How can I get a personal loan if I’m self-employed?
You can apply for any standard personal loan as long as you can meet the eligibility requirements. If you can’t meet the requirements, you can also apply for a cosigner loan, which allows you to apply with another person who may have stronger qualifications.
Depending on your lender, you may be required to put up collateral as security for your loan.
What documents will I need to provide for self-employed loans?
First, review the eligibility criteria of the lender to make sure that you’ll be able to provide the documents and show proof of a regular income — this is very important. Lenders usually require any or all of the following documents for self-employed loans in Canada:
- Tax returns. Be prepared to show the last two years of your full personal and company tax returns. These will help prove any income you declare on your application.
- Financial statements. These may include any profit and loss statements from your business to also support the income you declare.
- Recent bank statements. This includes statements showing your savings and business transactions. It may also include statements showing any other outstanding loans or credit cards you have with other lenders.
- Company-specific information. If you own your own business, be prepared to provide information such as your company’s name, address, etc.
- Personal identification. Depending on the lender, this may be your driver’s license, passport or other form of valid government-issued ID. You’ll either need to copy your ID and fax it over to the lender or scan it and attach the digital file to your application.
Self-employed loan requirements:
- Be 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
- Have proof of an income
- Have a working bank account
- Meet any income and credit score requirements
Are loans for self-employed people more expensive than regular personal loans?
Not necessarily. The rates and terms your ultimately offered will depend on the lender you apply with, their underwriting criteria and your qualifications including credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI).
Lenders may view your application as more risky if your income fluctuates a lot and in turn offer you a loan at a higher interest rate to mitigate that risk. Keep in mind that if you don’t qualify on your own, you could apply for a cosigner loan with someone who’s willing to be responsible for the loan should you be unable to make payments.
How much do personal loans for self-employed cost?
The cost of personal loans for the self-employed primarily depends on the loan term you opt for and the interest rate you’re charged, which can range between 6.99% and 46.96%.
Here’s a breakdown of how much a $5,000 loan could cost over a 3 year loan term vs. a 5 year term at 6%, 15% and 25% interest rates (for illustration purposes only).
|Monthly payment (3 year loan term)
|Monthly payment (5 year loan term)
|Total cost after 3 years
|Total cost after 5 years
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Can I get self-employed loans with bad credit?
Yes, there are loans for self-employed with bad credit. Although getting a loan from a traditional lender like a bank might be hard to do, many online lenders will consider applicants with credit scores as low as 300.
How do I compare my options for self-employed loans?
To find the best loan for you, consider the following factors when comparing self-employed loans in Canada:
- Interest rate. Make sure you know the difference between a fixed and variable interest rate. If you’re going with a variable interest rate, check that you will be able to make monthly repayments if the rate happens to increase at any time.
- Loan amount. The amount you qualify for depends on several factors like the lender you choose, your requested loan amount, your credit score and income and how well you meet the other eligibility requirements.
- Turnaround time. Depending on why you’re applying for the loan, you may need your funds disbursed as quickly as possible. Some lenders can release funds within one business day, while others may take several days.
- Eligibility. Before applying for a loan, check what the eligibility requirements are. Also, avoid applying for too many loans, as lenders will consider you an irresponsible high-risk borrower if you make frequent applications.
- Application process. When comparing different lenders, be aware of the application process specific to each lender and what kinds of challenges or difficulties you may face when applying.
- Loan cost. Make sure you’re aware of all fees associated with each loan. This includes any one-time or ongoing fees.
- Collateral required. Always check to see if the loan you’re considering is secured or unsecured. In other words, check whether the lender requires you to put up any collateral as security for the loan.
What are some tips and pitfalls to consider when applying for self-employed loans?
First, always check that you meet all eligibility and documentation requirements before applying for a loan. Second, consider having a cosigner on your loan to help alleviate any hesitation of the lender. You can file a joint application with another person, where you and the second party would be equally responsible for the requested loan.
Make sure you know exactly what you need the loan for and avoid getting stuck in a cycle of debt by borrowing more than you need. This also means that you should avoid applying for loans if you don’t actually need them.
What other loans can a self-employed person get?
Besides personal loans, types of loans and personal financing you can get with self-employed income include credit cards, payday loans or even a mortgage. Many lenders offer loans to the self-employed, but sometimes with strict eligibility requirements. Depending on the lender, you may have to provide anywhere from 90 days of account statements up to 2 years of tax returns to prove consistent self-employed income.
Frequently asked questions about loans for the self-employed
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