What Credit Score Do I Need to Get a Personal Loan?

 October 14, 2016
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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Need to finance a big purchase? A personal loan might be an option to explore.

As the name implies, lenders make personal loans to individuals for a variety of personal reasons. You might borrow money to start a business, adopt a child, or simply get through an emergency situation that your monthly budget can’t cover.

Personal loans are unsecured, meaning they’re not tied to any collateral (like your home or car). If you default on the loan, there’s not an immediate asset the lender can seize instead.

This makes personal loans a little riskier for the lender. As a result, they want to take a good look at your credit before approving you.

You need a good credit score for personal loan products, along with a few other things lined up and ready to go before you consider this financing option.

Get prepared before you apply

The first thing you should prepare is a good reason. This isn’t necessarily for the lender: It’s for you.

Make sure you truly need to borrow money before you take out a loan. Remember, there’s a cost to borrowing — the interest you pay on the loan amount. And interest rates tend to run higher on personal loans than other kinds of secured debt.

In most cases, saving up for what you want to buy makes more sense than spending money to borrow a loan. But if you explore your other options and determine a personal loan is the way to go, you’ll need a certain minimum credit score for personal loan applications.

The right credit score for personal loan products

With a great credit score, you’ll likely have no trouble getting the loan you want with a lower interest rate. But with poor credit, you may have a harder time finding the option you want.

Find your credit score in the ranges below to get an idea of what you can expect if you apply for a personal loan:

If your score is 800 or higher

According to Experian, only 1% of consumers with this kind of credit score will become delinquent in the future. That means you don’t pose much of a risk to lenders and it’s easy to qualify for new credit.

You should have no problem qualifying for a personal loan with this score. Make sure you shop around for rates, as lenders will likely offer you competitive options thanks to your high credit score.

If your score is 740 to 799

Your score is better than average, and you should also be able to easily qualify for a personal loan. You’ll likely get lower interest rates, too.

If your score is 670 to 739

This score is still in the “good” range, and you look like an average and acceptable borrower to lenders. You may have a harder time qualifying for the loan you want, but that doesn’t mean getting a personal loan is impossible.

With a score in this range, lenders may also take a closer look at other factors to determine how creditworthy you are. If you have a strong income, low existing balances, and only want to borrow a small sum of money, you may have a better chance of qualifying even with a credit score on the lower end of the range.

If your score is 580 to 669

This is a below-average credit score and borrowers at or below this number are considered “subprime.” This means it’s more difficult to get approved. If you do qualify, your interest rate will likely be really high.

Again, you can increase your chances for approval if you only apply to borrow a small sum of money and have little existing debt. But still expect to pay for your lower score in the form of a higher interest rate.

If your score is 579 or lower

This is considered a poor credit score. If you fall in this range, your score probably does not meet the minimum credit score for personal loan applications. You might want to consider other options or take steps to improve your credit before you apply.

Or, you could consider getting a cosigner. This might increase your chances of approval, but think this through carefully. There are some downsides to cosigning, so make sure you explore all other alternatives first.

How a personal loan compares to other options

Because personal loans are unsecured, you usually need a higher credit score to get approved and be offered the best interest rates available. If you struggle to maintain a great score, you might want to look at other financing options.

Credit cards are the easiest type of credit to get approval for, but the kind of credit card you can get will depend on where your score falls on the scale from poor to excellent.

Your credit score will also influence your interest rate with a card. You may get approved with a below-average or poor score, but your interest rate could be extremely high.

You can likely get the credit card you want (although the interest rate will vary) with a credit score of 650 or higher. If your score is lower, consider a secured card instead.

(The same credit score range is needed for most traditional mortgage loans, too — although some special options, like FHA loans, may allow you to get a mortgage with a score below 650.)

Look into peer-to-peer lending if you don’t have the minimum credit score for personal loan products. This is where other individuals make loans to people like you. These are a type of personal loan, and you’ll need a credit score of 640 or higher to qualify.

Increase your credit score for a personal loan

Want a personal loan, but your credit score doesn’t make the cut? You can take action to improve your score.

Lenders base approval for personal loans and other financing options on your creditworthiness. Your credit score is an indication of that factor.

To increase your score, you can take actions that demonstrate your creditworthiness and ability to manage different kinds of lines of credit. Specifically, you can focus on building a positive payment history by paying down existing balances.

Here’s what to do to get the credit score needed for personal loan products:

  • Make all payments on statements, loans, credit cards, and bills on time. You also want to pay the full amount due.
  • Keep the amount of credit you use low, relative to the amount of credit you have available. This is your credit utilization ratio, and it makes up a big chunk of your credit score. Aim to keep your ratio at 30 percent or lower on revolving lines of credit (like credit cards).
  • Don’t open lots of new accounts all at once, or allow hard inquiries to hit your credit report. Doing so right before you apply for a personal loan can hurt you, as each inquiry dings your score for a period of time.

If you can take these steps consistently, your credit score should improve over time. Once your score is up, you can apply and qualify for the personal loan you want.

Interested in a personal loan?

LendingTree allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders by filling out one easy form. How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.99% – 18.85%1 $5,000 to $100,000
4.37% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.94% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
compare rates on Lendingtree now
NMLS #1136: Terms & Conditions Apply
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5. Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

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. 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. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

Published in Credit & Debt, Loans