Best Personal Loans for Fair Credit Scores of 650 to 700

Feb 11, 2018 | Be First to Comment!

When you need a personal loan, you’re looking for some quick cash that you can use to pay a bill or handle a financial emergency. If you have a fair credit score, one that isn’t great, but isn’t bad, you can still qualify for a personal loan. You just have to be ready to pay a bit more interest on the loan.

We looked at 48 different lenders in the United States to find the best deals for people with fair credit.

Though you can work with any lender to get a personal loan, we found that the best options for people with fair credit are Upstart, Lending Club, and Prosper. Though we cannot predict your exact needs, these three lenders offer loans that fit a wide variety of situations.


Upstart is an innovative online lender who offers personal loans that look at more than your credit score. When making a lending decision, Upstart does look at your credit but also considers your education, job history, and area of study. By taking these factors into account, Upstart can better gauge it’s lending risk. That means you can get a lower interest rate at Upstart.
Upstart offers 3 and 5-year loans in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

Upstart Personal Loans Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Considers your education, area of study, and job history for loan approval
  • Quick and easy application process
  • No borrowing terms greater than 5 years
  • Origination fee applies
  • Potential for a high interest rate

Lending Club

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer personal lender. That means that when you apply for a loan at Lending Club, you don’t actually get the money from Lending Club. Instead, regular people who want to invest in personal loans will offer to fund your loan. If you want to borrow $10,000, you might wind up borrowing $100 from 100 people. Lending Club just serves as the marketplace for the loans and helps manage the payments.

Lending Club offers loans up to $40,000 with 3 or 5-year terms.

Lending Club Personal Loans Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Investors in your loan include regular people
  • Potential for a high APR
  • One-time origination fee applies


Prosper is another online lender that offers quick loans to applicants who qualify.

To qualify for a Prosper loan, you must have a credit score of at least 640. You also need to have a debt-to-income ratio lower than 50%, a source of income, and not have declared bankruptcy in the past year. You also must have fewer than seven credit inquiries in the last six months and three or more open loan accounts.

If you can qualify, Prosper offers low fees on loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000.

Prosper Personal Loans Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Interest paid (partially) goes to investors
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Check your rate in minutes with no impact to credit score
  • Funds disbursed in as little as one day
  • Requires excellent credit and high income for lowest rates
  • Origination fee applies

How We Picked

In this article, we recommend three of the best lenders for people who have fair credit and who need a personal loan.

We settled on our choices by looking for lenders who specifically target people with fair credit. They know their target consumers and are able to tailor their loans to people with fair credit. Then, we looked at every aspect of each lender’s offerings: interest rates, fees, lending limits, and extra feature.

While there’s no silver bullet for choosing a personal loan, these lenders offer loans that will be good for most people. If your unique financial situation makes it so these loans don’t fit your needs, there are other great options out there.

This article’s goal is to serve as the starting point of your loan search. It provides a few lenders to look at, and tips on how to find a good loan. It’s possible that these lenders might not approve your application, or even accept applications from people in your geographical area. Don’t be afraid to look at other lenders if you think that’s the best thing for you.
If you want to know more about credit scores and how to improve your chances of getting a loan, we’ve provided more information below.

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical score of someone’s trustworthiness when it comes to borrowing money. If someone has a good score, they’re very likely to pay back any money they borrow. If they have a bad score, they’re less likely to pay their debts.

When most people talk about their credit score, they’re referring to their FICO score. FICO scores were introduced in 1989 by Fair Isaac Corporation. Today, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, the three major credit bureaus, track consumers’ FICO scores.

How is Your Credit Score Calculated?

There are five parts of your financial life that are used to calculate your credit score.

Payment history

The payment history section of your credit report measures your ability to make on-time payments on your bills. Every time you make a payment on-time, your score goes up. Every late payment hurts your score. Later payments mean a bigger reduction in your score.

This factor has the biggest effect on your credit score. The best way to improve your credit is to build a years-long history of on-time payments.

Amounts owed

Your debt burden is composed of two parts.

The first is simply the amount of debt you have. The more money you owe to lenders, the harder it will be for you to make monthly payments. The less you owe, the easier it will be. To improve your credit, try to owe as little as possible to creditors.

The second part is the percentage of your total credit limits that you’re using. Combine all of your credit card balances and all of your credit card limits. Divide your balances by the limits to find your credit utilization ratio. The lower this ratio, the better.

Length of credit history

The longer you’ve been on file with the credit bureaus, the better it is for your score. A long file shows that you have experience handling debt. It also makes it easier for lenders to accurately assess your financial habits.

Your score also looks at the average age of your credit accounts. If you open and close lots of credit cards, it will hurt your score. Lenders like to see long-term lending relationships in your report.

Types of credit

The more different types of loans you’ve had, the better your score will be. Having a credit card and handling it well is one thing. Lenders want to see if you can handle different types of debt like mortgages or car loans.

The more different types of loans you’ve had, the better it will be for your score.

New credit inquiries

When you apply for a loan of any type, the lender will request a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau.

Each time your report is requested by a lender, the credit bureau takes note of that fact. That “hard pull” on your credit report will stay on file with the credit bureau for two years. Each hard pull reduces your score by a few points. Applying for lots of loans in a short time can put a dent in your score.

Applying for lots of loans at once is worrying to lenders. Why are you applying for so many loans if you don’t desperately need money? Lenders want to make sure you’ll pay them back, and if you borrow too much at once you’ll have trouble paying your bills.

What Does It Mean to Have a “Fair” Credit Score?

FICO scores range from 300 to 850 with higher scores being better. Despite the large range of possible scores, only scores between 650 and 700 are considered fair. Above that and you have good credit. If your score passes 750, you have excellent credit.

People with poor credit will have trouble qualifying for loans. They’ll pay high rates if they can qualify. People with bad credit will have a lot of trouble with getting a loan.

A fair credit score can mean a lot of things. Either you’re just starting to build credit, or you’ve made some financial mistakes in the past. Either way, having a fair score means you’re on your way towards having a good score.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Though a history of on-time payments is the best way to improve your score, there are some short-term ways to bump your score.

One is to improve your debt burden by making extra payments on your debts. Also, avoid using your cards in the month before a loan application. That will reduce your credit utilization ratio. Requesting a credit line increase will also reduce your credit utilization. Just make sure your request won’t trigger a hard pull.

Another thing to do is to request a copy of your credit report. Look it over for errors. If you see any information that isn’t correct, dispute it with the credit bureau. Removing an incorrect late payment or other derogatory marks can give your score a big boost.

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