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Legitimate Bad Credit Loan Sources (BBB Accredited Companies)

Do you want to find out which companies provide potential borrowers, who have a low credit score, the ability to apply for loans online and what their repayment terms are?
Using the services of legitimate, law-abiding, and trustworthy lending websites is the best way to avoid the risks of being defrauded, scammed, or ripped off.

The following list provides information about direct lenders and comparison websites that were approved by the Better Business Bureau after being thoroughly reviewed by this national consumer organization and successfully meeting all their strict requirements.

Bad Credit Loans


Installment loans

Check into Cash

Payday loans


Online loan marketplace


Loan aggregator


Peer-to-peer personal loans


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Consequences of Having Poor Credit

Credit scores play a gigantic role in the day-to-day financial lives of all American adults.
Banks, private lenders, insurance companies, service providers, retailers, and other types of businesses use this mysterious number to determine a person’s creditworthiness.

Consumers with an excellent credit rating can save money and enjoy an extensive variety of attractive financing opportunities and lower interest rates.
Conversely, people with a problematic credit history that are tagged with a low score will find it very difficult to borrow, especially at an affordable interest rate.

Having bad credit is a position no one wants to be in, but it’s the inevitable result of past failures to make timely payments for bills and loans.

These failures may stem from a variety of reasons, such as innocent personal mistakes, serious financial mismanagement, natural difficulties in life, or unique circumstances like divorce, unemployment, illness, or additional hardships that people may experience during their lifetime.

Late payments (or not paying at all), debt collection accounts, bankruptcy filing, charge-offs, home foreclosure, past loan defaults, and judgments are some of the common factors that affect any individual’s credit score in a very negative way.

For lenders, the FICO and VantageScore models are important tools that represent the likelihood (or risk) that a given borrower will fail to make timely loan repayments in the future.

The 3-digit number, which ranges from 300 to 850, helps them evaluate the applicant’s financial health and decide who qualifies for a loan and on what terms.

Bad Credit Loan Options

As you might already know, getting approved for a loan when your credit is not in good shape is difficult and challenging — but not impossible.
It may sound surprising to some, but with some research, even Americans with a very poor financial record may still find a few borrowing options available to them.

While most U.S. banks and lending institutions decline applications from people who do not meet their minimum credit score requirements due to the risk they pose, other market players who specialize in this niche are happy to serve consumers in this category and charge them with much higher interest rates.

Unlike mainstream personal loans, which have strict qualification rules, some bad credit lenders look beyond one’s raw financial track record and may offer more flexible eligibility requirements and looser approval standards, an easy online application process, a soft inquiry or no credit check at all (in some cases), and fast approval times.

Needless to say, accelerated funding speeds can be extremely useful for individuals who encounter unexpected expenses or emergency situations and need the entire process to be completed urgently.

When you need cash as quickly as possible, having the money deposited in your bank account as soon as next business day – without lengthy administrative or operational delays, is extremely helpful.

However, here’s an extremely important word of caution that has to be considered before taking any new financial commitments.
Poor credit loan costs are much higher than what most borrowers will get from a traditional bank or other mainstream lenders in the market.

People with a low credit score have to deal with limited loan amounts, much higher APRs, more expensive finance charges and fees, as well as with other substantial disadvantages and restrictions.

So what are the main sources for bad credit loans and, in practical terms, where can you actually get them?
Here are the main channels for potentially obtaining these unique financial products:

  • Secured and unsecured personal loan companies who specialize in this target audience.
  • Loan aggregators, comparison websites, and search platforms that include offers from multiple direct lenders, including ones that are willing to provide financing solutions for borrowers with fair to poor credit.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) marketplaces, where investors compete for the borrower’s business.
  • Payday lenders offer small, short-term loans. This is the least favorable option for consumers, as they carry extremely high interest rates.
  • Credit unions
  • Asking family members or friends is a great way to avoid high interest rates and other fees.
  • Finding a co-signer and using their good credit score is another way to get better terms.
  • Non-profits, religious groups, and charity organizations can also be a good source for financial help.

Legitimate Bad Credit Loan Sources

Please remember that taking on debt, especially through questionable and possibly illegitimate sources that do not necessarily comply with state and federal laws, can put you in hot water, so beware of scams and be extremely careful when you decide who you do business with on a bad credit loan.

Make sure the company you plan to use is legally licensed in your state in order to confirm its legitimacy.
Remember: do not borrow money from any organization that is not duly certified in your state.

Compare ‘Apples to Apples’

Try to collect multiple quotes from as many lenders as possible before making a final decision.
Shop around, understand the different funding options, and compare the interest rates and repayment terms that each company offers.
Use this comparison work to make a smart and informed decision regarding whom to choose.

Investigate the Lender’s BBB Record

Check the company’s record on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
What you’ll find there will help you determine whether it’s a legitimate bad credit cash advance, installment, or personal loan company that deserves your trust or if you should look elsewhere.

Look for the current BBB rating, customer reviews, past borrower complaints, and official warnings and alerts on their business profile.
Also, learn how long it has been in business – a potential indicator of experience and reputation.

If the company is not even listed with the BBB, this is a very bad sign.
On the other hand, if the researched lending website is certified as a BBB Accredited Business, it’s an important, positive signal.

Pay Close Attention to Red Flags

Learn how to protect yourself better when ordering goods and services on the internet to avoid scammers and keep safe in general.
Knowing how to check if a website is legitimate or not is the first line of defense.

Alternative: Consider a Long-Term Approach

If possible, do not take the loan and instead adopt a more comprehensive approach that deals with the root cause of the problem and has clear, long-term benefits.
Use your time and energy to change your ‘bad credit’ status by repairing your personal credit report.

Cleaning up your blemished credit history will help you raise your score and qualify for loans at much better repayment terms, which are reflected in higher loan amounts, significantly lower interest rates, and lower monthly installments.