Personal Loans » Advice » What Are The Requirements For A Personal Loan
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What Are The Requirements For A Personal Loan

Some of the requirements for a personal loan include credit score, income, and payment history. What else you should know before applying?
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor


Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor


Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

You can trust the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Transparency is a core value for us, see how we make money.

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Personal loans can provide you quick access to the money you need to pay an unexpected bill, pay off high-interest debt, or nearly any other requirement. However, to be eligible, you must fulfill specific requirements.

Although personal loan requirements differ from lender to lender, most are searching for the same signs that you'll repay your loan by the terms.

Personal Loan Requirements

Although the qualifications for obtaining a personal loan may differ from one financial institution to the next, most will look at the applicant's credit history and monthly income. Make sure you satisfy the standard requirements for a loan and have all the needs ready.

Before beginning the application procedure, you must familiarize yourself with the personal loan requirements. While each lender has its provisions, the majority base personal loan eligibility on the following:

1. Credit Score

A lender's most crucial criteria when evaluating an applicant's credit score is analyzing a loan request. Many lenders favor clients with good credit ratings above 690, but some will work with less-than-perfect credit below 630.

With a lower credit score, you may be considered a risky borrower. Lenders hedge against this risk by charging higher interest rates while saving the best terms and conditions for borrowers with excellent credit.

You must check your credit score before considering getting a personal loan. If your credit score is below average, you may consider getting a cosigner to increase your chances of getting approved.

2. Income

The borrower's income is a crucial factor lender look at before accepting a personal loan to determine if the borrower will be able to repay the loan. The income requirement varies depending on the lender. 

For example, for a Discover personal loan, the minimum annual household income must be $25,000; SoFi has a $45,000 minimum wage threshold for a personal loan.

3. Debt-to-Income Ratio

The percentage of a borrower's gross monthly income that goes toward monthly debt service is known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). DTI assists lenders in determining whether a potential borrower can make payments on both new and existing debt. Lenders usually want a DTI of 35 to 40 percent or less when applying for a personal loan.

Your DTI percentage may be calculated by summing up all your monthly debt payments and dividing that total by your gross monthly income. Suppose you're paying $1000 in monthly debt, and your gross monthly income is $5000. Your DTI comes out to be 20% (monthly debt/gross monthly income).

4. Payment History

The lender will check your credit report when you apply for a personal loan to see how you have historically handled credit. Your payment history gives lenders confidence that you are a trustworthy borrower who consistently makes on-time payments.

Lenders are searching for some guarantee that you will make your loan installments on time. A proven track record of making on-time payments will boost your chances of approval.

5. Collateral

An asset, such as a car or an investment account, secure secured loans. Collateral serves to guarantee the loan, which means you may be able to get a cheaper interest rate.

Still, you risk losing the asset if you don't make payments. On your application, you must provide documentation that you own the item.

Documents Required For a Personal Loan

Your lender will ask for various documents when you are ready to legally apply for a personal loan to verify information such as your name, address, and occupation. A

s part of the personal loan application procedure, lenders often demand the following documents:

1. Loan Application

Lenders ask potential borrowers to fill out and submit a formal loan application to start the lending process. The particular criteria may change because each lender has a different application. However, in general, you'll have to supply some basic information about yourself and the amount and reason for the loan.

The entire procedure is frequently done online when applying for a loan from an online lender. Applications for loans from traditional banks or credit unions can usually be submitted online or in person.

2. Proof Of Identity

Lenders need to confirm your identity for several reasons, including preventing fraud and identity theft and ensuring that you are at least 18 years old. They may also check to see if the bank account you provided is still in good standing.

To demonstrate that they are at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United States, most lenders demand that applicants present at least two types of government-issued identification like

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Other state issue ID
  • Military ID

3. Proof of Address

Like other things, Most lenders want to know that you have a stable place to live. A lender might use proof of your living condition to establish how steady your lifestyle is.

  • Lease or rental agreement
  • Utility bill
  • Mortgage statement
  • Proof of insurance on your home
  • Voter registration card
  • Property tax receipt
  • Bank or credit card statement

4. Income Verification

A lender wants to know that you have the resources to repay both the new loan and your existing debts. Lenders often ask potential borrowers to provide proof of their job history and income as part of the application process.

In general, the following papers can be used to verify your income if you are self-employed:

  • Bank statement
  • 1099s
  • Income tax returns

For traditional work, typical methods of proving income include:

  • Paystubs
  • returns
  • W-2s and 1099s
  • Bank statements
  • Employer contact information
excellent credit score for personal loan application

How to Qualify for a Personal Loan?

A personal loan from a traditional bank, credit union, or internet lender is something to think about.

These unsecured loan solutions can assist you in getting out of a financial rut, covering an unforeseen expenditure, paying down debt faster, or making a large-ticket purchase.

5 Steps to qualify for a loan:

  1. Run the numbers and check the credit score: Consider how much cash you'll require at the outset, keeping in mind that some lenders impose origination fees that are subtracted from your loan profits. Be careful you borrow an amount sufficient to cover your needs after the cost.
    To assess your likelihood of repaying your loan, most lenders will perform a credit check on you. Even though some internet lenders have begun to consider alternative credit information, they will normally still consider your credit score.
  2. Compare estimated rates: If you are interested in obtaining a personal loan, learning your credit score can help you have a better understanding of the annual percentage rate (APR) and monthly amounts that you may be offered.
  3. Get pre-qualified for a personal loan: When you pre-qualify for a personal loan, you may see the options that you might be presented with. During pre-qualification, many internet lenders and certain banks run a soft credit check that has no impact on your credit score.

