List of Bad Credit Loan Direct Lenders

Updated: March 26, 2024 Author:

Why Use a Direct Lender

When you have bills to pay, a credit file in tatters, and a bank balance that makes you teary-eyed, bad credit loans can help. Brokers will bend over backwards to help get funds cleared in your bank ASAP – for a fee! Their secret? A panel of pre-vetted bad credit loan direct lenders. With our list on your screen, you can skip the broker fees, get a faster decision, and possibly negotiate terms to make finance more affordable. All the pertinent information you need to review is covered here for each direct lender.

Advisory Note on Unauthorised Private and Direct Lenders

Almost every lender in Britain is required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. In the course of our research, we uncovered several loan firms claiming to be direct lenders providing loans for the unemployed, doorstep loans in and around London, and several short-term loan options, all with high interest rates. In some cases, the term private lender is being used despite the firm not being approved by the FCA to conduct regulated activities. Always exercise caution when dealing with loan firms, particularly those that appear to be new. You can check the FCA Warning List of Unauthorised Firms here.

About Our List of Bad Credit Loan Direct Lenders

Our list is compiled of verified Direct Lenders, excluding finance providers of bad credit loans that use a pre-selected panel of direct lenders they work with. Those are called direct lender brokers or payday loan brokers. The companies below are direct lenders for consumer finance, meaning that when you apply for the type of loan they offer, their staff review, approve, and fund the loan directly. No credit intermediaries are involved in the process. In instances where we have identified firms acting as direct lenders and as credit brokers, the information is detailed below our quick factsheet for each brand. Several firms provide short-term loans up to £1,500 as a direct lender loan, with amounts above that being sent to a lender panel for consideration.

Moneyboat

  • Loan amounts: £200 to £1,500 (£800 cap on no guarantor loans)
  • Interest rates: 0.7% per day
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,000 monthly
  • Time to repay: 6 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No.

Cashfloat

  • Loan amounts:  £300 to £2,500
  • Loan Types: Payday loans, Personal loans, and business loans
  • Interest rates: Payday loans are a minimal 295.58% to 1,294% APR. Personal loans are a minimal 112.5% up to a max of 311.95% APR. Business loans are a minimal 32.3% to a max of 99%
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,200 monthly
  • Time to repay: 3 to 9 months for payday loans, 6 or 9 months for personal loans, and 1 to 18 months for business loans
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Lending Stream

  • Loan amounts:  £50 to £1,500
  • Loan Types: Short-Term personal loans
  • Interest rates: 0.8% daily interest on 6-month loans and 0.42% daily interest on 12-month loans.
  • Minimum income requirement: £400 monthly
  • Time to repay: 6 months or 12 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Everyday Loans

  • Loan amounts:  £1,000 to £15,000
  • Loan Types: Personal loans
  • Interest rates: Maximum APR of 299.8%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 18 months to 60 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

The One Stop Money Shop

  • Loan amounts:  £400 to £2,5000
  • Loan Types: Short-term personal loans, including loans for the self-employed.
  • Interest rates: Up to 0.8% daily
  • Minimum income requirement: £500 monthly
  • Time to repay: 6 to 24 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Payday Bad Credit

  • Loan amounts:  £300 to £1,500
  • Loan Types: Short-term personal loans
  • Interest rates: Capped at 0.798% daily
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 3 to 9 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Drafty

Note: Drafty is a trading name of GAIN Credit LLC – the same business that owns and operates Lending Stream. Drafty does not offer Direct Lender Loans per se. Instead, the loans are a type of revolving credit facility, much like an overdraft. The only difference is that they set the credit limit, and don’t charge fees, but anytime you withdraw funds, interest is charged on the amount you take, but only when from the date you withdraw the funds, until it’s all repaid.

