What credit scores do I need to get a personal loan? (2024)

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When you apply for a personal loan, lenders may check your credit scores.

A credit score is a number that’s calculated based on your credit reports. It measures factors like how well you’ve handled finances in the past, and it helps lenders predict whether you’ll make on-time payments in the future.

Credit scores are important because most lenders use them to help determine whether you’re approved for loans, what interest rate you’re charged and how much you can borrow.

Your credit scores aren’t the only factor lenders look at to evaluate your credit profile and decide whether to approve a personal loan application. There’s no particular score that guarantees you’ll get approved or be offered a good interest rate.

There are lenders that offer loans to people with credit scores that fall in varying ranges, but you’re more likely to get a lower interest rate and better terms with higher credit scores.

Considering a personal loan?Check Approval Odds

  • What credit scores do I need to get a personal loan?
  • What factors affect my credit scores?
  • Looking to build your credit? Consider a credit builder loan.
  • What loan features should I compare before taking out a personal loan?

What credit scores do I need to get a personal loan?

The minimum credit score you need to be approved for a personal loan depends on the lender. Some lenders state their requirements upfront. For example, Happy Money says that applicants should have a FICO®score of at least 640 and Upstart requires a minimum credit score of 300 (terms may be different if you apply through Credit Karma).

Others give a range of approved applicants’ scores: Avant says people who receive loans usually have credit scores between 600 and 700.

Some lenders don’t disclose minimum credit requirements before applicants go through a prequalification process or apply for a loan. In some cases, you may be able to find information about approved applicants’ credit scores in lender filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

For example, Discover reported that more than 93% of its personal loans went to borrowers with FICOscores of 660 or above as of Sept. 30, 2023.

To get a general idea of whether your credit scores are high enough to be approved for a personal loan, check which ranges your scores fall into.

If you’re not sure if you’ll qualify for an unsecured personal loan, you can also consider putting up collateral and applying for a secured loan.

What factors affect my credit scores?

There are many different credit scores, and the factors that affect your scores can vary depending on which scoring method is used. Here are a few common factors.

  • Payment history: FICOand VantageScore both look at your payment history to see if you have a track record of paying bills on time. Making full, on-time payments helps your scores.
  • Credit used: How much credit you use also affects scores in both models, and using close to the maximum amount available to you may lower your scores. Paying down credit card debt so that you don’t owe more than 30% of your credit limit may help.
  • Account length and mix: Having established credit history and using a mix of different types of credit like installment loans and credit cards can have a positive effect on your scores. On the other hand, if you’ve opened many new accounts recently, your scores may go down.

If your credit scores are low, you may want to work on improving your credit before applying for a loan.

Try not to fall behind on paying bills. If you’re struggling to come up with the money to pay a bill on time, ask for a payment plan so your account doesn’t go to collections.

Check that the info on your credit reports is correct. Request a copy of each of your credit reports and contact the credit bureaus if you find any mistakes.

Considering a personal loan?Check Approval Odds

Looking to build your credit? Consider a credit builder loan.

Taking out a credit builder loan can help you build your credit by giving you the opportunity to show you can make regular on-time payments, which is an important part of your credit scores.

When you get a credit builder loan, the lender typically puts the money you’ve borrowed into a reserve account it controls. You then make regular payments toward the loan, building a positive payment history that’s reported to the credit bureaus. When the loan is paid off (or you reach a certain threshold), the lender gives you access to the funds.

Loan fees, interest and repayment terms vary among lenders, so you’ll want to compare your options before applying.

You might also want to consider Credit Karma’s Credit Builder plan, which can help you build low credit while you save.

What loan features should I compare before taking out a personal loan?

Before finalizing a personal loan, compare common fees and costs.

  • Interest rates: Check both the interest rate and the annual percentage rate, or APR, of the loans you’re considering. APR will include any fees and interest and give you an idea of the affordability of your loan.
  • Fees: Fees can add up, so check for common ones such as fees for late payments, payment processing and any prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early. Factor in loan origination fees, which are fees for issuing the loan and are usually a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing.
  • Loan term: Compare how much time you’ll have to pay off the loan and the size of your monthly payments.
  • Loan amount and total interest: For each loan, calculate the total amount you would pay in interest over the course of the loan.
  • Co-signer or joint applicant option: Check whether each lender will allow you to add a co-signer or to apply jointly with another person. Having a co-signer with better credit than you may help you get approved for a loan you wouldn’t qualify for otherwise or may help you get a better interest rate.

What’s next?

Consider how taking out a personal loan will affect your credit. For example, making payments on time can help build your payment history, which may improve your credit scores. On the other hand, taking out a new loan may increase your total debt — which may bring your scores down.

Use a credit score simulator to explore how these factors could affect your scores and to estimate how your scores are likely to change after you take out a loan.

Finally, before applying, gather the information you need for the application process. In addition to your name, address and phone number, lenders may ask for your Social Security number, employer’s name and contact information, proof of income, how long you’ve lived at your current address and how much you spend each month on housing.