You normally must supply personal information during pre-qualification, such as your name, date of birth, income, and loan purpose. It is possible to compare anticipated rates and payment amounts by prequalifying with many lenders.

  1. Shop around for the best option: Take your time and browse around for the best interest rate rather than accepting the first offer you are given. Compare a range of lenders and loan kinds to get a sense of your eligibility.

    Read the fine print thoroughly and ask questions before agreeing to a loan.

  2. Apply and get approval: Every lender will ask for different information on the application, but you'll usually need to give your name, address, and contact information, as well as information about your income, job, and why you need the loan.

The lender will do a hard credit check, which could temporarily lower your scores by a few points and stay on your credit report for 24 months. When your loan is finally approved, you'll get the money according to the lender's rules, which is usually within a week.

The Most Important Factors To Look For

The majority of lenders for personal loans will decide your eligibility based on your credit score, credit history, income, and debt-to-income ratio.

However, the minimal criteria for each element are different depending on the lender.

No one formula determines whether or not an applicant is qualified for a personal loan because the applicant's current financial status is always distinct and individual.

However, there are specific general guidelines and suggestions that you may follow to increase the likelihood that you will be approved for a personal loan.

  • Keeping your credit score at or above 690 will increase your chances of qualifying. However, if you want to get the best terms, maintain a minimum score of 720.
  • While some lenders may accept a highly qualified candidate with a high DTI, aiming for a DTI of less than 36% is recommended to increase your chances of qualifying.
  • Minimum income requirements. To prove you can afford your monthly payments, you must have a minimum of a constant and steady income.

Prequalifying whenever feasible is best and checking with the lender what benchmarks you need to reach. This is because each lender has its minimum standards.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to do so. This will guarantee that you only apply for loans suitable for your particular financial circumstances when applying for them.

How to Boost Your Eligibility Chances

Regardless of how normal it is to apply for a personal loan, it is still one of those instances when you wonder if you will be accepted. After all, you're asking a business for thousands of dollars.

What you do before applying for a personal loan might significantly affect your chances of getting accepted.

There is no proof method of guaranteeing acceptance for a personal loan. Some online lenders have more latitude regarding things like free cash flow and education level than others. In contrast, others have stricter requirements like a specific minimum credit score or income threshold.

Some tips you can follow to increase your chance of eligibility:

  • Be sure to review all of a lender's criteria before choosing one. By doing this, you can prevent the unfortunate situation of being rejected for unimportant factors like age or money.
  • Lenders may see requesting more money than you need to attain your financial objective as risky, making it more challenging to be approved. 
  • As previously stated, a solid credit score is required as part of the eligibility conditions for a personal loan. A score of 720 or more is considered excellent. 
  • Ask your lender about adding a cosigner with better credit and a stable income will boost your chances of getting approved if you do not have an outstanding credit score.
  • Your yearly income is requested on loan applications, and you may include earnings from part-time employment. To increase your income, consider launching a side business or aiming for a promotion at your current position.

What If You Don’t Get Approved For A Loan?

When you are denied a loan, it is difficult not to take it personally. However, if your loan application was declined, it is critical to understand why. Once you've determined what went wrong, you may take action to enhance your odds the next time.

Here's what you should do if you've been denied a loan:

  • Determine the Reasons for the Rejection

Identifying the fundamental cause of the rejection can help you avoid future rejections and raise the likelihood of your application getting granted.

  • incorrect or insufficient documentation

Loan providers have streamlined the application procedure, so borrowers need to provide the bare minimum of paperwork for their eligibility to be confirmed and their loan to be processed; You must deliver the necessary paperwork in the correct format.

  • Check your credit report.

Negative marks, such as late or delinquent accounts, might reduce your loan eligibility. While reviewing your credit report, validate that each account shown belongs to you and is accurate.

  • Enhance your qualifying requirements

In addition to eliminating inaccuracies or nasty remarks from your credit report, you should try boosting your credit score and debt-to-income ratio (DTI), two other crucial indicators lenders assess when reviewing your application.


Most lenders want income documentation to ensure your capacity to make repayments. If you cannot afford a personal loan and don't have a job or another source of income, it is best to avoid a loan.

Borrowers typically need a credit score of 610 to 640 to qualify for a fair credit personal loan. Borrowers usually require a credit score of at least 690 or higher to qualify for a lender's lowest interest rate.

Usually, the minimum salary requirement for how much income you need to get a personal loan differs per lender. Lenders have different requirements depending on factors such as loan amount and credit history. If you don't have a job, you may want to consider some alternatives to personal loans.

Individuals who do not fulfill the qualifying standards for an unsecured personal loan may apply with the help of a cosigner or co-borrower. This facilitates the application's processing.

Most personal loans are unsecured, so you don't have to put anything down to get approved. With an unsecured personal loan, you will get a large sum of money and repay it in specified monthly installments over a certain period.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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