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How Can I Check if I’m Eligible for a Loan?

Lenders check your eligibility before they let you borrow money. This is based on key criteria like income, financial dependents, and existing credit.
A woman wondering how she can check if she's eligible for a loan.

If you know anything about loans, you’ll know that lenders check your eligibility before they let you borrow money. Your eligibility is based on key criteria like income, financial dependents, and existing credit.

So, if you need credit but you don’t know whether you’re eligible, how can you find out?

Applying directly with lenders

The most straightforward way to check whether you can get a loan, for debt consolidation or another purpose, is to apply directly to the lenders themselves. This will give you a clear yes or no answer to whether you can lend, while a ‘yes’ from an eligibility checker or comparison site doesn’t guarantee you credit.

The downside, of course, is that this can affect your credit score. When you apply, the lender checks your credit with what’s known as a ‘hard search’; not only do they perform a complete search of your credit report, but a note is left on your report as record that a search was done. This means that if you’re rejected for credit by Lender A, Lender B will see that in your credit report. Furthermore, if you make multiple applications in a short space of time this could look bad to future lenders and damage your chances of securing credit in the future. So, if you want good credit history, applying directly may not be the right choice.

Using a loan eligibility checker

An image of a piece of paper with a tick on it being marked with a stamp that says eligible.

When you apply for credit, it’s important to know whether you’ll be approved before you complete an application. This way, you can avoid any potential hurt to your credit score that could come from a hard search.

Using a loan eligibility checker is a good way of doing that.

A loan eligibility checker is a tool that allows you to input some basic information about yourself and your finances, and then receive an estimate of whether or not you would likely be approved for a loan. It fills the middle ground between having no idea of whether you’ll be approved, and potentially harming your credit score by applying directly and being rejected.

Eligibility checkers can be found in many places online, including on comparison websites, on the sites for well-known banks, and through brokers.

How does a loan eligibility checker work?

When you use a loan eligibility checker, it will perform what’s known as a ‘soft search’. This is similar to a hard search, except soft searches don’t leave a note in your credit report. This means you can do as many eligibility checks as you like, because no amount of soft credit searches will affect your credit score.

The tool will take your details and use them to find your credit report through credit reference agencies such as Experian. It will then calculate your eligibility based on your credit history in combination with the details you gave to estimate whether lenders are likely to lend to you.

What information do I need to check if I’m eligible for a loan?

In order to use a loan eligibility checker, you’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and your finances. That’s because the checker will run some basic calculations to approximate the answer that a lender might give; it can’t do that if you don’t give it any information to work on.

These are basic details about your personal circumstances that you will likely already have to hand. They include:

  • How much you're thinking of borrowing
  • Employment and annual income details, plus details of any other regular income
  • UK address history
  • Mortgage payments, rent payments and other debt-related monthly payments
  • Details of any financial dependents

Using these personal details, the eligibility checker will give you an indication of whether or not you would likely be approved for the loan that you’re considering. Eligibility tools calculate your eligibility as if they were lenders themselves, so take into account things like missed monthly repayments on a personal loan, your employment status, the age of your current account, and your credit footprint in general just like a bank would.

It’s important to remember, however, that this is only an estimate. The final decision on whether or not to approve your loan will always lie with the lender, and they may take into account factors that the eligibility checker doesn’t.

What loans can I check my eligibility for?

You can check your eligibility for any type of loan using an online eligibility checker. The most common types of loan that people use these tools for are personal loans, but you can also use them to check your chances of being approved for a car loan, a debt consolidation loan, a payday loan or even a business loan.

What if I’m not eligible for a loan?

The first thing to bear in mind is that being rejected by a basic eligibility check won’t affect your credit score. That’s because a soft credit search isn’t recorded in your credit report. If the loan eligibility checker indicates that you’re not eligible for a particular loan, don’t despair. There are still plenty of other options available to you, and there may be something that you can do to improve your chances of being approved.

For example, if you have a poor credit score, you might want to consider using a guarantor to help you secure the loan. This is where someone with a good credit score agrees to act as a guarantor for the loan, meaning that they will be responsible for making the loan repayments if you default.

Alternatively, you could look into getting a secured loan, which uses an asset such as your property as security against the loan. This means that the lender has less risk, and so they may be more likely to approve your loan.

