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Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit 2018

Feb. 27, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: It’s harder for borrowers with fair credit to get a personal loan than it is for borrowers with good or excellent credit. But it’s still possible.

Fair or average credit (630 to 689 FICO score) lands between bad credit (629 and below) and good credit (690 to 719). 

Here are your best options for fair credit loans:

Personal loans for fair credit

LendingClub and Prosper are two options for borrowers with fair credit. They offer comparable loan terms and rates, with slight differences in qualifications and time to funding. You’ll need stronger credit to qualify for Prosper, which provides slightly faster funding than LendingClub.

•APR: 6.16% - 35.89%

•Loan amount: $1,000 - $40,000

•Loan terms: 3 or 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 600, but borrowers average 699

•Time to funding: Usually 7 days

•Fees: Origination fee of 1% - 6% of loan amount; fees for late payment, unsuccessful payment and personal check use

Read our review

Check Rates Click to apply on LendingClub.

•APR: 6.95% - 35.99%

•Loan amount: $2,000 - $40,000

•Loan terms: 3 or 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 640, but borrowers average 710

•Time to funding: 1 to 3 days after approval

•Fees: Origination fee of 2.4% - 5% of loan amount; fees for late payment and unsuccessful payment

Read our review

Check Rates Click to apply on Prosper.

LendingClub requires a minimum credit score of 600 and three years of credit history to qualify. The average borrower has a score of 699 and more than 16 years of credit history.

Prosper is an option if you have slightly better credit: the lender’s minimum credit score requirement is 640, although its customers have an average score of 710. Funding takes one to three days after approval, compared to up to one week at LendingClub.

» MORE: Read our comparison of LendingClub and Prosper

Personal loans for debt consolidation

If you have fair credit and want to consolidate multiple high-interest debts into one new loan at a lower rate, Avant and FreedomPlus are two lenders offering loans geared toward borrowers who want to consolidate.

•APR: 9.95% - 35.99%

•Loan amount: $2,000 - $100,000

•Loan terms: 2 to 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 580, but borrowers’ average range is 600 to 700

•Time to funding: Average of 2 days

•Fees: Administration fee up to 4.75% of loan amount; fees for late payment and unsuccessful payment

Read our review

Check Rates Click to apply on Avant.

•APR: 4.99% - 29.99% fixed

•Loan amount: $10,000 - $35,000

•Loan terms: 2 to 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 640, but generally 700+

•Time to funding: As soon as 2 days

•Fees: Origination fee of 0% to 5% of loan amount; fees for late payment, unsuccessful payment and personal check use

Read our review

Check Rates Click to apply on FreedomPlus.

Half of Avant borrowers take out a loan for debt consolidation. The company has lower credit requirements than FreedomPlus, with a minimum credit score of 580. There are also no income requirements with Avant, although its borrowers generally earn more than $40,000 per year.

FreedomPlus is an option if you have slightly better credit; it requires a minimum credit score of 640. It also offers co-sign loans, and adding a co-signer can reduce your interest rate. You’ll need at least $30,000 in annual income to qualify.

» MORE: Personal loans for debt consolidation

Personal loans for ‘thin’ credit

Borrowers with a ‘thin’ or short credit history may still be able to qualify for loans with Backed and Upstart. Backed works best if you can apply with a co-signer, boosting your chances of qualifying if you don’t meet the lender’s minimum qualifications on your own. 

•APR: 2.9% - 15.99%

•Loan amount: $3,000 - $25,000

•Loan terms: 1 to 3 years

•Minimum credit score: 660 without co-signer, 720 for co-signer

•Time to funding: 2 to 4 business days

•Fees: Origination fee of 0.8% to 2.0% of loan amount. Fees for late payment, unsuccessful payment, personal check use

Read our review

Compare Rates Click to compare estimated rates on NerdWallet.

•APR: 7.43% - 29.99%

•Loan amount: $1,000 - $50,000

•Loan terms: 3 or 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 620

•Time to funding: Next business day

•Fees: Origination fee of 0% - 8% of loan amount. Fees for late payment and unsuccessful payment

Read our review

Check Rates Click to apply on Upstart.

Consider a personal loan from online lender Backed if you have a credit score of at least 660, at least six months’ credit history and annual income of at least $18,000 a year. If you don’t meet those qualifications and add a co-signer, your co-signer must have a credit score of at least 720 and income of at least $50,000 a year.

Upstart may be a good fit for borrowers with a credit score of at least 620, annual income of $12,000 and little to no credit history. The lender also considers academic history, job and income in its underwriting.

» MORE: See your credit score for free with NerdWallet

Build your credit for better rates

Your credit score is a key factor considered by lenders, and building your credit score can mean better odds of qualifying for a personal loan and getting a lower rate. Lenders may also weigh your debt compared to your income (calculated as debt-to-income ratio) and the length of your credit history.

More from NerdWallet

Updated on Feb. 27, 2018.

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