BEST OF

Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit of August 2022

Compare rates and terms among lenders offering personal loans for fair credit.

Aug 1, 2022

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Your credit score is a key factor that determines whether you qualify for a personal loan. Applicants with fair credit scores — generally from 630 to 689 — may have a harder time qualifying for a loan than those with good or excellent credit.

But it’s still possible. Many lenders consider additional factors on an application, such as education, whether you rent or own your home, income and outstanding debts.

Here are the best personal loans for fair credit, plus information about how to qualify and build your credit.

  • Upstart: Best overall fair-credit personal loans.

  • LendingClub: Best fair-credit loans with budgeting help.

  • Best Egg: Best fair-credit personal loans with low rates.

  • Happy Money: Best fair-credit personal loans for debt consolidation.

  • FreedomPlus: Best fair-credit loans for joint loans.

  • Rocket Loans: Best fair-credit personal loans with fast approval.

Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

Our pick for

Overall fair-credit personal loans

Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

5.42-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Upstart is a good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with some debt consolidation loans.

  • Allows borrowers to choose and change payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No mobile app to manage the loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum credit history: None, this lending platform accepts borrowers with credit history too limited to produce a FICO score.

  • Minimum gross income: $12,000.

  • Employment: Full-time job, full-time job offer starting in 6 months, a regular part-time job, or another source of regular income.

  • Must have U.S. residential street address where borrower resides (unless military personnel on active duty).

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Valid email account required.

  • Personal bank account with U.S. routing number required.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Minimum loan amounts vary by state: GA ($3,100), HI ($2,100), MA ($7,000), NM ($5,100), OH ($6,000).This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.4% and 60 monthly payments of $24.62 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $14,775 including a $582 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved. If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans with budgeting help

Lending Club
Get rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

6.34-35.89%

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

LendingClub stands out for its Member Center, which helps customers manage their budgets and credit.

Pros

  • Offers joint loan options.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Option to change the payment date.

Cons

  • Borrowers can choose from two repayment term options only.

  • Charges an origination fee.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Maximum DTI: 60%; 40% for joint applicants.

  • Minimum credit history: More than 18 months.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit report: Two revolving accounts.

  • Monthly income after paying other debts and living expenses should be enough to cover the new personal loan payments.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2% to 6%.

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

A representative example of loan payment terms is as follows: you receive a loan of $13,411 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 12.16% and a 5.30% origination fee of $711, for an APR of 15.99%. In this example, you will receive $12,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $446.46. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths are 36 months or 60 months. Some amounts and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. APR ranges from 7.04% to 35.89% and is determined at the time of application. Origination fee ranges from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of 7/1/21 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Loans are subject to credit approval and sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that we subsequently obtain as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan from us. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans with low rates

BestEgg
Get rate

on Best Egg's website

Best Egg

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
BestEgg

Est. APR

7.99-35.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on Best Egg's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

Best Egg can be a low-rate loan option for debt consolidation or homeowners who want to use a fixture on their home as collateral.

Pros

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts.

  • Provides secured loan option for homeowners.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No rate discounts.

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum credit history: 3 years and 3 accounts.

  • Minimum income requirement is $3,500; borrower average is $80,000. Borrower must have enough cash flow to cover current financial obligations.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 65% including a mortgage; borrower average is 40%.

  • Employment: Must provide proof of income; part-time employees are eligible.

  • Must provide valid U.S. address and Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0.99% - 8.99%.

  • Return fee: $15 if payments are not processed.

Disclaimer

Trustpilot TrustScore as of June 2020. Best Egg personal loans, including the Best Egg Secured Loan, are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Blue Ridge Bank, a Nationally Chartered Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. “Best Egg” is a trademark of Marlette Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. All uses of “Best Egg” refer to “the Best Egg personal loan”, “the Best Egg Secured Loan”, and/or “Best Egg on behalf of Cross River Bank or Blue Ridge Bank, as originator of the Best Egg personal loan,” as applicable. The term, amount, and APR of any loan we offer to you will depend on your credit score, income, debt payment obligations, loan amount, credit history and other factors. Your loan agreement will contain specific terms and conditions. About half of our customers get their money the next day. After successful verification, your money can be deposited in your bank account within 1-3 business days. The timing of available funds upon loan approval may vary depending upon your bank’s policies. Loan amounts range from $2,000– $50,000. Residents of Massachusetts have a minimum loan amount of $6,500 ; New Mexico and Ohio, $5,000; and Georgia, $3,000. For a second Best Egg loan, your total existing Best Egg loan balances cannot exceed $50,000. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) range from 7.99%–35.99%. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0.99%–8.99% of your loan amount, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive. The origination fee on a loan term 4-years or longer will be at least 4.99%. Your loan term will impact your APR, which may be higher than our lowest advertised rate.  You need a minimum 700 FICO® score and a minimum individual annual income of $100,000 to qualify for our lowest APR. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents. Best Egg products are not available if you live in Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans for debt consolidation

