Working With Direct Lenders When You Have Bad Credit - What to Know

JANET R. | May 6, 2024

When was the last time you checked your credit score? Do you know what it is? According to, about 30.6% of Americans don’t know what their credit score is, and many don’t know how important it is to their financial freedom.

The most well-known computation of your credit score comes from FICO. Scores are generated on a scale of 300 to 850, with 850 being the best of the best, considered an excellent credit score. Those with scores falling between 580 and 669 are considered fair, and scores below 580 are considered poor. 

The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be approved for loans at lower interest rates. The lower your credit score, the less likely you are to be approved for traditional loans, and when you are approved, you’ll likely be subject to high-interest rates.

Thankfully, lenders like Cash Store exist to help those with less-than-stellar credit scores. We offer installment loans, cash advance loans, and title loans that can help you when you are in a financial pinch.

Woman trying to get a cash advance loan online

What Will Direct Lenders Look For When You Have Bad Credit?

If your credit score falls below the good threshold of 670, what does that mean if you need to apply for credit? Well, it’s important to understand that each lender is different. They may examine your current income and employment stability, as these show that you have a steady source of funds to meet loan payments. 

Some lenders also consider your payment history on other debts, looking at recent financial behavior over past missteps. Additionally, they might review your bank account standing and whether you have any existing debts that could impact your capacity to manage new loan obligations. 

Cash Store looks at things a bit differently. Here is what you can expect when considering one of our loans.

Installment Loans 

Installment loans at Cash Store are designed to help you access the funds you need quickly. To qualify for an installment loan of up to $3,000, with a high approval rate over 90%, you’ll need a few key documents for your installment loan requirements. First, you should provide a recent paycheck stub or another proof of income, which helps verify your ability to repay the loan. Also, bring your most recent checking account statement—ensure your account has been open for at least 30 days. Depending on your state, you might also need to provide a personal check and/or a debit card. Lastly, a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID is required to confirm your identity. 

Cash Advance Loans 

Cash advance loans offer a fast and flexible way to borrow funds, especially if you need immediate cash. This type of loan is a single-payment, short-term option typically repaid on your next payday. However, if it suits you better, you can pay off the loan before the due date. Cash advance loans can be more accessible to those with no credit or poor credit.

Cash advance loan requirements are necessary to help you quickly access the funds you need with an approval rate of over 90%. To apply, you must provide a recent paycheck stub or another proof of income to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan. You must also bring the most recent checking account statement, ensuring that your account has been active for at least 30 days. 

Depending on your location, a personal check and/or debit card may be required. Lastly, a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID is needed to verify your identity. 

Title Loans 

If you need quick financial assistance, a title loan from the Cash Store might be the right solution. You can borrow up to $25,000 based on the value of your vehicle, and the best part is that you can continue using your car while you repay the loan. This option is available even if you have bad or no credit.

Title loan requirements are easy to gather. You'll need a recent paycheck stub or documentation showing proof of other income, the most recent checking account statement (with your account open for at least 30 days), and a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID. Most importantly, you must own a vehicle with a clear and free title. 

Lines of Credit 

While Cash Store does not offer lines of credit, this financial product is available from many other lenders and can be a flexible solution for ongoing borrowing needs. A line of credit allows you to borrow funds up to a specified limit. But the cool thing is that you only pay interest on the amount you use, rather than the full limit.

Typically, lenders will look for a stable income, a good credit history, and a favorable debt-to-income ratio to determine eligibility. Requirements may include proof of income, such as recent pay stubs or tax returns, and a credit score that meets the lender's criteria. It's also common for lenders to request a detailed financial history and sometimes collateral, depending on the line of credit's size. 

Older couple celebrating getting a loan

Improve Your Credit Score for the Best Loan Rates 

If you have a bad credit score, it is important for you to know that you can take steps to improve it. Making your payments on time is the biggest factor in getting that credit score to grow in the northern direction. Plus, pay attention to how much debt you have. Keep your debt-to-income ratio at 36% or below. Finally, if you have credit cards, make sure you are not borrowing all the way to the credit limit. Keep your credit limit balance at 30% or less. This is called utilization, and it plays a big role in the health of your credit score.

In the meantime, if you are in a financial pinch and need access to instant funds, Cash Store can help. Get started today by completing our pre-qualification application.

The content on this page provides general consumer information or tips. It is not financial advice or guidance. Each person’s circumstances are unique. The Cash Store may update this information periodically. This information may also include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.

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Loan Amount is subject to loan approval. Loan terms and availability may vary by location.  Approval rate based on complete applications received across all Cash Store locations. Customers can typically expect to receive loan proceeds in less than 20 minutes; however, processing times may vary. Loans / Advances are provided based on approved credit. Each applicant for credit is evaluated for creditworthiness. Vehicle is subject to evaluation for title/auto equity loans.

Please see the Licenses and Rates page for additional product details.

Cottonwood Financial offers consumer credit products that are generally short-term in nature and not intended for long-term borrowing needs.

In Texas, Cash Store is a Credit Services Organization and Credit Access Business. Loans are provided by a non-affiliated third-party lender. Please see the Licenses and Rates page for links to Consumer Disclosures and choose the one for the product and amount that most closely relates to your loan request.

Customer Portal residency restrictions apply. Availability of funds may vary by financial institution.