It’s true that most personal loan providers have limits to how much they can offer. But in reality, these limits don’t apply to all borrowers. How much you can borrow depends on a wide range of factors like your current financial situation and your credit history. But watch out — it might not be in your best interest to borrow up to your absolute limit, especially if you can’t afford to pay it back.
You can generally find personal loans from $500 to $35,000 though some lenders offer personal loans as large as $50,000 or $100,000.
Even if a lender offers up to $100,000, you might not be eligible for that amount. How much you can borrow depends on several factors, including your:
Many lenders favour applicants with credit scores of 650 or higher, but you can still find borrowing options even if you have bad credit. To figure out much you can realistically afford to borrow, you’ll need to take into account how much you actually need, as well as your income and your ability to make repayments. You’ll also need to consider any repayments you’re already making toward current debts.
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How much can I afford to borrow?
How much you can afford to borrow mainly depends on your monthly income and bills. In order to be sure you can afford the maximum amount a lender offers you, use our calculator to quickly determine how much you may be able to spend on a new loan.
Add up all your bills and regular expenses — including all your debt payments.
Subtract this from your take-home pay.
If you have a few hundred left over, you’ll likely be able to afford a new loan for a large amount. If you don’t, then work on paying down some of your other debts before borrowing.
What do lenders consider when evaluating my application?
When you submit an application, lenders take into account a few different pieces of information in order to determine if you qualify for the loan amount you’re requesting.
Your loan purpose. Many lenders will ask what you plan to use the loan for. Be honest, as this could impact your loan contract and the interest rate you’re offered in addition to your loan amount.
Credit score. While your credit score isn’t the only deciding factor, it does carry a lot of weight. The better your credit score, the more likely a lender will be to approve you for the maximum loan amount.
There are no guarantees you’ll be approved for the loan amount you’re seeking. However, these tips may help you score the amount you need.
Improve your credit. A higher credit score will generally translate to better loan terms. If you’re after a large amount of money, a good or excellent credit score may get you the loan you want.
Lower your DTI. Paying down your existing debts will lower your expenses, increase your credit score and show that you can afford to take out a larger loan.
Wait until you have established employment. Having a secure source of income, especially if it’s with a distinguished employer, can help show lenders you’re able to pay for your loan.
Look into a secured loan. If you have the collateral available, you may be able to borrow a secured loan and get approved for a larger amount, with a possible lower interest rate. This is because lenders have less risk should you default, since they will seize your collateral.
Avoid borrowing more than you need
If you’re approved for a personal loan, your lender will provide you with the maximum amount you can borrow. Although you can take out this amount — and may have to, depending on your project — this might not be the smartest move.
That’s because the more you borrow, the more you’ll pay in interest and fees. If you don’t even need to borrow as much as you’re being offered, to save on loan costs, ask your lender if you can borrow less before signing your loan documents.
The maximum amount available for a personal loan and the maximum amount you can borrow will vary depending on the lender and your financial situation. Find the right lender and see how much you’re eligible to borrow as well as what types of rates you may be offered. If it matches with your budget, you may be on your way to financing that next big purchase in your life.
Frequently asked questions
You can use your personal loan for just about anything legitimate. Common purposes include debt consolidation, home renovation and making large purchases. Certain lenders may limit your uses – for instance, some may not allow you to use a personal loan for secondary education costs – but in general, how you use your loan funds depends entirely on your needs.
Some lenders offer pre-approvals that allow you to get your rates and terms, so you can see what amount you could qualify for. These preapprovals typically don’t require a hard credit check, which means you can seek pre-approval from multiple lenders to find the most competitive and affordable loan for your needs.
It depends. Some lenders will only allow you to take out one personal loan at a time, while others may allow multiple or may increase your current loan. You’ll find lenders that allow consecutive borrowing but limit the total amount you can borrow or alter the prerequisites you must meet.
Want to take out a second personal loan with a different lender? Since you typically must disclose your current debts to a lender before applying for a loan, the new lender will see that you already have an open personal loan with a different lender. It will be up to their discretion whether they extend you a loan or not.
Check your budget to determine whether you can actually afford more than one loan. Missing payments could hurt your credit score and your ability to get financing in the future. Remember that taking out a second loan will increase your debt-to-income ratio, which means your credit score will take a dip.
Contact your lender. It’s often better to let your lender know and possibly work out a plan than to simply accept the late fee and penalties.
Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
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