Personal Loans » Compare Loans » Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit (September 2022)
Advertiser Disclosure

This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval.

This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof.

Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit (December 2022)

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, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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
Term
Max Amount

upstart loan review - logo

 5.60% – 35.99%
 36-60 Months
 $1,000 – $50,000
Review

Prosper loan review - logo

7.99% – 35.99%
36-60 Months
 2,000 – $40,000
Review

bestegg loan review - logo

7.99% – 29.99%
 36-60 months
$2,000 -$50,000
Review

upgrade loan review - logo

7.46%-35.97%
 24 – 84 months
$1,000 – $50,000
Review

AVANT loan review - logo

9.95%-35.99%
24-60 Months
$2,000 – $35,000
Review

lendingclub loan review - logo

8.30% – 36.00%
36 – 60 months
$1,000 – $40,000
Review

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. If they offer loans without a credit check, you will want to steer clear of them. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Upstart

Upstart logo
Upstart logo
On Upstart Secure Website

Upstart

APR

5.60% – 35.99%

Loan Term

36-60 Months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

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

Upstart is the first lending platform to use artificial intelligence with an automated lending process.  Most lenders primarily focus on a FICO score to approve a loan. However, Upstart uses its advanced technologies to look beyond this and explore the risk of your loan. These calculations are used to assess your ability to repay your loan.

The company has a strong belief that if lenders would use its intuitive credit model, they would probably be approving more loans. For borrowers, this means that Upstart can offer high-quality loans. With fair terms for borrowers with excellent credit, Upstart has a strong reputation with excellent reviews on Trustpilot and other sites.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Modest Income
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Processing Fee
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • High Interest Rates
  • New Company
  • When and how will I receive the funds from my Upstart loan?

If you accept your loan before 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds the following business day. If your application is accepted after 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, you should receive your loan proceeds two business days later.

There is an additional three business days between when you accept your loan and when you receive the funds for loans used for educational purposes.

  • Is it possible to cosign with Upstart?

You cannot apply for a loan with a cosigner through Upstart. Because this is a personal loan, Upstart claims they can only consider your personal information.

What happens if I miss a payment on my Upstart loan?

If we do not receive your payment by the monthly due date, we will contact you to remind you. You have 15 days from the due date of your payment before any fees are assessed. If you make a monthly payment after the grace period has expired, you may be charged a late fee of 5% of the unpaid amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Please keep in mind that Upstart reports your account's status on each due date. We may exercise all of the remedies available to us under applicable law or the Promissory note in the event of an Event of Default.

  • How can I get in touch with Upstart?

There are 2 ways to get in touch with Upstart:

  1. Sending a message via our contact form or calling 650-204-1000 (local) or 1-855-438-8778 (toll-free) between 6AM and 5PM PST.
  2. Sending a message to [email protected]

Prosper

On Credible Secure Website

Prosper

APR

7.99% – 35.99%

Loan Term

36-60 Months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

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

Prosper, the first peer-to-peer lending marketplace, was founded in 2006 in San Francisco and has since made $13 billion in loans. Peer-to-peer lending is a marketplace that connects lenders and borrowers.

The Prosper marketplace provide personal loans for a wide range of purposes to a large number of borrowers. They do charge a high origination fee, whereas other providers do not. Because the process will take longer than on other platforms, Prosper may not be the best place to start your search if you need funds quickly.

  • Competitive Rates
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Peer to Peer
  • Wide Range of Borrowers
  • Business Loan
  • More than One Loan
  • Potentially Long Turn Around times
  • No Joint Borrowers
  • Origination Fee
  • Potential to Go Unfunded
  • Not Available in All States
  • Is Prosper good for debt consolidation?

Prosper does offer personal loans with a low rate, but there is one caveat that may impact whether it is a good option for your debt consolidation.

Prosper only has loan terms of up to five years. So, if you need a longer term loan to clear your debt, this may not be the best option for you.

  • Can I add a cosigner to Prosper personal loan?

Prosper does allow joint applications, so it is possible to add a co-borrower to your application to increase your chances of approval. However, the status of the co-borrower is important, as marital spouses or relations have the greatest success in increasing approval.

The key difference between a co-borrower and a co-signer is that with a co-signer, they have financial responsibility to ensure the loan is repaid, but they cannot access the loan funds. In the case of co-borrowers, both parties are responsible for making payments and both have access to the loan funds.

  • Does Prosper personal loans offer prequalification? (soft credit check)

Yes, Prosper has a five step process to obtain your rate and become prequalified. This process should only take two minutes and only uses a soft credit check, so it will not impact your credit score.

