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Best Bad-Credit Loan Lenders in Tennessee

The factors that matter the most when choosing the best lender for bad-credit loans are APR ranges, the minimum and maximum loan amounts, fund disbursement times, minimum credit score requirements and many other essential details. MoneyGeek assessed lenders in Tennessee based on these factors and picked the ones offering the best loans.

Our in-depth analysis and research show Upstart is the most suitable option for borrowers with bad credit in Tennessee. You can also opt for Upgrade, as it’s the runner-up for bad-credit loans in the state.

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

Many borrowers in Tennessee opt for bad-credit loans to improve their credit history or meet significant expenses, including vacations, large purchases, renovations and more. MoneyGeek found that the average personal loan debt in Tennessee is $25,174, a higher average than any other state.

Although a bad-credit loan might positively affect your financial situation, you must ensure that you can afford it before applying. We recommend following these steps to choose the best lender in the state.


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

Analyzing a few important factors before applying for a loan is important. These factors include your current financial situation, previous debts and funding needs. For instance, you should assess how much you pay monthly for your previous debts and if you can afford a new loan based on your current income.

It's also essential to understand the lender's credit score requirements and see if you would qualify for a loan. Tennessee's average personal loan interest rate is 8.82%, but you’re likely to pay a higher rate with a bad-credit score. To help you find the best lender, MoneyGeek recommends answering the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What’s your credit score?
  • Can you afford the monthly payments?
  • Do you have existing debts?
  • Is your debt manageable through other means?

Do Your Research

Once you know your funding needs, finding a lender that would fit them becomes more straightforward. After thoroughly analyzing your current financial situation, you can begin shopping around and comparing different lenders. You should research carefully and understand that a loan is a long-term commitment and may take a few years to pay off.

Choosing a lender that doesn’t suit your needs might result in losing money over unnecessary expenses. MoneyGeek’s recommendations are generalized and may not suit your specific situation, so it’s important to do your own research.


Read the Fine Print

After finalizing a few options, it would be best to review each lender’s fine print and consider which fees they charge and how much they cost. Understanding these fees might help you estimate the monthly cost of your loan and result in savings. It would help if you looked in the fine print for critical fees like those for prepayment and origination.



MoneyGeek recommends waiting a few days to apply after finalizing the ideal option and reviewing the necessary details. You should understand that a loan is a significant commitment and ensure that it’s the best option for you. During this period, it would be best to research your chosen lender’s service quality, customer support and other essential details.



You can apply for a loan with your chosen lender after ensuring it’s the most suitable option based on your situation. The lender might require certain documents at this stage to verify your address, income, debts and other details. Many lenders offer online applications only; however, some also permit in-person applications.

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

Qualifying for a bad-credit loan in Tennessee might not be as smooth as you imagined, as the lender could reject your application for various reasons. The factors that may cause the denial include low credit scores, incomplete application, a high DTI ratio, a low income or unstable employment.

Although you may want to apply with another lender, MoneyGeek recommends contacting the lender and asking which factors caused the rejection of the loan application. After you know that factor, you can improve it before re-applying and increase your chances of approval. For example, if your low credit score was the reason behind the denial, you can wait a few months and find ways to increase it before applying again.

It would be best not to opt for payday loans at this point. Based on MoneyGeek’s analysis, these loans often result in more debt due to exceedingly high APRs and short repayment terms.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

You must know a loan's monthly cost before applying to determine if it's affordable based on your current circumstances. Besides the principal amount, the monthly payment also includes interest. You can use MoneyGeek's personal loan calculator to understand how much you would pay each month based on your loan details.



+ $114.98


+ $8.33

Origination Fee Percentage


Origination Fee Fixed amount


Total monthly payment


FAQs About Bad-Credit Loans in Tennessee

The right way to find the best lender for your situation is by understanding your needs, shopping around and comparing rates. MoneyGeek researched the following frequently asked questions about bad-credit loans in Tennessee to help you make a better decision.


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MoneyGeek’s in-depth analysis included a review of personal loan lenders using many data points across the following categories: accessibility, customer service, consumer friendliness, flexibility, loan affordability and lender transparency.

We took into account many data points within each ranking category that matter the most when picking a personal loan lender. These factors include available loan amounts, application fees, minimum credit scores, APR ranges, minimum income amounts and fund disbursement times.

Since we value the consumer at MoneyGeek, we also analyzed each lender based on its business ratings, customer support and features that could make your experience more straightforward and convenient — like different payment options, prequalification and mobile apps.

We kept your best interests in mind when choosing our top lenders. Our loan recommendations aim to help you make informed financial decisions when picking a lender that meets your financial needs.


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.