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Pay Down My Debt

A Procrastinator’s Guide to Managing Your Finances

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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Many of us fall victim to procrastination from time to time. And when it comes to managing your finances, avoiding or delaying tasks can get expensive very quickly.

“Our lives are busy, and sometimes we don’t want to deal with it,” says Gerri Detweiler, education director at the business credit management website Nav and author of “Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights.

In fact, Detweiler remembers the price she paid the year she pushed off renewing her business filings with the state.

“I didn’t get it done right away and paid enormously for it,” she said.

No matter the reason behind your procrastination, it can lead to a financial mess unless you move it to the forefront of your to-do list. Know that it is possible to transform into a doer – even if you’re a habitual procrastinator – by adopting the small changes below to achieve big results down the line.

1. Automate as much as possible

If you’re prone to procrastination, keeping on top of payments can feel overwhelming, especially if you have multiple lenders you need to pay every month. Consider automating your payments so you can avoid late fees and charges. Detweiler advises setting up text or email alerts so you know when payments are due and if there are any changes to the minimum payment amount. You can set up automatic payments with either the lender or through your bank’s bill pay tool; all you have to do is just make sure you have enough money in your account to cover what you owe.

2. Consolidate debt so you have fewer bills to keep track of

The average person has 3.06 bank cards and 2.5 retail cards, according to Experian’s 2018 State of Credit Report. Detweiler advises keeping two credit cards active at any given time: one with a lower interest rate to use for bigger purchases where you can revolve a balance, and a second credit card that is used for everything else, including earning rewards, that you pay off in full at the end of month. Then, put the rest of your cards in a drawer once they’re paid off and use them only occasionally to keep the accounts from being closed by the issuer.

If you have multiple high-interest credit card balances, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer card offering 0% interest for a specific period of time. While most balance transfer deals charge a 3% balance transfer fee, which is added to the amount you transfer, it may make financial sense to move multiple balances to one card with one payment. Then, devise a repayment plan to knock down that balance as much as possible during the no-interest period as your payments will all be directed toward the principal until the 0% offer has expired.

Another option is to consolidate multiple card balances or other debts with a debt consolidation loan. Depending on how good your credit score is, you may be able to find a lender offering an interest rate lower than what you’re paying on your credit cards. The beauty of a debt consolidation loan is that you can use it to pay off your debts and then have one fixed payment over a specific period of time, generally two to five years. Of course, this will only help if you have the discipline to refrain from adding new debts or purchases to your now-cleared credit cards.

If you’re really struggling and over your head with your finances, consider talking to a credit counselor that can put you on a debt management plan.

3. Turn to technology to help change behavior

If you’re a procrastinator, relying on your willpower can be challenging. Thankfully, technology can help with that. Consider turning to apps or websites to help change any unhealthy behaviors and transform any bad habits.

For instance, you could download a robo-saving app, such as Digit, or enroll in a savings program like Bank of America’s Keep the Change, that help make saving as painless and out-of-mind as possible. Remember that small financial goals (like saving $5 per day versus $150 per month) will seem more achievable and can help lead to big improvements.

Other apps or websites aggregate information about multiple accounts, so you can see what’s due and what’s outstanding on a weekly or monthly basis, can also come in handy. Detweiler suggests Mint, Credit Karma, or the EveryDollar budget app. She also suggests setting reminders so you can remember to log in regularly. When you see the progress you’ve made in a chart or graph, it acts like a reward that is sent to your brain, which is key to long-lasting behavior changes, as journalist Charles Duhigg noted in his book “The Power of Habit.”

Whether your procrastination is the result of being really bad at time management or overly demanding standards that result in unhealthy levels of perfectionism, it helps to be aware of what’s causing any counterproductive, irrational behavior so you can determine how to do better.

For instance, if you’re really bad at estimating how long it’ll take you to finish a task, then make a habit of starting earlier than you normally would. Or, if your overly demanding standards stop you from getting started, then remind yourself before you start the task that “done” is better than perfect and think back to times that procrastination has proven harmful to you.

