A 560 credit score is not good. It is either a sign of past financial mistakes or a lack of credit history. Having a score this poor makes it challenging to secure loans with decent rates or unsecured credit cards. Many lenders choose not to do business with consumers in this category at all.

Don’t lose hope yet. It is still possible to borrow money. Let’s explore what a credit score of 560 means, what you can qualify for, and how you can get a higher credit score.

Best credit cards for a 560 credit score

The best credit cards will help you move your score into the good category. You have three options: secured credit cards, unsecured credit cards, and store credit cards.

Unsecured credit cards

Most credit cards are unsecured, meaning they don’t require a deposit. Unsecured credit cards for a 560 credit score are rare, but they exist. The cards you find will charge higher APRs (annual percentage rate), extra fees, and have a lower limit than ones for good to excellent credit scores.

Get Approved up to $2000 Credit Limit

Get Approved  up to $2000 Credit Limit
Moneyfor rating Moneyfor’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account the type of card being reviewed (such as cash back, travel or balance transfer) and the card’s rates, fees, rewards and other features.
  • No deposit needed for high credit limit
  • Ideal for building credit history
  • Easy approval with no impact on credit
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  • No deposit needed for high credit limit
  • Ideal for building credit history
  • Easy approval with no impact on credit

Fees & Rates of Indigo

Annual Fee N/A
Intro APR 25% – 36%
Regular APR 25%
Credit Score Range 300-670
Monthly Fee $0

Indigo Mastercard® stands out with its new higher limit for low scores. It’s easy to be approved for without a security deposit, reports monthly payments, offers fraud protection.

Additional information

  • Optimal score range of 300-670 (Bad-Fair)
  • Initial limit: $400+
  • Reports payments to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
  • Fraud protection in case of theft
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Apply Now

Secured credit cards

Secured credit cards require a refundable security deposit. The cash deposit typically serves as your limit and gives the credit card issuer insurance in case you close the account without paying off your balance. Issuers are, therefore, more likely to approve consumers with lower credit scores. A secured credit card is a great way to establish responsible habits and boost your score with minimal cost.

Store credit cards

Store credit cards are issued by retail stores and often offer discounts or rewards on purchases made at that store. They have more lenient requirements than regular credit cards but are limited to the issuing store. They, too, come with high APRs and lower limits.

Minimum credit score requirements

The required score varies by financial institution and product.

Many secured cards have no minimum credit score requirement since they are designed to raise your rating. Premium cards, though, might demand credit scores of 700 or higher.

When your score is on the low end, it’s important to look for credit cards whose requirements you meet. There’s no point in applying for a card you have no chance of qualifying for. Focus on subprime unsecured credit cards that consider applicants with scores below 580.

Best personal loans for a 560 credit score

The best loans for a 560 credit score are personal loans from online lenders or your local credit union. Both consider applicants with less-than-ideal credit scores, though the loans may come with higher interest rates, additional charges, and more stringent repayment terms.

Get a 560 credit score car loan

560 credit score auto loans do exist, but you will have to look for lenders who specialize in working with individuals with lower credit scores. Expect to pay a higher APR and receive less favorable terms on your loan. Consider making a larger down payment or having a co-signer with a stronger credit profile to increase your chances of getting approved for a car loan and potentially improve the loan terms.

Get a 560 credit score home loan

Getting a mortgage will be challenging. Mortgage lenders require a rating of at least 700. FHA loans from the Federal Housing Administration are possible to get with credit scores as low as 500. Loans from the United States Department of Agriculture are another option as they have no specific score requirements.

If you do get a mortgage you will likely face a higher APR, stricter repayment terms, and be asked for a larger down payment. To increase your chances, raise your rating, save for a larger down payment, and provide proof of steady income.

Get a loan without a job!

Click here to learn how.

Choose the right lender

Look for alternative lenders such as a credit union, online lender, or loan marketplace. They often have less strict criteria than traditional banks. Then get a loan today!

