Personal loans offer a way to get cash to cover a major expense or to fund a project. You can find other options, but not all of them are great for your bottom line – especially if you have fair credit.

Credit cards may charge higher interest rates than loans, and payday lender fees can make falling into a cycle of debt all too easy.

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

If your credit score isn’t great, finding a personal loan might seem impossible. But don’t worry, there are personal loans for fair credit, and here’s what you need to know about getting one.

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 10.84%. Last week’s average rate was 10.84%.

*Rate as of June 10, 2020.

What Are the Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit?

  • FreedomPlus: Best lender with a co-signer option.

  • Payoff: Best lender for credit card debt consolidation.

  • Discover: Best lender charging only late fees.

  • Earnest: Best lender for borrowers with debt-to-income ratios as high as 60%.

  • LendingPoint: Best lender with few use restrictions.

  • Peerform: Best lender for borrowing online.

  • Rocket Loans: Best lender for loans as little as $2,000.

  • Upstart: Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 620.

Best lender with a co-signer option.

FreedomPlus offers personal loans with fast approval and fund delivery. Personal loans with FreedomPlus are primarily offered for debt consolidation. If you need help qualifying for your loan, you can use a co-signer with this lender.

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Maximum is 45% in some cases but 40% in most cases or 30%. Average is 22%.
  • Co-signer option: Yes
  • Preapproval or rate quotes: Yes
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 5 years
  • Discounts: Co-borrower discount for adding another applicant to your loan request, direct pay discount for letting FreedomPlus use the loan to pay your creditors directly, retirement asset discount if you have over $40,000 in retirement funds like a 401(k) or IRA
  • Origination fee: 0% to 5%

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 lender for credit card debt consolidation.

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card and other high-interest debt. The lender operates nationwide and provides loans of up to $35,000.

  • Minimum FICO score: 640
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%
  • Co-signer option: No
  • Preapproval or rate quotes available: Yes
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 2 to 5 years
  • Loan use restrictions: N/A
  • Discounts: N/A
  • Origination fee: Between 0-5%

Best Features

  • Borrowers do not face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

See full profile

Best lender charging only late fees.

Discover offers personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvement and major purchases. Loan terms from three to seven years are available.

  • Minimum FICO score: 660
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: N/A
  • Co-signer option: No
  • Preapproval or rate quotes available: Rate check available
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Loan terms: 36 months to 84 months
  • Loan use restrictions: Only debt consolidation, home repairs/improvements, unexpected expenses or major purchases.
  • Discounts: N/A
  • Origination fee: None

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 lender for borrowers with debt-to-income ratios as high as 60%.

Founded in 2014, Earnest is another fast-growing lender in Silicon Valley. It uses a custom algorithm that identities good loan prospects by considering more than just their credit score.

Earnest clients can decide how much they want to pay each month and then Earnest gives them an interest rate to match. By letting customers decide what they’re comfortable paying, this could also cut down on defaults and late payments.

Best Features

  • Loans available up to $75,000.

See full profile

Best lender with few use restrictions.

LendingPoint is an online lending company that caters to those with poor or fair credit who are focused on rebuilding their credit. Loans can be used for any legal personal expense or purchase.

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 585
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: N/A
  • Co-signer option: No
  • Preapproval or rate quotes: We sometimes send out pre-approved mailers
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Loan terms: N/A
  • Discounts: N/A
  • Origination fee: 0% to 6%

Best Features

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

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best lender for borrowing online.

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.

  • Minimum FICO score: 600
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: N/A
  • Co-signer option: No
  • Preapproval or rate quotes available: Yes
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Loan terms: 3 years
  • Loan use restrictions: N/A
  • Discounts: N/A
  • Origination fee: Between 0-5%

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best lender for loans as little as $2,000.

RocketLoans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all 50 states. 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.

  • Minimum FICO score: 640
  • Max DTI: 32%
  • Co-signer option: N/A
  • Preapproval or rate quotes available: Yes
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Loan terms: 36 months to 60 months
  • Loan use restrictions: Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state-required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions.
  • Discounts: Discounts to Quicken Loans mortgage holders.
  • Origination fee: Yes

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available for up to $25,000.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

See full profile

Best lender for borrowers with FICO scores as low as 620.

Upstart uses automation to originate c
redit, funding more than $3.2 billion to 250,000 borrowers. Loans as small as $1,000 are available with this lender.