Prosper will only initiate a hard credit check if you decide that you would like to go ahead with your loan application.

Best Egg

bestegg_logo svg
bestegg_logo svg
On Credible Secure Website

Best Egg

APR

7.99% – 29.99%

Loan Term

36-60 months

Minimum Score

640

Loan Amount

$2,000 -$50,000
On Best Egg Secure Website

Best Egg offers personal loans for almost any purpose. You can use the proceeds of your loan to pay for home repairs, make a large purchase, refinance your credit card debt or consolidate existing debt. Over half a million Best Egg customers have borrowed over $9.3 billion.

If you have good credit, you can expect a very low interest rate, and loan processing is fast, taking just a few minutes to complete.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Competitive Rates
  • Simple Application Process
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • No Joint Applicants
  • Origination Fee
  • Large Amounts on Short Terms
  • Investing Restrictions
  • Not Available in All States
  • Can I pay off the Best Egg loan early?

Although Best Egg does have some fees, notably a $15 fee for late or returned payments, if you want to repay your loan early or make extra payments, you will not incur any early repayment fees.

This makes the loans a good option if there is a possibility that your finances may change in the future and you could pay off the loan early.

  • Can I add a cosigner to Best Egg personal loan?

Unlike many personal loan providers, Best Egg does not allow co-signers on its personal loans. This means that you cannot add a cosigner to your application to boost your chances of approval.

However, Best Egg does consider far more parameters than just your credit score and income, so you may be able to qualify even if you have less than ideal credit without the need for a cosigner.

  • Is Best Egg good for debt consolidation?

Best Egg aims to help you to make your life simpler with its personal loans, including debt consolidation loans for up to $35,000.

In fact, the company mantra is to help you to escape high interest debt, making it a viable option for those who are looking for a debt consolidation solution.

Upgrade

UpgradeLogo

On Upgrade Secure Website

Upgrade

APR

7.46%-35.97%

Loan Term

24 – 84 months

Minimum Score

620

Loan Amount

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

Upgrade has a deep executive bench with the goal of providing an online lending platform at a lower cost and with a better customer experience than traditional banks. It combines its products with free credit monitoring, including alerts and even providing education about credit on their platform. Upgrade seeks to help borrowers understand their credit potential and secure cheaper credit, in the long run, using credit monitoring.

Upgrade looks for a credit score of at least 620. However, the company may consider other factors to establish your creditworthiness.

  • Free Credit Monitoring
  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Competitive Rates
  • Simple Application Process
  • Quick Turnaround Times
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Higher low end rates for those with excellent credit
  • Origination Fee
  • Requires Free Cash Flow
  • Not Available in All States
  • Restrictions for Investments
  • What can an Upgrade loan be used for?

Upgrade can be used to consolidate debt, start or expand a business, fund home improvements, or make large purchases. It cannot be used to pay for postsecondary education, investments, illegal activities, or gambling of any kind.

  • How's the Upgrade Customer Experience going?

Upgrade has a strong executive team with the goal of providing a lower-cost online lending platform with a better customer experience than traditional banks.

It combines its products with free credit monitoring, including alerts, as well as credit education on their platform. On iOS, the Upgrade mobile app has a score of 4.8, and on Android, it has a score of 4.7. It has a BBB rating of B+.

  • When Does Upgrade Shine?

In the end, Upgrade is a lender that has been in business for more than 15 years. Over the course of these years, it has dealt with millions of people. It takes pride in meeting all of its customers' needs.

If you fall into one of the following categories, an upgrade personal loan may be a good fit for you:

  • Require immediate funding.
  • Want a diverse range of loan options
  • Want to learn about money

Avant

avant- logo SVG
avant- logo SVG
On Credible Secure Website

Avant

APR

9.95%-35.99%

Loan Term

24-60 Months

Minimum Score

580

Loan Amount

$2,000 – $35,000
On Avant Secure 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 Secure Website

LendingClub

APR

8.30% – 36.00%

Loan Term

36 – 60 months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $40,000
On LendingClub Secure Website

LendingClub is the world's largest peer-to-peer marketplace. Established in 2006 in San Francisco, California, it has lent over $42 billion in personal loans and offers personal loans with a $1,000 minimum. Peer-to-peer lending is a platform that connects lenders and borrowers without the use of a lending institution such as a bank. This means that your loan can be funded by common investors or investment groups.

Lending Club distinguishes itself from other lenders by allowing co-borrowers on personal loan applications. This can be useful if you believe you may need an additional applicant with better financial circumstances to increase your chances of qualifying.

