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Typically, you need a credit score of at least 550 to get a personal loan. However, you usually have more options if you have a credit score of 640 or higher.
Generally, lenders that fund loans directly require good credit — especially banks, though credit unions and online lenders might be more relaxed. Peer-to-peer lenders, which connect borrowers with investor funding, also typically require higher credit scores. If your credit score is below 640, you might have an easier time finding lenders if you use a connection service.
|Lender||Minimum credit score||Type of provider|
|Even Financial||550||Connection service|
|NetCredit||No minimum||Connection service||Read review|
Generally, you need to have excellent credit to get the lowest rates and largest loan amounts that a lender offers. However, you can often get a favorable deal even if your credit score is considered good.
While lenders might have their own criteria for what qualifies as good or excellent credit, it’s usually around this range:
You can use one of the following services or methods to check your credit score. Typically, the score you receive is based on a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit rating but isn’t as accurate as a hard credit pull. Some lenders warn that soft credit inquiries give higher scores than hard credit checks.
There are several steps you can take to improve your credit score before you apply for a personal loan:
Lenders for short-term loans like payday and installment loans often don’t take your credit score into account when you apply, though they tend to be much more expensive and come with several risks.
When determining your eligibility, lenders also take a look at your:
You can get a personal loan with almost any credit score — or even no credit score. But you have more options if you have good to excellent credit. If you aren’t in a rush, consider taking the time to improve your credit rating so you can get an even more favorable deal.
Want to know more about how it all works? Check out our guide to personal loans.
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