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How Do I Qualify for a Loan?

Written by: Rebecca Game

Loans are the single most common source of funding, whether for purchasing a home, financing a business, paying off debt, or financing a college education. Before approaching a lender to see if you qualify for a loan, whether your credit scores are ideal or very poor, it's a good idea to understand as much as you can about the factors that a lender will take into consideration when evaluating your situation and your position as a borrower. Qualifying for a loan can be much easier when you have and understand all of these factors.

To qualify for a loan, a bank or other lender will examine a few key points about you.

1. Ability to repay the loan.

First and foremost, when qualifying for a loan, a lender needs to be reassured that you have the ability to repay the money that is borrowed, and that you are trustworthy enough to make your payments. Lenders want to see your cash flow and if possible, a secondary resource, such as collateral. Your credit scores help them determine if you've paid off credit cards and other loans. Lenders check your credit scores to see if you've made your payments on time, and to see if you've defaulted any creditors. If you're applying for a business loan, lenders like to see a business that's been in existence for a long time, and that it's been profitable for a long time. Qualifying for a personal loan or a mortgage is much the same. If you have a credit history that shows that you've paid your other bills, and you have a steady flow of income coming into your budget, chances are good that the loan will be approved. If your credit is questionable, however, it may be of benefit to seek a lender specializing in loans for individuals with poor credit.

2. Credit history.

As mentioned, the first thing that a lender will do to determine if an individual, couple, or business can qualify for a loan is to pull their credit report, usually from Experian, Equifax, Transunion, or another smaller credit bureau. Therefore, before you approach a lender, or even start preparing to request a loan and see if you qualify for a loan, make sure your credit scores are as high as possible. Get a copy of your credit report from each of these three credit bureaus. Review each item on the report carefully, and report any errors that you find. For example, if you've gone through a divorce and a loan was placed in your spouse's name, request that that item be removed from your report to not reflect the current history of that particular loan. Watch for items that may not be yours, too. Identity theft and identity errors are common, and it's important to protect your credit and remove anything that simply does not belong on your report. Once a dispute is filed, the creditor has 30 days to respond to the credit bureau. If no response is received, the item must be removed from your credit report, and your credit scores will increase. Check your name, social security number, and address at the top of each report to make sure they are correct. Contact each individual credit bureau with questions and disputes before determining if you qualify for a loan.

Qualifying for a loan can also be a matter of being honest, regardless of credit scores. If your credit scores dropped due to a divorce, medical crisis, or job loss, and those issues have been resolved, you can still easily qualify for a loan by explaining these events to the lender. Bad things happen to good people, so be honest and explain and detail these issues in writing, and submit that information along with your loan application to determine if you qualify for a loan.

3. Equity.

Lenders often ask for equity when qualifying for a loan, especially if the loan amount is large, such as to construct a new building for business or purchase a home. In these instances, the building or home itself can be the collateral, and equity is built by offering the lender a down payment. To qualify for a loan, be prepared to offer equity, either with a down payment or some type of collateral.

If your credit scores are high, and if you've never had any financial difficulties, qualifying for a loan should be a fairly simple process. If you've had financial challenges or extreme financial difficulties in the past, be prepared to offer explanation of these problems to the lender when finding out if you qualify for a loan. Seek out a lender specializing in poor credit loans if your credit scores are too low for a conventional loan. You may find that by seeking these lenders, you'll easily qualify for a loan.

Regardless of your credit scores, always make sure that the loan payments fit into your current personal or business budget easily, and do this before determining if you qualify for a loan. Not making payments on time can result in adverse marks on your credit reports, reducing your credit scores and making it difficult to obtain future loans.

About the author:

Rebecca Game is the founder of Digital Women , an online community for women in business. A 30 year entrepreneur and dedicated to helping other women find small business loans. Visit her site for Women:

http://loans.digital-women.com


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