Happy Money
Get rate

on Happy Money (Formerly Payoff)'s website

Happy Money (Formerly Payoff)

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Happy Money

Est. APR

5.99-24.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on Happy Money (Formerly Payoff)'s website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

Happy Money specializes in debt consolidation. The lender also provides resources to help manage financial stress.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors.

  • Reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.

  • No prepayment or late fees.


Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • Requires several years of credit history.


Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum credit history: Three years.

  • At least two open accounts on credit report.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

  • Free cash flow: At least $1,000.

  • Zero credit delinquencies.

  • Must be able to provide income verification.

  • No bankruptcies filed within the past two years.

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0%-5%.

Disclaimer

This does not constitute an actual commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income, assets, and financial condition. Your interest rate and terms for which you are approved will be shown to you as part of the online application process. Most applicants will receive a variety of loan offerings to choose from, with varying loan amounts and interest rates. Borrower subject to a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans with rate discounts

FreedomPlus
Get rate

on FreedomPlus' website

FreedomPlus

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
FreedomPlus

Est. APR

7.99-29.99%

Loan amount

$7,500-$50,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on FreedomPlus' website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

FreedomPlus offers discounts for adding a co-borrower, having retirement savings and for having the lender pay off your debts directly.

Pros

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Multiple ways to get a rate discount.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • High minimum loan amount.

  • No secured or co-signed loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600; borrower average is 700.

  • Minimum debt-to-income ratio: 45%, excluding mortgage; borrower average is 23%.

  • Minimum income: None; borrowers have an average household income of $120,000.

  • Minimum credit history: three years.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: two.

  • No bankruptcy in the last 24 months.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.99% - 4.99%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of amount due, whichever is greater.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank or MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC, Equal Housing Lenders. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Terms and conditions apply. Loans are not available to residents of all states. Minimum loan amounts vary due to state-specific legal restrictions – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 7.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four-year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. *To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Loan origination fees vary from 1.99% to 4.99%, though most loans will have a loan origination fee of 4.99%. **Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans with fast approval

RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

5.97-29.69%

Loan amount

$2,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

640
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

640

Key facts

Rocket Loans says it can fund loans the same day if a borrower signs their documents before 1 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Pros

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Competitive rates among fair-credit lenders.

  • Offers a 0.3 percentage point rate discount for setting up autopay.

  • Able to fund loans the same day.

  • Offers small loans of $2,000.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Does not offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No option to choose or change your payment date.

  • Borrowers can choose from only two repayment term options.

  • No co-sign, joint or secured loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 710.

  • Minimum credit history: Over two years.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrower average is $85,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 40% or 70% including mortgage; borrower average is 14%.

  • Must be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska).

  • Must provide Social Security number.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% to 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

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Our pick for

Fair-credit personal loans for credit union members

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

Est. APR

6.70-18.00%

Loan amount

$500-$50,000

Min. credit score

660
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

First Tech offers joint, co-signed and secured personal loans. It's rare for a lender to offer all three options, but you must be a member to borrow.

Pros

  • Offers co-sign, joint and secure loan options.

  • Able to fund loans within one business day.

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

Cons

  • Exclusive to credit union members.

  • Reports payments to only one of the three major credit bureaus.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Prepayment fee: None.

Read Full Review

How we chose the best personal loans for fair credit

We compared more than a dozen lenders that require a minimum credit score between 600 and 660 to choose the best personal loans for fair credit. We reviewed factors such as income and other borrowing requirements, APR ranges, loan amounts, funding time and the ability to add a co-signer or collateral.

What is fair credit?

A fair credit score is generally from 630 to 689. Lenders may use different definitions of fair credit based on different credit scoring companies. Most lenders use either FICO, which defines fair credit as 580 to 669, or VantageScore, which puts fair credit or “near prime” scores, between 601 and 660.

If you have a fair credit score, do what you can to move it into the good credit range because consumers in that range often have access to a wider range of personal loan options and often get lower rates.

Can you get a personal loan with fair credit?

You can get a personal loan with a fair credit score, but your options may be limited. Many banks and some online lenders look for borrowers with good or excellent credit.

A lower credit score usually means your personal loan will have a higher annual percentage rate. Borrowers with fair credit can expect an APR near 20%. Use a personal loan calculator to estimate monthly payments based on your credit score.

Here are average personal loan rates by credit score:

How's your credit?

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

10.6%.

Good

690-719.

15.5%.

Fair

630-689.

19.6%.

Bad

300-629.

25.6%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from Jan. 1, 2022, to July 31, 2022. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below 500 FICO — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with APRs below 36%.

How to compare fair-credit personal loans

Here are the most important features to compare on fair-credit loans.

Annual percentage rate

The APR is the loan’s interest rate plus any fees a lender charges. Use this number to compare the cost of one personal loan with another and with other financing options like credit cards.

Monthly payments

A lender should disclose the monthly payments before you sign a loan agreement — usually during pre-qualification or once you’re approved. Most personal loans have fixed rates, so the monthly payment won’t change over the life of the loan.

Repayment term

Repayment terms for fair-credit loans typically range from one to seven years. A longer term lowers your monthly payments, but increases the total interest cost. Choose a repayment term that keeps payments affordable and helps you clear the debt within the term or even earlier.

Fees

Prepayment fees aren’t common with personal loans, but some fair-credit lenders charge origination fees. This is usually 1% to 10% of the loan amount, and a lender typically takes the fee before depositing the funds into your bank account.

Other features

If you’re choosing between two affordable offers, compare these other features:

  • Time to fund: Personal loans are often funded in less than a week, but some lenders can fund a loan the business day after you apply. If you need the funds quickly, consider lenders that offer fast funding.

  • Credit building tools: Ideally, you’ll leave this loan with better credit than when you got it. Most lenders report payments to all three major credit bureaus, but be sure yours does before signing the loan agreement to get credit for on-time payments. Some lenders offer credit score monitoring, so you can see it change as you repay the loan.

  • Payment flexibility: Some lenders require you to keep your original payment date for the lifetime of the loan. If you think you’ll need more flexibility, look for a lender that lets you change the payment date.

How to get a personal loan with fair credit

1. Compare lender requirements

The lenders listed above accept borrowers with fair credit, but some look for a lower debt-to-income ratio. Others may consider a wide range of factors, like where you attended college or where you live. Compare qualification criteria to learn what each lender requires on a loan application.

2. Pre-qualify

Pre-qualifying can show how likely you are to be approved for a personal loan and let you preview potential rates and loan amounts. The process involves a soft credit check, which doesn't affect your credit score. You can pre-qualify with multiple lenders at once with NerdWallet.

3. Submit an application

Once you’ve found a lender, it’s time to apply. Many large lenders have online applications that take only a few minutes to complete, but smaller banks and credit unions may require an in-person visit. A tip to speed things up: Gather documents, including W-2s, pay stubs and government-issued IDs before you apply.

How to improve fair credit

Since having good credit could mean a lower personal loan rate, it might be helpful to build your credit before you apply for a personal loan. Here are a few ways to build your credit quickly:

  • Check your credit report. Your credit report doesn’t contain your score, but it shows what lenders see when they review your credit. If you spot an error, correct it. You can view credit reports from all three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — at AnnualCreditReport.com.

  • Make on-time payments. Your payment history is the biggest factor affecting your credit score. The more consistently you make payments toward your credit cards, mortgage or car loan, the better your credit score.

  • Keep your credit utilization low. The portion of available credit that you use is called credit utilization and it’s the second-biggest factor determining your credit score. Try to use less than 30% of your credit card’s limit to keep utilization low. You can quickly lower your utilization by asking your credit card company to increase your limit, but the request may trigger a hard credit inquiry.

Tips to boost your chances of qualifying for a fair-credit loan

Consider a credit union: A credit union may weigh your history as a member alongside your credit score, so members in good standing may have a better shot at qualifying for a personal loan.

Secure the loan: Most personal loans are unsecured, but some lenders offer secured personal loans, which require collateral. Giving the bank something to take if you can’t repay makes the loan less risky for the bank. Banks typically let you use a savings or investment account to secure the loan, while online lenders prefer a vehicle.

Add a co-applicant: Adding a co-signer with better credit and a higher income to your loan may help you qualify for a lower rate. A co-signer is someone who agrees to pay the loan if you can’t, but that person doesn’t have access to the money. You may also consider a joint personal loan, which is similar to a co-signed loan except that your co-applicant can access the funds. In both cases, if you fail to repay the loan, your co-applicant is responsible for repayment — and both of your credit scores will take a hit.

Last updated on August 1, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit of August 2022

Frequently asked questions