If you have bad credit or high-interest credit card debt, you might be considering an installment loan to improve your credit with on-time payments. An installment loan can help rebuild your credit in several ways.
- You can establish a credit history of on-time payments
- You can diversify the types of credit on your credit report with an installment loan
- Use an installment loan to pay off high-interest credit card debt and then make one single monthly payment
Even if you have bad credit or existing high-interest debt, you may be able to qualify for an installment loan for debt consolidation or many other purposes. The loans on this list are available to people with lower credit scores, typically between 580 and 620.
With no hidden fees and loans from $1,000 up to $50,000, Upstart is a top choice for a personal installment loan to rebuild your credit. Upstart uses other criteria, such as a steady income, to determine your interest rate if you qualify. Rates can range from 5.2% up to 35.99% for a five-year loan.
Achieve, formerly FreedomPlus, offers loans from $5,000 to $50,000 with terms from 24 to 60 months. Loan origination fees, which can be rolled into your monthly payments, range from 1.99 to 5.99%. Interest rates range from 7.99% to 35.99% (including the origination fee). Borrowers with excellent credit and a loan amount of $12,000 or less may qualify for the lowest rates. You may earn rate discounts if you are using at least 85% of the loan funds to pay off existing, high-interest credit card debt.
LendingClub earns high marks from GOBankingRates with multiple awards in 2023, including Best Online Bank, Best Neobank, Best Online & Neobank for Savings and Best Checking Account. It garnered an overall rating of 4.9 stars.
As for its personal loan products, LendingClub offers installment loans for up to $40,000, with terms of three to five years and an APR of 9.57% up to 35.99%. Origination fees may range from 3% to 8%. You’ll need a credit score of at least 600 to qualify, according to Debt.org.
LendingPoint offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $36,500. No minimum credit score is required to qualify, but you must have income of at least $35,000 per year. Interest rates range from 7.99% to 35.99%, with terms from 24 to 72 months.
A reputable financial services company, LendingPoint has funded more than $9 billion in business and personal loans since 2015.
Accredited is a debt relief company that also offers debt consolidation loans through its referral partners, making it a good option for people looking to rebuild their credit who may not qualify for another loan. Accredited partners offer interest rates ranging from 5.9% to 29.9%, which is less than many of the other loans on this list. Loan terms range from 12 to 84 months, so you can keep your monthly payments manageable. Accredited has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Credible is a loan marketplace that makes it easy to check rates on installment loans for many purposes, including debt consolidation to help rebuild your credit. Loan amounts potentially range from $600 up to $200,000. A FICO score of at least 580 is required to apply, although that score does not guarantee loan qualification. Credible curates data from a variety of top lenders, including Upstart and Zable, and then connects customers with the lender to apply.
Zable is a UK-based company that recently began lending to borrowers in the U.S. With a 4.7-star rating on Credible and 4.8 stars on TrustPilot, Zable’s reputation speaks volumes. It is one of the few online lenders that offers customer service by phone, although you can also email your loan representative.
Zable offers rates from 8% to 30% and terms from one to five years for loans of up to $25,000 according to Credible data. There are origination fees of 5% to 9%. Although Zable loans are smaller than many others on this list, the company will consider borrowers with a credit score as low as 600, making it a good loan to rebuild your credit.
Prosper offers personal loans from $2,000 up to $50,000, serving 1 million customers since 2005. As a peer-to-peer lending platform, lenders are traditional investors and regular people who view your profile as a good credit risk. Loan terms range from two to five years, with interest rates ranging from 6.99% up to 35.99% and loan origination fees of 1% to 5%.
Avant Personal Loans
Avant personal loans range from $2,000 up to $35,000, making them perfect for emergency expenses, debt consolidation, home repairs, or even a vacation. Interest rates range from 9.95% to 35.99%, with terms from 12 to 60 months. There is an administration fee of up to 4.75% associated with every loan.
Happy Money is not a direct lender, but a financial service provider that partners with lenders to provide loans with fixed rates from 11.52% up to 24.81%. Loans might range from $5,000 to $40,000. Lenders may charge a one-time loan origination fee. The Happy Money Payoff Loan, designed specifically to help you pay down high-interest credit card balances, has terms of two to five years.
Upgrade is another lender that earned high marks from Credible and TrustPilot. Upgrade is best for people looking to consolidate high-interest credit card debt with a fixed rate installment loan. To qualify for the best rates, you’ll want to pay off a portion of your credit card debt directly through Upgrade and set up Autopay to make your monthly payments.
Loans carry an APR of 8.49% to 35.99%, with terms of 24 to 84 months. You can borrow between $1,000 to $50,000. A credit score of at least 600 is required for potential loan qualification, according to Credible.
OneMain Financial is a top rated financial services provider with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 4.8-star score on TrustPilot. Loans range from $1,500 to $20,000, with APRs from 18% to 35.99%. Choose from two- up to five-year terms. Because the loan amounts are relatively small, a OneMain Financial loan might be a good way to start rebuilding your credit with manageable monthly payments.
FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about installment loans.
- What is an installment loan?
- An installment loan is any loan where funds borrowed are paid out in a lump sum and then paid back over time with fixed monthly payments, or "installments." Installment loans can help you budget your money, since you know what to expect every month, unlike credit card minimum payments which fluctuate based on how much you charge.
- Do you need good credit for an installment loan?
- Most lenders require a credit score of just 580 or above to qualify for an installment loan. However, some lenders, like Upstart, use other factors to evaluate your creditworthiness, and may grant loans to borrowers with no credit history or a credit score as low as 300.
- However, to qualify for the best rates and terms, the higher your credit score, the better.
- What is the difference between an installment loan and a regular loan?
- Most loans -- including mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans -- are installment loans because they are paid off with fixed monthly payments. When people use the term "regular loan," they might be thinking of a personal loan, which is an unsecured installment loan where the funds can be used for a variety of purposes.
- Does installment affect credit score?
- An installment loan affects your credit score in a variety of ways. As long as you make your payments on time, your credit score should rise incrementally. On-time payments make up 35% of your FICO credit score.
- An installment loan may also add diversity to your credit profile, which will also help increase your credit score.
- Your installment loan doesn't affect your credit utilization, however, which is another big factor in your credit score.
Rates and fees are accurate as of Sept. 1, 2023.