Signature loans are so called because you get them based on your signature and creditworthiness instead of collateral, such as a house or car.
While your chances of getting approved are higher if you have good credit, you may still be able to qualify for a signature loan with bad credit and no credit check.
What is a signature loan?
A signature loan is another name for a personal loan or installment loan. The main reason these loans are called “signature loans” is that you obtain one based on your signature and a good-faith promise to repay rather than securing the loan with collateral.
Because you don’t put up any collateral to secure the loan, this makes the loan a bigger risk for the lender. As a result, most lenders will charge higher fees and interest to mitigate their risk.
Just because a signature loan isn’t secured by collateral doesn’t mean it is completely without risk for the borrower. While the lender can’t seize your house or car if you default, you can still sustain serious damage to your credit score if you stop making payments.
In addition, the lender can turn over your account to collections or pursue a case against you in civil court. If the lender or collection agency obtains a judgment against you, they can garnish your wages.
In general, getting a signature loan with bad credit and no credit check means paying higher than average interest rates and fees. As a result, you should think carefully before getting one, as well as consider alternatives, such as borrowing from a friend or raising money by taking on a second job or selling items you no longer need.
On the other hand, you may not have much time to explore alternatives if an emergency pops up. As surveys show, 60 percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 on hand to cover an unexpected expense.
If you’re truly in a financial bind, a signature loan could be a good choice, and you may even be able to find a lender that offers signature loans with no credit check.
Can you get a signature loan with bad credit?
As with most financial products, you can typically find a lender willing to work with you regardless of your credit score or personal finance history. The catch, however, is that you’ll pay more in fees and interest.
This is why it’s important to be cautious about borrowing money from a lender that doesn’t require a credit check. Before you enter into a signature loan, it’s important to understand why many lenders run your credit before approving a loan.
When a lender agrees to give a borrower a loan, the lender takes on a certain amount of risk. Lenders try to reduce their risk in a couple of different ways.
In some cases, for example, lenders reduce their risk by requiring the borrower to pledge property, such as a house or a car. In other cases, lenders don’t require collateral, but they won’t lend money to someone unless their credit score is over a certain threshold.
This may seem unfair to people with low credit scores. After all, a variety of factors can contribute to a poor credit score, and not all of them are the fault of the borrower.
From the lender’s perspective, however, a potential borrower with a very low score poses a higher risk of default. Many lenders refuse to work with people who have low scores, but some will still loan money to borrowers with a negative credit history.
If you fall into this group of borrowers, it’s important to approach any loan offer with an abundance of caution. Lenders that offer loans without running a credit check typically reduce their risk by charging very high-interest rates and fees, meaning they collect the bulk of their money upfront before the borrower has a chance to default.
This can be a risky proposition for the borrower, who may fall further into debt if they can’t afford the interest on a signature loan with no credit check. Keep in mind that defaulting on this type of loan can still result in collections and civil court judgments, which can make your credit score sink even lower, as well as make it difficult to borrow money in the future.
Pros and cons: signature loans with no credit check
As with any type of loan, there are pros and cons to getting a signature loan with no credit check.
On the plus side, applying for a signature loan with no credit check won’t hurt your credit score, as the lender won’t make any hard inquiries on your credit report. Another plus is that you can often apply for these types of loans online, and many lenders offer a decision within seconds and disbursement of funds within a day or two.
However, there are also negatives associated with signature loans with no credit check. The main drawback you need to be aware of is the high cost of these loans, which typically come in the form of very high-interest rates and fees.
4 best signature loans with no credit check
If you need fast access to cash and you have bad credit, there are reputable lenders that may be willing to work with you. Here are four lenders to consider for a signature loan without a credit check.
CashUSA.com is a loan marketplace that connects borrowers with multiple lenders in a network of lenders willing to work with people who have bad credit or who may not otherwise be able to qualify for a loan from a traditional lender. It’s free to apply for loans, and you can get offers from multiple lenders by submitting one simple online application.
Borrowers can get anywhere from $500 to $10,000, although you’re unlikely to qualify for a higher amount if your credit is very poor. To apply, you must be at least 18 years old, have an income of at least $1,000 a month, maintain an active checking account, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Interest rates vary based on your creditworthiness, with rates going from 5.99% to 35.99%. Repayment terms can be anywhere between three months and 72 months.
BadCreditLoans.com is another loan marketplace that matches borrowers with lenders in an online network. The lenders that participate in the BadCreditLoans.com marketplace are typically willing to offer subprime loans, which means they will work with you even if you have a bad credit score.
It’s free to apply for loans, and you can borrow anywhere between $500 and $10,000. Repayment terms start at three months and go up to 36 months.
To apply, you must be at least 18 years old, provide proof of citizenship, and have an active bank account. While BadCreditLoans.com doesn’t list a minimum income requirement, it states on its site that you must have a “regular income.”
Loan interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99%. If you’re approved for a loan, you can typically receive your funds as soon as the next business day.
LendUp bills itself as “a better alternative to payday loans.” Unlike most payday and short-term lenders, LendUp will offer you more competitive interest rates on subsequent loans if you prove you can borrow responsibly.
The company does this through its LendUp Ladder program, which lets borrowers earn points by making payments on time. As you climb the ladder, you can score more competitive terms, a better interest rate, and even have your payments reported to the credit bureaus.
Loan amounts through LendUp start at $200 and go as high as $1,000. On the downside, the interest rates go soar into the triple digits, making these loans very expensive.
LendUp is not available in every state, as some states have caps on payday loan interest rates. According to its website, LendUp offers loans in California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Bonsai Finance is an online loan marketplace that matches borrowers with multiple lenders. The lenders in the network offer a variety of different loan types, including no credit check loans ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Loan offers vary, with repayment terms ranging from one month to 60 months. The interest rates start at 5.49% and go as high as 35.99%.
