Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

Some lenders consider factors beyond credit score for those with fair credit

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A personal loan can help you take control of high-interest debts or fund a major purchase. Most of them have fixed monthly payments, which makes it easier to budget for your monthly payments. And there’s typically no need to pledge collateral to get approved, which might be a requirement with some other types of loans.

If you have fair credit, which FICO defines as a score between 580 and 669, borrowing isn't as easy as it would be with excellent credit. But a variety of lenders can help you get a personal loan with reasonable terms. For the list below, we've chosen lenders likely to provide the funding you need at a reasonable price and with fixed interest rates.

Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit of January 2022

If you value customer service and are looking for personal attention from your lender, consider getting a loan from your local bank or credit union. They tend to be community-focused.

Best for a Long Track Record Online : Prosper

Prosper Logo

Prosper was a pioneer in online lending and claims its place as the first peer-to-peer (P2P) lender in the U.S., making it a long-standing name among online lending companies. Prosper keeps it simple with a three-year repayment term or a five-year option, and you can pay off your loan early at no additional charge. Rates range from 5.99%-35.97% APR. However, with fair credit, expect rates near the middle or high end of that range—the lowest rates are only available to borrowers with excellent credit.

What We Like
  • Fixed rates make it easy to budget while you pay off debt

  • Three- and five-year terms keep payments manageable without piling up interest costs

  • No prepayment penalty

  • Easy to check your rate before borrowing

What We Don't Like
  • Depending on creditworthiness, high rates can make borrowing expensive

  • Origination fees require borrowers to take out extra to fund major purchases

Prosper Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts $2,000-$40,000
Fixed APR 5.99%-35.97%
Loan Terms 36 or 60 months
Fees Late fee of $15 or 5%, origination fee between 2.41%-5%
Time to Receive Funds As little as 1 business day
Recommended Credit Score No credit score requirements disclosed on the website

Read the full review: Prosper Personal Loans

Best for High Earners : Upstart

upstart logo

Upstart, launched in 2012 by former Google executives, takes a unique approach in evaluating personal loan applications. In addition to reviewing your credit history and income, Upstart takes your education and work history into account when approving loans. APRs range from 3.22% to 35.99%. Upstart may charge a one-time origination fee, as well.

What We Like
  • Your degree or work history can help you get approved with fair credit

  • Three- and five-year repayment terms

  • Next-day funding available

  • Fixed interest rates

What We Don't Like
  • Origination fees as high as 8%

  • Potential for high rates, depending on your application

Upstart Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts $1,000-$50,000, based on credit, income, and other information considered in your loan application.
Typical APR 3.22%-35.99%
Loan Terms 36 months or 60 months
Fees Late fee of $15 or 5%, origination fee between 0%-8%
Time to Receive Funds At least 1 business day after accepting the loan terms, 2 if you accept after 5 p.m. EST
Recommended Credit Score 600+

Read the full review: Upstart Personal Loans

Notes: 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. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
If you accept your loan by 5 p.m. 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.
The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 18.04% and 36 monthly payments of $34.27 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. 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.
When you check your rate, we check your credit report. This initial (soft) inquiry will not affect your credit score. If you accept your rate and proceed with your application, we do another (hard) credit inquiry that will impact your credit score. If you take out a loan, repayment information will be reported to the credit bureaus.

Best for Improving Credit Scores : LendingClub


LendingClub is a marketplace lender offering funding from institutional investors. Specific credit score requirements are not disclosed on LendingClub's website. Other factors, like your income and debt payments, affect whether or not you’ll get approved. Rates range from 7.04%-35.89% APR, and you pay an origination fee of 3% to 6% when you receive funds.

