Know the options available to you when it comes to getting a personal loan as a single mom or dad.
Why would a single parent not be approved for a personal loan?
Single parents are judged by the same lending guidelines as every other borrower, but the fact that they rely on a single income and are often solely responsible for their debts means that they often don’t meet the requirements set out by lenders. And if you’re receiving government benefits or working part-time hours, it may be considered as an insufficient source of income, even if you make enough to cover the cost of the loan.
Can a lender consider my marital status when evaluating my application?
No, it’s illegal. Thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a lender can’t deny or approve your application solely based on your martial status.
With that being said, if you’re divorced, you’re likely still liable for any debt accumulated as a married couple. Unfortunately, even if it was your partner who built most of the debt, as a cosigner you are bound to the agreement. This means that a lender may reject you for a personal loan because you have too high of a debt-to-income ratio, even if you aren’t benefiting from the loan in any way.
What income do I need to get a loan?
|Lender||Loan types||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||No minimum, must have a 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|
Short-term loans are small-dollar credit products designed to be repaid within a few weeks to months. They’re typically offered in amounts from $250 to $1,000, with some online installment loans going up to as much as $5,000.
|Lender||Loan type||Minimum income||Learn more|
|LendUp||Payday loan||No minimum|
|CashNetUSA||Payday loan, installment loan||No minimum, must be employed for at least one month|
|Check into Cash||Payday loan||No minimum|
|ACE Cash Express||Payday Loan, installment loan, title loan||No minimum, requires a steady source of recurring income payments|
|Blue Trust||Installment loan||No minimum, must provide a verifiable source of income|
|Slam Dunk loans||Short term loan||$800 per month|
|Cash Central||Payday loans, installment loan||No minimum, income is one of many factors considered for approval|
|HonestLoans||Installment loan||$800 per month|
|MaxLend||Installment loan||No minimum, income is one of many factors (such as pay schedule, method of payment)|
|OppLoans||Installment loan||Varies by state|
How do I compare my options?
While you may feel you have limited options, it’s still important to compare the products you find to ensure you get the best option for you and your kids.
- Interest rate. Unless you have impeccable credit, check out the full range of interest rates charged by your lender. By seeing the maximum amount you might be charged, you can better compare your options.
- Fees. Interest rate doesn’t always tell the full story. Loans can come with both one-time and ongoing fees, so compare these because they will contribute to the cost of your loan.
- Restrictions. You may be restricted as to how much you can borrow, what you can use the money for, whether you’re able to make extra repayments or if you can repay the loan early.
- Repayment flexibility. This is an important consideration, as it could affect your ability to manage the loan. See if you’re able to make weekly, biweekly or monthly repayments.
- Lender. The actual lender you’re borrowing from should factor into your decision, as this is a business you’ll have to deal with for the next few months or years. See how easy the lender is to contact and how good the customer service is.
How do I improve my chances of being approved?
- Check your credit score. You can check your credit score for free to find out what kind of borrowing position you’re in. The higher your score, the less of a risk you appear to the lender.
- Get informed. You can read our articles on how to avoid personal loan rejection and common denial reasons to get more information on what lenders look for.
- Consider alternatives. Taking out a loan might not be the best option for you right now, and you may have alternatives depending on your situation. You might be able to make extra cash with a side gig or get an interest-free loan from a friend.
- Borrow a lower amount. A good rule of thumb is to only apply for as much as you need and can afford. Lenders may reject your loan application rather than offering you a lower amount if you apply for too much.
How do I know if I can afford to repay a loan?
Before applying for any loan, you should calculate how much your loan will cost and what your repayments might be. See what you might pay at the highest interest rate, and check to see if your lender offers preapproval so you can get an estimate on how much your loan might cost. In addition, each lender is required to assess your borrowing power and ability to repay before extending an offer.
How do I apply?
You can first compare your options using tables above. Once you’ve found a loan that you want to apply for, click Go to site to be directed to the lender’s site or click the lender’s name to read a review of its loan products.
When you apply on the lender’s site, you’ll provide your contact information, financial information and the amount you’d like to borrow. Some lenders will let you know right away if you’ve been preapproved and ask for verification of a few pieces of information before extending an offer. Other lenders may take a few days to respond with an approval or denial notification.
As a single parent, you may find your budget is pretty tight. A personal loan can help make a large expense more affordable, but depending on your income, you may struggle to meet a lender’s minimum eligibility criteria. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. By comparing your options and reading up on personal loans, you may be able to find a deal that doesn’t break the bank or put too much strain on your family’s budget.