Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (2024)

Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit of 2024

  • Best Overall Personal Loan for Fair Credit:Upgrade
  • Best Personal Loan for a Range of Repayment Options:Avant
  • Best Loan for Lower Interest Rates:LightStream
  • Best Personal Loans for Credit Histories of at Least Two Years:Rocket Loans

Best Overall Personal Loan for Fair Credit

Upgrade

4.0

Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (2)

Our ratings take into account loan cost, loan details, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and application process. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Minimum credit score

580

APR range

8.49% to 35.99%

Loan amounts

$1,000 to $50,000

Compare Rates

Via Fiona.com’s Website

580

8.49% to 35.99%

$1,000 to $50,000

Editor's Take

Upgrade offers personal loansto a range of borrowers, including those with poor credit histories. Maximum APRs are on the high end compared to other online lenders, but with a good credit score and reliable income, you may qualify for competitive rates from Upgrade.

Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000 and the lender offers two- to seven-year terms. Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan, and borrowers will encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; there are no discounts for autopay. That said, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off early.

Pros & Cons

  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Borrowers can use loans to cover business expenses
  • Offers direct lender payoff for debt consolidation loans
  • High APR range
  • Charges fees for origination, late payment and insufficient funds

Extra Details

Overview: Upgrade was launched in 2017 and provides accessible online and mobile credit and banking services. Since that time, the platform has made more than $3 billion in credit available to over 10 million applicants and continues to expand its online and mobile services.

Upgrade charges an origination fee between 1.85% and 9.99% of the loan, and borrowers will encounter a $10 fee if their payment is more than 15 days late or if the payment does not go through; there are no discounts for autopay. That said, Upgrade borrowers are not subject to a prepayment penalty, so you can reduce the overall cost of the loan if you’re able to pay it off early.

Beyond offering accessible personal loans, Upgrade streamlines the lending process with a mobile app that lets borrowers view their balance, make payments and update personal information. Upgrade’s Credit Heath tool also makes it easy to track your credit score over the life of your loan.

Eligibility:

  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Allows co-applicants

Loan uses:

  • Debt consolidation
  • Home projects
  • Large expenses
  • Business expenses

Best Loans for a Range of Repayment Options

Avant

4.0

Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (6)

Our ratings take into account loan cost, loan details, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and application process. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

APR range

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.

9.95% to 35.99%

Loan amounts

Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30. 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.

$2,000 to $35,000

Compare Rates

Via Fiona.com’s Website

580

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.

9.95% to 35.99%

Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30. 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.

$2,000 to $35,000

Editor's Take

Avant personal loansare our selection for best for a range of repayment offers as their loanscome with flexible repayment terms of two to five years.

Avant offers both secured and unsecured loans and specializes in middle-income borrowers with fair to good credit. They only require a minimum score of 580 to qualify. Maximum loan amounts are low compared to other lenders, but the low minimum amount and flexible repayment terms (two to five years) make it an accessible option for borrowers.

However, as with many loans for subprime borrowers, Avant personal loans come with a price. In addition to charging an administrative fee of up to 4.75% of the loan amount, Avant’s APR range (9.95% to 35.99%) is on the high end for applicants with a good to excellent credit score—and there is no autopay discount. Still, the platform earns top marks for borrowers with less than stellar credit who need quick access to funds.

Pros & Cons

  • Secured and unsecured loan options available
  • Low credit score requirement (580)
  • Loan terms available up to 60 months
  • Charges an upfront administrative fee
  • High starting APR for prime borrowers
  • Co-signers and co-applicants not allowed

Details

Eligibility: Avant aims to provide credit services to a range of customers, including those with fair credit. For that reason, Avant has a minimum credit score requirement of 580, with the average borrower score between 600 and 700. Likewise, Avant focuses on low- to middle-income borrowers and has a minimum income requirement of just $20,000, though most borrowers have an average household income of $40,000 to $100,000.

To expand eligibility, Avant also will consider more than just your employment income, including alimony and child support, and may include the income of other people within your household. That said, Avant does not allow co-signers or co-applicants.

Loan uses: As with many other personal loan providers, Avant loans can be used to consolidate debt and pay for things like medical expenses, auto repairs, home improvements moving or vacations and travel. Avant borrowers cannot use personal loan funds to cover business expenses, but the platform does allow current borrowers to refinance their existing Avant loans with another loan—possibly with a lower APR.

Turnaround time: Avant applicants who are approved for an unsecured loan before 4:30 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday may receive their funds the next business day. However, as with other lenders, the funding timeline varies depending on the borrower’s bank. It can also take longer for borrowers who take out secured loans.

Best for Lower Interest Rates

LightStream

3.5

Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (10)

Our ratings take into account loan cost, loan details, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and application process. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Minimum credit score

660

APR range

7.99% to 25.49%

with autopay

Loan amounts

$5,000 to $100,000

Compare Rates

Via Fiona.com’s Website

660

7.99% to 25.49%

with autopay

$5,000 to $100,000

Editor's Take

LightStream’s unsecured personal loansrange from from $5,000 to $100,000 and can come with low interest rates. Although a number of lenders offer smaller loans than the LightStream minimum, few lenders offer a higher maximum loan.Repayment terms are available from two to seven years, making it an excellent option for those who want to spread out the payment of large expenses over time.

In addition to offering appealing and flexible terms, LightStream charges no origination, late payment or prepayment fees. The lender also offers a 0.50% rate discount for borrowers who enroll in autopay.

Pros & Cons

  • No origination, prepayment or late fees
  • Low, competitive rates
  • Fast approval and funding
  • No prequalification process
  • No due date flexibility
  • Limitations on use of loan proceeds

Details

Eligibility:LightStream recommends applicants have good to excellent credit before applying for a personal loan. To increase their chances of approval, applicants also should have several years of credit history, including multiple account types, as well as an income that is stable enough to service current debts and a new LightStream loan.

LightStream doesn’t give prospective borrowers the ability toprequalify for a loan. This fact—combined with the minimum credit score requirement—makes the platform a better fit for those with a strong credit profile. Applicants with excellent credit also are more likely to get favorable terms. LightStream does not allow co-signers, but prospective borrowers can submit a joint application.

Loan uses: LightStream’s personal loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, from purchasing a new car, RV or jewelry to paying for home improvements. However, LightStream really stands out, because loans can be used to finance land, timeshares and so-called tiny homes. As with other top lenders, LightStream prohibits use of its personal loans for post-secondary education costs, business purposes and illegal activities. Borrowers also are prohibited from using LightStream loan funds to refinance an existing LightStream loan.

Turnaround time: LightStream borrowers can receive funds as soon as the same day if the loan is approved before 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on a banking business day. To receive same-day funding, the applicant also must review and electronically sign the loan agreement; provide LightStream with funding preferences and relevant banking information; and complete the final verification process—all before 2:30 p.m. on the day the loan is approved.

Best for Credit Histories of at Least Two Years

Rocket Loans

3.5

Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (14)

Our ratings are calculated based on fees, rates, rewards and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Minimum credit score

580

APR range

9.116% to 29.99%

with autopay

Loan amounts

$2,000 to $45,000

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

580

9.116% to 29.99%

with autopay

$2,000 to $45,000

Editor's Take

Rocket Loans personal loans come with low interest rates for borrowers with fair credit scores. These loans can be funded quickly, depending on your application.

The lender’s availability in most states, quick turnaround times and low minimum credit score requirement (580 ) make Rocket Loans an accessible option. However, borrowers will face origination fees and repayment terms limited to three or five years.

Keep in mind that funding speed and accessibility come with a price—Rocket Loans charges an origination fee of up to 9% of the loan amount and APRs range from 9.116% to 29.99% (the minimum rate includes autopay discount). So, if you have a high credit score, or can wait a little longer to receive funds, cheaper loan options may be available. You can qualify for loan amounts of $2,000 to $45,000.