What We Like
  • Personalized rate quotes are quick and easy to get

  • Fixed interest rates keep loan payments stable

  • Loan amounts as little as $1,000 available

  • No prepayment fees, so you can repay early

What We Don't Like
  • Potentially expensive borrowing source if you pay the highest rates

  • Origination fee

LendingClub Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts $1,000-$40,000
Fixed APR 7.04%-35.89%
Loan Terms 36 or 60 months
Fees Late fee of $15 or 5%, origination fee between 2%-6%
Time to Receive Funds 2-4 business days
Recommended Credit Score No credit score requirements disclosed on the website

Read the full review: Lending Club Personal Loans

Best for Higher Credit Scores : SoFi


SoFi has relatively low rates and no origination fee. If your credit score is high enough, factors like your work history and your income can help you secure the low rates SoFi offers. Fixed APRs range from 5.74% to 20.28% (with autopay).

What We Like
  • No late payment fees, though late payments can damage your credit

  • Competitive rates

  • No origination fee

What We Don't Like
  • Minimum loan amount of $5,000 might be more than you need

SoFi Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts $5,000-$100,000
Fixed APR 5.74%-20.28% with autopay
Loan Terms 24-84 months
Fees No late fees or origination fees
Time to Receive Funds Typically within a week
Recommended Credit Score No credit score requirements disclosed on the website

Read the full review: SoFi Personal Loans

Best for No Fees : Marcus by Goldman Sachs


Marcus by Goldman Sachs evaluates your credit score and credit history alongside other details like your income and loan purpose to determine your rate. Marcus' website does not list minimum required credit score—borrowers must call a representative to find out specifics about credit score requirements. Rates range from 6.99% to 19.99% APR. While the lender's rates are higher than some others on this list, Marcus stands apart because it charges no fees: origination, late, prepayment, or otherwise.

What We Like
  • No origination fee

  • No late fees, though paying late can increase costs and damage your credit

  • You can skip a payment if you make 12 consecutive on-time payments

What We Don't Like
  • Minimum loan amount of $3,500 could exceed your needs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loan Details

Loan Amounts $3,500-$40,000
Fixed APR 6.99%-19.99% with autopay
Loan Terms 36-72 months
Fees No late fees or origination fees
Time to Receive Funds As little as 1 to 4 business days
Recommended Credit Score No credit score requirements disclosed on the website

Read the full review: Marcus Personal Loans

Best for Small Loans : First Tech Federal Credit Union

First tech federal credit union

At First Tech Federal Credit Union, you can borrow as little as $500, and the credit union is willing to work with borrowers with bad credit. The site does not disclose specific credit score requirements. There are no origination fees, and rates are reasonable. Plus, if you have trouble getting approved, you can use a co-signer to help strengthen your application.

To borrow with First Tech FCU, you'll need to become a member. That's easy for anybody nationwide. You can become eligible by joining the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

What We Like
  • $500 minimum loan size

  • Relatively low rates

What We Don't Like
  • Have to be a member to get a loan

Loan Amounts $500 to $50,000
Fixed APR Minimum APR of 6.70%
Loan Terms 2 to 7 years
Loan Fees No origination fee, no prepayment penalty
Membership Fee $8 to $15, if you need to join an organization
Time to Receive Funds Potentially next-day funding
Recommended Credit Score No credit score requirements disclosed on the website

Read the full review: First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans

Best for Personal Attention : Local Banks and Credit Unions

When you’re applying for a personal loan, it’s wise to include a local financial institution in your search. Particularly with fair credit, you might benefit from having a human rather than an automated system review your finances. 

For example, you might be able to explain temporarily high credit card balances that were a result of unexpected medical bills. Plus, if a bank employee can see your checking and savings accounts—which shows healthy financial behavior—they may be more likely to make exceptions. 

Credit unions, as community-focused, not-for-profit organizations, might be particularly willing to approve your application. 