Considering a personal loan?Check Approval Odds

About the author: Sarah Brodsky is a freelance writer covering personal finance and economics. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from The University of Chicago. Sarah has written for companies such as Hcareers, Impactivate and K… Read more.

What credit scores do I need to get a personal loan? (2024)


What credit scores do I need to get a personal loan? ›

The typical minimum credit score to qualify for a personal loan is 560 to 660, according to lenders surveyed by NerdWallet. Some lenders may require a higher score. A high credit score doesn't guarantee you'll qualify or get a low interest rate.

What is the minimum credit score for a personal loan? ›

To qualify for a personal loan, borrowers generally need a minimum credit score of 610 to 640. However, your chances of getting a loan with a low interest rate are much higher if you have a “good” or “excellent” credit score of 670 and above.

What credit score do you need to get a $30,000 loan? ›

You will need a credit score of 580 or higher to get a $30,000 personal loan in most cases, along with enough income to afford the monthly bill payments. Other common loan requirements include being at least 18 years old, being a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and having a valid bank account.

What FICO score is used for personal loans? ›

For other types of credit, such as personal loans, student loans and retail credit, you'll likely want to know your FICO® Score 8, which is the score most widely used by lenders.

What credit score do you need for a $20000 personal loan? ›

Requirements for a $20,000 Personal Loan

This means they'll want to see your credit score, income level and DTI ratio. Requirements vary by lender, but most lenders require borrowers to have a credit score in the good to excellent range — meaning a score of at least 670.

What credit score do I need for a $5000 loan? ›

Requirements for a $5,000 loan vary by lender. But in general, you should have at least Fair credit, which is a score of 580 or above. Lenders may also look at other factors, such as your income and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), during the application process.

Can you get a $5,000 personal loan with no credit? ›

A: While some lenders may advertise guaranteed approval for bad credit personal loans of $5,000, it's important to note that no lender can guarantee approval. Lenders may have minimum credit score requirements, income requirements, and other eligibility criteria that must be met in order to be approved for a loan.

What is the minimum credit score for LendingTree? ›

You can check your credit score for free with LendingTree Spring — without impacting your credit. While credit scores range from 300 to 850, the minimum credit score for a personal loan is typically 580. However, borrowers with scores of 640 or higher tend to get better loan rates and terms.

How much can I borrow with a 580 credit score? ›

You can borrow anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+ with a 580 credit score. The exact amount of money you will get depends on other factors besides your credit score, such as your income, your employment status, the type of loan you get, and even the lender.

How big of a loan can I get with a 600 credit score? ›

With FICO, fair or good credit scores fall within the ranges of 580 to 739, and with VantageScore, fair or good ranges between 601 to 780. Many personal loan lenders offer amounts starting around $3,000 to $5,000, but with Upgrade, you can apply for as little as $1,000 (and as much as $50,000).

What credit score is needed for a $10,000 loan? ›

To increase your chance of qualifying for a $10,000 unsecured loan, you should have a credit score of 600 or higher. Some lenders start their minimum credit score requirements at 600, however, there are some lenders that require a credit score in the high 600s or low 700s.

What credit score is needed for a $25,000 loan? ›

Typically, a desirable credit score for a $25,000 personal loan is around 670 and above, but some lenders work with those who have scores from 580 and up.

What credit score do I need for a $40,000 loan? ›

$40,000 loan FAQ

In general, you'll want to have a credit score of at least 670 and a DTI ratio below 35% to qualify and get good rates.

Who is the easiest to get a personal loan from? ›

Easiest-to-get personal loans compared 2024
TitleAPRMin. credit score
Avant9.95% to 35.99%580
LendingClub9.57% to 35.99%600
OneMain18% to 35.99%Undisclosed
LendingPoint7.99% to 35.99%600
6 more rows
Mar 28, 2024

How much is a $20000 loan for 5 years? ›

A $20,000 loan at 5% for 60 months (5 years) will cost you a total of $22,645.48, whereas the same loan at 3% will cost you $21,562.43. That's a savings of $1,083.05. That same wise shopper will look not only at the interest rate but also the length of the loan.

What is the monthly payment on a $20 000 loan? ›

Advertising Disclosures
Loan AmountLoan Term (Years)Estimated Fixed Monthly Payment*
13 more rows

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

You aren't likely to get a lender's best rates on a personal loan without a good credit score, but a FICO score of 600 should allow you to qualify for one.

Can I get a personal loan with a 500 credit score? ›

Lenders may accept borrowers with a 500 credit score but expect you to meet additional criteria, such as a minimum income or employment history. Look into fees and interest rates. Ask about fees and interest rates you might pay if you get a loan.

Can I get a personal loan with a 580 credit score? ›

People with fair credit scores between 580 and 669 can still qualify for personal loans from certain lenders. Credit unions may offer the best eligibility criteria and rates.

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