept a new financial agreement, including both the principal amount you borrow as well as any additional costs or fees. Not only can debt be a heavy burden to carry, but missed payments due to untenable loans can easily tank your credit score.