Loans for a 600 credit score: What to know and where to find one

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Taking out a personal loan with a credit score of 600 isn’t impossible — but it may require some creativity, and you may not get the best loan terms.

Whether you’re looking to get a mortgage, open a new credit card account, or even purchase auto insurance, you probably recognize the power that your credit score can have. The closer you are to a good credit score (which ranges from 670 to 739, according to FICO), the more likely you are to qualify for better rates on credit products.

So, what if you’re trying to take out a loan with a credit score closer to 600? It’s important to note that credit-scoring models generally put a 600 credit score in the mid-range of "fair." While this may not qualify you for all lenders or terms, a 600 credit score doesn’t put you out of the running for a good personal loan.

Let’s take a look at how your credit affects your ability to get a loan, how lenders view a fair score, and the best personal loans for a 600 credit score. 

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

The short answer is yes, you can still take out a personal loan with a 600 credit score. But there are some caveats.

Not all lenders are willing to give a loan to someone with a 600 credit score. You may need to apply with multiple lenders to find the options available to you. This is especially true if you’re hoping to borrow a lot of money, such as a $75,000 personal loan.

Credible allows you to compare personal loan rates from various lenders in just two minutes.

Additionally, you may not get the best loan terms with a credit score at or near 600. Lenders generally reserve their best interest rates and favorable terms for people with excellent credit. 

Is a 600 credit score good?

A 600 FICO credit score is far from the worst, but it’s not the best either. It falls below the national average, though it won’t necessarily prevent you from accessing the financial products and services you need.

A credit score of 600 falls about midway through the "fair" rating (580 to 669), according to FICO. The only category below "fair" is "poor," which is any credit score lower than 580. 

There are many factors that affect your credit score, any combination of which could land you in this "fair" range. Your credit score is impacted by things such as your:

  • Credit mix: The types of accounts and financial products you hold
  • Average age of accounts: The length of time you’ve been managing credit accounts
  • Credit utilization: Your debt-to-credit ratio, or how much you owe compared to your overall line of credit or credit limits
  • Payment history: Whether you’ve paid your accounts on time, and when the last negative report was received

A single late payment could drop your credit score by tens of points, especially if it happened recently or the payment was more than 30 days late. An account in collections or a charge-off could have the same effect, easily causing your score to be "fair" rather than "good." 

A "fair" (or even "poor") credit score could also be the result of a very limited credit history, or even something as simple as maxed-out credit card accounts. But luckily, you can still take out a personal loan with a fair credit score through many top-rated lenders.

Where to get a loan with a 600 credit score

If you’re looking for a loan with a credit score of around 600, here are a couple lenders you might want to consider first. Both are Credible partner lenders.

Best Egg

Best Egg has no minimum income requirements but isn’t  available in Iowa, Vermont, Washington, D.C., or West Virginia.

Loan terms: Two to five years

Loan amount: $5,000 to $50,000

Minimum income: None

Fees: Origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99%; late payment fee of $15

Lending Club

Though funding can take up to three days, Lending Club has no minimum income requirement and it offers personal loans of up to $40,000 in all 50 states.

Loan terms: Three or five years

Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000

Minimum income: None

Fees: Origination fee of 1% to 5%; late fee of $15 or 5% of overdue monthly payment

Loans for credit scores in the 500s

Whether your credit score is at 600 or even falls below that, there are still many personal loan lender options available. These are all Credible partner lenders.

Avant

Avant accepts credit scores as low as 550 and is available in all states except for Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Loan terms: Two to five years

Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000

Minimum income: $1,200 monthly

Fees: Origination fee

LendingPoint

LendingPoint loans are available to applicants with credit scores of 580 or higher, in all states except Nevada and West Virginia. Funding is offered as soon as the next business day.

Loan terms: Two to five years

Loan amount: $2,000 to $25,000

Minimum income: $20,000 

Fees: Origination fee and other fees from 0% to 6%

Upgrade

Though its loans aren’t available in Iowa or West Virginia, Upgrade offers personal loans of up to $50,000 with a minimum credit score requirement of only 580.

