Loan eligibility checker

What is a loan eligibility checker?

An eligibility check can help you get it right first time when you come to make your loan application.

Our loan eligibility checker gives you an indication of what loans you’re likely to be accepted for. The results are based on information from your credit report and the loan provider’s lending criteria.

Why should I use a loan eligibility checker?

It can be difficult to know which loans (if any) you’ll be accepted for. Every time you apply for credit, it leaves a mark on your credit file that lenders can see.

Lenders look at your credit file to see how you’ve managed credit and made payments over time, including whether you’ve applied for credit recently and if you’ve missed or made any late payments. Your credit history is captured in a single number called a credit score. Having a good credit score increases your chances of getting approved for a loan.

Constantly applying for loans and having the applications rejected can lower your credit score and make it harder for you to borrow money in the future.

That’s where we can help. You can check your loan eligibility online with our free checker to see how likely it is that you’ll qualify for a loan, before you apply. This means you won’t waste time chasing loans that may be out of your reach. And you’ll protect your credit score while you’re shopping around.

Will using the loan eligibility checker impact my credit score?

No, don’t worry – the eligibility checker is based on a soft credit search and isn’t connected to a real loan application. You can use the checker as many times as you like without it affecting your credit score. You’ll be able to see the eligibility check on your credit file, but the lender won’t.

If you decide to actually apply for a loan, the provider will carry out a hard search. Each hard search stays on your credit file for 12 months.

What are the minimum requirements for applying for a loan?

To apply for a loan, you need to meet certain requirements. These can vary from lender to lender, but typically you need to tick the following boxes:

  • You must be 18 years old or over. For some loans, you might need to be 21 to apply. Some lenders also have upper age limits.
  • You need to be a UK resident with full rights to live in the UK, and have at least three years’ worth of UK address history.
  • You need to have a current account.
  • You must not have been declared bankrupt in the last six years.

How do lenders decide if I’m eligible for a loan?

Lenders want to be as sure as possible that you’ll be able to pay back the money they lend you. The criteria can vary, but usually they’ll look at:

  • Your income and job status. A regular income and full-time employment can show lenders that you’re financially stable, which makes them more likely to lend you money.
  • Your credit history. Lenders will look at your credit file to see whether you’ve applied for credit recently and whether you’ve missed any payments. A solid track record of repaying debts after borrowing money shows you can be trusted to take out a loan.

Frequently asked questions

How does the loan eligibility checker work?

You give us a few details about yourself, including your name, address and employment details, and we use this information to retrieve your credit file. We’ll compare your credit file to the lenders’ criteria for accepting loan applications, to work out how likely you are to be approved for each loan.

How will my information be used?

You can find full details of how your data will be used, along with important information about your rights, in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You’ll need to acknowledge you’ve read this before you can see your loan eligibility results.

If you’re providing information on behalf of someone else, please make sure they’re aware of our Privacy Policy as well.

How can I improve my credit score?

There are several ways you can improve your credit score and so increase your chances of being accepted for a loan, including:

  • Register to vote. Lenders use the electoral roll to verify your identity and where you live, so make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address.
  • Make payments on time. Paying off your credit card in full each month and continuing to pay your bills on time shows lenders you’re willing and able to repay debts. If necessary, take a few months to reduce your current debts to improve your overall score.
  • Keep your debt levels low. Try to pay off outstanding debt before you apply for a new loan – lenders might be reluctant to lend you more if you already have a lot of debt.
  • Check your credit file for mistakes and fraud. If you spot anything, you can get it fixed. You can check your credit report online for free at Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

How much does a loan cost?

The cost of a loan will depend on:

How much you borrow The APR - annual percentage rate you get

The length of the loan

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What do I need to use the loan eligibility checker?

To use the eligibility checker, you’ll need to answer a few questions about:

  • How much you want to borrow
  • Your personal details
  • Your UK address history
  • Your annual salary and any other income
  • Any financial dependents
  • Any mortgage or rent payments

This online eligibility check won’t impact your credit score. Once we have the details we need, we’ll let you know whether you could be accepted for a loan before you apply

Why use Compare the Market?

See loans you’re eligible for from a wide range of providers Our loan eligibility checker is provided by Runpath Regulated Services Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 93.8% of users would recommend Compare the Market to friends or family**


**For the period 1st September to 30th November 2020, 12,477 people responded to the recommend question. 11,706 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 93.8% are likely to recommend.

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Anelda Knoesen

Money product expert

What our expert says

“You can check your credit report for free online through three credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

“Even minor errors on your file can cause difficulties getting a loan, so it’s important to get your credit report in tip-top shape. Checking your report won’t damage your credit score.”