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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Personal Loans: From credit score to income, here's a list of eligibility criteria

Personal Loans: From credit score to income, here's a list of eligibility criteria

Before applying for a personal loan, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and verify that your loan requirement aligns with your monthly income.

Are you eligible for a personal loan?Premium
Are you eligible for a personal loan?

Determining personal loan eligibility involves a multifaceted evaluation for lenders such as banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). These lenders assess several primary factors when determining your qualification for a personal loan. These include:

Credit Score

A high credit score is essential for securing a personal loan, as it provides various advantages. Let's explore in more detail how your credit score influences your eligibility for a personal loan:

  • An excellent credit score, usually above 720, enhances the likelihood of approval for your loan application. Conversely, a lower score, typically below 600, may pose challenges in securing approval.
  • Your credit score directly influences the interest rate you're eligible for. A higher score results in a lower interest rate, leading to long-term savings. For instance, the disparity between a 10% and a 15% interest rate on a Rs. 1 lakh loan can be significant.
  • A favourable credit score can increase your eligibility for a greater loan amount, providing you with added flexibility to address your financial requirements.


Income represents another crucial aspect of the personal loan equation. Lenders evaluate your repayment capability based on your income, taking into account your monthly earnings and current debt obligations to determine your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). A lower DTI, typically under 36%, signals a stronger ability to manage additional debt. Your loan affordability, in turn, hinges on the following factors.

  • The maximum loan amount you qualify for is directly influenced by your income. Lenders typically employ a multiplier approach, multiplying your net monthly income by a specific factor (usually between 10 and 24 times) to establish an initial loan amount.
  • Maintaining stable employment with a consistent income over a minimum duration (typically two years) enhances your application. This demonstrates to lenders that you possess a dependable income source capable of repaying the loan.
  • For self-employed individuals, lenders might request extra documentation to validate income, such as tax returns spanning the past few years. Certain lenders also take into account income from other avenues, such as rental properties or part-time employment, when assessing your eligibility.

Employment status

Your employment status holds considerable weight in the eyes of lenders when evaluating personal loan applications. Here's an analysis of how your employment situation can influence your eligibility:

  • A consistent work record with a respected employer demonstrates to lenders that you possess a dependable income stream to fulfill loan obligations. Lenders commonly seek a minimum tenure of employment, typically two years with the current employer.
  • Typically, full-time employment with a steady income garners more favor from lenders compared to part-time or contractual work. Nevertheless, certain lenders may entertain alternative employment arrangements provided there is sufficient documentation of income.
  • Numerous lenders establish minimum salary thresholds based on your location and prevailing living costs. This practice ensures that your income is adequate to cover both your living expenses and loan repayments with ease.
  • Self-employed individuals often encounter heightened scrutiny due to income fluctuations. Furnishing robust documentation such as tax returns and financial statements becomes crucial in such cases. While recent job changes may slightly impact your application, a solid employment history can often offset this concern.

Citizenship and residency status

In the context of personal loans in India, citizenship and residency hold significant importance. While certain loan options cater to non-resident Indians (NRIs), the majority of lenders typically mandate citizenship or permanent residency for eligibility.

  • Citizens and permanent residents have the clearest route to securing personal loans in India. They fulfill the citizenship criterion and can approach lenders based on their income, credit score, and employment status.
  • NRIs holding valid passports and visas remain eligible for personal loans in India. Nonetheless, lenders often impose stricter eligibility criteria for NRIs. Several lenders mandate that NRIs have a co-applicant who is either an Indian citizen or a permanent resident. This co-applicant serves as a guarantor, bolstering the loan application. Moreover, lenders may impose higher minimum income thresholds for NRIs in contrast to resident citizens. Additionally, owning property in India can enhance an NRI's eligibility for a personal loan in certain instances.

Being aware of your eligibility in advance helps save time and prevents potential application rejections. By comprehending factors such as credit score, income, and employment history, you can assess your likelihood of approval with various lenders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Suggest some tips to get a good APR on loan.

Here are some tips to secure a good APR on your personal loan:

  • Enhance your credit score: Before applying, concentrate on improving your credit score to qualify for a better APR.
  • Compare rates: Explore rates from various lenders to identify the most favourable offer.
  • Pre-qualify with lenders: Utilise pre-qualification to assess estimated rates without affecting your credit score.
  • Negotiate your rate: Although less common in India, negotiation may be possible, particularly with a strong credit score.

Q. How do banks determine the loan APR?

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) varies among banks and financial institutions due to differences in interest rates and additional fees. Therefore, borrowers should ascertain the APR specific to a bank before finalising a loan agreement.

Banks typically assess the APR based on the applicant's financial profile, which includes credit and debit history, repayment track record, credit score, and past transaction details. After applying the standard interest rate, banks factor in other applicable charges to determine the annual cost of the loan. The final APR is calculated based on the total loan amount extended to the borrower.

Usually, banks do not disclose the APR during the loan application process. However, applicants can compute it independently before deciding to borrow from a particular bank.

Q. How to lower the APR on your current loan?

Lowering the APR on your current personal loan can lead to substantial savings over the loan duration. Here are several strategies you can consider to potentially reduce your interest rate:

  • Negotiate with your current lender
  • Refinance your loan
  • Improve your credit score
  • Shorten your loan term
  • Explore a debt consolidation loan

Q. How does knowing your APR can help you save money?

Understanding your APR can be instrumental in saving money in several ways:

  • Budgeting: Knowledge of your APR facilitates accurate budgeting for loan payments, helping you avoid late fees and penalties.
  • Comparison shopping: Understanding your APR enables effective comparison of loan offers from various lenders, ensuring you secure the most advantageous deal.
  • Debt management: With awareness of your APR, you can prioritize paying off higher-interest loans first, potentially saving money on interest charges over time.
  • Refinancing opportunities: Identifying a higher current APR than what you qualify for may prompt you to consider refinancing your loan to secure a lower rate, thereby saving money on interest payments.

Q. How does the APR on your loans assist you in managing debt?

The APR allows you to strategically prioritise your debts. By pinpointing the loans with the highest APR (and consequently the most substantial interest charges), you can allocate your additional payments toward those debts initially. This targeted approach saves you money on interest as you expedite the repayment of the costly loans.


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Published: 14 Mar 2024, 12:24 PM IST
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