Credit score lower than 680? Here's how to get a loan with fair credit

Have a credit score lower than 680? Here’s how to get a loan with fair credit

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

Don’t let fair credit stop you from getting the funding you need. Get the facts and figures to make an informed decision.

Weddings, cars and other big purchases aren’t usually expenses that can be paid for outright. Being practical is incredibly important, especially when it comes to purchases that can be highly emotional. If you’re looking for a loan and have your credit score in mind, you’re already ahead of the curve.

By taking into account what kind of loan your credit score can get you, you’re setting yourself up for success. Interest rates, terms, requirements and whether you can even get approved all come down to your creditworthiness. By considering it, you’re setting up realistic goals for repayments. This guide will take you through what to expect when you’re looking for a fair credit loan.

What exactly is a fair credit score?

A fair credit score generally sits between 620 and 679.

Credit scores aren’t as clear-cut as you might think. The three main credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — each use their own scoring systems. There’s also FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation), which also uses a different system and is considered the industry standard by many lenders.

Even though these bureaus collect the same information to determine your credit score, there’s enough variance in their algorithms to result in different scores among them.

Compare fair credit loans

Rates last updated April 27th, 2018
Unfortunately, none of the short term loan providers currently offer loans in your state. Learn more about short term loans in your state to find an alternative.
Name Product Product Description Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Requirements
Check into Cash Payday Loan
With 1,000 branches in 30 states, get $50 to $1,000 in days from this direct lender.
$1,000
Varies by state
1–2 business days
You must be at least 21 and an American citizen and have a bank account, email address and phone number.
LendUp Payday Loans
LendUp offers $250 loans for first-time borrowers. Good credit is not required. Visit the site to see if available in your state.
$250
7–30 days
generally receive the money the next business day
Be 18+ years of age and have a checking account that can accept electronic transfers.
CashNetUSA Loan
Apply for a short-term loan with an easy online application and dedicated customer service.
Varies by state
Varies by state
1 business day
You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old and have regular income and a bank account.
ACE Cash Express Payday Loans
Quick payday, installment and title loans with no prepayment penalty and a 72-hour satisfaction guarantee. Funds can be loaded on an ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Debit Card.
Varies by state
Varies by state
Generally receive the money the next business day
Must be 18+ years old, have a steady source of income and a checking or savings account. Must not be a debtor in bankruptcy.
LoanByPhone Payday and Installment Loans
This mobile lender offers convenient cash loans. Apply online or by phone.
$3,000
Varies by state
1–2 business days
Must be 21 years old and have a Social Security number, a regular source of income, a valid email address, an active checking account and a phone number.
BadCreditLoans.com
With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
$5,000
3 to 36 months
Varies
Depending on lender requirements, people from all 50 states may not be eligible for a personal loan.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated April 27th, 2018
Unfortunately, none of the short term loan providers currently offer loans in your state. Learn more about short term loans in your state to find an alternative.
Name Product Product Description Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
Installment loans with competitive rates from a top-rated direct lender.
$4,000
9 to 36 months
1 business day
Open to residents of AL, AK, AZ, CA, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI and WY. Must have direct deposit and meet minimum income requirements.
CashUSA Installment Loans
$10,000
90 days to 72 months
As early as 1 business day
Monthly income of $1,000+ after taxes and valid checking account.
Slam Dunk Loans
Potentially get approved for a short-term loan through this lender-connection service, even with poor credit history.
$2,500
Varies by lender
As soon as next business day
Must be employed, receive regular income, earn at least $800 a month, have a checking account, be 18+ yrs old and a US citizen.
BadCreditLoans.com
With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
$5,000
3 to 36 months
Varies
Depending on lender requirements, people from all 50 states may not be eligible for a personal loan.
Blue Trust Loans Installment Loans
Get an installment loan from an online tribal lender. Perks for returning borrowers.
$2,000
6 months
As soon as next business day
Must be at least 18 years old and have a verifiable source of income with direct deposit into your checking account.
CashNetUSA Loan
Apply for a short-term loan with an easy online application and dedicated customer service.
Varies by state
Varies by state
1 business day
You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old and have regular income and a bank account.
HonestLoans Installment Loans
Get a flexible installment loan with fast funding through one easy online application form.
$2,500
Varies by lender
As soon as one business day
Must be employed and receive regular income, earn at least $800 a month, have a checking account and be an 18+ years old legal US citizen.
MaxLend Installment Loans
Get up to $1,000 as a first-timer, with loans of up to $2,000 and lower APRs for repeat borrowers.
$2,000
6 months
As soon as the next business day
Must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen, have a valid bank account and provide a verifiable source of income.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does my credit score affect my application?

