How much can you borrow with a personal loan?

Learn how much you can borrow and compare your top online lending options.

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Most personal loan providers have limits to how much they can offer. But in reality, these don’t apply to all borrowers. How much you can borrow depends on a wide range of factors like your financial health. But watch out – it might not be in your best interest to borrow up to your absolute limit, especially if you can’t afford to pay it back.

Warning: late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

How much can I borrow with a personal loan?

You can generally find personal loans starting from £1,000 up to £25,000. Some larger banks offer personal loans up to £50,000 to existing customers, but those are exceptional cases. For loans higher than this, you’ll generally need to offer some form of security.

How much you can borrow depends on several factors, including your credit score. Many lenders favour applicants with good credit scores. What constitutes a good credit score depends on the credit rating agency (CRA) you use as the three main credit referencing agencies (CRAs) in the UK all score consumers differently.

While you can still find borrowing options even if you have bad credit, it’s likely that you won’t be eligible for the largest loans offered.

If you are approved for a lender, your lender will give you the total amount you can borrow. Although you can take out a loan for this amount – and may have to, depending on your project – it might not be the smartest move. Do some basic calculations to see how much you can realistically afford to borrow.

What do lenders consider when evaluating my application?

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

  • 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.
  • 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 it is that a lender will be to approve you for the maximum loan amount.
  • Affordability. Most lenders will factor in the amount of debt you already have, the stability of your job, and income versus your outgoings to calculate whether you can afford the loan you are applying for. They will also look at the term – ie the length of time the loan is spread over – that you are applying for. For example, you’re more likely to get a loan of £10,000 with a term of three years as opposed to one year.

How can I qualify for the maximum amount offered?

There are no guarantees you’ll be approved for the loan amount you’re seeking. However, these tips may help you get the amount you need.

  • Improve your credit. A higher credit score will generally translate to better loan terms. If you’re after a large amount of money, a good or excellent credit score may get you the loan you want.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio. Paying down your existing debts will lower your expenses and show that you can afford to take out a larger loan.
  • 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, you may be able to borrow a secured loan for a larger amount. This is because lenders have less risk should you default.

How much can I afford to borrow?

Calculate how much you can afford to borrow by taking into consideration both your current bills and your current monthly income. In order to be sure you can afford the maximum amount a lender offers you, do some basic calculations first.

Add up all your bills and regular expenses – including all your debt payments – and subtract this from your take-home pay. If you have a few hundred left over, you’ll likely be able to afford a new loan for a large amount. If you don’t, then work on paying down some of your other debts before borrowing.

Our personal loan borrowing calculator can help you quickly determine how much you may be able to spend on a new loan.

Bottom line

The maximum amount available for a loan and the maximum amount you can borrow will vary by your lender and your financial circumstances. Find the right lender and see 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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