Best Personal Loans For Fair and Good Credit of November 2021

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Personal loans can be used for a variety of expenses, including weddings, vacations, home repairs and even as a way to cover emergency costs. And while credit cards can certainly pay for these same expenses, personal loans are sometimes a more affordable alternative since they typically carry a lower interest rate (though the rate you receive will depend on your credit score). 

Personal loan APRs average 9.58%, according to the Fed’s most recent data. By contrast though, the average credit card interest rate is around 16.30%.

Generally, the better your credit score, the more favorable your personal loan terms will be. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved for a personal loan if you don’t have an excellent credit score. You just might not get the best rates and terms. But if you have a fair or good credit score, you do have some options. Fair credit is generally defined as a credit score between 580 and 669 and good credit is defined as a score between 670 to 739, if you go by the FICO model.

(Does your credit score fall below 580? See Select’s list for the best personal loans for bad credit.)

When reviewing personal loans for consumers with fair or good credit, we looked at key factors like interest rates, fees, loan amounts and term lengths offered, plus other features including how your funds are distributed, autopay discounts, customer service and how fast you can get your funds. (Read more about our methodology below.)

Select’s picks for the best personal loans for fair or good credit

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.

Editorial note: The tool is provided and powered by Even Financial, a search and comparison engine that matches you with third-party lenders. Any information you provide is given directly to Even Financial. Select does not have access to any data you provide. Select may receive an affiliate commission from partner offers in the Even Financial tool. The commission does not influence the selection in order of offers.

Best overall

Upstart Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, wedding, moving or medical

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

    FICO or Vantage score of 600 (but will accept applicants whose credit history is so insufficient they don’t have a credit score)

  • Origination fee

    0% to 8% of the target amount

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    The greater of 5% of monthly past due amount or $15

Pros

  • Open to borrowers with fair credit (minimum 600 score)
  • Will accept applicants who have insufficient credit history and don’t have a credit score
  • No early payoff fees
  • 99% of personal loan funds are sent the next business day after completing required paperwork before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Cons

  • High late fees
  • Origination fee of 0% to 8% of the target amount (automatically withheld from the loan before it’s delivered to you)
  • $10 fee to request paper copies of loan agreement (no fee for eSigned virtual copies)
  • Must have a social security number

Who’s this for? Upstart allows borrowers to apply for up to $50,000 and has a minimum credit score requirement of 600. The loan provider also accepts applicants with no credit history, making it a good choice for someone who needs to borrow a larger amount of money but doesn’t have sufficient credit history. Just keep in mind that if you are approved for the loan with a lower credit score, you may be subject to a higher interest rate. Upstart’s interest rates range from 6.95% to 35.99%.

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 quick funding

Avant Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs, home improvements

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    Up to $25 per late payment after 10-day grace period

Pros

  • Lends to applicants with scores lower than 600
  • No early payoff fees
  • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit check (no hard inquiry)
  • Quick funding (often by the next day)
  • Late payment grace period of 10 days
  • Option to apply for secured loan (against title of your car) for potentially lower interest

Cons

  • Origination fee
  • Potentially high interest (caps at 35.99% APR)
  • No autopay APR discount
  • No direct payments to creditors (for debt consolidation)
  • No co-signers

Information about Avant’s secured loans:

In 40 states, Avant offers an alternative to title loans for borrowers who want to use the equity from their car to potentially qualify for lower interest.

  • Repayment options between two to four years.
  • Applicant’s entire credit profile is evaluated, including credit score, income and borrowing history (not just the value of the car)
  • Rates as low as 9.95% (capped at 35.99% APR)

Who’s this for? If you need funding in a pinch, Avant can typically provide it as soon as the next business day after you’ve been approved. The lender also offers personal loan amounts as low as $2,000 and as high as $35,000.

Avant will consider applicants with credit scores under 600. The interest rates range from 9.95% to 35.99%, and there are no discounts for using autopay.

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.

Before you decide to apply for this loan, you can see if you pre-qualify for a rate that’s on the lower end of the APR range. By checking to see if you pre-qualify, you can make sure you can afford the loan and avoid dinging your credit score.

Best for lower interest rates

Payoff Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation/refinancing

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

    0% to 5% (based on credit score and application)

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    5% of monthly payment amount or $15, whichever is greater (with 15-day grace period)

Pros

  • Peer-to-peer lending platform makes it easy to check multiple offers
  • Loan approval comes with Payoff membership and customer support
  • No early payoff fees
  • No late fees
  • Fast and easy application
  • U.S.-based customer service

Cons

  • Higher loan minimums ($5,000)
  • Must submit soft inquiry to see origination fees and other details

How Payoff is designed to help you stay motivated:

  • Offers borrowers a dedicated “Empowerment Science” team that is available to take questions and provide encouragement
  • Free personality tests, stress assessments and cash flow trackers to help borrowers understand their money management style and nail down better habits
  • Free FICO tools help members track their progress*

*Based on a study of Payoff Members between February 2020 to August 2020, members who use a Payoff Loan to eliminate at least $5,000 of credit card balances reportedly see an average FICO Score boost of 40 points. (Results may vary and are not guaranteed.)

