3 Personal Loan Lenders You Won’t Scare Off with Fair Credit

 April 29, 2021
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personal loans for fair credit

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A fair credit score is 580 to 669, according to the FICO credit scoring model. This model is commonly used by all types of lenders to help assess your loan eligibility. If you have a score that falls within the fair credit range, it can be difficult for you to qualify for a personal loan, and you may have trouble securing competitive terms and avoiding origination fees.

However, you can still find a lender that matches your borrowing needs. To help you find the best personal loan for fair credit, we’ve compiled a few lenders below for you to consider.

5 best personal loans for fair credit
How to shop personal loans with fair credit

5 best personal loans for fair credit

The below lenders offer personal loans for fair credit borrowers:

Compare these fair-credit personal loans
Loan company Min. credit score APR Term Loan amounts
Avant 600 9.95% – 35.99% 24 to 60 months $2,000 – $35,000
Best Egg 700 5.99% – 35.99% 36 or 60 months $2,000 – $50,000
LendingPoint 620 7.99% – 35.99% 24 to 72 months $2,000 – $36,500
Payoff 640 5.99% – 24.99% 24 and 60 months $5,000 – $40,000
Upstart 600 4.37% – 35.99% 36 or 60 months $1,000 – $50,000

1. Avant: Minimum 600 credit score

Avant has flexible personal loan requirements and it considers applicants who have a 600 credit score or higher. Additionally, Avant has no set income requirements for its personal loans.

You can get small personal loans from Avant, with amounts ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. Loan terms range from 24 to 60 months. Avant does charge an origination fee (Up to 4.75% of the loan balance). This fee is deducted from your loan amount.

2. Best Egg: Minimum 640 credit score

Best Egg offers personal loans to borrowers who have a 700 credit score or higher. Almost half of Best Egg customers receive their money the next business day, making this a great option for quick loans.

Depending on which state you live in, you can borrow from $2,000 to $50,000; loan terms range from 36 or 60 months. You can use the funds from your loan to consolidate debt, pay for a vacation, help with moving expenses and more. Best Egg charges an origination fee that ranges from 0.99% - 5.99% — the fee reduces your loan amount.

In addition, Best Egg loans have no prepayment penalty, meaning you can pay the loan off as soon as you want.

3. LendingPoint: Minimum 585 credit score

LendingPoint welcomes borrowers who have 620 credit scores or higher. According to the lender’s website, a decision to approve or deny your loan can be made in a few seconds and the funds can be sent on the next business day.

LendingPoint loan amounts range from $2,000 to $36,500; loan terms range from 24 to 72 months. Depending on the state you live in, an origination or other fee of 0.00% - 7.00% may apply. If you’re charged an origination fee, the lender gives you the option to deduct it from your loan amount.

4. Payoff: Minimum 640 credit score

Payoff personal loans are available to applicants who have at least a 640 FICO score. You can only use its personal loans to refinance or consolidate credit card debt.

The amount you can borrow ranges from $5,000 to $40,000. Loan terms range from 24 and 60 months. If you’re approved for a Payoff personal loan, you may incur an origination fee ranging from 0.00% - 5.00% of the loan amount.

However, you won’t encounter any other fees with a Payoff personal loan — it doesn’t charge for common fees, such as prepayment fees, late fees and returned check fees.

5. Upstart: Minimum 600 credit score

Upstart welcomes applications from borrowers with a credit score as low as 600. According to the lender’s website, 99% of its loans are funded the next business day after you accept the loan.

Upstart personal loans allow you to borrow $1,000 to $50,000 and offer terms of three and five years. The lender charges an origination fee (0.00% - 8.00%) that is taken from your loan proceeds and can reduce your loan amount. If you need to borrow the full amount to consolidate debt or fund a home improvement project, this can be a huge drawback.

How to shop personal loans with fair credit

Follow these tips to help you find the best personal loan for fair credit for your situation:

Finding and applying for a fair-credit personal loan
Step Summary
1. Learn what factors lenders look for when you apply Review your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and income to see if you meet the lender’s minimum requirements and can afford to repay the loan.
2. Review different lenders Research different lenders to see what terms, loan amounts and fees they have.
3. Get and compare personal loan rate quotes Prequalify with multiple lenders to get an idea of what the personal loans APR might be.
4. Formally apply with a lender Once you find the lender that has the terms you’re looking for, fill out an application to apply for the loan.
5. Await a final loan decision Wait for the lender to approve or deny your loan application.

1. Learn what factors lenders look for when you apply

Before you apply for a personal loan for fair credit, it’s a good idea to check your credit score to see if you fall within the fair credit score range or meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirements.

Afterward, you should review other factors lenders typically consider when reviewing your application, such as your …

  • Credit report and payment history: Your credit report lists your payment history — lenders use this report to assess how good you might be at managing your debts. If you have any negative information listed on it, it can harm your credit score. Make sure your report contains accurate information. You can request a free copy of your report with each credit bureau weekly at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Income: This is how much money you have coming in that you can use to repay the loan. Lenders also might consider your employment history, career field or educational attainment.
  • Cash flow: This is the money going out. It might be measured by your debt-to-income ratio or by looking at your fixed housing costs, such as your rent or mortgage. Lenders will want to make sure you’ll have enough left over each month to reasonably keep up with your loan’s monthly payments.

