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Best Bad-Credit Loan Lenders in Iowa

In Iowa, residents have an average personal loan debt of $15,314. While it’s relatively common to take out a personal loan, finding the right lender for you may be difficult if your credit score is significantly below 729 — the average credit score in the state.

MoneyGeek reviewed over 30 personal loan lenders for key features like APR ranges, repayment terms, loan amounts, fund disbursement times and more to find the best bad-credit lenders in the state. Based on this research, Upstart is our top pick, followed by Upgrade.

Best Overall Bad-Credit Loan in Iowa: Upstart

  • Upstart

    • 3.22% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 300Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds


Runner-Up for Best Bad-Credit Loan in Iowa: Upgrade

  • Upgrade

    • 5.94% to 35.47%APR Range
    • 560Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds


How to Choose the Best Bad-Credit Loan in Iowa for You

Because getting a personal loan is a significant commitment, it’s important to make sure it’s the best decision for you. First-time borrowers in need of funds to cover emergency expenses, like medical care or home repairs, may find that a personal loan provides financial relief. However, those with existing debt looking to fund a vacation may want to reconsider applying for a bad-credit loan in Iowa.

To make the best decision, we recommend taking the following steps:


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Reflect on your funding needs and financial goals before researching lenders. At a minimum, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need? Only borrow the amount of money you need to avoid paying more interest. Your funding needs will also impact the lenders available to you, as most offer different minimum and maximum loan amounts.
  • What’s your credit score? Consider improving your credit score first to be eligible with more lenders and to receive a better interest rate on your loan.
  • Can you afford the monthly payments? With a higher monthly payment, you will pay less interest, but it’s important to be able to afford your other expenses. Choose a payment schedule that fits your budget.
  • Do you have existing debts? Unless you plan to take out a loan to consolidate existing debt, adding more debt to your existing one is generally not a good idea.
  • Is your debt manageable through other means? Before taking out a loan, consider low-interest or interest-free options, like applying for a low-interest credit card or borrowing money from friends and family.

Do Your Research

To get the best deal based on your specific situation, research and compare lenders for their APRs, repayment terms, loan amounts, fund disbursement times and more. MoneyGeek’s research is a great starting point, but our recommendations are based on generic borrower profiles, not your unique needs.


Read the Fine Print

The fine print of your loan agreement outlines the fees and penalties associated with your loan. Look for origination fees, late payment fees, check payment fees and prepayment penalties. Understanding the terms of your loan is important so that you can factor these costs into your budget or choose a different lender.



After you’ve completed the steps above, wait a few days before submitting an application. A loan is a long-term commitment that takes between two and four years to repay, so you should be confident in your decision. During this time, contact your potential lender with questions or explore alternative funding options.



To save time, gather all required documents, such as proof of identification, address and income, in advance. Depending on your borrower profile and lender, you may be required to provide additional documents. While some lenders allow in-person or over-the-phone applications, others are online only.

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Bad-Credit Loan in Iowa

With a bad credit score, the odds of finding a lender with a low interest rate and flexible requirements are usually pretty slim. Since lenders also have specific eligibility criteria for a borrower’s credit score, income and DTI ratio, it can be a challenge to qualify with a lender.

If your application for a loan is rejected, you should contact the lender to find out why. To have it approved, you may simply need to adjust the repayment term or loan amount on your application. Applicants rejected due to a credit score issue should improve their credit score before reapplying to avoid further negatively impacting their credit.

Borrowers rejected for a bad-credit loan may turn to payday loans for their funding needs. Payday loans feature high interest rates and short repayment terms, which can cost borrowers more money in the long term.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Before applying for a bad-credit loan in Iowa, you should have an idea of how much your monthly payments will be. That way, you can budget accordingly. Use MoneyGeek’s personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payment on your bad-credit loan.



+ $114.98


+ $8.33

Origination Fee Percentage


Origination Fee Fixed amount


Total monthly payment


FAQs About Bad-Credit Loans in Iowa

Finding the best bad-credit loan lender can be difficult. MoneyGeek answered the most frequently asked questions about bad-credit loans in Iowa to help you learn more.


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MoneyGeek reviewed over 30 personal loan lenders for more than 35 data points across six categories — loan affordability, customer service, consumer friendliness, flexibility, accessibility and lender transparency.

Within these categories, we placed more weight on key features that had the most impact on a borrower’s choice of lender, like APR range, loan amount, eligibility requirements, credit score, fund disbursement time and more.

Because you, the consumer, are our top priority, we also took into account features that impact the consumer’s overall experience, like each lender’s customer service and business ratings, as well as their availability of mobile applications, prequalification and payment options.

Our recommendations were made with your best interests in mind. At MoneyGeek, we strive to provide you with the most up-to-date information and expert tips to help you make well-informed financial decisions.


The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.