5 Tips for Getting a Personal Loan With Just a Fair Credit Score

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

personal loan with a 600 credit score

You always hear about good and bad credit scores. But what happens if you fall into the “fair” range and need to get a loan?

Getting a personal loan with a 600 credit score can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here’s what you should know if you have fair credit and need a loan.

What is a fair credit score for personal loans?

If you’re looking to borrow a personal loan, the lender is going to check your credit score. In fact, FICO Scores are used by 90% of top lenders. So, where does a score of 600 put you?

You fall below the average score but aren’t in the “poor” category, according to FICO. This means you’re considered a subprime borrower when you apply to take out a personal loan. As a subprime borrower, you can expect to have a harder time getting a loan or finding a low interest rate.

About 27% of consumers with a credit score between 580 to 669 become seriously delinquent on their account, according to credit reporting agency Experian. That represents a big risk to lenders.

Tips for getting a personal loan with a 600 credit score

It can be a stressful process shopping for a personal loan with a below-average score. You could have trouble finding options. Luckily, there are some tips you can try to secure a personal loan with fair credit.

1. Build your credit

First and foremost, you should work on your credit score. To start, request a free copy of your credit report and review it for any errors. If you notice any mistakes, such as incorrect debt amounts, dispute them immediately. This could bump your credit score up quickly.

You can also start building up your credit score. You can do this in several ways:

  • Pay all your bills on time.

  • Only put what you can afford in cash on your credit card.

  • Pay down your debt.

All these actions take time and won’t help with your immediate need of getting a personal loan. But improving your score over time can help if you later need to apply for a student loan or take out a mortgage.

2. Get a cosigner

If you don’t have the credit score to get a loan, you could turn to a friend or family member who does. They could cosign your loan.

In this case, the lender takes both you and your cosigner into account. If your cosigner has a strong credit history, the lender is more likely to approve your application and give you a favorable interest rate.

However, your cosigner will be on the hook for the loan. If you fail to make payments, it could affect their credit. The lender also could go after them for payments. So, when you have a cosigner, make sure you’re making on-time payments.

3. Use collateral

So, you don’t have the credit score to get the loan you want. But maybe you have a car that’s worth about the same as the loan amount you need. Your property could help you get a personal loan with a 600 credit score.

You can find secured and unsecured personal loans. With an unsecured loan, you don’t need to put down collateral. With a secured loan, though, you put down an asset as collateral. For example, you could offer up your car, home, or savings. If you fail to pay back your secured loan, then the lender can repossess it.

4. Find a fair credit lender

While many lenders might be wary of issuing a personal loan to someone with fair credit, some advertise it.

Most of the borrowers at Avant, for example, have a credit score of 600 to 700. And the same is true for LendingPoint.

You can also look into credit unions, which are member-owned financial institutions. They tend to be community-based and, therefore, more likely to look at you as a person rather than a number.

Many credit unions require you to meet certain criteria in order to join. For example, Navy Federal Credit Union is geared toward members of the armed forces and government employees, among others. It offers personal loans with rates between 7.99% and 18.00% as of April 3, 2018.

Shop around to find other fair credit lenders near you.

5. Try peer-to-peer lending

If a traditional lender doesn’t let you borrow, you might want to consider peer-to-peer lending. This is when a personal loan is funded by individual investors. Online marketplaces such as LendingClub can help you secure funds.

You might have a better chance of getting a loan through peer-to-peer lending. The lenders you apply with might be willing to look beyond your fair credit score when reviewing your application.

Getting a personal loan with a fair credit score

Although it might seem overwhelming trying to borrow the money you need when you’re already facing financial hardship, know that there are options to get a personal loan with a 600 credit score. Do your research on more flexible lenders now and start building your credit to make the process less stressful in the future.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.490% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 3, 2018, 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 credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.825% APR assu[mes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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. 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 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank


Upgrade Bank Disclosures


  • Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.
  • Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.83% - 14.74%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.96% - 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% - 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
4.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% - 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% - 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% - 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.