The application requirements are similar to other lenders and loan marketplaces. One notable exception is that your loan’s monthly payment amount can’t exceed 15% of your monthly income.
Common requirements for signature loans
The requirements for obtaining a signature loan vary by lender, but there are several requirements you can expect to see no matter where you’re applying. Here is a list of what you’re likely to need if you apply for a signature loan.
- Be at least 18 years old – No matter where you apply for a loan, you must be at least 18 years old to enter into any kind of contract.
- US citizen or permanent resident – Most lenders will require you to prove you are a United States citizen or legal permanent resident before they will approve you for a loan.
- Have a checking account – You must maintain an active checking account, as most lenders won’t disburse funds to a prepaid debit card. If you’re approved for a loan, the lender will directly deposit the funds into your account.
- Earn a minimum monthly income – This amount varies from lender to lender, but the threshold is usually $1,000. In addition, some lenders will accept an alternative source of income, such as spousal support or government benefits.
- Valid address – Lenders require you to prove you have a valid address where you receive mail. Many lenders also require a valid email address so they can easily communicate with you.
How to apply for a signature loan with no credit check
Fortunately, online lending makes it easy to apply for a signature loan with no credit check. While each lender has its own application process, you can usually expect to encounter something similar to the following.
1. Access the online application
Go to the lender’s online application. This is usually labeled as a prominent button on the lender’s website.
2. Fill in your information
Every lender asks for different information. If you’re applying for a loan with no credit check, you should be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your income and employment history, including:
- Your full name
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Email address
- Phone number
- Street address
- How long you have lived at your current address
- Whether you rent or own your residence
- Whether you own a car
- Marital status
- Number of children
- Military status
- Employment status
- Name and address of employer
- How long you have worked for your current employer
- Driver’s license number and state
- Monthly income
- Type of income
- How you receive your paycheck
- Name of bank
- Type of bank account
- Bank account number
3. Submit your application
Once you have filled out all the required information, you simply click “submit” to upload your application to the lender’s website. Many lenders offer instant decisions, and some will return a decision within one or two business days.
4. Receive your loan funds
If your application is approved, you may be able to get your loan funds as soon as the same day. In other cases, the lender will disburse your loan in as little as one or two business days.
Alternatives to signature loans
In some cases, a signature loan isn’t the best fit for your circumstances. In other cases, you may be able to get the funds you need by using an alternative source of financing.
Whatever your situation, it’s always a good idea to explore alternatives before you commit to a signature loan. Here are some options to consider.
- Advance on your paycheck – Some employers may be willing to let you dip into your next paycheck if you have an emergency or unexpected expense. This is usually a more viable option if you have worked at your current job for a lengthy period of time and have a good rapport with your employer.
- Borrow from a friend or relative – While you may be reluctant to ask a friend or relative for a loan, this can be a more affordable alternative to taking out a signature loan with a high-interest rate. If you go this route, however, make sure you put the agreement in writing so everyone is protected.
- Get a cosigner – If you can find a cosigner with a good credit score, you are likely to qualify for better loan offers, including lower interest rates and more generous repayment terms. Keep in mind, however, that your cosigner will be on the hook for the balance of the loan if you default.
- Raise money on your own – If you can’t qualify for a loan, consider raising the funds you need by selling items you already own. If you have the time, you could also pick up a temporary or seasonal job by working retail or signing up for an independent contractor gig like DoorDash or Instacart.
Signature loans no credit check FAQs
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding signature loans with no credit check.
Do signature loans require a credit check?
The reality is that most lenders will pull your credit before offering you a loan. If you work with a loan marketplace, you can usually apply for loan offers without a hard inquiry on your credit report, but individual lenders will ultimately pull your credit before finalizing your offer.
While you can probably get a short-term loan, such as a payday loan, without a credit check, it’s best to avoid these types of loans, as they come with extremely high-interest rates. In most cases, it’s better to opt for a signature loan, where you can expect to pay interest somewhere in the 30% to 40% range.
What credit score is needed for a signature loan?
Every lender has its own requirements when it comes to credit scores. Because a signature loan lets you get funds in good faith without putting up any collateral, you can expect the majority of signature loan lenders to require a decent credit score.
In general, this means your score should be at least 650, with most lenders preferring to see scores of at least 700. On occasion, you may be able to find a lender that will accept credit scores as low as 580, but these loans will come with much higher interest rates.
What’s the easiest loan to get with bad credit?
Generally, the easiest loan to get with bad credit is a payday loan. Payday loans are a type of short-term loan that require you to pay back the money you borrow by your next paycheck, with some lenders requiring you to postdate a check for your payday.
The downside is that payday loans come with very high-interest rates, and in some states, they can climb into the triple or quadruple digits. For this reason, you should generally approach them as a last resort.
How long does it take to be approved for a signature loan?
The time for approval for a signature loan varies from lender to lender. Many online lenders even offer instant approval, but this can be a bit misleading.
When lenders say they will approve you instantly, this usually means they will pre-qualify you for a loan based on the information you submit during the initial application stage. Once you receive the full loan offer, you must typically submit additional documentation and verification of certain information.
After you have submitted any required documents, the lender can then finalize your loan agreement. From there, you can generally expect to receive your loan funds the same day or within a couple of business days.
Are personal loans signature loans?
Yes, a signature loan is simply an unsecured personal loan. The name comes from the fact that you get the loan based on your signature, your good-faith promise to repay the money, and any other information the lender may require.
If you have bad credit and need quick access to cash to cover an emergency expense, a signature loan with no credit check can be a good option. Because these types of loans often come with high-interest rates, however, it’s important to make sure you can afford the rates and fees so you don’t end up taking on more debt than you can afford.