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Can I get a loan without a credit check?

What's involved in a loan application?

If you have bad credit you might be searching for a ‘no-credit check loan’. Our guide covers what is involved in a loan application and what to consider...

By Lucy Hancock

Published: 16 July 2021

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Can I get a no credit check loan?

If you’ve been in financial difficulty in the past and have a history of bad credit it is understandable you’ll feel anxious about needing to apply for a loan. You might be searching for a ‘no credit check loan’ for example. But unfortunately, all legitimate and regulated loan providers will do a credit check on you when you apply.

Lenders aren’t out to judge your money choices when it comes to credit checks – instead, they’re looking to see how you’ve handled borrowing in the past to decide if you’re a reliable borrower. It also safeguards you as a borrower because you don’t want to be taking on more debt if it would put your finances at risk.

So, while credit checks may make it more difficult for you to be accepted for a loan if you have a bad credit history – they're there to help make sure you can afford to borrow and if it’s the right time for you to do so.

Why do loan providers need to carry out a credit check?

Loan providers will carry out a credit check to assess how reliable you are as a borrower. They will look at what borrowing you have and how you’ve handled credit in the past.

In simple terms, a credit check is made up of the information the three credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, have on you. They don’t care about how much you spend at the supermarket or the local cafe, but they will look at how much you’ve borrowed from lenders and how reliably you’ve paid it back.

Lenders use this information to decide your ‘credit-worthiness’ before they offer you a loan. It also affects the rate of interest you’ll be offered and the amount you’ll pay back each month. You’re more likely to be given a lower interest rate if you have a strong credit history.

What is my credit score?

Before you’re offered a loan, lenders will check whether your credit score is in good shape. Your credit score, or credit rating, is based on your financial history and how well you’ve managed credit in the past. When you apply for a loan (or other types of borrowing like a credit card or mortgage) lenders will look at your credit score to determine whether you’re a responsible borrower.

You can monitor your credit file and score with our free Credit Monitor service. Sign up and get free tips and tricks on how to improve your score. You’ll also see where you're ticking the right boxes already!

I have bad credit, will my loan application be declined?

While you may find it harder to find the right loan when you have bad credit, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be declined. There are lenders that specialise in loans for bad credit, but like all loans there will be factors that affect your eligibility.

See what loans you might be eligible for with our loan eligibility checker. We know that applying for a loan can feel stressful, particularly if you know you don’t have a good credit score. It's hard to know if you’ll be approved and your options are likely to be more limited. That’s where we can help. Our loan eligibility checker shows you the guaranteed interest rate, you’ll get if you’re accepted, but the search won’t harm your credit score.

What are the easiest loans to get with bad credit?

Having bad credit doesn’t always mean an instant ‘no’ to taking out a loan. But it’s always important to weigh up whether taking out a loan is a good idea financially, especially if you’ve struggled with credit in the past. Make sure you can afford to keep up with repayments, as missing payments could negatively impact your credit score.

There are loans for bad credit available which may suit you depending on how much money you need, including:

  • Guarantor loans: Guarantor loans can be a good option if you have bad credit, as they give the lender reassurance that the money will be paid back even if you default. This is because a guarantor, usually a family member or close friend, agrees to be responsible for paying the remainder of the loan if you can’t pay it yourself. Guarantor loans often come with high interest rates.
  • Secured loans: If you’re struggling to be approved for a personal loan, a secured loan may work as an alternative. Secured loans use a valuable asset, like a car or your house, as security (known as ‘collateral’). Secured loans typically come with lower interest rates than unsecured loans because the lender has the asset to claim if you default. The main risk for you is if you fail to keep up with repayments you could lose your possessions.

If my loan is accepted, how quickly will I get the cash?

How quickly you’ll receive your loan will vary depending on the provider. Some lenders will credit the money to your bank account by the next working day, while others may take longer to approve your application.

Applying online may mean a faster approval time. Comparing loans with MoneySuperMarket can make the process quick and simple.

Our loan eligibility checker can show you the guaranteed interest rate, loan amount and duration you’ll get if you’re accepted – and all without harming your credit score, which should take some of the worry away.

Alternative ways to access credit

If you’re worried about applying for credit, especially if you’ve struggled with bad credit in the past, using our eligibility checker can help you decide whether taking out a loan is the right option for you – and it won’t further harm your credit rating.

An alternative to mainstream credit and credit-builder products are credit unions - non-profit and social organisations that offer financial products to members who sign up. Each credit union’s loans, savings and current accounts are only available to its members – often linked by a common interest like their job or where they live. Credit unions do offer loans to eligible borrowers, but they will usually lend smaller amounts than banks and traditional lenders.

If you’re struggling with paying off debt, there are a number of debt charities, such as StepChange and Citizen’s Advice, that can help you negotiate with creditors, set up a realistic repayment plan and get back on your feet.

How can I increase my chance of being eligible for a loan?

There are several ways you can improve your chances of being accepted for a loan, including:

  • Work on your credit score: Your credit history is important to lenders. It shows how you’ve managed credit in the past. If yours needs some nurturing, our guide on how to improve your credit score has lots of handy tips
  • Make sure you can afford it: Lenders are responsible for checking you can afford any borrowing. If you’re worried about not being able to afford the loan, the lender is likely to have concerns too
  • Prove your stability: Things like being on the electoral roll and having at least one credit account for a few years can show the lender you’re in a stable position
  • Being employed: Lenders tend to prefer you to be employed and have a consistent income to make sure you can afford your repayments

Compare loans for bad credit with MoneySuperMarket

Compare loans with MoneySuperMarket and let us take the anxiety out of the process. We compare loans from a wide range of lenders across the market using a ‘soft search’, meaning your credit score won’t be affected.

We'll show you your chance of being accepted and if you're pre-approved for a loan, you know that if you apply, you’ll be accepted. The loan amount, duration and interest rate are all confirmed.

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead, we are usually paid a fee by the lender – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.

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