The 9 Best Personal Loans For Borrowers With Fair Credit of 2022

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Having a strong credit score makes getting any kind of loan — including a mortgage, an auto loan and personal loans — much easier. But what about borrowers with fair credit?

Because paying off a loan in monthly installments without missing a payment is one of the best ways to raise your credit score, it’s important for people struggling with credit to be able to get personal loans. Not all lenders are willing to lend money to borrowers with fair credit, however, leaving fewer options for those struggling to raise their scores.

FICO fair credit scores range from 580 to 669. VantageScore fair credit scores are in the low to mid 600s. This post focuses on FICO credit scores, which are more widely used.

But if you have a medical emergency, need to make repairs to your home or car or just want to consolidate debt from multiple high-interest credit cards, you’re not out of options. Many personal loan lenders are willing to grant personal loans to borrowers with fair credit.

The catch? Loan terms are likely to be less flexible, origination fees will be higher and you’ll pay more in interest due to higher annual percentage rates (APRs).

Below, we’ve rounded up the best personal loans for borrowers with fair credit. These options are great for debt consolidation loans, home renovation loans and funding emergency expenses.

Best Loans for Fair Credit of 2022

Online Lender APR Range Loan Amounts Min. Credit Score
Upstart 5.22% to 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000 300 (insufficient credit history accepted)
Upgrade 5.94% to 35.97% $1,000 to $50,000 560
Rocket Loans 5.97% to 29.99% $2,000 to $45,000 640
Discover 5.99% to 24.99% $2,500 to $25,000 Not disclosed
LendingClub 7.04% to 35.89% $1,000 to $40,000 600
Best Egg 5.99% to 35.99% $20,000 to $50,000 600
Navy Federal Credit Union 7.49% to 18.00% $250 to $50,000 Not disclosed
Avant 9.95% to 35.99% $2,000 to $35,000 580
LendingPoint 9.99% to 35.99% $2,000 to $36,500 580

Upstart

Best Overall Fair Credit Loan

Key Features

  • Loan approval for clients with no credit history
  • Small loan options
  • Next-day funding

Upstart is ideal not just for borrowers with fair credit but also for those with poor credit — or no credit history at all. Though they can expect a high origination fee and likely the highest APR (up to 35.99%), borrowers with fair, poor or no credit can rest easy knowing there are personal loan options for them when in need.

Upstart

APR range

5.22% to 35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

Minimum credit score

300 (insufficient credit history also OK)

Origination fee

0% to 8%

Repayment terms

3 or 5 years

More information About Upstart Personal Loans

If you have no credit history but need a personal loan (perhaps for a car repair or to cover a medical emergency), Upstart is likely your best option — and offers flexible loan amounts and next-day funding to boot. If you are on the higher end of the fair credit score range, however, you can likely find a better deal with more flexible loan terms and a lower APR. Upstart is truly the best of the fair credit personal loans, but not advisable for those with good or excellent credit.

Pros and Cons of Upstart Personal Loans


Pros

  • No credit history required
  • Poor credit (300+) considered
  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Next-day funding
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • High max APR
  • Inflexible loan term options
  • Potentially high origination fee

Upgrade

Best for Bad Credit

Key Features

  • 560+ credit score required
  • Next-day funding
  • Next-day funding

Aside from Upstart, which caters to bad credit and no credit, Upgrade has the lowest minimum credit score requirement at just 560. This sits at the lowest point on the FICO fair credit score range and is ideal for borrowers with bad credit. Just be prepared for high origination fees, inflexible repayment terms and high interest rates.

Upgrade

APR range

5.94% to 35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000 to $50,000

Minimum credit score

560

Origination fee

2.9% to 8%

Repayment terms

3 to 5 years

More Information on Upgrade Personal Loans

If you are at the start of your journey to repair your credit score, Upgrade is a good option. You can take out a small personal loan (as little as $1,000) for debt consolidation or to cover an emergency, even with a score as low as 560. In fact, making monthly payments on this loan could be the incremental step you need to boost your credit score. The small loan amounts available, next-day funding and lack of prepayment penalty are also nice, but we do wish there were more flexible loan terms.

