What Is the Easiest Loan to Get Approved For?

Quick Answer

Most of the loans that are easy to get don’t require a credit check because you’re borrowing money based on your income or savings. However, they may also charge you high fees and interest rates because they have low or no credit score requirements.

Young woman using a laptop to research loans.

The easiest loans to get approved for generally fit into two broad categories. Some accept applicants with very low credit scores or don't require credit checks at all, with the trade-off being exceptionally high fees and interest rates. Others offer more favorable terms, but they're only an option if you have a regular income, savings or investments.

There are several types of financing that fall into each of these categories. Review these seven options below, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each, to see which could be a good fit if you're having trouble getting approved for other types of loans.

1. Unsecured Loans for Applicants With Bad Credit

Some lenders offer loans that don't require good credit—or a credit check at all. These tend to be storefront or online-only lenders that focus on lending to borrowers who don't have other options, and the fees and interest rates are often quite high. Examples include payday loans, personal loans and lines of credit.

Some lenders use alternative data, such as information from your bank account, to qualify you for a loan instead of your credit. These loans could offer more favorable terms, but you may need to have at least fair credit (a FICO® Score of 580 or above) or meet other requirements, such as a minimum debt-to-income ratio (DTI), to qualify.


  • Low or no credit score requirement
  • Fast financing online and at storefronts
  • Potential ability to borrow thousands of dollars


  • There may be various fees
  • Some options, especially payday loans, could come with very high interest or fees
  • Short repayment terms could make paying off the loan difficult

2. Secured Loans for Applicants With Bad Credit

Secured loans tend to have less stringent requirements and more favorable terms because the lender can take your collateral if you miss your loan payments.

Some of the easiest loans to get in this category include auto title loans and pawnshop loans, but these also tend to be relatively expensive loans. If you have money in a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD), you might be able to use that as a way to get approved for a secured personal loan or line of credit with more favorable terms.


  • Can be helpful for building credit
  • You might receive a larger loan amount or low interest rate
  • It may be easier to qualify for secured loans than unsecured loans


  • Some options have high interest rates and fees
  • You could lose your collateral if you don't repay the loan
  • Requires you to have savings or assets that you can borrow against

3. Buy Now, Pay Later Plans

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans allow you to finance specific purchases. BNPL providers often offer short-term payment plans that don't charge any additional fees or interest, and longer-term loans that do charge interest. Either can work well in certain circumstances, and some BNPL providers even offer cards that you can use to shop almost anywhere.

BNPLs also don't need collateral and generally don't have minimum credit score requirements. And even if the BNPL provider requires a credit check, it's often a soft credit pull for the short-term loans—the type that won't affect your credit scores.


  • Qualify for larger loans as you use and pay off the BNPLs
  • May be relatively easier to qualify for longer-term loans that charge interest
  • Finance eligible purchases with short repayment terms and don't pay interest or fees


  • There could still be late fees
  • You can't use BNPLs for every type of bill or expense
  • It might be difficult to manage payments if you have several BNPLs

4. Payday Alternative Loans and Small Bank Loans

If you're looking for a small loan to help get you to your next payday or cover a minor expense, there are several options that may be much less expensive than a payday loan.

Some credit unions offer up to two types of payday alternative loans (PALs) to their members. The loans could be for up to $2,000 with one to 12-month repayment terms, and there isn't necessarily a minimum credit score requirement. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also sets the guidelines for PALs, which means you can't be charged more than $20 to apply and the loan's interest rate must be 28% or lower.

Another option may be to look for a small loan or line of credit from your bank. Some major financial institutions now offer these, including Bank of America, Huntington Bank and U.S. Bank. These offer low interest rates and fees and your eligibility generally depends on your bank account history rather than your credit.


  • Doesn't require good (or any) credit
  • Repaying the loan can improve your credit
  • Get a small loan with low or no interest and modest fees


  • Not available from every credit union or bank
  • Might not be large enough for major expenses
  • May require an established relationship with the credit union or bank

5. Paycheck Advance Apps

Paycheck advance apps aren't exactly loans, but they do allow you to borrow money against your regular paycheck. Unlike payday loans, however, these often have low interest rates or fees. Some even use a subscription model rather than charging for the loan, or give you the loan for free and accept tips in exchange. Generally, you can only borrow up to a few hundred dollars to start, but your loan limit may increase the more you use the app.


  • Low or no interest rates and fees
  • Doesn't require good credit, or even a credit check
  • Qualify based on your banking history, income and savings


  • May have low loan limits
  • Often have short repayment terms
  • There could be an expedited funding fee

6. Securities-Based Loans

If you have investments in a brokerage account, you might be able to use your investments as collateral for a loan or line of credit. Securities-based loans don't necessarily require a credit check, and your loan limit is based on your investments—you might qualify to borrow up to 50% to 95% of the asset's value depending on your portfolio's size, risk and the financial institution.

These loans may also offer low interest rates and fees, and the arrangement lets you keep your money invested while giving you cash for other expenses. However, if your securities' value decreases, you may have to deposit cash into your account or sell investments to cover a margin call. Otherwise, the brokerage can pick and choose which securities to sell on your behalf.


  • Low interest rates and low or no fees
  • Loan limits are based on your portfolio
  • No credit check or credit score requirement


  • Could wind up losing more money than you originally invested
  • The variable interest rate might increase after you take out a loan
  • A margin call could force you to sell investments that you want to keep

7. 401(k) Loans

While not the most appealing option, you also might be able to take out a loan against your investments if you have a 401(k) from your employer. As with other asset-based investments, your loan eligibility doesn't depend on your credit. However, you'll need to ask your 401(k) administrator if your plan allows 401(k) loans because it's not always an option.

Your borrowing limit with a 401(k) loan will depend on your account's balance—up to the greater of $50,000 or half of your vested balance. You generally have to repay the loan within five years and will get charged interest on the loan, but the interest you pay also gets deposited into your 401(k) account. The repayment schedule may be accelerated if you leave your job. And if you fall behind on payments, the loan amount may be treated as a distribution, and you could have to pay penalties and taxes on the amount.

Borrowing money from your retirement account is typically an option to avoid since it can take a toll on your retirement savings that can be hard to recover from.


  • Low interest rates and reasonable repayment terms
  • Repay yourself with interest rather than paying a lender
  • It may be easy to apply for, and there's no credit score requirement


  • There could be upfront and ongoing fees
  • Not always allowed, and loan limits can depend on your 401(k) balance
  • Could hurt your long-term retirement funds because the loaned money won't be invested

Improve Your Credit to Qualify for Better Loans

A good credit score can help you qualify for more types of financing and better loan offers. You can use your Experian account to get a FICO® Score for free and you'll also receive free credit score tracking. You can also log in to your account to see which factors in your credit report are helping or hurting your score the most. And as you improve your score, Experian can match you with loan offers from partner lenders based on your credit profile.