If your credit score is fair – that is, between 580 and 669 – you may qualify for a personal loan, but you’ll pay a higher rate than someone with good to excellent credit. You’ll also likely be on the hook for origination fees, which can run anywhere from 1% to 10% of the loan amount.
Keep in mind that lenders have raised their rates in response to the Fed’s hikes and are tightening requirements, which means that some lenders that once accepted fair credit may not right now. The lenders in this list offer some of the most competitive rates and terms available today, even if fair credit personal loans are somewhat harder to come by.
To find the lowest APR for your credit score, prequalify with multiple lenders to compare rates and fees. In particular, look for a lender that has a low maximum starting APR and considers other factors besides your credit score. You can also add a cosigner if the lender allows it to increase your chances of approval and secure a lower rate, too.
8 best personal loans for fair credit
Best overall: Upstart
Upstart is a fintech lender that accepts borrowers with credit scores as low as 300. It's one of the few lenders that considers your employment history and education when making a decision– making it ideal for students just out of college. Upstart offers loans between $1,000 and $50,000 and its rates start at a low 6.4% APR, but you could pay an origination fee of up to 12% on your loan if you have a lower credit score.
- Not available in: West Virginia
Best for quality customer service: Best Egg
In addition to working with good to excellent credit borrowers, Best Egg also accepts fair credit scores and gets high marks from customers for its customer service and fast funding. Its APRs range from 8.99% to 35.99%, and it charges an origination fee of 0.99% to 8.99% depending on your creditworthiness. The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2014 and gets an exceptionally high BBB rating from customers – a rarity on the BBB site.
- Not available in: Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia
*Trustpilot TrustScore as of December 2022. Best Egg personal loans, including the Best Egg Secured Loan, are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, a Nationally Chartered Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan”, “the Best Egg Secured Loan”, and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank or Blue Ridge Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable.
The term, amount, and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debtpayment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. TO REPORT A PROBLEM OR COMPLAINT WITH THIS LENDER, YOU MAY WRITE OR CALL Joseph Walsh – Operations Manager, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Address: P.O. Box 42912, Philadelphia, PA 19101, Phone: 1-855-82-6353. This lender is licensed and regulated by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Financial Institutions Division, P.O. Box 25101, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504. To report any unresolved problems or complaints, contact the division by telephone at (505) 476-4885 or visit the website https://www.rld.nm.gov/financial-institutions/.
For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $100,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 8.99%–35.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–8.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate. You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. For example: a 5-year $10,000 loan with a 9.99% APR has 60 scheduled monthly payments of $201.81; a 3-year $5,000 loan with 8.99% APR has 36 scheduled monthly payments of $157.40. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents. Best Egg products are not available if you live in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.
Best for fast funding: Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans personal loans
As Rocket Loans' name suggests, it's fast — even for an online lender. You can get funded the same day you apply for loans under $25,000. And it claims that 90% of borrowers get funded as soon as the next business day. But while it has lower interest rates than some of its competitors, you'll need to have a credit score of 640 to qualify. On top of that, its actual loan amounts are more limited: If you need less than $2,000 or more than $45,000, it's best to look elsewhere.
- Not available in: Iowa, Nevada
Best for debt consolidation: Happy Money
Happy Money works with lending partners that specialize in debt consolidation, offering loans between $5,000 and $40,000 with rates starting at 11.52% APR. Unlike some lenders, you can have funds deposited directly into your bank account or let Happy Money pay your creditors directly. But it's not the fastest option — it could take up to six days to receive your funds and you may be on the hook for an origination fee up to 5%.
- Not available in: Massachusetts, Nevada
Best for building credit: LendingPoint
LendingPoint personal loans
LendingPoint won't be the best choice if you're on the cusp of good credit, but if you're looking to build your credit score with a small loan, it's a solid option. You'll only be able to borrow up to $36,500 — with a potentially high interest rate and origination fee — but LendingPoint reports your payments to two of the three credit bureaus. You can also sign up for bimonthly payments to help lower the interest you pay and add more flexibility to your budget.
- Not available in: Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Best for flexible payments: Upgrade
Upgrade not only has lower starting interest rates than many competitors, but its hardship program allows you to change your payment date or make a partial payment of 30% to 50% if cash is tight. You'll also have a grace period of 10 days before having to pay a late fee. And it considers borrowers with a credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of 50% — more lenient than most lenders. But its maximum rate is a high 35.99%, which means fair credit borrowers could face hefty interest charges
- Not available in: Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Vermont, West Virginia
Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's lending partners. Information on Upgrade's lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.
Best for comparing options: Fiona
Fiona (formerly Even) is a free connection service that partners with 31 personal loan providers. The benefit of using Fiona is that you can search and prequalify with multiple lenders at once just by filling out a single form. As a fair credit borrower, this means you'll know right away which lenders are willing to work with your credit score. The downside is you may be inundated with marketing emails and calls from Fiona's partners after applying.