  • Minimum FICO score: 620
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed
  • Co-signer option: No
  • Preapproval or rate quotes available: Yes
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 to 5 years
  • Loan use restrictions: Loan funds may not be used for any prohibited uses noted in Upstart’s Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Discounts: N/A
  • Origination fee: 0% to 8%

Best Features

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

See full profile

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.

What Is Fair Credit?

A FICO score that falls between 580 and 669 is considered fair and can prevent you from being approved for loans and lines of credit. If you are approved, you won’t get the same deals as someone with a good credit score.

Lenders rely heavily on your credit score to determine whether you’ll be approved for a loan and the terms they’re willing to offer. “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.

Borrowers with FICO credit scores that fall into good or very good ranges tend to get approved with the best interest rates and terms on their loans. A FICO credit score of 670 to 739 is good and 740 to 799 is very good.

Can You Get a Loan With Fair Credit?

Fair credit can be a barrier to approval with some lenders but not all. Lenders that work with fair credit borrowers will weigh other approval factors, such as your income.

Your credit score is just one metric 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 payments if you’re approved for a loan. You will likely verify your income or employment – possibly from the last three to five years – with pay stubs, federal W-2 forms, bank statements or tax returns, Anastasio says.

You will also have to show ID, such as a driver’s license, Social Security card or passport, and proof of address with a utility bill, lease agreement or voter registration card.

“Self-employed individuals will typically need to provide documentation of wages,” Anastasio says. “Lenders may also consider current expenses, like rent, other debts, etc., to determine if an applicant qualifies.”

In other words, even though your credit score is weighted heavily when applying for a loan, it is not the only thing that matters. If your credit report has some blemishes or your credit score is on the lower end of fair, you might still get approved for a loan. But you likely won’t qualify for the lowest interest rates or the full loan amount you requested.

What Is the Minimum Credit Score for a Personal Loan?

Each lender has its own loan requirements, including minimum credit scores. One lender might set the bar at 620, while another might require a score of 680 for loan approval.

“If your score is below 620, most major lenders will likely not approve you for a loan,” Tayne says.

If that’s the case, you might need to turn to subprime lenders. Keep in mind that such lenders charge borrowers with weak credit higher interest rates and fees than borrowers with good credit to offset risk.

“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.

What Is the Best Type of Personal Loan for Fair Credit?

The best personal loan for fair credit depends on whether lower cost or lower risk is more important to borrowers. You can choose from two types of personal loans: secured loans, which require backing with collateral, or unsecured loans, which only need your signature on the contract.

If you’re unable to repay a secured loan, the lender can seize your collateral, such as a car, home or other asset, and sell it to recoup losses.

If you are uncomfortable providing collateral, unsecured loans could suit your needs but at a higher cost. Lenders charge higher rates and fees because loans with no collateral tend to carry higher risk, but these loans may be better for borrowers, as no assets can be lost.

“Evaluate your current financial situation before deciding on a secured or unsecured personal loan,” Tayne says. “Depending on the asset, a secured loan can be a better option since approval odds are higher and interest rates are lower than a similar unsecured loan.”

You might consider a secured loan if you’re confident that you can repay the loan and can accept the risk of losing what you pledge as collateral in return for a lower-cost loan. Generally, the risk isn’t worth it unless you think you won’t be approved for the loan you need without collateral.

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

One way to boost your odds of approval, especially with fair credit, is to improve your credit score before you apply. A fairly easy way to do that is to dispute any errors on your credit reports.

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 annually at or 877-322-8228.

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 debt you carry, the lower your score.

“When your utilization is high, your score drops because it seems that you could be using credit irresponsibly or that your debt-to-income ratio is too high,” Tayne says.

Aim to use no more than 30% of your total credit, but less than 10% is ideal. The best way to achieve that is by paying down debt or by asking for a credit limit increase on your revolving accounts.

“Nudge your credit limits upward, even if you’re not using them. The further you’re away from reaching your credit limit, the healthier your credit score will be,” Anastasio says.

But lenders look at more than your credit score. Having some money socked away in the bank can help your odds of approval if you have fair credit because it shows the lender you could repay a loan.

“Someone with fair credit will have the best chances of being approved for a personal loan if they have a strong cash flow (income relative to expenses) and a reliable income source,” Anastasio says.

Finally, 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.

Co-signers are legally responsible for your debt. If you cannot repay the loan, your co-signer must do so for you.

Your behavior with the loan will also affect the co-signer’s credit score. If you miss payments, the co-signer’s credit will suffer along with yours, potentially damaging your relationship with that person. Make sure you carefully weigh the pros and cons of using a co-signer.

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.


Source link

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *