Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans for Fair Credit: Best for May 2019

May 23, 2019
Loans, Personal Loans
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: It’s harder for borrowers with fair or average credit (630 to 689 FICO score) to qualify for a personal loan than it is for borrowers with good or excellent credit. But it’s still possible, and some lenders will consider more than your credit score when determining your creditworthiness.

Compare personal loans at multiple lenders and choose one that offers the lowest rate over the term of the loan. Here are your best options for fair credit loans, plus what you need to know.

Best for fair or average credit: LendingClub and Prosper

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 faster funding than LendingClub.

4.0 NerdWallet rating

• APR: 6.95% - 35.89%.

• Loan amount: $1,000 - $40,000.

• Loan terms: 3 or 5 years.

• Minimum credit score: 600; borrowers average 699.

• Time to funding: In as few as 3 days.

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

Read our review.

Check Rate Click to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

• APR: 6.95% - 35.99%.

• Loan amount: $2,000 - $40,000.

• Loan terms: 3 or 5 years.

• Minimum credit score: 640; 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 Rate Click to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.

LendingClub

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Pros: Co-signer option, low minimum credit score requirement.
  • Cons: Origination fees.

Prosper 

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Pros: Fast funding of one to three days after approval, compared with up to one week at LendingClub.
  • Cons: Origination fees, no co-sign option.

» MORE: Read our comparison of LendingClub and Prosper

Best for debt consolidation: Avant, FreedomPlus and Upgrade

If you have fair credit and want to consolidate multiple high-interest debts into one new loan at a lower rate, Avant, FreedomPlus and Upgrade offer debt consolidation loans.

4.0 NerdWallet rating

• APR: 9.95% - 35.99%.

• Loan amount: $2,000 - $35,000.

• Loan terms: 2 to 5 years.

• Minimum credit score: 580.

• Time to funding: As soon as the next business day.

• Fees: Administrative fee of 4.75% of loan amount; fees for late payment and unsuccessful payment.

Read our review.

Check rate Click to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.
3.5 NerdWallet rating

•APR: 5.99% - 29.99%

•Loan amount: $10,000 - $40,000

•Loan terms: 2 to 5 years

•Minimum credit score: 640, but generally 700+

•Time to funding: 3 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 Rate Click to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

• APR: 7.99% - 35.89%.

• Loan amount: $1,000 - $50,000.

• Loan terms: 3 or 5 years.

• Minimum credit score: 620.

• Time to funding: 24 hours.

• Fees: Origination fee of 1.5% - 6% of loan amount.

Read our review.

Check rate Click to pre-qualify on NerdWallet.

Avant

  • Minimum credit score: 580.
  • Pros: Lower minimum credit score requirements than competitors and no income requirements.
  • Con: Administrative fee on all loans.

FreedomPlus

  • Minimum credit score: 640.
  • Pros: Low starting rates, co-signer option and direct payment to creditors.
  • Cons: Origination fee.

Upgrade

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Pros: Fast funding, credit health tools and hardship plans.
  • Cons: Requires strong free cash flow to qualify (at least $800 per month).

» MORE: Personal loans for debt consolidation

Best for ‘thin’ credit: Upstart

Borrowers with a “thin” or short credit history may still be able to qualify for loans with Upstart. The company considers factors such as education, employment and income when approving loans.

4.0 NerdWallet rating

•APR: 7.69% - 35.99%

•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 Rate Click pre-qualify on NerdWallet.

Upstart

  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Pros: Good option for young applicants with no credit history but high earning potential.
  • Cons: Origination fee.

Fair credit loans: Compare your options

LenderMinimum credit scoreAPR rangeGet started
Avant
4.0 NerdWallet rating
5809.95% - 35.99%
at Avant
LendingClub
4.0 NerdWallet rating
6006.95% - 35.89%
at LendingClub
Upgrade
4.0 NerdWallet rating
6207.99% - 35.89%
at Upgrade
Upstart
4.0 NerdWallet rating
6207.69% - 35.99%
at Upstart
FreedomPlus
3.5 NerdWallet rating

6205.99% - 29.99%
at FreedomPlus
Prosper
3.5 NerdWallet rating
6406.95% - 35.99%
at Prosper
Click “Check Rate” to pre-qualify on NerdWallet and receive personalized rates from multiple lenders.

How much will it cost?

Use our personal loan calculator to see estimated rates, total interest costs and payments for a personal loan.

» MORE: Best personal loan interest rates

How to qualify for fair credit loans

Focus on your credit score. Even if lenders look at other factors, your credit score is a key consideration, and building your score can mean better odds of qualifying and getting a lower rate.

Add a co-applicant or co-signer to your application. There are risks to co-signing, but it’s an option that can help you qualify for a loan that you wouldn’t on your own because of fair credit or low income.

Consider a credit union. Credit unions tend to know their members and their financial histories and may offer lower rates and more flexible terms to borrowers with average credit. Federal credit unions cap interest rates at 18%.

Pre-qualify with multiple lenders. Many online lenders allow you to pre-qualify to see rates and terms you may receive. This usually involves a soft credit check, which doesn’t affect your credit score.

» MORE:  5 ways to boost your chances of qualifying

Summary: Fair credit personal loans

About the author