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Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit | Find the Best Loan for You

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A personal loan may allow you to borrow money at a reasonable rate and pay it back with fixed monthly payments. The catch: You need to meet credit score requirements to qualify.

With a fair credit score, you could qualify for personal loans to pay for debt consolidation, home improvement or other expenses. They could be a better option than credit cards, which may charge higher interest rates than personal loans, and payday loans, where you risk falling into a cycle of debt all too easily. Here’s what you need to know about getting a personal loan for fair credit.

What you’ll learn here:

  • What are the best personal loans for fair credit?
  • How can you get a personal loan with fair credit?
  • How can you find the best fair credit personal loan?

What Are the Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit?

LightStream

2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Payoff

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Rocket Loans

7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Avant

9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Best Egg

4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

LendingClub

10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Peerform

5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Upgrade

7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Discover

6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

FreedomPlus

7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Prosper

7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 660

6.49% to 17.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

8.69% to 35.99% $50,000 620

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 640

7.16% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

9.95% to 35.95% $35,000 550

4.99% to 29.99% $50,000 640

10.68% to 35.89% $40,000 600

5.99% to 29.99% $25,000 600

7.99% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

9.99% to 35.99% $25,000 600

6.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660

7.99% to 29.99% $40,000 620

7.95% to 35.99% $40,000 640

18% to 35.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

Best for low interest

LightStream is the national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which in 2019 became Truist after merging with BB&T. The key feature of LightStream’s online personal loans is that they can be up to $100,000 and used for nearly any reason, outside of refinancing existing LightStream loans. Personal loans are available to borrowers with good to excellent credit in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A variety of loan uses are available.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

See full profile

Best for low minimum loan amounts

PenFed Credit Union serves members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, military associations, eligible veterans and retirees, and their families. However, military association is not required to apply for a loan or become a credit union member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms of up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers can get access to funds as early as the day after approval.

See full profile

Best for customer service

Upstart is an online marketplace lender that connects borrowers and investors to originate personal loans. It offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair to excellent credit nationwide, with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia residents. Since it was established in 2012, more than $7 billion in loans have been originated. Many loan decisions made through the platform are automated and use artificial intelligence.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Upstart may accept applicants with fair credit or even those with no credit history, using artificial intelligence to quantify risk.

  • Upstart loans as low as $1,000 are available in most states.

  • The lender’s credit dashboard allows borrowers to see the impact of loan repayments and to modify payment dates.

See full profile

Best for debt consolidation

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card and other high-interest debt. It operates in most states and provides loans of up to $40,000.

Payoff is not a bank; instead, it works with lending partners that originate loans. The company, which considers itself a financial wellness firm, is based in California.

In 2017, Payoff launched a sister company called Happy Money, which takes a psychological approach to money matters. Today, Payoff is a service under the Happy Money umbrella.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers don’t face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may be eligible.

See full profile

Best for digital customer care

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa, West Virginia and Nevada. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available in some cases.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

See full profile

Best for risky borrowers

Since 2012, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 800,000 borrowers nationwide. Borrowers may qualify with fair to excellent credit and can borrow from $2,000 to $35,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans as low as $2,000 are available.

  • Funding can happen as early as the next business day after approval.

See full profile

Best for bad credit

Best Egg is a national online lender offering personal loans starting at $2,000 for a variety of purposes. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days upon approval.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

See full profile

Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook and has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa and U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: not rated

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

See full profile

Best for peer-to-peer loans of up to $25,000

Peerform is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers nationwide with investors. Borrowers with a credit score of 600 or higher may qualify for loans of up to $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans and lines of credits nationwide. Borrowers can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

What Is the Best Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

When you shop around for the best personal loan interest rate, you can save. Compare your personal loan offers with national average trends for personal loans to know if you’ve found a good deal.

The average personal loan rate is 9.94%. Last week’s average rate was 9.94%.*

*Rate as of Feb. 8, 2021

Personal Loan Finder

Select your desired loan amount and loan purpose, your credit score range, and your state to see estimated annual percentage rates and loan terms.

Can You Get a Personal Loan With Fair Credit?

Fair credit can be a barrier to approval with some personal loan companies, but not all. Lenders may rely heavily on your credit score to determine whether you’ll be approved for a loan and the terms they’re willing to offer, though that’s not the only thing lenders consider. A fair credit score is considered below-average credit and falls between 580 and 669 on the FICO scale. It’s a step up from bad credit.

“Lenders don’t always disclose whether they have a minimum credit score for applicants, but often they prefer to see a good or excellent credit history,” says Lauren Anastasio, certified financial planner for online lender SoFi.

You can get a loan with a 600 or 650 credit score, though it depends on the lender. One lender might set the bar at 620, while another might require a score of 680 for loan approval.

What Else Do Lenders Consider?

Even though your credit score may be weighted heavily when applying for a personal loan, it is not the only thing that matters. Lenders that work with fair credit borrowers will weigh other approval factors, such as your annual income.

