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118118 Money Team  •  October 01, 2023

In an unpredictable financial world, urgent situations arise that demand quick cash solutions. Whether it’s an unexpected medical emergency, overdue bills, or unforeseen expenses, access to urgent funds becomes imperative. If you've ever found yourself in such a scenario but have been held back due to a less-than-perfect credit history, there's hope. Bad credit loan options, like those offered by 118 118 Money, cater to individuals like you as we consider applications from those with a less than perfect credit background. 

What Are Urgent Bad Credit Loans?

Bad credit loans are specialized financial solutions tailored for individuals who might not qualify for conventional loans because of a less-than-stellar credit history. These loans come as a beacon of hope for those who find themselves in a financial crunch but are hindered by past financial mistakes.

At its core, the term "bad credit" denotes a record of past failures to keep up with payments on your credit agreements, resulting in the inability to get approved for new credit. It means you haven’t been paying your credit card debt or loans on time, or you've defaulted on your agreements. Understandably, traditional lenders might be hesitant to deal with an individual with a shaky repayment history.

However, lenders such as 118 118 Money can offer a solution. Instead of basing their decision primarily on your credit score, lenders consider other factors, such as your current financial situation, employment status, and income stability. This holistic approach allows them to gauge your ability to repay the loan, despite past credit blemishes.

Companies like 118 118 Money play a crucial role in this niche market. They offer a range of products, from personal loans to credit cards, catering for individuals with poor credit. The primary focus here is to provide access to funds in urgent situations. For example, you might face an unexpected medical bill, urgent car repairs, or any other unforeseen expenses. In such scenarios, waiting for approval from traditional banks might not be an option, making urgent bad credit loans a lifesaver.

Another significant aspect of these loans is that they can serve as a stepping stone to rebuild one's credit. By ensuring timely repayments and managing the loan responsibly, borrowers can gradually enhance their credit scores, paving the way for more favorable financial options in the future.

How to Qualify for Urgent Bad Credit Loans

Securing an urgent bad credit loan might seem daunting, especially if you've been turned down in the past. However, lenders in this niche often have more flexible criteria compared to traditional banking institutions. Here's an in-depth look at what you typically need to qualify:

  1. Income Stability: The most significant factor for many lenders isn't necessarily how much you earn, but the consistency of your income. Whether it's from employment, self-employment, or other regular income sources, showing that you have a stable income can substantially improve your chances. Providing recent payslips or bank statements can serve as proof.
  2. Age and Residency: As a basic requirement, you need to be at least 18 years old to apply. Lenders also prefer applicants who have been UK residents for a certain period, usually at least a year or more, as this suggests more stability.
  3. Bank Details: Having a functional UK bank account is vital. Not only does this facilitate the loan transaction, but it also offers a place for lenders to set up the direct debits for repayments. Some lenders may view having an overdraft as a sign of financial distress, so it's worth checking if this could impact your application.
  4. Debt-to-Income Ratio: While your credit score might not be the main focus, lenders will often look at your debt-to-income ratio. A lower ratio indicates you're not overly burdened by debt, making you a less risky proposition.
  5. Communication: Being reachable is more critical than you might think. Lenders want to know they can get in touch if there are any issues with repayments. This means having a valid UK address, phone number, and email.
  6. Past Financial Behavior: Although these are loans tailored for those with poor credit, if you've shown recent efforts to manage your debts and finances better, this could play in your favor.