Pros and Cons of Upgrade Personal Loans


Pros

  • Low credit score requirement
  • Next-day funding
  • Small minimum loan amount
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • High max APR
  • Potentially high origination fee

Rocket Loans

Best for Fast Funding

Key Features

  • Same-day funding
  • Lower max APR
  • Easy online experience

Rocket Loans is not for every borrower with fair credit. With a minimum credit score requirement of 640, this fair credit lender sits on the higher end of the fair credit range, making it a good option for those climbing out of a darker credit history. We do appreciate the lower max APR (not so common among fair credit personal loans) and the speedy approval and funding process.

Rocket Loans

APR range

5.97% to 29.99%

Loan amount

$2,000 to $45,000

Minimum credit score

640

Origination fee

1% to 6%

Repayment terms

3 to 5 years

More Information on Rocket Loans Personal Loans

Rocket Loans is ideal for borrowers who are working on turning around their credit through debt consolidation. While fair credit borrowers can qualify, they need to be verging on good credit (640+). But that higher credit score threshold means a lower interest rate and lightning-fast funding. There are still downsides to Rocket Loans to consider, like rather stiff repayment terms and origination fees that can reach 6%. Loan amounts start at $2,000, twice as high as some of the other top contenders on our list.

Pros and Cons of Rocket Personal Loans


Pros

  • Speedy pre-qualification process
  • Same-day funding
  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Lower max APR
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • Higher minimum credit score requirement
  • Potentially high origination fee
  • Inflexible loan repayment terms

Discover

Best for No Fees

Key Features

  • No origination fees
  • Lower max APR
  • 30-day payoff reward

Discover does not disclose its minimum credit score requirement, but they do acknowledge that they consider more than credit scores when making their decision. Specifically, Discover looks at a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and annual income ($25,000 annually required). A personal loan with Discover is possible with bad credit — and if you pay it off in 30 days, you won’t owe any interest.

Discover

APR range

5.99% to 24.99%

Loan amount

$2,500 to $25,000

Minimum credit score

Not disclosed

Origination fee

$0

Repayment terms

3 to 7 years

More Information on Discover Personal Loans

Getting a personal loan with fair credit through Discover is more challenging than through other lenders on this list. But if you are able to qualify, you can enjoy a lack of fees, lower interest rates and quick funding. We do wish loan amounts were more flexible; at a $2,500 minimum amount, Discover is on the higher end of our list.

Pros and Cons of Discover Personal Loans


Pros

  • Analyzes more than just credit scores
  • Next-day funding
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Lower max APR
  • No origination fees
  • No interest if paid off in 30 days
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • More difficult with fair credit scores
  • Less transparency around credit score requirements
  • Higher minimum loan amount

LendingClub

Best for Small Loans

Key Features

  • 600 credit score minimum
  • 15.95% average APR
  • Small loan options

The 600 credit score requirement makes LendingClub personal loans accessible, and the $1,000 minimum loan amount is ideal for covering small home and auto repairs. Though 48-hour funding is possible, it’s not guaranteed. Repayment terms are not negotiable — either 3 or 5 years. And though LendingClub boasts an average 15.95% APR, borrowers with fair credit can expect something much higher.

LendingClub

APR range

7.04% to 35.89%

Loan amount

$1,000 to $40,000

Minimum credit score

600

Origination fee

3% to 6%

Repayment terms

3 to 5 years

More Information on LendingClub Personal Loans

LendingClub is a run-of-the-mill option for a personal loan with fair credit. There’s nothing that jumps off the page, but terms are mostly fair. The lowest APR available (7.04%) is steep, but borrowers with fair credit are likely to land on the higher end of the range (35.89%) anyway. (And the higher end of the range is also quite steep.) That said, LendingClub accepts borrowers starting at a 600 credit score; even better, loan amounts are as small as $1,000. If we could change anything, it would be the repayment terms: At 3 or 5 years, they’re among the most rigid on our list.

