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Best Bad-Credit Loan Lenders in Kentucky

If you’re among the residents in Kentucky with a credit score of 702 — the average credit score in the state — you may easily qualify for a personal loan. However, those with bad credit may find it more difficult to secure a loan for their funding needs. MoneyGeek reviewed personal loan lenders in the state to find the best option for bad-credit borrowers.

We research over 30 personal loan lenders for key data points, like APR ranges, repayment terms, loan amounts and eligibility requirements, to find the best bad-credit loans in Kentucky. Based on this, we found that Upstart is the best lender for bad-credit loans, followed by Upgrade.

Best Overall Bad-Credit Loan in Kentucky: 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 Kentucky: 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 Kentucky for You

Although you might want to opt for a loan to improve your credit history or cover an expense, it’s best to reflect on your current financial situation before applying. Those with existing debt — the average personal loan debt in Kentucky is $18,887 — may want to repay their current debts before taking on more.

MoneyGeek recommends taking the following steps to make the best decision for you:


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Before researching lenders, you can save time and money by asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need? Assess your funding needs to avoid overborrowing. This will help you avoid paying more interest. It will also help you narrow down your choice of lenders, as most offer different loan amounts.
  • What’s your credit score? Your credit score will impact your loan eligibility as well as the rates available to you. If you aren’t in urgent need of a loan, consider improving your credit score before applying for a bad-credit loan.
  • Can you afford the monthly payments? Ensure that you can afford your monthly payment amount to avoid paying late fees or defaulting on your loan.
  • Do you have existing debts? Consider repaying your existing debt before taking on more. Lenders typically look at your DTI ratio to assess your loan eligibility, so you’ll receive a lower interest rate by first repaying any current debts.
  • Is your debt manageable through other means? When possible, always choose interest-free or low-interest options, like borrowing from friends and family or taking out a low-interest credit card.

Do Your Research

Compare lenders for their rates, fees and terms to find the best option for you. Our recommendations are a great place to start, but we research lenders with a generic borrower profile in mind, not your specific needs. As such, there is no substitute for your own research.


Read the Fine Print

MoneyGeek recommends reviewing the fine print of your loan agreement for any fees, like those for loan origination, prepayment and late payments. While seemingly small, these fees can add up over the life of your loan, especially if you haven’t planned for them.



Once you’ve selected a lender, it’s important to wait a few days before you submit an application. During this time, you can reflect on your funding needs to determine if a bad-credit loan is the best option for you. A loan is a long-term commitment — most take between two and four years to repay — so it’s important that you’re confident in your decision. Consider reaching out to your chosen lender to ask questions.



If you’ve completed the steps above, you can submit your application. To save time, gather all required documents in advance. Most lenders require you to provide proof of income, identity, employment and address. Depending on your preference and chosen lender, you may be able to submit an application online, over the phone or in person. Some lenders are online only, which may appeal to on-the-go borrowers or deter less tech-savvy borrowers.

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

Lenders reject applications for several reasons, including low credit scores, low incomes, high DTI ratios and incomplete applications. If your application for a bad-credit loan in Kentucky is rejected, don’t panic — contact your lender to find out why.

You may be able to have your application approved by simply modifying the terms of your loan, like the repayment period or loan amount. Applications rejected due to credit score issues may not be a quick fix. MoneyGeek recommends improving your credit score before reapplying to avoid negatively impacting it further.

Some borrowers in need of financing quickly may consider taking out a payday loan. However, MoneyGeek strongly cautions against this. These loans feature high interest rates and short repayment terms that can cost borrowers more money in the long run.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Loans are generally repaid in monthly installments that include interest. As such, it’s important to budget for this recurring cost before applying for a loan. Use MoneyGeek’s personal loan calculator to estimate your monthly payment before submitting an application.



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+ $8.33

Origination Fee Percentage


Origination Fee Fixed amount


Total monthly payment


FAQs About Bad-Credit Loans in Kentucky

To help you find the best lender for your situation, MoneyGeek answered the most commonly asked questions about bad-credit loans in Kentucky:


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

Within each category, we emphasized key data points that we felt had the greatest impact on a borrower’s choice of lender. These included APR ranges, loan amounts, credit score and income requirements, application fees and disbursement time.

At MoneyGeek, you, the consumer, are our top priority. So we also took into account factors that impact the overall user experience, like customer service and business ratings, as well as convenience features for prequalification, mobile applications and payment options.

Through in-depth analysis and thoughtful consideration, we chose our picks with your best interests in mind. We strive to provide you with up-to-date information and expert recommendations 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.