If you have a less-than-perfect credit and want to pay off credit card debt, fund home improvement projects, or pay for unexpected expenses, then finding a lender that will consider your credit might seem like an uphill battle.
Refinancing high-interest debt with a personal loan can quickly cut down the amount of interest you’re paying, which effectively allows you to pay it off in less time. You particularly want to avoid payday and title loan lenders at all costs.
Many personal loan companies approve people with scores as low as 600. The best way to shop for a loan is to pre-qualify with as many lenders as possible who perform a soft credit pull (which doesn’t harm your credit score). With our first recommendation, LendingTree, simply fill out an online form and obtain up to 5 lender quotes (including all of those on our list below) with one online form and no negative impact to your score.
Note: If you have a credit score less than 600, struggling to make monthly debt payments and would like to explore your options to reduce your debt by up to 50%, then please click our option below to customize a personal debt relief plan.
With LendingTree, you only need to fill out one short online form. A soft pull will be performed] – so your credit score will not be harmed. LendingTree has a panel of dozens of lenders who will then compete for your business. You may be able to see how much you can borrow and the interest rate. This is a great place to start – especially for people with credit scores below 700.
LendingClub offers loans of up to $40,000, for individuals with a minimum credit score of 600. Its APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. LendingClub also uses a soft credit pull to determine your rate, which will not affect your credit.
The Fine Print
In order to qualify for a LendingClub personal loan you must:
- Not have more than 5 hard credit inquiries in the last 5 months
- Have at least two active credit accounts open
- Have a credit history of at least 36 months
- Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40%
- Be able to verify employment and income
Once you have met the minimum criteria, LendingClub uses its own scoring system to determine what amount you can borrow as well as your rate.
You can borrow money for 36 or 60 months, but it does charge up-front (origination) fees ranging 1.00% — 6.00% depending on credit worthiness, which come out of the loan amount.
- Can see your rate with a soft credit pull
- Will consider applicants with credit scores as low as 600
- Offers very competitive interest rates for people with scores below 700
- The application process only take a few minutes
- Missed payments or items in collections will result in your application being rejected
- Loan processing could take a week or more
- APR can be as high as 35.89%
- It does charge origination fees (1.00% — 6.00%)
- Is not available in Iowa or West Virginia
LendingClub will approve people with credit scores as low as 600. If approved, the interest rates offered can be very competitive and the online application process is easy. This is good first stop for anyone with a score of 600 or higher to find the best deal.
3. Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. With APRs ranging from 6.99% to 24.99% they offer one of the best personal loan options that is available from a traditional lender. While Goldman Sachs Bank USA has been around for over a century, Marcus is a completely online, streamlined experience that lets you complete your application and submit all of the needed documents from your computer.
The Fine Print
There are no specific credit requirements to qualify for a personal loan through Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, though, the company does target those with “prime” credit, which usually includes those with a FICO score higher than 660. While the credit requirements are lower than many other lenders, you will more than likely be rejected if you have missed payments recently or have any other negative marks on your credit report.
Applicants must be over 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a valid U.S. bank account. You are also required to have a Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.
Terms currently range from 36 to 72 months and there is No origination fee. They also will only do a soft pull on your credit if you want to compare your loan options, which won’t affect your credit score. Additional perks of getting a personal loan through Marcus are no late fees (if you miss a payment, your loan will be extended and more interest will be added) and the ability to defer payments after you have made on time payments for a full year.
- No origination fee
- No late fees
- Ability to defer payments after a year of on time payments
- Wide range of repayment terms available between 36 to 72 months
- Can see rates with a Soft Pull
- Currently not available in Maryland
- Rates up to 24.99% APR
- No clear qualification information
- Late payments will accumulate more interest, resulting in a larger final payment.
Marcus is a great option if you have good credit and want to get a personal loan that has a lower rate. It is also a great option for those that want to work with a traditional lender.
BestEgg offers personal loans up to $35,000 for people with credit scores as low as 660. APRs range from 5.99% to 29.99%. You can check your rate without hurting your credit score, and BestEgg has an excellent application process (that can result in funding your loan very quickly).
The Fine Print
BestEgg does charge an origination fee, which can be between 0.99% — 5.99%. However, there is no prepayment penalty, and you can pay off your loan early without penalty.
- Can see your rate with a Soft Pull
- Will consider applicants with credit scores as low as 660
- Offers very competitive interest rates
- Fast application process and fast funding
- APR can be as high as 29.99%
- It does charge origination fees
BestEgg offers competitive rates and a quick online process to get your loan. It is an excellent option for people with less than perfect scores.
Avant offers access to loans from $2,000 to $35,000. There is no prepayment fee. It is possible to get your loan as soon as the next business day. Although every case is unique, we have seen Avant accept people with credit scores as low as 580 be approved.
The Fine Print
APRs range from 9.95% to 35.99%. The Avant platform does charge an up-front origination fee of Up to 4.75%, which is lower than most of the competition.
Checking your Loan Options through Avant only requires a Soft Pullto see your rate, which does not affect your credit score, and there are no prepayment fees.
A personal loan through Avant received an “A” from MagnifyMoney’s Transparency Score.
