Discover your borrowing power, even if you’re on a low income.
Personal loans are used by a range of different people for a range of different reasons. Some lenders may have a minimum income that you need to meet in order to apply for a specific loan, while other lenders just need you to prove that you’re able to afford the loan.
Learn how to find out if you’re eligible for a personal loan based on your income with this guide.
What is the minimum income required to get a personal loan?
There isn’t a set minimum. The requirements vary by lender. Even though many lenders have no minimum income requirement, they are still assessing other aspects of your financial situation to see if you’re capable of handling a loan. A big factor that comes into play here is your debt-to-income ratio.
What is debt-to-income ratio?
Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a simple measurement of your monthly debt compared to your gross monthly income. This lets lenders see how you’ve managed payments for what you’ve borrowed. Typically, borrowers that have a high debt-to-income ratio will likely have trouble making payments. Borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio of over 40% are generally considered to be going through a financial hardship, while an excellent debt-to-income ratio is about 20% or lower.
Let’s say you have a total of $1,000 in bills each month and your gross monthly take home pay is $3,000 – your debt-to-income ratio is 30%. With a 30% debt-to-income ratio you would appear as a relatively responsible borrower.
If there is a minimum income requirement for a specific provider, it’ll be listed on our review. Like in this example of CompareFirst loan connection service:
What income do I need to earn to be eligible?
Here are the income requirements for a selection of top online providers:
|Lender||Loans offered||Minimum income||Learn more|
|Even Financial||Personal loan||No minimum, credit requirements apply|
|Prosper||Unsecured personal loan||No minimum, must have proof of taxable income|
|SoFi||Personal loan||No minimum, must have steady employment and good to excellent credit|
|LendingPoint||Unsecured Personal Loan||$25,000 annually|
|LendingClub||Unsecured personal loan||No minimum, must have a low debt-to-income ratio to be considered|
|Laurel Road||Personal loan||Recommended annual income of $60,000+ and debt-to-income ratio under 40%|
|NetCredit||Unsecured personal loan||No minimum|
|Bank of America||Auto loans||No minimum, income is one of many factors for approval|
|BBVA Compass||Express personal Loan||No minimum, one of many factors that determines the approved loan amount (other factors include credit score and debt to income ratio)|
|Chase||Auto loan, mortgage loan||No minimum, must have debt-to-income ratio under 43%|
|Citibank||Personal Loan||$10,500 annually|
|TD Bank||Unsecured and secured personal loans||Income is a factor in the approved loan amount, must have a debt to income ratio of under 49%|
|US Bank||Personal loans, unsecured lines of credit||No minimum, one of several factors considered in approval of loan amount|
|Wells Fargo||Personal loan||No minimum|
How can I tell how much I can borrow?
The first step to determining your borrowing power is figuring out whether or not you can actually afford the loan. Work out your repayments based on the interest rate, fees, loan amount and loan term of your chosen personal loan. After you’ve done this, determine whether you’ll be able to manage the repayments on your current budget. A good rule of thumb is that if you have a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or over, you should neglect taking on anymore debt.
How do lenders decide if I’m eligible?
When you submit an application for a loan, the lender will inquire about a number of details, they may include:
- Employment status
- Current debt
- Financial commitments
- Credit history
- Assets you can offer as security
What if I’m not qualified?
There are a few things you can do if you find out you don’t meet the minimum income requirements:
- Apply for a lower amount. If you can’t prove to the lender that you’ll be able to manage repayments for the requested loan amount, consider borrowing less. This will mean lower repayments for you and less of a risk for the lender.
- Choose a more affordable loan. The reason you might be ineligible could be that the loan has fees and interest that the lender thinks is too expensive for you. Other loans may have lower interest rates and fewer fees, and in turn will give you a better chance of managing the repayments.
- Try your current bank. If you have a good banking history, you probably have a better chance of being approved for a loan with your current bank. You may be able to find product detail on your bank’s website.