5 Best Medical Loans for Bad Credit in 2024

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

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Best loans for medical procedures with bad credit

Written by Amanda Push | Edited by Katie Lowery and Pearly Huang | Updated December 29, 2023

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
LendersUser ratingsBest for…APR rangeLoan termsLoan amountsMinimum credit score
Avant logo
(2,682)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Short-term loans9.95% - 35.99%12 to 60 months$2,000 - $35,000580See Personalized Results
One Main Financial logo
(8,016)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Secured loans18.00% - 35.99%24 to 60 months$1,500 - $20,000Not specifiedSee Personalized Results
Universal Credit logo
(129)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Monitoring your credit11.69% - 35.99%36 or 60 months$1,000 - $50,000560See Personalized Results
Upgrade logo
(2,201)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Joint applications8.49% - 35.99%24 to 84 months$1,000 - $50,000580See Personalized Results
Upstart logo
(16,392)
User Ratings & Reviews rating-reviews-tooltip-icon

Ratings and reviews are from real consumers who have used the lending partner’s services.

Borrowers new to credit7.80% - 35.99%36 and 60 months$1,000 - $50,000300See Personalized Results

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Read more about how we chose our picks for best medical loans for bad credit.

Medical loan lenders for bad credit at a glance

Avant logo

Avant: Best for short-term loans

Starting APR9.95% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$2,000 - $35,000
Loan terms12 to 60 months
Origination feeUp to 9.99%
Minimum credit score580
ProsCons

 Funding may be available on the next business day

 Flexible loan terms

 Offers prequalification

 Charges administrative fees

 Charges late payment fees

 No joint loans offered

See Your Personalized Results

One Main Financial logo

OneMain Financial: Best for secured loans

Starting APR18.00% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,500 - $20,000
Loan terms24 to 60 months
Origination fee1.00% - 10.00%
Minimum credit scoreNot specified
ProsCons

 Offers secured and unsecured loans

 Quick funding timeline

 No prepayment penalties

 High minimum APR

 Low maximum borrowing amount

 Charges an origination fee 

See Your Personalized Results

Universal Credit logo

Universal Credit: Best for monitoring your credit

Starting APR11.69% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Loan terms36 or 60 months
Origination fee5.25% - 9.99%
Minimum credit score560
ProsCons

 Offers an autopay discount

 Provides free credit monitoring

 Funding may be available within one business day

 Charges an origination fee

 Charges late payment fees

 Limited repayment term options

See Your Personalized Results

Upgrade logo

Upgrade: Best for joint applications

Starting APR8.49% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Loan terms24 to 84 months
Origination fee1.85% - 9.99%
Minimum credit score580
ProsCons

 Long loan terms

 Allows joint applications

 Offers autopay discounts

 Charges late fees

 Charges an origination fee

See Your Personalized Results

Upstart logo

Upstart: Best for borrowers new to credit

Starting APR7.80% - 35.99%
Loan amounts$1,000 - $50,000
Loan terms36 and 60 months
Origination feeUp to 12.00%
Minimum credit score300
ProsCons

 Works with inexperienced borrowers

 Fast funding timeline

 Offers prequalification

 Limited repayment terms

 No option for cosigners or joint loans

 Charges an origination fee

See Your Personalized Results

What to know about medical loans for bad credit

If you need to fund a medical procedure or pay for emergency medical expenses, you may be considering a medical loan. When you have bad credit, it may be more challenging to qualify for financing. Here’s what you’ll need to know when taking out a medical loan with bad credit:

  • Interest rates: A lender’s interest rate is part of the cost of borrowing and is often included in a loan’s annual percentage rate (APR), along with fees. If you have bad credit, you can expect to receive a higher APR, as high as 36%.
  • Fees: Many lenders charge origination fees and late fees. Origination fees — which can be as high as 12.00% — are one-time administrative fees taken out of the amount you’re borrowing.
  • Loan amounts: Medical loans typically range anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000, though some lenders may offer more. If you have bad credit, a small personal loan may be easier to qualify for since larger loans tend to come with stricter eligibility criteria.
  • Repayment terms: The repayment terms you’re offered can determine both your monthly payments and APR. Short-term loans come with higher monthly payments but you’ll pay less in interest overall. On the other hand, long-term loans tend to have lower monthly payments but you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan.

How to get a medical loan with bad credit

Medical loans for bad credit are like any other type of personal loan. If you have less-than-ideal credit, consider taking some time to boost your chances of loan approval before applying. However, if you’re in need of a medical loan in a hurry, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Check your credit. Understanding your credit score can give you an idea of which lenders you may qualify with and the rates you may expect. Checking your credit yourself won’t impact your score, but if you submit an official application, your lender will review your credit history, which can cause your score to slightly decrease.
  2. Determine how much you need to borrow. You shouldn’t borrow more than you can afford to pay back. Use a personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and assess how much you can afford to borrow.
  3. Prequalify for a loan. Getting prequalified will allow you to check the rates, terms and borrowing amounts a lender may be willing to offer you. Loan prequalifications will not impact your credit score, but the rates you receive aren’t guaranteed.
  4. Add a co-borrower or cosigner. During the prequalification process, you may have the option to add a co-borrower or cosigner. Adding a second person to your medical loan application can improve your chances of getting approved if you have bad credit. However, not all lenders offer joint loans or allow cosigners.
  5. Formally apply. Once you’ve found the right lender, you’ll need to formally apply and verify your personal and financial information. You may need to provide bank statements, W-2s, recent pay stubs and a government-issued form of identification. During this part of the process, your lender will run a hard credit pull.
  6. Close on your loan. The final step of the process will involve officially accepting your bad-credit medical loan by signing a loan agreement. Be sure to read the fine print before signing so you understand the terms of your contract. When your contract is finalized, your lender will disburse your funds.

