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Loans for bad credit

Find out what you can borrow even with a low credit score

  • See your chances of being accepted

  • Compare lenders who specialise in poor credit

  • Our soft search won't harm your credit score

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident. Representative 23.3% APR.

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What is a bad credit loan?

A bad credit loan is a personal loan designed for individuals with poor, weak, or no credit history.

Because lenders view borrowers with low credit scores as higher risk, bad credit loans typically come with higher interest rates and stricter terms than loans offered to individuals with better credit scores.

Can I get a loan with poor credit?

There are specialist lenders who specialise in borrowing money to people with low credit ratings. Having a low credit score doesn't mean you can’t get a loan; however, your options will be more limited than someone with a good credit rating.

Representative 23.3% APR

Use our loan calculator to get a rough idea of how much a loan could cost.

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How do bad credit loans work?

If you have poor credit, you may find it harder to be approved for a loan. Bad credit loans are made for people with your credit history, and it’ll be easier to be accepted for borrowing.

  1. Pick and apply for your loan:
    You decide how much money you need to borrow and for how long. The lender will run a credit check and decide whether to accept you for credit.

  2. Receive the funds:
    After being approved you can expect the cash to enter your account in a few days.

  3. Paying the loan back:
    You’ll usually have to pay your loan back in monthly repayments. You’ll have to pay back the money borrowed plus the agreed interest.

What can I use my loan for when I have poor credit?

A loan can be used for anything. Here’s some of the reasons people typically take one out:

  • Emergency purchases: If an unexpected, but necessary, cost has come up, you may not have the funds to pay for it. A loan can help you cover this essential purchase

  • Home improvements: Renovating your house can come with a big price tag. A loan can help make it more affordable

  • Buying a car: Paying for a car in one go can be expensive. A loan can help spread the cost

It’s important to remember that if you’re borrowing with bad credit and miss repayments, you risk hurting your credit score even further. So, you should carefully consider your options before taking out a loan. If you’ve managed to build up substantial savings, it could be wiser to use this instead if you’re not confident you’ll keep up with payments. Use our loan calculator to get a rough idea of what the loan will cost you.

What are the pros and cons of loans for bad credit?

Taking out a loan when you have bad credit does come with downsides and benefits. Here’s the rundown:

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    • Gives people with bad credit access to borrowing: It can be harder to be approved for borrowing when you don’t have a good credit score. Loans for bad credit give people with low credit scores the financial lifeline they may urgently need 

    • Fix your credit score: A bad credit loan could give you the opportunity to get your credit score back on track. If you keep up with the payments on your loan, you can prove to lenders you are trustworthy and in time, your score will shoot up 

    • Get money quickly: If you’re in need of cash quickly, then a bad credit loan can be a massive help. Most lenders will get the money over to you in a few days

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    • High interest rates: Bad credit loans will come with higher rates of interest than standard credit loans. This is because bad credit borrowers are seen as higher risk, so a higher interest rate offsets the risk for the lender 

    • Damage your credit score: If your credit score is already low, you run the risk of harming your credit rating further if you don’t keep up with loan repayments. An even worse credit score will make it very difficult to borrow in the future 

    • Deepen your debt: If you’re using the loan to pay off another debt, you could potentially find your circumstances worse if you struggle to keep up with the loan repayments. If you know you’ll be unable to afford the repayments, then think carefully before borrowing

How long will it take to receive the money? 

The time it takes to get the money will depend on your provider. However, it usually takes between 24 hours and a week. A key to speeding-up the process is making sure the details you provided are accurate. If you’ve made any mistakes in your application this could cause delays. 


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What to consider when interest rates are high

The Bank of England's base rate is currently at 5.25% (June 2024), which means it remains at a 16-year high. This has marked consequences for borrowers that you should be aware of, including:

  • Loans become more expensive: As the base rate rises, so does the cost of borrowing. This means that any new loans you take out will likely have higher interest charges, making them more expensive over time.

  • Bad credit loans have higher APRs anyway: If you're considering a bad credit loan, remember that these typically come with higher APRs than standard loans. With the current high base rate, these loans could become even more costly, making it crucial to evaluate if this is a financially viable option for you.

  • You need ensure you can afford repayments: It's more important than ever to ensure that you can manage the repayments on any loan you're considering. You can use our loans calculator to get an idea of how much a loan could end up costing you

Is it best to get a credit card or a loan with bad credit?

It can be hard to know whether a credit card or a loan would be best for your situation if you have a poor credit score. Here are some things to consider:

  • A credit card for bad credit can help to improve your credit score, providing you pay off your balance in full and on time. Moreover, there are certain cards that are designed for people with bad credit that you will be more likely to be eligible for.

  • A bad credit loan can allow you to get access to funds even with a poor credit score, and if you prefer a structured repayment plan, making fixed monthly payments can make it easier to budget and manage your finances.

However, it should be noted that with a bad credit credit card or a loan, you are likely to have more limited access to credit and will be subject to a higher APR.

