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If you don’t have any credit history, you’re not alone — about 19% of adults in the U.S. don’t have a credit score at all, according to a 2022 Experian study. But your lack of credit doesn’t mean you’re immune from unexpected expenses, and unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to borrow money if you don’t have any credit history. 

It can be more challenging to qualify for a loan with no credit, but it is possible. You'll need to look a little harder and shop around for lenders with flexible credit requirements. Below, we'll cover how to get a loan if you have no credit and some of the best loan options to consider if you need cash.

Is It Possible to Get a Loan With No Credit?

Yes, it is possible to get a loan if you don’t have any credit or limited credit. However, you can likely expect higher interest rates and have to borrow a smaller amount if your credit history is lacking. After all, in the absence of any credit history, lenders have a tougher time measuring your creditworthiness, or the likelihood you repay them or not.

The list of lenders willing to offer you a loan with no credit check is also short. Some lenders might work with low-credit borrowers; others might not review your credit score or credit history at all when deciding whether to give you a loan (these are called no-credit-check lenders). You might have to spend longer searching, and once you locate a lender, they may place more restrictions on you. 

Best Loans for No Credit Borrowers

We’ve weeded out the harmful options like payday loans and auto title loans. If you absolutely need to borrow money, here are your options:

Loan results will vary based on creditworthiness, loan purpose, loan amount, and other factors.

Best for No Credit: Upstart

Upstart has its own AI-based lending platform that may give you a better shot at getting lower rates on a loan, even if you don’t have any credit history.

Upstart

  • Loan Amounts$1,000 – $50,000
  • Loan Terms36 or 60 months
  • APR Range6.70% - 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    300 or higher

Using artificial intelligence to help evaluate borrowers, Upstart is a unique lending platform that looks beyond your credit score for personal loan approval.

Overview

Upstart is a first-of-its-kind online lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to help make smarter lending decisions. This means the company considers factors beyond a borrower’s credit score to help determine creditworthiness. Upstart indicates its model has resulted in 43% lower rates for borrowers than traditional credit score models.

Beyond your credit score, Upstart will also look at your employment history, income and level of education when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. The company states that borrowers with credit scores as low as 300 might be able to get approved for a personal loan, though that loan may come with a relatively high APR.

Upstart’s rates are fairly competitive and loan funds are disbursed as soon as one business day after approval. This lender charges origination fees, so it’s important to read the fine print before applying.

Pros

  • Considers factors beyond your credit score in lending decisions
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Fast funding time
  • Check rate without affecting credit score

Cons

  • No physical locations
  • Limited repayment terms
  • Has origination fees

Best for Secured Loans: OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. The lender also allows you to use a wide range of vehicles, such as RVs, boats, campers, cars, and motorcycles, as collateral for your loan.

OneMain Financial Personal Loans

  • Loan Amounts$1,500 - $20,000
  • Loan Terms24 - 60 months
  • APR Range18.00% - 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    Not disclosed

While it doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirement, OneMain works with nonprime borrowers, making this lender a good option for loans if you have less-than-stellar credit.

Overview

OneMain Financial offers unsecured and secured personal loans up to $20,000 with terms as long as 60 months. The secured loan option means borrowers can use a vehicle, boat, RV or other valuable asset as collateral to secure a loan if they wouldn’t normally qualify on credit history alone. Borrowers should be aware that OneMain Financial does have APRs that are higher than many competitors offer, and borrowers pay origination fees of up to 10% or up to $500, depending on location. Despite its high rates and origination fees, OneMain may be willing to work with you even if your credit isn’t spectacular. Applying for a loan with OneMain takes just a few minutes, and borrowers may receive funding as soon as the same day after their application information is verified.   

Pros

  • Unsecured and secured loans available
  • Works with nonprime borrowers
  • Co-borrowers allowed

Cons

  • Relatively high APRs
  • Fairly low maximum loan amount
  • Charges origination fees of up to 10% or flat fee up to $500 depending on location

Best for Co-Borrower or Co-Signed Loans: Mariner Finance

Mariner Finance accepts both co-signers and co-borrowers for their personal loans. Getting a co-signer or co-borrower for your loan can help to increase your chances of approval, and may even improve your loan terms and rates.

Mariner Finance

  • Loan Amounts$1,000 – $25,000
  • Loan Terms12 – 60 months
  • APR Range18.99% – 35.99%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    580

Those with bad credit may find personal loans from Mariner Finance accessible, but APRs can be high compared to other lenders.

Overview

Mariner Finance has physical branches in 28 states, and borrowers can choose to apply for a personal loan in person, online, or over the phone. It’s also one of the few lenders that offers co-signed personal loans. While Mariner doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements, a representative indicated that they consider factors like your credit history and income in lending decisions. So you may not necessarily need great credit to get approved.

Pros

  • Has physical branches
  • Secured and unsecured loan options
  • Accessible for bad credit borrowers
  • Low minimum loan amount
  • Joint and co-signed loans

Cons

  • Maximum loan amount is only $25,000
  • Loans over $15,000 are only available through physical branches
  • High minimum APRs
  • Not available in all states

If you are a veteran or active-duty military servicemember, you can apply for a personal loan from Navy Federal Credit Union, which offers competitive rates and may be able to work with those who are just starting out on their credit-building journey.

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Loan Amounts$250 – $50,000
  • Loan TermsUp to 180 months
  • APR Range7.49% – 18.00%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    None

Personal loans from Navy Federal Credit Union come with no origination fees, quick funding, and can be a good fit for borrowers with less-than-ideal credit.