Changing behaviors, like managing your time better or reducing any anxiety you feel when tackling big tasks (like paying multiple lenders every month), can be challenging, but not impossible. Breaking things down into small, simpler tasks and using technology to help you as much as possible can set you on a fresh path to break unhealthy habits and lead to big improvements on your finances.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Vivian Giang
Vivian Giang |

Vivian Giang is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Vivian here

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Personal Loans

Best Personal Loans of 2019

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

If your goal is to pay off a credit card or consolidate debt, a personal loan that offers you a fixed amount of money for a fixed period can be a great option. In many cases, the interest rate is also fixed so you know exactly how much money you’ll be paying back and when you’ll be debt-free. Since your debts will be combined into one loan and a single monthly payment, a personal loan also makes it easier to manage your finances.

Unlike most traditional banks, which are required to do a hard credit inquiry when checking your interest rate (and each inquiry hurting your credit score by 10 points or more), many online lenders can perform a soft credit pull during pre-approvals, allowing you to shop around for loan terms and rates before deciding on a lender. After just a couple of minutes, these lenders present personalized loan offers which can include the loan amount, monthly payment, length of loan, interest rate and APR.

With so many available personal loan options, the likelihood of finding a lender that works for you may be good depending on your financial situation. Below, we’ve highlighted the top personal loans for people with excellent, good, average and bad credit. The lenders selected were sorted by college graduated borrowers looking for $10,000 and narrowed based on lowest APR.

LendingTree

With so many lenders out there, where should you start? You may explore lenders using LendingTree’s personal loan tool. After filling out one short form, LendingTree will perform a soft pull and match you with up to five loan offers from lenders.

Using the personal loan tool is an easy way to get multiple offers at one time. For borrowers with excellent credit, you could aim for an interest rate below 6%, and for people with less than perfect credit, LendingTree will match you with lenders with more liberal acceptance criteria.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Best personal loans for excellent credit: LightStream

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank that offers competitive rates and terms for personal loan products. LightStream’s products are for prime borrowers with good to excellent credit. One big downside is that LightStream does not do soft pulls for pre-approvals.

APR

3.99%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.99% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $295.20.

The fine print

If you have excellent credit, LightStream is a good option to choose for a personal loan. It offers competitive rates, starting at 3.99% and going up to 16.99%, with a pay period from 24 to 144 months. It also offers a 0.50% rate discount for using autopay (included in the lowest rate of 3.99%).

Although a minimum credit score isn’t listed, LightStream is candid about its personal loans being for borrowers with good credit, which is generally defined as a credit score of 700 or above. LightStream does outline some key characteristics that it thinks people with good credit share, including:

  • Having many years of credit history
  • A credit history with a variety of accounts such as credit cards, installment loans and mortgages
  • Evidence of a good payment history and being able to save

Once approved, borrowers can receive their funds in as little as one day. If you meet LightStream’s strict excellent credit requirements, you get some perks: its Rate Beat program promises to beat the APR by any other lender by 0.10% (albeit the other lender must be offering the same loan amount, loan term, loan purpose and payment method. The borrower must be able to provide sufficient evidence that they are already approved for the other lender’s APR), and its Loan Experience Guarantee program rewards borrowers with cash if they’re unsatisfied with the application process.

While you can use the loan for almost anything — adoption fees, debt consolidation, dental work, home improvements, IVF/fertility treatments, weddings — LightStream’s personal loan cannot be used to finance a post-secondary education, commercial vehicles or other business needs.

Pros

  • Competitive rates on fixed loan (as low as 3.99%)
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalties.
  • Rate Beat Program
  • A 0.50% rate discount for autopay
  • Same day funding possible

Cons

  • Hard Pull when checking rates
  • Strict approval process for only borrowers with excellent credit
  • Cannot change payment date on loan
  • Loans cannot be used for refinancing student loans or college education

While its criteria for approvals are strict, borrowers get the best deal with the Rate Beat program and customer experience with the Loan Experience Guarantee program.