What We Like
  • Potential same-day funding

  • A loan officer at the financial institution might review your credit history

  • If you have accounts at your local bank, they have visibility into your finances, which could help you get approved

  • Support for organizations in your area

What We Don't Like
  • An in-person visit may be inconvenient

  • The application process may be cumbersome and require substantial manual input

  • May require credit union membership

Compare The Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

Lender Fixed APR Minimum Loan Amount Maximum Loan Amount Terms Recommended Credit Score
Prosper Best for a Long Track Record Online 5.99%-35.97% $2,000 $40,000 36 or 60 months Not disclosed
Upstart Best for High Earners 3.22%-35.99% $1,000 $50,000 36 or 60 months 600+
LendingClub Best for Improving Credit Scores 7.04%-35.89% $1,000 $40,000 36 or 60 months Not disclosed
SoFi Best for Higher Credit Scores 5.74%-20.28% with autopay $5,000 $100,000 24-84 months Not disclosed
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Best for No Fees 6.99%-19.99% with autopay $3,500 $40,000 36-72 months Not disclosed
First Tech Federal Credit Union Best for Small Loans 6.70% to 18% $500 $50,000 2-7 years Not disclosed


How Do You Know What Credit Score Range You're In?

The term “fair credit” refers to your FICO score. Recent versions of FICO scores range from 300 to 850 points. Here's how the scores are categorized:

  • Exceptional credit: 800+
  • Very Good credit: 740-799
  • Good credit: 670-739
  • Fair credit: 580 to 669
  • Poor credit: less than 580

If you have a FICO score below 650, check out our list of best personal loans for bad credit.

Will Shopping for a Loan Hurt My Credit Score?

You should shop around and compare personal loan terms before you decide on one. But getting quotes can ding your credit score if the lender performs a "hard pull" on your credit record to see if you qualify. That's why you should stick to lenders who do a “soft pull” or “soft inquiry” of your credit report or those who say that checking offers won’t hurt your credit score. 

Also, target loans like those on this list that indicate they may be available to people with fair credit. That way you won't waste your time or a credit pull on a product that isn't suited to you.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting a Loan?

There are several steps you can take to improve your chances of getting a loan:

  1. Check your credit report: You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) every year at Look over your credit reports to make sure there aren't any errors that could be hurting your credit score.
  2. Pay down your debt: If you have a high debt-to-income ratio when you apply for a loan, it could hurt your chances of getting approved. DTI compares your monthly gross income to your monthly debt payments. Paying down debt can lower your DTI and make you a less risky customer for lenders.
  3. Consider getting a co-signer: A co-signer, or co-borrower, is someone who signs the loan agreement with you and is responsible for payments if you default on the loan. If they have a better credit score or more income, a lender may feel more comfortable giving you the loan.

How Should I Choose a Fair Credit Lender?

When looking for a lender, you won't have as many choices as if you had excellent credit. But it's still important to find the best lender you can for your circumstances. Pay attention to these factors:

  • Interest rates: Lenders generally reserve the lowest interest rates for applicants with high credit scores. But you should still look for the lowest APR available to you.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge personal loan origination fees when you borrow. Fees may range from 1% to 8% of the amount you borrow, though some lenders charge flat fees and others don't charge any fees. But be careful not to jump at the first no-fee loan you see. Do the math to make sure that the lender isn't making up for those costs with a higher APR.
  • Repayment terms: Consider how long you want to pay off the loan. A shorter repayment time will cost you less in interest overall but could stretch your monthly budget. Choose a lender that offers terms that are a good fit for you. Some let you choose which day of the month to make your payments as well, which could help you time your due dates around your paydays.

How We Chose the Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit

Our writers spent hours researching loan options from more than 50 different lenders. Recommendations are based on personal loan companies offering a combination of good interest rates, loan terms, low fees, loan amounts, speed of funding, and more. These loan recommendations take into account that all borrowers have different needs and financial situations that may require loans that meet various priorities. Not every recommendation is right for every borrower, so consider all of your options before applying.

Article Sources

  1. Experian. "What Is a Good Credit Score?" Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  2. Prosper. "Our Story." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  3. Prosper. "Personal Loan Rates and Fees." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  4. Upstart. "This Is Upstart." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  5. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Upstart Holdings, Inc." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  6. Upstart. "A Smarter Personal Loan." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  7. Lending Club. "Personal Loans Rates & Fees." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  8. SoFi. "Personal Loans." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.

  9. Marcus by Goldman Sachs. "We Offer Personal Loans That Truly Have No Fees. Ever." Accessed Dec. 21, 2021.