  • Loan amounts:  Credit limit up to £3,000
  • Loan Types: Revolving credit account
  • Interest rates: 69.4% APR (variable)
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,200 monthly
  • Time to repay: No maximum. The minimum monthly payment is 6% of the balance.
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes

Fast Loan UK

  • Loan amounts:  £50 to £2,000
  • Loan Types: Short-term personal loans, payday loans
  • Interest rates: 0.8% daily interest cap
  • Minimum income requirement: None
  • Time to repay: 1 to 12 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Cockle Finance

  • Loan amounts:  £100 to £1,000
  • Loan Types: Doorstep loans for Romford and surrounding areas. Short-term online loans from £100 to £5,000 are available,  but not as a direct lender loan. Only the doorstep loans from Cockle Finance are direct loans. They’re a credit broker for online loans arranged through the firm. This is a local-only direct lender.
  • Interest rates: Unspecified
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: Up to 45 weeks.
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes

Bingo Loans

  • Loan amounts:  £50 to £1,500
  • Loan Types: Payday loans and short-term loans
  • Interest rates: Unspecified
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 1 to 12 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

This is a direct lender and a credit intermediary. If your application fails to meet the qualifying criteria, Bingo Loans then acts as a credit broker to find a lender who may be able to help. Our advice is not to use their online service, but to get on the phone and talk things through with their advisors, ensuring that you tell them that you aren’t interested in them brokering a loan with a third-party lender.

Loans to Go

  • Loan amounts:  £250 to £2,000
  • Loan Types: Short-term personal loans
  • Interest rates: Unspecified
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified. The qualifying criteria state that applicants must be “in employment with a regular income”
  • Time to repay: 18 or 24 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Credit Spring

  • Loan amounts:  £400 to £2,400 – max of two loans per year.
  • Loan Types: No-interest loans/membership loans
  • Interest rates: 0%. Interest is added to the capital at the start of the loan, then subsequent membership fees cover the cost.
  • Minimum income requirement: £14,000 annual income
  • Time to repay: 6 months per loan
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes

Salad Money

  • Loan amounts:   £500 to £1,000
  • Loan Types: Personal loans for key workers (Public sector employees)
  • Interest rates:  Representative APR is 79.5%.
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,400 with 6 months employment history with the same employer
  • Time to repay: 12 to 18 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes. As of 2024, 54% of Salad Moneys’ customers are supported by some type of benefit.

Polar Credit

  • Loan amounts:  £200 to £2,000
  • Loan Types: Line of Credit (similar to Credit Spring but without the membership fees)
  • Interest rates: 60.23% pa (variable), reducing by 10% per annum for loyal customers. If you continue to borrow, and manage your account well (no missed payments, etc.) reviews are done every six months, reducing interest rates by 5% each time. The lowest they go is 29.9% APR. For each withdrawal (bank transfer) there is a 1.65% transaction fee.
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: No max. The minimum monthly payment is £10 or 5% of the balance
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Loan Pig

  • Loan amounts:  £50 to £1,500
  • Loan Types: payday loans and installment loans
  • Interest rates: 49.9% to 1,261% APR
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 1 to 12 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Mr Lender

  • Loan amounts:  £200 to £1,000
  • Loan Types: short-term installment loans, alternative payday loans
  • Interest rates: 292% fixed
  • Minimum income requirement: £800 net income monthly
  • Time to repay: 6 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Quidmarket

  • Loan amounts:  £300 to £1500
  • Loan Types: Short-term instalment loans
  • Interest rates: 292% APR up to a maximum APR of 1625.5%
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,250 net monthly income
  • Time to repay: 3 to 6 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Fair Finance

  • Loan amounts:  £400 to £1,000 for new customers. Up to £3,000 for existing customers.
  • Loan Types: short-term personal loans
  • Interest rates: Representative APR is 153%, however, unlike other direct lenders Fair Finance also charges an administration fee. 6% of the loan value for the first loan, 4% on a second loan or top-up loan, and then 2% admin fees on subsequent loans.
  • Minimum income requirement: £350 monthly
  • Time to repay: 6 to 12 months for new customers. Up to 18 months for existing customers.
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes

Fair Finance is the trading name for East End Fair Finance Limited. An FCA warning was issued in 2021 when the brand name was cloned.  Check you’re dealing with the official company.