Best personal loans for good credit: RocketLoans

RocketLoans is the personal loan business unit under the Quicken Loans family of companies. As the largest mortgage lender in the U.S., Quicken Loans expanded into personal loans in 2015. RocketLoans is an online lender promising short approval times and a user-friendly lending platform.

APR

5.98%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 6.00%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Rocketloans is a digital finance business that is part of the Quicken Loans family. ... Read More

The fine print

Borrower must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska), reside in the U.S., have a minimum FICO credit score of 640, and credit history of two years. The maximum debt-to-income ratio is 40% (excluding mortgage) and 70% (including mortgage) and the minimum income you have to make is $24,000 annually.

RocketLoans offers loans from $2,000 to $45,000 for 36 or 60 months with an APR starting at 5.98% (with autopay discount) and up to 29.99%. Borrowers can use their loan for anything. If you’re qualified, borrowers may receive up to $25,000 within the same business day.

Unfortunately, RocketLoans does charge fees: a one-time, non-refundable origination fee (1.00% - 6.00% of loan amount), a late fee of $15 once the payment is 10 days past due, and a fee of $15 if payment does not go through.

Pros

  • Same-day lending (up to $25,000)
  • Completely online
  • Soft pull pre-approval rate available
  • Can use the loan for anything

Cons

  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%
  • Late payment fee: $15 per occurrence
  • Payment return fee: $15 per occurrence

With its emphasis on digitization, RocketLoans is easy-to-use and can provide pre-approval loan term and rate within one to two minutes.

Best personal loans for average credit: Peerform

Founded in 2010 by Wall Street executives and acquired in 2016 by New York-based Versara Lending, Peerform is a peer-to-peer lending model that matches borrowers seeking loans with potential investors — individuals and corporations. Peerform consider borrowers who have difficulty qualifying for a personal loan through other lenders with a credit score as low as 600.

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Origination Fee

1.00% - 5.00%

APPLY NOW Secured

on Peerform’s secure website

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More

The fine print

Applicants with poor credit (as low as 600) will need to show that their debt-to-income ratio is below 40% and that they have at least one revolving account such as a credit card. Borrowers cannot have any current delinquencies or a recent bankruptcy, court judgments, tax liens or non-medical-based collections from the past year.

Peerform offers fixed rate loans from $4,000 to $25,000 for three or five years. Loans come with APRs as low 5.99% and as high as 29.99%. It can take up to two weeks for loans to be fully funded and even so, Peerform cannot guarantee that it will be completely. If the fund is not funded by at least $4,000 and more than 60% of the requested amount within two weeks, the loan is considered incomplete and borrowers have a right to decline it.

There are certain restrictions on loans provided by Peerform, such as it cannot be used to refinance student loans. There are also fees: $15 for payments past 15 days from the due date, $15 on returned payments and an origination fee ranging from 1.00% - 5.00% that is subtracted from the loan amount.

Peerform does not lend to borrowers living in Connecticut, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia or Wyoming. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a resident in the U.S. (or 19 for those living in Nebraska or Alabama).

Pros

  • Loans for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit
  • Can make a late payment up to 14 days past due date without paying a fee
  • Can accept or decline a partially-funded loan
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons

  • Soft Pull available for pre-approvals
  • Fees: origination, late payment, returned payment
  • May take up to 14 days to receive funding
  • Does not guarantee complete funding

While there are some cons, like the fact that Peerform does not guarantee complete funding within 14 days, it is still considered a viable option for those with average to poor credit.

Best personal loans for bad credit: Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a digitized line of services that include personal loans, savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

5.99%
To
28.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More

The fine print

While there is no minimum credit score, a FICO Score higher than 660 is preferred. Marcus by Goldman Sachs performs a soft pull during the pre-approval stage.