Pros & Cons

  • Prequalification process only requires a soft credit check
  • Offers same-day approval, and same-day funding may be possible
  • Does not impose a prepayment penalty
  • Rate discount available with autopay
  • Fees for origination, late payment and insufficient funds
  • Does not offer direct payment for debt consolidation loans
  • Doesn’t allow co-signersor co-applicants
  • Limited loan repayment terms

Details

Overview:A sister company to Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Loans offers personal loans through Cross River Bank. With Rocket Loans, borrowers can receive funds as soon as the same day they apply.

To qualify for this fast funding, approved applicants must complete their applications and sign the promissory note before 1 p.m. ET on a business day. If same day funding is not possible, the average time to receive funds is two to four days.

Eligibility:

  • Minimum credit score: 580
  • Minimum income: $24,000
  • Doesn’t allow co-signer or co-borrower

Loan uses:

  • Home improvements
  • Large expenses
  • Travel and vacation

Summary: Best Loans for Fair Credit

CompanyCompany - LogoForbes Advisor RatingForbes Advisor Rating - ImageBest ForMinimum credit score APR rangeLearn More CTA textLearn more CTA below textLearn More
UpgradeBest Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (17)4.0Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (18)Best Overall Personal Loan for Fair Credit5808.49% to 35.99%Compare RatesVia Fiona.com's Website
AvantBest Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (19)4.0Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (20)Best for a Range of Repayment Options5809.95% to 35.99%Compare RatesVia Fiona.com's Website
LightStreamBest Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (21)3.5Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (22)Best for Lower Interest Rates660 6.99% to 25.49%Compare RatesVia Fiona.com's Website
Rocket LoansBest Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (23)3.5Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (24)Best for Credit Histories of at Least Two Years580 9.116% to 29.99% Learn MoreRead Our Full Review

Tips for Comparing Personal Loans for Fair Credit

Consider these tips when comparing personal loans for fair credit:

Compare the maximum interest rates.

If possible, prequalify with a provider.

Check for additional fees.

Evaluate the lender’s customer support options.

Methodology

We reviewed 18 popular lenders based on 14 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We chose lenders that have a minimum credit score requirement of between 580 and 669 and ranked them based on the weighting assigned to each category:

  • Eligibility and accessibility: 30%
  • Loan cost: 25%
  • Loan details: 20%
  • Customer experience: 15%
  • Application process: 10%

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, including loan amounts, repayment terms, APR ranges and applicable fees. We also looked at whether each lender accepts co-signers or joint applications and the geographic availability of the lender. Finally, we evaluated each provider’s customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like prequalification and mobile apps.

Where appropriate, we awarded partial points depending on how well a lender met each criterion.

To learn more about how Forbes Advisor rates lenders, and our editorial process, check out our .

Related:Compare Personal Loan Rates

What Is a Fair Credit Score?

Based on the FICO credit score range of 300 to 850, a score between 669 and 580 is considered to be a fair credit score. Fair credit borrowers tend to be riskier and may find it more difficult to qualify for personal loans in addition to other credit accounts like credit cards or mortgages. It’s in your best interest to improve your score before applying for a loan to increase your chances of receiving more favorable terms.

Fair credit scores are typically a result of poor payment history, high credit usage and/or too many credit applications or hard credit inquiries. If you want to improve a fair credit score, it’s best to focus on these areas of your credit profile.

How Does a Personal Loan Affect Credit Score?

A personal loan can help you gain access to necessary financing while building your credit if used responsibly. Here’s how the lifecycle of a personal loan may affect your credit score.

