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Personal Loan Requirements - What are the eligibility requirements for a personal loan?

I received an email message the other day from Jessie. Jessie had a lot of questions about eligibility requirements for personal loans. It seems that there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about personal loans. I wanted to reprint our email correspondence to help others who may have similar questions.

Jessie: I am afraid that I am going to have several returned checks and late fees from my bank and two other stores. If I can get a loan I will pay it off as soon as possible. If I don't receive a loan I am going to have to pay so many extra fees and I can't afford any more fees on top of my high interest credit cards. I have two children and I am single. A personal loan would be a life-saver for me. I'm afraid that it is going to be too complicated a process and that I may not meet the eligibility requirements. Can you clear this up and give me some answers?

Brad: Many personal loan lenders now allow for permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand the ease of applying for personal loans online. Even if you don't apply online, it is quite simple to get a personal loan. The general eligibility requirements for this type of application are:
- Eighteen years of age or older,
- a permanent resident,
- only one or, at most, two people making the loan application
- the loan should be for $5,000 or more (some are as low as $3,000 for secured loans), and
- The application should not be part of a student or graduate loan. If you are a student you may qualify for other types of loans. It is best that you meet with a credit counselor to discuss your options.
- Generally speaking, for larger unsecured loan from a bank, you will need to have a blemish free financial history. Many smaller loans, from $200-$5000 however tend to still be available from non bank lenders.

Simply put, if you need a loan under $5,000, then a credit card may be the quickest and easiest way to get the cash you need. For loans over $5,000 a personal loan is usually an easy form of finance in terms of application and flexibility. That said, if you have equity in your own home, then it may be worthwhile to seek an additional withdrawal, as unsecured personal loans and credit cards can be as much as 5%-10% more in price. Good luck Jessie.

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