Best Loans for Bad Credit in Tennessee for 2024

Enter your ZIP code to get started


Free. Simple. Secure.

Banner image
fact checked icon
Reviewed byAlvin Yam, CFP
fact checked icon

Updated: April 11, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Happy Money stands as the best personal loan lender for bad credit in Tennessee, boasting a MoneyGeek score of 93 out of 100. Its robust customer service, competitive interest rates, reputation and transparency distinguish it from the rest. As the runner-up, Avant comes in with a MoneyGeek score of 93 out of 100 and is recognized for its exceptional loan terms and flexibility, efficient application and approval process, and solid customer service.

MoneyGeek reviewed four personal loan lenders in Tennessee that specified their minimum credit score requirements ranging from 580 to 640. While the lenders featured above stand out in the analysis, other financial institutions such as US Community Credit Union, Ascend Federal Credit Union and Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union also offer personal loan options well-suited for residents seeking localized services in Tennessee.


Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payment in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the average new account balance for personal loans stands at $6,094, according to the Credit Industry Snapshot report by TransUnion. Personal loan repayment typically involves regular monthly payments over a set loan term, including the principal amount borrowed and the interest.

Calculating monthly loan payments can help borrowers with less-than-perfect credit manage their finances more effectively. To estimate your loan payments, the personal loan calculator available on MoneyGeek can be a helpful tool.


Best Bad Credit Loans by Credit Score in Tennessee

Tennessee's average credit score is 705, marginally lower than the national average of 715 according to Experian data.

Lenders in Tennessee might consider working with individuals holding bad credit, though it often leads to increased interest rates and less favorable loan conditions. Review the table provided to find available personal loan lenders in Tennessee based on your credit score.


What to Do if Your Loan Application Is Denied in Tennessee

It's not uncommon to face a personal loan application denial in Tennessee, but this doesn't halt your borrowing journey. Here are some measures to enhance your chances for approval on future applications.


Find out the reason for the denial

Lenders may deny your loan application for various reasons such as a poor credit score, high debt-to-income ratio, low income level or errors in your application. Review the lender's reasons for denial closely to understand where your application needs improvement. This step will help you address specific weak points and avoid future rejections.


Modify your loan terms

If your application was denied, consider contacting your lender to inquire if adjusting the loan amount or the repayment terms might lead to approval. Lenders may be more willing to offer a loan that's a lower risk for them.


Find another lender

Different lenders have varied criteria for loan approval. It helps to shop around to find a lender that best matches your needs and credit history. When comparing lenders, consider the following factors:

  • Eligibility requirements: Lenders have varying requirements for credit score, income level, debt-to-income ratio and employment history. Understanding these criteria can help you find a better match.
  • Interest rates: Seek lenders with competitive interest rates, which can be beneficial, especially if you have bad credit.
  • Additional fees: Investigate whether lenders charge fees like origination, late, or prepayment fees. Some do not charge these fees, which can be advantageous if you have bad credit.
  • Loan terms: Lenders offer different repayment terms for personal loans. Assess the impact of short versus long terms on your financial situation.
  • Customer service and reputation: Research the lender's customer service and reputation, as they can greatly influence your borrowing experience.

Look for alternatives

There are alternatives to personal loans that can be suitable for borrowers with bad credit. These alternatives may include secured loans, credit union loans or co-signed loans. Exploring different options might reveal a more accommodating financial solution.


Improve your credit score

By improving your credit score over time, you increase your chances of getting approved for a personal loan. You can enhance your credit score by paying bills on time, reducing outstanding debt, checking credit reports for errors and using credit wisely.

mglogo icon

Work on improving your credit score before applying for a personal loan to increase your chances of approval and getting better terms. Here are some long-term steps to consider:

  • Monitor your credit utilization ratio: Keep your credit utilization ratio low, as high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score. Aim to use less than 30% of your available credit limit.
  • Don’t close old credit cards: The length of your credit history contributes to your credit score. Even if you no longer use a credit card, keep it open unless it has an annual fee.

Alvin Yam, CFP

FAQ About Bad Credit Loans in Tennessee

When shopping for personal loans in Tennessee, it's common for borrowers, especially those with bad credit, to have questions or concerns. To assist in this process, we compiled answers to some frequently asked questions, offering clarity and guidance to help you make well-informed decisions.

With a MoneyGeek score of 93 out of 100, the best personal loan for bad credit in Tennessee is Happy Money.

The lenders with the lowest starting APRs in Tennessee are Achieve and Prosper, both with a starting APR of 8.99%. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit may qualify for this rate.

The lender with the lowest minimum credit score requirement in Tennessee is Avant, requiring a minimum credit score of 580.

The timeline to receive a bad credit loan in Tennessee varies by lender. Some offer same-day funding, while others may take from a few business days up to a week.

Yes, you can pay off your loan early in Tennessee. Make sure to check with your lender regarding any prepayment penalties that could apply.

Shield Insurance

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.