Personal Loans » Compare Loans » Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit (April 2024)
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Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit (June 2024)

If you have fair credit, you'll still have the opportunity to get a loan, however the interest you should pay may be higher than average.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Personal loans tend to have interest rates between 5% to 36%, although with a high credit score, you might be able to go lower. If you have fair credit, you'll still have the opportunity to get a loan, however the interest you should pay may be higher than average.

Every lender is different and every loan they offer is also different. From interest rates to loan terms, from flexibility to other fees, there is a lot to take into account when looking for your loan. Compare your different options smartly and pick up the right loan for your needs.

Here are The Smart Investor select’s picks of personal loans for fair credit. If you can't find a suitable lender for you, you can always compare your options on our personal loan comparison tool.

Lender
APR
Min. Score
Max Amount

upstart loan review - logo

Upstart
 5.20% – 35.99%
300
 $1,000 – $50,000

Prosper loan review - logo

Prosper
6.99% – 35.99%
600
 2,000 – $40,000

bestegg loan review - logo

Best Egg
8.99% – 35.99%
640
$2,000 -$50,000

upgrade loan review - logo

Upgrade
8.49% – 35.99%
600
$1,000 – $50,000

AVANT loan review - logo

Avant
9.95%-35.99%
580
$2,000 – $35,000

lendingclub loan review - logo

Lending Club
9.57% – 35.99%
600
$1,000 – $40,000

Achieve personal loans

Achieve
8.99% – 35.99%
620
$5,000 -$50,000

Upstart

Upstart logo
Upstart logo
On Upstart Secure Website

Upstart

APR

5.20% – 35.99%

Loan Term

36-60 Months

Minimum Score

300

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000
On Upstart Secure Website

Upstart offers personal loans tailored to individuals with varying credit profiles, providing an accessible and streamlined borrowing experience. With its innovative approach to underwriting, Upstart considers factors beyond traditional credit scores, making it an attractive option for borrowers with limited credit history or poor credit.

One of Upstart's key advantages is its quick funding process, with borrowers typically receiving funds as soon as the next business day after approval. Upstart's personal loans can be used for various purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses, and starting or growing a business.

While Upstart offers competitive rates and loan amounts up to $50,000, borrowers should be aware of potential origination fees and late payment penalties. Additionally, the maximum advertised APR of 35.99% may be higher compared to some competitors, particularly for individuals with poor credit.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Flexible Credit Requirements
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Transparent Process
  • High Interest Rates
  • Origination Fee
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • Limited Repayment Terms

What are the eligibility requirements for an Upstart personal loan?

To qualify for an Upstart personal loan, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid email address and Social Security number, and reside in the United States. Additionally, applicants must have a regular source of income or a job offer starting within six months.

How does Upstart's underwriting process differ from traditional lenders?

Upstart evaluates various factors, including education, employment history, and area of study, in addition to credit score, to make loan decisions. This innovative approach allows Upstart to extend credit to individuals with limited credit history or unconventional backgrounds.

What are the repayment terms for Upstart personal loans?

Borrowers can choose between three- or five-year repayment terms for Upstart personal loans. This flexibility allows borrowers to select a repayment term that aligns with their financial goals and budget.

What fees does Upstart charge?

Upstart may charge an origination fee ranging from 0% to 12% of the loan amount, deducted from the loan proceeds. Additionally, late payment fees and returned payment fees may apply in certain circumstances.

Can I apply for an Upstart personal loan with a co-signer?

No, Upstart only accepts individual applications for personal loans and does not permit co-signers or joint applicants. Each applicant must meet the eligibility requirements independently.

Prosper

On Prosper Secure Website

Prosper

APR

6.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term

36-60 Months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

2,000 – $40,000
On Prosper Secure Website

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending platform offering personal loans to individuals seeking financial assistance for various purposes. The platform's personal loans range from $2,000 to $50,000, accommodating diverse borrowing needs, and come with flexible terms spanning from two to five years.

One of Prosper's standout features is its accessibility, as it accepts credit scores as low as 600, making it an attractive option for individuals with fair credit who may struggle to secure loans from traditional lenders. Additionally, Prosper offers expedited funding, with approved borrowers potentially receiving their funds as soon as the next business day after approval.

While offering competitive rates and quick funding, presents several drawbacks for potential borrowers. These include origination fees, which can range from 1% to 7.99% of the loan amount, potentially reducing the total amount received. Additionally, borrowers may incur fees for check payments, late payments, and insufficient funds, increasing the overall cost of borrowing.

