What to look for in a lender

Peer-to-peer lenders make loans using funds collected from thousands of payday loans Tennessee individual investors. Some bad credit options are available – loans are approved on a case-by-case basis – but interest rates can be as high as 36%. You can use these loans for any purpose: debt consolidation, starting a business, or even purchasing a car.

LendingClub Bank offers a peer-to-peer lending platform where you’ll be lent money from real investors, rather than a giant corporation. You can check your rates in a matter of minutes with no effect on your credit score. 95% – so not so terrible, especially when compared to high interest credit cards.

Prosper f ocuses on personal loans. Their application takes just a few minutes, and you can get approved for loans up to $40,000. Prosper offers a number of term lengths ranging from three to five years, so you can pick the one that fits your budget. Plus, all your payments are at a fixed interest rate, so you don’t have to worry about your payment terms suddenly changing.

They say on their site that the average APR on their personal loans is 15

It’s important to read loan terms carefully and understand all the potential costs of a loan. These can include fees above and beyond the interest rate (APR). This is especially true of loans for consumers with bad credit.

APR. This is going to make up a chunk of your loan, so you want to make sure you’re getting the best interest rate you can qualify for. Do your homework – really – and check around for your best rate options. With poor credit, your choices are more limited, but you still have choices and shouldn’t settle for the first lender that says yes. Even a small difference in APR can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional interest payments over many years.

Your loan terms. How long do you have to repay the loan? Make sure you are able to pay off the loan early without penalty. Is the interest rate fixed or variable (meaning it could go up at any time)?

Fees. These can include origination fees, credit check fees and early payoff fees. Late fees are standard but can be avoided with timely payments.

How to increase your chance of getting approved for a loan with bad credit

Understand your credit score. Before you take out a loan, know your credit score and own it. Like it or not, your score will determine a lot about your loan rates and terms.

Know how much you can pay each month. Never take out a loan that you don’t think you’ll be able to pay back in a timely manner. Doing so will result in excessive fees and interest, further damage to your credit, and a much more difficult financial situation to get out of.

Gather your documents. When you apply for a loan there are certain documents you’ll be required to provide, depending on the type of loan you’re looking for. These include things like your W-2(s), evidence of Social Security or pension income, copies of completed tax returns, make, model and value of your car, and much more. Always check with your specific lender before beginning the full application process.

Determine if you need a cosigner. If you have bad credit, having a cosigner can dramatically increase your chances of approval. A cosigner is someone who has a higher credit score and is willing to take on the financial burden of the loan in the event that you can’t make the payments.