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Bad credit loans

  • Borrow £1,000 - £5,000
  • Repay over 12 - 36 months
  • Check your eligibility with no impact to your credit score
Check my eligibility now This won't affect your credit score

Representative example: Amount of credit £2,000 for 24 months. Interest rate: 41.2% pa (fixed). 24 scheduled monthly payments of £123.64. Total amount payable: £2,967.43 Representative 49.9% APR.

Can I apply for a loan if i've got bad credit?

Looking for bad credit loans in the UK? We have options that are specially designed for many people in the UK. You might be eligible even if you have a less-than-perfect credit rating. Even if you’ve been rejected by other lenders, don’t despair! You could be eligible for a loan with 118 118 Money even if you think you have a bad credit rating.

At 118 118 Money, we look beyond just your credit profile. We’ll run an affordability check to make sure the repayments on your loan for bad credit are affordable.

Check if you are eligible for a loan from 118 118 Money
Use our Eligibility check to find out if you'll be accepted before you apply, without affecting your credit rating!
Check my eligibility now This won't affect your credit score
What is a Bad Credit Loan?

Bad credit loans are loans for people with bad or poor credit. These are some of the reasons why you might be considered as having bad or poor credit:

Had difficulties with your finances in the past? Not making the payments due, on time, on any of your credit agreements such as mobile phones, utility bills and credit cards will impact your credit score.

If you’ve had other financial difficulties which have ended up in defaults, county court judgments or if you have even become bankrupt, then these things will also show up on your credit file.

Not had any credit before?

Maybe you’ve not had any credit in the past at all. 

While this might not directly impact your credit score, it may affect a lender’s appetite to lend to you as your credit file does not directly demonstrate your ability to manage credit products.


3 simple steps to a poor credit loan

  • Check your eligibility with no impact to your credit score
  • Set up your account, direct debit and sign
  • Receive funds in 15 minutes*
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score *This can vary from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on your bank.

What does 'bad credit' mean?

There are a few things that can be perceived as bad or poor credit. The term “bad credit” doesn’t necessarily mean that your credit history is poor.

If you’ve ever been rejected by a bank or direct lender due to “bad credit”, it might just be that your credit history does not meet their lending criteria. Perhaps you missed a credit repayment at some point. This could have lowered your credit score, which could make it more difficult for you to get approval for a loan or new line of credit.

If you’ve only missed an odd payment or two, you might not be judged as high-risk by most lenders. But if you’ve missed lots of payments, been referred to a debt collection agency, filed for bankruptcy or maxed out on your credit cards, new creditors might view you as a high-risk customer, which may make it difficult to get credit at the lowest APR rates.

A number of direct lenders offer alternative bad credit loan solutions, including loans for bad or poor credit and for those with a less than perfect credit history. Missed or late repayments on a 118 118 personal loan will incur a £12 charge.

Apply for a loan for poor credit from 118 118 Money

If you want to apply for a loan from 118 118 Money, but are worried you might have poor credit, you can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.

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Bad Credit Loan FAQs

With our loans for bad credit, you could borrow from £1,000 to £5,000 over a period of 1 to 3 years. Whether you’re planning a home renovation, debt consolidation, or have an unexpected bill, as a direct lender we may be able to help.

However, if you are consolidating and extending the terms of your borrowing, remember that repaying over a longer term may increase the overall interest charges.

Find out whether you will be offered a loan before you apply with our Eligibility Check. This loan eligibility checker will assess your current circumstances without impacting your credit rating. If our Eligibility Check indicates you’ll be accepted, you can continue through our online application form which is quick and easy to complete. If all goes well and we require no further information from you, we’ll be able to give you a fast decision. You could receive the money in your bank account within 15 minutes.*

If you do take out a loan with us, your credit agreement will show up on your credit history. Making all of your monthly repayments on time demonstrates good repayment behaviour, and could help to improve your credit score in the long run.

*This can vary from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on your bank.

We’ve talked about ‘bad credit’ but what’s a credit score and how does that dictate whether you’re classed as having bad credit? Your credit score is a number that is calculated from the information held in your credit report. Lenders will typically use this score (along with other information) to evaluate your ability to pay back a loan or line of credit. A higher score indicates a greater propensity to repay. In other words — as the creditor sees it — a higher credit score makes it less risky to loan to you. 

There are three main credit reference agencies – ExperianTransUnion and Equifax which all use unique score systems and algorithms to calculate your credit score. Therefore, a ‘good’ score interpretation and a ‘poor’ score interpretation may vary widely, depending on which credit bureau you view your score on. As such, it’s important to read their unique explanations of what your credit score means.

Like many people in the UK, your credit score might not be perfect — but that doesn’t mean you’re an irresponsible borrower. Your less-than-perfect credit score may be due to a few missed payments in the past, or perhaps you’ve accumulated debt. In addition, applying for credit time and again can also impact your credit profile.

Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve your credit score — and many of them are surprisingly straightforward to do.

There’s a lot you can do to help fix your credit score. An expansive list of tips can be found here, but here are a few to get you on your way:

  1. Check your credit report regularly

You can get access to your credit report from these three credit-referencing agencies:

The information compiled and held by credit reference agencies gives a summary of your credit history and financial behaviour. It includes personal details such as address and date of birth, information on your borrowing and payment histories, the length of your credit history, information on the total credit you have available to you and how much of that you’ve used.

Some of the things that are not included in your credit report are your salary and details of savings accounts you hold. Under the Consumer Credit Act, you have the right to see the data held on you by credit reference agencies for a small fee.

Some companies — like Experian for example — offer you a free account forever which allows you to access your free credit report by entering in a few details.

Read your credit report carefully! If you spot a mistake, you can contact the credit reference agency and challenge any outstanding issues that may be impacting your ability to borrow.

Credit bureaus can help you to clean up your credit file, although you may have to pay a fee for their help and advice.

  1. Avoid making lots of loan applications

Making lots of applications in a short space of time could send a signal to lenders that you’re having financial difficulties. If you’re looking for loans for bad credit from a direct lender, try shopping around and asking companies to provide you with a quote before you apply. Unlike a formal application, a quote request (like our Eligibility Check) won’t be visible for other lenders to see.

If you’ve already applied to multiple lenders, we may still be able to offer you a bad credit loan. We know that you’re more than just your credit score. Looking beyond credit reports to understand the full financial situation allows us to offer loans for people with bad credit.

  1. Register to vote on your local electoral roll

One of the ways that lenders guard against identity fraud is by verifying where you live. One of the ways they do this by checking the electoral roll to make sure the address you’ve given is accurate. If you move house, visit www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register to find out how to register with your local Electoral Registration Office.

Using these methods and taking action to improve your credit score not only increases your chances of getting a loan, it could also reduce the amount of interest you have to pay in future — making loans and credit cheaper for you in the long run. 


Ready to apply for a poor credit loan from 118 118 Money?

You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply - and it won't affect your credit rating!