  • Flexible Loan Amounts
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Joint Applications
  • Accepts Fair Credit Scores
  • Hardship Program
  • Potentially Long Turn Around times
  • No Rate Discount for Autopay
  • Origination Fee
  • No Direct Payment to Creditors
  • Limited Repayment Term Options

What are the minimum requirements to qualify for a Prosper personal loan?

To qualify for a Prosper personal loan, you need a minimum credit score of 560, a valid U.S. bank account, and a Social Security number. Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old.

Does Prosper report loan payments to credit bureaus?

Yes, Prosper reports loan payments to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), helping borrowers build or improve their credit scores with timely payments.

Can I change my payment dates with Prosper personal loans?

Yes, Prosper borrowers can change their personal loan payment date once every 365 days by contacting customer support via phone.

How can I reach Prosper's customer service for assistance?

You can reach Prosper's customer service team by phone at 866-615-6319 or via email at support@prosper.com. Representatives are available Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) for assistance with existing loans or recent loan application submissions.

Best Egg

bestegg_logo svg
bestegg_logo svg
On Credible Website

Best Egg

APR

8.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term

36-60 months

Minimum Score

640

Loan Amount

$2,000 -$50,000
On Credible Website

Best Egg stands out as a notable option for borrowers seeking both convenience and flexibility. Best Egg offers a range of unsecured and secured personal loans tailored to individuals with fair to good credit scores. With a minimum credit score requirement of 600, borrowers can access loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, providing versatility to cover various financial needs.

One of Best Egg's key features is its direct payment option for debt consolidation, streamlining the process for borrowers by sending funds directly to creditors. This can be particularly advantageous for those looking to consolidate multiple debts into a single loan.

However, borrowers should be aware of the origination fees charged by Best Egg, which range from 0.99% to 8.99% and can impact the total cost of borrowing. Furthermore, the absence of rate discounts and the lack of a mobile app for loan management may be drawbacks for some borrowers.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Direct Payments to Creditors
  • Simple Application Process
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • Option for Secured Loans
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Joint Applicants
  • Origination Fee
  • No Rate Discounts
  • No Mobile App
  • Not Available in All States

Are there prepayment penalties for paying off a Best Egg loan early?

No, Best Egg does not impose prepayment penalties, allowing borrowers to pay off their loans ahead of schedule without incurring additional fees.

What types of income are accepted for loan qualification?

Best Egg accepts income from various sources, including employment, alimony, retirement, child support, and Social Security payments.

Is there a minimum annual income requirement to qualify for a Best Egg loan?

Yes, applicants must have a minimum annual income of $3,500 to be eligible for a Best Egg personal loan.

Are Best Egg personal loans available in all states?

No, Best Egg loans are not available in all states. Borrowers should check Best Egg's availability in their state before applying.

Does Best Egg report loan payments to credit bureaus?

Yes, Best Egg reports loan payments to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), which can help borrowers build or improve their credit history with responsible repayment.

Upgrade

UpgradeLogo

On Upgrade Secure Website

Upgrade

APR

8.49% – 35.99%

Loan Term

24 – 84 months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $50,000
On Upgrade Secure Website

Upgrade offers personal loans tailored to various financial needs, including debt consolidation, home improvements, and large purchases. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company operates online, providing convenient access to financial products without physical branches. With loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, Upgrade aims to cater to a wide range of borrowers.

Prospective borrowers can apply for a loan online, with a streamlined process that involves filling out personal information and undergoing a soft credit check. Upon approval, funds are typically disbursed within one business day, offering quick access to financing. Upgrade's loans come with fixed-rate options, providing stability in monthly payments throughout the loan term.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Upgrade imposes an origination fee on all loans, which can impact the total amount received by borrowers. Additionally, the APRs offered by Upgrade can still be relatively high, especially for individuals with lower credit scores.

  • Multiple Rate Discounts
  • Joint Applications Allowed
  • Simple Application Process
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • Not Available in All States
  • No Co-signers Accepted

How do I apply for an Upgrade personal loan?

To apply for an Upgrade personal loan, you can visit their website and fill out the online application. You'll need to provide basic personal information such as your name, address, income details, and employment information. After completing the application, Upgrade will conduct a soft credit check to determine your eligibility

What documents do I need to provide for the application?

