How to get a loan with no credit history and bad credit

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Getting a personal loan with no credit history might be tough, but it’s still possible. If you’re ready to apply, follow these four steps:

  1. Research and compare lenders. Be sure to compare as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.
  2. Pick your loan option. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.
  3. Complete the loan application. Once you’ve found a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as bank statements or pay stubs. If you’re applying with no credit history, you might also need to provide your employment history or other information, depending on the lender.
  4. Get your loan funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so you can get your money. The time to fund for personal loans is typically one week or less — though some lenders, such as OneMain Financial, will fund loans on the same or next business day after approval.

What to do if you can’t qualify for a personal loan

If you’re still having a hard time qualifying for a personal loan with no credit history, here are a couple of other options to consider:

  1. Find a cosigner. Having a creditworthy cosigner can improve your chances of getting approved for a loan if you don’t qualify on your own. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
  2. Apply for a secured loan. While many personal loans are unsecured, some lenders also offer secured personal loans that require collateral, such as a car or other valuable item. These types of loans are less risky for the lender, which could make it easier to get approved even if you don’t have a credit history. A secured personal loan might also come with lower interest rates compared to unsecured loans.

Before you take out a personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to get a personal loan with a cosigner or a secured loan through Credible.

How to spot a no-credit loan scam

There are also plenty of scam artists looking to take advantage of borrowers desperate for a loan. Here are several personal loan scam warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Not requiring a credit check: Legitimate personal loan companies typically review your credit to determine your creditworthiness. While some short-term loans — such as payday or pawn shop loans — don’t require a credit check, others could be a scam.
  • Demanding upfront payment: You should never have to pay money before you get your loan funds. Also watch out for scammers wanting you to pay through unusual methods that can’t be tracked, such as with a prepaid credit card.
  • Using high-pressure sales tactics: Scammers might use language like “limited-time offer” or “act now” to push you into making a fast, uninformed decision.
  • Approaching you about the loan: While legitimate companies sometimes advertise through the mail with preapproved loan offers, a company approaching you out of the blue with a loan offer could be a scam.
  • Lacking a physical location: A real, vetted loan company should be able to provide a physical address that you can verify. If not, it might be a scam.
  • Not feeling comfortable: Trust your gut — if something seems off, it probably is.
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