Understand the credit score requirements

The minimum score required varies widely. Generally, big banks require credit scores of 600 or higher, but many online lenders are more flexible in accepting applicants with ratings as low as 560.

See how much you can borrow

It will be difficult to borrow a large amount. According to LendingTree, the average loan for borrowers with credit scores ranging from 560 to 579 is only $3,071. If you need to borrow more, your best bet is to find a co-signer or put up collateral. Securing the loan with collateral or adding a co-signer who will also be responsible reduces the risk to the lender, making them more willing to work with you.

Prequalify before you apply

Before settling on a loan, shop around and prequalify. Prequalifying does not mean that you approved. What it does is show you if you meet the basic criteria and lets you compare options. The lender does a soft pull and makes a decision based on that. The whole process usually takes a few minutes. You get an idea of the amount, terms, and interest rate you are eligible for, without impacting your score. Take the time to prequalify and then compare offers to get the best deal possible.

Increase your credit score first

While it’s possible to get a 560 credit score personal loan, it will come with a higher APR and less favorable terms, which can make borrowing more expensive. Ideally, you would wait a few months, improve your credit score, and then apply. Do this and you may save a lot of money.

Sometimes emergencies happen and you can’t wait. In this case, you may not have any choice but to borrow and pay more.

What types of payments build credit?

Credit card and installment loan payments are typically reported to the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – helping improve your FICO score when paid on time. Utility bills, rent, subscriptions, etc. typically are not. To boost your FICO score further, you can report these bills too with the help of a specialized company. Then every on time bill you pay will positively impact your rating.

Learn more about personal finance.

How bad is a 560 FICO score?

Is 560 a good credit score? Unfortunately, it’s not. Credit scores between 300 and 580 on the FICO scale fall into the poor range. According to Experian, 16% of Americans have scores in this category.

Falling into the poor range indicates to lenders that you’re a high-risk borrower. This can make it difficult to qualify for credit accounts without high-interest rates, additional fees, or even the need for a co-applicant.

The good news is, that what constitutes a low rating varies by lender. Also, you can easily raise your credit score with a little bit of patience and responsible behavior.

Percentage of generation per credit score range

Generation Z (18-23)37.7%
Millennial (24-39)41.2%
Generation X (40-55)40.3%
Baby Boomers (56-74)25.1%
Silent Generation (75+)17.8%
Data from Credit Karma

What causes a poor score?

Poor credit scores are often the result of past financial mistakes or lack of credit history. Missteps that can lead to a poor score include missed or late payments, credit accounts in collections, too much debt, a delinquent account, or bankruptcy.

Those are the big ones but little things can hurt too. Applying for multiple cards within a short period or closing old credit accounts will also drop your rating.

What are FICO scores and how are they calculated?

A FICO score is a three-digit number that indicates how reliable you are in paying back what you borrow. It ranges from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating lower risk.

FICO breaks down their credit scores into five different categories:

  • 800-850: Excellent
  • 740-799: Very Good
  • 670-739: Good
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 300-579: Poor

Your score is calculated from the data collected by all three national credit bureaus. Financial institutions report your credit history to the bureaus that put the data in your credit report. They then enter the reports into algorithms that spit out your score.

FICO scores are calculated using these five factors:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Utilization rate (30%)
  • Length of credit history (15%)
  • Mix of accounts (10%)
  • New inquiries (10%)

Payment history

Always pay your bills on time. A positive payment history is the best thing you can do. On time payments demonstrate that you are reliable. Late or missed payments can significantly drag down your score.

Amount used

Try not to use more than 30% of your available credit to keep your utilization rate low. One way to do this is to pay down balances throughout the month. A lower utilization rate suggest that you’re not reliant on borrowing.

How long you’ve had accounts

A longer credit history is ideal because it provides more data to predict future behavior. All you can do here is have patience and keep old credit card accounts open and active. That is as long as they don’t cost you in fees.

