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Personal loan calculator: How much can I borrow?

Use this personal loan affordability calculator to find out how much you can borrow.

How do I use this personal loan affordability calculator?

Follow these steps to fill out the fields in the calculator. If a field doesn’t apply to you — you’re not a landlord or don’t have a car loan, for example — leave that section blank.

How big of a personal loan can I get?

How big of a loan you can get depends on your personal finances. Generally, borrowers can get as little as $500 and as much as $50,000 in personal loans. Factors that influence how much you can borrow include:

  • Credit score. Borrowers with good to excellent credit (above 660) will have better chances of getting a high loan amount.
  • Income. A high income suggests that you have the means to pay back the loan.
  • Current debts. If you already have a significant amount of monthly debt payments compared to your monthly income, a lender will see you as more of a liability and will be less likely to lend you a large amount of money.

How much loan can I get from a bank?

Banks typically offer $3,000 to $50,000. If you have an excellent credit score, very high income and low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, you can borrow as much as $200,000 in unsecured personal loans.

How much loan can I get with bad credit?

If you have bad credit below 560, banks and credit unions won’t approve you for a personal loan, but online lenders can offer personal loans for bad credit. Online lenders usually won’t go over $10,000 to $15,000 when they lend to people with bad credit. How much you’ll get approved for will depend on your ability to manage the loan repayments.

How much loan can I get from an online lender if I have good credit?

If you have good to excellent credit, it’s possible to get up to $50,000 from select online lenders. However, other aspects of your finances will need to be strong too, like your income, DTI, housing situation and employment history.

How can I qualify for the maximum amount offered?

Consider these tips to help you score the amount you need:

  • Improve your credit. A strong credit score will translate to better loan terms. If you’re after a large amount of money, a credit score above 700 will help you get you the loan amount you want.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio (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. Keep your DTI below 40% to increase your chances of approval, and if you want to increase the amount the lender is willing to give you, aim for a DTI below 20%. Calculate your DTI.
  • 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, especially if you own a home, you may be able to get a secured loan and get approved for a larger amount, with a possibly lower interest rate. This is because you lower the risk for the lender. If you default on your loan, they can repossess your asset to make up for their losses.

What information do I need to provide lenders?

When you submit an application, lenders take into account a few different pieces of information to determine if you qualify for the loan amount you’re requesting. These can include:

  • 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.
  • Your address. You will need to provide your home address.
  • Rent or own. You will need to state whether you rent or own you home, plus how long you’ve lived there.
  • Your monthly expenses. You will need to provide information about your monthly costs, such as car payments, credit card payments and house payments.
  • 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.
  • Your employment information. Lenders will want to know where you work, how long you’ve been working for that company and how much you earn.
  • Your age. In order to qualify for a loan, you will need to be at least 18 (19 in some provinces).
  • Canadian citizen or resident. If you are not a Canadian citizen or resident, your options are limited as most lenders require this.

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.

Bottom line

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 personal loan 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.

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