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Best personal loans for fair credit

Consider these lenders if you have credit score below 670

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Written by Jessica Martel
Edited by Jana Lynch

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Best Egg
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A personal loan can be an effective way to gain fast access to cash. If you have excellent credit, you’re in a good position to secure a personal loan with a low interest rate. With a fair credit score, which FICO defines as ranging from 580 to 669, it's still possible to get approved for a loan, but you might not qualify for the best rates or terms.


Key insights

  • Qualifying for a personal loan with a fair credit score (580 to 669) can be challenging, but it is possible.
  • Before selecting a lender, compare and evaluate your options based on interest rates, repayment terms and fees.
  • To improve your chances of qualifying for a personal loan and secure better terms, consider increasing your credit score above 670 (into FICO’s “good” credit score range) before applying.

Our recommendations for personal loans for fair credit

To make our choices for the best personal loans for fair credit, we collected 806 data points (26 individual data points for 31 lenders), including customer reviews and overall ratings from ConsumerAffairs readers, for popular lenders. We used these data points to evaluate factors that have the most impact on borrowers, including credit score requirements, APRs, time to funding and fees, before making our final selections.

Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which the companies appear.

Best Egg AUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • $50,000 max loan amount
  • 36- or 60-month repayment terms
  • 640 minimum credit score
  • User star rating: 4.8

If you have fair credit and are looking for a personal loan you can use for almost anything, you might want to consider Best Egg. It’s an online lender, and it offers personal loans that you can use for debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, moving, vacations, special occasions, baby and adoption expenses, and major purchases.

At the time of publication, its personal loans range from $2,000 to $50,000 with APRs from 7.99% to 35.99% and three- or five-year terms.

After filling out an application online, Best Egg claims you will know if you are approved in a few minutes. If you qualify, you can then choose an offer, and you’ll be asked to verify the information you submitted in your application. Once you’ve verified your info, you can expect the money in your account within one to three business days.

Our full profile of Best Egg provides more details about this lender.

  • Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Direct creditor payment option on debt consolidation loans
  • Quick access to funds (1 to 3 business days)
  • Origination fee of 0.99% to 8.99% of your loan amount
  • Only two repayment terms (either 3 or 5 years)

The reviews for Best Egg on ConsumerAffairs are overwhelmingly positive. Customers appreciate the straightforward application process and how quickly they were approved. One reviewer stated that “the process was straight to the point, and it was one of the easiest I've done applying for anything.” However, a few reviewers felt that the interest rates were too high, and some were hesitant about the required automatic payments


Marcus by Goldman Sachs
  • $40,000 max loan amount
  • 36- to 72-month repayment terms
  • 660 minimum credit score recommended
  • Consumer rating: 3.9

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a good option for borrowers with fair credit who want an online lender and no-fee personal loans. Loan options include debt consolidation loans, home improvement loans and MarcusPay point-of-sale loans for travel expenses.

Most of the company’s personal loans, including debt consolidation and home improvement loans, range from $3,500 to $40,000, with APRs between 6.99% and 24.99%. Terms vary from three to six years. MarcusPay loans are different, ranging from $300 to $10,000 with APRs of 8.99% to 29.99% and payment terms of six, 12 or 18 months.

To apply, complete an online application form, and if you’re approved, you can get your funds within five days. (MarcusPay loans are available when purchasing travel accommodations through official partners.)

Read our full profile of Marcus by Goldman Sachs for more information.

  • No fees
  • Direct creditor payment option on debt consolidation loans
  • 0.25% APR discount if you sign up for automatic payments
  • One-month payment deferral available after a year of on-time payments
  • Can take 5 days or longer to receive funds
  • Recommended credit score is on the high end of the fair range

At the time of publishing, there were few ConsumerAffairs reviews specific to Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans. Some reviewers were impressed with the quality of the company’s customer service, but some felt the application and approval process took too long.


Avant
  • $35,000 max loan amount
  • 12- to 60-month repayment terms
  • Undisclosed minimum credit score
  • User star rating: 3.9

Avant, formerly AvantCredit, is a Chicago-based financial technology (fintech) company that specializes in lending to middle-income consumers. It’s a good choice for those looking for quick funding.

Avant offers a variety of personal loan programs, including debt consolidation, emergency, home improvement and installment loans. Personal loans range from $2,000 to $35,000, with APRs between 9.95% and 35.95% and loan terms between one and five years.

To apply for an Avant loan, you must complete an online application. If approved, Avant will deposit your loan as soon as the next business day.

For more details, you can read our full Avant profile.

  • Flexible loan terms (1 to 5 years)
  • Funds are deposited as soon as the next day following approval
  • Higher APR range than many competitors
  • Most borrowers have credits scores between 600 and 700

ConsumerAffairs readers praise Avant’s customer service and application process. One reviewer stated, “I could not believe how fast and easy it was to apply and receive my deposit!” However, others were concerned with the higher interest rates on its loans, and there are several negative reviews regarding the Avant credit card.


LendingClub
  • $40,000 max loan amount
  • 36- to 60-month repayment terms
  • Undisclosed minimum credit score
  • User star rating: 4.0

LendingClub is a California-based fintech marketplace bank offering a range of financial products and services.

