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Understanding Credit Score Requirements for Personal Loans

Credit scores play a critical role in securing personal loans. They not only impact your loan approval but also the interest rates offered. Typically, scores range from 300-850 with lenders usually requiring a minimum of 560-660. However, for better rates, a score above 670 is often recommended. It's essential to remember that these requirements can vary among lenders.

18 min.

A personal loan is a credit you can use for anything you choose, from car repairs to weddings to medical expenses. Getting accepted for a personal loan can be a complex process.

Understanding Credit Score Requirements for Personal Loans

When the lender receives your loan application, they will check your credit reports to see if you are a reliable borrower and determine the interest rates they will put on your loan. You will need a minimum credit score of at least 620 to be approved by most lenders; however, some lenders give personal loans to those with lower credit ratings. So, read this article to find out your credit score to get a personal loan.

What are Personal Loans?

Personal loans are unsecured forms of credit provided by financial institutions to borrowers for various personal needs. Here's a detailed breakdown of their characteristics and uses:

  1. Unsecured Nature. Typically, personal loans are unsecured, meaning they don't require collateral. Your eligibility is determined based on your credit score, income, and financial history.

  2. Fixed Amount. They are offered for a fixed amount, which varies from lender to lender but usually ranges between $500 and $50,000.

  3. Interest Rates. Personal loans have fixed or variable interest rates. Fixed rates stay the same over the life of the loan, making budgeting easier, while variable rates can change, potentially making your loan more expensive.

  4. Repayment Term. They come with a set repayment term, usually between 1 and 7 years, during which monthly payments are made to pay off both the principal and interest.

  5. Usage. The funds from personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes including debt consolidation, medical expenses, home improvement projects, weddings, travel, or any other personal needs.

  6. Credit Score Impact. Your credit score can significantly impact the interest rate you receive on a personal loan. Higher credit scores generally lead to lower interest rates.

  7. Application Process. Applying for a personal loan entails submitting financial information and undergoing a credit check. Online applications and quick approval processes have made personal loans more accessible.

  8. Prepayment. Some personal loans allow for prepayment, enabling you to pay off your loan early and save on interest, although some lenders may charge a prepayment penalty.

Key Statistics

The substantial ascent in the national personal loan debt balance from $72 billion in 2015 to $222 billion in Q4 2022 underscores a burgeoning reliance on personal loans, potentially fueled by their accessibility and utility in addressing diverse financial needs.

  1. The average interest rate of 11.43% as of October 2023 is a critical figure, as it reflects the cost of borrowing, which, depending on the creditworthiness of the borrower, can be a significant financial burden.

  2. With 22.5 million individuals holding unsecured personal loans in Q4 2022, the data reveals a substantial segment of the population leveraging this form of credit.

  3. Despite the rise, personal loans constitute a mere 1.3% of overall consumer debt, indicating that other forms of credit like mortgages and auto loans continue to dominate the consumer debt space.

  4. The average debt of $11,116 per borrower offers insight into the typical financial burden borne by individuals opting for personal loans.

What you Need to Qualify for a Personal Loan

Apply for a loan

Even if your credit score exceeds the minimum required by a given lender, you still need to be approved for a loan. There are many factors that lenders take into account when reviewing an application. Some financial institutions take into account non-traditional indicators like your level of education and professional experience. Others focus on your income and debts, checking your credit record and history. On a personal loan application, most lenders consider the following factors:

  • Credit history. Financial institutions prefer loan applications from people with established credit histories. Even if a financial institution says a two- or three-year credit history is necessary, the longer, the better. Lenders will see your payment history more favorably if you have various accounts across your credit report. Borrowers with numerous open lines of credit, a mortgage, or an auto loan who have always paid on time may be given more consideration.

  • Credit score. While the FICO score is still widely used among all credit bureaus, VantageScore is beginning to gain traction among some lenders. The acceptance decision for a loan is based on several factors, and some lenders believe that a FICO or VantageScore is just one of them.

  • Free cash flow. Some lenders will look at borrowers' bank account transactions to determine how much discretionary income is available after paying for essentials like food, transportation, and housing, which are not factored into the debt-to-income ratio. Financial institutions may be more likely to grant financing if they are assured of a steady stream of "free cash flow" from your business.

