Personal loans can be useful in a variety of financial situations. Planning a kitchen renovation? A dream vacation? Or hoping to consolidate some of your consumer debt? A personal loan could be an option for all three scenarios.
Often times, personal loans can come with lower interest rates than credit cards. But, if you need to borrow a larger amount of cash on your own, you may need to prove additional household income.
That’s where your spouse may be able to come in and help. If he or she has a sufficient credit score and an additional income stream, it may be beneficial to use their information on your personal loan.
But, can you do that? While we’d always suggest looking into savings strategies over taking on debt, sometimes unexpected expenses can crop up. Here’s some important information to consider if you’re considering using your spouse’s income and information on your next personal loan application.
Start By Gathering Your Own Information
Before applying for any loans it’s crucial you gather all pertinent information. That begins by figuring out just exactly how much money you plan to borrow. Since you’ll be responsible for paying interest on the loan you most likely won’t want to borrow more than necessary.
Next, take a look at your credit scores. Credit scores are just one of the many factors lenders consider before approving your loan, and the minimum credit score requirement can vary from lender to lender.
It may also be worth requesting your credit report. You can request a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year through this approved website. This free annual report shows all information except credit scores, which you can request directly from the three major credit bureaus. When you receive your report review it closely and make a note of any incorrect information.
If you see any mistakes or errors, you can file a dispute report with the credit bureau(s) reporting the error. If you are less than thrilled with your credit score, there are ways you can start taking steps to begin improving your credit score.
Gathering this information will give you a better idea of your financial standing, and how it fits with different lenders’ loan qualifying criteria, and may help you to reassess your need to include your partner’s income as part of your application.
Sadly, No, You Can’t Simply List Your Spouse’s Income
Here’s the bad news: You cannot typically list your spouse’s income—our household income—on your application as if it were your own. It is, after all, a personal loan.
However, there are other ways to go about things. When you’re ready to apply for a loan but think you’ll come up short on your own you could always apply for the loan together as co-borrowers.
Co-Borrower: A co-borrower is a person who will apply for the loan alongside you. Both you and your co-borrower are responsible for paying back the loan and its interest, and both of your financial information is taken into consideration.
Before You Apply Compare Lender Rules And Know The Downsides
According to Bankrate , which reviewed the personal loan application rules of nearly a dozen banks and credit unions in 2016, while every institution they reviewed allowed for joint applications on personal loans, many of them explicitly forbid co-borrowers.
If the primary borrower cannot make payments that could negatively impact the credit score of both parties.
The loan will also appear on both of your credit reports, meaning it shows as a debt owing, which could affect the ability for one or both of you to get approved for another loan down the line.
Finding the Right Loan Option
After gathering your documents, having an open financial discussion, deciding on co-borrowing it’s time to get down to business and find the right personal loan terms for you. Taking the time to look around now will help you find the best loan option for your personal financial situation—and help you find a lender that allows co-borrowers.
As you do your research, consider a personal loan from SoFi. You can begin your application easily online, and find out in just a few minutes what rate and terms you prequalify for.
Plus there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. With a personal loan from SoFi, you and your spouse can choose from a variety of loan terms and get the right financing to pay for that renovation, trip, or whatever else you’ve been dreaming of together.
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