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Personal Loans for Self-employed

A loan can really come in handy in that big home project, business, or new purchase. However, getting it without a W2 – proof of employment, isn’t easy. However, it’s possible, thanks to the availability of personal loans for self-employed.


These loans were arranged by respective lenders in response to the market needs for loans from freelancers and other self-employed individuals. Can you qualify? Who are the top lenders? What else should you know? We have that and more.

  • Representative APR
  • Loan Amount
  • Repayment Term
  • 5.99% - 18.28%
  • $5,000 - $100,000
  • 24 – 84 months
  • 7.99%–17.99%
  • $2,000 - $50,000
  • 12 – 60 months
  • 6.99%–19.99%
  • $5,000 - $40,000
  • 36 to 72 months
  • APR range
  • Fees
  • Terms
  • Amounth
  • Unemployment protection
Bank 1
  • 6.95%–35.89%
  • Up to 5% transfer fee
  • 3–5 years
  • $1,000–$40,000
  • No
Bank 2
  • 6.95%–35.89%
  • Up to 5% transfer fee
  • 3–5 years
  • $1,000–$40,000
  • No
Bank 3
  • 6.95%–35.89%
  • Up to 5% transfer fee
  • 3–5 years
  • $1,000–$40,000
  • No

Table of Contents

Can I get a personal loan if I’m Self-employed?

Yes, many lenders give out personal loans for self-employed.


Proving the ability to repay is often the most critical part of a loan application. Lenders will look at your source of income during this stage.


Being self-employed, it can be hard to prove you’re able to repay the loan given you don’t have a W2. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t access a loan. There are other methods of income verification you can explore.


One of such is by using your bank statements. The lender will check a few months’ statements to see if you’re depositing enough money to cater for the loan repayment.


You can also use tax returns for the previous 2 years to prove your income. Please note that lenders may not only be interested in your gross income. They may look at your net profit and loss, too.


For employed individuals, however, it’s easier. They only have to show their employment income.

Hot Tip:

You can use tax returns for the previous 2 years to prove your income.

Requirements to qualify

Different lenders have different criteria for qualification. However, the following are the most basic ones;


  1. You should be 21 years and above
  2. You should be able to provide proof of income through bank statements, tax returns, etc. 


Other lenders also check on your credit score to ascertain eligibility. Remember to maintain a good credit profile. 


If your credit score is low, a good alternative is getting a co-signer with a better credit score.


Other lenders may also consider the stability of your business if you listed it as the source of your income. 


Basically what lenders are looking for is income consistency. You should, therefore, make sure your income is enough to convince the lender that you’ll be able to repay your loan.

Alternatives to a personal loan for self-employed

If personal loans don’t meet your needs, or if you don’t qualify for one, you can check out the following alternatives;


Business loans

This can be an excellent alternative if you were considering taking personal loans for business use. 


It’s easier to qualify for larger business loans than personal loans. However, applying for a business loan will require lots of paperwork.


You’ll also need your business financial statements as proof of income. Things like profit and loss statements and tax returns will come in handy here. 


Please note that business loans don’t come with the same flexibility as personal loans. You’ll only use them for business expenses such as acquiring new machinery, maintaining existing ones, paying operational costs, etc.


Payday loans

These will come in handy during emergencies. You can borrow up to $1000 with a repayment period of up to 4 weeks.


However, they often come with high-interest rates and fees. 


Credit cards

Credits cards are revolving loans; you can use them whenever you have cash needs without requesting another loan.


Their APR rates vary, with some going higher or lower compared to that of personal loans.


Donations from family and friends

Close family and friends can be a good source of soft loans. They probably won’t demand interest rates or any fees. They may also be flexible and allow you more time to repay the loan.


However, you risk losing their relationship and trust if you fail to meet your end of the bargain.

What do you need to know about?

Here’s a quick summary of all the basic things you should know about personal loans for self-employed.


