The Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit (Updated August 2019)

The Credit Review
August 15, 2019 Personal Loans
The Best Personal Loans For Fair Credit (Updated August 2019)

A personal loan is a financial tool you can use to help fund any personal need such as home maintenance, emergencies, education-related expenses, and even paying off credit card debt.

With a fair credit score, which ranges around 630 to 689 on the FICO® scale, finding a personal loan with reasonable interest rates, high amounts, and ideal terms may be difficult.

Below, we break down the best lenders for borrowers with fair credit:

Credible

credible-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: 600
  • APR: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Range: $1,000 to $100,000
  • Term Length: 2 to 7 years

Credible's 100% free and no obligation loan matching service allows borrowers to be connected with lenders through their loan marketplace.

Credible is so confident in the rates offered through their platform, they offer a $200 Best Rate Guarantee if you find a better rate elsewhere.

Interested borrowers simply have to fill out a quick, 2-minute form to receive personalized offers from up to 11 lenders.

Read our 2019 Credible review.

EVEN Financial

even-financial-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: No minimum credit score
  • APR: 4.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Range: $1,000 to $100,000
  • Term Length: 24 to 84 months

EVEN Financial specializes in providing personal loans for all credit types, including fair credit.

Their website provides a quick, free, and secure application that matches you to multiple trusted lending partners like OneMain Financial, Lending Club, Prosper, Avant, Rise, LightStream, Social Finance, Vouch, and Upstart.

EVEN's lending partners provide your loan funds via direct deposit, so you may receive money as soon as the next business day.

Read our 2019 EVEN Financial review.

LoansUnder36

loansunder36-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: No minimum credit score
  • APR: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Range: $500 to $35,000
  • Term Length: 2 to 72 months

LoansUnder36 connects interested borrowers to a network of 100+ reputable personal loan lenders that cater to customers with any credit score -- even fair credit. They do exactly what their name suggests by only offering personal loans with interest rates under 36%.

With a quick and 100% free LoansUnder36 application, you can compare multiple loan offers. You are under no obligation to choose a loan, which allows you to go over all the loan terms before making a final decision.

Read our 2019 LoansUnder36 review.

Monevo

monevo-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: 580
  • APR: 3.34% to 35.99%
  • Loan Range: $1,000 to $100,000
  • Term Length: 3 to 96 months

Monevo specializes in loans for borrowers with fair to excellent credit. Their online loan marketplace serves customers in both the UK and the United States.

Their application is quick and free to fill out and allows you to choose your desired loan amount, loan term, and the purpose of your loan. Monevo's award-winning technology forwards your information to their lending partners to see if they have any real-time, no-obligation loan offers that match your needs. Once you receive your loan offers, you can compare them through an organized table and decide on the best loan for you.

Read our 2019 Monevo review.

Upgrade

upgrade-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: 620
  • APR: 6.99% to 35.97%
  • Loan Range: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Term Length: 36 to 60 months

Upgrade offers unsecured personal loans with fixed interest rates for borrowers with fair to excellent credit.

Their application process is done entirely online. To see your potential interest rates, you must visit Upgrade’s home page, enter your loan amount and the reason you want to borrow, and click on "Check Your Rate." You then submit your personal and financial information before Upgrade either shows you multiple loan options or notifies you that your application has been denied.

Once you have chosen and agreed to your loan terms, Upgrade performs a hard credit check and verifies your bank account information before directly depositing your cash within the same business day.

Read our 2019 Upgrade review.

FreedomPlus

freedomplus-logo

  • Minimum Credit Score: 620
  • APR: 5.99% to 29.99%
  • Loan Range: $10,000 to $40,000
  • Term Length: 2 to 5 years

FreedomPlus is a top player when it comes to offering debt consolidation loans for borrowers who are looking to pay off their credit card debt.

FreedomPlus offers personal loans with quick approval and funding. They cater their services to the needs of each individual. For example, FreedomPlus will not include credit card debt if you are looking to consolidate and pay it off; additionally, they will even pay off credit card debt on your behalf with your debt consolidation loan.

Best Debt Consolidation: Credible, FreedomPlus, Monevo, and Upgrade

Debt consolidation is a method in which consumers can take high-interest credit card debt and combine them into one lump sum with a lower interest rate.

Credible, FreedomPlus, Monevo, and Upgrade allow borrowers to receive personal loans with low interest rates and flexible terms. FreedomPlus, in particular, is ideal for consumers who are specifically looking to pay off high-interest credit card debt -- they will even pay off the debt on your behalf if you take out a debt consolidation loan.

Best Loan Marketplaces For Fair Credit: Credible, EVEN Financial, and Monevo

Our top loan marketplaces include Credible, EVEN Financial, and Monevo. Each of these lenders can connect borrowers to multiple lenders with one simple form.

Borrowers receive competitive interest rates with flexible terms. When it comes to low interest rates, Credible offers a $200 Best Rate Guarantee and will give you $200 if you find and close with a better interest rate through a different lender.

What is a fair credit score?

A fair credit score is usually in a range of 620 to 659 on the FICO® scale.

What is the personal loan application process like?

Online applications are simple. Borrowers only have to enter some basic personal information for the two online applications for the pre-approval process and the formal application.

Lenders will perform a soft pull on your credit report during the pre-approval process, which lets you compare your loan offers without any hard inquiries damaging your credit.

When you decide on the best loan terms for you, you can fill out the remainder of your personal information on your specific lender's application. Most lenders authorize a hard pull before approving your application but you can also check the lender’s policy on credit report pulls before you apply.

How do I qualify for a personal loan?

Most lenders require the following to apply for a personal loan:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must meet your lender's minimum credit score requirement: The majority of fair credit scores range between 580 and 660. Many lenders may also have no minimum credit score requirement.
  • You must have a steady stream of income: A regular source of income greatly increases your chances of approval.
  • You must have a valid checking account.

What are some benefits of online loans?

Although you may take out a high-interest loan if you have fair credit, you will receive some unexpected benefits from taking out a personal loan:

  • You receive your funds quickly -- sometimes in as little as one business day.
  • Most loans have fixed rates, so you don’t have to worry about the rates changing over time.
  • Most of the loans are unsecured and don't require any collateral.
  • Personal loans can be used for any purpose.
  • Most personal loans don’t have any prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early, which can help reduce your interest in the long run.
  • If you take out a credit builder loan, you can use that to improve your credit through on-time payments.

What are some signs of a reputable lender?

Before you take out a loan, be sure to check the lender’s address, their BBB page, and read through online reviews. Look for the following criteria in order to find a trusted lender:

  • Online transparency: Reputable lenders list their fees, APRs, and additional terms on their website.
  • Compliance with state regulations: You can see if they are registered in your state by contacting the state’s financial regulatory bureau.
  • Credit bureau reporting: Check to see if your lender reports to the three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
  • No upfront fees: Reputable lenders don't require consumers to pay a fee during the application process to check your credit report.
  • No guarantees: Lenders can't guarantee that you will qualify for a loan before the application process since they must check your financial information, loan application, and receive proof of income before approving a personal loan.
  • Lenders should not be aggressively contacting you through phone, email, or mail to take out a loan.

What if the interest rates are too high?

When it comes to personal loans, your credit history plays an important role in determining your interest rate and eligibility.

With fair credit (which is around 630 to 689 on the FICO® scale), you fall below the average credit score and are considered a subprime borrower.

Because this presents a larger risk for lenders, borrowers will have a harder time qualifying for lower interest rates and more flexible terms.

Luckily, this doesn't mean that you can't qualify for better options in the future. If you are struggling with your credit score, you may want to consider finding a cosigner or using collateral.

With less than stellar credit, you can turn to a trusted family member or friend with good credit to cosign your loan. This can help you secure a personal loan with better rates and terms, but keep in mind that both you and your cosigner are on the hook for the loan. If you miss a payment or default, their credit -- and yours -- will be affected.

You can also opt to put up your savings or a car as collateral to qualify for a secured loan.

What can I do about my credit to qualify for better loans?

In general, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate. (If you don't know your credit score, you can check it through a credit monitoring service or one of the three bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.)

If you want to improve your credit score, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Check your credit report for inaccurate or unverifiable items: If you find any, you can dispute it on your own or by using a credit repair service. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com or receive regular updates through a credit monitoring service.
  • Use a credit-building tool: You can use a credit-builder loan or a secured credit card to build your credit.
  • Pay your bills on time: It sounds obvious but even one single late payment can damage your credit score.
  • Pay your full balance: You want to avoid high credit utilization (your outstanding balance versus your total credit limit). Aim to keep your credit utilization below 30% and only use your credit card for what you can pay in cash.
  • Keep your accounts open: Even if you have credit that you don’t use, keeping your accounts open improves your credit by showing that you have a long credit history.