Borrowers can qualify for up to $40,000 in debt consolidation and credit consolidation for 36 to 72 months and APRs start as low as 5.99%.

To get a loan, you must be a resident in the U.S. and at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a U.S. bank account and a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

There is no origination fee or late fees, so if you miss a payment, your loan will be extended and interest is added to the amount owed. Borrowers also have the option to defer a payment after making on-time payments for one year.

Pros

  • No origination fee
  • No late fees
  • Ability to defer a payment after a year of on-time payments
  • Wide range of repayment terms available between 36 to 72 months
  • Can see rates with a soft pull

Cons

  • Currently not available in Maryland
  • No joint applications
  • Late payments will accumulate more interest, resulting in a larger final payment

For borrowers who prefer to work with a personal lender, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is great option.

Methodology

Lenders were selected from MagnifyMoney’s personal loans comparisons page when sorted by borrowers looking for $10,000 with excellent, good, average and bad credit who hold a college degree. They were narrowed based on lowest APR. If a lender with the lowest APR was already highlighted in a previous category, we chose the lender with the next lowest APR.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Vivian Giang
Vivian Giang |

Vivian Giang is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Vivian here

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Won’t impact your credit score

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Personal Loans

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

personal loans for bad credit
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For life’s unexpected surprises that happen during already tough financial times, there are options out there that can help you get out of debt and rebuild credit.

If you have high-interest debts that are overwhelming and spiraling out of control, you might want to consider a personal loan, which you could use to consolidate your debts into a single loan and reduce the number of payments you’re making every month. With one personal loan, you could lower the total interest you’re paying, make lower monthly payments and pay less money in total.

While those with higher credit scores generally get better rates for personal loans, some lenders offer loans to people with bad credit. And the more you work at it, the more debt you’ll pay off — and the more improvement you’ll see with your credit.

Since many lenders will perform a soft credit pull, which doesn’t hurt your credit, the best way to shop for a loan is to find out the loans for which you pre-qualify. Below, we’ve highlighted the best personal loans for people with bad credit.

LendingTree

LendingTree is a great place to start. It could provide you a list of up to five lenders that offer prequalification, as well as the amount you can borrow and possible interest rates.

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Avant

Originally launched as AvantCredit in 2012, Avant is a Chicago-based online lender that has issued loans to 600,000 borrowers. The personal loan can be used for debt consolidation, emergency expenses or home improvement costs. Also, Avant is a great option for self-employed borrowers since you can provide two years of full tax returns rather than W-2 paperwork as proof of income.

APR

9.95%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Up to 4.75%

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More

The fine print

Avant will perform a soft pull so that potential borrowers can see their rate and loan options before doing a hard pull. Personal loan amounts can be anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000 with an APR as low as 9.95%. Loan terms range from 24 to 60 months, and borrowers can receive their funding as soon as the next business day. Unfortunately, a personal loan with Avant does come with some fees — an administrative fee of up to 4.75%, which is subtracted from your total loan amount; a late payment fee of $25; and a payment returned fee of $15.

Pros

  • Quick access to funds (typically the next business day)
  • Good option for self-employed borrowers
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons

  • Origination fee (administrative fee of up to 4.75%)
  • Late payment fee of $25 once payment is 10 days past due
  • A $15 fee if your payment is returned
  • Automatic payments linked to a checking or savings account are required

Avant has received numerous accolades for its financial services and offerings, including being No. 6 on Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies list in 2015, and No. 5 on PitchBook’s list of fastest companies to reach a $2 billion valuation in 2017.

While the above lenders are good options to consider if you have bad credit and need a personal loan to get your finances in order, consider digging into consumer experience to make sure the company is the right one for you. Check out the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or with your state attorney general for more information.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Goldman Sachs may be widely known for its investment services, but in recent years, the firm launched Marcus by Goldman Sachs, an internet-only line of services for the masses that includes personal loans, savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

5.99%
To
28.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More

The fine print

When it comes to its line of personal loans, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers borrowers up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. APRs start as low as 5.99%.