  • Shopping for a personal loan. Shopping around for a personal loan typically has no impact on your credit score. Most lenders that offer a prequalification process utilize a soft credit check, which doesn’t damage your credit. However, be sure to confirm a lender uses a soft credit check vs. a hard credit check to safeguard your score.
  • Applying for a personal loan. When you apply for a loan, your lender will then run a hard credit check, which can temporarily drop your score between one and five points. Hard credit checks typically impact your score for one year but stay on your credit report for two years. Be sure to keep personal loan applications to a minimum to reduce hard inquiries on your report.
  • Repaying your personal loan. Your payment history is one of the most important factors that makes up your credit score—it accounts for 35% of your FICO score. If you make all your payments on time, it can boost your credit score. But if you miss payments, your score will likely start to experience pitfalls.

Related:How Do Personal Loans Affect Your Credit Score?

How to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying

If your score is lower than you wish and you want to increase your chances of receiving better loan terms, take time to improve your score before applying. Use these strategies tobuild your credit fast:

  • Pay all of your bills on time. On-time payment history is one of the most important factors when building credit. Be sure to pay all of your bills on time leading up to applying for a personal loan.
  • Become an authorized user. An authorized user is someone who is added to an existing credit card account. When you become an authorized user, the card’s history will appear on your credit report. If the primary account holder has a history of on-time payments, your credit score may experience a boost.
  • Pay off existing debt. Your debt levels impact your credit utilization ratio—how much of your total available credit you use, represented by a percentage. The higher your ratio, the harder it is to qualify for a personal loan. Paying off existing debt before applying can help boost your score by decreasing your credit utilization ratio.
  • Request a credit limit increase. Paying off existing debt is not the only way to reduce your credit utilization ratio. Because your credit utilization looks at how much of your available credit you use, increasing your credit limit can achieve the same goal. To request a credit limit increase, contact your card provider. This may require a hard credit check that temporarily dings your score.

Where To Get a Personal Loan With Fair Credit

Banks usually have the strictest credit requirements for personal loans. If your credit score isn’t high to begin with, consider these other options for personal loans for fair credit:

  • Credit unions
  • Online lenders
  • Family and friends
  • Cash advance apps

How To Qualify for Fair-Credit Loans

It can be more difficult to qualify for a personal loan when you have fair credit, but there are steps you can take to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan.

If you don’t have time to improve your credit, find lenders where you meet the minimum credit requirements. Getting preapproved for loans will show you which rates you qualify for without impacting your credit score.

Secured loans may also be an option to qualify for a loan with fair credit. Secured loans are backed by collateral, such as savings or your home, and can be easier to qualify for. The loan’s collateral serves as a guarantee of repayment since the lender can take possession of it if you default on the loan.

There are ways to quicklyimprove your credit score, although it can take several months before you see your credit score increase. First, review your credit report for any errors. If you find any, contact the credit bureaus to get the mistake corrected.

You can also pay down credit card debt to improve your credit utilization ratio, which helps determine your credit score. Paying any past-due accounts can also improve your credit score.

How to Apply for Personal Loans for Fair Credit

While the process may vary depending on your specific score and lender, here are the general steps you can follow toget a personal loanwith fair credit:

  • Check your credit score. Start bychecking your credit scorethrough your credit card provider or another credit-providing website before looking for the best lender. This will give you an understanding of which lenders you can or can’t qualify for. Personal loans for fair credit typically require minimum scores between 580 and 660.
  • Improve your score. If you have a fair credit score, you usually won’t receive the most favorable terms, likelow interest rates. Take time before applying toimprove your scoreas much as possible to receive the best terms possible for your situation. Some quick ways to improve your credit include repaying any outstanding debts and reducing your credit usage.
  • Evaluate your budget. Prior to looking for the right lender, evaluate your budget and understand how much loan you can afford. Be sure to only borrow what you need because you’ll owe interest on the entire balance. Use apersonal loan calculatorto estimate your potential monthly payments.
  • Prequalify with multiple lenders. Some lenders offer aprequalificationprocess, which lets you see what terms you may receive once approved without ahard credit check.
  • Add a co-signer, if necessary. If you need to boost your application to receive better terms, consideradding a co-signer. A co-signer is a secondary person who agrees to pay back the loan if you fail to do so, which reduces the risk you pose to the lender.
  • Submit your application. Once you’ve found the best lender for your situation, submit an application online or in person. Prepare to provide your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), address and income information.

