Bills Logo

How to Find a Loan if You Have Bad Credit

Mark Cappel
UpdatedOct 1, 2007

With bad credit score of 540 will there be any type of loan I can obtain?

With bad credit score of 540 will there be any type of loan I can obtain?

there are several different type of consolidation loans, but the one that will best suit your situation depends primarily on whether or not you own a home and your credit history. if you own a home, a secured debt consolidation loan may be right for you. i can tell you that applying cannot hurt to see if you can save. makes it easy to compare mortgage offers and different loan types. please visit the loan page and find a loan that meets your needs.

this type of loan is essentially a home equity loan, which is used to pay off your other creditors. secured consolidation loans help many consumers by consolidating all of their debts into a single monthly payment with a lower interest rate and payment amount. however, be careful before you borrow money against your home to pay off credit cards and personal loans; you are converting what was previously unsecured debt into secured debt. this could cause you problems down the road if for some reason you are unable to make your payments, or if life circumstances force you to file bankruptcy, as you may not be able to discharge the secured debt as you would unsecured debt. however, secured debt consolidation loans work for many people, so this is an option to consider carefully.

if you do not own a home or other property to offer as collateral for a secured debt consolidation loan, there are several other options you should consider. you may be able to transfer your existing cards to another credit card with a lower apr, or one with a 0% introductory rate. a balance transfer could help you by consolidating all of your credit cards into a single account with a lower interest rate and lower monthly payment. you may want to explore search for credit cards that meet your needs. a card such as the discover platinum, with a 0% apr for 12 months, and 10.99% thereafter, is certainly a good deal as far as credit cards go.

look into an unsecured personal loan to consolidate your debts. check out the loans section of the savings center for unsecured debt consolidation loans that may improve your situation. however, since your credit history is less than perfect, you may have difficulty finding a lender willing to extend you credit, and if you do find a loan, you should expect to pay a premium in interest. in fact, a conventional unsecured debt consolidation loan, such as those i mention above, may be impractical and cost-prohibitive due to your credit problems.

while i do not think it is impossible for you to find a loan, i expect that you have a lot of work ahead of you, and you should expect to pay a premium in interest and costs for any loan you are able to obtain. i do not want to sound totally discouraging, though. your ability to qualify for a loan will depend on several factors aside from your credit score, including your income (and your "debt-to-income" ratio), your performance on other secured accounts, and the amount of money you have available for a down payment (and your consequent "loan-to-value"). if you have a good income, you may be able to find a decent loan despite your credit problems.

a possible alternative loan resource you may want to explore is a peer-to-peer loan. prosper and lending club put private lenders in contact with private borrowers. a private lender may be more willing extend you a loan than a traditional bank. if you cannot find a loan that suits your needs, you may want to continue working on your credit score. the more you can increase your credit score, the better loan terms you will be able to obtain.

there are many steps you can take to help improve your credit score. the most important thing you can do is resolve any outstanding delinquent accounts, then make sure to make all payments to your creditors in a timely manner. having several accounts with long histories of timely payment should have a positive influence of your credit rating. if you do not have many credit accounts, such as credit cards, you may want to open some new accounts to help you build a positive credit history. ideally, you should pay off the balance of your credit cards each month, but if that is not possible, at least make your minimum payments on time to help build your credit score. for more information about credit and ways to improve your credit score, i encourage you to visit the credit resources page.

i hope this information helps you find. learn & save.