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When it comes to borrowing money, you already know how important it is to ask what credit score is needed for a personal loan. Unless you’re borrowing money from a rich uncle, your lender is going to care a great deal about your credit score. They may not even look at your application if you fail to meet their minimum requirements. Fortunately, your credit score isn’t the only thing they look at with a personal loan application.
Qualifying for a Personal Loan
So what credit score is needed for a personal loan? The short answer is a 650 credit score. But the higher your credit score, the more options you have for borrowing money. Remember that your credit score is a combination of many different factors compiled together using a formula to determine how risky you are as a borrower.
The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to repay a loan on time – at least that’s how the banks read the numbers.
That’s why lenders typically require a good credit score for loans. Some lenders are more stringent about score than other, however. Banks have the highest standards when it comes to borrowing money. Credit unions are more relaxed. Peer to peer lending websites have looser standards and then online lenders can fall anywhere in the spectrum.
Understanding Rates with Personal Loans
It’s important to know what credit score is needed for a personal loan, but it’s also important to realize that there are lenders for virtually all sorts of borrowers. If your credit score is below a 650, you can still find someone to lend you money. Your options may be limited, but there are lenders out there.
What changes with credit scores is how much you pay for the privilege of borrowing. Banks or other lenders will charge interest that corresponds with the risk they feel they are taking with the loan. The higher the risk, the higher the interest rate. Since your credit score is an indication of risk, you can expect to see higher interest rates with a lower credit score.
If you have a great credit score, you’ll see lower rates for a personal loan. Good credit, usually defined as a score between 650 and 719 will earn you a moderate rate. Very good credit between 720 and 799 will correspond to better rates and the best personal loan rates will be reserved for excellent credit score over 800.
How Do I Check My Credit Score?
You know that your credit score important, and you have an idea of what credit score is needed for a personal loan, but do you know your own credit score? It’s a good idea to always monitor your credit to be on the look out for problems or issues. Most monitoring programs available through banks or separate websites will report your credit score to you.
These regular checks are considered “soft” credit pulls that don’t impact your credit, but may not be entirely accurate. When you apply for a true loan, you can expect to have the lender do a “hard” credit check which will give your exact score and also be reflected on your credit score. That hard credit check may lower your credit score temporarily.
Improving Your Credit Rating
If you are concerned about your credit score and how it might affect your ability to get a personal loan, you have a couple of options. One option is to simply work with a lender who allows for lower credit scores. You will pay a higher interest rate with this option, however.
Another option is to decide what credit score is needed for a personal loan in your situation and then work toward that score by taking the following steps:
- Pull your own copy of your credit report and look for mistakes or items that need to be addressed. You might have mistakes on your report that need to be resolved.
- Pay down current balances. The more “empty” credit you have available, the higher your credit score. Pay off balances to free up some credit.
- Use a credit builder loan from a local bank or credit union. These loans work in reverse. You make payments up front and then the financial institution will send you the “loan” lump sum when you’ve paid it in full.
Lenders care a great deal about your credit score when it comes to borrowing money, but that’s not the only factor they consider. Lenders will also check you income levels, your debt to income ratio and your employment history before they decide if they are going to loan you money. So knowing what credit score is needed for a personal loan is important, but it’s not the entire application process.