If your credit score falls somewhere between 580 and 669, your personal loan options are slightly limited. Since you might not qualify for the lowest rates, look for a lender that has a low maximum APR and considers other factors besides credit.
To help you get started, our team of experts reviewed over 100 personal loan providers to come up with a list of the cream of the crop. We compared rates, terms and borrowing amounts, as well as customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau. For 2021, we picked providers that serve a wide range of needs, from consolidating debt to building credit.
Upstart may have a high maximum interest rate, but you may qualify with a credit score of just 300. In addition, Upstart uses more than just your credit to make a decision — your employment history and education also play a role in its underwriting process. Plus, if you don't have enough credit history to have a FICO score, Upstart will still consider you. You'll need to meet a few requirements to qualify, and while strict, Upstart is at least upfront about its eligibility criteria.
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.
Discover isn't upfront about its exact credit score requirements, but it does accept some borrowers with fair credit. But while you can use your funds for both debt consolidation and other expenses, you can only borrow up to $35,000. Interest rates are relatively competitive, and unlike many lenders, you won't have to pay an origination fee. You'll also have the chance to pay your loan back over 84 months — most loan terms are capped at 60 months.
Available in all states
30-day money back guarantee
No origination fee
Split funds between debt consolidation and other purposes
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
Accepts credit scores as low as REQUIREMENTS.CREDIT_SCORE_MIN
Upgrade not only has lower starting interest rates than many of its competitors, but its hardship program allows you to change your payment due date, defer two payments or make a partial payment if cash is tight. You'll also have a grace period of 15 days before having to pay a late fee. You'll still be able to qualify with a credit score of 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of 50% — much more lenient than most lenders. Just remember that its maximum rate is a high 35.97%. So while you may still be approved with fair credit, you could face hefty interest charges over the life of your loan.
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/.
While LendingTree is more geared toward borrowers with good to excellent credit, you may be able to compare lenders with fair credit — just know your options will be limited and you're unlikely to qualify for the lowest rates. That said, LendingTree is a fast way to see which lenders you qualify for from a large network of options. It has plenty of positive reviews from people who have used it to find a lender, and you won't have to submit an application to multiple lenders just to check your potential loan terms.
Available in all states
Positive customer reviews
Quick online form to compare interest rates
Wide variety of loan terms
Limited options for borrowers with fair credit
May receive large volume of marketing emails and calls
Lenders may charge an origination fee
$1,000 to $50,000
5.99% to 35.99%
Interest Rate Type
Min. credit score
Good to excellent credit
If you apply during work hours on a business day you can get access to approved funds within 24 hours.
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.
Peerform is a peer-to-peer lender that matches borrowers to investors. It has one of the lowest starting interest rates around, but you may not qualify if you only just meet its credit score requirement. And if you're looking for a larger — or smaller — loan, you're out of luck. Peerform has a very narrow range of options for you to choose from. However, its live chat and overall competitive rates make it a good choice for borrowers looking for a midsize personal loan.
Not available in: Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming
How to choose the best personal loan with fair credit
Keep these tips in mind to find a competitive deal on a loan when you have fair credit:
Consider the maximum APR. You likely won’t qualify for the lowest potential rate with fair credit, so looking at the maximum rate a lender offers might be a better way to find a good deal.
Prequalify with multiple lenders. Fill out prequalification forms to find out what rates, terms and loan amounts you might qualify for with multiple lenders to make a more personalized comparison.
Apply with a cosigner. Applying with a cosigner with excellent credit can help you qualify for more competitive rates and higher loan amounts.
Where else can I get a fair-credit loan?
You can get a fair-credit personal loan from most types of lenders, including:
Online lenders. Online lenders tend to have more relaxed credit requirements than other types of providers — many rely on other signals of financial health beyond your credit score.
Credit unions. Credit unions are nonprofit, member-run financial institutions that tend to offer more competitive rates than their bank or online counterparts to fair-credit borrowers.
Banks. While large banks tend to require good to excellent credit, you might be able to find a good deal at a local or regional bank with fair credit.
Connection services. Connection services can help you prequalify with multiple lenders at once. This gives you an idea of what rates, loan amounts and terms you can qualify for, and which lender offers the best deal for you.
Peer-to-peer lenders. These online platforms connect borrowers with investors to fund your loan. They work a lot like online lenders, though it can take as long as a week to receive your funds.
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:
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.
Anna Serio is a lead editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business lending. A trusted lending expert and former commercial loan officer, Anna's written more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. Her expertise and analysis on personal, student, business and car loans has been featured in Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar, and she was recognized as an expert contributor in finance by Best Company in 2020. Anna holds an MA in Near and Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and a BA in creative writing and Arabic from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY.
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