It is possible to get a personal loan with bad credit. Before you start your search, it helps to know what to expect from potential loan offers.

When lenders look at your credit score, they want to know that you will be able to pay back what they give you. Your credit score is a product of your payment history. If you miss payments, it drops. If you make more than the required payment, it goes up. Some creditors will not lend to anyone with a credit score below a certain amount. Others realize that your credit score doesn’t tell the whole story.  These are the lenders who make personal loans to people with poor credit.  Before you apply, though, you should know what kinds of offer they might make to you.  Here’s what to expect:

More checks on your personal information

Your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to make payments on time.  Without it, they’ll want to verify your income to make sure that you are able to make payments. They may ask for a copy of recent pay stubs, or they may call your employer to make sure that you work there. (Don’t worry, if they do call your employer, they won’t say why they are calling. Your application status is legally protected and confidential.)

Lower loan amounts

When a lender loans to anyone, no matter what their credit score is, they are taking a risk with the money they lend. If your credit score is lower – or if you don’t have one – the risk is higher. Some lenders will lower the personal loan amounts they offer to mitigate that risk.

Strict repayment terms

Your credit score is just a number, and lending is a numbers game. Lenders know that people with bad credit are more likely to miss payments than people with good credit.  Good lenders know that credit score is a guess, not a guarantee. If they take chances on people with bad credit, they may try to scare off bad borrowers by promising that they will take them to court over failure to pay.