Credit mix

credit cards

The variety of types of accounts you have matters – revolving credit accounts (credit cards) and installment credit (personal loans, mortgages, car loans, etc.). Having a good credit mix shows you can manage different forms of borrowing responsibly. That said, this is a small factor. Don’t take on debt you don’t need.

New applications

Every time you apply for a new credit account, the financial institution conducts a hard inquiry as part of the approval process. A hard inquiry will lower your score by 5 to 10 points for a few months to a year. Only apply when necessary and try to space out your applications by at least six months.

Get the funds you need, when you need them.

Check out 560 score loans.

How can you get beyond a poor score?

560 is a bad credit score, but you can bring it into the good category. All it takes is a little work to establish responsible habits. Here are practical steps you can take:

Check your credit reports

You can get your credit reports annually from each of the national credit bureaus via annaulcreditreport.com. Check your reports for any discrepancies or errors. Then, dispute them with the issuing bureau. Getting a negative mark off your report can give an immediate boost to your rating.

Make a budget

Creating and sticking to a realistic budget is a must. It will help you live within your means and avoid bankruptcy. Write down how much you earn, subtract your essential expenses, and see how much you have left. Next, track your spending to figure out where you can cut back.

Set up autopay

Missed or late payments do significant damage. Set up autopay or schedule payment reminders to prevent this. Ensure your bank account has sufficient funds to cover automatic payments.

Avoid maxing out your cards

Just because you have a credit card doesn’t mean you should use it. A high credit utilization rate signals to creditors that you might be overextending yourself. Instead, keep your card balances low.

Don’t close old accounts

Closing a credit card you no longer use seems like a good idea. The problem is it shortens the amount of time you’ve had accounts. It will also lower your total credit limit making it harder to maintain a low utilization rate.

Pay down debt

Debt payment is one of the best things you can do. Paying off credit card debt will improve your utilization rate and cost you less in interest.

Limit your applications

Each new application triggers a hard inquiry, which goes on your report and lowers your score by a few points. One isn’t a big deal, but numerous inquiries will drag it down further for longer. They are also a red flag that you’re desperate to borrow money.

Open accounts by credit score range

Score RangeAverage Number of Open Accounts
Data from Credit Karma

Find out more about improving your score on MoneyFor.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can get an apartment, but it may be challenging. Many landlords require a higher credit score, so you might face stricter conditions such as higher security deposits, the need for a co-signer, or proof of stable income.

Securing a large 560 credit score loanwill be difficult. Financial institutions are more likely approve smaller amounts with higher APRs due to the increased risk. The exact amount depends on factors like your income, debt-to-income ratio, and the type of loan.

Yes, it’s possible to buy a house, but it’s not easy. You may be able to get a FHA loan, which generally has lower requirements, but expect a higher APR and a larger down payment. Other types of mortgages are likely out of reach.

Yes, you can take out a mortgage. You will be eligible for certain types of mortgages, like a FHA loan, which have more lenient requirements. However, you’ll likely be charged a higher APR and receive stricter terms.

Bottom Line

A credit score of 560 means you have a lot of work to do. Getting loans with decent terms or credit cards that don’t require a deposit will be tough but not impossible. You can apply now and receive less favorable offers, or you can improve your credit score and borrow for less in the future.

The more you raise your rating, the more likely you will receive better offers. Take the time to review your credit report and understand the reasons behind your low score, and then apply for a secured card. Getting into the fair range will take time, but it’s within your reach.

About the author

Rachel Alulis

Rachel Alulis has been the lead editor for Moneyfor’s credit cards team since 2015 and for the financial rewards team since 2023. Before joining Moneyfor, Rachel worked at USA Today and the Des Moines Register. She then established a successful freelance writing and editing business specializing in personal finance. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA.

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This content is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. MoneyFor is not a financial advisor and does not offer financial planning services. This content may contain references to products and services offered through MoneyFor marketplace.