Need a Loan, Been Refused Everywhere? Here’s What to Try Next…

There several reasons you might need a loan — home repairs, educational expenses, a vehicle purchase, or debt consolidation, to name just a few. But what can you do if you need a loan, have been refused everywhere, and don’t know where else to look? Below, we discuss the reasons you may be unable to get a loan, the places you can apply for a loan where you’re more likely to be approved, and additional alternatives for getting extra money when you need it.

Reasons You May Be Getting Denied

It can be very frustrating and upsetting when you’ve tried to secure a loan, but you keep getting denied. If you need a loan but have been refused everywhere you’ve applied for traditional financing, the first thing you should do is understand why you’ve been unable to get a loan.

You can start by checking your credit report through all three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting bureaus once per year through AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized website for free official credit reports. You can also request your free credit report by contacting the company at (877) 322-8228.

Poor Credit Score

The most common reason for being denied a loan is a low credit score. Banks and traditional financing programs use your credit score to determine the amount of risk in lending you money and the chances that you’ll repay your loan promptly. A poor credit score often indicates that your repayment history is not good, which means there’s a high risk that you won’t repay your loan. In general, a credit score of 670 and above is considered good, although you can certainly qualify for a loan with a lower credit score.

If you’ve been turned down for loans because of bad credit, you’ll want to take steps to improve your credit score while you’re searching for alternative financing. A few things you can do to increase your credit score include:

  • Avoiding applying for credit programs for a while. Each time your credit record is pulled for an application to any program that uses credit for financing decisions, your credit score drops a few points.
  • Make sure to pay all your bills on time — from car payments to rent to credit cards to utility bills. Late or missed payments are often reported to one or more of the credit reporting agencies, hurting your credit score in the process.

Little to No Credit History

Another common reason that you may not be able to qualify for a loan is a lack of credit. If you have little to no credit history, traditional financing programs are reluctant to approve a loan because there won’t be enough information to determine if you’re a good credit risk.

Insufficient Income and/or Excessive Debt

One more consideration that goes into loan decisions is your debt-to-income ratio — your monthly debt payments divided by your pre-tax monthly income. A higher debt-to-income ratio means that you may have difficulty paying back your loans. You can find out more about debt-to-income ratios, including how to calculate yours, through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Getting a Loan From Cash Advance Stores

Cash advance stores are another possible alternative to traditional loans if you’ve been turned down for a loan everywhere. Generally, cash advance stores use your income rather than your credit score as a basis for loan approval, so even if you have bad credit or no credit, you’ll usually be approved.

Most cash advance stores offer a few different types of loans, which may include:

  • Payday loans (short-term advances against your paycheck)
  • Installment loans
  • Personal loans
  • Title loans (loans that use your vehicle as collateral)
  • Flex loans (line of credit loan that allows you to get cash advances)

Payday Loans

Be aware that cash advance stores charge much higher interest rates than traditional lenders. For most of these loans, interest rates usually come with a 400% annual percentage rate (APR) or more. APRs are usually regulated by state law, and in the most permissive states, APRs can be as high as 800% on payday loans. Because of cash advance stores’ reputation for trapping customers in debt, a few states have outlawed the practice entirely.

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay back 400% of what you borrow. The APR is based on the interest you would pay if the loan term were for a full year, but cash advance loan terms are usually just 14 to 30 days for payday loans. A typical interest rate for this term would be around 17% to 20% at most cash advance places.

For example, if you were to borrow $500 for a 30-day term at an interest rate of 17.5%, you’d have to pay back $587.50 total. If you apply for a loan from a cash advance store, it’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to keep up with the payments and high interest rate; interest adds up quickly when you miss a payment. If you can’t pay the loan back after the initial term, your interest can roll over, and next month you’ll pay another 17.5% on top of the $587.50. If you miss the first month and pay off after two months, you’d pay $690.31.

