What do you need to apply?
Before you apply for a loan you need the following:
Address and previous addresses
Personal details e.g. date of birth
You should also check:
Your credit record is accurate as any mistakes could damage your chances of being approved.
You meet the eligibility criteria, including the age limit, the purpose of the loan and the minimum income requirement.
The website is secure, if you are applying online. Make sure your information is being encrypted by checking that the URL starts with https:// in your browser.
Once you have chosen the right type of loan and you have all your information ready you can begin the application process.
It is the lending conditions you need to meet when you apply for a loan.
Lenders usually set rules around how much borrowers need to earn, how old they have to be and the condition of their credit record.
If you do not meet a lender's eligibility criteria it is unlikely they will approve your loan application.
No, there are usually some restrictions, for example, using it for investing, gambling or paying off student loans.
Check the list of excluded purposes before you apply.
Applying for a loan
You can apply for a loan online, by phone, by post or in person at your local bank branch, but not all lenders will offer every option.
Whichever way you apply for a loan, the process is roughly the same:
Complete an application form: This tells the lender how much you want to borrow and for how long, all your personal and employment details and gives the lender permission to run a credit check.
Wait for the lender to run their checks: The lender will check the details you have given against those on your credit record and assess how risky it is to lend to you. They also check fraud lists and verify your address details.
Get the lender's decision: This will tell you if the lender is willing to offer you a loan and the interest rate they are offering. At this point you can choose either to accept their offer and go ahead with the loan or reject it.
Get a soft quote
Some lenders offer a soft quote, which tells you how much you would pay if you pass the credit check.
You still give all your personal details, but it does not leave a mark on your credit record.
Proving your income
As part of your application you need to include what you earn each month, but not all sources of income are accepted by the lender so check before you apply.
Any of the following could be excluded from your loan application:
Benefit payments e.g. child benefit, income support or housing benefit
Non guaranteed bonuses
Overseas income e.g. from holiday lets abroad
This is not an exhaustive list, so always check what income is accepted by the lender before applying.
You need to be able to prove any income you add to your loan application if asked to do so - this is normally done by supplying recent bank statements or payslips showing your earnings.
If you are self employed you may also have to submit extra paperwork to show how reliable your earnings are, and some lenders may exclude self employed earnings altogether.
You usually need to have at least one full year of audited accounts to apply for a loan if you are self employed.
What happens after you apply?
If you have been approved and you accept the loan offer, you will then have to sign the loan agreement. If you apply online this can sometimes be done digitally, otherwise the documents will be posted out to your address.
Once you have returned the signed agreement, the lender will transfer your loan to your bank account - this could take just a few hours but it may take one or two days.
After the money has arrived, your first payment will normally be due the following month, unless you have chosen to take a payment holiday. Here is how to manage your loan.
What if your application is declined?
If your application has been turned down, you should:
Ask the lender to explain why
Check your credit report
Hold off making any other loan applications
Applying for a loan FAQs
Can I apply for more than one loan at once?
Yes, but it could damage your credit record if you have too many applications in a short space of time.
What age do I need to be to take out a loan?
You must be over 18 to apply for any loan. However, some lenders set further age restrictions, so check for these before you apply.
Do I need to be employed to get a loan?
No, you just need to show that you can afford to pay your loan back, which is usually done by showing you have a regular stable income.
Do I need to own my home to get a loan?
No, most loans are still available if you are not a homeowner. It is only homeowner loans that require you to own a property.