Bad Credit Personal Loans

A bad credit personal loan with guaranteed approval doesn't exist.

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Credit scores help lenders determine whether someone can responsibly manage a loan. If you have a negative credit listing, you may appear as a risky borrower to lenders. This will make it harder for your loan application to be approved. While many traditional lenders may be unwilling to lend to bad credit borrowers, there are personal loans you can apply for. However, these loans have higher fees and interest rates as well as lower borrowing amounts.

Are you struggling financially?

If you're struggling financially and would like to speak to someone for free financial advice, information and assistance you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 (open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

What are the types of bad credit personal loans?

If you have a bad credit history and wish to apply for a personal loan, there are a few options to consider, including the following:

  • Secured personal loans.This type of loan requires securing the loan with an asset. This can be a home, car or other valuable asset. By securing the loan with an asset, the risk to the lender is reduced. If you can't meet your repayments on time, or if other terms of the loan aren't met, the lender can use the asset to cover their costs. This means that they can claim your asset as a form of compensation.A common type of secured loan is a car loan. The funds of a car loan can only be used to purchase a car, but you can use the funds of a personal loan for other purposes.While you may have trouble getting a loan from traditional lenders such as banks if you have bad credit, you may be able to find a personal loan from alternative lenders. These lenders include mutuals like building societies and credit unions. If you already have a good relationship with your mutual bank, you may find them flexible when it comes to a secured personal loan.You can read more about secured personal loans in our guide.
  • Guarantor personal loans.
    With a guarantor personal loan, someone else financially guarantees that the loan will be repaid. This can be a parent, spouse or relative. They provide a guarantee that the loan will be repaid even if you're unable to repay it.Your guarantor should be someone who has a good credit history. They will also need to own a property to use as security against the loan.Having a guarantor can increase the strength of your application since it reduces the lender's risk. In return, you could receive a more competitive interest rate or even a higher loan amount.
  • Short term loans.
    A short term loan has small borrowing amounts and short repayment terms. Payday lenders offer loans up to $2,000 with terms from 16 days to 12 months. The eligibility requirements for these loans tend to focus on a person's current financial circumstances. Lenders will look into their ability to repay the loan within the set timeframe. These loans are expensive and have high fees and charges.
  • Medium term bad credit loans.
    If you're looking to borrow more than $2,000, there are lenders offering loans of up to $5,000. There are also a few lenders offering loans of up to $10,000 for those with a bad credit history. Keep in mind that loans above $2,001 come with high interest rates, sometimes as much as 48% p.a.

How much do short and medium term bad credit loans cost?

The cost can vary depending on factors including the lender, the type of loan and the amount borrowed. Lenders cannot charge more than the following amounts:

Loans under $2,000 with terms between 16 days to 12 months

  • Establishment fee: 20% of the loan amount.
  • Monthly fee: 4% of the loan amount.

Loans between $2,001 and $5,000 with terms between 16 days to 2 years

  • Establishment fee: $400
  • Maximum interest rate: 48% p.a., including all other fees and charges.

Loans between $5,000 with terms over 2 years

  • All fees and charges cannot exceed 48% p.a.

Lenders that offer personal loans to bad credit borrowers

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Jacaranda Finance Personal Loan
9 to 24 months
Under 1 hour - conditions apply
$0 - $1,000 depending on credit
Borrow up to $10,000 and get access to your funds in as little as 1 hour.
Sunshine Short Term Loans
9-14 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $2,000 that you repay over 9-14 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Nimble Short Term Loan
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
Fair Go Finance Small Loan
1 to 12 months
24 to 48 hours
Establishment Fee of $18 – $400
A small loan between $300 and $2,000 that can be funded in 24 hours.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Nimble Medium Loan
up to 23 months
1 hour - conditions apply*
Application fee of $400 + 47.62% p.a.
Apply for up to $5,000 and have up to 23 months to repay.
Swoosh Finance
60 days -12 months
Next business day
$416 + 47% p.a. of borrowed amount
A secured loan up to $4,584 you can apply for in 10 minutes. Have up to 1 years to repay what you borrow.
Fair Go Finance Personal Loan
9 to 36 months
Within 24 hours
Establishment fee of $536 - $795
A larger loan up to $10,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
Jacaranda Finance Personal Loan
9 to 24 months
Under 1 hour - conditions apply
$0 - $1,000 depending on credit
Borrow up to $10,000 and get access to your funds in as little as 1 hour.