During the application process, you may need to provide documents such as pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, or bank statements to verify your income and financial information. The specific documentation required may vary depending on your individual circumstances.

Does Upgrade offer prequalification?

Yes, Upgrade offers prequalification, which allows you to check your potential loan offers without affecting your credit score. This can be a helpful tool to gauge your eligibility and compare loan options before submitting a formal application.

How quickly can I receive funds after approval?

Once your Upgrade personal loan is approved, funds are typically disbursed within one business day. However, the actual timing may depend on your bank's processing times and how quickly you provide any necessary documentation.

What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for an Upgrade loan?

While Upgrade does not disclose a specific minimum credit score requirement, they typically consider borrowers with a credit score of at least 600. However, meeting the minimum credit score alone does not guarantee approval, as Upgrade evaluates various factors such as credit history and income.

Avant

avant- logo SVG
avant- logo SVG
On Credible Website

Avant

APR

9.95%-35.99%

Loan Term

24-60 Months

Minimum Score

580

Loan Amount

$2,000 – $35,000
On Credible Website

Avant is one of the largest online lenders, focusing on those with very low credit scores. This is a Chicago based company, and most of its client base is middle class Americans.

You can use your loan for any purpose, including covering unexpected expenses, consolidating debt, or home improvements. Avant also has a solid customer service system with a 24/7 telephone line and impressive response times for customer problems.

To qualify, you must have paid current liabilities for a minimum of six years.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Quick turnaround times
  • Good For Bad Credit
  • Late Fee Forgiveness
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Higher Interest Rates
  • Administration Fee
  • Not For Business Use
  • Not Available in All States
  • Can I negotiate with Avant?

Avant does not promote a willingness to negotiate whether you are shopping around for a loan or negotiating a settlement figure on your existing loan.

However, the lending market is highly competitive, so it may be worth comparison shopping and attempting to negotiate with Avant before you commit to a loan.

  • Can I get an Avant loan with a 600 credit score?

Avant does have more relaxed lending criteria compared to many other lenders. This means that you shouldn’t have any particular difficulty due to having only a fair or 600 credit score.

With this score, you are likely to struggle to access the lowest advertised rates, but you should still obtain approval if you meet the other lending criteria.

  • Is Avant good for debt consolidation?

Avant does offer personal loans for up to $35,000, but it is not particularly good for debt consolidation.

Firstly, this lender does not offer direct creditor payments, so you will need to wait for the funds to arrive and then make individual payments to each lender. Secondly, the lender does charge an origination fee, which will be deducted from your loan amount.

  • Can I add a cosigner to an Avant personal loan?

Unfortunately, Avant only offers sole personal loans. This means that you cannot create a joint application or use a co-signer to increase your chances of approval. This means that you will need to rely on your own credit profile.

However, Avant does have quite flexible lending criteria, so even if you only have fair credit, you should still qualify.

LendingClub

lendingclub_logo svg
lendingclub_logo svg
On Credible Website

LendingClub

APR

9.57% – 35.99%

Loan Term

24 – 60 months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $40,000
On Credible Website

LendingClub offers loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $40,000, borrowers have ample flexibility to address various expenses, including debt consolidation, home improvements, medical bills, and more.LendingClub has a joint loan option, potentially enhancing eligibility and securing more favorable terms.

LendingClub personal loans include the ability to consolidate debt, with direct payment to creditors simplifying the process and potentially securing lower interest rates. The platform also offers flexible payment options, allowing borrowers to change their payment due dates and offering a 15-day grace period for late payments. Moreover, LendingClub does not charge prepayment penalties.

However, borrowers should be mindful of potential drawbacks, such as origination fees ranging from 3% to 8%, which can reduce the total loan amount received. Additionally, the APR for LendingClub personal loans can reach as high as 35.99%, emphasizing the importance of comparing rates and exploring alternative options.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Joint Borrowers
  • Good For Bad Credit
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Direct payment to creditors
  • Origination Fee, Processing Fee
  • Potentially Long Turn-Around Times
  • High APR range
  • Not Available in All States
  • Regulatory fines

What are the eligibility criteria for applying for a LendingClub personal loan?

To qualify for a LendingClub personal loan, applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or have a valid visa. They must also be at least 18 years old, have a verifiable bank account, and meet minimum credit score and income requirements. Additionally, applicants must have a minimum credit history and meet specific debt-to-income ratio criteria.

Can I apply for a loan if I have a limited credit history?

