Major personal loan requirements include being at least 18 years old, having a bank account with good credit history, and having enough income or assets to afford monthly loan payments. Specific personal loan requirements vary by lender, however. Avant requires a credit score of 600 or higher, for example, while Prosper sets the bar at 640 and SoFi asks for 680. Most lenders don't disclose annual income requirements, but two exceptions are LendingPoint ($20,000+) and Citibank ($10,500+).
Some personal loans may have additional requirements, such as collateral to secure the loan. Lenders will also look at plenty of other factors when you apply, including your existing debt, employment status and housing payments.
Personal Loan Requirements
18+ Years Old
A loan is a binding contract, and most states won't let you enter into a binding contract unless you are at least 18. Lenders generally do not offer loans to minors as a result.
SSN and U.S. Residency
Many (but not all) lenders will only make loans to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. You may be required to have a Social Security number. Some lenders allow applicants to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or a Visa instead.
Lenders usually send the funds as a direct deposit to a bank account. Certain types of loans, such as ones where you provide collateral, may not require you to have a bank account. But most loans will.
Lenders need to be confident that you will repay the loan. So you will need to demonstrate that you have a source of income and/or significant assets. Lenders don't generally disclose minimum income requirements, but you must be able to manage your monthly payments in addition to any other debts/expenses you have.
585-700+ Credit Score
Lenders require applicants to meet a certain credit score threshold for approval. The most popular lenders usually require a credit score of at least 585 to 700. However, these requirements aren't set in stone. Having a high income might help make up for a low credit score, and vice versa.
Reasonable Financial Obligations
If the lender determines that you already owe too much money relative to your income and assets (i.e. the amount you can afford to pay back), you probably won't qualify. Lenders will also consider monthly expenses like housing payments that will decrease the amount of money you can put toward repaying a loan.
It's not impossible to get a loan if you don't have a job. But if you're unemployed you'll need a strong alternative source of income, such as a pension, government benefits or investments.
Overall, good credit and disposable income are the two most important personal loan requirements. You can check your latest credit score for free as well as compare personal loans based on their minimum credit score requirements on WalletHub. Lenders will be able to provide more detailed information about other requirements.
Although each lender is a bit different, the basics of the application and approval processes are pretty much the same. You can take the same general approach to maximize your odds of success, too.
How to Qualify for a Personal Loan
To qualify for a personal loan, make sure you meet all of the personal loan's requirements, from having the proper identification to earning a steady income to meeting the minimum credit score requirement. And before you apply, you can use WalletHub's free personal loan pre-qualification tool to see exactly which lenders are likely to approve you and what rates they might offer you.
How to Get a Personal Loan
The first step to getting a personal loan is pre-qualification. After that, compare any offers for which you're pre-qualified based on loan amount, payoff period, etc., in order to rule out loans that won't meet your needs for one reason or another. Then, submit an application for the loan that is estimated to give you the best rates.
Personal loan applications require several key pieces of personal information, including your name, SSN/ITIN, address and date of birth, along with financial information such as your yearly income and monthly mortgage/rent payments. It usually takes less than 7 business days to get a decision and to receive your money if you're approved.