Compare up to 4 providers

Things to consider before applying for a bad credit personal loan

As with any loan, approval is based on whether you meet the lending criteria. Before applying, you should check the requirements to see if you meet them. You should also do the following:

  • Check your credit score.
    By checking your credit score, you know where you stand. You can get an idea of your credit position and anything that may affect your chances of getting a loan. You can check your score for free here.
  • Discuss your options with a qualified professional.
    If you're struggling financially and need help, the Financial Counsellors hotline (1800 007 007) offers free support and advice from qualified professionals. This can help you make decisions that fit your financial circumstances. It can also help you avoid taking on debt that may worsen your financial situation.
  • Research the lender.
    This is especially the case if you're applying for a short or medium term loan. You should always check if the lender is reputable. This involves checking if they have a credit licence. You should also check if they are registered with ASIC. At Finder, we only include lenders who are registered and have a credit licence.Apart from their licence, you should also check if the lender is easily contactable. This is important in case of emergencies where you cannot meet your repayments. If you're having difficulty repaying your loan, you should contact the lender immediately. If you fail to do so, you may end up paying high fees or face legal proceedings.
  • Don't make too many credit applications at once.
    All credit applications appear on your credit report. If you apply for more than one loan at a time, or over a short period of time, this will act as a red flag to lenders. This can reduce the chances of loan approval and make it harder for you to get credit in the future. If you're applying for a loan, you should apply for one only and then wait for a response before taking further action.
  • Use a personal loan calculator.
    A personal loan calculator can help you figure out how much the loan will cost. This will ensure you know how much the loan costs and how it fits into your budget. Having this figure in mind can prevent you from applying for a loan you can't afford. Lenders will only approve your application if you can afford the repayments.
  • Borrow only as much as you need.
    This is especially important if you have financial difficulties and you're applying for an expensive loan. You should not borrow more than you need.

Alternatives to bad credit personal loans

If you're looking for alternatives to bad credit loans, there are a few options you could opt for. These include the following:

  • Loans from neobanks and P2P lenders.
    These lenders are largely online and, unlike traditional lenders, have a flexible lending criteria. They offer risk-based lending, which means you can get a loan even if you have bad credit. If you do have a poor score, the cost of the loan will be higher than if you didn't since the lender will charge you more in interest and fees. Your chances of getting a loan will increase if you can offer security. You may also be able to get a higher loan amount.
  • Pay on demand apps.
    If you're out of pocket, you could look into pay on demand. This is a type of short-term loan where you can borrow a portion of your pay cheque before your payday. You are technically borrowing your own money in exchange for a small fee. These fees can be between $2 to $10 or up to 5% of the total borrowed money. The idea of these loans is to tide you over until payday.
  • StepUP personal loan.
    If your income is small, you could be eligible for a StepUP personal loan. This program is managed by Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with NAB. With this loan, you could borrow between $800 and $3,000, with a loan term of up to 3 years. The interest rate is fixed at 5.99% p.a.
  • No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).
    This loan is for low-income earners. It is offered by 170 local community organisations across 600 locations in Australia. You can borrow up to $1,500 to pay for bills and essentials, with terms ranging from 12 to 18 months. As the name implies, no interest is charged. You will only pay for what you borrow.
  • Centrelink Advance Payment.
    This allows you to receive an advance payment on your Centrelink benefits. This is not an additional payment, but a part of your existing allowance paid in advance. You may be eligible depending on how long you have been with Centrelink and how much you receive. There are also other loans you can apply for if you're on Centrelink.

How do I know if I have a bad credit history?

In general, it's good practice to check your credit report at least once a year.

You can check your credit score for free here.

By knowing your score, you will know what to expect when you apply for credit and why a lender rejected you. If your score is good, you could also use it to your advantage and get a good deal when applying for credit. If your score is bad, it can be the first step towards improving your score.

By checking your report, you can also ask for errors made by the credit reporting agency and credit providers to be fixed. Some of these errors could include getting your personal information wrong, listing your debt twice, getting the amount wrong or incorrectly listing overdue payments or defaults.

Your credit report has information about your financial history. It helps lenders understand what kind of a borrower you are. That is, whether you're someone who pays all their bills and debts on time or if you're a risky borrower who has defaulted on previous payments.

Depending on the credit reporting agency, your score can range from 0 to either 1,000 or 1,200. It is divided into a 5-point scale ranging from excellent, very good, good, average or below average. The higher your score, the less risky you're considered to be. With a lower score, your ability to get a loan or credit will be affected.

If you've been late on payments of $150 or more for over 60 days, your credit score will be impacted. Your credit report will contain personal information like your name, date of birth, address and driver's licence number. It will also include the following information:

  • All the credit products you've held in the last 2 years. This will include the type of credit product (e.g. credit card, short-term loan, home loan etc). It will also include details such as the credit provider's name, credit limit, opening and closing dates of the account and the joint applicant's name, if any.
  • Your repayment history in the last 2 years. The report will contain your repayment history for every credit product you've held in the last 2 years. This will include the repayment amount, due dates of payments, how often you paid and if you paid by the due date. It will also contain missed payments (if they are not made within 14 days of the due date) as well as information on if and when you made these payments.
  • Defaults on utility bills, credit cards and loans. These defaults stay on your credit file for 5 years or for 7 years if the provider couldn't contact you. If you default on payments, your service provider may report it to a credit reporting agency, although they have to notify you beforehand. They can report a default if the money you owe is $150 or more, if they can't contact you, if 60 days or more have passed since the due date and if you've been asked to pay the debt either in writing or by phone. If you pay the debt, it will still be listed in your report, but it will include that you paid it.
  • Credit applications. If you've applied for loans before, your application will contain the number of applications you've made, the total amount you've borrowed and any loan guarantees you've made.
  • Bankruptcy and debt agreements. If you've been declared bankrupt or have filed for bankruptcy, if you've entered into any debt or personal insolvency agreements or if you have any court judgements relating to debt, it will be listed in your file.
  • Credit report requests. If credit providers request to see your credit report, this will be included in your file too. Most loans involve some form of credit check.

How can I increase my chances of getting a personal loan with bad credit?

If you're looking to apply for a personal loan with bad credit, you could improve your chances by doing the following:

  • Applying for small amounts of credit.
  • Offering security.
  • Applying with a guarantor.
  • Showing you can save and have a good savings record.
  • Checking you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you're looking for ways to improve your credit score, you could take the following steps:

  • Pay all your bills on time. This includes utility, rent, mortgage and your credit card bills. This shows your commitment to changing your negative credit behaviour.
  • Pay off your debt. If you owe money, you should work on paying it off.
  • Don't apply for too many loans. If you make too many credit applications in a short period of time, this can affect your score.
  • Lower your credit card limit. If you have a high limit you're not using, you should contact your bank and lower it.

Your credit score is updated every month. This means that everything you do to improve it now will have an impact in the long run.

Is there such a thing as a guaranteed loan approval?

If you've been offered a personal loan with guaranteed approval, it is most likely a scam. No personal loans are ever "guaranteed". If you've been guaranteed approval, it's likely that the lender is looking to charge you excessive interest or fees. They could also be trying to get you to sign a contract with unfair or illegal terms.

Before you apply, you should always check if the lender is legitimate. You can do this by checking if they are registered with ASIC or if they appear on ASIC's list of companies you should not deal with. If you think you're being scammed, stop dealing with the lender immediately and report the scam to ASIC.

Frequently asked questions

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32 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MichellDecember 9, 2018

    I have a 300 credit score and 2 defaults needing a loan

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Michell,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      We are on the correct page for you to make a comparison on a table of providers in taking out a loan. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    TenealDecember 11, 2017

    Im wanting a provider who will help with a 15000 car loan with a poor credit raiting

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Teneal,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Though I can’t recommend one specific lender to you as we are a comparison website, you may be able to compare some lenders that offer car loans with bad credit. Please review the criteria and get in touch with the lender directly for the possible options available to you. When you are ready, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the lender’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    RebeccaOctober 18, 2017

    I have 2 defaults on my name from a stuiped furniture company, I gave back there furniture in excellent condition, and the defaulted me 2 times of $1400 I’m still paying them off, and I have a variable impact from Telstra on my name.
    I’ve been approved for a $600 loan and almost done paying it off, I am I need of a $2000 loan where can I get one? Also I’m working and on single parenting

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithOctober 18, 2017Staff

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      You can check our list of payday loans for single parents. On the page, is a comparison table you can use to see which lender suits you. You can click the name of the lender or the “More info” link to be redirected to our review page and learn more about the lender’s loan offer, rates, and requirements as well as the pros and cons of using their loan service. When you are ready, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the lender’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope it helps.

      Best regards,

    Default Gravatar
    johnOctober 31, 2016

    Hi i currntly have car on fianance that i have been paying for the past year and have not missed or made a late payment a d now i a inneed of a $5000 loan for repairs but my credit rating is not so good i have bee employed for over 6 years fulltime is there any lenders that will give the amount i am after thanxs

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeOctober 31, 2016Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      For your borrowing needs, you may want to consider the lenders on our $5,000 personal loan page. Please do check the eligibility criteria of the loan product you are interested in before submitting an application.


    Default Gravatar
    jpSeptember 12, 2016

    So I need a loan in the amount of 3400 dollars to pay off all my debt and I’m self employed and I’ve applied to many but all declined.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethSeptember 13, 2016Staff

      Hi JP,

      Aside from the loans above, check out our page about $5,000 personal loans for you to compare your bad credit loan options for up to $5,000.

      Keep in mind that every time you apply for a loan, it is listed on your credit file and too many rejected applications can be a bad sign to lenders. You may want to consider waiting before you apply for another one to give yourself a better chance of being approved.

      Hope this helps,


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