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Best Personal Loans for the Self-Employed

March 2024

If you're a small business owner or contractor, getting a personal loan may be more complicated than if you were a W-2 employee. But you have options. This is our list of the best personal loans for the self-employed.
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Applying for a personal loan when you're self-employed is more complicated than if you are a W-2 employee. But it doesn't mean you can't qualify for great rates and terms. However, you should expect lenders to take a much closer look at your finances.
The good news is that some lenders provide special consideration to self-employed borrowers and take into account other factors, such as credit scores, education, and cosigners, when determining the eligibility of a loan application. Here is SuperMoney's list of the most recommended personal loans for self-employed individuals.
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We analyzed nearly 100 lenders and looked for the most-recommended personal loans that accept applications from self-employed workers. We then selected the lenders with the lowest interest rates and took into account factors, such as flexible loan terms and low fees.

Common Questions on Personal Loans for the Self-Employed

Can you get a personal loan if you are self-employed?

Yes, self-employed workers can qualify for personal loans. However, lenders will probably take a close look at your finances to make sure you can afford the payments. Instead of W-2 forms, lenders may require additional information about your business and request financial records to verify your income.

What are the best rates and terms for self-employed personal loans?

It all depends on who is asking. For instance, the APRs in our list range from {{features_summary.interest-rate.lowest}}% to {{features_summary.interest-rate.highest}}%. However, your rate will depend on many factors, such as your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
The lowest APRs and highest loan amounts are only available to high-income borrowers with excellent credit. Compare at least three lenders from the list above to find the best loan offer available for your credit profile. SuperMoney's loan offer engine allows you to get multiple loan offers from top lenders with one easy form.

Can you get a personal loan without proof of income?

Qualifying for a personal loan without proof of income is going to be very difficult. However, you may be eligible if you can provide assets that are worth more than the loan amount as security. Some lenders may also accept alternative sources of income, such as alimony, retirement benefit, or investment returns.

How to provide proof of income when applying for a personal loan

Providing traditional income verification documents, such as pay stubs and W-2s, may be a challenge when you work for yourself. Self-employed borrowers might be able to submit alternative income verification documents, such as tax returns, bank statements, or other documentation as proof of income for a personal loan.
Here are some of the personal loan documents that might be required for the self-employed:
  • Bank statements: You'll typically need to provide bank statements for your business and personal bank accounts from the last three months.
  • Financial statements: Some lenders may want to look at your profit-and-loss statement and your balance sheet.
  • Tax returns: You'll likely need to provide returns from the last two years.
  • Lease agreements: If your income is primarily from renters, you'll probably need to provide lease agreements to show how much you're bringing in.
  • Business documents: lenders may require proof that you're operating your business legally. This can include a state registration, business license, or other related documents.
If you just started working for yourself, it may be tough to get enough documentation to prove your income.
To improve your chances of getting approved:
  • Avoid a high level of leverage.
  • Maintain a lot of liquidity.
  • Keep good financial records.
  • Develop solid projections.
  • Establish excellent personal credit.
It can also help to get a loan with a cosigner or collateral. Here's what you need to know about each.


If you’re just starting out as being self-employed, then providing the commonly required two years’ worth of tax returns might be difficult. In this case, applying for a personal loan with a cosigner could be a good option. Not all lenders allow you to apply with a cosigner, but some do.
A cosigner, also sometimes called a co-applicant, is someone who applies for the loan with you. Lenders that allow cosigners will consider the income and creditworthiness of both you and and your cosigner. So if your income is tough to prove or you don't have enough to qualify alone, a cosigner can help. That said, he or she will also be equally responsible for paying back the debt. So if you default, it won't just hurt your credit history—it could damage your cosigner's credit history, as well. As such, it's important to have a good relationship with your cosigner and avoid breaking their trust.


Some lenders offer secured personal loans that enable you to put up collateral for your debt. The collateral is typically cash in a savings account, but it could also be a physical asset like a vehicle.
Getting approved for a personal loan as a self-employed business owner or contractor can require some extra legwork. But with the right documentation or help from someone else, you can get just as good terms as if you received a regular paycheck. Of course, it helps to have a solid credit history.
Before you borrow, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the best deal for your situation. Rates can vary greatly between lenders so comparing multiple self-employed personal loan options will help you discover a good rate as well as favorable terms. SuperMoney makes comparing lenders easy — you can see your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

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SuperMoney is the most comprehensive financial services comparison site around. We have published hundreds of personal finance articles and provide detailed reviews on thousands of financial products and services. Our unbiased advice and free comparison tools help consumers make smart financial decisions based on hard data, not marketing gimmicks.

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