Who’s this for? Payoff offers personal loan amounts between $5,000 and $40,000, and it offers interest rates that are a bit lower than other lenders on this list, between 5.99% and 24.99%. Borrowers must have a credit score of at least 600.

There are no late fees, application fees or prepayment fees, but there is an origination fee of up to 5%. Some of Payoff’s additional qualification requirements are a little more strict compared to that of other lenders on this list, though. For example, you must also have at least three years of good credit history with at least two open lines of credit in good standing.

Also, you can only use a Payoff loan to consolidate debt — you won’t be able to use a loan from this lender for a repair, an emergency expense or a wedding for example Repayment terms range from 36 to 60 months.

Best for flexible terms

OneMain Financial Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, major expenses, emergency costs

  • Loan amounts

  • Terms

  • Credit needed

  • Origination fee

    Flat fee starting at $25 to $500 or percentage ranging from 1% to 10% (depends on your state)

  • Early payoff penalty

  • Late fee

    Up to $30 per late payment or up to 15% (depends on your state)

Pros

  • Approves applicants with bad or fair credit
  • No early payoff fees
  • Reasonable loan minimums ($1,500) for smaller needs
  • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit check (no hard inquiry right away)
  • ACH funding within 1-2 business days (sometimes same day with proper paperwork)
  • Option to apply for secured loan (with collateral) for potentially lower rates
  • Borrowers can choose the date the bill is due each month
  • Applicants may apply with a co-applicant or, if married, may apply for a loan separately from spouse

Cons

  • High origination fee
  • High interest rates
  • No autopay APR discount
  • No co-signers

Information about OneMain Financial’s secured loans:

While not required, applicants who don’t qualify for an unsecured personal loan with OneMain Financial may be offered a secured loan. A secured loan lets borrowers who want to use the equity from their car potentially qualify for lower interest that way. Rates, repayment terms and agreements vary by individual and the state in which apply. Learn more by checking for offers on OneMain Financial’s site.

OneMain Financial link provided by Even Financial.

OneMain Financial consumer loans are offered in 44 states (we do not lend in AK, AR, CT, DC, MA, RI, and VT). Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Example loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Additional conditions for secured offers: Secured offers require a first lien on a motor vehicle that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. The lender places a lien on the collateral until the loan is paid in full. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral.

Funding options; availability of funds: Loan proceeds may be disbursed by check or electronically deposited to the borrower’s bank account through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) or debit card (SpeedFunds) networks. ACH funds are available approximately 1 to 2 business days after the loan closing date. Funds through SpeedFunds can be accessed on the loan closing date by using a bank-issued debit card.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500.

Who’s this for? OneMain Financial offers loan options that are much less rigid compared to other lenders. Borrowers can take advantage of repayment terms between 24 months and 60 months.

OneMain Financial also allows borrowers the option to secure the loan with collateral in order to potentially receive an even lower interest rate (APRs range between 18.00% to 35.99%). Plus, borrowers can actually choose the date their monthly payments are due and provide the option to apply with a co-applicant.

The origination fee 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 $30 or up to 15% (depending on your state).

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are the best, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. personal loans offered by both online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions, that come with no origination or signup fees, fixed-rate APRs and flexible loan amounts and terms to suit an array of financing needs.

When narrowing down and ranking the best personal loans for fair or good credit, we focused on the following features:

  • Fixed-rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the lifetime of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the duration of the loan’s term, which means your monthly payment won’t vary, making your budget easier to plan.
  • Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts/terms: Each lender provides a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and how long you need to pay back your loan.
  • No early payoff penalties: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for paying off loans early.
  • Streamlined application process: We considered whether lenders offered same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process. 
  • Customer support: Every loan on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email or secure online messaging. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about the personal loan process and your finances.
  • Fund disbursement: The loans on our list deliver funds promptly through either electronic wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we noted) offer the ability to pay your creditors directly.
  • Autopay discounts: We noted the lenders that reward you for enrolling in autopay by lowering your APR by 0.25% to 0.5%.
  • Creditor payment limits and loan sizes: The above lenders provide loans in an array of sizes, from $500 to $100,000. Each lender advertises its respective payment limits and loan sizes, and completing a preapproval process can give you an idea of what your interest rate and monthly payment would be for such an amount.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall financing needs, quick funding, lower interest rates and flexible terms.

Note that the rates and fee structures advertised for personal loans are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. However, once you accept your loan agreement, a fixed-rate APR will guarantee interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a hard credit inquiry and request a full application, which could require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



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