Quite simply, the better your score, the better the loan. While a credit score is not the only factor, it’s widely used to determine rates, maximum limits on borrowing and if you can even get a loan in the first place.

Though the scores may differ among agencies, they all try to determine how well you’re meeting your financial obligations. The better you are at meeting your financial commitments, the less risk you’ll pose to a lender. On the other hand, if you’ve struggled to pay your bills on time or have missed payments, your offered rates will most likely be subprime.

What loans are available to people with fair credit?

Repairing your credit score can take time, but you have lending options if your credit is sitting at fair right now.

How do I compare my loan options if I have fair credit?

A fair credit score limits your options slightly. Not all lenders will be willing to fund you, depending on other criteria, and others won’t give you the best loan terms. Here’s what you should look for when comparing lenders:

  • Interest rate. One of the biggest factors to look at is the APR that’s offered. Your credit score, the amount you want to borrow, your ability to repay and the loan term can all impact this number.
  • Maximum loan amount. Borrowing more than you need can lead to bigger trouble in the long run. Consider exactly how much you need to borrow, and why that amount is necessary.
  • Loan term. While a shorter term can mean you’ll be making larger payments, you’ll end up paying less in interest.
  • Turnaround time. Some lenders are able to get you the funds you need as soon as the day after you apply. These lenders may not always have the best rates though, so consider whether you really need to prioritize speed over savings.
  • Requirements. Different lenders may require you to meet different criteria. Credit score, age, income and residence are all factors that may determine your eligibility.

I want better rates and terms on a loan. How can I improve my credit?

Five main factors determine your credit score: payment history, credit utilization, how long you’ve held credit, type of credit used and number of credit inquiries. To repair your credit, keep in mind the factors below.

  • Pay off open balances. Credit utilization includes your debt compared to your total credit. If you aren’t using as much credit as you have available, your score can improve by paying down balances. Simply moving the balances will not affect your utilization rate.
  • Keep open balances low. Experts advise to keep your balance below 30% of your approved credit limit.
  • Don’t close an unused account if you don’t have to. Closing an account can negatively affect your credit utilization rate.
  • Avoid opening new accounts. Once your score improves, you can take advantage of better interest rates. So wait to open new accounts if you can.

Compare loan options for different credit score ranges

Loans for good credit (680+)Loans for excellent credit (720+)

Bottom line

Your credit score can affect your ability to get a loan. With interest rates, terms and eligibility all at least partially dependent on your credit score. It’s important to know not only what your score is, but also how your actions influence it.

When you’re looking to take out a loan, make sure it’s both what you need and something that you can financially handle. If you can’t make timely payments, you could damage your creditworthiness and hurt future attempts at financing. Shop around, research, ask advice from an expert or even a trusted friend — and sleep on any big decisions.

Frequently asked questions about fair credit loans

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DavidAugust 27, 2017

    I have a credit score of less than 680 and need a loan of $20,000.00 to pay off some credit cards. But I need a monthly payment of less than $400.00. Is there an institution through which I might be able to secure that type of loan?

    • Staff
      KyleAugust 28, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      I’d be glad to help you. Your monthly payment will depend on a few things, some being your creditworthiness, loan term length and whether you choose a fixed or variable rate. If you want to have a payment of $400 or less, you should shop around to see what lenders are offering low fixed rates – a fixed rate will not change once you are locked in. Start here to find a loan that could work for you.

      Good luck loan hunting!

      Kyle

US Payday Loans Offers

Important Information*
Slam Dunk Loans

Potentially get approved for a short-term loan through this lender-connection service, even with poor credit history.

LendUp Payday Loans

LendUp offers $250 loans for first-time borrowers. Good credit is not required. Visit the site to see if available in your state.

Check into Cash Payday Loan

With 1,000 branches in 30 states, get $50 to $1,000 in days from this direct lender.

OppLoans Installment Loans

Installment loans with competitive rates from a top-rated direct lender.

Go to site