Best Installment Payday Loan Alternatives for Bad Credit 2022

Last Update: July 1, 2022 Loan Reviews Loans

If you’re considering an installment payday loan, don’t waste your time! They’re costly and come with average APRs of 400%. Moreover, if you fall behind on your payments, you run the risk of falling into a vicious debt cycle. In 2022, the lending market has evolved and offers plenty of better alternatives. If you have bad credit, there are solutions for you. And while you may not get the lowest APR, your rate will still be much less than 400%!

Watch our video that shows how people with bad credit can get a personal loan.

Have a look at the options below.

The companies on our list are highly reputable and offer unsecured loans to those with bad credit. But, if you don’t qualify, consider a secured loan or a co-signer loan. If that fails, credit unions are your next best option. Federal credit unions cap their APRs at 18%. As a last resort, look to alternative payday loans. Their APRs are more expensive, but they’re still much less than traditional payday loans.

Best Installment Loan Alternatives for Bad Credit 2022

Loan Company: Min. Credit Score: APR: Amount: Approval: Terms: Type:
BadCreditLoans 0 5.99% – 35.99% $500 – $10,000 < 1 Day 3 – 36 Months Personal Loans for Really Bad Credit
OppLoans 0 Vary By State $500 – $4,000 < 1 Day 9 – 18 Months Alternative Payday Loans for Really Bad Credit
CashUSA 0 5.99% – 35.99% $1,000 – $10,000 < 1 Day 2 – 5 Years Secured Personal Loans for Bad Credit
LendingTree 500 3.99% – 35.99% $1,000 – $50,000 < 1 Day 1 – 5 Years Personal Loans for Bad Credit
LendingPoint 585 9.99% – 35.99% $2,000 – $25,000 1 – 3 Days 3 – 5 Years Personal Loan for Bad Credit
PersonalLoans 580 5.99% – 35.99% $1,000 – $35,000 < 1 Day 90 Days – 72 Months Personal Loans for Bad Credit

We always mention how the lending market has evolved in 2022. More than ever, companies are opening their doors to people with bad credit – offering higher approval rates and much better terms. Compare that with payday loans. Do you see any evolution? The only change they make is offering ‘installment payday loans.’ But what are they? And are they a better option?

Well, at ElitePersonalFinance, we decided to investigate the matter!

But before we get into the details, we want to explain why traditional payday loans are so dangerous. First, payday loans have an average APR of 400%. Next, you can only borrow up to $1,000, and you need to repay the proceeds within two weeks. If you miss a payment, you’re charged a late payment fee, and interest continues to accumulate on your loan. Moreover, payday lenders are extremely aggressive in debiting your checking account when this happens. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that payday loan borrowers incurred bank overdraft fees that were 185% higher than the average American. The point is: payday lenders want you to think they’re your only option. But stay with us, and we’ll show you they’re not!

Back to installment payday loans.

They’re an improvement over traditional payday loans because they allow you to repay the proceeds over a few months. However, their APRs are still extremely high, and the longer-term actually costs you more money in the long run. Because of this, we recommend you avoid them.

Pros of installment payday loans:

  • You can repay the funds over a longer term.
  • The longer term slightly lowers the risk of falling into a debt cycle. However, it’s still very high.
  • Loans are designed for people with bad credit.

Cons of installment payday loans:

  • Average APRs are 400% making them extremely expensive.
  • There are hidden fees, rollover charges, and no refinancing options.
  • Your total interest paid is through the roof!

Most people don’t realize that a longer repayment period actually increases the loan’s total amount.

Have a look at the table below. Notice how increasing the repayment term causes your total interest paid to get out of hand quickly:

Amount: APR: Total Interest Paid: 1-Month Loan: Total Interest Paid: 3-Month Loan: Total Interest Paid: 12-Month Loan:
$100 400% $33.33 $72.96 $313.31
$500 400% $166.67 $364.87 $1,565.52
$1,000 400% $333.33 $729.72 $3,130.65

As you can see, your total interest paid increases significantly the longer you hold the loan. By extending the term of a $100 payday loan from one month to 12 months, you pay an extra $279.98 in interest.

The numbers are even more staggering for a $1,000 payday loan.

By borrowing $1,000 at an APR of 400% for 12 months, you end up paying $3,130.65 in interest. That works out to 3.13 times the amount you borrowed! Moreover, repaying that same loan in one month rather than 12 saves you $2,797.32 in total interest paid.

Best Alternatives to Installment Payday Loans

Because lenders offer so many different products, we place all of them in different groups. Some loans have lower APRs, while others have more or less risk:

Loan Type: Expected APR: Average Amount: Risk:
Unsecured Personal Loan 15% – 35.99% < $1,000 – $5,000 Low
Secured Personal Loan 10% – 20% < $1,000 – $10,000 Low
Credit Unions 18% – 28% < $1,000 – $5,000 Low
Alternative Payday Loans 35.99% – 400% < $1,000 – $5,000 Medium

Unsecured Personal Loans for Bad Credit. With rising competition and lenders now looking at more than just your credit score, unsecured personal loans are attainable if you have really bad credit. Your APR will be on the high-end, but personal loans never exceed 35.99%. We recommend you apply to as many lenders as you can. They perform a ‘soft’ credit pull so that it won’t hurt your credit score. And the more lenders you have competing for your business, the better your chances of obtaining great terms.

Secured Personal Loans for Bad Credit. If you don’t qualify for an unsecured loan, move on to secured loans and co-signer loans. You have to put up collateral with secured loans, but this increases your chances of being approved and lowers your APR. But remember, only take out a secured loan if you’re sure you can repay the funds on time. If you fall behind on your payments, you risk losing your property. It’s a great way to lower your APR with a co-signer loan. If you have a friend who’s willing to sign for you, it can make all the difference in obtaining an affordable loan.

Credit Union Cash Advances. If you don’t qualify for the loans above, credit unions are a great fallback option. They’re non-profit enterprises, and because of this, their products are used to help those in the community rather than generate a profit. To qualify, however, you need to become a member. This typically requires a one-time fee of $25. But, their APRs tend to range from 18% to 28%, and federal credit unions cap their APRs at 18%.

Alternative Payday Loans. We only recommend alternative payday loans as a last resort. If you’re unfamiliar, alternative loans are a hybrid between standard personal loans and predatory payday loans. Personal loan APRs are capped at 35.99%, while payday loan APRs average 400%. Alternative loan APRs fall right in the middle. They range from 35.99% and up, but rates are often capped at 199%. Only apply for an alternative payday loan if you don’t qualify for a standard personal loan.

Personal Loans vs. Alternative Payday Loans vs. Installment Payday Loans

To understand the interest, have a look at the table below:

Type: Amount: APR: Total Interest Paid: 1-Month Loan: Total Interest Paid: 3-Month Loan: Total Interest Paid: 12-Month Loan:
Personal Loan $1,000 30% $25.00 $50.41 $169.84
Alternative Payday Loan $1,000 100% $83.33 $171.11 $619.91
Payday Loan $1,000 400% $333.33 $729.72 $3,130.65

Without a doubt, payday loans are the most expensive. Even a 1-month payday loan – with a 400% APR – incurs $163.49 more in interest charges than a 12-month, 30% APR personal loan. As for alternative payday loans, as we mentioned above, they fall right in the middle. And while $171.11 in interest is still expensive on a 3-month loan, the amount is $558.61 less than what you’ll pay with a comparable payday loan.

Best Alternative Loan Companies for Bad Credit


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 is one of the top bad credit lenders in the marketplace and one we highly recommend. The company offers loans that range from $500 to $10,000, and no collateral is required. Because their APRs go as low as 5.99% and never exceed 35.99%, they’re a comparable option to standard personal loans. But keep in mind that your APR will most likely be 15% or more if you have really bad credit. As well, most borrowers with really bad credit end up qualifying for $3,000 or less.


  • The company works with borrowers who have extremely bad credit.
  • There is no minimum credit score requirement, and all borrowers are encouraged to apply.
  • APRs never exceed 35.99%, making them nearly identical to personal loans.


  • If you have a very low credit score, your APR will fall between 15% to 35.99%.
  • You can borrow up to $10,000, but the company usually offers $3,000 or less to borrowers with really bad credit.
  • While everyone is encouraged to apply, not all borrowers will qualify.


Loan Amount: $1,000 – $10,000
APR: 5.99% – 35.99%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 24 – 60 months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A
Check rates

CashUSA is another go-to option if your credit is really poor. But unlike BadCreditLoans, you need upfront collateral to qualify. The process is similar to a car title loan. But, unlike car title loans, CashUSA APRs range from 5.99% to 35.99%, which are much more affordable. The company offers loans that range from $500 to $10,000, and if you speak with them directly, you can qualify for a higher amount. But, like BadCreditLoans above, if you have really bad credit, you shouldn’t expect any more than $1,500. Before you apply, consider the risks of using collateral. If you fall behind on your payments, you could end up losing your car. Thus, we only recommend CashUSA if you’re sure you can repay the debt on time and in full.


  • Loans are available to borrowers of all credit scores.
  • Because collateral is required, borrowers with bad credit have received APRs as low as 10%.
  • If you speak with the company directly, you may qualify for a loan of over $10,000.


  • By putting up your car as collateral, you risk losing it if you fall behind on your payments.
  • Most bad credit borrowers end up with an APR between 20% and 35.99%.
  • Everyone is eligible to apply, but CashUSA only approves select borrowers.


Loan Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
APR: 3.99% – 35.99%
Min. Credit Score: 500
Approval: 1 Day
Terms: 1 – 5 years
Origination Fee: 0 – 3%
DTI Ratio: N/A
Check rates

Unlike the two options above, LendingTree requires a minimum credit score of 500. But, because that’s still on the low-end for most applicants, it’s a great option if you need a bad credit loan. You can borrow as much as $50,000, and APRs are as low as 3.99%. However, if you have really bad credit, your APR will fall between 15% to 35.99%.


  • LendingTree is a name you know and trust.
  • Loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500.
  • APRs never exceed 35.99%, which makes them comparable to personal loans.


  • The company charges an origination fee, ranging from 0% to 3%; however, it’s still less than many other lenders.
  • If you have bad credit, expect an APR of 20% to 35.99%.
  • The company has its own eligibility criteria, so not all applicants qualify.


Loan Amount: $500 – $4,000
APR: 59% – 160%
Min. Credit Score: 0
Approval: < 1 Day
Terms: 9 – 18 Months
Origination Fee: N/A
DTI Ratio: N/A

If you don’t qualify for the options above, you need to consider OppLoans. While its APRs range from 59% to 160%, it’s a great option for borrowers who can’t get a personal loan. You can borrow anywhere from $500 to $4,000, and loans are unsecured, which means no collateral is needed. You can repay the proceeds over nine months or up to 18 months, and on-time payments will help build your credit score. There is also a refinancing option for borrowers who qualify for additional funds or fall behind their payments.


  • OppLoans offers a great middle-ground between personal loans and payday loans.
  • There is no credit score requirement, and you never need any collateral.
  • It’s possible to refinance your loan if you suffer an emergency.


  • APRs are higher than personal loans, ranging from 59% to 160%.
  • You’re charged a loan origination fee of 0% to 3%, but it’s included in your APR.
  • Loans are not available in all states*

*OppLoans offers installment loans in Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. However, the company also offers loans through FinWise Bank – an entity OppLoans contracts to handle certain loan products. These loans are available to borrowers in Alaska, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Its credit line is only available to Kansas, Tennessee, and Virginia residents.


Despite being slightly better than traditional payday loans, installment payday loans shouldn’t be your first choice. In fact, they shouldn’t even be your last choice! That’s why we create this guide. We wanted to show you that there are alternatives available. And while ‘bad credit’ is based on how low your credit score actually is, there are many more affordable options out there. So, before you settle for a payday loan, follow our tips above. Start your search with unsecured personal loans. If that fails, move on to secured personal loans. If that doesn’t work, move on to a credit union cash advance. As a final option, opt for an alternative payday loan. Even then, you’ll end up with a ‘worst-case’ APR of roughly 200%. And considering payday loans have average APRs of 400% – on a 12-month loan – saving 200% on your APR will lower your total interest paid by more than 56%.



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