Document your income
Any income you receive could help you qualify for an unsecured loan. You will need to provide documents, such as a recent statement. Lenders may consider:
- Child support
- A pension or an annuity
- Social Security
- Minimum distributions required from your retirement accounts
- Spouse’s income
Being able to document some sort of income could be the difference between getting an unsecured loan and a secured loan.
Document your assets
If you don’t have enough income to qualify for the loan, you might qualify for a secured loan based on your assets instead. Here are some examples of assets a lender might consider:
If you plan to use jewelry, artwork, or collectibles as collateral, the lender will require a professional appraisal and may request physical possession of the item until the loan is repaid.
Check with your bank
Credit unions and banks usually have secured loan options. Almost everyone will consider different sources of income for an unsecured loan. Only credit unions offer payday loan alternatives (PAL).
Check lenders online
An online loan is similar to a loan from your local bank. They will generally consider sources of income other than employment. Many popular online lenders only offer unsecured loans, but you will find some that specialize in secured loans.
Avoid predatory loans
Title lenders provide loans using your vehicle as collateral. Payday loans charge huge fees. These are considered predatory loans. They are very expensive, and you can end up repaying the loan amount many times over.
If you default on a title loan, the lender can take your vehicle (but risking your collateral is true with any secured loan). For some payday loans, you cannot miss a payment because the lender will automatically withdraw the money from your bank account on payday, even if you need it for other expenses.
Check out the rates and fees. Depending on your situation, not having a job could make you look like a riskier borrower. This could cause them to charge you higher rates and fees for an installment loan.
What to do if you are not approved
If you are not approved, you can try reducing your loan amount or talking to the lender to find out how you might qualify. Be careful when applying to multiple lenders as each application can hurt your credit score. Many lenders offer information based on a gentle pull, which does not affect your score. Take advantage of it when you can.
If you don’t have any income or assets, you’ll have a hard time getting a personal loan. In this case, you will need to reassess your needs and consider other strategies.
In addition to requesting a loan from a family member or friend, you can also ask someone to be your co-signer. This means that you are asking that person to take responsibility for your debt and pay it off. You might inadvertently tell someone you love about a new financial problem if you can’t pay off your loan.