MoneyGeek’s Picks for 2022

Best Low Income Loans

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Last Updated: 10/13/2022
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For low-income individuals, personal loans are often seen as a last resort. On top of being difficult to qualify for, loans can put an additional strain on your monthly budget or even make your financial situation worse.

However, if managed wisely, personal loans can help with emergencies, debt consolidation, or other activities. While many banks have minimum requirements that can be hard to meet, some lenders offer low-income loans to those below a specific income level. MoneyGeek ranked the top lenders that don’t require a high income to help you find the best personal loans with low income limits.

Best Low Income Loans for 2022

Private lenders who offer low income limits for personal loans often have stringent eligibility requirements. Aside from falling under a specific income level, lenders also examine your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which looks at your other existing debts compared to your income. Many lenders will not lend to a borrower with a ratio higher than 40%.

Using data points across six categories, MoneyGeek evaluated more than 30 personal loan lenders based on affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and transparency to find the best personal loans for low income limits. Among the other criteria examined are APR ranges, loan amounts available, credit scores, minimum incomes, application fees and disbursement times to help you find the lender best for your needs.

MoneyGeek’s Top Pick for Low-Income Loans: Upgrade

  • Upgrade

    • 5.94% to 35.47%APR Range
    • 560Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds

    on Upgrade Website

Runner-up: Lending Club

  • Lending Club

    • 7.04% to 35.89%APR Range
    • 600Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $40,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds

    on Lending Club Website

  • Lender
    Minimum Credit Score
    Loan Amounts
    APR Range
    Ready To Apply?
  • Upstart




  • OppLoans




  • Prosper




  • LendingPoint




  • Citizens Bank




Where to Start: Choosing the Best Low Income Loan

Choosing the right personal loan is critical, as the wrong choice could hinder your financial circumstances. Given how there are a fair number of lenders who offer low-income personal loans, it’s best not to limit yourself to just one or two offers.

Beyond the eligibility criteria, borrowers should also consider the APR, documentation requirements, repayment terms and additional fees and charges of an offered loan. These can help determine if you can afford the monthly payments and if a personal loan is the best course of action for your needs.

Make sure to evaluate your options properly to find the best personal loan for low income limits that suits your situation.


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

To ensure you’re prepared to take out a loan, it’s important to evaluate your situation. Here are a few critical questions to ask yourself:

  1. How much money do I need? Keep in mind that most lenders offer loans starting at $1,000 — if you need less than this, you may be better off saving up or borrowing money. Likewise, different lenders have differing top-level limits.
  2. What is your credit score? Most lenders have a minimum credit requirement. If you have new or no credit at all, it may be better to consider other options.
  3. Can I afford the monthly payment? Establish the maximum amount you can afford to spend monthly on repaying your debt, as most lenders have a minimum monthly requirement.
  4. How much debt do I already have? Lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether you can pay back a loan or not. The higher it is, the less likely they will accept your application.

Do Your Research

To find the best personal loan for your situation, it’s crucial to evaluate your options and conduct thorough research, especially if you’ll be saddled with repayments for more than a year.

While MoneyGeek is committed to providing all the necessary information to guide you through the process, it’s still in your best interests to explore other alternatives to ensure you have an overview of all your options.

If you’re looking at companies not included in MoneyGeek’s evaluation, make sure to research the company’s financial stability and compare rates from different providers. Beyond that, look at their eligibility requirements and application process, such as if they conduct a hard credit check or require certain documents.



Even after conducting thorough research, don’t jump the gun and apply right away. Wait a day or two to let your options sink in and give a lot of thought to your decision. After all, a personal loan is a big commitment with several risks. Your budget may be heavily affected, and you may think of an alternative while waiting.


Read the Fine Print

If you’ve narrowed down your choices or have a company in mind, make sure to read the fine print before applying. There are a lot of little fees that you can easily miss, which can add up and affect your payment capabilities in the long run.

Look for fees like prepayment penalties, origination fees and late fees. A prepayment penalty, otherwise known as an early payoff fee, is an extra charge given if you decide to pay off the full amount of your loan before the term ends, which is something to consider in advance.



Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated all your choices and found the best option for you, prepare the necessary documents, such as your identification, address verification and proof of income to present during your application. When you’re ready, apply for your loan.

Applying for a loan can be done online or in person, depending on your provider of choice. While it’s often easier to do it online, there is no harm in calling or visiting the lender if you prefer.

Key Takeaways


Ask Yourself the Important Questions: Evaluate your financial situation by determining if you qualify for and can repay the loan.


Do Your Research: Take time to peruse your options by comparing different providers' rates, features, and reviews.


Wait: Avoid applying immediately and assess if you can really afford a loan.


Read the Fine Print: Avoid hidden fees by reading the fine print.


Apply: Prepare your documents and apply for your loan online or in person.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Calculating your monthly payment ahead of time can help you determine if your budget can handle it. After all, you don’t want to end up with a minimum payment that leaves you struggling from paycheck-to-paycheck.

To easily calculate your potential monthly payment, take a look at MoneyGeek’s personal loan calculator below.



+ $114.98


+ $8.33

Origination Fee Percentage


Origination Fee Fixed amount


Total monthly payment


Frequently Asked Questions About Low Income Loans

The best personal loan for low income limits depends on your needs and eligibility factors. To help you determine if a low-income-limit personal loan is best for you, MoneyGeek answered the most commonly asked questions below.


To find the best personal loans with low income limits, MoneyGeek reviewed more than 30 personal loan lenders using 35+ individual data points across six key categories, including loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.

We considered several individual data points that we feel carry the most weight when choosing a personal loan lender within each ranking criteria category. These factors include APR ranges, available loan amount, minimum credit score, minimum income amount, application fees and disbursement time.

After careful consideration and calculation, our picks are determined with your best interest in mind. Our personal loan recommendations and expert tips can help you make the best decision when choosing a lender that meets your needs.

Read More on Personal Loans


The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity.