8 Christmas Loans for Bad Credit

The holidays can be expensive. But holiday loans are available, including for those with bad credit. The following companies offer holiday loans (or personal loans) even if you have bad credit (but, please note, all require a credit check): AmeriCash, Avant, LendingClub, LendingTree, loansunder36, Pick a Lender, Prosper, and Upstart. We have what you need to know about Christmas loans for bad credit.

What Is a Holiday Loan?

A “holiday loan” isn’t a specific type of loan; it’s more of a nickname for loans that are taken out to pay for holiday-related expenses. The actual loan type is typically a personal loan. Most personal loans require a credit check, but the funds can be used for just about anything, including medical procedures, weddings, start-up costs, remodeling a home, and paying for holiday expenditures.

Personal loans can have relatively long repayment periods, depending on the lender and the amount you’re looking to borrow. Loans can range from six to 36 months — and sometimes longer. Personal loans are considered “unsecured” loans, which means there is no collateral in the loan contract.

Because there is no collateral for unsecured loans, you may face higher interest rates. And, if your credit history isn’t strong, you’ll likely face even higher interest charges. Some loan providers will allow you to co-sign with someone who has a better credit history, which can help you receive more favorable terms than you would on your own. However, whether or not you use a cosigner, you should be sure you understand the terms and know your full repayment amount before taking a loan. Missed and late payments can damage your credit score; having a repayment plan in mind before signing the loan contract and making on-time payments can help you avoid repayment issues and penalties.

For more financial information regarding the holiday season, see our article on how much you can expect for a Christmas bonus.

Where Can You Get Christmas Loans for Bad Credit?

Peer-to-peer lending platforms are one of the most popular options for holiday loans, whether or not you have bad credit. These platforms collect your information and send it to multiple lenders; lenders will then contact you with their offers. Since each platform reaches out to its network of lenders, you may see better loan terms because lenders know you’ll likely receive more than one offer — and you only have to fill out an application once. Not all of the following lending options are peer-to-peer platforms, though; we’ve indicated which ones are peer-to-peer.

AmeriCash Loans

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? No
  • Type of loan: Installment (personal loan)
  • Terms of loan: Vary by state
  • Minimum loan amount: Varies by state
  • Minimum credit score: None specified
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by state; late fees and returned payment fees may apply
  • Source: AmeriCash Loans FAQs
  • Apply for a holiday loan from AmeriCash Loans online; you can also apply over the phone or in person.

Avant

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? No
  • Type of loan: Personal
  • Terms of loan: Fixed interest rates with repayment periods of 24 to 60 months
  • Minimum loan amount: $2,000 in most states
  • Minimum credit score: Avant does not have a minimum credit score requirement, but it does state that most customers have a credit score of at least 600.
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by state; late fees are either $25 or the greater of $5 or 5% of the amount due. Administration fees, or origination fees, may apply. There is a $15 fee for any returned payments.
  • Source: Avant Support
  • Apply for a holiday loan from Avant online

LendingClub

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? Yes
  • Type of loan: Personal
  • Terms of loan: Vary by lender; all loans have a minimum 36-month repayment period
  • Minimum loan amount: $1,000
  • Minimum credit score: None specified
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by lender; LendingClub charges a one-time origination fee that is between 1 and 6% of the loan amount. Late fees are either 5% of the unpaid amount or $15, whichever is greater. If you prefer to pay by check, there is a processing fee of $7, unless you are paying off the loan in full.
  • Source: LendingClub Rates and Fees
  • Apply for a holiday loan through LendingClub online

LendingTree

Suggested Article: Is LendingTree a Trustworthy Company? Here’s What to Know

loansunder36

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? Yes
  • Type of loan: Personal
  • Terms of loan: Vary by lender; repayment periods are typically between 60 days and 72 months
  • Minimum loan amount: $500
  • Minimum credit score: None specified
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by lender; all loans are under 36% APR (hence the name)
  • Source: loansunder36 website
  • Apply for a holiday loan through loansunder36 online

Pick a Lender

Prosper

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? Yes
  • Type of loan: Personal
  • Terms of loan: Vary by lender; loans have a three- to five-year repayment period
  • Minimum loan amount: $2,000
  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by lender; Prosper charges an origination fee of 2.4 to 5% of the loan amount. Late fees are $15 or 5% of the overdue payment, whichever is greater. Prosper also charges a check processing fee of $5 or 5% of the payment, whichever is lesser.
  • Source: Prosper Help Center
  • Apply for a holiday loan through Prosper online

Upstart

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform? Yes
  • Type of loan: Personal
  • Terms of loan: Vary by lender; fixed interest rates vary by customer. Repayment periods range from three to five years.
  • Minimum loan amount: $1,000
  • Minimum credit score: 620; applicants with no credit history are also eligible
  • Credit check required? Yes
  • Fees: Vary by lender; Upstart charges an origination fee of up to 8% of the loan amount. Late fees are $15 or 5% of the overdue payment, whichever is greater. If you pay via check and your check bounces, Upstart will charge you $15.
  • Source: About Upstart: BorrowersUpstart — What Fees Am I Charged?
  • Apply for a holiday loan through Upstart online

In Summary

Christmas loans are typically personal loans used for holiday expenditures. Peer-to-peer lending platforms are a great place to start looking for a holiday loan, especially if you have bad credit. Keep in mind, most personal loans will require a credit check. Lending company options include AmeriCash, Avant, LendingClub, LendingTree, loansunder36, Pick a Lender, Prosper, and Upstart.

Looking for more ways to help you manage the holiday season? Check out our articles on places that do layaway online and in-store and stocking stuffer ideas for adults.

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