The Application Process for Urgent Bad Credit Loans

Navigating the application process for urgent bad credit loans might seem intimidating at first, but many lenders, understanding the urgency and stress of the situation, have worked to streamline this procedure. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  1. Research and Selection: Before applying, research various lenders. Once you've identified one that meets your needs, like 118 118 Money, start the application process.
  2. Quick Check Credit Search: Unlike hard credit checks that might impact your credit score, lenders such as 118 118 Money use a soft credit search. This step ensures you know your chances of approval without affecting your credit history. If you decide to complete a full application we will conduct a full credit check. 
  3. Documentation: While the paperwork is minimal compared to traditional loans, you will be asked to provide certain documents. This might include proof of income, identification, and bank account details.
  4. Quick Decision: After you've submitted your application, lenders employ advanced algorithms and manual verification to make a quick decision. This rapid response ensures you're not left waiting, especially when every minute counts.
  5. Loan Agreement: Upon receiving approval, you'll be presented with a loan agreement. This document will detail all pertinent information, such as the loan amount, repayment terms, APR, and other associated charges. It's essential to read this thoroughly before agreeing.
  6. Money Transfer: After you've accepted the terms, the funds are usually transferred to your bank account. Depending on the lender and time of approval, this could range from a few minutes to the next business day.
  7. Open Communication: Post-approval, maintain an open line of communication with your lender. If you foresee issues with repayment or have any concerns, it's best to address them proactively.

Pros and Cons of Urgent Bad Credit Loans


  • Quick Approval: Time is of the essence in emergencies, and these loans often offer instant decisions or very quick turnarounds.
  • Accessible to Many: Even those who have been turned away from traditional banks due to poor credit can find relief with these loans.
  • Credit Building Opportunity: Using these loans wisely—by borrowing only what you need and making on-time payments—can help in rebuilding or enhancing your credit score.
  • Flexible Amounts: With options like those from 118 118 Money, borrowers can choose loan amounts that precisely suit their needs, whether it's a smaller amount for a sudden expense or a larger amount for a major emergency.
  • Soft Credit Checks: Preliminary eligibility checks don’t affect your credit score, ensuring that your financial profile remains unharmed during the initial stages.


  • Higher Interest Rates: These loans tend to have higher APRs, reflecting the higher risk associated with lending to individuals with bad credit.
  • Shorter Loan Terms: This can result in higher monthly payments, which might strain a borrower’s finances.
  • Potential for Debt Cycle: If not managed well, there's a risk of getting caught in a cycle of borrowing and debt, especially if one relies on these loans frequently.
  • Additional Fees: Some lenders might have hidden fees or charges for late payments, which can further increase the cost of the loan.
  • Impact on Credit: Failing to repay can have a negative impact on your credit score, making future financial dealings even more challenging.

How to Choose a Lender for Urgent Bad Credit Loans

Choosing the right lender for urgent bad credit loans is paramount to ensure a smooth borrowing experience. Here's a more detailed guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Reputation: Delve deep into the lender's history. Read online testimonials and reviews, and perhaps even reach out to previous borrowers. A lender with a good track record typically signals reliability and trustworthiness.
  2. Transparency: A reputable lender will be transparent about their terms, fees, and interest rates. Make sure there are no hidden fees or clauses that could come back to haunt you. The lender should be clear about the loan terms right from the start.
  3. APRs: While bad credit loans typically come with higher interest rates due to the associated risks, it's essential to compare the APRs of different lenders. Some might offer more competitive rates than others, and even a slight difference can amount to significant savings in the long run.
  4. Customer Service: Having a responsive support team can make a world of difference. Assess their responsiveness, clarity, and helpfulness. Remember, this is the team you'll turn to if you face any issues or have queries during your loan tenure.
  5. Speed of Approval and Fund Disbursal: In urgent situations, you need a lender who can make quick decisions and disburse funds promptly. Check their typical approval and disbursal times.
  6. Educational Resources: Some lenders offer resources to help borrowers understand finances better. This could be in the form of blog posts, FAQs, or even financial counseling. Such resources indicate a lender's commitment to the financial well-being of its customers.