Pros and Cons of LendingClub Personal Loans


Pros

  • 48-hour funding period possible
  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Low credit score requirement
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • High max APR
  • High entry APR
  • Potentially high origination fee
  • Inflexible loan repayment terms

Best Egg

Best for Customer Satisfaction

Key Features

  • 600 credit score minimum
  • Small loan options
  • Top customer reviews

While Best Egg’s fair credit personal loans are likely to come with a high APR (up to 35.99%), customers are generally satisfied. From TrustPilot to BBB, Best Egg carries some of the best reviews in the industry. That said, borrowers struggling with credit will need to be OK with Best Egg’s higher than average APR, stiff loan payoff terms and a steep origination fee.

Best Egg

APR range

5.99% to 35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000 to $50,000

Minimum credit score

600

Origination fee

0.99% to 5.99%

Repayment terms

3 to 5 years

More Information in Best Egg Personal Loans

Dealing with lenders over the phone or online can be stressful, especially when you’re trying to resolve an issue with your personal finances. Knowing that Best Egg is highly rated for customer service should give borrowers some comfort in taking on debt with the company. That said, borrowers with fair credit can likely find a lower APR with more flexible repayment terms (and maybe even a lower origination fee and lower monthly payments) at another lender. It’s worth getting pre-qualified at Best Egg as a point of comparison, but you’ll likely get a better rate elsewhere.

Pros and Cons of Best Egg Personal Loans


Pros

  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Low credit score requirement
  • Great customer service
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • Inflexible loan repayment terms
  • High max APR
  • Potentially high origination fees
  • Lengthy funding period (timing not clear)

Navy Federal Credit Union

Best for Long Loan Terms

Key Features

  • No origination fees
  • Small loan amounts
  • Low max APR

Like Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge an origination fee or disclose its minimum credit score requirement. Fair credit borrowers have been able to secure personal loans because the credit union also factors in DTI, credit history and overall income. Only credit union members can apply, but there’s a lot to like: a low max APR, loans as small as $250 and loans as long as 15 years.

Navy Federal Credit Union

APR range

7.49% to 18.00%

Loan amount

$250 to $50,000

Minimum credit score

Not disclosed

Origination fee

$0

Repayment terms

3 to 15 years

More Information on Navy Federal Personal Loans

There’s so much to love about using Navy Federal Credit Union for fair credit personal loans: Interest rates top out at just 18.00% (the lowest max APR on our list); Navy Federal offers flexible loan repayment terms (up to 15 years) and loan amounts (as little as $250) based on loan type (personal, home improvement, debt consolidation) and even offers secured loan options; and NFCU, though they don’t disclose a credit score requirement, looks at the bigger picture, including income and debt-to-income ratio. Where Navy Federal falls short, however, is its membership requirement — not to mention it is the only entry on our list that doesn’t let you pre-qualify. (You’ll have to let them do a hard credit inquiry.)

Pros and Cons of Navy Federal Personal Loans


Pros

  • Low max APR
  • Small minimum loan amount ($250)
  • Secured loan options
  • No origination fees
  • Varying loan repayment terms (up to 15 years)
  • No prepayment penalties


Cons

  • Credit union membership required
  • Cannot pre-qualify
  • High entry APR

Avant

Best for Mobile Users

Key Features

  • 580 credit score minimum
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • Next-day funding

Avant is not the most appealing personal loan for fair credit thanks to its high entry APR and high max APR. What saves it, however, is the low minimum credit score requirement, making it a true personal loan for fair credit. Plus, the origination fee (called an administration fee) is flat; no surprises here.