Loan terms: Three or five years

Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000

Minimum income: Not disclosed

Fees: Origination fee of 2.9% to 8%

Upstart

With a credit score requirement of just 580, Upstart provides personal loans as low as $1,000 and up to $50,000 in all 50 states.

Loan terms: Three to five years

Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000

Minimum income: $12,000 

Fees: Origination fee and other fees from 0% to 8%; late fee of 5% of the past due balance or $15, whichever is greater; ACH return or check refund fee of $15

How to get a personal loan with a 600 credit score

Interested in applying for a fair-credit personal loan? Here’s what you need to do first.

1. Determine where you stand, credit-wise. Take some time to check your credit history and request your credit score(s). This allows you to spot and correct any inaccuracies, and tells you where you’ll stand once potential lenders pull a credit check. 

You can get a free full credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) each year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. (This is the only government-approved website out there, so watch out for look-alikes.)

2. Compare lenders. Each lender has different loan eligibility requirements. Comparison-shopping can help you determine which lenders are offering the best loan options and discounts. Comparing lenders can also tell you what your lowest possible APR will be. Narrow down the options that suit you best.

You can compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders at once with  Credible.

3. Choose your terms. Once you’ve seen which lenders and loan options are available to you, it’s time to pick your loan. This involves comparing the various interest rates, maximum loan amounts, repayment terms, and potential fees to see which one works best for your situation. You can also pick a particular loan based on the monthly payment amount.

4. Finalize your application. You know what you need and which lender is the right pick; now it’s time to finish the loan application process. You’ll need to fill out and submit that lender’s complete application, and maybe even provide certain financial documentation to support your application (such as bank statements or previous tax returns).

5. Get funded. After your loan has been submitted and approved, the only thing left is funding. Each lender has its own timeline, so you could receive funds as soon as the next business day or within a week. Once you finish signing for your loan, disbursement will begin. Funding can often be completed via direct deposit.

How much does a personal loan for fair credit cost?

You need a personal loan, and your lender needs a successful business model. That’s why your lender will charge a variety of fees (including interest charges) in order to make money.

The lower your credit score, the greater the repayment risk you pose to lenders. As a result, you’ll generally get a higher interest rate (and even more limited loan terms) with a 600 credit score than you would with a score of, say, 750.

Personal loan rates for fair credit

The lower your credit score, and the greater the risk you represent to a lender, the higher you can expect your interest rate to be. 

Personal loan rates may vary wildly from one borrower to the next, according to the loan amount, repayment term, and your credit score. A borrower with fair credit may be offered an APR of 19.5%, for example, while a borrower with good credit may be offered an APRof 12.5%. On a $10,000 personal loan with a three-year repayment term, those rates would mean the difference between $3,287 and $2,043 in interest, respectively.

Personal loan fees to know

There are a few potential fees you may encounter when taking out a personal loan. 

  • Origination fee: This is a one-time cost that’s charged upfront when your loan is processed. It may also be referred to as an underwriting fee.
  • Late fee: If you make late payments on your personal loan after the scheduled due date, you may be charged a late fee, which typically costs $25 to $45. Not paying your bill on time can also negatively affect your credit score.
  • Early repayment (payoff) penalty: Some lenders may charge you a penalty fee if you pay your loan back ahead of schedule. 

If you have good or excellent credit, lenders might waive some of these fees. But those with fair or poor credit are generally stuck paying these personal loan fees, if applicable.

Tips for getting the best loan deal 

Want to snag the best possible personal loan deal? It’s important to be prepared. 

Check your credit report early to catch any errors. You may also have time to boost your score a bit before applying for your loan, either by paying down some debt or having utility and rent payments added to your credit history. The higher your score, the more likely you are to get the best personal loan interest rates.

You may be able to get a lower interest rate by opting for a secured personal loan. These loans use your assets — such as the equity on your property — as collateral to secure the new loan. You can also consider adding a cosigner, like a parent or significant other. If their credit score is higher than yours, this may help you get better personal loan terms.

Always remember to shop around before choosing your personal loan. Check out Credible to easily compare rates and find the right option for you.