Yes, LendingClub considers applicants with limited credit history, although meeting other eligibility criteria such as income verification may be necessary.

How long does it take to receive funds after loan approval?

Typically, borrowers receive their loan funds within about five business days after approval, although the timing may vary depending on factors such as verification and processing.

How can I check my loan application status?

Borrowers can log in to their LendingClub account dashboard to check the status of their loan application, providing real-time updates on the progress of their loan.

Can I change my payment due date?

Yes, borrowers with accounts in good standing can request temporary or permanent changes to their payment due date, offering flexibility to adapt to changing financial circumstances.

Achieve

APR

8.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term

24 to 60 months

Minimum Score

620

Loan Amount

$5,000 -$50,000
On Credible Website

Achieve Personal Loans, formerly known as FreedomPlus, offer borrowers with fair to good credit scores an accessible option for consolidating debt or financing major expenses.

With a minimum credit score requirement of 620, Achieve provides loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, accommodating various financial needs. One of Achieve's standout features is its multiple rate discounts, including joint loan discounts, retirement savings discounts, and direct pay discounts, which can significantly reduce borrowers' interest rates.

However, it's important to note that Achieve charges origination fees and lacks a mobile app for loan management

  • Joint Borrowers
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • Customer Service
  • Discounts
  • Higher Minimum Amount
  • Late payment fees of $15 or 5%
  • Origination Fee
  • Not Available in All States

How quickly can I receive funding after approval?

After approval, funds from Achieve Personal Loans are typically disbursed within three business days, providing borrowers with swift access to the requested financing to address their financial needs.

What are the eligibility requirements for an Achieve Personal Loan?

To qualify for an Achieve Personal Loan, you must have a minimum credit score of 620, a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45%, and a minimum credit history of three years with two accounts. Additionally, you must not be actively delinquent on debt or have had a bankruptcy in the last 24 months.

Are there any fees associated with Achieve Personal Loans?

Yes, Achieve charges an origination fee ranging from 1.99% to 6.99% of the total loan amount, depending on the borrower's profile and loan terms. Additionally, late payment fees may apply for missed payments.

Are co-signers or co-applicants allowed for Achieve Personal Loans?

Yes, co-borrowers are permitted for Achieve Personal Loans, and they can help improve approval odds, especially for borrowers with lower credit scores.

Is Achieve Personal Loan available in all states?

No, Achieve Personal Loans are not available in all states. Borrowers should check the availability of loans in their state before applying.

What Are The Expected Loan Rates for Fair Credit?

Your credit score will impact the expected loan rates, however, you can expect between 13% and 36% from a majority of lenders.

They also will tend to offer loans anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000. The origination fee you have to pay will vary slightly, usually somewhere around 12% of the loan amount. The higher your score, the better your rates will be.

However, if you are able to get a cosigner, you can expect better approval odds and lower APRs. Plus, you might be able to qualify for a higher total loan amount.

No matter which lender you decide to go with, you need to make sure that you research them thoroughly before you sign with them. That way, you know you are getting a good deal and will not harm your finances in the future.

What are the Requirements for a Fair Credit Loan?

The requirements for a personal loan when you have fair credit may vary depending on the lender and other factors, but generally, here are some common requirements:

  • Credit Score: Fair credit typically ranges from around 580 to 669, although this can vary slightly depending on the lender's criteria. Your credit score will play a significant role in determining whether you qualify for a personal loan and what interest rate you'll be offered.

  • Income: Lenders will want to ensure that you have a steady source of income to repay the loan. You'll likely need to provide proof of income, such as recent pay stubs or tax returns.

  • Employment History: A stable employment history can improve your chances of approval. Lenders may prefer borrowers who have been with their current employer for a certain period, such as at least six months to a year.

  • Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): Lenders assess your DTI to gauge your ability to manage additional debt payments. Ideally, your monthly debt obligations, including the new loan payment, should not exceed a certain percentage of your income, typically around 40-45%.

  • Collateral: While personal loans are often unsecured (meaning they don't require collateral), having collateral can sometimes help you qualify for a loan or secure a lower interest rate, especially with fair credit.

  • Cosigner: If your credit is fair and you're struggling to qualify for a loan on your own, having a cosigner with good credit can strengthen your application. A cosigner essentially agrees to take responsibility for the loan if you fail to repay it.

  • Documentation: Be prepared to provide various documents, including identification (such as a driver's license or passport), proof of income, recent bank statements, and possibly other financial documents.