- Approved people with lower credit scores
- “A” Transparency Score
- Can see your Loan Options with a Soft Pull
- Fixed terms, fixed interest rate, no prepayment fees
- Interest rates as high as 35.99%
- Charges an origination fee
- Not available in Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, and Vermont
Avant is a good option for people with less than perfect credit. You can check your Loan Options without hurting your score and it has an “A” transparency score.
OneMain Financial offers loans up to $30,000 for individuals with credit scores starting at 600. It offers terms of up to 60 months and APR ranges from 16.05% to 35.99%.
The Fine Print
In order to be accepted for a OneMain Loan, you must live near a OneMain branch, as a face-to-face meeting is required to finalize the loan. OneMain personal loans are not available in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Washington D.C.
In order to qualify you must have:
- Verifiable, steady income
- No bankruptcy filings, ever
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have at least some established credit history
- Credit score of at least 600
If, at any time during the application process, OneMain becomes aware that you intend to use the personal loan for gambling, your loan application will be cancelled. OneMain personal loans cannot be used for business expenses or tuition.
- Credit score as low as 600
- Fixed Rates
- No Prepayment penalty
- Fixed terms
Convenient location, at OneMain branches
- APR ranges from 16.05% to 35.99%
- Loans cannot be used for business expenses or tuition
- See potential rate with a Hard Pull
- Personal loans only available up to $30,000
- Loans not available in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Washington D.C.
- You must visit a OneMain branch to complete the loan.
The OneMain personal loan caters to people with low credit scores, or who would prefer to complete the personal loan application process at a branch, rather than online.
FreedomPlus offers loans ranging from $7,500 to $35,000 that can be used for everything from debt consolidation, to unexpected expenses. APR ranges from 4.99% to 29.99%.
Its biggest selling point is the same-day approval and availability of funds within 48 hours, a lifesaver in some circumstances.
The Fine Print
In order to qualify for a Freedomplus loan, you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Be a legal US resident
- Have a valid ID
- Minimum credit score of 700
- At least $25,000 in verifiable income
- No bankruptcies in the last two years
Freedomplus charges origination fees ranging from 0.00% — 5.00%, which is deducted from the loan amount before you receive the funds. There are no prepayment penalties.
The Freedomplus personal loan scores a “B” Transparency score because its fee structure and much of the fine print is unclear or not covered by the final contract.
You can prequalify with a Soft Pull, which does not affect your credit score. However, Freedomplus requires a phone screening with each applicant before the loan is approved.
- Will approve credit scores as low as 700
- The phone screening may improve your chances of being approved for the loan
- Same-day approval and funds within 48 hours
- No prepayment penalty
- Can prequalify with a Soft Pull
- APR ranges from 4.99% to 29.99%
- The fee structure is not readily available for review
- Origination fee of 0.00% — 5.00% applies
The Freedomplus personal loan is a good option for you if you have less than perfect credit, and need access to funds quickly, without visiting a physical branch.
The Prosper personal loan process is a little different than a traditional lender. It is not a bank, but rather a peer-to-peer lender. Once you have applied, and checked loan terms and rates, you create a loan “listing” that then appears on in the Prosper marketplace.
From these listings, peers (investors) choose which loans they would like to finance. When your loan listing is financed, the money is transferred to your bank account.
Prosper offers loans from $2,000 to $40,000, and APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.99%. It offers loans terms of either 36 or 60 months. Your APR is determined during the application process, and is based on a credit rating score created by Prosper. Your score is then shown with your loan listing to give potential lenders an idea of your creditworthiness.
The Fine Print
Your loan listing will remain active for 14 days. After 14 days, your loan must be at least 70% funded to receive the funds. If you are not 70% funded within 14 days, you must reapply to have your loan re-listed.
Origination fees range from 2.41% — 5.00% and are based on your Prosper score. In order to qualify, you must:
- Have a bank account
- Have a social security number
- No more than 7 inquiries on your credit in the last six months
- A verifiable, steady income
- A credit-to-debt ratio of less than 50%
- At least three open accounts, such as checking, savings, and credit card.
- No bankruptcies in the last year
A returned payment may result in a $15 fee, and late payments past 15 days are charged a 5% fee, with a minimum of $15.
Prosper’s overall fine print is very clear is its fees are quite minimal, so it scores it an “A” Transparency Score. Also, you can check your Prosper rate with a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score.
- Minimum credit score of 640
- Can see your rate with a Soft Pull
- No prepayment penalties
- Paying off a Prosper loan can reduce your APR on future Prosper loans
- Only 14 days to secure financing from peer lenders
- Origination fee of 2.41% — 5.00% applies
- APR varies from 6.95%– 35.99%
Prosper is a flexible alternative with a low-end APR that beats a credit card.
Shop Around to Find the Best Deal
If you have made past credit mistakes, or have very little credit, there are personal loans out there for you. Many of these lenders offer rates much lower than what you would be paying on a credit card, shaving month and hundred or thousands of dollars off of your debt.
Don’t give up on a personal loan just because of your credit – there are options out there for you. It never hurts to shop around and look for the best rates available, especially if the lender does a soft credit pull to show you your options.