Pro Tip

If you decide to apply for a loan with a co-signer, the ideal co-signer is someone with good credit or a FICO Score of 670 or higher. Having a co-signer with strong credit increases your approval odds and chances of qualifying for a loan with a low-interest rate.

Alternatives to Personal Loans For Fair Credit

If you have fair credit and you’re not able to qualify for a personal loan, there are other options. Before going forward with any alternatives, consider the pros and cons of each one so you know what you’re getting into.

  • 401(k) loan
  • Secured credit card
  • Secured personal loan
  • Buy-now-pay-later loan
  • Home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Community-based mutual and financial aid (use211.orgto get help finding programs)

Recap: Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

  • Upgrade:Best Overall Personal Loans for Fair Credit
  • Avant:Best for Range of Repayment Options
  • LightStream:Best for Lower Interest Rates
  • Rocket Loans:Best for Credit Histories of Two Years

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the minimum credit score for a personal loan?

Some personal loans, like loans for bad credit, accept credit scores as low as 580. However, a score at this level won’t get you low interest rates or high loan limits. If you’re searching for the absolute best loan terms, you’ll likely need a score above 670. Before applying, check your credit score and look for ways to improve it. This will help you secure a more favorable loan.

Can I get a loan with a credit score of 640?

Yes, most applicants can get a loan with a credit score of 640. In fact, fair credit personal lenders make loans available to applicants with scores as low as 580. However, with a score that low, don’t expect to receive the most favorable terms, including low interest rates and large loan limits.

Can I get a personal loan with a credit score of 600?

While the most favorable terms are reserved for borrowers with scores typically above 670, many lenders allow for lower credit scores, like 600. If you have a credit score of 600, you, fortunately, can get financing; however, you may qualify for a lower limit and interest rates nearing the maximum rate the lender offers.

How can I get a personal loan with fair credit?

Personal loans are available for borrowers who have fair credit—scores between 580 and 669. Some lenders offer a prequalification process, which lets you submit your information prior to applying to learn what terms you can receive. Once you prequalify through different lenders, compare each loan and choose the one that best suits your financing needs.

Can a personal loan improve fair credit?

There are two immediate ways a personal loan can improve fair credit.

When you open a personal loan, you have an opportunity to work on or establish your payment history, which makes up 35% of your credit score. As long as you pay on time and never miss a payment, you should improve your fair credit score. Set up autopay to ensure a perfect payment history.

Further, your credit mix—the different types of accounts shown on your credit reports, such as a personal loan and credit card—makes up 10% of your credit score. If you’re opening your first personal loan, it will add a new type of credit account to your report. This can improve your score.

How much do personal loans for fair credit cost?

Personal loans come for fair credit with various fees, including:

  • Annual percentage rates (APRs).Personal loans charge APRs between 3% and 35%. However, the lowest rates are reserved for highly qualified borrowers. Applicants with fair credit should expect to receive higher rates.
  • Origination fees.Some personal loan lenders charge an origination fee between 1% and 8% of the total loan amount. If you want to reduce the overall cost of your personal loan, look for lenders that charge no origination fees,
  • Late fees.If you fail to make on-time payments, most lenders will hit you with a late fee. This fee is typically a percentage of your minimum payment or a flat fee, depending on the lender.
  • Prepayment penalties.Some lenders penalize borrowers for repaying their full loan amount before the end of the term. Fees typically start out around 2% of the outstanding principal balance and fall to zero over the first several years of a loan. If you want the flexibility of repaying your loan at any time throughout the term, choose a lender that charges no prepayment penalty fees.
Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit Of April 2024 (2024)
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