While there is no minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan through Marcus by Goldman Sachs, a FICO® Score higher than 660 is preferred. Potential borrowers can have a soft pull done on their credit to compare loan options.

To get a loan, applicants must be at least 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a U.S. bank account and a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

There is no origination fee, and loan terms range from 36 to 72 months. There are no late fees for borrowers, meaning if you miss a payment, your loan will be extended and more interest will be added to the total amount owed. If borrowers are having a hard time financially, they have the ability to defer a payment after making on-time payments for one year.

Pros

  • No origination fee
  • No late fees
  • Ability to defer a payment after a year of on-time payments
  • Wide range of repayment terms available between 36 and 72 months
  • Can see rates with a soft pull

Cons

  • Currently not available in Maryland
  • No clear qualification information
  • Late payments will accumulate more interest, resulting in a larger final payment

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is great option if you want to work with a traditional lender and are looking for a personal loan at a lower rate.

OneMain Financial

Since starting in 1912 under the name Commercial Credit, OneMain Financial — the first chapter of Citigroup — has changed its name several times and settled on its current one in 2011. Today, the lender is a good option for borrowers looking for a more personalized experience with more than 1,600 branches in 44 states.

APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


All loans subject to OneMain’s normal credit policies. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet OneMain’s standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Collateral requirements would include a first lien on a motor vehicle that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. The lowest annual percentage rate (APR) shown represents APRs for top 10% of loans closed. Maximum APR is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.Residents in the following states are subject to the following loan size restrictions: Alabama residents: $2,100 minimum loan amount. California residents: $3,000 minimum loan amount. Florida residents: Unless you are a present customer, $8,000 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. Georgia residents: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Iowa residents: Unless you are a present customer, $8,500 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. Maine residents: Unless you are a present customer, $7,000 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. Mississippi residents: Unless you are a present customer, $7,500 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. North Carolina residents: Unless you are a present customer, $7,500 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. New York residents: Unless you are a present customer, $20,000 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. Ohio residents: $2,000 minimum loan amount. Texas residents: Unless you are a present customer, $8,000 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. Virginia residents: $2,600 minimum loan amount. West Virginia residents: Unless you are a present customer, $7,500 maximum loan amount for unsecured loans. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

The fine print

Personal loans from OneMain Financial can be used for debt consolidation as well as a number of expenses that come up in life from medical care to car repair to weddings. Funds cannot be used to refinance student loans. OneMain Financial offers $1,500 to $30,000 loans to borrowers with APRs ranging from 16.05% to 35.99% for 24 to 60 months. The fixed rate loan with fixed payments can either be secured — meaning you’ll need to provide collateral — or unsecured. The minimum credit score, length of credit history and debt-to-income ratio required for borrowers is not specified by OneMain Financial and is dependent on “various factors including loan size, term length, credit history, income, expenses, other financial obligations and the availability of collateral (such as a vehicle).”

Potential borrowers can complete the online application to see their pre-qualified offer within minutes, which does not impact your credit score. To receive funds, you must visit one of OneMain Financial’s 1,600 branches to verify your identity, income, expenses, employment and collateral (if applicable). Factors that may determine your eligibility include your financial and credit history, income and expenses, purpose for the loan, whether you have filed for bankruptcy and your state of residence (there are loan restrictions in certain states). If approved, you can receive funds as soon as the same day. OneMain Financial offers multiple ways for borrowers to make payments from visiting a branch or a Walmart service desk in person to doing so by phone, by mail, via a mobile app or through autopay. There is no prepayment fee and borrowers can request to change their payment date by notifying their local branch with a letter or an email.

