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How to get a loan with a credit score lower than 680

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Don’t let fair credit stop you from getting affordable financing.

Credit is often one the big deciding factors lenders look for when determining approval. If your credit isn’t the best — but also isn’t the worst — it pays to consider all your options before settling on a loan. And while you may not get the lowest rates available, there are ways to get the financing you need and potentially build your credit along the way.
Even Financial Personal Loans

Even Financial Personal Loans

Get matched instantly with the right personal loan from top lending partners.

  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Min. loan amount: $1,000
  • Max. loan amount: $100,000
  • APR: Starting at 3.84%
  • Loan terms: 2 to 7 years
  • Funds available as soon as next business day
  • No impact on your credit score to see offers

    What loan options are available to people with fair credit?

    While you likely won’t be able to get the best rates, there are multiple lenders willing to work with people who have fair credit. Your main choices will be online lenders and peer-to-peer marketplaces. These provide quick access to loan funds and typically don’t have the same stringent requirements as banks. For example, LendingPoint specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, offering up to $25,000 to people with credit scores in the mid-600s.

    However, some banks and credit unions also offer loans to people who have fair credit. Many of these offer personal loans that can help you build credit. Repairing your credit score can take time, but you have lending options if your credit is sitting at fair right now.

    What are some alternatives to personal loans if I don’t qualify?

    A personal loan may not be the solution you’re looking for, especially if you need to borrow a larger loan amount or you have a short credit history. In these cases, it may be best to compare some short-term options.

    • Installment loans. Installment loan providers generally don’t use your credit as a main decision factor, so you won’t have to worry about your score getting in the way of borrowing. However, this results in a high APR – often well over the 36% cap personal loan lenders must abide by. Actual terms vary by lender and state law, so read up on installment loans before you apply.
    • Payday advance apps. Payday advance apps use your income, not your credit score, and often have much lower fees than other short-term loan options. But there are a few caveats. Many advance just a few hundred dollars at a time, and you can typically only borrow against hours you’ve worked.
    • Auto title loans. Auto title loans use your car title as collateral. This means your fair credit score likely won’t prevent you from qualifying, but it also means you pay the same high fees as you would with an installment loan. And if you default, you may have your car repossessed.

    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 uses a different system and is considered the industry standard by many lenders. And to make things even more complex, there are a number of smaller credit reporting agencies that have their own systems.

    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 between them. Unless your lender specifically states what credit bureau it’s using, you’ll likely be in the dark. Your best bet? Know your general credit score and make decisions about the loans you apply for based off it.

    Top 3 personal loans for fair credit

    When you’re ready to apply, consider these providers to see what kind of loan terms you might qualify for with fair credit.

    Monevo

    • Minimum credit score: 550
    • Loan amount: $1,000 to $100,000
    • APR: 3.99% to 35.99%
    • Loan term: 0.25 year(s) to 12 year(s)

    Monevo is a personal loan connection service. Rather than directly fund your loan, it may be able to connect you with one or more lenders that can work with you. Its network of lenders covers a wide variety of borrowers, and best of all, you’ll only need a credit score of 550 to qualify. This means that borrowers with fair credit may qualify for better terms, including lower interest rates.

    LendingClub

    • Minimum credit score: 660
    • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
    • APR: 5.99% to 35.89%
    • Loan term: 3 year(s) to 5 year(s)

    LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender. It assesses your eligibility and assigns you a Loan Grade, which then determines how much you can qualify for and your potential interest rate. And while it accepts borrowers with fair credit, you can also apply with a cosigner to increase your chances of approval and potentially score an even lower APR.

    Upgrade

    • Minimum credit score: 620
    • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
    • APR: 7.99% to 35.89%
    • Loan term: 3 year(s) to 5 year(s)

    Upgrade is a marketplace lender that works with borrowers who have fair credit. In addition to its personal loan options – which can be used to finance just about any major purchase – you may also qualify for a line of credit. And for those who want to improve their credit score, Upgrade offers free financial education resources and access to credit monitoring.