Tips for Getting Approved for Urgent Bad Credit Loans

  1. Check Eligibility: Before diving into the application process, review the lender's specific requirements. This ensures that you meet their criteria and saves you from potential rejections that could further harm your credit score.
  2. Accuracy in Details: It's imperative to ensure all the information you provide during the application process is accurate and up-to-date. Any discrepancies could lead to unnecessary delays or even rejections.
  3. Borrow Responsibly: Tempting as it might be to request more funds, always consider your repayment capability. Only borrow what you genuinely need and are confident you can repay in the stipulated time.
  4. Show Stable Income: Even with a bad credit history, demonstrating a steady income can bolster your application. This shows lenders that you have the means to repay the loan.
  5. Avoid Multiple Applications: Submitting loan applications to multiple lenders simultaneously can be a red flag. Each application can result in a hard inquiry, further damaging your credit score. Instead, opt for lenders that offer soft checks first.
  6. Consider a Co-signer: If you have someone who trusts your ability to repay and has a better credit score, they can co-sign the loan with you. This reduces the risk for the lender and can increase your chances of approval.
  7. Reduce Existing Debt: While this might not be a quick fix, reducing any outstanding debt can improve your debt-to-income ratio. Lenders might see this as a positive sign, indicating you're managing your finances better.

Alternatives to Urgent Bad Credit Loans

Navigating the complex world of finance, especially with a tarnished credit history, can feel daunting. However, urgent bad credit loans aren't the only route to securing emergency funds. There are various alternatives that might offer more favorable terms or better suit your financial situation. Here's a detailed breakdown:

  1. Peer-to-Peer Lending: This modern lending method connects borrowers directly with individual lenders through online platforms, often bypassing traditional financial institutions. This can result in more competitive interest rates and terms.
  2. Family & Friends: It might be uncomfortable, but in pressing situations, reaching out to someone you trust could be beneficial. A personal loan from friends or family may come without interest or with flexible repayment terms.
  3. Advance on Salary: If you've been with your employer for a significant period, they might consider giving you an advance on your salary. This isn't a loan in the traditional sense, as it's simply receiving your own money sooner.
  4. Sell Old Items: We all have things we no longer use or need. Consider selling them online or through a garage sale. This can be a quick way to raise funds without incurring debt.
  5. Overdraft Protection: If you have a checking account, inquire about setting up overdraft protection. This can act as a short-term solution, allowing you to withdraw more than what's available in your account.
  6. Government Assistance: The UK government has various schemes to assist individuals in financial distress. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for benefits or grants.
  7. Use Assets: If you own assets, consider using them as collateral for a secured loan, which typically has lower interest rates than unsecured loans.
  8. Negotiate with Creditors: If you owe money and are struggling to make payments, directly communicating with your creditors might lead to revised payment plans or extensions.

Managing Urgent Bad Credit Loans Responsibly

Navigating the world of urgent bad credit loans can be a lifeline for many. However, the key to benefiting from such loans without spiraling into further financial problems lies in responsible management. Here's an extended guide to ensure you handle these loans effectively:

  1. Budget Wisely: Before even applying for a loan, assess your current financial situation. Create a monthly budget detailing your income and expenses. This will give you a clear picture of how much you can comfortably borrow and repay.
  2. Timely Payments: Missing or delaying payments not only incurs extra charges but also affects your credit score. Set up reminders or automate your payments to ensure you never miss a due date.
  3. Understand All Terms: Before signing any agreement, be fully aware of all the terms, including interest rates, charges, and the loan duration. This ensures there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.
  4. Avoid Borrowing More Than Needed: It might be tempting to borrow more than you require just because it's available, but this can lead to unnecessary financial strain. Stick to what you need.
  5. Emergency Funds: As you repay your loan, start setting aside a small portion of your income as an emergency fund. This reduces the need for urgent loans in the future.
  6. Stay Informed: Stay updated with any changes in terms or offers from your lender. This can help in restructuring your loan if needed.
  7. Seek Financial Counseling: If you find it challenging to manage your loan, don't hesitate to seek financial counseling. Professional guidance can help you navigate repayment strategies and improve your overall financial health.


Bad credit loans are a beacon of hope in trying times. While they might come with slightly higher interest rates, they are accessible and can be managed responsibly to help bridge the financial gap. Lenders like 118 118 Money make this process even more straightforward, ensuring you get the funds you need when you need them, without the weight of your past credit history holding you back. Always borrow responsibly and prioritize repayment to move towards a stable financial future.