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How do I know if I’ll qualify for a loan?

Lenders assess each would-be borrower on a case-by-case basis. They aren’t always transparent about exactly what they’re looking for, but the good news is that you can use the form above to check your likelihood of approval for multiple lenders in one go.

There are a few standard criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify for any personal loan in the UK from any lender:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a UK resident
  • Have a regular source of income
  • Have a UK bank account

Can I apply for a loan without affecting my credit score?

You can check your eligibility for personal loans with no effect on your credit score. Lenders conduct what is known as a “soft” credit search, which doesn’t affect your score and is only visible in your credit record to you.

This means you check which lenders will say “yes” and even get pre-approved for a loan, without it having any effect on your credit score.

When you’ve chosen a suitable lender and proceed to the actual application, the lender will need to run a full, “hard” credit search. This has a small negative impact on your credit score and will also be visible on your credit file. The negative impact to your credit score is then typically quickly recovered through the first few repayments on the loan.

Can I get a loan with no credit check?

No, you can’t really get a personal loan without having gone through some kind of credit check, but as mentioned above, the soft check that’s carried out when you first check your eligibility with lenders does not affect your credit score.

What do I need to apply for a loan?

When you apply for a loan, the lender will want to confirm a few things before they approve your application. This includes that you are who you say you are, you live at the right address, and you have a legitimate source of income.

When you apply online, this information is generally verified through credit reference agency (CRA) such as Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, depending on the lender. This means you won’t need to provide documents that confirm your identity, but the lender may still request these documents later in the application process.

If you apply in a branch, you’ll need to provide identification documents, including proof of address, proof of income and a recognised form of ID. You can find out more about what you’ll you when applying for a loan in our guide below.

The documents needed when applying for a personal loan

What can I get a personal loan for?

Most lenders will let you use a personal loan for any worthwhile purpose, and this includes things like:

  • Home improvements
  • Buying a new car
  • Paying for a wedding
  • Consolidating debt
  • Paying for a holiday
  • Buying furniture

You’ll generally need to provide the reason for your loan when you apply.

There are some things you won’t be able to get a loan for, including:

  • A deposit on a property
  • Gambling
  • Business purposes
  • Share trading or investing

How do I repay my loan?

Once you’ve been approved for a loan, the lender will send you a loan document explaining the details of your loan. This will include your payment schedule, which lays out the size and frequency of your repayments, which will generally be made once each month via direct debit.

You’ll need to continue making these monthly repayments until you’ve paid off the full loan amount, as well as any interest that’s accrued on the loan. Some lenders will let you make additional repayments to help reduce how much interest you pay, and may also let you pay off your loan early.

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