Bad credit represents an incredibly sticky label – one that over 50% of Americans have struggled to shake off when the time came to apply for a loan.
By now, you have likely seen lenders advertising loans designed specifically for individuals struggling with bad credit. For anyone who has gone through the emotion turmoil of being denied a loan in the past, this can feel like a blessing, but it is crucial that you give yourself the time to consider the commitment carefully.
Being realistic about the situation does not disqualify the option of a bad credit loan – far from it. But you must go into it with a judicious and well-informed state of mind.
Read more below.
Why is Credit So Important?
When you apply to a lender – whether it is, say, for a car, home equity, or a payday loan – they will want to know a little more about you and, more specifically, your financial background in order to assess whether or not you are a viable candidate. Effectively, they want to ensure that you will be likely to repay your loan on time.
Taking a look at your credit history offers one of the most accurate forms of assessment. Your credit score is a number (typically between 300 and 850) which is calculated based on the ways in which you have utilised credit in the past, and your history of repaying lenders on time.
Any missed payments or defaulted loans will reflect poorly on you, and lower your score, while utilising credit, meeting payments on time, and successfully repaying lenders will serve to keep it in the green, and make lenders much more likely to offer you subsequent loans when the time comes.
What are Bad Credit Loans?
Bad credit loans are designed specifically for individuals whose credit scores are suboptimal. While the interest rates and associated fees are likely to be higher, finding lenders who offer the best loans for bad credit will enable you to source the money you need in spite of past struggles.
Every lender will have their own prerequisites for offering loans, and some will simply refuse to accept you if your credit score sits below their minimum requirement. This can be incredibly disheartening, and make you more wary of lenders who do offer bad credit loans.
In reality, while the terms may not be quite as attractive for those with bad credit – and there are those who cannot be trusted – some lenders do offer safe and reliable options for those with blemishes on their financial histories.
Managing a Bad Credit Loan
If you are planning to take out a bad credit loan, ensure that you read through the small print carefully before committing yourself to the terms and conditions. It is crucial that you feel confident in your ability to meet your repayment plan; remember that, just because the loan is designed for someone with your credit history, does not mean that your current financial position and budget can handle the payments.
Treat a bad credit loan like a regular loan. Since your ability to handle loans offers one of the most significant resources for calculating your credit score, any late or missed payments will have a negative impact.
Remember that, while the loan is tailored to accommodate your credit history, it is not tailored to accommodate history repeating itself. See it as a new opportunity to make a lasting change on your financial status, not an alternative.
Don’t Let Yourself Get Exploited
Unfortunately, there will always be individuals seeking to take advantage of those in shaky financial situations. People suffering from bad credit and poor personal finances present a significant opportunity to loan sharks and scammers ready to lock you into an unfair and potentially illegal situation.
Don’t jump at an attractive offer without doing your due diligence.
- Are the reviews positive and genuine?
- Does the offer seem to be in accordance with your credit score, or is it too good to be true?
- Did you approach them first, or did they call you up out of the blue?
- What state are they registered in?
- Are they doing their due diligence, too?
Bad credit loans, when reliable and fair, offer a fantastic lifeline for borrowers with less-than-ideal histories who are looking to improve their score. When rushed into, or targeted to exploit financially-vulnerable people, they are a risk not worth taking. Keep this in mind, and endeavour to protect your finances before jumping.