What Should I Look For?

Before you do anything else, you will want to compare loans and lenders as much as possible. People with fair and lower credit are also targeted by payday lenders. Often, these loans come with APRs that go into the triple digits- making them almost impossible to pay back.

Here is what you should look for in a personal loan and you have fair credit.

This is the first thing to do. If you have fair credit, you can expect to receive personal loans that have APRs ranging between 10% and 30%. In most cases, you can expect your APR to be closer to 30 than to 10, due to your credit score.

However, some lenders may be more willing to negotiate than others. Always talk with lenders about the interest rate before you sign. The difference of a few percentage points can potentially save you a lot of money.

The loan term is the length of time you will make payments. When it comes down to it, a longer term means lower monthly payments but also higher interest payments. You should think about how the monthly payments fit into your budget and how much money you have available to spend.

The repayment method can also have an impact on the loan term. Signing up for automatic payments with your lender, for example, may entitle you to a lower interest rate or term as a reward. You should inquire with your lender about any benefits they may be able to provide you.

You only want to engage lenders who are reliable. Banks and credit unions should be your first choices, although there are credible online lenders. You will want to check out the Better Business Bureau’s online page and search for any lenders you are interested in.

That way, you can research the lender and determine if they are a reliable loan source.

Keep in mind that not all lenders will make offers to you, since they may see fair credit as a risk. Some will consider lower credit scores, but they are also likely to only offer you high APRs.

You will also want to try prequalifying with the lenders you are interested in. This is not a hard credit inquiry, so it will not harm your credit score.

Some loans have a slew of fees attached to them. Consider the aforementioned origination fees. They typically account for 1 to 8% of your total loan amount, which can be substantial depending on the circumstances.

However, while it is uncommon, you should keep an eye out for prepayment fees. These are fees that are levied if you pay off your loan too quickly. If you are not aware of this fee, being charged extra money for doing something good can be a major surprise.

How to Pick the Right Loan If You Have Fait Credit?

You will want an unsecured loan, which means you do not have to offer private property for collateral. These loans are offered by most banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

Obtain a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and review them for accuracy. Dispute any errors that could be negatively impacting your credit score.

Evaluate your current financial situation. Determine how much you need to borrow, how long you need to repay the loan, and how much you can afford to pay each month.

Most loans will offer a minimum amount. However, you do not want to take out more than you need. If you take out too much, you will be putting yourself into debt for longer than you had to. It is best to go with an amount that covers your expenses, but is not too high for you to manage paying back.

Most personal loans tend to fall into a range of $1,000 to $40,000. So, if you need $20,000, you will not want to take out the maximum amount. It would become much harder to pay back.

In this chart using TransUnion data, we can see that the number of individual personal loan borrowers has steadily increased:

 

Online lenders often have less stringent eligibility criteria and may offer competitive rates to borrowers with fair credit. However, be cautious and research each lender thoroughly to ensure they are reputable and make sure you can get the right amount, since some of them don't offer small personal loans.

credit unions usually offer lower interest rates when compared to banks and online lenders. Even if you have fair credit, they are usually going to make the best offers. They also offer a lot more flexibility than their competitors.

Some banks such as U.S. Bank, Citibank and Wells Fargo offer personal loans. 

You will want to study all of your loan options before prequalifying with the lender. Doing so will allow you to clearly see the rates and terms of the loans.

Pay close attention to the interest rates and fees associated with each loan offer. Even a small difference in interest rates can significantly impact the total cost of the loan over time.

Research is essential when trying to find the best loan- it lets you know that you are making smart financial decisions.

If you have fair credit, you may not be able to get a loan without a cosigner. This option will help you qualify for a loan that you likely could not on your own.

However, you will want to be sure that you can back the loan, as it will fall on the cosigner if you do not.

Most lenders will offer loans with cosigners, so be sure to think about them if possible. You will want to make sure that the person who signs with you understands the risks before they agree to anything binding.

Is it Better to Get a Personal Loan or Balance Transfer?

First, you will need to understand what each is. Credit card balance transfers allow you to move outstanding debts to another credit card, with some fees attached. Personal loans can also be used to consolidate all of your debts into one place, making it easier to keep track of payments.

But, which option is better?

Well, it Depends.

Typically, personal loans are going to be the better choice. They consolidate different kinds of debts and may even be more flexible. The funds can be used to pay off your debts.

