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Best Low-Income Personal Loans | December 2022

Are you a low-income earner who is struggling to get approved for a personal loan? Getting competitive rates and terms when you don't have a high income is not easy, but there are options. Discover which lenders offer the top low-income personal loans.

Most lenders require proof of a regular income to approve a loan. Unfortunately, that makes loans hard to acquire for the people who often need them the most -- low-income earners. The good news is some lenders do consider applicants with modest salaries. Here is our list of the best-rated personal loans for low-income earners.

Methodology

SuperMoney's list of the most recommended low income personal loans is dynamically generated based on advanced algorithms and community feedback. The list focuses on personal loans that consider borrowers with low income and preapprove applicants with soft credit pulls. This means you can check your actual rates and terms without hurting your credit.

Commonly Asked Questions About Low-Income Personal Loans

What is a low-income personal loan?

A low-income personal loan is a loan that is available to borrowers who have modest incomes. There isn't a set definition of what a low-income borrower is as every lender has its own set of income requirements. However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a low-income family as one that earns 80% of the median income in their area. The U.S. median household income in 2019 was about $63,700. So, you could consider a family with an income under $51,000 as low-income under the HUD definition.

Can I get a personal loan with a low income?

Because lenders typically require proof of income from loan applicants, this can make it challenging for low-income earners to receive any competitive loan offers. However, some lenders accept borrowers with low income. The lenders above weigh other factors, such as your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and payment history, and will consider your application even if you have a lower than average income.

If you have an excellent credit profile, you can probably qualify for low interest rates and attractive terms. However, you may only get offered small loan amounts if you have a modest income. On the other hand, if you have low income and fair to poor credit, you may need to look into other alternatives.

What is the minimum income for a personal loan?

There isn't a fixed minimum income to apply for a personal loan. Every lender has its own eligibility requirements. Some lenders have income limits as low as $1,000 a month while others will only consider high-income earners. The lenders included in the list above have lower minimum income requirements that the average lender.

Can I get a personal loan if my primary income source is not from employment?

Yes! You can use any form of income as a proof of income in your loan application. That includes unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, disability benefits, pension payouts, annuities, withdrawals from a retirement account, etc. Any income from side jobs or part-time jobs also applies.

Where can I get a loan with no proof of income?

Most lenders require some source of income to approve a loan. However, some lenders get creative in the sources of income they will accept. For example, some will accept unemployment benefits, retirement benefits, a spouse's income, alimony, or income from investments as sources of income. The lenders in the list above may approve your application even if you don't have a traditional source of income.

What other criteria do lenders consider for low-income borrowers?

First and foremost, lenders will consider your credit profile. They will also take into account your debt-to-income ratio, overall debt load, and your employment history. When evaluating low-income borrowers, lenders may also look at your liquid assets, such as a savings account or investments.

Do personal loans present any risks to borrowers with low income?

Personal loans always present some degree of risk. If you find yourself unable to make your payments, your credit score will suffer. And if you're forced to default on the loan, you'll have to deal with debt collectors or levies on your assets.

You should never take out a loan unless you're certain that you'll be able to make your monthly payments on time, every time. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for serious financial heartache.

How can I improve my odds of qualifying for a low-income loan?

If you have a healthy credit profile, your chances of qualifying for a loan will be much higher. However, if your income is low and you have poor credit, it will be difficult to qualify for an attractive loan offer.

If this applies to you, consider the following strategies to improve your chances:

  • Get a cosigner. A creditworthy cosigner with higher income can make a huge difference in your ability to qualify for low-interest loans.
  • Raise your credit score. Take some time to pay off your current outstanding debts. If you don't have any debts, consider taking out a credit-building loan, or judiciously using a credit card.
  • Use a secured loan. Using your vehicle or another valuable asset as collateral lowers the risk presented by the loan, making it easier to qualify for better rates.

What are the best personal loans for low-income borrowers?

There isn't a straightforward answer to that question. It depends on who is asking. Lenders have different eligibility requirements and their rates and terms can vary dramatically. The lenders in the list above provide some of the best rates for borrowers with low incomes. However, notice that the range of their rates varies considerably. It's common for lenders to offer rates ranging from 6% to 36% APR. Borrowers with low incomes are unlikely to qualify for the lowest rates. Therefore, it is important to apply with multiple lenders before you make a decision. SuperMoney's loan offer engine allows you to get prequalified loan offers from leading lenders without hurting your credit score. 

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