Your credit score is just one metric personal loan lenders use to determine your creditworthiness, says Leslie Tayne, debt resolution attorney and founder and managing director of Tayne Law Group. “Lenders also take your credit history, income and debt-to-income ratio into consideration to determine their risk of lending to you,” she says.

Lenders typically want to confirm that you can afford the monthly payment if you’re approved for a personal loan. You will likely verify your income or employment, and some lenders have a minimum annual income requirement. Your current expenses may be considered, such as rent and debt payments.

What Should You Expect When You Get Approved for a Fair Credit Loan?

If your credit report has some blemishes, you have a short credit history or your credit score is on the lower end of fair, you might still get approved for a personal loan. But you likely won’t qualify for the lowest interest rates or the full loan amount you requested.

“Having a low score doesn’t mean you won’t get approved for the loan, but it could mean that you’ll pay more for the loan,” Tayne says. Expect the loan company to charge you higher interest rates and fees than borrowers with good credit, who typically get approved for the best rates and loan terms. If you’re taking out a loan for debt consolidation, that could make it tough to secure a lower interest rate than what you’re paying on credit card debt.

How Can You Improve Your Chances of Getting Your Personal Loan Approved?

One way to boost your odds of personal loan approval, especially with a fair credit score, is to improve your credit score before you apply.

Start by getting a free copy of your credit reports from the three major national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You can get one from each bureau weekly at AnnualCreditReport.com through April 2021. Your credit report summarizes your credit history, including details about unpaid debts and your track record of paying bills.

“Review your report for errors and omissions that impact the score. Errors can occur on credit reports and could be a reason why your score isn’t as high as you anticipated,” Tayne says.

The amount of credit you’re using compared with the total credit you have available, known as credit utilization, also affects your credit score. The higher the amount of credit card debt you carry, the lower your score. This measure indicates that you could be in over your head with credit. Aim to use no more than 30% of your total credit by paying down credit card debt or by asking for a credit limit increase on your revolving accounts.

If you are struggling to get approved on your own, you may still have options. “Adding a co-borrower may increase your chances of approval as well as help you get a better rate and terms,” Anastasio says. A co-borrower or co-signer essentially uses his or her good credit history to vouch for your loan. But before you apply for a personal loan with a co-signer, make sure you know the risks, as co-signers are legally responsible for your debt.

How Can You Find the Best Personal Loan for Fair Credit?

Finding the right personal loan offers can give you the financial opportunity you need. The best personal loan for fair credit depends on your financial situation. Compare loan companies based on:

  • Personal loan rates and fees.
  • Types of loans offered.
  • Minimum credit score.
  • Loan amounts.
  • Repayment terms.
  • Disbursement.
  • Customer service.

Rates are the most important factor to consider when you choose a loan, even with fair credit. Competitive interest rates can save you money, so shop around for the lowest rate. Keep in mind your actual rate depends on your credit score and other approval factors. Most lenders will allow you to do a rate check with a soft credit check, which has no impact on your credit score. Also compare loan fees, including late fees and origination fees.

Loan type matters, too. Many lenders offer loans for credit card refinancing, also known as debt consolidation loans. If you’re looking for another type of loan, such as one that can cover home improvements or medical expenses, verify the lender allows you to use the funds for that purpose.

Check each lender’s minimum credit score requirement to make sure you can at least get your foot in the door. Some lenders set maximum and minimum loan amounts, and most have specific repayment terms, or term lengths. Like loan type, it’s key to make sure your needs are aligned with what lenders offer on these factors. If speed is a factor, find out when you receive funds, which is sometimes as soon as the next business day.

View More Best Personal Loans

Best for FICO scores between 580 and 669

LendingPoint, which specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, has offered online personal loans since 2014. The lender, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia, provides loans as large as $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are available as soon as one day after approval.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lender boasts no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no fees other than a late fee.

  • Customizable loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to their FICO credit score.

See full profile

Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans ranging from $7,500 to $40,000. Loans are available to qualified borrowers with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify for a loan.

  • Loans of up to $40,000 are available.

  • Same-day approval is available, with loans funded in as little as 48 hours.

See full profile

Best for post-sales support

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. Prosper matches borrowers with partner investors including Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Credit Suisse Fund. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has expedited more than $18 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with fair to excellent credit with a minimum 640 FICO score.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Prosper offers preapproval with a soft credit check.

  • Small-dollar loans of $2,000 or more are available.

  • Joint personal loans are available.

See full profile

Best for small loan amounts

OneMain Financial offers secured and unsecured personal loans through its nationwide network of branches. The lender provides loans of up to $20,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Secured and unsecured options are available.

  • Borrowers can prequalify with a soft credit check.

See full profile

Advertising Disclosure: Some of the loan offers on this site are from companies
who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact
where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions,
such as which loan products we write about and how we evaluate them. This site
does not include all loan companies or all loan offers available in the marketplace.

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