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Hardship Loans

I need to apply for a personal loan due to financial hardship. This is the first time I have been in this position. What advice can you give about getting a hardship loan to help solve my money headaches?

I need to apply for a personal loan due to financial hardship. Where can I go for a hardship based loan and what advice do you have?

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Bill's Answer
(42 Votes)

Debt Relief

  • Review our 6 tips for hardship based loans and alternative loan products.
  • A cash-out refinance is a good option, if you own a home with equity.
  • Consider help from a debt relief provider as an alternative to a hardship loan.


Thanks for your question on hardship loans and getting financial help when you are financially struggling.

You didn't specify the cause of your hardship, but some common reasons people struggle financially are: loss of income due to job loss; medical expenses not covered by insurance; divorce; and disability, to name but a few. Any of these can result in a drop in cash flow and the need to raise some money in order to meet all your debt obligations.

Given your situation and goals, it makes good sense to understand the types of hardship loans available and whether you can qualify for one. Depending on the specific facts of your financial situation, there may be a few alternatives to a traditional personal loan that could assist you in resolving your debt.

If you can't get a hardship loan, or the only one you can get has very unattractive terms, then looking for other debt relief solutions that will ease your financial burdens is your best course.

Your Hardship is too Severe to Get a Loan?

If a hardship loan is not a realistic solution, you may benefit from professional debt relief assistance. Get a free consultation with a's approved debt relief provider.

Six Hardship-based Loan Suggestions

Look into the following hardship loan options, comparing any fees that come with the loan, the interest rate, and the affordability of the monthly payment.

A 'No' Demands an Explanation

If you are turned down for a loan, ask the lender the specific reason(s) your application was denied. Also ask them what steps you would need to take in order to qualify.

Cash-out Refinance

If you own a home with equity, start by seeing if you can qualify for a refinance loan. Refinancing could offer you the lowest rates of any loan option, due to the security of your home that you use as collateral. There are cash-out loans that accept borrowers with FICO scores that are lower than the FICO scores required for unsecured loans.

Peer-to-Peer Loan

Consider a loan from, which is a peer-to-peer lending and investing company. Current rates from Prosper range from 6.38% (for borrowers with excellent credit) to 35.36%, for higher risk borrowers, as of October, 2017 depending on how Prosper evaluates your creditworthiness and offers its lowest rates to borrowers with excellent credit. Higher risk borrowers are going to get higher interest rate loans.

Lending Club is another, large peer-to-peer lender. Unsecured personal loans from Lending Club range from 5.32% APR to 30.99%, as of October 2017.

Retirement Account

Borrowing from your retirement account has serious downsides. You are reducing your retirement holdings.If you don't pay it back as agreed or if you leave your job before it is repaid, you will be hit with penalties and taxes. That being said, depending on your need for money, the benefits could outweigh the costs.

A big pro is that you are not judged on creditworthiness or debt-to-income ratio in order to get the loan.

Not all 401(k) plans allow account holders to borrow against their holdings. Ask your 401(k) plan administrator if loans are allowed under your plan.

Online Hardship Loan Lenders

Check out loans from other online lenders that make unsecured loans, such as loans available from FreedomPlus. FreedomPlus looks at more than credit scores. It's underwriting considers other data, giving borrowers a chance to access lower rates due to factors outside of credit score. For example, if you have over $40,000 in retirement accounts or take out a debt consolidation loan and FreedomPlus pays off your creditors directly, using your loan proceeds, you could get a lower rate.

FreedomPlus loan terms range from two to five years, with a maximum loan amount of $35,000. Interest rates range from 4.99% to 29.99%, as of October, 2017.



No Advance Fees

Never pay a fee in advance for a loan, especially if it is from a "We make loans to anyone; bad credit is not a problem!" lender. Scammers will take a fee from you and not give you a loan.

Payday Loans

A payday loan may be the only hardship loan for which you can qualify. Payday loans have very high fees. If you don't pay it back as agreed, can be a debt trap. Payday loans are only good as a very short-term hardship loan of last resort, when you are certain you can pay it back right away.