Overview

To qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union loans, you’ll need to be a member: you need to be a veteran, active-duty service member, Department of Defense personnel, or eligible military family member. In addition to offering co-signed personal loans for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers secured personal loans. Borrowers won’t pay an origination or prepayment fee, and funding can be available as quickly as the same day. It’s worth putting this lender on your shortlist if your credit isn’t great and you’re looking to compare loan options.

Pros

  • Fast funding available
  • Minimum loan amounts as small as $250
  • Lengthy repayment terms up to 180 months for home improvement loans
  • Co-signer option available
  • No origination fee
  • Secured loan options available

Cons

  • High minimum loan amounts for longer-term loans
  • Need to be a member to get a loan

Best for Quick Funding: OppLoans

If you apply on a regular business day and are approved before noon CST, OppLoans may send over an ACH transfer that same day. Keep in mind that your bank may have policies that can slow the deposit down, though.

OppLoans

  • Loan Amounts$500 - $4,000
  • Loan Terms9 - 18 months
  • APR Range59% - 160%
  • Minimum
    Credit Score
    None

OppLoans is known for personal loans with top-rated customer service, same-day funding, and no origination fees. Only soft credit check is done.

Overview

As an online lender that only does a soft pull of your credit, OppLoans will look at lending criteria outside your credit score, such as your income, employment status, financial history and bank statements. While you might be able to get approved for a loan with poor credit, note that you’ll be paying very high interest fees. OppLoans stands out because of its exceptional customer service. Reps are available seven days a week.

Pros

  • Potentially fast funding (as soon as the same business day) 
  • No prepayment penalties 
  • No origination fees
  • Loans up to $4,000 
  • Only soft credit check
  • Will work with bad credit borrowers

Cons

  • High interest rates 
  • Only online application available 
  • Need to receive paychecks via direct deposit

Tips for Getting a Loan With No Credit

It’ll already be tougher for you to get a loan than someone with good credit history. Here are a few tips that can help tip the odds back in your favor:

  • Use collateral: If you have a vehicle, a hefty savings account, or some other thing of value, some lenders allow you to use it as collateral to boost your odds of approval for a secured loan. Keep in mind that if you don’t repay the loan, the lender can take possession of this collateral. 
  • Apply with someone else: A co-signer agrees to repay the loan if you default, while a co-borrower is held jointly responsible for repaying the loan just as you are. If you have someone who can serve as a co-signer or co-borrower it can help boost your odds of approval. 
  • Watch out for payday loans and car title loans: Payday loans trap people in a cycle of debt because they’re so expensive, and that’s why several states have outlawed them. Car title loans are also expensive, and you can lose your car if you don’t repay the loan — which is the case for about 20% of car title loan borrowers, according to a 2016 study
  • Look for a lender that reports to all three credit bureaus: If you have to take out a loan with no credit, you might as well use the opportunity to start building credit too. Not all lenders help you build credit by reporting to all three credit bureaus, so look for ones that do.
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Alternatives Financing Options for No-Credit Borrowers

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If you need to borrow money, it’s important to know that a loan is not your only option. Here are a few other suggestions if you need money:

  • Build credit: If you can wait, try taking some steps to build credit before you need to take out a loan, such as signing up for a zero-interest credit card or leveraging Netflix to improve your credit score, so you’ll be in a better position to borrow later. 
  • Community resources: Connect with financial assistance programs in your community by calling 211 or visiting its website. Your call can be anonymous, and everything you say to the specialist is confidential. 
  • Work with a credit union: Many federal credit unions offer support and special products to help you build credit faster, such as credit builder loans or payday alternative loans.
  • Crowdsourcing or mutual aid: Asking for mutual aid on social media or raising funds on websites like GoFundMe can be a good way to raise money if you have a lot of followers. 
  • Borrow from friends and family: Tapping your loved ones for help is a good option for some people, but avoid this if there’s any danger you might not be able to repay the loan. You don’t want to burn any bridges. 
  • Start a side hustle or sell things: You can earn a bit of extra money by selling things you’re no longer using, starting up a side hustle to earn extra cash, asking for more hours at work, or getting another part-time job. 
  • Budget and save an emergency fund: This won’t help you if you’re in immediate need of cash, but starting to work on a budget now can help you create an emergency fund so you are better prepared for similar situations in the future.
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The Bottom Line

It’ll be harder for you to get approved for a loan if you don’t have any credit, and that loan will generally be much more expensive — there’s really no way around it. However, the best loans for no credit are also a good opportunity to start building the foundations of a solid credit score. To ensure you can take advantage of this opportunity, we recommend learning more about the best ways to manage your credit so you can position yourself for future success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • It can, but it’s not guaranteed. The only way a personal loan helps you build a good credit score is to make every single monthly payment on time, unless your lender approves an extension or forbearance. Consider signing up for autopay, so you never have to remember to make the payment yourself.

  • Many lenders require minimum credit scores, so if you apply and have no credit, that could be grounds for automatic rejection. But there are lenders out there that may be willing to work with borrowers who have no credit or low credit. Research lender requirements across several companies (like the ones above) to find the best loans for no credit.

  • Though requirements vary, many lenders require a minimum credit score, regardless of your income. However, if you have a high income, it may be easier for you to get approved for a loan with no credit if you apply with a lender who’s willing to overlook a lack of credit history.

  • Not necessarily. If you currently have no credit, it’ll be easier (and faster) for you to build a good credit score than if you were trying to repair bad credit. You can build a good credit score from scratch in a year or less with good credit management. If you have bad credit, it can take several years for you to fix your credit and build it up to good credit again.

LV

Lindsay VanSomeren

Lindsay VanSomeren lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys budgeting for her favorite activities like gardening, learning languages, and fishing. She's passionate about helping other people understand how to manage their money to live their best lives. Her work has appeared in Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, FICO, and more.