Balance transfers come with an appealing low APR, although that does not last. If you can not make the payments quickly, the interest rate will start rising- making it more costly in the long run.

Personal loans usually have a lower amount after the promotional APR on your balance transfer runs out. That way, you end up paying less with a personal loan.

Plus, the balance transfer will likely come with a fee between 3% and 5% of the amount of funds. Personal loans come with an origination fee too, which is between 1% and 8%.

Still, credit balance transfers can be worth it if you know you can pay them off before the APR goes up.

J.D. Power Loan Research: What Can We Learn?

The J.D. Power scores indicate the level of customer satisfaction with each personal loan lender.

The rankings reflect not only the lenders' ability to meet customer expectations but also their effectiveness in managing loans, providing transparent communication, and ensuring that loans meet borrowers' needs.

These top-ranked lenders are likely to enjoy greater customer loyalty and positive brand perception, positioning them well in the competitive personal loan market.

American Express secured the top spot with a score of 775, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction. Best Egg closely followed with a score of 772,  while Discover and SoFi tied for third place with scores of 769, showcasing their consistency in delivering satisfactory services to borrowers.

Lender
JD Power Score 2023 (1,000 point scale)
TrustPilot Score 2023 (5 point scale)
American Express
775
1.3
Best Egg
772
4.6
Discover
769
1.8
SoFi
769
4.6
Wells Fargo
756
1.7
Oportun
744
4.8
LightStream
740
1.7
Citi
732
1.2
LendingClub
731
4.7
Prosper
725
4.7
Security Finance
721
N/A
U.S. Bank
717
1.3
Upgrade
716
4.4
LendingPoint
714
4.8
Upstart
711
4.9
Avant
710
4.6
OneMain Financial
698
4.8
Opploans
642
4.5

What Are The Costs of a Fair-Credit Loan?

The costs associated with a fair-credit loan can vary depending on factors such as the lender, loan amount, loan term, and your individual credit profile. Here are some common costs you may encounter when obtaining a loan with fair credit:

  • Interest Rates: Borrowers with fair credit typically receive higher interest rates compared to those with excellent credit. Interest rates for fair-credit loans can range anywhere from around 15% to 30% or more, depending on the lender and prevailing market conditions. The higher the interest rate, the more you'll pay in interest charges over the life of the loan.

  • Origination Fees: Some lenders charge origination fees to process your loan application. These fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and can range from 1% to 6% or more. Origination fees are usually deducted from the loan proceeds, so be sure to factor them into your loan calculations.

  • Late Payment Fees: If you miss a payment or make a late payment on your loan, you may incur late payment fees. These fees can add to the overall cost of the loan and negatively impact your credit score. Make sure you understand the lender's policies regarding late payments and fees.

  • Other Fees: Depending on the lender and loan type, you may encounter other fees such as application fees, processing fees, or documentation fees. Be sure to review the loan agreement carefully and ask the lender about any additional fees you may incur.

When evaluating the costs of a fair-credit loan, it's essential to consider the overall affordability and whether the loan fits within your budget.

What Are The Risks of Fair Credit Loans?

There are always risks that come with taking out a loan. However, you will want to be aware of all of them before you make any final decisions. Plus, when you have average credit, there are some more risks available.

When you have a lower credit score, your interest rates are going to be much higher.

If they are too high, you may have more trouble paying them back. Always check out the APR before you sign and shop around- you might be able to find a much better interest rate somewhere else

Additionally, you are more likely to face higher up front costs. There are origination fees and possibly prepayment fees. Lenders may also charge you for more before you get the loan, although it may be taken from the loan before you receive it.

Overall, you need to be prepared to have to cover a lot of expenses before you receive the loan.

Payday loans tend to target people with lower credit scores or who need an emergency personal loan. They are very hard to pay back and essentially require that you put all the money you make towards the loan- they are predatory and should be avoided.

The interest rates are purposefully extremely high and the loan will roll over into more terms, making them very hard to get out of. To avoid these loans, always check the BBB and the interest rate on the loan offered before signing up.

How Big of A Personal Loan Can I Get With a 620 Credit Score?

Even with fair credit score, borrowers can get up to $100,00.

The maximum loan amount you can qualify for with a credit score of 620 will depend on various factors, including your income, debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and the lender's specific requirements.

