If your finances are tight, getting approved for a low-income loan may be difficult. Lenders want assurance that you will be able to make timely loan payments and repay the entire amount borrowed. If you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget, the lender may be hesitant to approve you for a loan.
Some lenders, fortunately, offer personal loans with low or no minimum income requirements. To qualify for the best loan terms, you must have good or excellent credit. Otherwise, unless you find a more affordable way to access the funds you require, you will most likely pay far more in interest over the loan term.
7 Personal loan providers for people on a tight budget
These lenders provide consumers with tight budgets with flexible personal loan solutions at competitive rates:
With Avant, you can get a personal loan with as little as $1,200 in monthly income. Checking your loan options is simple, and your credit score will not be affected. Even better, the loan proceeds could be deposited into your bank account as soon as one business day after approval. There are also early payment penalties if you decide to pay off the loan early.
The Best Egg
There is no minimum income requirement for Best Egg. You must, however, earn enough to demonstrate your ability to make loan payments on time. A loan of as little as $2,000 is available, and the starting interest rate is among the lowest in the industry.
Happy Money also has a $5,000 minimum loan amount. The minimum interest rate is at the low end of the range offered by lenders. You can also tailor your loan terms to fit your needs, and you’ll have access to a variety of money management tools to help you improve your financial health. Keep in mind that its loans can only be used for credit card and debt consolidation, so they might not be the best fit for you.
The Lending Club
Personal loans from Lending Club are also available to low-income borrowers because there are no minimum income requirements. These loans range from $1,000 to $40,000 and are available in all 50 states, with low minimum APRs and quick funding. You can tailor your loan offer, including the interest rate, term, and payment options, to fit your specific financial situation.
Prosper requires proof of earnings to qualify for a personal loan, but the site does not specify a minimum amount. The advantage is that you can borrow as little as $2,000 and have a loan term of up to five years, resulting in a lower monthly payment. Prepayment penalties do not apply, and joint applicants are welcome to apply. You’ll also get a 0.25 percent rate reduction by enrolling in AutoPay, which will help you save even more money.
Upgrade provides personal loans at competitive interest rates. Loan amounts begin at $1,000, so you won’t have to worry about borrowing more than you need and struggling to make the monthly payments. Even better, there is no income requirement to qualify. The loan proceeds could be in your bank account within one day of approval.
For consumers looking for personal loans, Upstart has a flexible eligibility criteria. If you earn at least $12,000 per year, you may be approved, and there is no minimum credit score requirement. Loan amounts begin at $1,000, and interest rates are reasonable, so you may be able to obtain a monthly payment that does not stretch your budget too thin.
How to Prepare for a Loan on a Limited Budget
Check your credit report and score regardless of the loan amount you intend to apply for. If you find errors in your credit report, file a dispute to have them removed because they may be lowering your credit score. Also, keep in mind that the best personal loan interest rates are usually reserved for borrowers with good or excellent credit. So, the higher your score, the better your chances of approval and being offered the best terms.
Before applying for the loan, avoid submitting any other credit applications. Each triggers a hard credit inquiry, which may lower your score by a few points. And if you apply for too many credit accounts in a short period of time, your credit score may suffer. Furthermore, lenders will perceive you as a higher credit risk.
Most importantly, examine your budget and determine how much of a loan payment you can comfortably afford. Because there is little room for error, you must be honest about your current expenses and income to arrive at an accurate figure. A personal loan calculator can also be used to estimate projected monthly payments based on the loan amount, term, and interest rate.
Loans for people who don’t have a lot of money
If money is tight and a low-income loan isn’t an option, consider the following:
- Credit union loan: Some credit unions provide small emergency loans to their members. These loans are also known as payday loan alternatives. They are sometimes reserved for people with low incomes or bad credit who would struggle to get a personal loan elsewhere.
- Payday loans: These short-term loans are designed for borrowers with poor credit, but they are expensive and should only be used as a last resort. You could pay up to 400% in interest, and most loans are limited to $500 and are due on your next payday.
- Secured personal loan: A secured personal loan requires collateral. If you default on the loan, it could be seized. Nonetheless, some consumers use these loans because they have less stringent eligibility requirements. You may be eligible for a lower interest rate than with a traditional unsecured personal loan.
- Pawnshop loans, which are also collateralized, are available to low-income borrowers. To get cash, you must hand over your item to the pawn shop, and they will keep it until you repay the loan (plus any applicable interest) in full. However, if you fail to make your payments, the pawnshop will sell your item to recoup its losses.
What to look for in a lending institution
Several lenders have low personal loan minimums, but only a few deserve your business. So, when shopping around, look into what each has to offer. Take note of the interest rates and loan terms they provide, as well as any fees you will incur when taking out a loan. Because you have a limited budget, you must avoid lenders who charge application, origination, processing, or other fees to avoid stretching your budget too thin.
Inquire about eligibility requirements as well to ensure the lender is a good fit. To ensure they’re a reputable option, review ratings from previous and current borrowers and confirm that they’re licensed to do business in your state.
Some lenders can assist you if you have a limited budget and require a personal loan. Before applying for a loan, do your homework and obtain at least three loan quotes. If you are unable to obtain a low-income loan, consider a credit union loan as a cost-effective alternative. If you are in a dire financial situation, a secured personal loan, payday loan, or pawnshop loan can be used as a last resort.