    Compare more lenders that offer fair credit loans

    Personal loans typically come with repayment terms of three to seven years.
    Rates last updated March 24th, 2019

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    Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
    Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    Credible Personal Loans
    Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
    Good to excellent credit
    $100,000
    5.34% to 35.99% (fixed)
    Monevo Personal Loans
    Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
    550
    $100,000
    3.99% to 35.99% (fixed)
    Upgrade Personal Loans*
    Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
    620
    $50,000
    7.99% to 35.89% (fixed)
    LendingClub Personal Loan
    A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
    640
    $40,000
    6.95% to 35.89% (fixed)
    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
    No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
    680
    $100,000
    5.99% to 16.99% (fixed)
    NetCredit Personal Loan
    Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
    550
    $10,000
    34% to 155% (Varies by state) (fixed)
    Best Egg Personal Loans
    A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.
    640 FICO®
    $35,000
    5.99% to 29.99% (fixed)
    Even Financial Personal Loans
    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
    550
    $100,000
    3.84% to 35.99% (fixed)

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Installment loans typically come with shorter repayment terms from a few months to three years.
    Rates last updated March 24th, 2019
    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 Max. Loan Amount Turnaround Time Requirements
    OppLoans Installment Loans
    Installment loans with competitive rates from a top-rated direct lender.
    $5,000
    1 business day
    Must have direct deposit and meet minimum income requirements
    Jora Installment Loans
    Installment loans with repayment terms up to 30 months, depending on your state.
    $2,600
    1–2 days
    Must have an active checking account, regular source of income and email address.
    HonestLoans Installment Loans
    Get a flexible installment loan with fast funding through one easy online application form.
    $2,500
    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.
    LendYou Short-term Loans
    Apply online with this loan-connection service offering unrestricted short-term loans with fast turnaround.
    $15,000
    1 business day
    You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, age 18+ and have a regular income.
    CashUSA Installment Loans
    A connection service for quick cash loans up to $10,000.
    $10,000
    As early as 1 business day
    Must have a monthly income of $1,000+ after taxes and valid checking account.
    CashNetUSA Loan
    Apply for a short-term loan with an easy online application and dedicated customer service.
    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.
    Blue Trust Loans Installment Loans
    Get an installment loan from an online tribal lender. Perks for returning borrowers.
    $2,500
    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.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    How does my credit score affect my application?

    Lenders use your credit score — along with other factors — to determine your loan terms. Although your score may differ between agencies, it’s used to gauge how well you’re meeting your financial obligations. When you want to borrow a loan, a lender may judge a fair credit score

    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.

    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 — though it depends on if you meet 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.
    • Cosigners. Some lenders allow you to apply with a cosigner, which may help increase your chances of approval — especially if your cosigner has good credit. Check to see if your lender does, and if not, take the time to compare providers that allow cosigners.

    4 ways to improve a fair credit score

    To repair your credit, keep in mind these five factors: payment history, credit utilization, how long you’ve held credit, type of credit used and number of credit inquiries.

    To help, take four simple steps to make your credit file more appealing to potential lenders.

    1. 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.
    2. Keep open balances low. Experts advise to keep your balance below 30% of your approved credit limit.
    3. Don’t close an unused account if you don’t have to. Closing an account can negatively affect your credit utilization rate.
    4. 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.

    You may also want to consider a credit builder loan offered by some banks, credit unions and online lenders.

    Compare loan options for different credit scores

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

    Bottom line

    Your credit score can affect your ability to get a loan and the rates you get, but fair credit won’t necessarily keep you from being approved by a lender.

    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. Compare your personal loan options, research, ask advice from an expert or even a trusted friend — and sleep on any big decisions.

    Frequently asked questions

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    US Personal Loans Offers

    Important Information*
    Credible Personal Loans

    Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

    Even Financial Personal Loans

    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

    LendingClub Personal Loan

    A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

    No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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    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?

      • finder Customer Care
        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 Personal Loans Offers

    Important Information*
    Credible Personal Loans

    Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

    Even Financial Personal Loans

    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

    LendingClub Personal Loan

    A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

    No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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