See Personalized Rates

How to compare bad credit medical loans

If you have bad credit, shopping for medical loans can be challenging since you likely won’t qualify for lenders’ lowest rates. When comparing lenders, keep the following details in mind:

  • APRs: A loan’s APR is the cost of borrowing and includes the interest rate and any fees. The better your credit score, the lower your APRs may be. If you have bad credit, however, you’ll likely receive rates as high as 36%.
  • Lender reputation: Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to do some research into the lender’s reputation with consumers. Be sure to check for any regulatory actions from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). You can also check the CFPB complaint database.
  • Unique features: Some lenders offer features that could benefit you as a borrower. For example, some lenders offer a mobile app for loan management or the option to skip a payment.
  • Discounts: Some lenders offer interest rate discounts for meeting certain criteria. One of the most common is a rate discount for borrowers who sign up for autopay. This can be especially helpful if you have bad credit and a high interest rate.
  • Customer support: Read a lender’s customer service reviews and locate its customer service hours. If they receive poor reviews or have very limited hours, that lender may not be a good fit for you.
  • Funding speed: If you need a medical loan in a hurry, the funding timeline is an important factor. While some lenders can take three days or more to send you money, some offer next-day or same-day funding.

How to boost your chances of getting a medical loan

If you’re looking for a bad-credit personal loan for medical expenses, you can expect to receive high APRs from some lenders and you may not qualify at all with others. Here are some steps you can take to improve your odds of loan approval:

  • Boost your credit score. If you’re taking out an unsecured personal loan, lenders will take your credit score into heavy consideration. It will take time and patience to improve your credit score, but if you do, you’ll have better odds of getting approved and finding lower rates.
  • Dispute credit report errors. Unfortunately, it’s common for incorrect information to end up on your credit reports. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly examine your reports and dispute errors, as they may impact your score.
  • Consider a secured loan. While most personal loans are unsecured — meaning you won’t have to provide collateral — you may want to consider a secured loan instead. These loans may be easier to get since they are guaranteed by a valuable asset, like a savings account or vehicle.
  • Find a cosigner. If you’re unable to improve your credit score before applying for a loan, consider getting a loan with a cosigner. Because two people are willing to take responsibility for loan repayment, some lenders may be more willing to approve you for a medical loan.

Other ways to pay for medical costs

A medical loan isn’t always the best choice, particularly if you have bad credit. Before applying for a medical loan with bad credit, consider these alternatives:

 Medical credit card

Some doctors and hospitals offer medical credit cards as a way to finance medical expenses. Another financing option is the CareCredit® credit card — issued by Synchrony Bank — which comes with zero interest during the first six to 24 months on purchases of at least $200.

 Payment plan

Some doctors and hospitals offer payment plans to help patients spread out the cost of their medical care. Be sure to ask your medical provider about payment plans before receiving care and ask about any interest and fees.

 Nonprofit assistance

Organizations like the Patient Advocate Foundation and the National Organization for Rare Disorders can help you cover the cost of out-of-pocket expenses that come with expensive procedures, disorders and illnesses.

 Family loan

While this can come with its own set of complications, borrowing from family or friends may be a good option if you’re certain that you can repay the loan. To avoid conflict, it’s best to draw up a loan agreement so you have the loan terms and conditions in writing.

How we chose our picks for best medical loans for bad credit

We reviewed more than 25 lenders that offer medical loans for bad credit to determine the overall best five lenders. To make our list, lenders must accept credit scores below 600 and offer competitive annual percentage rates (APRs). From there, we prioritize lenders based on the following factors:

  • Accessibility: Lenders are ranked higher if their personal loans are available to more people and require fewer conditions. This may include lower credit requirements, wider geographic availability, faster funding and easier and more transparent prequalification and application processes.
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

LendingTree reviews and fact-checks our top lender picks on a monthly basis.

Frequently asked questions

Yes — you can get a loan if you have bad credit, but you’ll likely have to pay higher interest rates that may not make taking on the debt worth it. If you choose to move forward with a bad-credit loan, you can always refinance the personal loan down the line if you improve your credit score.

You may need to consider a medical loan if you need treatment as soon as possible or don’t have insurance to cover a procedure. According to a 2022 LendingTree survey, as many as 23% of Americans have medical debt.

The credit score needed for a personal loan depends on the lender, though most require a score of at least 580. However, to qualify for a lender’s lowest rates, you’ll need an excellent credit score.

There is no definitive credit score needed to get a medical credit card, though many lenders require at least a 660 score. If your credit score is less than ideal, check the criteria for credit cards for bad credit to see if you qualify.