What Can a Personal Loan Be Used For?

A personal loan can be used for a variety of purposes, from consolidating debt to financing a large purchase. We break down what you can and can’t use a personal loan for.

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What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given to an individual for a variety of personal reasons. Personal loans can be used for anything from consolidating debt to financing a large purchase.

Personal loans are typically unsecured, meaning they are not backed by collateral such as a home or car. Because personal loans are unsecured, they typically have higher interest rates than secured loans such as auto loans or home equity loans.

Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
-Debt consolidation
-Home improvement
-Educational expenses
-Medical expenses
-Large purchases

What can a personal loan be used for?

A personal loan is an unsecured loan that can be used for a variety of purposes. Some common uses for personal loans include consolidating debt, paying for unexpected expenses, and funding a major purchase. Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards, so they can be a good option if you need to borrow money.

Debt consolidation

If you have multiple debts, a personal loan can help by consolidating all your debts into a single payment. When you consolidate, you may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. Personal loans can be used for other purposes as well, such as:
– Home improvement
– Major purchases
– Medical expenses
– Moving expenses

Home improvement

Home improvement is one of the most popular reasons to take out a personal loan. With a personal loan, you can finance repairs, renovate your home or make additions without using credit cards or depleting your home equity.

Major purchases

There are a few major purchases that personal loans can help you finance. These can be helpful if you don’t have all the money saved up or if you want to keep your savings intact. Remember, personal loans come with interest, so make sure you can afford the payments before signing on the dotted line.

A car is one of the most common things people finance with a personal loan. According to NerdWallet’s 2019 Personal Loan Debt Study, 22% of respondents said they used a personal loan for a vehicle purchase. If you’re looking at buying a new or used car, check out NerdWallet’s auto loan calculator to see how much your monthly payments could be.

Another big-ticket item people finance with personal loans is home improvement. Whether you’re looking to do some minor updates or undertake a full-scale renovation, a personal loan could be a good option to help cover the costs. Just be aware that if you plan on taking out a home equity loan or line of credit in the future, adding to your debt with a personal loan could hurt your chances of qualifying.

Other common uses for personal loans include:
-Medical expenses: Many people use personal loans to pay for surgeries, doctor visits or other treatments not covered by insurance.
-Weddings: If you’re looking to finance your nuptials, a personal loan could help cover some of the costs. Just make sure you can afford the payments before saying “I do” to the loan provider.
-Relocation: Moving for a new job or other reasons? A personal loan could help cover unexpected moving costs like storage fees or travel expenses.

Emergency expenses

When you have an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill or car repairs, a personal loan can be a good way to pay for it. Personal loans generally have lower interest rates than credit cards, so they can be a cheaper way to borrow money. They can also be easier to get than other types of loans, such as home equity loans.

How to qualify for a personal loan

A personal loan is a type of loan that can be used for almost anything. Whether you need to consolidate debt, pay for an unexpected expense, or finance a large purchase, a personal loan can be a great option. Qualifying for a personal loan is typically based on your credit score and income.

Credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in determining whether you’ll be approved for a personal loan. Lenders use your credit score to gauge your creditworthiness — that is, how likely you are to repay the loan on time. The higher your score, the better your chances of getting approved.

If you have a good or excellent credit score (680 or above), you’re more likely to qualify for a personal loan with favorable terms — that is, a competitive interest rate and reasonable fees. If your credit score is below 680, you may still be able to qualify for a personal loan, but you may have to pay higher interest rates and fees.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying your debts. It’s important to keep your DTI in mind when you’re considering a personal loan, because lenders use this number to decide how much money to lend you and what interest rate to charge.

A higher DTI ratio means you have more debt in relation to your income, which may make lenders hesitant to approve you for a loan or may result in a higher interest rate. Most lenders prefer to see a DTI ratio of 40% or less, but some may be willing to approve loans for borrowers with higher ratios.

To calculate your DTI ratio, simply add up all of your monthly debts (including your proposed personal loan payment) and divide by your gross monthly income. For example, if your monthly debts total $2,000 and your monthly income is $6,000, your DTI ratio would be 33%.

