What is on a Personal Loan Application?

Personal loans are a popular financial tool that can help people finance various expenses, like home improvements, an unexpected medical expense, or other types of financial emergencies. When applying for a personal loan, lenders typically require a detailed application that includes various pieces of personal and financial information. In this article, we'll explore some of the things you’ll commonly see on a personal loan application, some of the different types of personal loans out there, and what to consider before you submit an application for a personal loan.

What is a Personal Loan?

Depending on the type of loan, a personal loan can be unsecured or secured. An unsecured personal loan is a type of loan that an individual can use for a number of different purposes. Unlike secured loans, like a mortgage or auto loan, unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral. Instead, lenders will often rely on things like a borrower's creditworthiness and income to determine whether they’re eligible for a loan and what terms they’ll receive.

A person writing on a piece of paper about personal loans.

Personal loans can sometimes be fixed-rate loans, meaning that the interest rate and monthly payment, for instance, stay the same throughout the loan term. The repayment period of your loan can be anywhere from a handful of months to several years. The loan amount that you could be eligible for will vary based on the type of loan, the financial institution providing or servicing the loan, and certain aspects of your financial profile.

Types of Personal Loans

There are several types of personal loans available, each with its own unique features and requirements. Here are some of the most common types of personal loans out there.

1. Installment Loans

An installment loan is a type of personal loan where the borrower receives a lump sum of money and agrees to repay it in fixed installments over a set period of time, which could range from a few months to several years. Installment loans can be secured or unsecured and can be used for large purchases like a car or home improvement project, or could be used for emergency expenses depending on the type of installment loan.

2. Lines of Credit

A line of credit is a type of personal loan that allows the borrower to access a predetermined amount of funds as needed, similar to a credit card. The borrower can draw from the line of credit up to the predetermined limit and only pays interest and/or fees on the amount borrowed. Lines of credit can be secured or unsecured and are typically used for ongoing expenses or to cover unexpected expenses.

3. Home Improvement Loans

These loans can help finance home renovations or repairs, such as a new roof, kitchen remodel, or bathroom renovation. Home improvement loans may be secured or unsecured, depending on the type of loan.

4. Medical Loans

Medical loans can help individuals cover the cost of unexpected medical expenses, such as surgeries or treatments not covered by insurance. These loans may also be unsecured or secured, depending on the type.

What is Usually on a Personal Loan Application?

When applying for a personal loan, applicants typically need to provide detailed personal and financial information. The application process may vary depending on the lender, but most personal loan applications will ask for the following information.

1. Personal Information

Applicants will generally need to provide their full name, date of birth, social security number, and contact information, including their address, phone number, and email address.

2. Employment information

Lenders will typically ask for the applicant’s current employment status, including their employer's name and contact information. Applicants may also need to provide proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns, to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.

3. Loan Amount and Purpose

Applicants will often need to specify the amount of money they are requesting and the purpose of the loan, such as debt consolidation or home improvements.

4. Credit Score and History

Many lenders will check the credit history and credit score of a potential borrower to assess their creditworthiness, although this won’t always be the case. If they do weigh your credit score heavily, applicants with a higher credit score and a positive credit history are generally more likely to qualify for a loan and for relatively lower interest rates.

5. Other Debts and Expenses

Lenders may ask for information about the applicant’s other debts, such as credit cards or student loans, and their monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments.

6. Collateral

If the loan is a secured loan, applicants will need to provide information about the collateral they are using to secure the loan. Collateral is an asset, such as a car or a house, that the lender can take ownership of if the borrower defaults on the loan. The type of collateral required will vary depending on the lender and the loan amount. For example, a car loan may require the borrower to use the car as collateral, while a home equity loan may require the borrower to use their home as collateral.

It's important to note that not all personal loans require collateral. Unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, but they generally have other eligibility requirements. Since secured personal loans, require collateral, they can be risky if the borrower is unable to repay the loan.

What Should I Consider Before Applying for a Personal Loan?

Before applying for a personal loan, there are several factors to consider to ensure that the loan is the right choice for your financial situation. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.

1. Your Credit Score

Your credit score can often play a significant role in determining your eligibility for a personal loan and the interest rate you'll receive. If your credit score is low, you may have difficulty qualifying for a loan or you may receive a higher interest rate, which can make the loan more expensive over time.

2. Your Income and Expenses

Lenders will also look at your income and expenses to determine your ability to repay the loan. If your income is low or your expenses are high, you may have difficulty qualifying for a loan or may only be eligible for a smaller loan amount.

person holding open an empty pink wallet.

3. The Loan Amount and Terms

It's important to consider the loan amount and terms, such as the interest rate and repayment period, before applying for a personal loan. Make sure that the loan amount and terms fit within your budget and that you can afford the monthly payments.

4. The Purpose of the Loan

Consider whether the loan is necessary and whether the purpose of the loan is worth the cost. For example, if you're using a personal loan for an emergency expense, make sure to consider whether your need should be addressed right away, or if it might make sense to take the time to save up and pay out of pocket.

5. Other Options

Finally, consider whether there are other financing options available. Depending on your need or situation, this could include loans such as a home equity loan or a balance transfer credit card, or any other option that may be a better fit for your financial situation.

Can I Improve my Chances of Personal Loan Approval?

Qualifying for a personal loan can be a challenging process, especially if you have a low credit score or limited credit history. However, there are several steps you can take that may help improve your chances.

1. Check Your Credit Report

Before applying for a personal loan, check your credit report to ensure that it's accurate and up to date. Dispute any errors or inaccuracies with the credit bureau to make an impact on your credit score and to increase your chances of qualifying.

2. Build Your Credit

Your credit score can be an important factor that lenders consider when determining your eligibility for a personal loan. If your credit score is low, work on impacting it by paying your bills on time, reducing your debt-to-income ratio, and limiting new credit inquiries.

3. Have a Steady Income

Lenders want to see that you have a steady source of income and can afford to repay the loan. Having a stable job or a reliable source of income can improve your chances of qualifying.

4. Choose the Right Loan Amount

Choose a loan amount that fits within your budget and can be comfortably repaid within the loan term. If you choose a loan amount that is too high, you may be denied or receive rates that may not necessarily be affordable.

5. Provide Accurate and Complete Information

Be sure to provide accurate and complete information on your loan application to avoid any delays or denials. Double-check all information before submitting the application to ensure its accuracy.

6. Consider a Co-Signer

If you have a low credit score or limited credit history, consider asking a friend or family member with good credit to co-sign the loan with you. This option may be available to you in some cases and can potentially improve your chances of qualifying.

7. Shop Around

Don't apply for the first loan you come across. Take the time to see what’s out there, compare offers, and find something that works well for you. However, make sure to not apply for multiple loans within a short period of time so you don’t potentially impact your credit score negatively.

A person holding a personal loan applications and looking at computer.

By taking these steps, you may be able to improve your chances of personal loan qualification and get loan terms that fit your budget. Top of FormBottom of Form

Do your Research

Personal loans can be a useful financial tool for individuals who need to finance various expenses, but it's important to understand what is usually on a personal loan application and the factors to consider before applying. By providing detailed personal and financial information, borrowers can help lenders assess their creditworthiness and determine whether they are eligible for a loan and what terms they will receive. With careful consideration of their financial situation and the loan terms, borrowers can make an informed decision about whether a personal loan is the right choice for their needs.

Posted in: Personal Loans