All you need to know about loans for bad credit
Not so long ago having a bad credit score made it almost impossible for many borrowers to get a loan. But why are credit reports, and the credit scores they contain, so important to lenders?
When deciding whether to approve a loan application, lenders have always considered a borrower’s credit score - and that’s still true today. A credit score gives a lender a good idea about how well a potential borrower manages their money, and how likely they are to make their loan repayments on time and in full.
According to Viva Money - three of the most common causes of bad credit are "previous financial difficulties; for example, declaring bankruptcy, missed payments and failure to stick to existing or past credit agreements".
Lots of potential borrowers find the whole subject of credit scores and credit reports mystifying and complicated. And it’s no wonder. There are three different credit reference agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) collecting financial information on you. They each have their own credit scoring system. What's more, every single lender on the market assigns their own level of importance as to what’s on your credit report.
You could go to one lender and they might turn down your application. You could approach another lender and give them exactly the same information and they might be very happy to lend to you. It can be very confusing.
Although credit scores are still very important, many of the lenders on our panel are open-minded these days and they really do take into account what your current financial situation is when they decide whether they’re going to approve your loan request or not.
When we first start working with the lenders on our panel, they give us a real picture of the types of borrowers they like to say “yes” to, and the types of loans they’re more likely to approve.
Knowing this means that, when you apply to us, we only approach those lenders with whom you have a better chance of getting an affordable and competitive loan offer from, based on the details you’ve provided us with. While we are not always able to match a borrower to a lender, you spend a lot less time searching for a loan by using us.
For your peace of mind, all of the lenders on our panel are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-authorised and regulated loan providers.
Bad credit loan questions
- Q1 - Why choose Growing Power to help me apply for a bad credit loan?
- Q2 - How to apply for a loan for bad credit
- Q3 - Finding a loan with no credit check
- Q4 - Soft credit checks - what are they?
- Q5 - How to improve my credit score
- Q6 - Is my data secure with Growing Power?
- Q7 - Poor credit loans - will you run a credit check?
- Q8 - Guaranteed loans with a bad credit history
- Q9 - How fast does it take to get a loan for bad credit?
- Q10 - The best poor credit loans
- Q11 - Struggling with debts and refused a consolidation loan - what should I do?
Why choose Growing Power to help me apply for a bad credit loan?
The Financial Conduct Authority is the government body that decides which companies can legally lend money to people in the UK. They’re the people who authorise and regulate the two types of companies offering loans to people with bad credit – direct lenders and brokers.
With a direct lender, you borrow money straight from them. Brokers are different – brokers have panels of lenders and they find their customers the loans they’re looking for from those lenders. Here at Growing Power, we’re a broker.
As we mentioned above, when a lender works with a broker, the lender tells the broker exactly what type of borrower they want to provide loans to. This means that, when you apply for a loan via a broker, the broker only contacts the lenders who would likely be interested in providing you with the finance you need. We don’t send your details to lenders whose lending criteria you don’t match.
This saves you a lot of time, because you only have to make one application for a loan instead of searching for lender site after lender site and filling out the same details again and again. Best of all, our service is free of charge to borrowers.
How to apply for a loan for bad credit
We believe that, if you have a poor credit score, you should still have access to competitive loans when you need one - so long as you can comfortably meet all of the repayments on time and in full.
We also believe that the application service should be as simple as possible for borrowers. Together with our lending partners, we’ve built a system that makes applying for a loan as hassle-free as possible.
To apply for a loan, click here for our application form – it should take no more than 2-3 minutes to complete. When you’ve filled in all the details, submit your application. Our system will then start matching the details you’ve sent us with our panel of lenders, so that we find the lenders most likely to want to say “yes” to offering you a loan.
Within a few seconds, each lender will come back to us with their answer. We then direct you automatically to the website of a lender on our panel who is likely (although not guaranteed) to offer you a competitive and affordable loan. When you’re there, they’ll ask you a few more questions.
Once you’ve answered those additional questions, the lender will run a full credit search on you. They then consider everything from your application and credit report when making their decision. Again, within a few seconds, they will either make you a firm offer, or they’ll decide not to make you an offer.
If they do make you an offer, they’ll show you all the vital information you need to know so that you can make an informed decision on whether this loan is right for you. That information includes the rate of interest, the amount and the dates of your repayments, any other charges, the total interest charged over the lifetime of the loan, and so on.
If the loan is affordable for you and you want to go ahead, please read and understand the lender’s terms and conditions. If you’re happy to go ahead, just let the lender know. You will then enter into your own legal agreement with the lender.
