If you’re self-employed and you require a personal loan, you may feel a bit let down by some eligibility requirements, especially if you have difficulty proving your income or any assets you may own. However, there are options available from both traditional and non-traditional lenders offering personal loans to self-employed individuals.
In fact, some lenders may approve your application in under 48 hours, so there’s no reason to feel pessimistic. The more you know about your options, along with how the process works and what documents you’ll need, the better your chances of a lender approving your application.
A reusable credit facility of up to $75,000. Receive a tailored interest rate between 9.99% p.a. and 17.99% p.a. (9.99% p.a. to 17.99% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile, plus pay no establishment or monthly fees if you apply and are approved before 31 March 2020.
Compare personal loans for self-employed borrowers
Updated November 18th, 2019
How can I get a personal loan if I’m self-employed?
If you are self-employed, you can get a personal loan in one of three ways. The first way is through a specialist lender who provides personal loans for self-employed people. You can also apply for any standard personal loan if you can meet the documentation requirements as an employed person. If you cannot meet the doc requirements, you can also apply for a low doc loan, which requires fewer documents, although this type of loan is usually more expensive than a traditional loan.
You can find personal loans that have terms ranging from six months to five years or more. You’ll also be making monthly principal and interest repayments on your loan amount. Depending on your lender, you may be required to put up collateral as security for your loan.
Do I need to apply for a low doc loan?
The only reason you should apply for a low doc loan is if you can’t meet the documentation requirements set out by a standard personal loan. Low doc loans normally have higher rates and fees than standard loans, so you don’t want to apply for one unless it’s your only option.
Keep in mind that for a standard personal loan, you’d usually need to provide at least two years of tax statements in order to qualify as a self-employed person.
What documentation do I need?
For self-employed applicants, lenders usually require any or all of the following documentation. Keep in mind that applying for a low doc loan may mean you won’t need some of these documents:
Tax returns. Be prepared to show the last two years of your full personal and/or company tax returns. These will help prove any income you declare on your application.
Financial statements. These may include any profit/loss statements to also support the income you declare.
Proof of rental income. If you have any income from rental properties, you can declare this with real estate statements or copies of your executed lease agreements.
Notice of Assessment. Make sure you have on hand your latest Notice of Assessment (NOA) given to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This shows tax information such as the amount of income tax you owe(d). Depending on the lender, you may need to provide your NOAs from the last two years.
Recent bank statements. This includes statements showing your savings and business transactions. It may also include statements showing any other outstanding loans or credit cards you have with other lenders.
Company-specific information. If you own your own business, be prepared to provide information such as your company’s ABN, address, etc.
Personal identification. Depending on the lender, this may be your Australian driver’s license, passport or proof of age card. You’ll either need to copy your ID and fax it over to the lender, or scan it and attach the digital file to your application.
Are self-employed loans more expensive that standard personal loans?
As mentioned earlier, low doc loans are usually more expensive than standard personal loans. This means that you should try to qualify for a standard personal loan before you look for a low doc loan. Low doc loans require less documentation than traditional loans, which means a quicker and easier application process. However, low doc loans have higher rates and fees than standard personal loans, especially if you’re dealing with a specialist lender. They also usually have fewer features and less flexibility than traditional loans. Keep in mind that many banks and alternative lenders may offer loans that aren’t more expensive than standard loans to self-employed individuals. Make sure you’re comparing all options and that you’re aware of exactly what’s out there before making a decision to apply with any particular lender.
How can I compare my options?
Keep in mind the following factors when comparing the loans offered by different lenders:
Interest rate. Make sure you know the difference between a fixed and variable interest rate. If you’re going with a variable interest rate, check that you will be able to make monthly repayments if the rate happens to spike upwards at any time.
Turnaround time. Depending on why you’re applying for the loan, you may need your money disbursed within a certain timeframe. Make sure that any lender you choose is able to provide your money within the time period you need.
Eligibility. Before applying for any loan, check what the eligibility requirements are. Also, avoid applying for too many loans within a short period of time, as lenders will often consider you an irresponsible high-risk borrower if you make frequent applications.
Application process. When comparing different lenders, be aware of the application process specific to each lender and what kinds of challenges or difficulties you may face when applying.
Loan cost. Make sure you’re aware of all fees associated with each loan. This includes any one-off or ongoing fees.
Secured vs unsecured. Always check to see if the loan you’re considering is secured or unsecured. In other words, check whether the lender requires you to put up any collateral as security for the loan. Security could include assets such as your home or business equity.
Frequently asked questions
How much can I apply for? This depends on several factors such as your particular lender, your requested loan amount and how well you meet eligibility requirements. You can always find out the minimum and maximum loan amounts offered by a lender by clicking through to the particular lender’s review page using the table on this page. What pitfalls should I avoid when applying? Make sure you understand exactly what you need the loan for and avoid getting mired into too much debt. This means that you should avoid applying for loans if you don’t actually need them. Also, make sure you never apply for more money than you actually need. What are some extra tips to help me qualify as a self-employed applicant? First, always check you that meet all eligibility and documentation requirements before applying for a loan. Secondly, consider having a guarantor sign off on your loan, which would help alleviate any hesitation on the part of the lender. Finally, you can file a joint application with another person, where you and the second party would be equally responsible for the requested loan. Image: Shutterstock
Elizabeth Barry is Finder's global fintech editor. She has written about finance for over five years and has been featured in a range of publications and media including Seven News, the ABC, Mamamia, Dynamic Business and Financy. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Communications and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Technology Sydney. In 2017, she received the Highly Commended award for Best New Journalist at the IT Journalism Awards. Elizabeth has found writing about innovations in financial services to be her passion (which has surprised no one more than herself).
You'll receive a variable rate between 9.99% p.a. and 17.99% p.a. (9.99% p.a. to 17.99% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile A credit limit up to $75,000 that you can continue to draw down over terms up to 5 years. Note: No establishment fee and no monthly account service fees apply if you apply and are approved before 31 March 2020.
You'll receive a variable rate between p.a. and 16.40 p.a. based on your risk profile A flexible loan with amounts from $2,001 and terms starting from 6 months. Interest and comparison rates calculated for a loan term of 3 years.
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