Is It Possible To Get a Personal Loan With a 550 Score? How-Tos and Alternatives

ByI. Mitic
May 18, 2022

If you have a credit score of 550, you might be wondering: Is it possible to get a personal loan with a 550 score? The answer is yes, you can get a personal loan with a credit score of 550, although that score is considered poor in the FICO classification. However, the interest rate on your loan will almost certainly be higher than if you had a better credit score. Also, you won’t probably be able to qualify for a large amount of money. 

Qualifying for a loan with a poor credit score might not be the easiest thing to accomplish, but there are some things you can do to improve your odds. You can ask someone to be your co-signer or look for lenders who offer loans for a low credit score. And if you’re not in a hurry, improving your credit score before applying for a loan is definitely the best strategy. 

Credit Score - the Consumer’s Nightmare 

Before we start discussing all the technicalities of getting a loan with a 550 credit score, we’ll take a quick look at the difference between good and bad credit scores. 

A credit score is a number that lenders use to assess how likely it is that they will be repaid on time if they give you a loan. The higher your score, the more likely you’re to repay the loan, and therefore, the lower your interest rate will be. A good credit score depends on the scoring system used, but generally, a score of 680 or higher is considered good. A score of 750 or higher is considered excellent. On the other hand, scores below 620 are considered poor. 

So, if your question is: “Is 550 a good credit score?” the answer is no, unfortunately, it’s not. Although you’ll still be able to get a loan for a 550 credit score, you’ll likely have to pay a higher interest rate or qualify for a lower amount of money, or both. 

There are many reasons why someone might have a bad credit score. One of the most common reasons is missing or making late payments on bills. This can be due to financial difficulties, but it can also simply be an oversight. 

Another reason for having a bad credit score is using too much of your available credit, which can give the impression that you’re struggling to manage your finances. Additionally, having a lot of debt can also lead to a lower credit score. 

While the impact of negative items on your credit score will diminish over time as you improve your credit utilization ratio and start making regular payments, most of these items will remain on your credit reports for months, even years. Hence, if you want to boost your 550 credit score before getting a loan, you should start working on it as soon as possible as you may have to wait for the results for a while. 

Getting a Loan With a 550 Credit Score - Tips and Alternatives 

If boosting your credit score prior to applying for a personal loan is not an option because you’re pressed for time, there are some strategies that can help you get a loan with bad credit.

Secured Loans

A secured loan is a type of loan in which the borrower uses an asset, such as their home or car, to secure the loan. This means that if the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can seize the asset to recoup their losses. 

For borrowers looking for a personal loan with a credit score of 550, this might be a good option, but there are a few things to consider before taking out a secured loan. Firstly, you must have an asset to put up for collateral. Secondly, you need to decide if you’re comfortable with the idea of losing that asset if you can’t repay the loan. In general, for many borrowers, the lower interest rates and monthly payments of a secured loan can be well worth the risk.

Unsecured Loan With a Co-Signer 

If you have a 550 credit score, you may still be able to get a loan by using a co-signer. Applying for an unsecured personal loan with a co-signer lets you use someone else’s high credit score to boost your approval chances. 

Unsecured loans for a credit score of 550 are not easy to find, so you’ll first need to find a lender that offers loans with a co-signer option. The co-signer promises to pay the loan back if you can’t. 

Credit Card 

Another thing you can do is to apply for a credit card for borrowers with bad credit scores. It’s definitely not the most affordable option because those credit products come with a high APR. 

However, the monthly payments might be lower than those you would have to make with some personal loans. Additionally, some online lenders offer credit cards for a 550 credit score with a 0% intro APR, which is a good solution if you’re able to pay your debt before the intro period ends. 

Payroll Loan

This is an unusual option but a viable one for getting a personal loan with a 550 credit score. Essentially, with this loan, you borrow money from yourself by getting an advance on your paycheck. This way, you’ll avoid paying high interest rates. 

Where To Look for a Personal Loan With a Credit Score of 550

Shopping for the best loan terms is even more important for prospective borrowers with low credit scores than for those with stellar credit reports. Here are some financial institutions whose offer you should check out.

Online Lenders 

Some online lenders have specialized in offering personal loans for a 550 credit score. Their borrowing requirements are often easier to meet than those of regular banks, so this might be a viable solution for you.