To protect consumers from getting trapped by cash advance debt, most states set limits on the maximum amount you can borrow. In most states, the limit is around $500, but some are as low as $300 and others as high as $1,000. For a more in-depth explanation of cash advance rules by state, see our article listing the places to get payday loans.

Other Types of Loans

Installment loans, personal loans, and title loans from cash advance stores are paid off over longer terms and are often available in higher amounts than cash advances. They typically accrue higher interest at the average rate of 400% in that time. For example, a loan for $1,000 over a seven-month (210-day) term would end up costing you around $1,600 to pay back.

The List of Cash Advance Stores That Accept Most Applicants

These cash advance stores offer loans that are typically approved for people with bad credit or no credit. We’ve included the types of loans offered, as well as how to apply and where to find a cash advance store near you. We ordered the list starting with the best overall options.

Note that payday, title, and installment loans from cash advance stores are illegal in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can learn more about state laws regarding payday loans at the National Conference of State Legislator’s Payday Lending Statutes page.

ACE Cash Express

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment, title
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 years old with a valid photo ID and social security number; have a checking account that’s been open at least one month, and have a regular source of income. Must have a vehicle for title loans.
  • How to apply for a loan: Fill out an online application, or go to your nearest store to apply in person
  • Find out more or apply

Check Into Cash

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment, title, flex loans
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 (21 in Virginia) with a valid photo ID and social security number; active checking account; and a regular source of income to qualify for most loan types. Must have a vehicle for title loans.
  • How to apply for a loan: Fill out the online application or apply in-store at any Check Into Cash location.
  • Find out more or apply

CashNetUSA

  • Types of loans offered: Cash advance, installment loan, payday loan
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 with a valid photo ID, active email address, and checking account; be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and have been employed for at least one month
  • How to apply for a loan: Complete the online CashNetUSA application.
  • Find out more or apply

Note: CashNetUSA doesn’t have any in-person stores; you can only access CashNetUSA online.

Speedy Cash

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment, title
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 (in most states) with a valid photo ID, active checking account, a working phone number, and proof of regular source of income. Must have a vehicle for title loans.
  • How to apply for a loan: Create a Speedy Cash account to get started with your online application, or apply in-store at your nearest location
    • Note, stores are located only in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, and Washington
  • Find out more or apply

Money Mart

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment, cash advance
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 with a valid photo ID, Social Security number, and phone number; active checking account; and a regular source of income
  • How to apply for a loan: Residents of California, Hawaii, Kansas, and Louisiana can apply online by visiting the Money Mart website. Otherwise, you will need to apply in-store at your nearest location.
    • Note, stores are located only in Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington
  • Find out more or apply, or find a Money Mart

Check ’N Go

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment
  • Qualification requirements: Must have a valid photo ID, a verifiable form of income, and an active checking account that allows for direct deposit
  • How to apply for a loan: Create a Check ’N Go account to apply online, or apply in-store at your nearest location.
  • Find out more or apply

Advance Financial

  • Types of loans offered: Flex loans
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 with a valid photo ID and social security number and have a regular source of income
  • How to apply for a loan: Create an Advance Financial account to begin your application online, or apply in-store at any location.
  • Find out more or apply

Note: Advance Financial only has stores in Tennessee. However, online loans are available to residents of Alabama, Kansas, Idaho, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

Community Financial Service Center (CFSC)

  • Types of loans offered: Payday, installment, title
  • Qualification requirements: Must have a valid photo ID, a regular source of income, and an active checking account
  • How to apply for a loan: Visit your nearest CFSC location to apply
    • Note: Stores are located only in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin
  • Find a CFSC

United Check Cashing

  • Types of loans offered: Payday
  • Qualification requirements: Must be at least 18 years old with a valid photo ID, active checking account, and regular source of income
  • How to apply for a loan: Visit your nearest participating United Check Cashing to apply
    • Note: Loans are only available at select Colorado, Delaware, Florida, and Ohio stores
  • Find a United Check Cashing

Alternative Ways to Get a Loan

If you live in a state where payday loans, title loans, and cash advance installment loans are not available — or you’d like an alternative to cash advance places — there are still some ways you may be able to get a loan with poor credit or no credit.