I also recommend that if you are seriously considering a payday loan, you read the Federal Trade Commission page with consumer information about payday loans.

Know Your State's Laws

Before you take out a payday loan, be sure you know the payday loan laws that apply in your state, such as whether a online payday loans are legal in your state.

Loan Qualifying Tips

In order to qualify for a loan, you have to demonstrate that you can afford to pay back the loan. Lenders require that your debt-to-income ratio shows that you can afford to make the monthly loan payment.

You also have to meet credit requirements, both for credit score and credit history. The best rates on loans are offered to borrowers with excellent credit scores and if your score is below the minimum credit score a lender requires, your application will be turned down.


Get Your Free Credit Report, when Entitled to Receive One

 If a lender turns you down due to something it finds on your credit report, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report and a letter that explains why you were turned down.

Even if you have a strong credit score, you could be turned down due to your credit history. For example, the presence of a collections account could prevent you from qualifying from a loan, until you can prove the account is paid off. Similarly, you may have to wait X number of years after a bankruptcy discharges, even if your score bounces back more quickly.

Hardship Loan Alternatives

Hardship loans are not always the best solution, even if you qualify for one. If you are struggling with debt, check out all your debt relief options, including the services of different professional debt relief providers.

You can learn more about debt settlement, credit counseling, debt consolidation loans and all other forms of debt relief at the debt relief hub.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



Get Debt Help!
(42 Votes)

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  • JT
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    I was scammed by Car Loan Warehouse. They claim to offer loans from 10,000 up to 10, Million. I should have known that I was going to be ripped off, but I needed the money for my family.  No credit check loans for 3% should have screamed out, "SCAM!!" Desperation can make smart people stupid. Live and learn. I post this admission that I was dumb with the hope it will prevent at least one person from being scammed by  Car Loan Warehouse.

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  • 35x35
    Nov, 2018

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    • 35x35
      Aug, 2018

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  • SM
    May, 2014
    Bunnell, FL
    I am on Social Security Disability. My wife went through leukemia and I went through prostate cancer. I am really in debt. I have to pay $850 a month and am $25,000 in debt. I own a manufactured home on an acre and a quarter free and clear. Nobody will do a mortgage on it. I can't get a loan. I don't want to lose my home. What can I do? I don't want my credit to take an astronomical hit, but I am almost to the point of not paying my creditors and storing the cash to try to pay one off, then work on the next, etc. I'm really at my wits end.
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    • BA
      May, 2014
      Steve, you mentioned that you are concerned about your credit rating, but it could be the case that the debts you are carrying have eroded your score, even if you pay your bills on time. You may find yourself in a situation where it makes more sense to prioritize getting out of debt over harming your score further.

      Here are a few suggestions:
      1. Look at the collection exemptions in your state, to see the homestead exemption. It may be that the value of your home is protected from creditors, even if you were to stop paying them, they sued you, and got a judgment against you.
      2. Speak with a bankruptcy attorney. The fastest and cheapest way to get out of debt could be filing for BK, depending again on how much of your home's value is exempt from creditors.
      3. Speak with a reputable debt settlement firm. Debt settlement can offer the fastest way out of debt at the lowest cost, while avoiding bankruptcy. You could also choose, as you suggested, to try to settle accounts on your own.
      4. If it is credit card interest rates that are making it difficult to pay down your debt, you could benefit from a credit counseling firm's debt management plan, though that approach is not likely to greatly reduce your required monthly payment.
      5. Be sure you understand the level of protection that your disability income has. It is almost surely the case that your creditors could not garnish your disability, even with a judgment against you.
      0 Votes

    • BA
      May, 2014

      Time to think outside the box and looking at borrowing as your only way out.

      Consider all of your debt relief options, including debt settlement and bankruptcy to resolve your medical debt.

      You mentioned receiving Social Security benefits. One advantage you have is creditors cannot garnish your Social Security benefits or levy your bank accounts containing Social Security benefits (up to a certain amount). This can work to your advantage if you choose debt settlement as your debt resolution strategy.

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