Adage Credit

  • Loan amounts:  Up To £300 for first-time customers, then borrow from £100 to £1,000
  • Loan Types: Personal loans, and business loans
  • Interest rates: Representative APR is 454.37%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: Up to 12 months for personal loans, and up to 24 months for business loans
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes (as a top-up). Most of their customers work and receive top-up payments.

Adage Credit are principal direct lenders for personal loans from £100 to £1,000. Business loans work differently to most lenders. They require you to first approach a mainstream lender, and if unsuccessful, provide Adage Credit with the bank decline letter. Business clients are referred to their Winning Ideas Scheme which assists in drawing up a business plan and creating financial projections. To be eligible for the business loans for self-employed, you need to be registered as self-employed or have already established a small LTD company, provide a business plan, and have 2 years of trading history.

Quick Loans Express

  • Loan amounts:  £300 to £1,500
  • Loan Types: Fast Payday Loans, Emergency Loans
  • Interest rates: Representative APR 832.04%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 3 to 9 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Quick Loans Express is part of the Western Circle Group. The group operates several loan brands, each specialising in different types of loans. Payday Bad Credit and Cashfloat are part of the same group. At the time of publication (March 2024), a new Revolving Credit branch of the group is set to be launched under the Abaton brand name (Abaton.co.uk) to provide new customers a revolving line of credit of £500. We don’t have any further information currently.

Cash ASAP

  • Loan amounts:  £200 to £400 for new customers. Up to £750 for existing customers
  • Loan Types: Payday loans and multi-month loans
  • Interest rates: 290% pa
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 1 month on payday loans and 3 to 6 months on multi-month instalment loans
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Toot Loans

  • Loan amounts:  £1,000 to £5,000
  • Loan Types: Unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 69.9% APR fixed
  • Minimum income requirement: £1,000 monthly
  • Time to repay: 1 year to 5 years
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

Toot Loans is the trading name of Brighter Lending Limited.

Moneyline

  • Loan amounts: £200 to £1,000
  • Loan Types: Small cash loans
  • Interest rates: Representative APR of 239%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified. Our research revealed that the average customer here has an annual household income of £17,000, with top-up funding from welfare benefits.
  • Time to repay: 17 to 32 weeks
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes.

Evolution Money

  • Loan amounts: £5,000 to £100,000
  • Loan types: Secured homeowner loans
  • Interest rates: 11.7% to 46.5% APR. Maximum 50% APRC.
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 3 to 20 years with an upper age limit for final payment of 70.  
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: No

Licensed Direct Lender and a credit broker. If your application fails to meet their underwriting criteria, they’ll request your permission to approach their lender panel. Progressive Money is a branch of the Evolution Money group that caters to unsecured loans, however, they aren’t currently accepting applications. If you’re interested in unsecured loans, check Progressivemoney.co.uk instead to see if they’re applications are open.

PM Loans

  • Loan amounts: £50 to £1,500
  • Loan types: Short-term and payday loans
  • Interest rates: 49.9% APR to 1,261%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 2 months to 12 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

PM Loans are part of the Money Hive group, which also operates Loanpig.co.uk and Bingoloans.co.uk. When researching these companies, it’s important to know the groups behind the brand names because your details become part of the group’s database. If your application has been rejected from one brand, it’s likely to be rejected from all other brands operated by the same direct lender group – unless your circumstances have changed.

Finio Loans

  • Loan amounts: £1,000 to £5,000
  • Loan types: Unsecured personal loans, short-term instalment loans
  • Interest rates: 39.9% to 69.9%
  • Minimum income requirement: Unspecified
  • Time to repay: 1 to 3 years
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Yes

Finio Loans is the new trading name of Likely Loans, part of the Oakbrook Finance group. This is the subprime lending branch of the group catering to those with bad credit. Once your credit score improves, cheaper interest rates can be had on future loans through Oakbrook Loans. Since 2022, you don’t need to move from Likely Loans to Oakbrook for a better interest rate. Once your credit score improves, Finio can offer Oakbrook Loans at interest rates from 9.9% to 34.9% without having to change the lending platform you use.