LendingClub advertises its personal loans for a variety of purposes, including credit card consolidation, balance transfers, consolidating other debts and home improvement. With a LendingClub personal loan, you can borrow between $1,000 and $40,000. Personal loan APRs range from 8.30% to 36.00%, and terms of three to five years are available.

You can request for LendingClub to send your loan directly to your creditors, and you also have the option to apply for a joint loan with another borrower.

To apply for a LendingClub loan, you need to provide some personal and financial details on its website. If your request is approved, you can then select a loan offer based on the rate, terms and payment options you prefer. Once your loan is approved, the money is sent straight to your bank account or directly to your creditors.

Loans are available to residents of all U.S. states except Iowa.

You can read more information about this lender in our full LendingClub profile.

  • Offers personal loans from $1,000 to $40,000
  • Direct creditor payment option on debt consolidation loans
  • Offers joint personal loans for co-borrowers
  • No application or prepayment fees
  • Charges origination fees between 3% and 6%
  • Charges late fees on payments more than 15 days late

ConsumerAffairs readers give LendingClub mixed reviews. Some state that LendingClub was willing to give them a loan despite low credit scores or negative marks like bankruptcies on their credit reports (one reviewer even stated, “​​To be honest, I never thought anyone would ever give me another line of credit or loan for that matter.”). At the same time, others thought the customer service was lacking and, in some cases, the interest rates were too high.


Happy Money
  • $40,000 max loan amount
  • 24- to 60-month repayment terms
  • 640 minimum credit score
  • User star rating: N/A*

*Not enough user reviews

Happy Money, previously known as Payoff, is a California-based financial technology company offering a debt consolidation loan called the “Payoff Loan.”

You can borrow between $5,000 and $40,000 from Happy Money. APRs range from 7.99% to 29.99%, and terms vary from two to five years.

You can apply for a Happy Money loan online. If you qualify, you can choose from multiple loan options based on your monthly payment, rate and terms. Once you’ve selected an option, Happy Money will finalize the legal documents and verify your information before sending the money to your account. You can also request Happy Money to pay off your creditors directly.

Happy Money is available to borrowers in 48 U.S. states (not available in Massachusetts and Nevada).

You can learn more by reading our profile of Happy Money.

  • No prepayment or late fees
  • Direct creditor payment option on debt consolidation loans
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Only offers a credit card consolidation loan
  • No joint applications
  • Requires 3+ years of credit history

There are few reviews of Happy Money from ConsumerAffairs readers, but the feedback has been mixed. Some borrowers are pleased with their experiences and willing to use the company again. However, some readers report being unhappy with the customer service and delays in application processing.

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    How to get a loan with fair credit

    Securing a loan with fair credit is possible, but don’t expect to score the lowest interest rate or the best terms. Here are some things to consider when trying to get a fair credit loan.

    Improve your credit score

    If you want to qualify for a better interest rate and you don’t need a loan immediately, you might want to try increasing your credit score above 670. This is the lowest score that FICO considers a “good” credit score, so it may help you qualify for more loan options with better terms 

    Compare fair credit lenders

    If you’re in a pinch and you need to borrow with a fair score, make sure you do your research and shop around between lenders that offer personal loans to people with fair credit.

    Compare lenders on factors like interest rates, fees and repayment terms. Also, confirm that you have the necessary qualifications to apply. For instance — if the lender’s minimum credit score is 660, make sure you meet this target. If you don’t know what the qualifications are, you can usually complete an online application to see if you pre-qualify. Pre-qualifying for a loan typically will not hurt your credit score as only a soft credit check is performed, but it will give you a better idea of the loans you are eligible for.

    Consider adding a co-signer or a co-borrower

    If you’re struggling to qualify for a loan, look for one that permits a co-signer or co-borrower:

    • A co-signer is someone who takes on the responsibility to repay the loan if you (the primary borrower) miss a payment.
    • A co-borrower is a person who applies for a loan with you and gets equal access to the funds. You are both responsible for repayment.

    Including a co-signer or co-borrower can provide the lender with the extra reassurance they may need to lend you money.

    Frequently asked questions

    What is considered a fair credit score?

    According to FICO, a fair credit score ranges from 580 to 669.

    How much of a loan can I get with fair credit?

    How much of a loan you can get with a fair credit score will vary by lender. Our top personal loan lenders for people with fair credit have loan maximums ranging from $35,000 to $50,000.

    Factors including your income, employment, whether you own a home and how much debt you have may also impact how much you can borrow.

    Are personal loans for fair credit legit?

    It is absolutely possible to get a personal loan from a legitimate lender if you have fair credit. However, not every lender is trustworthy, and don’t expect to qualify for the best interest rates or repayment terms — those are typically reserved for people with excellent credit.

    Bottom line

    A personal loan can be an effective way to gain fast access to cash. With a fair credit score, it is possible to get approved for a loan, but you can expect fewer options and higher interest rates than someone with an excellent credit score.

    When looking for a fair credit lender, compare them on factors like interest rates, repayment terms and fees. If you don’t need a loan immediately, you may also want to consider improving your credit score to potentially increase the number of loan options you qualify for.

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