Getting a Personal Loan With 554 Credit Score in 2022
Being in the “poor” credit tier already seems bad enough. On top of that, it can be harder to get a loan when one needs such. While it’s true that personal loan lenders prefer borrowers to have good or excellent credit, even those with poor credit are capable of getting approved for a personal loan – although there won’t be as many options at hand.
- Minimum credit score*: All credit types accepted
- Credit inquiry type*: Soft
- Minimum loan amount: $500
- Maximum loan amount: $10000
- Loan terms: 90 days to 72 months
- APR*: 5.99% – 35.99%
- Turnaround time: As early as 1 business day
- Must have a monthly income of $1,000+ after taxes and valid checking account.
- Bad credit is OK
- No collateral needed
Applying for a Loan with a 554 Credit Score
Say you have a credit of 554: You’re smack dab in the center between “bad” and “fair” credit. To lenders, this means your financial responsibility isn’t the best, but it also isn’t the worse. Due to this, lenders may be more likely to approve you for a secured loan that has a collateral than an unsecured loan without a collateral.
However, it isn’t the end of the world. Even with 554 credit score, you can receive even an unsecured personal loan. The situation is much more complex than just having poor credit; there’s other things that go along with it.
There are some companies out there who will only lend to individuals with good or excellent credit. However, there are still plenty of lenders who will lend to borrowers with 554 credit score.
Below, you will discover a list of some of your most desirable options for receiving a personal loan with a 554 credit score.
How 554 Credit Score Appears on the Personal Loan Application
Seeing a 554 credit score on a personal loan application is viewed differently depending on the lender. Some lenders may trash your application right away. Others may be skeptical but still open to still giving you a chance. A 554 FICO score is basically a glass half empty, glass half full debate; some lenders might see that you’re half way to bad credit or half way to fair credit.
Ultimately, it depends on the lender. Always do your research on a company before diving into the application process, especially because some lenders will only specify that they lend to those with good or excellent credit. Don’t waste your time applying for a loan through these lenders only to get your application denied.
Lender Expectations for Borrowers with Poor Credit
Right off the bat, lenders wouldn’t expect borrowers with 554 credit to have stable income or good credit history. They may presume that the potential borrower has irresponsibility when it comes to finances and difficulty paying back debts on time. They might even presume that a borrower with 554 FICO score has employment trouble or a lot of expenses on their record.
Generally, the expectations would be low for a borrower with poor credit. A lender wouldn’t expect a borrower with this score to pay back loan debts on time or even ever – even though they would eventually want them to. This is why lenders charge higher interest rates and heavier fees to these applicants and often prefer these borrowers to provide a collateral.
554 Credit Score: Personal Loans Interest Rates, Fees and Loan Terms
This isn’t going to be what you want to hear, but with credit score of 554, you’ll be receiving some of the worst interest rates, fees, and loan terms. This is the price you have to pay for having less favorable credit and having less financial trust in the eyes of your lender.
For example, while the average APR* rate for one with fair credit would be 21.8% for a $1,000 loan with a loan term of 12 months, you’ll instead be paying an APR* of about 27.2% for the same loan amount and term. Rates and fees will vary from lender to lender, but it’s apparent that lenders may be more likely to give favorable rates and fees to those with better credit.
Soft and Hard Credit Checks
Before applying for a loan, make sure you are aware what credit check the lender uses as a credit score of 554 may be deemed poor or may be considered fair depending on the credit check used. Additionally, different credit checks may generate a different score for you. The credit check used can be one determining factor whether or not a lender may approve you.
Knowing what type of credit check used is also important to ensure you get approved the first time around because if you apply for a loan, get denied, and apply again through another lender, they may do a hard credit check. As a result, this will lower your score. The more “hard” credit checks received, the worse your credit. That said, keep your applications to a minimum.
A hard credit check is similar to a soft credit check as in both scenarios, a credit check is involved. What makes them different, however, is that a hard credit check affects your credit score while soft credit checks don’t. Hard credit checks are done for things such as personal loans. Soft credit checks are often done before one gets hired or for a pre-qualified credit card.
