Approaching your lender, hat in hand, for a personal loan can be an intimidating process. It can take you back to childhood, nervously standing before the principal, having to provide a good account of yourself.
Some lenders, such as when you apply for a personal loan with Latitude, have a strong reputation for streamlined loan approvals but others are known for their strict and complex lending rules in Australia.
How to get your personal loan approved?
With this in mind, it pays to prepare your personal finance profile before approaching your lender. This puts you in the prime position for having your loan approved.
Shine your credit history
Keep in mind that your credit history is easily accessible to lending institutions. There are a number of companies offering free access to your credit history and it is advisable, before approaching any lender for a loan, to see how healthy your rating is.
Generally, lenders will take into account your credit history for the past five years for defaults and seven years for bankruptcy.
Get your eligibility sorted
To ensure you are eligible to borrow money in Australia you must comply with certain criteria. Whilst each lender’s criteria vary, the basics are usually:
- Be a permanent resident
- Be 18 or over
- Have not declared bankruptcy in the past 7 years
- Be employed (casual and part-time applications are considered)
- Earning at least $24,000 (this varies between lenders and borrowed amount)
- Have not defaulted on credit card payments or loan repayments in the past five years.
Are you a solid bet?
The main thing any lender is concerned about is that you can repay the loan. Questions such as–how long you have worked at your current employment and the stability of your job–will give them an indication of your long term reliability.
They may also consider repayments made to credit cards and loans in the past which will indicate how dependable you are.
Lenders may consider your employment industry and employment history. Also coming under scrutiny will be employment conditions–whether you are under a contract, casual or self-employed.
Whilst these have an impact on the lending criteria and approval process, a lender may simply require more paperwork such as tax returns, to verify your stability and income along with how these would impact your ability to repay the loan.
Online calculators are available through many lenders and provide you with a tool to assess whether your income flow can meet the repayment schedule. These will also take into account your financial commitments.
You will be asked about your lifestyle and cost of living including current regular payments, debts and credit card limits.
Through these online calculators, you can get a clear idea of your financial position and areas where you may be able to optimize your income. Include any income received from rental properties, dividends from investments or second jobs.
Reducing or eliminating your debts, commitments and credit card limits will ultimately put you in a better bargaining position for your loan.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a low credit card debt won’t inhibit your lending ability. However, the limit of a credit card can be considered as an unsecured debt by lenders–even if the balance is zero. Lowering it can be as simple as a quick phone call.
Other liabilities may include:
- Car loan repayments – can these be packaged into a single loan?
- Mortgage or rental payments. If you are on the mortgage or lease with another person, only count your percentage of the repayment.
- Child payments
Get your paperwork in order
When making an application for a loan, specific identification documentation will be required. To save time, ensure you have paperwork and contracts compiled. These should include:
- Evidence of income
- Tax returns
- Business statements
- Bank statements
- Rental contract
- Proof of age – photo ID
- Proof of address
If you are considering approaching a lender for a personal loan, do your homework. Arriving at a meeting with them, prepared and with your paperwork in order, will be a good introduction and create a positive impression.
The best tip anyone can give you when seeking a loan is- only borrow what you can afford. Whether your lender approves a larger sum or not, keeping your repayments manageable will aid in creating a solid credit history in the future and keep you free from stress today.