118 118 Money

  • Loan Amounts: £1,000 to £5,000
  • Loan Types: Unsecured loans and credit building credit cards
  • Interest rates: Representative 49.9% APR
  • Minimum income requirement: £700 net monthly income
  • Time to repay: 12 to 36 months
  • Applicants on benefits accepted: Unspecified

118 118 Money is a direct lender, but does “on occasion” use brokers. The credit card service has a maximum credit limit of £1,200 and is designed for credit building. They provide an eligibility checker, which can indicate the credit limit they’d apply if approved.   

FAQs Related to Bad Credit Direct Lender Loans

Can Direct Lenders Guarantee Approval?

Absolutely not! That’s a red flag on any website making that claim. The FCA regulations stipulate lenders must conduct affordability checks. You will be required to submit documentation proving a regular income. For no paperwork loans, direct lenders in the FinTech industry use Open Banking to verify income and expenditure for the affordability assessment.

Do Any Bad Credit Direct Lenders Provide No Credit Check Loans?

No. They may assure you that they’ll use a soft credit check only. This doesn’t give them the full picture of what’s on your credit files. You’ll usually find for soft credit check loans, the lender will either use Open Banking to see your recent financial history. How much you get, where it goes (gambling, credit card debt, or essentials), or take the more traditional route and ask you to send or upload copies of the last three bank statements and payslips.

Will Applying for a Bad Credit Loan Hurt My Credit Score More?

No more than any other type of loan application. Your credit score only takes a hit because of the hard searches lenders do. Those leave a footprint on your credit file, temporarily dropping your credit score. That’s why some direct lenders offer soft search loans.

What is the difference between a Payday Loan and an Instalment Loan?

A payday loan is repaid within 1 month. It’s designed to be an emergency loan until you get paid your wages. Instalment loans are spread over several months. Payday loan direct lenders offer both types, usually from 1 to 3 months. Interest is high so it’s preferable to clear the loan as soon as possible.

Where do Direct Lenders get Funds from?

Direct lenders are funded by private investment through professionally managed investment funds, allowing them to work around the central banks and underwriters. The funds can come from any institution other than banks and can include peer-to-peer lending platforms – a subtype of direct lending that’s crowdfunded.

Should I Use a Direct Lender or a Credit Broker?

This is a personal choice and ought to be an informed decision. There are advantages and drawbacks to both. When you apply to a direct lender, your information should be restricted to that company. Not shared with external firms. In instances where the direct lender is also a broker, you should be asked for consent to share your information with other lenders. A broker would require you to consent to information sharing with other lenders. Brokers charge fees for the service. Direct lenders can roll all of their admin fees into the interest and give you a total amount repayable for a loan. The main advantage to a credit broker is saving time. They do the legwork on your behalf. It’s in their control where they apply though and each application will put a hit on your credit file. By applying to a direct lender, you can better control the rate of applications. Preferable is to limit your applications to one application every three to six months.

Are there Product Fees with Direct Lenders?

Neither a direct lender nor a credit broker charges fees for releasing funds. That’d be like being asked to pay £25 to have £500 transferred to your nominated bank account. It is a red flag. The only product we identified that does have charges for releasing funds is the transaction fee of 1.65% charged by Polar Credit, but this is not a loan, rather it’s a pre-approved credit limit similar to an overdraft that’s independent of your bank account.

How Can I Avoid Being Scammed by a Fake Lending Company

During our research, the clone companies shown on the FCA warning list were attempting to con consumers out of money by requesting funds to release a pre-approved loan.  When working with direct lenders, always ensure you have the correct contact details and check all correspondence is from the official lender. If in doubt, you can check the lenders’ details on the FCA register here.