  • Loan terms: Lenders look at different criteria including loan amount and the borrower’s repayment history to determine terms of payment. The repayment period for personal loans for self-employed varies between 2 to 5 years. Loans with lower repayment usually attract higher interest rates and vice versa.
  • Interest rates: Lenders determine interest rates based on many factors including the loan amount and your credit score. However, personal loans for self-employed loans’ APR ranges from 6% for borrowers with a stellar credit score to 400% for those with poor credit scores. 
  • Guarantee: You don’t need a guarantor as long as you have an excellent credit score and a verified source of income. However, if you have a poor credit score you may need one. Similarly, you can also go for one to unlock better loan offers. Alternatively, get yourself a co-signer.
  • Credit score: A bad credit score can have lenders hesitating to give you loans. However, there are still lenders willing to give you loans. But, they may charge higher interest rates. Shop around for suitable and affordable lenders. Alternatively, get a co-signer. 
Hot Tip:

Self-employed loans APR ranges from 6% for borrowers with a stellar credit score to 400% for those with poor credit scores.

How much can you borrow?

For personal loans for self-employed, you can borrow between $1,000 and $50,000. Other lenders can also be compelled to go as low as $500.


The lender will mainly use your credit profile, debt-to-income ratio, and your verified income to determine your loan amount.


Borrowing smaller amounts further increases your chances of approval. Smaller loans mean smaller monthly repayments hence ease of payment.


Even so, you can borrow any amount within the range. Just ensure you’ll be able to repay it to avoid additional costs associated with late and missed repayments. 


You can increase your chances of getting bigger loans by maintaining a good credit profile. That entails paying your other loans on time. 


However, how much you can borrow shouldn’t be your only worry. Go for lenders with flexible repayment terms, affordable interest rates, and those ready to accept alternative documentation for easier loan processing.

Will a loan be more expensive If I Am Self-employed?

A loan will only be expensive if you take a few wrong steps.


A wrong loan choice can prove expensive. For instance, payday loans often carry higher interest rates and other fees. Offsetting such could prove expensive. Similarly, installment loans, though carrying manageable installments, are often accompanied by higher interest rates.


Getting a higher loan than you can’t be able to repay can also prove expensive. When that happens, you might find yourself delaying repayments, resulting in additional expenses in the form of penalties.


To be in a better position, shop around for a lender with good loan terms. Go for loans with affordable interest rates. Also, search for lenders with more comfortable terms of payment so you avoid penalties and recurrent debts. 

Smaller banks and financial institutions are often a better choice for personal loans for the self-employed. Their loan approval rate is high and will mostly have better loan terms.

Personal Loans for Freelancers

Freelancing comes with lots of advantages, especially since you can choose your working hours, clients, and set your rates.


The only challenge you’re likely to meet is getting the money to keep your business operational. It can be hard for freelancers to qualify for loans since most lenders, especially banks, view them as high risks.


Nonetheless, there are financial institutions with loan products meant for freelancers. If you have proof of income and a good credit score, you can access personal loans. 


Business loans are almost out of reach for freelancers. However, there are still some institutions that will consider your case based on your debt-to-income ratio and credit profile.


Accessing personal loans can be challenging for you if you’re self-employed. Most financial institutions will hardly consider you for a loan without a W2 form. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t access any loans.


Personal loans for self-employed are meant to help those without employment income. Instead of the W2, institutions offering these loans will look at your bank statements, tax forms, and credit score as proof of income. 


The interest rates for these loans differ from one lender to another. People with good credit scores are more likely to access higher loan limits with relatively lower interest rates. 


Other factors lenders will consider is your income to gauge your ability to repay the loan.


For personal loans for the unemployed, you can borrow from $1,000 to up to $50,000. In need of financial assistance? How about you try out any of the top lenders in the table above.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

Yes, there are plenty options for self-employed when it comes to loans.

The requirements depend on each lender, but normally you will need to be 18+ years old and have financial solvency.. 

Unsecured and secured loans are the best options when it comes to loans for self-employed. 

Yes, self-employed businesses can get a special loan if they can prove they are struggling due to Covid-19 consequences.

You have a high range of lenders that can be good for your situation, but in this article, we cover 3 that doing a great job for self-employed businesses.

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