Bad Credit Loans

Getting a loan with bad credit can be difficult, but it's not impossible.

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Representative 49.7% APR. Representative Example: Borrowing £1,200 at an interest rate of 0.34% per day for up to 75 days (124% per annum, variable) and a Representative rate of 49.7% APR (variable).
Choose Wisely is a trading style of Choose Wisely Limited and is a free to use price comparison website. Choose Wisely Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a credit broker not a lender, firm reference number 730574 and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office number Z3106681.

A quick, easy way to get a bad credit loan today.

  • Borrow from £300 to £10000.

  • Choose between lenders who have accepted your application.

  • Absolutely no fees, ever.

Representative 49.7% APR.

How to get a bad credit loan in 3 simple steps.

Affordability assessment.

1 form - takes 2 minutes to complete and your data is 100% secure.

Compare products.

Choose from lenders that have accepted your application.

Speedy finance.

If approved, the cash can be in your account in as little as 15 minutes.[†]

Table of contents

Written by Andrew Freelander
Read time: ~5 mins
Published: 4th April 2016 Updated: 18th August 2021

Can I get a loan with bad credit?

It is possible to get a loan if you have a poor credit rating, but it becomes more important to understand and compare your options before you apply. To provide a starting point, here are the some of most popular types of loan that customers search for when looking for a bad credit loan.

Compare bad credit direct lenders

Where to get loans with poor credit?

There are many different websites to help people get traditional loans but it pays to be careful. Many sites claim to offer things like guaranteed approval, high acceptance rates, impartial advice, hassle-free affordability checks, no additional fees on anything borrowed, or flexible repayment periods to potential borrowers.

On the surface these "attractive deals" sound like they will play to your advantage and whilst partially true in some cases, some so-called financial experts don't have borrowers best interest at heart.At best you can run into trouble paying for a credit checking service you don't use, at worst they can force people in further financial difficulties. That's why we suggest making the Choose Wisely website your go-to for any initial application.

All of the lenders featured on Choose Wisely appear on the financial services register. Choose Wisely is making a stand for financial inclusion and we're vowing to make it safe for you to compare banking and borrowing products.

Which loan company is best for poor credit?

In short, there is no one company that is best for people with poor credit. This is because lending decisions are based on the individual and their situation. We think anyone searching for a loan should instead ask… ”which loan company is best for me?”

What are the alternatives to low credit loans?

Where do you start if you require an alternative to a low credit loan? If you have problems covering payments historically which products should you look at? How can you spot the difference between a low credit loan and something else?

  1. We have different pages on our website to cover any individual requirements. If a poor credit loan isn't for you, you'll likely find what you're looking for by using our site navigation.

  2. Alternatives are credit line products such as Tappily or Drafty, doorstep loans, logbook loans, credit unions, subscription loans and pawnbroking.

  3. The 2 key characteristics of low credit loans are often APRs of 49% and above on loan amounts of £100 up to £15000.

Bad credit loans FAQs

Why should I get a bad credit loan?

If you need cash for life’s hurdles then bad credit loans are suitable for those with adverse credit history, few instances of prior borrowing, and those that are new to the UK. It may not be the cheapest way to borrow, this time, but it might help you get the cash you’re looking for.

Are poor credit loans legit?

With any product, there are less than friendly providers. The key is spotting the real from the fake. We’ve removed that potential pitfall for you. All of the products featured on Choose Wisely are legitimate and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority before they're shown on this website.

What are the advantages of bad credit loans?

If you’re new to the country, have a thin file or a poor score based on past lending then bad credit loans have their advantages. Lenders are more likely to be accepting of adverse credit history. They may also help improve your credit score if you keep up repayments demonstrating responsible lending behaviour.

What are the disadvantages of bad credit loans?

The main disadvantage is the cost, it will usually be more expensive to borrow if you have a poor credit history. Evidence of multiple high-cost loans on your file may be viewed negatively by future creditors as they demonstrate a willingness to accept expensive, short term products.

What banks offer loans for bad credit?

Most banks offer loans with lower APRs and usually offer a range of APRs depending on your creditworthiness. These tend to be for those with good or fair credit, but it’s worth speaking to someone at your local branch to see what they would advise.

Can I get a loan without credit check?

No. Traditional lenders check your credit file to assess the level of risk you represent. They determine this from your score and if you have missed payments in the past (among other factors). As part of our application process, the lenders we feature run a ‘soft credit check’ and whilst this shows on your report it doesn’t impact your score. When you complete an application with a lender they'll run a hard credit check to verify your personal details and provide a final lending decision.

Can I apply for loans without a guarantor?

If you you don't have a guarantor there are no-guarantor products on Choose Wisely. They have higher APRs as lenders don’t have the security of a guarantor to support your application, so they account for the risk by making borrowing slightly more expensive.

Should I choose a bad credit loan or a credit card?

Unfortunately, it's not a ‘one size fits all’ approach as both have their pros and cons depending on your personal situation. Some cards offer similar rates to bad credit loans but may have other fees included. Some have higher rates but provide a constant line of credit. It’s important to take enough time to consider any borrowing decision before you dive in.

Are there any direct lenders in the UK who offer guaranteed approval?

There are no authorised direct lenders in the UK that offer guaranteed approval. Any responsible lender has an obligation to perform adequate affordability checks on every customer to ensure they won't further damage their credit health and/or lives. If you see the promise of ‘guaranteed approval’ it’s usually a telltale sign not to be trusted.

Can I get a bad credit loan if I’ve defaulted on accounts before?

It can depend on how recent the default activity was. Defaults clear your report after 6 years from the date of default. It's possible to find a product if you’ve had a previous default, however, it may be trickier and you may be asked to provide extra information showing account activity for longer periods.

Can I get a loan with previous CCJs on my credit file?

You can still apply for a loan with previous County Court Judgements. Bad credit lenders take a reasonable view of previous financial problems. Having CCJs on your file can remove some options as only select lenders will take on the risk.

Can I get a loan if I’ve been declared bankrupt?

It’s not impossible to get a loan if you’ve been declared bankrupt but it is much harder. If a lender accepts your application it will likely only be for a relatively small amount. If you’re discharged from bankruptcy there’s no limit on borrowing but it's still difficult to find lenders that will accept your application. Especially in the 6 year period from the date of bankruptcy as it still shows on your report.

Written by
Andrew Freelander
Brand & Content Manager at Choose Wisely

Andrew joined Choose Wisely 5 years ago, originally working in a design capacity to make sure the website was simple to use. Most notably he worked with the Consumer Finance Association to design the comparison table of choice for High-Cost Short Term Finance products.

The quickest way to find the best bad credit loan for you.

No obligation. 100% secure.

Important Information.

All of the information in this guide is correct at the time of writing.

Rates shown are quotes based on your personal circumstances, are subject to status and are available to those aged 18 and over. Rates available range from a minimum of 3.9%APR to a maximum of 1575%APR Representative and loan repayment periods range from 3 to 60 months.

[*][†] Once accepted, your loan can be transferred to you in as little as 15 minutes. The time that it takes for the loan to show in your bank account will depend on your lender and your bank.

If you need financial advice you can visit stepchange, speak to citizens advice, call the national debtline or speak to moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

If you've been declined, please refer to your credit report to gain an understanding of why before making further applications.
Your score can be accessed for free via any of the main credit reference agencies such as Credit Karma, Clearscore or Experian.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk