Best Direct Lenders for Bad Credit 2021

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: July 24, 2021 Loans

Direct lenders have always been preferred over non-direct because people think that: they are legit; they come with fewer fees; the overall loan cost will be lower. But we are here to say that is NOT always true!

In case we talk specifically about bad credit direct lenders, things significantly change. We will explain why that is later in this article in details and give you exact examples.

Important! People with bad credit always pay higher interests. We will show you the best bad credit direct lenders, but our main tip is to wait. Work on your credit score. When that improves, then get a loan.

Note! This article focuses on direct personal lenders only. But there are other types like mortgage, auto, student, business, etc. Here are the best:

Best Mortgage Rates for Bad Credit 2021 Here are the best mortgage lenders for people with bad credit. Up to $1 Million, APRs start at 1.90%.

Best Auto Loan Rates for Bad Credit 2021 Here are the best auto lenders for people with bad credit. Up to $1 Million, APRs start at 1.90%.

To find a full list of the best lenders, visit our Marketplace. EPF Marketplace is the largest financial marketplace in the U.S.!



Our pick for the best direct lenders for bad credit 2021:

Loan Company: Min. Credit Score: APR: Amount: Type:
Upgrade (Direct Lender) 600 5.94% – 35.97% $1,000 – $50,000 Online Lender
EvenFinancial (Non-Direct Lender) 550 2.49% – 35.99% $1,000 – $250,000 Loan Comparison Site
ZippyLoan (Non-Direct Lender) 0 5.99% – 35.99% $100 – $15,000 Bad Credit Online Lender
LendJetFunds (Non-Direct Lender) 0 5.99% – 35.99% $100 – $10,000 Bad Credit Online Lender
BadCreditLoans (Non-Direct Lender) 0 5.99% – 35.99% $500 – $10,000 Personal Loans for Really Bad Credit
CashUSA (Non-Direct Lender) 0 5.99% – 35.99% $1,000 – $10,000 Personal Loans for Really Bad Credit
OppLoans (Direct Lender) 0 59% – 160% $500 – $4,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
LendUp (Direct Lender) 0 30% – 1251.43% $100 – $1,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
NetCredit (Direct Lender) 0 34% – 155% $1,000 – $15,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
RiseCredit (Direct Lender) 0 36% – 299% $500 – $5,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
PossibleFinance (Direct Lender) 0 151% – 230% $100 – $2,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
FigLoans (Direct Lender) 0 36% – 190% $300 – $500 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
VergeCredit (Direct Lender) 0 Vary $15,000 Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
NavyFederal (Direct Lender) 0 7.49% – 18% $250 – $50,000 Credit Union
FirstTech (Direct Lender) 0 10% – 18% Unsecured
3% – 18% Secured
$500 – $50,000 Credit Union
Alliant (Direct Lender) 0 6.24% – 10.24% Unsecured
3% – 18% Secured
$1,000 – $50,000 Credit Union
PenFed (Direct Lender) 0 5.99% – 18% $500 – $35,000 Credit Union
Affinity (Direct Lender) 0 8.75% – 18% $500 – $50,000 Credit Union
Dave (Direct Lender) 0 0% + Fees Up to $200 Loan App
Brigit (Direct Lender) 0 0% + Fees Up to $200 Loan App
Earnin (Direct Lender) 0 0% $100 – $500 Loan App
MoneyLion (Direct Lender) 0 0% Up to $250 Loan App

What Are The Main Types of Direct Lenders?

  • These are online lenders, credit unions, banks, and a few more that we will discuss.
  • We can also categorize them as direct payday lenders and direct personal lenders. Here the things become interesting! The difference between these is huge! Personal loan lender APRs are capped at 35.99%, payday lenders offer their loans at APRs, averaging at 400%. We consider payday lenders, even if they are direct lenders scams. We highly recommend that people avoid them!

Here the scam part comes. Payday lenders try to use the terminology on their behalf. They promote their predatory loans, shaped under the term: “direct lenders for bad credit,” “high-risk lenders,” etc. Ok, first of all, let’s look closely at these phrases. Technically it is not a direct lie. Are they direct lenders? Yes. Do they offer loans to people with bad credit? Yes! Do they offer high-risk loans? Yes. But, again, these are very costly loans, and we consider them a scam. It’s 2021, and in this huge lending market, there can be found times cheaper loans, even for those with really bad credit.

Are There Personal Direct Lenders for Bad Credit?

This is the important question that we have to answer for you. It’s true that people can go and get a payday loan even if they are with really bad credit without any problems. But this is exactly what we don’t want! Hopefully, the answer to this question is YES! There are bad credit direct lenders offering legitimate unsecured personal loans, capped at 35.99% APR. We will show places that work with people with bad credit.

Ok, why we wasted your time explaining these things at all?

It wasn’t a waste! We still see many people being scammed by payday loans scammers shaping their products under terms like: “bad credit direct lenders,” “direct lenders guaranteed approval,” etc. Those, reading our advice carefully will save a lot of money! We guarantee that! In fact, what we are trying to do is helping you save money on interest.

Who Are the Best Personal Lenders for People with Bad Credit?

ElitePersonalFinance researched many online direct and non-direct lenders for people with bad credit. And here is what we found.

The Internet is full of exactly these “direct payday lenders” offering expensive loans. And there are not only one or a few cases! Direct payday lenders are everywhere. And many people continue getting scammed.

We have found only a few reliable direct lenders for people with bad credit. The truth is that the most reliable personal lenders we have found come from non-direct lenders.

If you find any reliable direct bad credit lender, feel free to share with us. We’d be happy to list it here. But this wouldn’t be an easy task for you …

A Few Words About Non-Direct Personal Lenders

Non-direct lenders are loan marketplaces, peer-to-peer platforms, loan comparison, or connecting services. They connect people looking for loans with direct and non-direct lenders listed in their network. So, their loans come from a direct lender but via their network and are unsecured.

The benefits of loans marketplaces:

  • Loan marketplaces have many lenders in their networks. These are online lenders, banks, credit unions, direct and non-direct lenders, etc. Once people apply with them for a loan, the marketplace sends your details to all lenders in their networks. Lenders interested in funding you bid on your offer, and in the end, people can find the best offer for them.
  • There is competition between lenders within the marketplace, forcing lenders to offer better offers.
  • Your loan wouldn’t become more expensive. And your loan cost wouldn’t be affected in any way. The marketplace doesn’t charge any fees from people. They charge a fee from the lender that gives you the money, but only if your loan has been approved and issued. Here is how the marketplace makes money.

Below we will show you loan companies working only with bad credit personal lenders, NOT payday lenders.

We list some non-direct lenders in an article related to direct lenders because they offer times cheaper loans for people with bad credit.

And here, we answer one of the questions why sometimes non-direct lenders are better than direct lenders. That is the situation. Many big lending platforms accept people with bad credit, and their loans are time cheaper than payday loans. And because they are free and there is no obligation to try them, we invite you to try them out and see this difference.

What are Better – Direct Lenders vs. Non-Direct Lenders vs. Payday Lenders?

First of all, avoid payday lenders, whether direct or non-direct!

Who are better – direct or non-direct lenders?

No one can tell you until you don’t try.

Shop around to see what works best for you. Register everywhere – online lenders, banks, credit unions, direct lenders, non-direct lenders.

Like we have already discussed, most of the direct bad credit lenders we have found online were payday lenders. We’d bet that most people with bad credit get better offers from non-direct lenders. But again – no one can answer this question exactly until you don’t try.

Online Lenders for Bad Credit

Online lenders offer large-amount, installment personal loans, with APRs, between 5.99% to 35.99%. There are many personal lenders who offer unsecured personal loans for people with bad credit! People with bad credit should expect offers close to the high-end limit APR, but this is still better than predatory lenders, whose APR average at 400%.

Note! There are a lot of scams in the bad credit business.

ElitePersonalFinance has created the full guide to bad credit loans 2021. Those having bad credit should read it carefully! You will save a lot of money!

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2021 READ IT CAREFULLY!

Below are some of the best personal lenders for bad credit 2021. Some of them are direct lenders, others are non-direct lenders, connecting you with direct lenders, but it’s free.

Important! All legit personal loans cap their APRs at 35.99%. If someone offers you a personal loan over this value, this can’t be considered a personal loan!

Upgrade

Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
APR: 5.94% – 35.97%
Min. Credit Score: 600
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 3 – 5 years
Origination Fee: 2.9% – 8%
DTI Ratio: 40%
CHECK RATES 

Upgrade Disclaimer: Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. The lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower, and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. The actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed-rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Upgrade’s lending partners issue personal loans. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

Upgrade is a direct online lender offering personal loans between $1,000 to $50,000, and their terms are competitive. They are a personal loan lender. Their APRs are between 5.94% to 35.97%. Only a credit score of 600 is enough to apply. ElitePersonalFinance has information that even people with a credit score of 580 have been approved. However, those having a credit score of over 700 get their top-notch offers! Upgrade is among these few direct lenders for bad credit that we can recommend because they are not payday lenders.

Upgrade offers customizable offers and discounts to their clients based on their credit score, income, and other criteria that the lender use. Their discount varies based on the applicant, a spokeswoman says.

Upgrade offers fixed-rates unsecured loans. Those who can’t qualify because of their low credit score will be offered to secure their loans or add a cosigner so that they will qualify.

Upgrade also beats their competitors in terms of their fast approval process. Some people have been approved instantly.

People can use Upgrade’s loans for debt consolidation, home improvements, credit card refinance, auto refinances, extra expenses, etc.

Information from the Source:

An Upgrade spokesperson says that they don’t account for rent payments and other monthly expenses that can factor into your ability to repay a loan. The idea is to keep people from borrowing more than they can afford by “having a pretty high bar in terms of how much free cash you really have at the end of the month,” says Renaud Laplanche, Upgrade co-founder and CEO.

Pros:

  • Upgrade is a direct lender, and there are no upfront fees.
  • A high amount of loans, up to $50,000.
  • The minimum credit score is 600.
  • Competitive APRs.
  • Soft inquiry on the application process.
  • Discounts on debt consolidation loans.
  • Autopay discount: 0.5%.
  • Unsecured personal loans.
  • Secured and cosigner loans are available to those who aren’t happy with their terms or can’t qualify at all.
  • No prepayment fees.
  • Fixed interest rates.
  • Fast approval.
  • You can change your payment date by your choice.
  • Help jobless people.
  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.
  • COVID and Hardship Programs.

Cons:

  • Charges an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%.
  • Late payment fees.

COVID:

Upgrade offer help to those who remain jobless, which is a significant advantage in COVID! Here people can find more information.

Hardship Program:

Consumers having a sudden hardship, like a job loss, may qualify for a temporary reduction of their monthly payment or modification that extends the length of their loan.

How to qualify for an Upgrade loan?

  • 18 years old,
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or immigration visa holder,
  • SSN or passport,
  • U.S. bank account,
  • Min. credit score: 600,
  • Min. credit history: 3 years, 2 accounts,
  • Min. monthly free cash flow: $800,
  • DTI Ratio: No officially disclosed, but the highest varies between 55% to 65%.

Average terms:

  • Average borrower income: $87,000.
  • Average loan amount: $10,000.
  • Average repayment term: 40 Months.

EvenFinancial

Loan Amount: $1,000 – $250,000
APR: 2.49% – 35.99%
Min. Credit Score: 550
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 2 – 7 Years
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

Note: The highest unsecured loans at this time are up to $100,000! EvenFinancial offers up to $250,000 unsecured personal loans. That’s why we list them at the top of our marketplace.

Their APRs are between 2.49% to 35.99%.

EvenFinancial is a perfect example of a non-direct lender, helping people get cheaper loans than many bad credit direct payday lenders offer. EvenFinancial is a connection service, working with over 300 big loan companies and direct lenders. And there is great news for those with bad credit. EvenFinancial works with many personal bad credit direct lenders. They compete in their marketplace, making your loan cheaper.

There is only one disadvantage. EvenFinancial restricts people with too low credit scores. Those having a credit score under 550 can’t apply.

EvenFinancial allows you to use the loan for any purposes like covering some unexpected expenses, debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvements, etc. You shouldn’t worry about where you will be spending the money.

To find more loan comparison sites, visit EPF Marketplace.

Pros:

  • The highest amount unsecured loans: up to $250,000.
  • The APR for people with good credit starts at 2.49%.
  • They partner with over 300 of the largest direct and non-direct personal lenders in the United States.
  • Only a 550 credit score is required to apply.
  • Personalized offers are available instantly after you complete the application.
  • No hard inquiry on the application process.
  • No obligations.
  • Instant approval.
  • You save a lot of time by applying to different lenders.
  • You receive multiple offers at once, which helps you get the best.

Cons:

  • People with very bad credit of less than 550 can’t apply.
  • Not a direct lender.
  • No COVID programs.

EvenFinancial qualification criteria:

  • 18 years old,
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident,
  • SSN or passport,
  • U.S. bank account,
  • Min. credit score: 550,
  • Min. credit and income requirements: Vary by lenders.

Note: EvenFinancial is a connecting service. They have many lenders on their platform. Each of them has different qualification criteria.

COVID:

EvenFinancial doesn’t have specific programs to help people affected by COVID. That’s because EvenFinancial is a connecting service. They only connect people with lenders. Each of these lenders has different COVID programs. People should discuss their situation with their lender.

BadCreditLoans

Loan Amount: $500 – $10,000
APR: 5.99% – 35.99%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 3 – 36 Months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

BadCreditLoans is a non-direct lender, connecting people and bad credit lenders. BadCreditLoans offer loans between $500 to $10,000. Their high approval rate for people with really bad credit makes them one of the best bad credit companies. BadCreditLoans work only with personal lenders, which means that their APR is capped at 35.99%.

Once people apply, the lenders in their platform start to bid for your loan. Offers start coming instantly. However, we recommend waiting for at least a few days till all lenders send you offers.

Pros:

  • Best for people with really bad credit.
  • The highest approval rate for people with bad credit.
  • Many lenders in their platform.
  • Offers up to $10,000 unsecured personal loans.
  • Instant approval.
  • Their APRs are capped at 35.99%.

Cons:

  • Not a direct lender.
  • People with bad credit receive offers close to the highest limit APR.
  • Not all people get approved.
  • No COVID programs.

BadCreditLoans qualification criteria:

  • 18 years old,
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident,
  • SSN or passport,
  • U.S. bank account,
  • Min. credit score: 0.

COVID:

BadCreditLoans doesn’t have specific programs for those affected by COVID. That’s because BadCreditLoans is a marketplace. They only connect people with lenders. Each of their lenders has different COVID programs. People should discuss their situation with their lender.

Alternative Payday Loans

As mentioned above, most bad credit direct lenders are nothing but payday lenders, manipulating the terminology on their behalf. And they approve people with bad credit. Alternative payday loans are significantly improved payday loans. They are still more expensive than traditional high-risk lenders but are times better than most of you searching for “direct lenders for bad credit” will find online. The companies reviewed below are better than most bad credit direct payday lenders people will find online.

To those who want to learn more about alternative payday loans, we recommend:

Our Complete Guide on Alternative Payday Loans

EPF Marketplace: Best Alternative Payday Loans 2021

Here are the best alternative direct payday lenders. However, we highly recommend using them only in the end case.

OppLoans

Loan Amount: $500 – $4,000
APR: 59% – 160%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 1 – 18 Months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

OppLoans offer alternative payday loans between $500 to $4,000. Their loans are unsecured. Their loans are expensive. Their high-risk loan APRs vary by state from 59% to 160%. Their terms again vary by state between 9 to 18 months, but above, we listed 1 to 18 months because people can give their money back when they want. Those who give their money back will get a big discount!

OppLoans is one of the best alternative payday loans.

The lender doesn’t perform a credit check. To decide whether you can be approved, OppLoans will review your income, workplace, recent transaction history, not your credit score. People should be able to prove an income of $18,000 per year. As we said, their loans are expensive, but there are no origination, prepayment, and late fees.

OppLoans offers loan refinancing to those who have paid $400 or 15% of their loan amount.

OppLoans allow you to use their loans for any purpose. The most common are:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Refinance
  • Home improvement
  • Travel
  • Extra expenses

Pros:

  • OppLoans is a direct lender.
  • Offers only unsecured loans.
  • People with very bad credit can be approved.
  • No credit check, no hard credit inquiry, meaning your credit won’t be affected.
  • Better than traditional payday loans.
  • An amount of up to $4,000, which is relatively good for those with bad credit.
  • Their APR is cheaper than payday loans.
  • No origination and prepayment fees.
  • Up to 18 months repayment.
  • Instant approval and funding.
  • Reports payments to all three credit bureaus.
  • COVID help.

Cons:

  • Expensive loans.
  • At least $18,000 provable income is required.
  • Not everyone gets approved. There are NO guaranteed loans!
  • Not available in all states.
  • Installment loans are not available in all states.

OppLoans qualification criteria:

  • 18 years old,
  • U.S. citizen, permanent resident,
  • SSN or passport,
  • Min. credit score: 0,
  • Minimum monthly income: $18,000,
  • Have a U.S. bank account with at least 90 days of history,
  • Reside in one of the states where they operate,
  • Receive paychecks via direct deposit.

COVID:

OppLoans has a program for people affected by COVID who can’t make their payments on time.

COVID Resources

NetCredit

Loan Amount: $1,000 – $15,000
APR: 34% – 155%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 6 – 60 Months
Origination Fee: Vary by State
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

NetCredit is another direct payday alternative lender. On their main page, you will find that they offer loans of up to $10,000. However, the loan amounts, APRs, and terms vary by state. For example, in Alabama, NetCredit offers up to $15,000.

NetCredit partner with Republic Bank & Trust Company.

NetCredit offers unsecured loans to those with really bad credit and is times better than other “bad credit direct lenders” that you will find online. However, this doesn’t mean that NetCredit offers money to all people. First of all, there will be a soft credit pull once people apply. But the lender wouldn’t pay too much attention to it. Instead, your overall financial situation will be reviewed. NetCredit will review things like your income, DTI ratio, workplace, free cash flow, recent transactions, etc.

Those getting approved will see a hard credit inquiry on their credit score, but this will happen only after agreeing on the terms and getting the loan. It will lower your credit score for some time, but those who pay on time will be reported and will see a raise very soon.

NetCredit has also created the My RightFit Tool for easier approval.

Pros:

  • NetCredit is a direct lender.
  • NetCredit partners with Republic Bank & Trust Company and is an FDIC member.
  • Alternative payday lenders for people with really bad credit.
  • Higher amount than traditional payday loans: $10,000.
  • Lines of Credit of up to $4,500 are available.
  • No hard inquiry on the application process.
  • Instant approval.
  • No application, prepayment, or non-sufficient funds fees.
  • Report payments to credit bureaus.
  • COVID help.

Cons:

NetCredit qualification criteria:

  • 18+ years old,
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • SSN,
  • Have a verifiable source of income,
  • Have a personal checking account.

COVID:

NetCredit reports those who miss payments to Transunion and Experian.

Here is what NetCredit can do for those affected by COVID:

  • NetCredit can add a notation, which lowers the negative effect on their credit score.
  • People can request to refinance their loans.
  • Ability to change the payment date.
  • NetCredit has suspended all Line of Credits. People can request to restore them.

People affected by COVID should discuss these options with them.

COVID Customer Support Center

COVID Resources

Banks

All banks are direct lenders. They offer high-amount and low-interest loans. But, let’s save you time by telling you – banks work only with people with high credit scores and income. Even to those having high credit scores and income, banks can require them to secure their loans or add a co-signer. Some banks don’t list minimum credit score requirements, and many people think that it is low. That’s not true. There is a catch. If there is no officially listed minimum credit score required, it doesn’t mean it is low.

People with bad credit who want to get direct loans from banks have to wait till they build credit.

For those who want to try, we have a full list of all banks on our marketplace. Here it is:

Best Banks for Personal Loans 2021

But again, don’t waste time.

Credit Unions

All credit unions are direct lenders. Credit unions offer cheap personal loans, like banks, and in some cases, they are even better. According to the National Credit Union Administration, credit unions’ APR average was 8.95%, while banks’ APR average was 10.09. Overall, credit unions’ personal loan APRs are capped at 18%, their PALs at 28%, which is not bad if we compare them with bad credit and payday loans. Credit unions offer high-amount loans, most of them over $10,000 to $50,000. What’s great about credit unions and the main reason we include them in this article is that they approve people having bad credit. Instead of paying attention to your credit score only, credit unions evaluate people’s ability to pay their loans using factors like DTI ratio, income, workplace, free cash flow, etc.

Below we will review the best of them for people with bad credit.

A full list of all credit unions can be found at our Marketplace:

Best Credit Unions for Personal Loans 2021

PenFed

Loan Amount: $500 – $35,000
APR: 5.99% – 17.99%
Min. Credit Score: 600
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 6 – 60 Months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

PenFed Credit Unions is a direct lender. They offer unsecured loans between $500 to $35,000. Their APR is between 5.99% to 17.99%. We consider their loans of low interest.

The lender doesn’t perform a hard credit pull on the application process, which is rare for banks and credit unions. This means that people can apply for a loan without worrying about their credit score.

PenFed offers unsecured loans. Those who are not happy with their offer can add a cosigner but are not allowed to secure their loans.

There are no restrictions on how people will use their loans. PenFed allows people to use their loans for debt consolidation, credit card refinances, home improvements, etc.

The lender doesn’t charge origination or prepayment fees. However, there are other fees. Membership fee: $5, late payment fee: $29, Returned payment fee: $30.

Pros:

  • PenFed is a direct lender.
  • Low-interest loans, available for people with a low credit score.
  • Unsecured and cosigner loans are available.
  • No origination or prepayment fees.
  • No hard credit pull on the application process.
  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.
  • A mobile app is available.
  • COVID help program.

Cons:

  • Low-amount loans.
  • Open only to its members.
  • No secured loans are available.
  • New members can become a part of them by opening a savings account and making a deposit of a minimum of $5.
  • Late payment fee: $29.
  • Returned payment fee: $30.
  • The lender doesn’t offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
  • No option to change your payment date.
  • No rate discount for autopayments.

COVID:

PenFed offers a COVID help program for people who have experienced financial hardship, such as job loss, disability, disaster, deferred payments, forbearance, another repayment plan, or a loan modification.

PenFed Response

Application

PenFed qualification criteria:

  • 18+ years old,
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • SSN or ITIN,
  • Minimum credit score: 700,
  • Minimum credit history: 3 years,
  • DTI Ratio: 40%.

Affinity Federal Credit Union

Loan Amount: $500 – $50,000
APR: 8.75% – 18%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 12 – 60 Months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

Affinity Federal Credit Union is a direct lender. They are highly preferred credit unions because they offer unsecured personal loans to people with bad credit. To those who can’t qualify on an unsecured loan, the lender offers secured loans.