Can’t Get Approved for a Personal Loan? Get a Payday Loan
If you get denied for a personal loan, there’s another option you can try: a payday loan. Payday loans are typically a last resort option. Of course, a personal loan would ultimately be the better option for a borrower, particularly because personal loans can have more favorable rates and fees and are more negotiable overall.
But the benefit of payday loans, of cash advance loans, is that they have low expectations for borrowers and give money quickly. The approval process may also be quicker. However, as a downside, payday loans have lower cash amounts and must be paid back quickly. On top of that, there are usually higher interest rates tied to the loan, meaning you’ll end up paying more.
Regardless, a payday loan may be a good option if you need money fast, especially if your credit card limit is already reached, and you are unable to get it extended. Payday loans, however, are not for everyone. That said, be sure to do adequate research before applying for one.
Tips to Get a Personal Loan with 554 Credit Score
As mentioned, it can be harder to get approved for a personal loan when your credit score is around 554. On the bright side, there are some ways to increase your chances of being approved for a loan quicker without having to apply for dozens of loans through the process:
- Get a cosigner. While your chances of getting approved for a personal loan with 554 FICO score are slimmer, you can, however, increase your shots by getting a cosigner with better credit. With both you and a cosigner, there is a higher chance you will get approved for the loan as it means better faith that either you or the cosigner will step up and pay loan debts on time.
- Consider getting a secured loan. If you need to be approved for a loan as quickly as possible or if you have already been denied for many loans, your best bet is to apply for a secured loan. Because there is a collateral tied to a secured loan such as a house or a car, your lender will be more likely to approve you. However, the item you attach as a collateral will be taken if you don’t pay your loan back.
- Try peer-to-peer lending. You can avoid the lengthy process of trying to get approved for a loan from a bank or credit union by utilizing peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending is an online service that links a borrower and a lender together. Lenders tend to be individuals or businesses. While there are a lot of benefits, do keep in mind that peer-to-peer loans may have higher interest rates.
- Improve your credit score. It’s easier said than done, but if you are able to boost your credit score to the next tier (“fair” credit) before applying for a loan, all the better. This option may only be feasible if you aren’t urgent to get a loan. You can improve your credit by paying future bills on time first before tending to old debts, reducing expenses, and closing old credit cards.
Personal Loan Requirements
Apart from one’s credit score, there are several requirements that determine if one is eligible for a personal loan, such as the following (requirements may be different for each lender):
- Age: 21 to 60 (or 25 to 65 for self-employed individuals); must show proof of birthday.
- Employment: Must show proof of employment; must be with current employer for at least one year or have been self-employed for at least two years.
- Proof of Income: Provided by W-2 forms, tax returns, bank statements, or pay stubs.
- Identification: Proof can be provided by a driver’s license or state ID, Social Security, and/or a passport.
- Verification of home address: Can be provided by utility bills or copy of lease.
Depending on the lender, there may be additional requirements or specific details asked apart from the above, such as certain information about your employer, your contact details, your previous address, your college/university name and major, and the like.
Alternative Option to a Personal Loan: A Credit Card
An alternative option to a personal loan is using a credit card. If necessary, you can extend your current card’s credit limit to have access to money without getting a loan. However, with credit card cash advance, you can have access to money instantaneously. Interest rates will be higher and loan amounts and terms will be smaller, but they don’t require a credit check.
Whether you opt for a personal loan or a credit card, the option is yours. While it is not as easy to get any credit card – cash advance or not – with 554 credit, it definitely isn’t impossible. Some credit card companies will even give a credit card to those with bad credit. That said, even with 554 credit score, there are still credit card options for you out there.
Improving Your Credit May Save You Money
While you are still able to get a personal loan with a poor credit score, know that because you’re deemed a riskier borrower and thus will have higher interest rates and fees to pay, improving your credit score before applying for a loan can help you save money in the short- and long-run. As one can see, this would be the better option.
During this time, focus on boosting your credit score as much as possible. Be mindful of the ways that you can improve your credit, and receive financial counseling if necessary. With 554 credit score, you’re already halfway to fair credit, so you might as well improve it to get approved for a loan easier in the near future and reduce your shot of damaging your credit even more.