A Guide to Choosing Wisely When you are unfortunate enough to fall on hard times economically, the thought of finding a loan to suit your needs may be leaning on the impossible. With bad credit and extreme need, people are feign to make poor decisions and end up putting themselves in a worse position than when they started looking for a loan in the first place. However, a little bit of research before going to look for an unsecured loan with bad credit can make all the difference. Understand Your Bad Credit First Prior to looking for an unsecured loan with bad credit, it is essential that you understand what bad credit means and how you got it in the first place. For starters, know that bad credit, though a definite negative on loan applications, comes in different flavors, which means that under certain circumstances lenders will give you an unsecured loan with bad credit. What does this mean? Well, to put it simply, the calculation of one's FICO credit score is not really cut and dry. There are several factors that go into it which include your current debts and past payment history as well as bankruptcies, foreclosures and other catastrophic financial issues. What the score doesn't reveal is the cause for these reports. That means, people whose bad credit is a result of catastrophic events related to unforeseen circumstances such as a job layoff or the housing bubble bust are looked at far more favorably than those whose bad credit is a result of irresponsible spending over a long term and too much current debt. Looking at your Options Once you understand your credit score, you are ready to look for an unsecured loan that can help you out of your financial hardship. There are three distinct options available to you, each with their own pros and cons. They are: Personal Loans - this is the traditional loan that many people think of when they talk about an unsecured loan. It is generally given in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 and is repaid over the course of 2 to 10 years. This is the hardest loan to acquire, however. Payday Loans - if you only need a small amount of money for a short period of time, payday loans are a great option. These loans are given for small amounts, generally $100-$1,500 and then repaid upon the next payday (or two). Hence the name. Unsecured Credit Cards - as the economy begins to recover, access to unsecured credit cards, the same cards that you get offers for in the mail, is becoming much more lax. Following the Credit CARD at of 2009, you can also rest assured that you are protected as a consumer. Generally, credit cards do not offer a loan so much as a line of credit that can range from $1,000 to $25,000 or more. You can use your card for a large purchase which you pay back with a minimum amount each month or you can use the line of credit as a loan between statements. Choosing Wisely The key to doing so successfully lies in educating yourself about these options and choosing that which best suits your needs and lifestyle. Make sure that you pay attention to fine print and choose wisely.