You can use personal loans for major expenses, including home repairs, debt consolidation, or weddings. They have flexible loan terms and often carry lower interest rates than credit card debt. Better yet, they’re unsecured, which means you don’t need to put up collateral to borrow.
Although borrowers can take out a personal loan for various reasons, the maximum loan amount available from most lenders is $100,000 or less. How much you can borrow depends on the lender you choose and, sometimes, the purpose of the loan.
This guide will walk you through how much you can borrow on a personal loan, how to get the maximum amount, and when you shouldn’t get a personal loan.
In this review:
- Personal loan limits by lender
- Your credit affects how much you can borrow on a personal loan
- Who should consider a large personal loan?
Personal loan limits by lender
|Lender||Maximum personal loan amount|
As you can see in the table above, limits vary widely by lender, but generally, the maximum amount you can borrow from any mainstream lender is $100,000, while others don’t top $20,000.
You will receive the loan in one lump sum and then make monthly payments. Most borrowers won’t need the maximum loan amount and should only borrow what they need to avoid unnecessary debt.
Your credit affects how much you can borrow on a personal loan
There are two major factors that affect how much you’re eligible to borrow: the lender you qualify for and your debt-to-income ratio.
>> Read more: How Do Personal Loans Work?
The lender you qualify for
The better your credit is, the more likely you are to qualify with a good-credit lender. These lenders (which you can find in the top half of the table above) generally offer higher loan amounts since their target customers are presumably in a good enough financial position to repay that money.
If you only qualify for a fair or bad credit lender (see the lower half of the table), your maximum loan amount will probably be lower since those lenders tend to issue smaller loan amounts to offset their risk.
>> Read more: Best Personal Loans & Rates
Your debt-to-income ratio
Another factor affecting your total loan amount is your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Your DTI, a major credit score component, indicates what percentage of your monthly income is eaten up by debt payments.
Different financial institutions impose different maximum DTI requirements, but most like to see your DTI remain below 36% with your requested loan included. If you’re applying for a loan pushing you above that limit, your lender might counteroffer with a lower loan amount.
Who should consider a large personal loan?
You can use personal loans for almost anything, so they are a terrific resource for large, justifiable expenses. But we never recommend borrowing the maximum amount for nonessential expenses.
Your own circumstances and financial situation will dictate when you should consider a large personal loan, but here are a few conditions that may indicate whether it makes sense.
You may consider a large personal loan if you:
Have a good-to-excellent credit score.
Have a low debt-to-income ratio.
Have an emergency expense.
Want to consolidate other high-interest debts into one payment.
Need to fund a major event, such as a wedding or funeral.
Need to make home improvements that will increase the resale value of your home.
You should not consider a large personal loan if you:
Have poor credit.
Have a high debt-to-income ratio.
Want to fund a vacation.
Want a nonessential big-ticket item.
Can’t afford the monthly payment under your current budget.
Taking out a five-figure loan is a big deal; it should be a necessary option or something that minimizes your debt (consolidation) or increases an investment (home repairs).
Be mindful that taking on more debt can cause your credit score to drop and make it more difficult to qualify for other financial products in the future. If you decide you only need to borrow a little bit, you can check out our guide on small personal loans.
Consider a secured loan
If you need to borrow a very large amount of money and you don’t have the creditworthiness necessary to qualify with the best lenders, you could also consider a secured loan. This means you will put up something up as collateral that guarantees the loan.
Secured personal loans bring down annual percentage rates and help borrowers qualify more easily. Just be aware that the property you put up as collateral is on the line if you default on the loan.
Get pre-qualified quotes from a few lenders, then compare limits, loan payments, and interest rates before going through the full loan application process. This way you know you’re getting the best deal, and you avoid multiple hard inquiries on your credit report.