A personal loan can be a lifesaver. But what if you realize you should have taken out more than you did? In most cases, you can’t increase your loan after the fact. However, you may be able to take out a second personal loan.
If you want or need to borrow more, we’ll review your options, their pros and cons, and some alternatives to borrowing.
What if You Want to Borrow More in Personal Loans
If you’ve already taken out a loan but need additional funds, you might be wondering if you can add to your existing personal loan. In most cases, the answer is no. You can’t increase your loan amount, but you may be able to apply for a second loan. Technically, there’s no limit to how many personal loans you can have.
Lenders may approve a second or third loan if the borrower has paid off part of the first loan and has a history of on-time repayment. In some cases, you need to have made at least three consecutive scheduled payments on your existing loan.
To help your chances of getting approved for a new loan, it helps to understand the general process.
Considerations Before Applying for a New Personal Loan
If you’re looking into adding to an existing personal loan, you’re probably already familiar with the basics. While there are different types of personal loans, they all typically have lower interest rates than credit cards. According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR for personal loans was 8.73% as of September 2022, compared to the typical credit card interest rate of 16.65%.
Common uses for personal loans include covering medical bills, paying for home repairs, and consolidating debt. Plus, personal loans are widely available from a variety of sources, from banks and online lenders to credit unions and nonprofits.
But debt is still debt. Increasing debt can have negative consequences: lowering your credit score, raising your risk of defaulting, and adding to general financial stress. Plus, loans come with interest that accrues over time, so you are paying more for the borrowed money over the life of your loan. The last thing you want to do is dig yourself into a deeper financial hole.
Before you take out another loan, take a step back and consider whether you truly need to borrow the money. Ask yourself:
• Can you save for your goal by trimming expenses or taking on a side hustle?
• Can you work on paying off your existing debt first?
Applying for a New Personal Loan
Of course, we’d all like to have enough savings in the bank to cover a major expense. But reality is complicated and emergencies are, by definition, hard to plan for. (Hello, surprise medical bills!)
If you’ve decided that borrowing makes sense for you, it’s possible to apply for an additional personal loan. A personal loan calculator can help you find out what interest rate and term options you may qualify for. Generally, shopping around for a loan requires only a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit score.
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Applying with a Co-Applicant
In some cases, you may realize that your existing debt is making it hard to qualify for a new loan. But you still have another option: You may be able to re-apply with a co-applicant. If the co-applicant has a strong credit history and income, you may be able to obtain a loan or qualify for a lower interest rate together.
Once you receive the loan, both you and the co-applicant (who typically becomes the co-borrower) will be responsible for paying it off. That means if you fail to live up to your agreement in making payments, the other can be held responsible for the full amount of the loan. A co-borrower typically can’t be removed from the loan unless they die or you pay the loan off entirely.
If you still don’t qualify, the biggest help for qualifying in the future might be time. Building up a history of making debt payments on schedule, paying down other debt, and increasing your income via a new job or side gig can all turn things around.
Recommended: Getting a Personal Loan with a Co-Applicant
In most cases, borrowers can’t add to an existing personal loan. However, you may be able to apply for a second loan. Eligibility requirements vary by lender, but in some cases you need to have made several consecutive on-time payments before applying for a new loan. Whenever possible, borrowers should look into cutting back on expenses or trying to increase income before taking on more debt.
SoFi Relay can help you keep track of your budget while you’re paying off debt. If you’re looking to apply for a personal loan, consider checking out the options available at SoFi. SoFi personal loans have absolutely no fees — no origination fees, no prepayment fees, and no late fees.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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