If you’re not sure what kind ofDTI ratio is considered good or bad, remember that the lower the number is, the better shape you’re in when it comes time to apply for a loan.

Employment history

In order to qualify for a personal loan, most lenders will require you to have a steady employment history. This means that you should have been employed with your current employer for at least six months, and that you have a consistent income. If you are self-employed, you will likely need to provide additional documentation, such as tax returns or financial statements, in order to prove your income.

How to compare personal loan offers

Interest rate

The interest rate is the cost of borrowing money, and it’s important to compare offers before you decide which personal loan to apply for. The lower the interest rate, the lower your monthly payments will be. So, for example, if you borrow $10,000 at an interest rate of 10% over five years, your monthly payments will be $217. If you had borrowed the same amount at an interest rate of 5%, your monthly payments would be $193—a difference of $24 a month, or $1,440 over five years.

In addition to the interest rate, you’ll also want to compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is the annual cost of borrowing money, including fees charged by the lender. For example, if you borrow $10,000 at an APR of 10% and pay it back over five years, you’ll end up paying a total of $12,200—or $2,200 in interest.

Loan term

The loan term is how long you have to pay back the loan. Loan terms can be as short as a few months or as long as a few years. The longer the loan term, the lower your monthly payments will be, but the more interest you will pay over the life of the loan.


Fees are often forgotten when people are shopping around for a personal loan, but they can have a big impact on the overall cost of the loan. There are two main types of fees to be aware of: origination fees and late payment fees.

Origination fees are charged by the lender for processing the loan, and they can range from 1% to 8% of the total loan amount. Late payment fees are charged if you miss a payment, and they can be even higher than origination fees. Be sure to read the fine print on any loan offer so that you know exactly what fees you may be responsible for.

How to apply for a personal loan

There are a few things to take into consideration when you’re applying for a personal loan. This type of loan can be used for a variety of things, including debt consolidation, home improvement, and medical expenses. It’s important to know what you need the loan for and to have a plan for how you’re going to repay it. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to apply for a personal loan.

Online application

A personal loan can be a great way to finance a wide variety of expenses, whether you’re looking to consolidate debt, finance a home improvement project, or pay for an upcoming vacation. And while applying for a personal loan used to require a trip to the bank, you can now complete the entire process online.

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps of how to apply for a personal loan online. We’ll also provide some tips on what to look for in a lender and what information you’ll need to have handy before you begin your application.

Applying for a personal loan online is usually a quick and easy process. Most lenders have an online application that you can complete in just a few minutes. And because most lenders use an automated system to approve or deny applications, you’ll usually get a decision on your loan within minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.

To get started, you’ll need to find a lender that offers personal loans and that accepts online applications. Once you’ve found a lender, you can click on the “Apply Now” button on their website to begin the process.

You’ll then need to provide some basic information about yourself and your finances, including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and annual income. You may also be asked to provide information about your employment history and your current debts.

Once you’ve submitted your application, the lender will review it and decide whether or not to approve your loan. If you are approved, you will then be asked to sign an electronic agreement that outlines the terms of your loan. Once you sign this agreement, the money will be deposited into your account within one business day.

In-person application

If you’d rather complete your application in person, you can visit a branch of the lender you’re interested in. Be sure to bring all the required documentation, including identification, proof of income and earnings, and bank statements. The loan officer will likely have a few more questions for you before finalizing your loan.

Loan requirements

To apply for a personal loan, you’ll typically need to meet a lender’s credit and income requirements.

Lenders will also consider your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. This is the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying debts, including your mortgage, car loans, credit card bills and student loans. A low DTI indicates responsible borrowing and gives lenders confidence that you can afford the personal loan.

Most lenders require a DTI of 36% or less, with some allowing up to 50%. To calculate your DTI, divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income. If your DTI is too high, take steps to pay down your debts before applying for a personal loan.

Other requirements you may need to meet include having a certain amount of time on the job and holding a U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status. Some lenders may also require collateral for a secured personal loan.

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