Avant

APR range

9.95% to 35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000 to $35,000

Minimum credit score

580

Origination fee

4.75%

Repayment terms

2 to 5 years

More Information on Avant Personal Loans

Avant is great for borrowers who are near the lower end of the fair credit range. Origination fees are predictable from the start, which makes budgeting a little easier; competitors express these fees as a range, which makes it more difficult to calculate what you’ll need to have saved up before taking out the loan. You can get a loan as small as $2,000, but be prepared for a high APR (up to 35.99%). What saves Avant for digital-first borrowers is the highly rated mobile app, particularly on the Apple App Store.

Pros and Cons of Avant Personal Loans


Pros

  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Low credit score requirement
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • High origination fee
  • High entry APR
  • High max APR

LendingPoint

Best for Easy Application

Key Features

  • Next-day funding
  • 580 credit score minimum
  • Small loan amounts

With a low minimum credit score, next-day funding and small loan options, LendingPoint is likely to meet most borrowers’ needs. However, LendingPoint currently has the highest minimum APR on our list (9.99%), but borrowers with bad credit should expect to be placed at the high end (35.99%) anyway. The decision process is fast, and LendingPoint has one of the easiest online application experiences.

LendingPoint

APR range

9.99% to 35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000 to $36,500

Minimum credit score

580

Origination fee

0% to 6%

Repayment terms

2 to 5 years

More Information on LendingPoint Personal Loans

LendingPoint is a perfectly acceptable lender for securing a personal loan. You can pre-qualify without a hard credit inquiry, so it’s worth checking out. However, you are likely to find a lower interest rate at one or more of the other lending companies on our list. If you can qualify for one of those, you’re better off.

Pros and Cons of LendingPoint Personal Loans


Pros

  • Small minimum loan amount
  • Low credit score requirement
  • Next-day funding
  • Easy application process online
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Pre-qualify without impact to credit score


Cons

  • High entry APR
  • High max APR
  • Potentially high origination fees

Is a Personal Loan Right for Me?

A personal loan may be right for you if you find yourself plagued with medical debt, unable to pay for a car repair or juggling too many credit card bills. Even if you have bad credit, try to find a personal loan before settling for a high-interest credit card or a payday loan.

You can take out a personal loan for almost anything, though the most common personal loans are debt consolidation loans and home renovation loans.

In general, we recommend only taking out a personal loan to consolidate debt, cover an emergency expense or invest in something (typically your home) that will yield a payoff equal to or greater than the loan amount plus interest.

How to Compare Fair Credit Personal Loans

So you’ve decided that a personal loan is right for your situation. Great! But what’s next?

A good place to start is a list of the best personal loans available, especially for a borrower with bad credit. There are plenty of great resources available online, but we’re pretty fond of the one you’re reading now.

When comparing the best personal loans for fair credit, here are a few factors to consider:

APR

All but one of the loan options on our list allow you to pre-qualify, meaning you will be able to see your proposed interest rate without affecting your credit score. Because APRs range from roughly 5% to 36%, it’s important to compile multiple options and go with the most affordable one.

Loan Amount

If you are looking for a small loan ($1,000), your list of options will be narrower. Likewise, not all lenders will loan out the same maximum amount of cash, especially if you have bad credit. (The better your credit, the more lenders are willing to lend you.)

Do some calculations to find out how much money you actually need to borrow, then narrow down your list to personal loan lenders that have your amount in their range.

Repayment Terms

In general, the longer the loan term, the more you will pay in interest. Rates tend to be more favorable if you choose a shorter repayment term.

For many borrowers struggling with credit, however, loan term options aren’t very flexible. At several lenders, you might be stuck choosing between either 3 or 5 years. See what options are available to you and choose the one you are most comfortable committing to — without dragging the loan out too long.

Fees

Some — though not many — lenders may offer you a loan without an origination fee. But if you’re struggling with your credit score, it will be more challenging to qualify with such lenders.

Compare fees and make sure you have enough saved up to cover them; an origination fee must be paid before the loan is funded. Lenders often charge late fees, but if you’re working toward rebuilding your credit score, making monthly payments on time is table stakes.

