At a Glance

When you are going to apply for a personal loan, ensuring you have all the necessary documents for the application can expedite the process. Let’s cover the basics of what this loan type is along with the documents required for a personal loan.

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For those unfamiliar with the term, a personal loan is a specialty type of loan, secured or unsecured, that offers a borrower a lump sum of money that is repaid in monthly payments known as installments. Personal loan amounts range from $1,000-$100,000 and typically come with APRs of 6-36%, making them one of the cheapest loan options for people with good credit.

Learn more: What is a Personal Loan?

Documents required for a personal loan

There are several personal loan documents you will be required to submit when applying for a loan. Learning about what documents are required for a personal loan is crucial. Get all the below in order before you even submit your application to speed up the potential approval process.

1. Loan application

First and foremost, you will need a loan application to apply for the loan. In most cases, you can request this directly from the lender or get it from their website if they are an online lender.

2. Proof of ID which is Government issued

Next, identification proof will be required that shows who you are. This identification must be issued by the government and can include a driver’s license or passport, for example. An employee identification card, or other type of identification that isn’t government issued, will not work.

3. Proof of income and employer verification

Your income level will have a direct impact on the amount you will be allowed to borrow. Therefore, you will need to provide proof of your income in the form of paystubs or tax filings, along with proof that you are employed by who you say you are employed by.

4. Proof of address

Your address is another crucial item required when submitting a loan application, as it shows proof of residency.

Other documents that may help

While the above documents are needed for personal loan requirements, there are two other items that may help you secure approval for a loan:

1. Proof of assets

If you are applying for a secured loan, providing proof of assets is crucial as it shows you possess the collateral you claim. Even with an unsecured loan, showing proof of assets can add an extra layer of confidence to yourself as a borrower from a lender’s perspective.

2. Proof of financial responsibility

Finally, proof of financial responsibility may be necessary if you don’t have an established history, or the income requirements needed to secure a personal loan. Proof of financial responsibility can include rent payments, phone bill statements, utility payments, or other similar items that show you are capable of meeting financial obligations.

How to apply for a personal loan?

Assuming you have determined that a personal loan is right for you, the application process is quick and easy. Here are the crucial steps:

  • Determine the loan amount you need to borrow.
  • Research different lenders and the loan terms they offer.
  • Gather all necessary documents needed for a personal loan.
  • Submit your loan application.
  • Receive approval and your funds.

Learn more: How to Apply for a Personal Loan?

Other things to keep in mind when getting a personal loan

After gathering all your documents and beginning the process of applying for a personal loan, there are a few additional items to keep in mind:

1. Your credit score

Your credit score will play a major role in whether you are approved for a personal loan. In general, you should aim to have a credit score above 650 to have the best shot at getting approved for an average-sized personal loan. While a loan without proof of income will likely result in a denial, showing you have an excellent credit score can potentially influence your lender’s decision.

2. Usage of funds

Consider what you need to use a loan for, as this will help determine the loan amount you should request. There is no purpose in requesting more funds than you need, as this will cost you money in the form of interest on your repayments.

3. Monthly expenses

Keep in mind that you will be required to make monthly installment payments on your loan that will add to your monthly expenses. If you are already tight on a budget, adding a loan expense to your budget may not be the best strategy for debt management.

What if you don’t get approved for a loan?

Receiving a denial on a loan application you wanted is never the ideal outcome, but there are a few strategies you can take to reapply in the future:

1. Get a co-signer

Taking on a co-signer when applying for a loan can help with your approval process. A co-signer’s financials and credit score will be considered with yours when you apply and can add an extra layer of confidence. However, if you fail to meet your payments on the loan, the responsibility will fall on the co-signer.

Learn more: Personal Loan with Co-signer

2. Opt for a secured personal loan

In some cases, you may be denied an unsecured loan but eligible for approval on a secured loan. This is because the presence of collateral adds an extra layer of security to the loan that may allow a lender to feel more comfortable providing you with the loan. Inquire about secured personal loans if you have a lower credit score or don’t meet one of the other income requirements.

Related: Secured vs Unsecured Personal Loan


Eligibility requirements for a personal loan vary from lender to lender, but in general you will be eligible if you: have a credit score above 650, meet the income requirements, have a healthy debt-to-income ratio, and have verifiable employment.

Depending on where you apply for a personal loan, the process can be quick or slow. In most cases, you will receive the funds after approval for a loan within a day to a week after.

Learn more: How Long Does It Take to Get a Personal Loan

There is no one shoe fits all when it comes to providing a reason for requesting a loan. However, some lenders may ask additional questions if you request a loan for school, vehicles, real estate, or other similar purposes. This is due to the fact loan amounts are typically higher for these purchases and specialty loan types exist for these purchases.

There are a few reasons personal loan applications get rejected. Some of the more common reasons include:

  1. Not meeting income requirements
  2. Not a high enough credit score
  3. No verifiable information
  4. Unstable employment history
  5. High debt-to-income ratio

No, documents of some kind will always be required when applying for a personal loan. Don’t trust lenders who claim they are able to provide you with a loan without any information at all. Some lenders may request less information than others, but the answer to what documents are needed for a personal loan is never none.