Some lenders cater to applicants with credit scores in the poor range to help them borrow money.
There are many advantages to having good or excellent credit. For one, a high credit score can help you get approved for financial products — like personal loans — with a lower interest rate. But now there are some personal loans out there that keep customer flexibility in mind. In other words, even if your credit score is less than ideal, you still have a solid chance at getting approved for the loan you need.
Some lenders cater to applicants with lower credit scores in the poor range (below 580) to help them borrow money for emergency expenses, a medical bill, debt consolidation and other financing needs.
Below, Select rounded up four of the best personal loan lenders that still accept applicants who have credit scores of 580 or lower. We looked at fees, interest rates and flexible repayment options for different credit scores. (You can read more about our methodology below.)
Just keep in mind that if you’re applying for loans — or any line of credit — with a lower credit score, you are likely to receive higher interest rates because lenders will see you as more of a “riskier” borrower. It’s important to compare rates with different lenders and do your homework before signing on the dotted line to make sure you’re comfortable with your new loan terms. If you want to increase your credit score to get a better interest rate or loan terms, there are a few ways to do so, some of them which can have immediate effects.
Compare offers to find the best loan
When searching for a personal loan, it can be helpful to compare several different offers to find the best interest rate and payment terms for your needs. With this comparison tool, you’ll just need to answer a handful of questions in order for Even Financial to determine the top offers for you. The service is free, secure and does not affect your credit score.
Best for people without credit history
Who’s this for? According to Upstart’s website, applicants with credit history should apply with a minimum credit score of 300 (though, Upstart also accepts applicants with no credit history). Sometimes, a potential borrower may have a low credit score because they have extremely limited credit activity. Other times, a lack of credit history may result in them having no credit score at all. Just keep in mind that if you’re approved for the loan with a lower (or no) credit score, you may be subject to a higher interest rate.
You can apply for loan amounts as low as $1,000 and as much as $50,000. And while there are no penalties for paying off your balance early, Upstart does charge an origination fee (up to 8% of the amount you borrow) and late fees ($15 or 5% of the past due balance, whichever is greater).
When it comes to repaying the balance, loan terms range from 36 to 60 months, which can be appealing to borrowers who think they may need a longer time horizon to repay the entire loan.
Best for debt consolidation
Who’s this for? The minimum credit score required to apply for a Payoff personal loan is 550 — this makes the lender a good place to start for those who have a poor credit score and are most concerned with debt consolidation. Payoff personal loans can actually only be used for debt consolidation and qualified borrowers can apply for a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $40,000.
After you’re approved for this loan, you’ll receive the funds as a direct deposit to the checking account you provided in your application. Loan terms range from 24 to 60 months.
Another perk you get from taking out a Payoff loan is access to financial literacy tools. Accepting a Payoff loan comes with a membership that grants you access to free FICO score updates, a team that performs quarterly check-ins with you during your first year of working with Payoff and tools to help members improve their relationship with money through personality, stress and cash flow assessments.
Best for flexible terms
Who’s this for? OneMain Financial generally accepts applicants with at least a poor or fair credit score (the exact credit score minimum is not disclosed but for reference, a poor credit score is considered to be between 300 and 579 and a fair credit score is considered to be between 580 and 669).
This lender offers terms that are more flexible than that of other lenders. For one, many lenders don’t allow you to apply with a co-applicant, which can be a bit of a concern if you’re worried your credit score will hurt your chances of securing a better interest rate. But with OneMain Financial, you should be able to submit your application with a co-applicant. Plus, borrowers can take advantage of repayment terms that range from 24 months to 60 months.
Another feature that makes this lender a little more flexible is the ability to secure your loan with collateral. Personal loans are generally unsecured debt, meaning you can borrow the money outright without having to offer up something of value. But with secured loans, a borrower essentially uses another asset as a “promise” that if they fail to repay their loan in full, the lender can seize that asset from them as collateral. Not only does OneMain Financial give you this option, but doing so also lets you potentially receive an even lower interest rate. Plus, borrowers can actually choose the date their monthly payments are due.
The origination fee with OneMain Financial is on the higher end: either a fixed fee between $25 and $500 or up to 10% of the loan amount, depending on which state you live in. And while there aren’t any penalties for paying off the loan early, there is a late fee that will run you either $30 or up to 15% (depending on your state).
Best for secured loan options
Who’s this for? Avant’s minimum credit score requirement for applicants is 550. And similar to OneMain Financial, Avant also provides the option for borrowers to secure their personal loan with collateral. One key difference between the two, however, is that OneMain Financial’s interest rates can range from 18.00% to 35.99% while Avant’s range from 9.95% to 35.99%, giving borrowers the ability to potentially secure a lower interest rate with Avant.
This lender also offers personal loan amounts as low as $2,000 and as high as $35,000, and you can typically receive your funds as soon as the next business day after you’ve been approved.
While there are no penalties for early payoff, there is an origination fee of up to 4.75% and a late fee of up to $25 after the 10-day grace period.