The loan amount is not disclosed on their site. The lender requires to discuss the loan terms with people before applying. According to our feedback, the highest amount for unsecured loans should be about $30,000 to $50,000. Secured loans can be higher.

Their secured loans come with terms of 5 years. Their unsecured loans come with terms of 12 years.

Another reason why people will love Affinity is that they have no origination fee.

Pros:

  • Low APR.
  • Many loan types are available.
  • No origination fee.
  • Bad credit is ok.
  • Offers secured and unsecured loans.
  • COVID programs.

Cons:

  • Not disclosed loan amount on their site.

Affinity qualification requirements:

  • 18+ years old,
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • SSN or ITIN.

COVID:

COVID Resources

Loan Apps

Loan apps are another unique ways to get some extra cash. A few things about loans apps.

Apps approve people very fast and easily. Most of them even won’t check your credit score and comes with 0 interest. This makes them a great new way to borrow some money. But there are catches.

  • People can’t expect a lot of money. Most of them offer about $100 to $500.
  • Their repayment terms are short. In most cases, you have to pay the money back in a month.
  • They have monthly membership fees, typically between $1 to $5.

In brief: Apps are a great way to borrow some money instantly for those with bad credit. They work great for people looking for amounts like $100 to $500 and are sure they will pay back the amount in a month.

Those looking for higher loan amounts don’t benefit from apps.

A full list of all apps you can find on our Marketplace:

Best Instant Cash Loan Apps with 0 Interest Rate 2021

Those who want to learn more can visit our guide on personal loan apps and read reviews of the best of them.

In the end, all apps are direct lenders.

Dave

Loan Amount: Up to $200
APR: 0% Interest + Fees + Optional Tips
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 1 Month
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

Dave is a personal loan app, and they are a direct lender. Dave is a great payday loan alternative.

“I wanted to build Dave to help be like my financial friend who was going to send me alerts about my upcoming bills and effectively tell me how much money I could spend before my next paycheck came in,” CEO Jason Wilk says.

Dave offers an instant $200 with a 0% interest rate. But there are fees:

  • $1 monthly membership fee.
  • Express funding costs you $1.99 to $5.99, but it is optional. People can skip this fee and wait 1 to 3 days for their money.
  • Dave encourages people to tip them, but again it is optional.

Once you get the money, you should give them back in a month.

Pros:

  • Direct lender.
  • Instant approval.
  • No credit check.
  • Only $1 per month fee.
  • Fast funding.
  • No interest rate.
  • Not a payday lender.

Cons:

  • Loans only up to $200 available.
  • Membership fee.
  • A fast funding fee of $1.99 to $5.99.
  • Not an option to change your payment date.
  • Not repayment period, people are required to give back the full amount in a month.
  • Requires bank account access.

Dave qualification criteria:

Dave doesn’t pay attention to your credit score. The lender review information like your income, spending habits, and the regular balance of your bank account.

It’s required to have at least two recent, matching, and regularly scheduled direct deposits to verify your income.

To qualify for $100, you should link a bank account for Dave so they can review your funds.

To qualify for $200, Dave requires you to open a spending account with them and set up a direct deposit.

COVID:

Unfortunately, there is no information on Dave’s site on how they deal with COVID. People affected by COVID, having troubles paying their fees, should contact them.

We expect updates from Dave and will post them here.

Earnin

Loan Amount: $100 – $500
APR: 0% Interest + Optional Tips
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 1 Month
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
CHECK RATES

Earnin is another great paycheck advance app and is a direct lender. The lender starts by offering up to $100. Those paying back on time have the chance to increase their limit of up to $500.

Earnin has no fees. But then how they make money, what’s the catch, you’d ask?