Pros

  • Quick 10-minute loan application
  • No prepayment fee
  • Can receive funds as quickly as the same day
  • No minimum credit score or history required
  • Multiple options when making payments

Cons

  • Have to visit a local branch in person to complete application process
  • Higher APRs than other personal loan lenders
  • Cannot use funds to refinance student loans

While a personal loan from OneMain Financial comes with higher APRs than many other lenders, it is a good option for those who normally would be turned away by traditional lenders, yet prefer the personalized customer experience that a local branch can offer.

Apple Federal Credit Union

Apple Federal Credit Union is a great option for those with less-than-stellar credit histories: Borrowers need only to have a 580 credit score to qualify for a personal loan. The northern Virginia institution started off primarily serving teachers, but has expanded its membership to include anyone living, working, going to school, worshipping or volunteering in areas in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. You can also become a member through household ties, association memberships and employer affiliations. Apple Federal Credit Union operates 20 branches and membership costs $20 a year.

Apple Federal Credit Union
APR

9.24%
To
17.24%

Credit Req.

580

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on Apple Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Apple Federal Credit Union offers a variety of benefits that are included with their personal loans, including no early payoff penalties, lump-sum funding, fixed rate payments and maximum loans amounts of $50,000.... Read More

The fine print

Apple Federal Credit Union’s personal loans offer borrowers up to $50,000 with APRs as low as 9.24%. The payoff term is up to five years, and there are no hidden costs or early payoff penalties. Potential borrowers need the following documents during the application process: a government-issued photo ID, a recent pay stub, a W-2 and tax returns.

Pros

  • Lump-sum funding
  • Fixed-rate payments (starting at 9.24%)
  • No hidden costs or early payoff penalties

Cons

  • Must be a member
  • Membership costs
  • There is a $25 fee if you need to use its Skip-a-Payment option

Apple Federal Credit Union loans are a good option for those with lower credit scores who need help getting out of debt. If you do end up getting on top of your finances, you can pay off your debts early without penalty. The credit union allows a once-per-year Skip-a-Payment option for when money gets tight.

Affinity Federal Credit Union

If you feel like you’re in a deep financial pit, a personal loan from Affinity Federal Credit Union might be the best solution. Borrowers only need a credit score of 525 to qualify for a personal loan. You must be a member to access Affinity Federal Credit Union’s services and offerings. Membership is offered to those who live, work, go to school or worship in certain areas in New Jersey and Connecticut. You may also become a member if you’re affiliated with clubs and organizations that have been approved by Affinity Federal Credit Union or if you make a $5 donation to either the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education or Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition.

Affinity Federal Credit Union
APR

9.75%
To
18.00%

Credit Req.

525

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

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on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Affinity Federal Credit Union offers personal loans that come with no origination fees, no prepayment penalties, and low fixed rates. ... Read More

The fine print

Borrowers only need a credit score of 525 to qualify for a personal loan with Affinity Federal Credit Union. Once approved, the credit union offers up to $15,000 in funds, so the option is best for those with smaller amount of debts. Loan terms go up to five years and rates start at 9.75%. Borrowers don’t have to worry about origination fees or prepayment or early payoff penalties. If you’re able to set up automatic payments on your loan, you’ll get a 0.25% reduction in your rate.

Pros

  • Only need a credit score of 525
  • Rates start as low as 9.75%
  • A 0.25% reduction in rate with automatic payments
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment or early payoff penalties

Cons

  • Membership is required
  • Only good for borrowers who need a smaller amount of funds (loans max out at $15,000)

As far as credit unions go, Affinity Federal Credit Union is a respected and trustworthy choice: It’s one of the oldest and largest, and is ranked the best. In a 2018 ranking of best credit unions in New Jersey by Forbes magazine and market research firm Statista, Affinity Federal Credit Union ended up at the top based on overall recommendations and satisfaction by current and former banking relationships. The credit union is also one of the largest with more than 140,000 members and more than 20 branches across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Methodology

Lenders were selected from MagnifyMoney’s personal loans comparisons page when sorted by borrowers looking for $10,000 with bad credit who hold a college degree.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Vivian Giang
Vivian Giang |

Vivian Giang is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Vivian here

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