  • Debt-to-income ratio. Lenders like to work with borrowers who have a steady source of income and can comfortably cover their monthly expenses, plus their loan payments. Your debt-to-income ratio is one metric used to determine if taking up more debt would be too much for your current cash flow.

How to Compare Personal Loans

You should negotiate the best terms with your lender to get a personal loan. There will always be some cost when you borrow money, but the faster you pay off your loan, the less it will cost you. Finding the best loan is more complex than it seems, though, because there are many things to consider when choosing a lender. To help you choose between potential personal loan providers, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • A soft credit check for pre-approval. Before applying for a loan, you may use a pre-qualification tool many financial institutions offer to get an idea of your interest rate and monthly payments. Getting pre-qualified for a personal loan might help you figure out how much you can borrow and how to allocate your funds without affecting your credit score.

  • Annual percentage rates. The annual percentage rate equals the total interest paid plus any loan origination fees. By using the annual percentage rate (APR), borrowers can more accurately compare the costs of various types of loans, like credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.

  • Secured loans. Secured loan borrowers must pledge an asset as collateral for the loan. If you can't repay the personal loan, the lender can seize the collateral, such as cash in a savings account, permanent home furnishings, or an auto. Secured loans often have more manageable interest rates than unsecured personal loans, and borrowers can sometimes obtain them with less-than-perfect credit.

  • Co-signed loans. Including a co-borrower on a personal loan application can significantly improve the applicant's chances of being granted financing. You can secure a better interest rate or a higher loan if you apply for a combined loan with someone with excellent credit reports and steady income, but not all lenders offer personal loans in joint. Co-borrowers share equal responsibility for debt consolidation.

How Personal Loans Affect Credit Score

Taking out a personal loan might influence your credit score. Incorporating a personal loan into your credit profile might be a great way to boost your score. The percentage of your credit score attributed to your credit mix is 10%. The number will be based on how many different types of credit you use (credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc.). Getting personal finance can also help you build a history of on-time payments, which is essential to establishing credit. Your credit score is primarily based (35%) on how you've historically handled payments to other accounts. Making your monthly payments on time and in full goes a long way toward establishing a good credit history, which is essential if you want to seek higher credit utilization rates in the future.

Personal loans, like other forms of credit, can harm your credit score if you use them carelessly. Personal loan applications, like mortgage and credit card applications, can have a minimal impact on a person's credit score. This is because creditor inquiries (hard pulls) will harm your score every time they are made. Therefore, plan carefully when submitting your loan application. Because of the increased difficulty of processing two separate credit card and personal loan applications, your credit score will decline by twice as much.

What Credit Score you Needed to Get a Personal Loan

Your credit score is crucial in determining whether or not you will be approved for a personal loan and, if so, at what interest rate you will be offered. When considering your loan application, lenders give more weight to applicants with a track record of responsible debt repayment. Because your credit score is the primary indicator of your debt and repayment history, it is essential in deciding whether you will be eligible for a loan and how much interest you will be required to pay on any money you borrow.

The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) model is the one that is used the most frequently, and its scores can range anywhere from 300 to 850. Your FICO credit score for a personal loan is computed based on your payment history, the total outstanding debt you have, the length of your credit history, the mix of credit you have, and any new obligations you have taken on. Along with the total amount of debt, your payment history is one of the primary aspects determining your credit score. A credit score in the 610–640 range is usual for borrowers to be even evaluated for a personal loan. Borrowers usually require a credit score of at least 690 to qualify for the lowest interest rate offered by a lender. Lenders often look at credit ratings in the following ways:

  • 300 to 559 (low credit). With a score in this area, you either don't have any credit or a severely damaged credit history due to things like bankruptcy or several late payments. Although you can get a personal loan, you should know that the terms are typically quite stringent, and the interest rate is relatively high.

  • 580 to 669 (fair credit). Credit scores at this level indicate a damaged credit history, most likely due to loan defaults or excessive late payments to several lenders. Typically, loan officers advise you to fix your credit before applying for a loan. It is possible to get a loan, but you can expect to pay a higher interest rate.

  • 670 to 739 (good credit). Those with credit scores in this range should be eligible for personal loans with interest rates that are within an acceptable range.

  • 740 to 799 (very good credit). Those with outstanding credit records have access to various financing choices, many of which come with favorable personal loan interest rates.

