Applying for a personal loan can be very stressful. It is even worse for people with subpar credit.

The good news is that you can still qualify for personal loans with a credit score under 600. However, getting approved will usually be more difficult. You also probably need to pay a higher interest rate. According to go banking rates, the average APR on personal loans for people with credit score under 620 is 17.99%. However, this rate could lower if you shop around. If you can build your credit, you can find a better lender that will offer loans with APRs as low as 4.99%.

There are a few things you should do when applying for a personal loan with poor credit. Here are some of the best ways to increase your odds of getting approved.

Never apply for a loan from a lender that has very little chance of approving it with your credit

My friend is a personal financial consultant. She said that many people with poor credit apply for loans from lenders that only approve people with credit score is over 700. They assume that they don’t have anything to lose. They figure as long as they send enough loan applications, they will get lucky and at least one lender will eventually approve them.

Don’t fall into that trap. Every time that you apply for a loan, your personal credit score is going to drop. Hard checks against your credit are not going to hurt your credit score for as long as delinquent payments or other serious problems would. However, they can still hurt your credit long enough to keep you from getting a personal loan within the next couple of months.

Your best bet is to research all of your lending options very carefully. Make sure that you only apply for loans from lenders that are likely to approve them.

Consider getting a secured loan

Putting up your home, car or other assets as collateral is probably the single best way to boost your likelihood of getting approved for personal loan. The lender may not even bother looking at your credit score, because they can always use the collateral if you are unable to pay in the future. Of course, you need to make sure that you can risk losing the asset. You may want to try using a spare car that you don’t drive as much or some other collateral rather than your home or main vehicle.

Seek the lowest loan amount that you can get away with

Your odds of getting approved for a $1,000 personal loan will probably be much higher than a $3,000 one. If you can get away with taking out a smaller loan, you should try to do so.

Use a lender that accepts lower credit borrowers

Most lenders prefer issuing loans to borrowers with good or excellent credit. However, some lenders are less risk-averse. They advertise fair and bad credit loans.

If your credit score is between 600 and 700, try to find a fair credit lender. You don’t want to take out a loan from poor credit lender unless you absolutely need to, because your APR will be much higher.