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Getting a personal loan with a fair credit score is possible, but you might not be able to get the deal you want. Here are the best personal loans for fair credit, plus information about what to expect and how to prepare.
A credit score between 580 and 669 is considered fair. It won’t be hard to get a loan, and you’re likely to have several offers from credible lenders. You won’t get the best rates: you’re likely to pay close to 20% annual interest (potentially more if you’re at the lower end of the range) and you will probably have an origination fee as well.
In this post:
- What to Expect
- How to Prepare
- Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit
- Your Credit Union or Bank
- Online Lenders
- Loan Matching Services
- What to Do Next
What to Expect
The high cost of personal loans for fair credit means you’ll have to think seriously about how you plan to use them. For example:
- If you’re borrowing for loan consolidation, you’ll need to consider the costs and the benefits carefully. Consolidation is rarely worthwhile unless the interest rate on the consolidation loan is significantly lower than the interest rates on the loans you’re consolidating.
- If you’re borrowing to pay medical bills, consider other options. Setting up an installment plan with your healthcare provider could save you money. Many providers offer interest-free installment plans. Always negotiate medical bills!
- If you’re borrowing for home improvements, you presumably own a home. A home equity loan or home equity line of credit is a secured loan that will almost certainly carry a much lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan. Just be sure you have the means to pay it back!
- If you’re borrowing to make a purchase, think carefully. Be sure you’re including the fees and interest cost in your assessment of the item’s price. Unless it’s something you absolutely need, it might be better to wait.
Those can be difficult tradeoffs, but that’s the reality of below-average credit.
How to Prepare
Getting the best deal on a personal loan with fair credit is easier if you take a few steps to get ready. Here are some moves to consider.
- Know your credit score. Always check your score before applying for a loan. Remember that free credit score providers usually use VantageScore and lenders usually use FICO. They can be different.
- Check your credit report. Get your credit reports and review them carefully, especially if your credit score is not what you expect. Review our guide to understanding your credit report!
- Address any errors on your credit report. Many credit reports contain errors that can drag scores down. If you spot anything on your credit report that doesn’t seem right, challenge it using the dispute process.
- Consider credit repair. If you’re worried about credit repair companies, we don’t blame you. The industry has earned its dubious reputation. There are still legit companies and they may be able to help you boost your credit, especially if you have a complex credit report with numerous tradelines. Understanding the credit repair process is a good start.
- Check other criteria. Many lenders consider factors known as “alternative data”: things like your income and employment history, your debt to income ratio, and even your record of paying rent and utility bills on time. Make sure you’re ready to present evidence to support your record.
- Know the lenders. Assemble a list of lenders you think are worth trying out. You’ll want to file all of your applications within a 15-day period, so the credit bureaus will see that you’re shopping for the best deal and register only a single hard inquiry.
That brings us to the next question: where do you look for a personal loan with fair credit?
Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit
Here’s where to start looking for a personal loan with fair credit.
Your Credit Union or Bank
It’s easy to get caught up in the world of online lenders, but sometimes the solution to your loan problem is right in front of you. If you have an ongoing business relationship with a local bank or credit union it’s always worth talking to them about a loan.
Managers often have significant latitude in making deals and are happy to work with existing customers. They also have evidence of your income and cash flow right in front of them, so you won’t have to prove anything!
Direct Online Lenders
Your credit score will close you out of some of the top online lending options, but there are still a few possibilities.
Prequalify for a Personal Loan
Check your personal loan rates by answering a few questions. It only takes two minutes and has no impact on your credit score.
LendingPoint makes personal loans up to $36,500 and often releases funds the next business day after you apply. The minimum credit score is 590 and you’ll need an income of $25,000 a year or more.
PenFed Credit Union
PenFed Credit Union makes loans of $600 to $50,000 to borrowers with credit scores of 580 and above. You’ll need to join the credit union.
Upgrade makes personal loans up to $50,000 with no prepayment fees. The minimum credit score is 580.
Check rates via Credible.com
Avant makes personal loans of $2,000-$35,000, with a minimum credit score of 550.
Check rates via Credible.com
Best Egg has consistently high customer reviews. They lend from $5000-$35,000. The minimum credit score is 600.
Check rates via Credible.com
There are many other online lenders out there, and it’s also worth checking your area for local and regional lenders who are willing to work with borrowers who have poor credit.
|Loan amount||APR||Term Length|
|LendingPoint||$2,000–$36,500||from 7.99% to 35.99%||from 24 to 72 months|
|PenFed Credit Union||$600–$50,000||from 7.74%||up to 60 months|
|Upgrade||$1,000–$50,000||from 7.96% to 35.97%||from 24 to 84 months|
|Avant||$2,000–$35,000||from 9.95% to 35.99%||from 12 to 60 months|
|Best Egg||$2,000–$35,000||from 8.99% to 35.99%||from 36 to 60 months|
Loan Matching Services
These services don’t make loans. They receive applications and match them with a network of lenders. That gives you access to multiple lenders with a single application, and lets you compare the results.
Loan matching services serving borrowers with bad credit have earned a shaky reputation. Some users report immediate bombardments of marketing emails and calls; others claim that personal information was compromised. As you move up the credit score chain these problems become less evident, and there are many credible loan matching services for borrowers with fair credit.
You should still check the reputation of any service before sending your contact details or sensitive financial information like your Social Security number.
Here are some options:
Credible is a reputable marketplace representing lenders offering loans up to $100,000. The minimum score is 620, but not all lenders will make offers at that level. Credible offers a best rate guarantee.