  • 800 to 850 (excellent credit). With good credit, you will have a better chance of being approved for large loans with favorable interest rates and satisfying even the most stringent lending requirements.

Personal Loans for Fair and Bad Credit

Apply for a loan

Even while multiple lenders look at several different things when deciding whether or not to grant a loan, the credit score you provide is typically given a significant amount of consideration. Borrowers with fair or poor credit are frequently eligible for high-interest rates, reaching up to 36% of the total loan amount. If you have a low credit score, a lender might approve you for a smaller loan amount because of that score.

When determining whether or not to grant you a loan, creditors who provide loans for borrowers with fair credit may consider factors other than your credit score. When reviewing an application, credit unions, for instance, consider a member's standing within the credit union in addition to other aspects of the application.

Installment Loans for Bad Credit

Additional Resources

Building Credit: A Stepping Stone to Favorable Loan Terms

Having ample time before applying for a loan can be a boon, enabling you to bolster your credit score, thereby potentially unlocking lower interest rates on personal loans. Though transitioning from a low to a favorable credit score isn't an overnight affair, the ensuing guidelines can set you on the right track.

  1. Timely Payments. Ensuring punctuality in your credit card and loan payments is pivotal. Any payment overdue by more than 30 days can significantly dent your credit score, sometimes by up to 100 points. Employing automatic payment setups or setting reminders for due dates can be effective in averting missed payments. If the stipulated payment date clashes with your financial routine, a discussion with your creditors to amend it could be beneficial.

  2. Rectify Credit Report Discrepancies. It's prudent to meticulously review your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, for any inaccuracies such as incorrect account balances or unfamiliar accounts that could be adversely affecting your score. Any discrepancies can be contested online, via mail, or over the phone.

  3. Mitigate Credit Utilization. Your credit utilization ratio, which is the proportion of your available revolving credit in use, is a significant factor in your credit score. Aiming to keep this ratio under 30% is advisable. If your ratio is on the higher side, chipping away at your credit card balances and other lines of credit over time can be beneficial. Additionally, requesting an augmentation in your credit limit can also be a strategy to lower your credit utilization.

Best Places to Get a Personal Loan Today 30.11.2023

OneMain Financial

Apply for a loan

One Main Financial is a reputable and longstanding lender offering personal loans ranging from $1,500 to $20,000. With a century of experience in the financial industry, they have earned the trust of countless customers. Their loans come with fixed rates and fixed payments, providing borrowers with predictable and manageable repayment plans. One Main Financial takes pride in delivering personalized service, ensuring each customer's unique needs are met. With an extensive network of around 1,400 locations, they offer accessibility and convenience for individuals seeking financial assistance.

OneMain Financial

Mariner Finance

Apply for a loan

Mariner Finance is a well-established financial institution offering personal loans that range from $1,000 to $25,000. The application process is convenient and efficient, as borrowers can apply online and typically receive a response on the same business day. With a rich history dating back to 1927, Mariner Finance has built a strong reputation in the lending industry. They have an extensive presence with over 480 branches spread across 28 states, ensuring accessibility and personalized service for customers nationwide.

Mariner Finance

Universal Credit

Apply for a loan

Universal Credit is a financial service that offers personal loans with a maximum amount of up to $50,000. Their loans come with the advantage of fixed rates, ensuring stability and predictability in monthly payments. Moreover, Universal Credit does not charge any prepayment fees, allowing borrowers the flexibility to repay their loans ahead of schedule without incurring extra costs. One of the key benefits of their service is the speedy funding process, which means that qualified applicants can receive the funds they need quickly to address their financial requirements.

Universal Credit

Rocket Loans

Apply for a loan

Rocket Loans is a leading online lender, offering a seamless and secure loan application process entirely online. With their efficient service, applicants can receive instant prequalified offers within seconds, making the borrowing experience hassle-free. One of the standout features of Rocket Loans is their speed, as they now provide same-day funding for eligible borrowers, ensuring quick access to funds when needed most. Transparency is a priority, as Rocket Loans boasts no hidden fees and no pre-payment penalties, providing borrowers with peace of mind. Whether it's for debt consolidation, home improvement projects, solar installations, or other financial needs, Rocket Loans offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $45,000, making it a versatile and reliable choice for individuals seeking financial assistance.

Rocket Loans


Apply for a loan

LightStream stands out as a top-tier lending option, offering a wide range of loan amounts from $5,000 to $100,000 with flexible repayment terms spanning from 24 to 84 months. With AutoPay, borrowers can take advantage of low fixed rates, ranging from 7.99% to 25.49% APR, ensuring affordability and predictability throughout the loan period. LightStream provides financial solutions for diverse needs, whether financing a new auto, renovating a kitchen or bathroom, consolidating debt, building a swimming pool, covering medical expenses, or funding a dream wedding. With its competitive rates, streamlined application process, and responsive customer service, LightStream is an excellent choice for individuals seeking significant financial assistance to achieve their personal goals.



Apply for a loan

LendingClub is a prominent player in the personal loan market, providing borrowers the opportunity to secure loans of up to $40,000 at competitive fixed rates. Their application process is swift and straightforward, allowing applicants to apply in minutes and receive customized loan options tailored to their specific needs and financial situation. With a range of rates, terms, and payment options available, borrowers have the flexibility to choose the loan offer that suits them best. Once the loan is approved and funded, LendingClub promptly transfers the money directly to the borrower's bank account or pays creditors directly, ensuring a seamless and efficient funding process.


Editorial opinion

Prior to securing a personal loan, it's imperative to have a grasp on your credit score as well as a comprehensive understanding of your financial standing. Evaluate the interest rates you could potentially qualify for, juxtapose the prerequisites and terms across various lenders, and ascertain your prospective monthly payments. To mitigate any adverse impact on your credit score, endeavor to submit applications to multiple lenders within a close timeframe. Thoroughly scrutinize the loan terms before formally committing to the loan. Optimally, engaging in efforts to enhance your credit score before assuming additional debt will position you for a more favorable borrowing experience

How to Choose a Lender

  1. Make sure to confirm whether the lender is licensed to operate in your state. You can verify this information with your state regulator or attorney general.

  2. Check if the lender is a member of a reputable association, such as the Community Financial Services Association of America. Membership in such organizations may provide an extra level of reliability.

  3. Carefully review all the terms and conditions of your payday loan contract.

  4. Thoroughly examine the interest rates on payday loans and ensure that your contract includes a detailed breakdown of the total cost of the loan.

  5. Take advantage of your right of rescission. Usually, you can rescind the loan within three days after signing the agreement. Alternatively, there is typically a "cooling-off" period, which allows you several days to thoroughly review the contract before making an informed decision to enter into a consumer loan agreement based on the terms specified by the lender.

  6. Choosing a payday lender is a significant decision that demands careful consideration and a good understanding of how such organizations operate.


At Finanso, we've carried out a comprehensive analysis of over 100 lenders, assessing them based on 35 different parameters across six key categories: accessibility of loans, customer relations, quality of service, interest rates, and transparency of conditions.

In each category, we carefully considered the most critical factors in selecting a lender. These factors include the interest rates, available loan amounts, minimum credit score, minimum income, application fees, and the speed at which funds are transferred.

At Finanso, we highly value our users, which is why we also focus on the quality of customer service, user reviews, and additional features that can aid our users in making a well-informed decision.

Our ultimate goal is to provide insightful recommendations and expert advice to assist you in selecting a lender that best caters to your specific needs.

Additional Resources

To learn more about Online Payday Loans and best practices, check out some of the following resources:



What is the minimum credit score for a personal loan?

Whether or not you are approved for a personal loan and at what interest rate depends heavily on your credit score. Today, a credit score between 610 and 640 is required for most personal loans. Borrowers typically need a minimum credit score requirement of 690 or higher to qualify for a lender's best interest rate.

Can I get a personal loan with a 600 credit score?

The answer is yes, you can receive a personal loan with a credit score of 600, and even lenders specialize in providing personal loans to people with fair credit.

Is it easy to be approved for a personal loan?

When the restrictions for credit history and personal loan income are loose, it's simple to receive one. The finest personal loan lenders tend to have stringent prerequisites, typically between 600 and 680, although some, like the ones on this list, accept scores as low as 560.

Why does your credit score for personal loan matters?

Banks and other lenders will be more willing to extend loans if you have a strong credit history. Credit card, loan, and mortgage applications will likely be approved, and you may hear back from lenders more quickly.

What to do if you have bad credit?

You can raise a low credit score by making on-time payments to your bills, paying down your debt, avoiding more hard credit queries, and enlisting professional assistance to establish credit.

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