According to the information on their site, they encourage people to tip them. But that’s one of the things. There is another thing that all paycheck advance apps do. These are banking apps that provide more services like savings accounts, checking accounts, etc. Giving people free or very cheap loans, they expect to become their regular clients and use other services one day. This could be considered a catch, but for us, this means free money! Now, you’d probably also ask, does this catch work also for them? Yes, with over 10 million downloads, we can say that they do serious business.

Note: Earnin has a late fee of $10 or 5% of the unpaid balance.

Pros:

  • Up to $500, which is a high amount if we compare with other paycheck advance apps.
  • Earnin is a direct lender.
  • Instant approval.
  • No credit check.
  • No fees.
  • Fast funding.
  • Not a payday lender.
  • COVID programs.

Cons:

  • Lower amount than traditional personal loan lenders.
  • Only $100 for the first loan.
  • Not all banks are available in Earnin’s Lightning Speed feature.
  • Requires bank account access.
  • Late fee: $10 or 5% of the unpaid balance.

Dave qualification criteria:

COVID:

Earnin has programs for those affected by COVID. Those who want to learn more, visit:

COVID Resources

Are There Bad Credit Direct Lenders with Guaranteed Approval?

No! If you find a company offering you “guaranteed loans,” that is a scam. It’s true that in 2021 there are many companies in the lending market, and most of you will find something, but there are no guarantees.

In fact, the term “loans guaranteed approval” is a way that many predatory lenders use to promote their shady business. And when we talk about scams, here is what else you have to know.

How to Identify Loan Scams?

The bad credit lending business is full of scammers. Scammers offer very extensive loans, and unfortunately, trick, still successfully, many people. But this doesn’t mean that all bad credit lenders are scams. There are many legit personal lenders offering loans to those with bad credit. We highly recommend reading our detailed guides:

Best Personal Loans for Bad Credit 2021 READ IT CAREFULLY!

Where to Find Legit Personal Loan Companies for Bad Credit Online in 2021? READ IT CAREFULLY!

A few ways on how to scam high-risk lenders offer their predatory loans.

  • Guaranteed approval.
  • No credit, no problem.
  • No income verification.
  • High-risk loans.
  • No credit check.
  • 1-hour approval.
  • Direct lender only.
  • Instant cash.
  • Easy approval.
  • Quick cash.
  • Short-term loans.
  • Cash advance.
  • Near me.

Most of these terms mean scams. Note that technically we can’t find anything bad in some of them, but the truth is that payday high-risk loans use this terminology to scam people.

Have you seen WellsFargo and CapitalOne promoting their loans that way?

What Types of Bad Credit Loans Should I Avoid?

  • Payday Loans. These are high-risk short-term loans, which typically offer less than $1,000, with very high APR, averaging at 400%, according to CFPB. They offer scam products sped like direct lenders, fast cash. Some of you will find installment loans and other variations. We consider them risky because they are costly and lead people to the debt cycle.
  • Pawn Shop Loans. Another variation of payday loans. The only difference is that they are less expensive and most of you will find them also adding “near me,” because most of them are local businesses. We highly recommend avoiding them because they are high-risk loans.
  • Auto title loans. Auto title loans are a type of secured loans. The amount of the loans typically is less than the collateral that you put – typically your car. Their APRs average at 300%. We consider them high-risk loans and recommend people avoid them. They lead people to a debt cycle, and most people lose their collateral. CFPB found that the average payday borrower remained in debt for almost 200 days.

And here is the catch:

Each of these lenders will tell you that they are direct lenders, and that is true.

Conclusion

The bad credit loan business is full of scams. There are legitimate lenders working with people with bad credit, but they are not always direct lenders. Their loans, although times cheaper than payday loans, are still more expensive than traditional personal loans. That’s why people with bad credit have to work on their credit score until it increases and then gets a loan.

Many people prefer direct lenders because they think that their loans will be cheaper. There is nothing bad at getting a loan from a legit direct lender, but many scammers successfully manipulated the terminology, making the term direct lenders a scam!

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