Your credit score is one of the primary factors that lenders consider when determining the amount of a personal loan you can qualify for. A credit score of 620 is considered fair, which means you may still be eligible for a personal loan, but you may face higher interest rates and more limited loan options compared to borrowers with higher credit scores.

How to Build a Good Credit Score?

Building your credit score requires that you practice good financial habits every day. You will need to start by checking your score online. There are sites that offer this service for free, so you should not need to pay to find out what it is.

Lenders will review your credit to determine how likely you are to pay them back. If you always pay your bills on time, they will consider you for a loan offer. Paying late can negatively impact your scores.

If you have the option to set up automatic payments, you will want to do it. It makes you less likely to forget to cover the bills.

You will want to use your credit card, without getting too close to your credit limit. This is because of something called the credit utilization ratio.

This is calculated by adding all of your current credit card balances together, then dividing that number by your credit limit. The lower that utilization ratio is the better your credit score will be.

Next, you do not want to close any of your unused credit cards. Closing your accounts will increase your credit utilization ratio. Plus, the longer your accounts are open, the higher your score will be.

That means that it is generally a good idea to keep your oldest accounts open.

Loans, such as student loans or personal loans, are reported to your credit score. Credit card payments are too. That means that you want to pay all of them on time.

The more you do, the more your score will steadily rise. It takes a long time to restore or build up your credit, but the sooner you start working on it, the better off you will be.

In this chart compiled with LendingTree customer data, you can see that those with a 720+ credit score pay an average of 7.63%. At the other end of the scale, for those with a poor credit rating of less than 560, the rate shoots up to an eye-watering 113%.

 

How Long Does it Take to Build Good Credit?

According to the major credit bureaus, it can take between three and six months of using credit for your credit score to start to change. That is if you are just starting out on building your credit.

If you have a low score already, it can take between 12 and 18 months to build up your credit score again. But, each positive action you take with your finances is likely to positively affect your credit.

It actually gets harder to improve your credit score the higher it gets. However, by that point, you will have created good habits that keep you at that high credit score.

FAQs

To improve your chances of approval, consider applying with a cosigner who has better credit, reducing your debt-to-income ratio, and providing additional documentation of income and financial stability.

The time it takes to receive funds from a personal loan can vary depending on the lender and their processes. In general, you can expect to receive the funds within a few days to a week after approval.

Yes, alternatives to personal loans for fair credit may include secured loans (backed by collateral such as a car or savings account), peer-to-peer lending, borrowing from friends or family, or exploring government assistance programs.

Yes, personal loans can be used to cover emergency expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs, even with fair credit. However, it's essential to consider the costs and repayment terms carefully before borrowing to ensure you can afford the payments.

Yes, it is possible to get a personal loan with fair credit without a cosigner, but you may face higher interest rates and stricter eligibility criteria compared to borrowers with cosigners or higher credit scores.

Yes, paying off a personal loan as agreed can have a positive impact on your credit score, as it demonstrates responsible borrowing behavior and reduces your overall debt load.

Yes, applying for a personal loan typically results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. However, the impact is usually minimal, and your score may rebound over time.

If you're having difficulty repaying a personal loan, contact your lender immediately to discuss potential options such as a payment plan, loan modification, or temporary forbearance. Ignoring the issue can lead to further financial consequences and damage to your credit score.

Picking the Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit: Our Methodology

Our team conducted extensive research on over 30 lenders, including major banks, credit unions, online platforms, and specialized finance companies to identify the top providers offering personal loans for individuals with fair credit.

In developing our ratings, we didn't solely rely on numerical data. We also considered the factors that individuals like you prioritize when seeking a personal loan. 

  • Affordability (40%): We gauge how expensive each company’s loans are to pay back, taking into account both interest rates and fees. The highest-scoring lenders will have low minimum and maximum annual percentage rates (APRs) and low or no origination fees.
  • Loan features (30%): This category measures the breadth of loan terms available to prospective customers. The most points go to lenders with a wide range of loan lengths, small minimum loans, large maximum loans, and fast funding.
  • Customer experience (20%): We review each company’s application, prequalification and customer service policies and procedures to create this category score. The best companies will have simple online applications and multiple ways for customers to get their problems solved.
  • Company reputation (10%): Our team analyzes each company’s Better Business Bureau file, customer reviews and any outstanding regulatory actions. The most points will go to companies with an A+ rating with the BBB, a track record of addressing customer complaints and no active regulatory orders.

Within each major category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms, APR ranges and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score requirements, 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 options and mobile apps.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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