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How Much Can You Borrow With a Personal Loan?

How Much of a Personal Loan Can You Get?
Kim Franke-Folstad
Kim Franke-FolstadUpdated March 7, 2024
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you’re preparing to make a major purchase, do some home improvements, or consolidate debt, you might be wondering how much you can borrow with a personal loan.Personal loans can come in small and large amounts, from a few hundred dollars up to $100,000, and hard money lenders may go even higher. Of course, not everyone can qualify for a loan of that size, and you might not even need or want to borrow that much. But if you’re trying to figure out how big of a personal loan you can or should — get, here are a few things to consider.

Key Points

  • Most personal loans range from $1,000 to $50,000. Some lenders, however, may offer loans up to $100,000.
  • The amount you can borrow will typically depend on the lender, your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratio.
  • If you put up collateral, you may be able to get a larger loan amount than with an unsecured personal loan.
  • Alternatives to personal loans include balance transfer credit cards, debt consolidation loans, home equity loans, and cash-out refinancing.

How Much of a Personal Loan Can You Typically Get? 

Personal loans typically range from $1,000 to $50,000, but some may go up to $100,000. The maximum amounts available can vary widely, depending on the lender and several other factors, including a borrower’s creditworthiness, whether the loan is secured or unsecured, and what the money will be used for. Recommended: Where to Get a Personal Loan

What Determines How Much You Can Borrow? 

Even if a lender offers large personal loans, you may not qualify for the maximum amount. Some factors that could determine the amount you can borrow include: 

Credit Score 

Your credit score can influence the interest rates various lenders offer, but it can also affect the amount you’re eligible to borrow. If you have a good credit score — or better yet, a very good or exceptional score — you can expect to qualify for a higher loan amount than someone with a lower score.  Recommended: How to Check Your Credit Score

Credit History 

Lenders also will check your credit reports for signs that you could be a risky borrower — including any defaults or late payments. Most negative information is removed from your credit report after seven years. However, some items, such as bankruptcy, can stay there for up to 10 years. (If you aren’t sure about what’s on your credit report, you can request one free copy each year from each of the major credit bureaus.) 

Income and Debt-to-Income Ratio 

Lenders want to be sure a borrower can afford to make the monthly payments on a loan, so you may find there are minimum income requirements for obtaining a larger loan amount. You also can expect lenders to calculate your debt-to-income ratio (the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward paying your debt) to assess whether you can manage another fixed monthly payment. Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), the better.

Purpose of the Loan 

Although it isn’t always a factor, some lenders may ask how you intend to use the money you’re borrowing. In some cases, the loan purpose could affect the loan amount and the interest rate you’re offered. Keep in mind that some lenders have restrictions on how a borrower can use a personal loan. If you’re thinking about using a personal loan to make a down payment on a home purchase, for example, you might want to check with your mortgage lender to be sure it’s allowed. Many lenders won’t let borrowers use a personal loan for a mortgage down payment.  You also may have to try another route if you’re looking for a same-day, quick personal loan for an emergency. Just be sure you’re borrowing from a reputable lender.

Using a Cosigner 

If your creditworthiness needs a boost to meet a lender’s requirements, it might help to add a cosigner with good credit and a higher income to your application. You’ll want to make sure the person you choose knows what they’re signing up for, though. Your cosigner’s credit score could suffer if you make late payments or default on the loan. They are also liable to take over your payments if you can’t or don’t follow through on the obligation. This could put a serious strain on any relationship.


Most personal loans are unsecured, which means you aren’t putting up some sort of collateral that the lender can take if you aren’t able to pay the loan back. This puts more risk on the lender and could result in a higher interest rate or a lower loan amount. If you choose to go with a secured loan — by offering your car or some other valuable property as collateral — a lender might be willing to give you a larger loan and/or a lower interest rate.  

Longer Loan Term 

A lender may be willing to give you a larger loan amount if you opt for a longer repayment term. With most personal loans, the borrower might have two to five years to pay back the money. But with a longer term — maybe seven, 10, or even 15 years — the payments could be lower and more manageable. It’s important to note, however, that even though the monthly payments would be lower, the overall cost of the loan will be higher, because you’d be paying interest for a longer period of time.   

The Lender

Loan amounts and eligibility requirements can vary from lender to lender, and a single lender might have a range of loan amounts available depending on your credit profile and other factors. Using an online comparison site like Lantern by SoFi can make it easy and convenient to check multiple offers at one time.  

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Larger Loan 

While you’re researching the question “How much of a personal loan can I get?” you also might want to ask yourself, “How much should I be borrowing?”Just because a lender says you qualify to borrow $50,000 or more doesn’t mean you have to or should take the full amount. Before you agree to the lender’s offer, you may want to consider these questions: 

How Large of a Monthly Payment Can You Afford? 

If you follow a monthly budget, you already may know just how much you can add to your debt burden — or if you can drop or reduce another expense in exchange for the new loan payment. But you also could use an online personal loan calculator to determine how much you can afford using different loan amounts, interest rates, and loan lengths.  Recommended: Guide to Getting a $75,000 Personal Loan

What Is the Purpose of Your Loan? 

It’s possible the lender you choose won’t ask you your reasons for getting a personal loan— but you might want to ask yourself.If it’s something you’re doing to improve your finances, it may be a sensible move. Paying off high-interest credit cards with a lower interest personal loan, for example, could help you save money over the long run. Or if you have a pricey bill to pay, a personal loan might be your best option.But if you’re thinking about using a large personal loan to pay for an expensive vacation, you may want to consider how it might affect your other financial goals, both now and in the future. Recommended: Guide to Debt Consolidation vs. Personal Loans

Alternatives to Large Personal Loans 

Although a personal loan can be a good option when you need money, it might not be the only way to go. A few other strategies to consider might include:

0% Interest Credit Card 

If your goal is to pay off high-interest credit card debt, you may be able to use a 0% balance transfer credit card. This entails moving the debt from one or more cards to a new card for a set amount of time (or promotional period). There may be a balance transfer fee to pay, but you might not pay interest for a year or more. (It’s important, though, to be sure you can pay off the balance on the new card before interest kicks in.) 

Home Equity Loan or HELOC 

Homeowners who’ve managed to build some equity in their home might want to consider a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). The downside to this option is that you could put your home at risk if you can’t make your loan payments. However, you may be able to get a lower interest rate than you would with an unsecured personal loan. 

Cash-Out Refinancing

A cash-out refinance is another way for homeowners who have enough equity in their home to access some much-needed cash. The process involves obtaining a new mortgage for a larger amount — and preferably a lower interest rate — than the existing mortgage. The borrower then receives the difference in cash. This method can involve paying closing costs, however, which can add to the overall cost of borrowing. You’ll also reduce the equity you’ve managed to build in your home.

Compare Personal Loan Rates Today

Determining the amount you can and should request is a critical step in borrowing a personal loan, in addition to paying attention to how much the loan will cost.Annual percentage rates (APR) for personal loans are determined by several factors, including your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and the amount you wish to borrow.Lantern by SoFi makes it easy to compare online personal loans and shop for the best interest rates available based on your financial circumstances and needs.Compare loan amounts and interest rates today with Lantern by SoFi.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you qualify for a big personal loan?
What’s the maximum personal loan you can get?
What factors affect how much you borrow with a personal loan?
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About the Author

Kim Franke-Folstad

Kim Franke-Folstad

Kim Franke-Folstad is an award-winning journalist with 30 years of experience writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and websites. Her work for SoFi covers a range of topics related to personal finance, including budgeting, saving, borrowing, and investing.
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