Of course, it’s always important to make sure that you can afford the repayments on any loan before you apply. Missing repayments can damage your credit rating, and may mean that you end up having to sell your property to repay the loan. Take your time to compare your options and make sure that you choose the right loan for your needs.

What happens if you’re rejected for a loan?

If you use an eligibility checker, don’t worry. Eligibility checks don’t perform hard searches on your credit score, meaning that they don’t leave a mark on your report. You can do as many eligibility checks as you like without worrying about damaging your credit score.

If you apply with a lender and are rejected for a loan, however, this will leave a mark on your credit report. This is because the lender will have performed a hard search on your report in order to make their decision. Hard searches can damage your credit score, so it’s important to be careful about how many you have.

If you’re rejected for a loan, don’t despair. There are still plenty of other options available to you, and there may be something that you can do to improve your chances of being approved.

An image of a document titled credit score and a scale with a dial pointing to a low credit score.

Can you be eligible for a loan if you have a bad credit rating?

If you have bad credit, you might still be eligible for a loan. However, you might have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with a good credit score.

It’s important to remember that each lender has their own criteria for what they consider to be a bad credit score. This means that you might be rejected by one lender but approved by another. You also might need to use a guarantor or get a secured loan in order to improve your chances of being approved.

Check eligibility for loan with Consolidation Express

Debt is a problem for millions of people in the UK. Many millions more deal with bad credit, loans from multiple lenders, CCJs, bankruptcies and more. This debt and these problems can make it difficult to successfully apply for a loan, even if you use an eligibility checker to find the right lender for you.

While bad credit can make lending money difficult, it’s not insurmountable. Lenders like to see people taking action to overcome bad credit and debt, and one way to do that is by consolidating your debts.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is for people with a history of unmanageable debt. Instead of juggling debts from multiple providers, debt consolidation allows you to pay off one loan with one affordable monthly repayment instead: simple and easy to track.

At Consolidation Express, we charge no upfront fees, consider all credit scores, and offer a quick online application—we provide access to debt consolidation loans in as little as two hours.

So, do you have multiple credit cards and store cards you’re struggling to pay back? Or do you have personal loans or payday loans with interest rates that are out of control? If so, debt consolidation may be for you.

A woman holding an application.

How do you consolidate your debts?

Consolidating your debts with us couldn’t be easier. In fact, it’s as simple as one, two, three:

  • Start your journey with our quick and easy application. It only takes a few minutes, you'll only need a few personal details, and it can be done entirely online.
  • We review your application.
  • We let you know if you’re approved, and if you are, you should have the money in as little as two hours.

Our expert advisors are here to help, too, if you have any questions about the process. So, get started today, and you could have a consolidation loan of £5,000 to £75,000 in just a few hours with Consolidation Express. To find out more about debt consolidation loans and bad credit loans available from Consolidation Express, contact our dedicated team of debt solution experts by filling in our quick online application today.

Apply Now
An advisor pointing to a screen displaying Rep APR.

APRs from 5.8% to 89.9%

We are a broker, not a lender.

Unsecured Loan Representative 69.9% APR

Borrowing £7,500 over 36 months, repaying £502 per month, total repayable £18,083. Total cost of credit £10,583. Interest rate 69.9% (variable). The lenders on our panel offer loans for 12-60 months, with rates from 5.8% APR to 89.9% APR. The Representative Example is based on all loans paid out by lenders between 19th Apr 2022 and 23rd Dec 2022.

Secured Representative 11.7% APR

If you choose to add fees to the loan: Assumed borrowing of £25,000 over 120 months, plus a broker fee of £2,500 and a lender fee of £250 would result in monthly repayments of £345.55, the borrowing rate is 8.6% (variable), the APRC is 11.7% (variable), total charge for credit £16,466.00 and the total amount payable £41,466.00. You can opt to pay the lender and/or broker fees upfront, your adviser will discuss these options with you.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any debt secured on it. All rates vary subject to loan amount, loan type and status. Repaying your debt over a longer period of time may increase the amount you pay.

Further reading

What are the Different Kinds of Unsecured Loans?

Understand what an unsecured loan is, and how best to use the different kinds of unsecured loans in 2023.

What are the Different Types of Secured Loans?

With so many different types of loans available, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. For more information on secured loans, read this expert article.

Persistent Debt – What Does it Mean for Your Credit?

Persistent debt can affect your credit rating for a significant time period. Read to find out more.