Before considering the options listed below, know that loans for customers with poor or minimal credit history often come with higher interest rates. Be sure to only sign on a loan if you know you can pay it back. It’s always a good idea to check the loan’s interest rate, total payoff amount, fees, late payment policies, and early payoff options, so you have a clear idea of the financial risks and consequences before signing.

Credit Unions

Most credit unions have more flexible loan requirements than traditional banks. If you’re a member of a credit union, consider talking to a loan officer at your branch. They’re typically willing to work with you to find a way to get you the money you need or help you build your credit score relatively quickly.

If you don’t belong to a credit union, consider opening an account at a nearby branch. There are many credit unions that allow virtually anyone to become a member, or where the only membership qualifications are living and/or working in the geographical area covered by the credit union.

Pawn Shops

Most people think of pawn shops as places to sell unwanted or unused items for cash. However, pawn shops actually deal in collateral loans. When you sell something to a pawn shop, it’s considered a loan transaction where your loan is paid with the item you’re using for collateral.

This means you can use any valuable items you have to get a loan in cash from a pawn shop. You can then pay back the loan and get your item back. If you have valuable items like fine jewelry, guitars, electronic equipment, or brand name power tools, you may qualify for a pawn shop loan. Be aware, however, that you generally have to repay pawn shop loans quickly, and that the pawn shop will keep your item to resell if you’re unable to pay back the loan within the allotted time.

Some pawn shops also offer title loans, which are loans taken out against the value of your vehicle. In some cases, you may be able to keep your vehicle while you’re paying off the loan, though the pawn shop may demand the vehicle as payment if you miss payments. In other cases, the pawn shop may take possession of your vehicle until you pay off the title loan. This type of loan is considered particularly risky, since you can lose your vehicle if you default on the loan — you should only consider this option if absolutely necessary.

To apply for a pawn shop loan, visit your nearest pawn shop with the items you’d like to use for collateral. Our related article has more information about what pawn shops buy, including typical price ranges.

Credit Cards

If you have less-than-perfect credit, you may be able to qualify for credit cards designed specifically for your situation. These credits cards often come with lower credit limits and higher interest rates than traditional credit cards, but you can use them to begin building your credit and establishing a history of on-time payments. Many of these credit cards will also increase your credit limit.

Secured credit cards are another option if you have poor or no credit. These cards require you to pay a deposit equal to your credit limit. The company holds onto your deposit and uses it only if you fail to make the required payments on the card. Our related article has more information about the best credit cards for people with bad credit. We also have the list of instant approval credit cards.

Borrowing from Friends or Family

If you’re completely unable to qualify for any type of loan or credit, you may consider borrowing money from friends or family members. This can become a personal and emotional situation, so you may want to take steps to protect both yourself and the person you’re borrowing money from.

The best way to do this is to write out a simple contract stating how much you’re borrowing and how it will be paid back — whether you’ll be making weekly or monthly payments or paying the amount back in full at a later date. Both you and the person you’re borrowing from should sign the contract and make sure each of you has a copy.

If you’re concerned about potential legal action, you can have your repayment contract notarized. Learn more about notarizing documents, including where you can get this done, in our article: Where Can I Get Something Notarized?

In Summary

If you need money now and have been unable to qualify for a traditional loan, there are several alternatives to choose from, even if you have poor credit or no credit. Most people are able to qualify for a loan from a cash advance store like ACE Cash Express or Check Into Cash, though you’ll need to be wary of the very high interest rates these places charge. You may also be able to get a loan through a credit union, through a pawn shop using items you own as collateral, or by getting a credit card with flexible credit requirements. Finally, you may be able to borrow money from friends or family if you can’t get a loan anywhere else. All of these methods of lending come with potential risks, so be sure to consider your financial situation and ability to repay when applying for any type of loan.

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