How To Get a Credit Union Loan With Fair Credit

(May 2024)

How To Get a Credit Union Loan With Fair Credit

In This Article

Thinking about applying for a credit union loan but your credit score isn’t good enough? No worries, this article is just what you need!

This article shows you, step by step, all you need to know about getting a credit union loan with fair credit. Here you will:

  • Understand what fair credit means
  • Become a credit union member
  • Apply for the loan 
  • Seek approval
  • Get a cosigner if needed    

Ready? Let’s get started!

1. Understand What Fair Credit Means

Understand what fair credit means before applying for a credit union loan with fair credit. Nothing complicated—and the cool thing is, you can weigh your loan options better if you have a clear understanding of what a “fair credit score” entails.

Fair credit means your score lies between 580 and 669, and some people use “fair credit” and “average credit” interchangeably. A fair credit score is neither good nor bad. It’s just somewhere in between. You see, the thing is that traditional banks generally fret about loan applicants with bad or fair credit. If you have a FICO score below 669 and want a personal loan with decent conditions, you might be better off applying at a credit union.

If you have a fair credit score and need a credit union loan, here’s how to proceed.

2. Become a Credit Union Member

To get a credit union loan with fair credit, become a member of your favorite credit union. Do this to become a credit union member:

Locate a Credit Union

To get a credit union loan with fair credit, locate a credit union and become a member. You can locate a credit union through:

  • Your employer: If your employer is part of a credit union, then you can become a member.
  • Your family member: If you have a family member who belongs to a credit union, then you can qualify for membership.
  • Your colleague: If your colleague is a part of a credit union, rest assured you can apply for membership.
  • Your community: Join through your community. Get involved with activities within the community, join schools and offer voluntary services

Joining a credit union whose membership includes people with whom you have some kind of affinity—geographic, military, professional, philanthropic, religious, community-based, etc.—makes it easier for you to become a part of the credit union’s family.

Apply For Membership

To get a credit union loan with fair credit, apply for membership if you find a credit union whose eligibility criteria you meet. Go to a branch, on the credit union’s website, or over the phone—whatever is convenient to you, do it—and fill out an application form.

You’ll need identifying information about yourself including:

  • Social Security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Government-issued ID
  • Driver’s license

After filling out your application form, pay a membership fee of $5 to $25, depending on the credit union. This fee generally is the cost of purchasing a value share at your credit union to establish membership.

Once you pay the membership fee, you can qualify for credit union membership and enjoy the many benefits the credit union provides to its members

3. Apply for the Loan

To get a credit union loan with fair credit, seek a loan for which you qualify—and apply. Fortunately, with credit unions, you can become a member and apply for a loan on the same day. But if you are already a credit union member, you are one step ahead in your loan process.

To apply for a loan:

  • Speak with your loan officer to understand the loan options available to you.
  • Send a loan inquiry—make a phone call or write a letter—to your credit union explaining why you need the loan. Note that a loan inquiry may only be needed if you do not qualify for the loan you need.
  • Fill out an application form either online or on paper. Include your means of identification—your SSN, government-issued ID, your employment and income details, and other required detail.

Your loan officer will give you the instructions related to the loan you seek. If these instructions are suitable to you, let the credit union know so it can finalize the loan approval process.

4. Seek Approval

Once you apply for a credit union loan, your loan officer reviews your application to determine whether you qualify.

If you do not qualify for the loan or perhaps you’ve had loan repayment issues in the past, do not worry; you can still get your loan approved. Seek approval—speak with a credit union staff member—someone who can review your credit report and provide solutions.

5. Get a Cosigner if Needed

If you are applying for a credit union loan with fair credit, you may need a cosigner—anyone who can repay your loan if you cannot. Besides repaying your loan, he or she must be willing to sign your loan application, have a good credit score and be financially stable.

Ideally, your cosigner does not make payments for your loan—it is your loan. However, he or she is responsible for your loan if you fail to repay. Therefore, take out a loan you can repay so you don’t ruin good relationships. Remember, requesting a cosigner is a huge favor to ask of someone.

However, if you cannot risk getting a cosigner, then apply for a secured loan. Pledge collateral—either a house, a car, or any valuable item that’s of worth. Anything your union can take if you fail to repay your loan.


To get a credit union with fair credit, first understand what fair credit means and check your credit to see if you indeed have a fair FICO score—or something lower or higher. Then locate a credit union whose membership requirements you meet and learn about the different loan options the institution has.

Improve your loan approval odds by gathering the right paperwork and providing as promptly as possible whatever documentation or information the credit union needs from you. Apply at a branch, over the phone, or online—and if need be, seek approval, or get a cosigner if needed.

Now, go get that fair-credit credit union loan!

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