Best for small loan amounts
First Tech Federal Credit Union personal loans
First Tech Federal Credit Union is a good option if you're willing to become a member. It offers loans as small as $500, and because it's a credit union, you may be able to qualify with fair credit — and loan terms up to 84 months. There are no origination fees, but its minimum interest rates start at a high 6.70%. And if you want to borrow a larger loan, you may be on the hook for a higher interest rate.
|Min. credit score|
|APR||7.99% to 13.29%|
|Loan amount||$500 to $50,000|
Methodology: How we picked the best fair credit loans
Finder’s lending experts review more than 120 lenders against 16 key metrics to narrow down the best personal loans:
- Minimum APR
- Maximum APR
- Origination fees
- Minimum loan amount
- Maximum loan amount
- Minimum loan term
- Maximum loan term
- Number of states served
- Minimum credit score
- Joint application availability
- Turnaround time
- Online application availability
- Prequalification process
- BBB ratings
- Trustpilot ratings
- Other features, such as rate discounts
We weigh the lender’s minimum and maximum APR to focus on the best low-interest personal loans. And we regularly review our top selections as lenders enter and leave the market.
Personal loan rates for fair credit
The average APR on personal loans for borrowers with scores between 580 to 619 is a high 89.86%, with this group carrying an average loan amount of $4,811.89. For borrowers with scores between 620 and 639, the average APR is slightly lower, at 62.90%, and for those between 640 and 659, it’s 44.50%.
These high average APRs for all fair credit groups is likely due to the inclusion of installment and payday loans APRs into these averages. Unlike personal loans, which are capped at 36% APR, installment loans and payday loans charge interest and financing fees resulting in APRs as high as 400% and up.
Fair credit borrowers don’t qualify for the lowest rates, even with a lender that specializes in fair credit loans. For example, fair credit lender Upstart states on its website that “the average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 26.57% and 60 monthly payments of $27.29 per $1,000 borrowed.”
When to get a personal loan with fair credit
While you won’t get the best rates and fees on a personal loan if you have fair credit, it’s still a good idea if it helps you with the following:
- Consolidate high-interest debt. If you can qualify for a lower interest rate on a personal loan than you’re currently paying on credit card debt, debt consolidation can help you save on interest and simplify your payments.
- Get rid of payday or installment loans. With payday or installment loans charging APRs in excess of 400%, using a personal loan to pay off these types of loans can help you get out of a cycle of debt faster.
- Pay for necessary living expenses. Sometimes taking out a personal loan may be necessary to pay for emergency or living expenses when not having the money would cause a problem.
When to avoid personal loans
However, there are some situations when getting a personal loan with fair credit isn’t necessarily a good idea:
- When interest rates are high. With the current market, taking on fair credit debt is expensive and it may not make sense to take on more debt unless you’re using it to pay for necessities or for debt consolidation.
- You’re in an unstable financial situation. If your finances are looking unstable for any reason, taking out a new loan can cause additional stress and hurt your credit score if you miss a payment.
- Your credit score has taken a hit. If you have fair credit due to recent negative items on your credit report, your interest rate will likely be higher and your loan will cost more over the long run. Sometimes it’s better to wait to get a loan until your credit score has improved.
Our Consumer Confidence Index reported that people found personal loan debt to be more stressful than credit card debt, so think before taking out a personal loan if any of the above factors are true for you.
Where to get a fair credit personal loan
Many traditional lenders and banks consider borrowers with a credit score below 670 to be “subprime” borrowers, but some lenders recognize that there is a fair credit bracket between the two, including:
- Online lenders. Online fintech lenders use algorithms to determine a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. These algorithms consider multiple factors in addition to your credit score when making a decision to extend a loan. Plus, many online lenders can offer loans with low doc requirements and same-day funding.
- Federal credit unions. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has the ability to cap rates, which means that rates on loans at credit unions may be lower than other lenders. See our credit union personal loans guide for more information.
- Community development financial institutions (CDFIs). These are nonprofit lenders that specialize in serving a specific community. They often have lower interest rates for fair credit borrowers – or may not even consider your credit at all.
- Community banks. Local banks tend to be more flexible with their credit requirements compared to big banks, since they often have a stated commitment to serve their local communities.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders. Catering to lower credit borrowers, P2P lenders offer more options to people who may have a harder time finding a loan elsewhere.
Personal loan alternatives
A personal loan may not be the best option especially when rates are high and it’s difficult to qualify for a low rate.
These alternatives may work better for you:
- Cash advance apps. Cash advance apps offer no-interest paycheck advances, typically between $20 and $500, often for a small monthly fee or tip. But to qualify for advance, you’ll need to establish a history of regular direct deposits for a month or two.
- Credit builder loans. If you’re considering taking out a personal loan to build credit, a credit build loan is an alternative that works in reverse. With this option, you make fixed monthly payments towards a loan, then access funds once all payments have been made.
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). A HELOC is a revolving line of credit secured against your home equity with a 10-year draw period and a 20-year repayment period. They generally have lower rates than personal loans, but carry higher risk since you’re using your home as collateral.
- Personal lines of credit. These work like a credit card but give you funds in cash for expenses you can’t pay on credit. They may offer lower interest rates than credit cards, but they’re not offered by all lenders.
How much will my loan cost me?
It generally depends on how much you borrow, your interest rate and term. You can use our monthly repayment calculator to find out how much that loan you had in mind costs each month and overall:
You can expect to pay back
Based on your loan terms
Compare more personal loans for fair credit
Narrow down top lenders by APR, loan amount and more to find the right loan for your credit score. Select Compare on up to four lenders to see their details side by side. Select Learn more to visit a partner’s site or select More info to read our editorial review.
Your options are limited when you have fair credit, but it’s still possible to find a good deal. Online lenders, credit unions and small banks might be your best bet. But if you have a credit score below 640, you might want to consider applying with a cosigner — that’s the cutoff for most fair-credit lenders.
To find the best borrowing options you can take a look at our guide to the best personal loans.