Whenever you are in need of some little cash, banks and local lenders will give you a helping hand – that is, until they see your credit score. The credit grading system is meant to help banks determine who can pay off their debts. But for various reasons, some individuals might not be adequately equipped to maintain a pristine credit score. For such reason, short term loans for bad credit have become a popular option among those individuals.
What Are Short Term Loans?
Identifying short-term borrowing is relatively simple, as it encompasses loans with terms ranging from less than a year to even a few months or weeks. “Term” is the terminology referring to how long the loan lasts before you have to repay the principal, plus interest. On the other hand, you can expect long-term loans, or traditional personal loans, to demand repayment after more than one year.
One important note is that short-term lending will require larger periodic payments compared to long-term ones. However, while each monthly bill can be substantial, you will service the debt more quickly and reduce the total interest expense with short term loans. Just be mindful of how much you need to shell out each month.
Understanding Short-Term Loan
Let’s say you were offered $5,000 at a 15% interest by a local lender. If the loan has a one-year term, your monthly bill will come out to be $451 while the total interest is $415. Now let’s go further. Say you managed to negotiate a three-year term, but the interest rate stays the same. The monthly payment is then reduced to just $173; however, you will have a ballooned total interest of $1,239.
You can clearly see the magnifying effect of interest rates here. Despite the short-term burden of outlaying a larger monthly amount, you won’t be saddled with a hefty total interest cost when you drag out the loan term.
Top Short-term Loans for Low Credit
For the first one on the list we have Upgrade. The online banking services provider offers loans to individuals with poor credit history, despite having relatively high maximum APRs compared to other online lenders. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, with flexible terms of two to seven years. The origination fee varies between 1.85% and 9.99%, and late payments or payment failures incur a $10 fee.
You need to have a minimum credit score of 580 in order to qualify. Nonetheless, there’s no mandatory income requirement, though the average borrower earns $95,000 annually. You do need to have a maximum pre-loan debt-to-income ratio of 45%, excluding mortgage.
You might be deterred by Avant’s slightly elevated interest rates than other lenders. But it distinguishes itself by offering expedited loan processing, the most important thing in case of emergency. Avant also allows its borrowers to adjust their due date to a certain extent. Plus, landing unsecured loans might be difficult for low-credit individuals, so Avant also offers secured loan options. Meaning, you can expect to endure lower interest rates, but you have to provide collateral for the secured loan.
Avant sets a minimum credit requirement of 580, with APRs ranging from 9.95% to 35.99% and terms spanning 12 to 60 months. While they have origination fees reaching up to 4.75%, there are no prepayment penalties, and you could have the fund in your bank account as soon as the following business day. On the downside, it imposes charges for late payments and dishonored transactions, along with the borrowing cap standing at $35,000.
Headquartered in Atlanta, LendingPoint operates as an online lender, catering to borrowers across 48 states and Washington D.C., excluding Nevada and West Virginia. You can conveniently apply online and enjoy swift access to funds. Loan amounts vary from $2,000 to $36,500, with a $3,500 minimum for Georgia loans. The repayment window spans 24 to 72 months.
However, LendingPoint has two key drawbacks: high APRs (7.99% to 35.99%) and origination fees, with the latter ranging from 0% to 7% based on your location. To qualify for a LendingPoint personal loan, you need a minimum credit score of 600 and must reside in one of the 48 eligible U.S. states or Washington, D.C.
- UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Universal Credit is another online lending platform that collaborates with partners to offer personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. You can find available repayment windows spanning 36, 60, and even 84 months.
Universal Credit demands a minimum credit score of 580, making the lender an ideal option for low-credit borrowers. However, despite its focus on individuals with impaired credit, Universal Credit entails certain trade-offs. Primarily, you will likely have to put up with elevated APRs, between a range of 11.69% to 35.99%. Additionally, there’s an origination fee of 5.25% to 9.99% applicable to all personal loans, deducted from your loan amount. Hence, you will need to consider this deduction before you sign off on the loan.
LendingClub operates as a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, enabling loans up to $40,000 with potential 24-hour fund access. This platform allows you to request due date changes, whether it’s for a one-time payment or the whole outstanding balance. However, you should pay heed to how the interest rate shifts as the deadline changes.
Although the minimum credit requirement is unspecified, LendingClub provides joint personal loans to accommodate those with low credit scores. That is, you have the option to add a co-borrower to improve your chance of qualification. Some other eligibility requirements include being a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, and possessing a verifiable bank account. Loans from LendingClub entails APRs from 9.57% to 35.99%, with terms spanning 36 to 60 months. LendingClub also imposes late fees and an origination fee ranging from 3.00% to 8.00%.