Lenders will gather these details through the underwriting process once you apply. They’ll use them to create an overall picture of your financial resources and behavior, and estimate how likely you are to repay the personal loan.

2. Review different lenders

The five lenders above are a good starting point for your personal loan search. But other lenders provide personal loans for fair credit, too. You can find other lenders by searching online, such as in our loan marketplace linked above. Once you find a lender you like, carefully review their terms and fee structure.

Check with different types of lenders, from online personal loans for fair credit to major banks and local credit unions. Each lender will have its own perks and drawbacks:

Pros and cons of various lender types
Lender type What it is Pros Cons
Bank For-profit institution that usually has physical branches you can visit ● May have better technology for borrowers to use
● Can communicate face-to-face with a loan officer
● Might have stricter borrowing requirements
● Rates may be higher than online options
Credit union Not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution ● May offer lower interest rates than banks
● Can be easier to qualify for
● Must be a member to apply for a personal loan
● Might not have updated technology for borrowers to use
Online lender For-profit financial institution that exists only online and has no physical location ● May have lower rates than both banks and credit unions
● You can apply from anywhere
● No face-to-face support
● Borrowers with poor to fair credit scores may be charged higher rates and fees
Peer-to-peer lending marketplace An online marketplace that connects borrowers with investors that may fund their loans ● You can apply from anywhere
● May have fewer documentation requirements
● May take longer to fund your loan, since it is funded by individual investors
● Might encounter higher fees

3. Get and compare personal loan rate quotes

Once you have a few top picks, prequalify with the lender, if you can. When you prequalify, the lender gives you a custom rate estimate for a personal loan, which might include different loan term offers, and should outline other costs, such as an origination fee. Comparing these personalized rates quotes will point you to the personal loan that is the best deal.

When comparing personal loan offers, consider such factors as:

  • APR: The loan’s annual percentage rate gives you an accurate measure of how much it costs to take out a loan; it accounts for the interest rate, along with any fees the loan may have.
  • Term: The term is how much time you have to pay back the loan. Choosing a loan with a longer term may decrease the monthly minimum payment; however, it can increase the amount of interest you pay over time.
  • Loan amount: Different lenders have different minimum and maximum loan amounts. Before applying for personal loans for fair credit, make sure the lender offers the amount you need to borrow.
  • Restrictions on use of funds: Although personal loans can be used for almost anything, some lenders restrict the usage of the funds. For example, some lenders might restrict the funds usage to consolidating or refinancing credit card debt or not allow you to use the money for education-related expenses or investing.
  • Fees: Different lenders have different fees. Common fees include prepayment penalties, origination fees, late payment fees, returned check fees and application fees. All of these fees increase the borrowing costs of taking out a loan for fair credit.
  • Time it takes to receive funds: While some lenders will issue your funds the next business day after approving your loan, others may take longer. If you need to access the loan funds fast, choose a lender that matches your time frame.
  • Co-borrowers and cosigners: Having a co-borrower or cosigner fill out the loan with you can help you secure a better rate, if the other person has a better credit score or more income. Some lenders, unfortunately, do not allow you to complete a joint application.

4. Formally apply with a lender

Once you decide which lender fits you best, fill out an application online or in-person. Although the application process varies from lender to lender, you’ll most likely be asked to provide personal information, such as your name, date of birth, annual income and Social Security number.

Also, some lenders will require you to provide documentation, which may include tax returns and bank statements.

5. Await a final loan decision

If you’re approved for a personal loan for fair credit, the funds are usually deposited directly into your bank account. However, with some lenders, you can choose to send the funds directly to your creditors. In the event your loan is denied, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act requires the lender to provide you with an explanation. Before applying again, review the reason why. Also, check your credit report for any inaccurate or incomplete information.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2022!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
7.99% – 23.43%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

4.37% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.46% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

99.00% – 199.00%2$500 - $4,000

Visit OppLoans

5.99% – 24.99%3$5,000 - $40,000

Visit Happy Money

7.99% – 20.88%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

7.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $36,500

Visit LendingPoint

10.68% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

9.95% – 35.99%7$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 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. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. 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, 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 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 Happy Money.

Happy Money 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 Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Rates and offer subject to change. All accounts, loans and services subject to individual approval.
  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.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

Applications submitted on this website may be funded by one of several lenders, including: FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered bank, Member FDIC; Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC; Midland States Bank, Member FDIC; and LendingPoint, a licensed lender in certain states. Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 7% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. Loans are offered from $2,000 to $36,500, at rates ranging from 7.99% to 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 72 months. Minimum loan amounts apply in Georgia, $3,500; Colorado, $3,001; and Hawaii, $1,500. For a well-qualified customer, a $10,000 loan for a period of 48 months with an APR of 24.34% and origination fee of 7% will have a payment of $327.89 per month. (Actual terms and rate depend on credit history, income, and other factors.) The $15,575.04 total amount due under the loan terms provided as an example in this disclaimer includes the origination fee financed in addition to the loan amount. Customers may have the option to deduct the origination fee from the disbursed loan amount if desired. If the origination fee is added to the financed amount, interest is charged on the full principal amount. The total amount due is the total amount of the loan you will have paid after you have made all payments as scheduled.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.

7 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Based on the responses from 7,302 customers in a survey of 140,258 newly funded customers, conducted from August 1, 2018 – August 1, 2019, 95.11% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.46%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% 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 $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. 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. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s bank partners. Information on Upgrade’s bank partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/bank-partners/ .