My experience with bad credit - may help others,
I got over extended in Credit in 2008. I was caring to much debt in 08 and when the housing crash happened all of the credit card companies cut my limits which made my utilization rates go up which in turn sank my credit score. Then all of the companies raised the interest rates on my cards and some even tacked on special fees (Thanks Bank of America) because I was high risk.
By 2012 I was in a hole so deep I defaulted on 4 cards, the cards went to charge offs. I settled for 20 to 40 cents on the dollar on these cards in 2013. I still had 6 cards that I kept paying on even though I was struggling to pay them. I was in a constant cycle of trying to pay down the cards but never able to get the cards down before a bill would run them up again.
At one point my credit score was in the low 600's (may have been lower but I did not check immediately after the charge offs). What did help me was the 6 cards that I made regular payments on improved my credit score to the 620 to 630 range.
After a year and half of regular payments I was able to get a $25,0000 personal loan with Avant a rate of 27.99 - crazy rate and on the surface but not much help. But what helped me tremendously was two things - the transfer from credit cards to a personal loan made my credit score go through the roof. Easily 30 to 40 points. The second thing that happened was that Avant did not report the loan to the credit bureaus for roughly two and a half months. So on my credit report it appeared I had paid off $25,000 in credit card debt for two months. Again the net affect was increased credit score. As soon as my credit score got to good from fair (Equifax) I went out and got three more loans - LendingClub, Prospero and Circleback. All loans now ranged in interest rates from 11 to 16 percent.
I immediately paid off the Avant loan which cost me about $700 in interest with one of the new loans. Avant has no origination fees.
I cannot guarantee you will get a 2 month reprieve on your credit report like I did but credit companies are usually consistent on how they report loans.
Now after another year I was able to consolidate all loans at a 10% rate through Sofi. Also managed to get a car loan at 5.7 rate. Now I will leave my credit alone for the next 12 months, hopefully move up to excellent credit and look at getting the loans down to sub 8 percent.
The one company that never would approve me was Upstart, LendingClub was by far the easiest to work with.
I hope this helps someone else.