Upstart is a unique lender in the sense that it uses AI and machine learning to qualify borrowers, approving 27% more applicants compared to traditional methods. While it offers competitive APRs, it might not be the best for those eligible for more favorable rates. Still, with a minimum of just a 600 credit score, you can be eligible for a loan from the lender.
Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000, with typical terms being three-, five-, and seven-year. Upstart deploys an AI platform that considers unconventional factors for loan approval, like education, job history, and residence, making it suitable especially for those with limited credit history. Lastly, Upstart operates nationwide, excluding just West Virginia and Iowa.
Tips to Secure a Short Term Loan with Low Credit
While it is possible for you to get approved for a loan even with bad credit, you still need to spend time and effort to boost your chance of approval. Here are some practices that you can do to improve your odds:
- Seek lenders that consider factors beyond just your credit score. Lenders who take into account aspects like your income, employment, and education level can provide more accessible options based on your financial circumstances.
- Check your credit score to gain insights into potential lenders you could be eligible for. Monitoring your score allows you to assess your qualification prospects. Utilize software like Credit Karma to access your credit score and evaluate your standing. Subsequently, explore methods to enhance your credit score.
- Engage in online loan prequalification. This step permits you to gauge your likelihood of loan approval and the potential interest rates you could access. The process involves a soft inquiry and doesn’t negatively impact your credit score. The assessment as well offers other valuable insights into your eligibility.
- Compare the array of loan offers at your disposal. Evaluating elements such as interest rates, lender fees, and available terms enables you to select the optimal loan option that aligns with your needs.
- Applying jointly is another option to consider. If your eligibility is hindered by poor credit history, or if you’re aiming for a more favorable interest rate, add a co-signer or co-borrower in your application. Having a joint applicant diminishes the risk the lender has to assume and might enhance your chances of receiving a more advantageous loan proposal.
Pros and Cons of Short-Term Loans
To make a more informed decision, you should take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of such loans. And what better way to approach this than a good old pros-and-cons list.
- Quick Access to Funds: Short-term loans are designed for immediate financial needs, providing swift access to funds when urgent expenses arise.
- Less Interest Paid: Since the loan term is shorter, you generally pay less total interest amount compared to longer-term loans.
- Flexible Qualification: Short-term loans might have more lenient qualification criteria, making them accessible to individuals with varying credit scores.
- Builds Credit Quickly: Responsible repayment of a short-term loan can help improve your credit score within a shorter time frame.
- Targets Specific Needs: Short-term loans can be tailored for specific needs, such as covering unexpected medical bills or emergency repairs.
- Less Long-Term Commitment: Short-term loans do not tie you down for an extended period, allowing you to clear your debt relatively quickly.
- Minimal Documentation: These loans often require less documentation compared to larger, long-term loans.
- Higher Interest Rates: Due to the shorter repayment period, interest rates on short-term loans can sometimes seem extreme compared to traditional personal loans.
- Strain on Budget: The shorter repayment period might lead to higher monthly payments, which could strain your monthly budget.
- Limited Loan Amounts: Short-term loans typically offer smaller loan amounts compared to long-term loans, which might not cover larger financial needs.
- Risk of Rollover: If you’re unable to repay the loan on time, some short-term loans might offer rollover options. Essentially, you extend your loan term, but this can lead to additional fees and a cycle of debt.
- Potential for Predatory Lenders: Some lenders in the short-term loan market might engage in predatory practices, targeting vulnerable borrowers with high fees and unfavorable terms.
- Temporary Solution: Short-term loans might not address underlying financial issues, providing only a temporary solution to immediate problems.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Now that you know it’s possible to get a loan with bad credit, you have to understand that this is just a short-term solution and is not the most ideal form of borrowing. Tunning up your credit score is the best way to secure more favorable loans.
Improving your credit score requires a strategic and disciplined approach. The journey towards a healthier credit profile begins with understanding the factors that influence your score and making consistent, informed decisions.
Firstly, focus on paying your bills on time. Timely payments demonstrate reliability and responsibility to creditors. Set up reminders or automatic payments to avoid missing due dates. Additionally, reduces outstanding debt. High credit card balances can negatively impact your score. Aim to lower your credit utilization by paying off balances or transferring debt to lower-interest accounts.
Be cautious about applying for new credit. Each application can result in a hard inquiry, which can slightly lower your score. Apply only when necessary and when you’re confident of approval. Lastly, patience is key. Building or rebuilding a credit score takes time. Consistently practicing good credit habits will yield positive results over the long term.