Step up your credit score

Your credit score can change. If you keep up with your loan repayments, then over time your credit rating will improve. A better credit score will unlock better terms when you apply for credit. Keep up with your credit score with our Credit Monitor tool, we’ll also send you helpful tips and tricks to improve your score

Credit Monitor

How can I improve my credit score?

If your credit score isn’t in the best shape, the good news is there’s always room for improvement. Here are some tips on how to improve your credit score

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    Register to vote

    Registering on the electoral roll is a something simple you can do to boost your credit rating. This improves your credit score as it confirms your address for lenders.

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    Check your credit report for errors

    Mistakes on your credit file can hurt your credit rating. So, make sure to have a thorough check of your credit report and contact the credit reference agency to get any errors fixed.

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    Pay your bills on time

    By paying your bills on time and in full, you’re showing lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. If you’re seen as a safe pair of hands, it’ll be easier to get approved for credit in the future and your score will improve also.

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    Don’t make too many loan applications at once

    It’s best to space out loan applications, because every time you apply for credit it leaves a mark on your credit file. Too many credit applications can bring your credit score down. 


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    Keep your credit utilisation ratio low

    Try not to use more than 50% of your credit limit. By not maxing out your credit limit, it shows that you’re borrowing responsibly.

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    Close unused credit card accounts

    Unused credit card accounts could be dragging your credit score down. Cancel credit cards that you’re not using.

Kate Hughes

Our expert says

Always check your credit report before going for this kind of loan for two reasons. First, many of us aren’t familiar with our own credit files and yours might not be what you think it is – for good or bad! If it’s better than expected, cheaper, mainstream options may be open to you. But if it’s worse, piling up more debt may not be the answer and a debt charity like StepChange may be a better place to get help sorting out your finances before going looking for more credit.

- Kate Hughes, Money & Savings Expert

How to compare bad credit loans with MoneySuperMarket

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Worried about your financial situation?

You’re not alone. According to our charity partner CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), eight out of ten people have experienced money worries in the last 12 months. What’s more, a quarter of a million people worry about money at least once a day.

The good news is that help is at hand. CALM is there to assist you, with practical advice to help you get your debts under control, as well as practical tips on how to talk to people closest to you about your financial situation.

If your finances are affecting your mental health or you really can’t see a way forward, CALM offers a telephone helpline too. It’s open from 5pm-midnight every day, completely confidential and free to call.

Campaign against living miserably

Having a bad credit score can make it harder to borrow but it doesn’t mean you’ll be unable to. We have a range of’ loans for bad credit’ guides to help you understand your options. 

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Yes it is possible to apply for a small loan for bad credit. Typically the smallest loan you could apply for through MoneySuperMarket is likely to be around £1,000. 

Any loan that doesn’t require the borrower to have a ‘guarantor’ is a no-guarantor loan. So this would apply to unsecured personal loans and secured loans, for example. If you have a bad credit history and a low credit score it can be difficult to be accepted for a personal loan. There are specialist bad credit lenders. But if you are accepted for a loan, you’re likely to only be able to borrow a small sum and the interest rate will be high.  

If you’re a homeowner you might be able to borrow a secured loan. But remember your home will be at risk of repossession by the lender if you can’t keep up with your repayments. 

You can apply for a loan with no guarantor even if you have bad credit, but if you’re rejected for the loan this could further damage your credit score. When you search for a loan with MoneySuperMarket we’ll show you your chances of being accepted for different loan deals before you apply – so you’ll know where you stand. 

If you have bad credit and you want to take out a loan, it’s important to think about if you’ll be able to pay off the loan. If you don’t keep up with the loan repayments, your bad credit score can get even worse.

What is considered a poor credit score will depend on the credit reference agency you use. There are three main credit reference agencies - TransUnion, Experian and Equifax - and they all use different scoring systems.

But generally speaking, any score at the lower end of CRA’s spectrum will be a bad credit score. Here at MoneySuperMarket, our Credit Monitor service uses the TransUnion scoring system. TransUnion classes ‘very poor’ credit scores in the range of 300 – 600, and ratings of 601 – 660 are considered ‘poor’.

Yes, your credit score will improve if you pay your loan back on time. By keeping up with your loan agreement, you’re showing lenders you are a responsible borrower and in turn, your credit rating will rise.

You can get instant approval on a bad credit loan, however it’s important to remember that a reputable lender will carry out a credit check.

If you don’t repay your loan, you face being charged extra fees as well as interest on top of missed repayments. Being unable to pay back your loan will damage your credit score even further and make future borrowing extremely difficult. The lender can also issue you with a county court judgment (CCJ).

No reputable lender will offer you a loan without a credit check.  The Financial Conduct Authority requires all lenders to carry out a credit check on loan applicants.  

You work hard to earn your money, and we don’t think you should waste a penny of it paying over the odds on your household bills. That’s why at MoneySuperMarket, we’re on a mission to save Britain money.

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