Note: All nine options on our list of the best personal loans for bad credit allow you to pay off the loan early without a prepayment penalty.

Minimum Required Credit Score

Not all fair credit loans are created equal. Because fair credit is expressed as a range, you may qualify for some fair credit loans but not all. Narrow your list down to personal loan options that you actually have a chance to qualify for.

Even then, if you just barely make the cut with a specific lender, you might consider a different option. If you will just barely qualify for a loan, that lender will likely assign you the highest possible interest rates and fees.

Funding Time

Some lenders are able to approve you the same day and fund you the next. Some strive for same-day funding. Most take a couple of business days.

If you are in immediate need of cash, choose a lender that can get you funds the fastest. If you only have a couple of hours, a personal loan is likely not the right strategy for you.

Other Factors

Interest rates, fees, and loan amounts are all important factors, but there is more to consider, like customer service, ease of application, mobile app ratings and any special perks.

For example, Discover won’t charge you a cent in interest if you pay back the loan in 30 days. Perks like that are worth considering.

How to Apply for a Personal Loan

Ready to get a personal loan? Here are five easy steps to take you from application to loan approval to actual funding:

1. Research Personal Loans

If your credit score is a work in progress, narrow down your list to practical loans within your reach using the tips above.

2. Get Pre-Qualified

Almost all the personal loans we listed allow you to get pre-qualified without a hard credit pull. See which loans you’re eligible for and compare the results to determine the best option for you.

3. Supply the Proper Documentation

Once you’ve chosen your preferred lender, begin the actual application process. You may need to submit documentation, like proof of income and proof of address.

4. Review the Loan Agreement Carefully

Before signing, thoroughly read through the loan agreement to make sure all the terms and conditions are what you were expecting. If you’re happy with it, sign the agreement.

5. Set Up Auto Pay

Once your loan has been funded, set yourself up for success right away by enrolling in automatic payments. Many lenders offer a discount on your APR for setting up auto pay, and doing so can ensure you never miss any monthly payments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Personal Loans

Still have questions about getting a personal loan with fair credit. We’ve rounded up answers to the most commonly asked questions about personal loans.

Can I Get a Personal Loan with a 640 Credit Score?

A 640 credit score is at the higher end of fair credit. A customer with a 640 credit score shoulds not have trouble getting a personal loan.

What Loans Are the Easiest to Get Approved For?

If you have no credit history, you will have more difficulty getting approved for a personal loan. However, even borrowers with a poor or fair credit score can get personal loans pretty easily. All of the lenders on our list of the best personal loans have a history of approving loans for such borrowers.

In general, personal loans are easier to get approved for than a home loan or car loan. Credit cards and payday loans are easier to get than personal loans. If you can avoid taking out a payday loan, do it. 

Can You Get a Loan with Fair Credit?

Yes, you can get a personal loan approval with fair credit at any of the personal loan lenders on our list above. Just be prepared for higher interest rates and less favorable terms for the loan agreement.

What Size Loan Can I Get with a 600 Credit Score?

There are multiple lenders that approve loans for borrowers with a score of 600 (and even lower)). These loans typically top out between $35,000 and $50,000.

What Credit Scores Are Considered Fair Credit?

FICO defines a fair credit score as 580 to 669. VantageScore is a little narrower, targeting credit scores in the low to mid 600s. FICO scores are more widely used by lenders.

What Can I Use a Personal Loan for?

While you can use a personal loan to pay for a wide range of things (from appliances to vacations to weddings), we recommend applying only for debt consolidation loans, home renovation loans or loans to cover an emergency expense.

Contributor Timothy Moore is a writer and editor in Cincinnati, Ohio. He focuses on banks, loans and insurance for The Penny Hoarder. His work has been featured on Debt.com, The Ladders, Glassdoor, WDW Magazine, Angi and The News Wheel.




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