Instant loans for bad credit provide you quick access to cash for emergencies like car repairs and medical bills. If you’re facing a temporary setback and need to cover unexpected gaps in your income, this can be a viable option.

When comparing loan options, it’s important to check the eligibility requirements, loan terms, and interest rates. Ultimately, the best bad credit loan is one that is affordable and offers quick approvals and funding.

Can You Get an Instant Loan With Bad Credit?

While it’s difficult to qualify with most traditional banks, you can get instant bad credit loans from online lenders. Look for lenders with lower minimum credit score requirements or no credit check loans.

Many online lenders specialize in lending to borrowers with poor credit, but they compensate for this risk with high annual percentage rates (APRs). It’s also important to remember that there are no guaranteed approvals for online loans. The ultimate decision for approval rests with the lender.

How Are Instant Loans Different From Traditional Loans

Instant approval loans for bad credit and traditional loans are both personal loans. Typically, with a traditional personal loan, the lender will check your credit to determine if you qualify. Most traditional financial institutions require a credit score of at least 580 to qualify.

Instant approval loans are more accessible because they’re targeted to borrowers with bad credit. The lenders have flexible eligibility requirements, so they’re easier to qualify for.

Another difference between the two is that with instant loans, you’ll typically get an instant decision about the loan approval. The loan application process is online, so the decision doesn’t take long. Once approved, you may get the loan funds in your bank account on the next business day. Traditional loans may take longer to approve and fund.

Pros and Cons of Instant Loans

While an instant loan for bad credit can be a lifesaver when you need money the most, it does have a few drawbacks. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before you sign the loan agreement.


  • Easier to qualify for compared to traditional personal loans
  • Easy online application
  • Instant approval decision
  • Quick funding
  • Timely payments can help improve your credit score
  • Not as expensive as other quick loan solutions like payday loans


  • Interest rates can be higher
  • Loan costs can be higher due to fees like origination fees, late payment fees, and prepayment penalties
  • Shorter repayment periods
  • Monthly payments can be higher
  • Can damage your credit if you don’t repay the loan as agreed

Teresa Dodson, a debt expert and the founder of Greenbacks Consulting, offers her opinion on instant loans. “I would avoid getting an instant loan when having bad credit,” Dodson cautions. “The interest rate isn't the only thing that's high. Typically there are a number of other fees you must pay to obtain the loan,” she says.

“For most people, this type of loan becomes a vicious debt trap they can't get out of,” Dodson adds.

5 Lenders That Offer Instant Loans for Bad Credit

With dozens of lenders offering instant loans for bad credit, picking a loan offer that aligns with your needs can be overwhelming. To make things easier, we compared 15 lenders offering instant loans and picked our top five recommendations based on the interest rates, fees, repayment terms, and loan amounts they offer.

Loan AmountsAPRRepayment TermsMinimum Credit Score
Upstart$1,000-$50,0006.40%-35.99%36-60 months300
TD Bank$2,000-$50,0008.99%-23.99%36-60 months300
Universal Credit$1,000-$50,00011.69%-35.99%36-60 months560
Oportun$300-$10,00029%-35.95%12-60 monthsNone
Avant$2,000-$35,0009.95%-35.99%12-60 months550

Tips To Improve Credit and Qualify for Instant Loans

While it can be difficult to borrow money with bad credit, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of qualifying. Here are our top tips to improve your credit before you apply for an instant loan.

Pay Bills on Time

The best thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills in full on time. Your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score, so this can have a huge impact.

Start by making a monthly budget if you don’t already have one. This will allow you to get a clear understanding of your income and the bills you need to pay each month. We also recommend setting up autopay to ensure you never miss a payment or incur late fees.  

Check and Correct Credit Reports

Get copies of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Review your credit history and look for errors. You can dispute errors on your credit report and have them removed. This can help improve your credit score.

Build Credit History with Secured Credit Cards

Another way to build your credit is by applying for a secured credit card and paying off the balance in full each month. If you don’t qualify for a regular credit card, you can get a secured credit card by offering a deposit.

Your credit limit will be equal to your deposit, but on-time payments can help you improve your credit score over time. You may be able to secure a regular credit card as well as qualify for the best personal loans as your credit score improves.

Get An Instant Loan With Bad Credit

Instant approval loans for bad credit can be a quick and easy way to get cash when you’re in a financial bind. Be sure to check the loan rates offered by multiple lenders and ensure that the loan payments align with your budget.

You can also explore other alternatives, such as payday loans, credit cards, and cash advances based on your financial needs. While each of these options comes with high interest rates, they can help you pay for unexpected expenses if you don’t have other resources. If you can offer collateral, you may be able to qualify for lower interest rates with a secured loan.