Loans from Lending Club can be used for almost any purpose, including debt consolidation, balance transfers, and major purchases. A Lending Club loan, however, cannot be used for postsecondary education, investments, or the purchase of securities.

  • Soft Pull Inquiry
  • Joint Borrowers
  • Good For Bad Credit
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • Origination Fee, Processing Fee
  • Potentially Long Turn-Around Times
  • Potential to Go Unfunded
  • Not Available in All States
  • Is LendingClub good for debt consolidation?

LendingClub does allow you to borrow up to $40,000, which is more than many other personal loan lenders.

However, if you’re looking to quickly consolidate your debt and avoid incurring additional higher interest on your accounts, you may find this lender a little frustrating. It can take several days for your loan to get funded after approval, which is far slower than many of the competing lenders.

  • Can I pay off a LendingClub loan early?

LendingClub has no prepayment fees, so there are no penalties for repaying your loan early in full or making additional payments.

However, if you are thinking about switching to another lender, you do need to consider that you will have already paid an origination fee of up to 6% at the start of your loan.

  • Does LendingClub offer more financial products besides personal loans?

As its name suggests, LendingClub has a focus on lending products, so in addition to personal loans, you can access auto loans and business loans.

However, you can also invest in LendingClub and help others to secure the financing they need. So, if you have successfully used LendingClub and want to see a return on your spare cash, you could consider this lender.

Monevo

monevo logo 2
monevo logo 2
On Monevo Secure Website

Monevo

APR

8.30% – 36.00%

Loan Term

36 – 60 months

Minimum Score

600

Loan Amount

$1,000 – $40,000
On Monevo Secure Website

Monevo is an internet platform that can easily and quickly connect you to a wide variety of personal loans. You can use the platform without affecting your credit score, and you can use the platform to explore a variety of different options without ever having to leave their convenient website.

Monevo's platform is built on cutting-edge technology that is easy and convenient to use for everyone. And the loans you can search for can be for as low as $500 all the way up to $100,000.

  • Wide Range Of Loan Amounts
  • Fair & Bad Credit Scores Usually Accepted
  • Won’t Impact Your Credit Score
  • Loans Are Mixed
  • You’ll Receive Emails/Phone Calls
  • Limited Network
  • How quickly can I receive my loan through Monevo?

Many of our panel's lending partners can send funds as soon as the next business day. The amount of any personal loan offer, if made, will differ depending on the lending partner, your creditworthiness, and the laws of your state.

There is no guarantee that you will be presented with personalized personal loan offers, or that you will qualify for the rate, fees, or terms shown on the site if you are presented with personalized loan offers.

  • What exactly is Monevo?

Monevo is a loan comparison service that assists consumers in searching for personalized available rates on loans from major online lenders and banks without affecting their credit score.

Monevo claims to have assisted thousands of customers in obtaining personal loans totaling more than one billion dollars.

  • How do I finish the loan application process?

You will be able to review the details of the prequalified rates you receive from our lending partners after completing Monevo's online questionnaire. If you choose one of these options, proceed directly to the lender's website to complete the process.

  • Does Monevo require a social security number?

For lenders to be able to provide you with pre-qualified loan offers, Monevo requires your social security number. Using the Monevo service to receive pre-qualified loan offers has no effect on your credit score, and you are under no obligation to proceed with any of the lenders you receive offers from.

Getting a Fair Credit Personal Loan

What Does Fair Credit Mean?

A fair credit score usually falls into the range of 580 to 669 with FICO. The FICO Score is used by many lenders to help determine who they should and should make loan agreements with. It is split into five groups: poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent.

Credit scores are determined by the information collected from your credit reports, making it a good insight into your personal credit history. That is why lenders will want to know it.

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%.

 

Why You Need to Know Your Credit Score?

You will need to know your credit score if you want to take out a loan. Banks and other lenders will use your score to determine the interest rate on your loan, which is going to be lower if you have a better credit score.

So, you generally have more loan options the higher your score is.

If you have a fair credit score, the offer may not be as good as it could be. The score will impact your interest rate as well as the amount needed to make the down payment.

If you need to improve your score, making timely payments on your bills and debts is a good place to start.

How to Pick the Right Loan For Your Needs?

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.

However, if you have fair credit, credit unions might be the best option for you.

These facilities 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.

Credit unions are also known for being the best place to get small personal loans, which are considered to be $2,500 or less.

Most big banks will not offer unsecured loans. That means you will need to offer collateral in order to receive them.

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.

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

Compare Personal Loan With Our Partners

Credible

  • Get a personalized rate quickly
  • Variety of lenders
  • Best rate guarantee (terms apply)

Bankrate

  • Get prequalified loan offers
  • 2 minutes or less
  • NOT affect your credit score

Personalloans.com

  • $1,000 to $35,000
  • Get funding fast
  • No hidden fees

Advertiser Disclosure

The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. 

Get prequalified loan offers in 2 minutes or less. This will NOT affect your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. 

Suggested Video From Our Channel

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.

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.

Personal loans are one of the most flexible finance products on the market. You can use a personal loan for practically any purpose from making a purchase to refinancing your debt. In this chart using TransUnion data, we can see that the number of individual personal loan borrowers has steadily increased:

 

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

First, you will need to understand what each is. J.D. Power U.S. Lending Consumer Satisfaction 2020

What are the Requirements for a Fair Credit Loan?

There are some requirements that you will need to fill before you can get your loan. When you have fair or lower credit, you may need someone to sign the loan with you. Other than that, you will need to go through a more thorough application process.

This is called a hard credit check. It will temporarily lower your credit score for a period, so you will only want to do one at a time. Wait until it goes back up before you fill out another application.

Documents

You will also be required to have copies of certain documents with you. They may require bank statements, your W-2, pay stubs, documents relating to your other debts, and more.

The lender will require you to provide them with everything they need to get an accurate idea of what your financial situation looks like.

If you are unsure of what the bank, credit union, or online lender will require from you, do not hesitate to ask. They should be up front with what they need, so you can prepare to provide them with your documents.

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. 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 Loan Can I Get With a 550 Credit Score?

While you are less likely to receive a large loan, you still might be able to get a small personal one. This type of credit score is considered to be very poor, meaning you will not get a good interest rate. It may be worth trying to improve your credit before applying to anything.

When it comes to funds, you should not expect to receive a lot of money. Usually, $2,500 or under is all you will be able to get. You may also be able to apply for credit cards, but most lenders will consider your score to be too low.

Some online lenders have a lower FICO score requirement, meaning you might get prequalified with them. Ask about applications that will not harm your score. If they only offer hard credit checks, it may not be worth it until you raise your credit.

With a score of 550 or lower, you may not be able to apply alone. You might need a cosigner or collateral in order to take out the loan.

However, local credit unions will be your best option. If you have done banking with them in the past, they are more likely to offer you a decent loan amount.

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.

How Often to Check Your Credit Score?

You will want to check your score fairly often to ensure you are trending in the right direction. Overall, you will want to check in on it about once a month when you are trying to make changes.

That way, you can see if what you are doing is working. If it is not, you will be able to react quickly and make the changes you need. Plus, you will be able to catch errors in the score. On average, one in five people have mistakes in their credit history.

If you do notice mistakes, you will want to contact the credit companies to file a dispute. When it is corrected, your score will likely increase.

What are the Costs of a Fair-Credit Loan?

A fair-credit loan is geared towards people who fall into the fair credit range. The interest rates are not going to be as low as they are for someone with good credit, but they can still be manageable.

  • Fees – Any loan will come with fees. But, for a personal fair-credit loan, you can expect origination fees. These fees usually fall between 2.5% to 5% of the total loan. You will need to consider them while planning on taking out a loan, so you know you are getting enough funds.

They also may charge you late fees if you miss a payment. Plus, prepayment fees may also apply if you finish paying off the loan earlier than agreed upon. It is worth checking to make sure this does not apply to your offer

  • Lowered Credit Score – If the lender runs a hard check into your credit history, you will notice your credit score drop slightly for a time. You do not want to run too many hard checks, as this can greatly harm your credit score.

It is best to put some waiting time between loan applications. That way, you do not lower your credit further.

What are the Expected Loan Rates for Fair Credit?

Your credit score will impact the expected loan rates, however, you can expect between 9% and 36% from a majority of lenders.

They also will tend to offer loans anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000. The origination fee you have to pay will vary slightly, usually somewhere around 6% 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.

Compare Personal Loan With Our Partners

Credible

  • Get a personalized rate quickly
  • Variety of lenders
  • Best rate guarantee (terms apply)

Bankrate

  • Get prequalified loan offers
  • 2 minutes or less
  • NOT affect your credit score

Personalloans.com

  • $1,000 to $35,000
  • Get funding fast
  • No hidden fees

Advertiser Disclosure

The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. 

Best Rate Guarantee – $200 giftcard if you find and close with a better rate elsewhere (terms apply)

Advertiser Disclosure

The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. 

Suggested Video From Our Channel

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. 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. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Best Personal Loans

Best Rate Guarantee – $200 giftcard if you find and close with a better rate elsewhere (terms apply)

Advertiser Disclosure

The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.