The money should be sent to your bank account within minutes*. However, please be aware that it may take much longer for the money to appear in your bank account depending on your bank’s policies and procedures.
Ready for a quick loan?
Finding a loan with no credit check
One other big advantage of applying through a broker is that only one full credit search is carried out – and, even then, that’s only if you’ve completed the application on the website of the lender we’ve found for you.
If you make full applications to lender after lender, there is a chance that some or all those lenders’ credit searches will appear on your credit file. Please be careful because, if you make lots of individual applications for credit within a short space of time, this can actually harm your credit rating and can negatively impact your chances of getting your loan. Lenders may, rightly or wrongly, think that you’re desperate for money.
When you use our service, the lenders we initially approach will only carry out soft searches on you. Only you can see soft searches on your credit report – they don’t affect your credit score and they’re invisible to any other lender you apply to.
Lots of people worry about whether they’ll be accepted for a loan because of their credit score. Please remember that all FCA-authorised and regulated lenders are legally required to perform a credit search on you as part of their decision-making process. They need to do this on every application, not just yours.
But please also remember that the lenders on our panel we’re likely to approach on your behalf are used to helping people with bad credit ratings. For these lenders, what’s on your credit report is important but they strongly consider other things as well when they’re making up their mind on whether to approve your loan.
If you’re worried, why not use our “Eligibility Checker” to give you an idea of how likely it is that you will be accepted for a loan? Our service leaves no trace on your credit report and, based upon what we share with you, you can then make up your own mind about whether you want to apply for a loan or not.
Soft credit checks - what are they?
As we covered above, there are two types of credit checks – ‘soft’ and ‘full’. A ‘soft’ credit check leaves no trace on your credit record meaning that your credit score is unaffected. Only you can see soft searches on your credit report. When we approach the selected lenders on your panel, they only run soft searches on you.
A ‘full’ search provides a lender with more information than a ‘soft’ search. This additional information is used in a lender’s decision-making process and, under FCA regulations, they must carry one out. A ‘full’ search leaves a trace on your record which other lenders will be able to see if you apply to them. Full searches are carried out when you have fully completed a loan application and submitted your application for approval.
How to improve my credit score
There are a number of ways to improve your credit score. The first thing you should do though is to find out what information is held on your credit report. You can apply for your credit file by applying direct to the three main credit reference agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Experian have recently written a piece about how to improve your credit score here, that you might find useful.
Is my data secure with Growing Power?
Poor credit loans - will you run a credit check?
When we’re finding a lender likely to be able offer you a loan, each of the lenders we approach will run a soft credit check on you. Once you’ve been redirected to the website of a lender on our panel likely to offer you a competitive and affordable loan based upon the information you provide us with, they will run a full credit search on you if you decide to proceed with your application. Your lender must do so by law.
Please bear in mind though that a credit check is only a part of the decision-making process for many of our lenders. They also consider how your current financial situation is today, not how things were for you a few years ago, when coming to a decision.
Guaranteed loans with a bad credit history
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a guaranteed loan. That’s because lenders must carry out affordability assessments on everyone who applies for a loan. Although there is no guarantee that we can find a loan, we do help you by connecting you to a lender likely to say “yes” to you based on the type of loan you’re apply for and what you tell us about yourself (subject to eligibility).
How fast does it take to get a loan for bad credit?
Once you have accepted a final offer from a lender via our service, the money could be sent in minutes*. However, please do be aware that this is not guaranteed.
The best poor credit loans
Remember that it’s not like it was a few years ago – there’s now a lot of competition among lenders who want to approve loans for people with bad credit who can afford the repayments.
Consider using a broker like Growing Power who does all the work for you at no charge to you. Please do make sure that, just like Growing Power, any broker you use is FCA-authorised and regulated and that they do not charge you any fees for their service.
Struggling with debts and refused a consolidation loan - what should I do?
If you are in debt and you feel that you are struggling with your current level of debt, you should consider asking for help from one of the UK’s six leading debt help charities. Please click on the links for more information – StepChange, PayPlan, National Debtline, the Debt Advice Foundation, the Money Advice Service, and Citizens Advice.
Please remember that you should only apply for a loan if you are certain that you can meet every single repayment in full and on time. You should not borrow more than you actually need.
To apply for a bad credit loan through Growing Power, please click here for our application form – our service is free. Your application will be considered by lenders who work with bad credit applicants and who are fully authorised and regulated by the FCA, just like we are here at Growing Power.