Can You Get a Personal Loan With a Credit Score of 600?
When applying for a personal loan, one of the first things a lender checks is your credit score. If you have a credit score of 600, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to get approved for a personal loan at all.
The short answer is that yes, you can get a personal loan with a 600 credit score. Understanding how fair credit personal loans work can help you find the best option when it’s time to borrow.
What Credit Score Is Needed for a Personal Loan?
Every lender evaluates credit differently when extending personal loans to borrowers. But at a minimum, most lenders typically look for a credit score of 600 or better for loan approvals. According to Experian, a 600 credit score puts you in the fair credit range.
A fair credit score means you can get approved for personal loans and other types of loans. But it can also translate to higher interest rates when you borrow. If a lender charges an origination fee for a personal loan, the fee may be higher compared to someone with a good or excellent credit score.
Credit scores matter to lenders because they’re an indicator of how likely you are to repay what you borrow. A 600 credit score could suggest that you’re either newer to using credit and don’t have an established credit history yet, or that you haven’t always been responsible about managing credit and debt in the past.
How to Get a Personal Loan With a Credit Score of 600
If you have a 600 credit score, then your personal loan options won’t be unlimited. But you can still get approved for loans if you’re doing your research beforehand.
Look for lenders that work with fair credit borrowers. Some personal loan lenders cater to borrowers with credit scores in the 600 range. These are the lenders you want to focus on, since they’re more likely to approve you for a personal loan. Getting a free rate quote online that doesn’t involve a hard pull of your credit can make it easier to see what options are available.
Check individual lender requirements. Once you have a shortlist of lenders that offer personal loans for fair credit, do some more digging. Review the individual approval requirements for each lender, including the minimum credit score and income needed if those are specified. This can help you narrow down the list of potential lenders further.
Compare loan terms. Having a 600 credit score can affect the interest rates and fees you pay for a personal loan. It can also impact the amount you’re able to borrow and the amount of time you have to pay the loan back. Comparing personal loan terms can help you decide which loan or loans may be the best fit for your borrowing needs and budget.
Choose a lender and apply. Ideally, you only want to submit one personal loan application since inquiries for credit can knock points off your credit score. If you think you’ve found the right lender for a fair credit personal loan, the next step is applying.
Online lenders allow you to apply for personal loans in a matter of minutes. You typically need to provide:
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Email address and/or phone number
You may also need to specify how much you want to borrow and what your personal loan will be used for. Once you submit your application, you then just have to wait on the lender to make a decision.
If you’re approved for a personal loan with a credit score of 600, be sure to review the terms carefully before signing off. Specifically, check the interest rate, fees and repayment terms. Also, look for any prepayment penalties you may be charged if you decide to pay the loan off early.
Who Can Get a Personal Loan With No Credit Check?
Lenders that offer personal loans with no credit check don’t look at credit scores but they may have other requirements you need to meet.
Generally, you may be able to get a personal loan with no credit check if:
- You’re at least 18 (or 19 in some states)
- You’re employed or have steady income
- You have a bank account
Additionally, lenders may require you to be a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. address and a phone number where they can reach you. But the main point to remember is that you don’t need good credit to apply or even any credit history at all.
RELATED: Applying for Personal Loans when Self Employed
How to Improve Your Odds of Getting a Fair Credit Personal Loan
If you’re worried that you may be shut out of getting a loan with a 600 credit score, there are some things you can do to increase your approval odds.
The first is finding ways to improve your credit score. Some of the best ways to do that include paying your bills on time and reducing your debt balances. It can take time to results from those efforts, however, so a faster way to improve your approval odds is looking for personal loan lenders that allow cosigners.
Getting a loan with a cosigner onboard could be easier if your cosigner has solid personal credit. Their higher credit score could also help you get a lower interest rate on the money you borrow. Just remember that you’re both equally liable for the debt so if you miss a payment or default, that could hurt their credit rating and yours.
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Rebecca Lake is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance,
credit and debt. She’s a contributor to U.S. News and World Report,
Forbes Advisor and The Balance and her work has appeared online at CreditCards.com,
Money-Rates.com and dozens of other top publications.