Bankrate can help you match with lenders whose rates are no greater than 36.00% APR* with terms from 6 to 84 months.
LendingTree is a matching service advertising a minimum credit score of 600. You will need proof of employment/income and a debt-to-income ratio under 36%. Loans range up to $50,000.
LendingClub makes loans up to $40,000 with origination fees up to 6%. Their website does not list a minimum credit score.
Check rates via Credible.com
Upstart is a highly rated loan marketplace handling loans up to $50,000. The minimum credit score is 300. They consider education and other non-traditional data in lending decisions, so they are a great choice if you have a thin credit file.
PersonalLoans.com is both a loan matching company and a peer-to-peer lending platform. There’s no stated minimum credit score.
These are some of the best-known matching services handling borrowers with fair credit. You may find others. Always check the company’s track record!
|Loan amount||APR||Term length|
|Bankrate||Varies by lender||7.99%–35.99%||6 to 84 months|
|LendingTree||$1,000–$50,000||3.99%–35.99%||varies by lender|
|LendingClub||up to $40,000||8.05%– 36.00%||36 to 60 months|
|Upstart||$1,000–$50,000||6.5%–35.99%||36 to 60 months|
|Credible||$600–$100,000||5.40%–35.99%||12 to 84 months|
|PersonalLoans.com||$1,000–$35,000||5.99%–35.99%||3 to 72 months|
What to Do Next
You will be able to get a personal loan with fair credit, but you won’t get the best deals. You will pay a higher-than-average interest rate and you may also pay a steep origination fee. That can be good motivation to improve your credit so you can get a better deal next time you need to borrow.
Building credit can be intimidating, but if you have a personal loan the first step is easy and obvious: make every payment on that loan on time. That will push your credit score in the right direction.
Of course, there’s a lot more that you can do. Start by understanding your credit score and how it’s calculated. Then try these 8 steps for rebuilding your credit.
Paying off a high-interest personal loan isn’t fun, and you’ll have to think carefully about whether or not you really need the loan. Either way, let that interest rate motivate you to improve your credit score and step up your financial game!
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Steve Rogers has been a professional writer and editor for over 30 years, specializing in personal finance, investment, and the impact of political trends on financial markets and personal finances. His work has appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, and The Journal of Democracy, among many others. On rare occasions he has been known to throw a shield.
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Can I get a personal loan with a 669 credit score? ›
High loan limits and low interest rates are typically reserved for those with the highest credit scores. But don't get discouraged. Lenders are still willing to extend financing to you, even if you do have a score between 580 and 669.Can you get a personal loan with 580 credit score? ›
You'll typically need a score of at least 550 to 580 to qualify for a personal loan. You can find personal loans for bad credit, but: You'll likely pay a higher interest rate than other borrowers. You probably won't qualify for larger loan amounts.How much loan can I get with a 580 credit score? ›
You can borrow anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+ with a 580 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.Is 580 to 669 a good credit score? ›
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.What is the easiest loan to get approved for? ›
The easiest loans to get approved for are payday loans, car title loans, pawnshop loans and personal loans with no credit check. These types of loans offer quick funding and have minimal requirements, so they're available to people with bad credit.What interest rate can I get with a 669 credit score? ›
An individual with a 669 credit score will typically receive a credit card interest rate of between 20.5 and 16.5 percent. In comparison, someone with excellent credit can receive an average credit card interest rate of 13.5 percent.What is the easiest type of loan to get with bad credit? ›
The easiest loans to get approved for would probably be payday loans, car title loans, pawnshop loans, and personal installment loans. These are all short-term cash solutions for bad credit borrowers.Can you get a personal loan with fair credit? ›
Although it may be more difficult to secure a personal loan with a fair credit score, there are many lenders that are willing to work with borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. However, keep in mind you may receive a higher APR, as lower rates are typically reserved for those with good or excellent credit.How can I get my credit score from 580 to 700 fast? ›
- Pay on Time, Every Time. ...
- Reduce Your Credit Card Balances. ...
- Avoid Taking Out New Debt Frequently. ...
- Be Mindful of the Types of Credit You Use. ...
- Dispute Inaccurate Credit Report Information. ...
- Don't Close Old Credit Cards.
Subprime (credit scores of 580-619) Near-prime (credit scores of 620-659)
How can I get my credit score from 580 to 640? ›
- Build Your Credit File. ...
- Don't Miss Payments. ...
- Catch Up On Past-Due Accounts. ...
- Pay Down Revolving Account Balances. ...
- Limit How Often You Apply for New Accounts.
1. Make your payments on time. Paying your bills on time is the most important thing you can do to help raise your score. FICO and VantageScore, which are two of the main credit card scoring models, both view payment history as the most influential factors when determining a person's credit score.How much of a loan can you get with a 600 credit score? ›
You can borrow anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+ with a 600 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.What is the minimum credit score for a personal loan? ›
Generally, borrowers need a credit score of at least 610 to 640 to even qualify for a personal loan.Can I get a personal loan with a 619 credit score? ›
Yes, you can get a personal loan with a 600 credit score — there are even lenders that specialize in offering fair credit personal loans. But keep in mind that if you have a credit score between 580 and 669, you'll generally be considered a “subprime” borrower — meaning lenders might see you as a more risky investment.How low can your credit score be for a personal loan? ›
Many give preference to borrowers with good or excellent credit scores (690 and above), but some lenders accept borrowers with bad credit (a score below 630). The typical minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan is 560 to 660, according to lenders surveyed by NerdWallet.