At a Glance
Personal loans have grown in popularity in recent years to become the #1 form of consumer lending in the U.S.1 Consumers use personal loans for a variety of reasons, including emergencies, home renovations, or as part of a broader debt paydown strategy. The lower interest rates of personal loans can make them a smart choice when compared to credit cards.
In this article, you’ll learn:
What is the most money you can get for a personal loan?
While the average debt of a personal loan in the U.S. is around $8,000, lenders have been known to offer personal loans up to $100,000 for the most highly qualified borrowers. These are typically borrowers whose credit score falls into the “very good” or “excellent” range, which means a FICO score of 740 or above.
To determine the highest amount you’re eligible to receive for a future loan, it’s best to shop around and seek out pre-approval. For most lenders, the pre-approval process can be done quickly online. It will offer insight into your eligibility, potential personal loan amount, interest rate, and payback period. Be sure to check out a variety of companies as some online-only lenders are more likely to offer large loans than their brick and mortar counterparts.
Keep in mind that, while the limit for a single personal loan caps around $100,000, you can always get multiple loans through the same lender or across various lenders. If your credit score and income allow it, this could be a viable option to pursue if you need more than you can get from a single personal loan.
Find Out More: Personal Loan Calculator
What factors are considered in eligibility for a personal loan?
When someone applies for a personal loan, one of the most commonly asked questions is: “How much personal loan can I get?” If you have a specific goal in mind, you’ll likely know how much money you’d like for your loan. But if you have several goals or are uncertain about the cost of your project, it’s nice to understand the maximum amount you may be eligible to receive.
Since personal loans are unsecured, they are much riskier for lenders than a mortgage or auto loan, where your home or vehicle acts as collateral. Therefore, lenders need to make sure you can pay back what you owe without the threat of revoking collateral.
The primary factors most lenders consider are your credit score and income. Lenders will also assess the stability of your employment and the same information for any potential co-borrowers. As all lenders are different, you’ll need to work with each individual lender to understand requirements before applying. Below are some of the common requirements to be aware of:
Your overall gross income will be considered when applying for a personal loan. This gross income should include any sources of revenue you generate on a consistent basis beyond your day job alone, if applicable. It will also be used to calculate your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders would like to see a low percentage on.
2. Having a co-signer
In the event you don’t have sufficient income, sufficient credit history, or are falling behind in other factors for consideration, the presence or lack thereof a co-signer will also be considered. A co-signer is a guarantor who, in the event you default on the loan, will take on responsibility for paying the loan. It adds an extra layer of security that may convince a lender to approve you for the personal loan, assuming the co-signer has what your application was lacking.
Related: Personal Loans With a Cosigner
3. Getting a secured or unsecured loan
Approval for a secured or unsecured loan varies due to the implied security. With an unsecured loan, your income stream is the only source of repayment a lender can expect on the loan, which presents added risk if you are unable to pay. On the other side of things, a secured loan will have collateral attached, such as a car or mortgage, which a lender can use to recoup the loan amount. Due to this difference in security, an unsecured loan is typically more difficult to receive approval on.
Related: Secured vs. Unsecured Personal Loans
4. Credit score
Finally, your credit score will be a major factor in the approval process for a personal loan. A lower credit score will make it more difficult to be approved if you are seeking a large loan amount. Work on improving your credit score to meet a lender’s expectations.
Related: Why a Good Credit Score Matters?
How can I increase my chances of getting approved for a higher personal loan?
As mentioned above, credit score and income stability are often determining factors in how much you can get approved for a personal loan. You can monitor your credit report, pay bills on time, and work to decrease your debt-to-income ratio to increase your chances of being approved for a higher loan amount.
The amount of personal loan you can get is directly related to your riskiness as a borrower and your proven ability to repay debt. Assuming you have a strong credit score and stable income, you will likely be able to find the right lender that can offer you the amount of money you need. Focus on improving the following factors:
1. Credit score and credit report
As mentioned in the prior section, your credit score is a major factor in the loan approval process. Focus on improving this by making any outstanding payments and meeting your debt obligations. In the long run, this can help improve your credit score and make the loan approval process a smoother one.
2. Employment history
A lack of verifiable employment or income is another common reason for the denial of a loan application. Gather all necessary documents that show your proof of employment prior to applying for a better chance at getting approved.
3. Income and debt-to-income ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio is an excellent measure of your ability to potentially pay your debts. A lower percentage on this means that your debt is significantly less than your income, which is a good indication that you can meet your obligations. To lower this ratio, you can either increase your income or decrease your outstanding debt.
4. Loan type: Secured loan vs. unsecured loan
There are two main types of personal loans: secured and unsecured. A secured loan is backed by collateral, which gives the lender a degree of protection if you default on the loan. The most common type of collateral for a personal loan is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). An unsecured loan, on the other hand, is not backed by collateral. This means that if you default on the loan, the lender has no way to recoup its losses. As a result, unsecured loans tend to have higher interest rates than secured loans.
5. Final thoughts
When asking questions such as how much of a loan can I get?it’s important to consider all the factors needed to apply and where you stand. Focus on meeting all the necessary expectations of the lender and being sure that you can meet all payments on-time before submitting the application.
There are many places to receive a personal loan, but the most common are from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Typically, online lenders can offer the fastest approval when looking for how much personal loan you can get, but this may not be the most favorable interest rate. Consider all the different options available to you to determine who can offer the best loan terms.
Learn more: Where is the Best Place to Get a Personal Loan?
To qualify when looking at how much of a personal loan can I get or how big of a loan can I get, you need to raise your credit score, income and improve your debt-to-income ratio. These are the best ways to qualify for a loan in addition to meeting all expectations required by individual lenders.
Learn more: How to Get a Personal Loan in 7 Steps?