Credit Unions 

Another financial institution that you can go to for a personal loan is a credit union. Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit institutions that often offer better rates and terms than traditional banks. You may be able to get a loan from a credit union even if your credit score is as low as 550. This is because credit unions are more open to their members’ needs. However, you must become a member first by making a contribution or finding a credit union that’ll accept you. 

Community Banks 

The next place where you can inquire about a 550 credit score personal loan is a community bank. Similar to credit unions, community banks often have better offers for their members than traditional banks. You can talk with your bank’s representative and see what they can offer you. 

Alternatives to a Bad Credit Personal Loan

A common alternative to bad credit loans is to borrow money from a family member or a friend, especially if you’re looking to borrow a smaller amount. This could be a cheaper option than taking out a traditional loan from a bank. You may also be able to negotiate more flexible repayment terms. 

On the downside, borrowing money from people you know can put a strain on your relationship. If you’re not able to repay the loan, you could damage your relationship beyond repair.

Sometimes, getting loans with a 550 credit score means digging deeper for alternatives. For example, you can look into nonprofit or government assistance programs to see if you qualify for any help. These programs might not offer you a loan or direct cash assistance, but they could help decrease your expenses. 

What To Avoid When Applying for Loans With Bad Credit 

Many online lenders offer financial products you can get quickly and without high-to-achieve borrowing requirements. However, those financial products are often risky, and they should be your last resort. 

Payday Loans for Low Credit Scores 

If you are looking for a personal loan with a 550 credit score, a payday loan should be the last option to consider. 

Some online lenders offer payday loans that are easy to get because they don’t require any credit score or other criteria to meet. However, payday loans can be a very costly option due to their exorbitant fees and the short repayment period. 

Some borrowers find themselves in a situation where they can only afford to cover the interest each month, making the overall cost of their loan even higher. If you’re considering a payday loan, be sure to weigh all of your options before making a decision.

Lines of Credit

A line of credit is a great way to access funds when you need them, up to an approved limit. This can be useful for a number of purposes, such as making home improvements, paying for unexpected expenses, or consolidating debt. 

Unlike with personal loans, with lines of credit, you pay interest only on the money you actually use. Online lenders offer lines of credit for borrowers looking for personal loans with a 550 credit score or lower. 

However, these financial products come with a steep APR. Moreover, lenders usually charge an origination fee and annual fee, making the total cost of a line of credit even higher. 

Bottom Line 

It’s certainly possible to get a personal loan with a bad credit score, but it’ll likely come with some disadvantages. 

For one, you may have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with a better credit score. Additionally, you may only be able to qualify for a smaller loan amount. 

However, there are still options out there for those with less-than-perfect credit. Just make sure to do your research and compare offers before applying for loans for a 550 credit score or less. 

FAQ

Is a 550 credit score bad?

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A 550 credit score is considered poor, but it’s not the worst possible. There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score, but it will take time and effort. If you’re looking for loans with a bad credit score and don’t have time to work on boosting your score, you may have difficulty getting approved for a loan. However, there are lenders who specialize in loans with a 550 credit score.

What credit score is needed for a $2,000 personal loan?

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each lender will have its own credit score requirements. However, a rule of thumb is that you’ll need a credit score of at least 580 to be eligible for a $2,000 personal loan. If your credit score is lower than this, you may still be able to qualify for a loan, but the interest rate will likely be higher.

What is the minimum score for a personal loan?

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A personal loan is a type of unsecured loan, meaning there is no collateral required to obtain the loan. Your credit score is one of the main factors that lenders look at when considering you for a personal loan. The minimum credit score for a personal loan depends on the lender but generally, a good credit score for a personal loan is typically a score of 700 or higher. That being said, some lenders may consider applicants with a score of 640 or higher to be a good fit for a personal loan. And what about 550? Can you get a personal loan with a credit score of 550? The answer is yes, but the loan terms are highly unlikely to be favorable.

About author

For years, the clients I worked for were banks. That gave me an insider’s view of how banks and other institutions create financial products and services. Then I entered the world of journalism. Fortunly is the result of our fantastic team’s hard work. I use the knowledge I acquired as a bank copywriter to create valuable content that will help you make the best possible financial decisions.

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