Get a $15,000 personal loan

Eligibility requirements for a $15,000 loan

Income requirements vary widely depending on the lender you’re working with, but at a minimum, you’ll need enough available income each month to cover the monthly payments for a $15,000 loan.

Requirements for a personal loan vary by lender, but here are general requirements to expect:

  • Good credit. Credit score requirements vary by lender, but you may need a credit score at or above 670. Some lenders require a score of at least 600, and a few have no credit score requirements. But these typically charge rates that compare with credit cards and origination fees as high as 10%.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio. Your DTI ratio is your monthly income compared to monthly expenses. Ideally, lenders want borrowers to have a DTI ratio of 20%, though most will accept a DTI below 45%.
  • Steady employment. Lenders prefer borrowers with steady income, preferably in the form of a full-time job, but work and income requirements vary. You may need pay stubs, bank statements or tax returns to prove your income, depending on how you’re bringing in the dough
  • Identification. You’ll need a valid driver’s license or some other form of identification like a passport or state ID.

Can I get a loan for $15,000 with bad credit?

It’s possible to get a $15,000 loan with bad credit, but your options will be limited. That’s because most personal loan providers require good or excellent credit.

You may also be short on alternatives since bad credit lenders like installment loan providers typically only offer loans as high as $10,000. But it’s still worth comparing your options alongside personal loan alternatives.

How to increase your chances of approval for a $15,000 loan

Your income and credit score are major factors in determining your eligibility for a personal loan. You’ll typically need good to excellent credit and exceed your lender’s minimum eligibility criteria to get the lowest interest rates and best loan terms.

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To help increase your odds of approval and get a low rate, consider one or more of these tactics:

  1. Resolve outstanding debt. Pay down your credit cards to lower your DTI ratio, finish up other installment loans if they’re close to the end of the term or review your credit reports for late or missed payments before you apply.
  2. Know the requirements ahead of time. To avoid wasting time, check a lender’s eligibility requirements before submitting the loan application. This starts with knowing your credit score, figuring out your DTI ratio and knowing your income levels so you aren’t spending time with lenders that can’t work with your situation.
  3. Consider a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who “lends” you their good credit score to help you meet requirements. The cosigner also promises to repay the loan if you’re unable to. With two people responsible for the loan, the lender’s risk is reduced, which can increase your approval odds.
  4. Improve your credit. Borrowers with good to excellent credit get the best rates and terms. If you don’t meet a lender’s minimum score, work on improving your credit before applying to increase your chances of scoring a good rate.
  5. Provide collateral. Securing your loan with an asset, like an investment account or property, can help you get a low rate because you lower your lender’s risk. However, you risk losing your collateral if you can’t repay your loan.

How much does a $15,000 loan cost?

Lenders typically charge between 4% and 36% APR on personal loans, with the average interest rate being 11.23%, according to the Federal Reserve. The rate you receive depends on factors like your credit score, income and debts.

However, you likely aren’t eligible for the lowest available rates if you apply for a $15,000 loan, even if you’re the perfect applicant. That’s because lenders typically reserve the lowest rates for the highest loan amounts. The good news is that lenders typically also offer lower rates for shorter terms, which are more affordable on a $15,000 loan than, say, a $50,000 loan.

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Let’s take a look at an example. Say you’re a Wells Fargo customer with a credit score over 760 who wants to take out a $15,000 personal loan in Texas. Here’s how rates compare, depending on your loan term.

TermAPRMonthly payment12 months7.49% to 11.75%$1,301 to $1,33124 months7.50% to 11.76%$675 to $70448 months9.50% to 12.00%$377 to $39584 months12.25% to 14.75%$267 to $287

While the starting rate on an 84-month loan is higher than the maximum APR on a 12-month loan, the monthly payments are significantly lower. To cut down on the monthly and total costs, go for the shortest term you can comfortably afford.

A $15,000 loan is nothing to shake a stick at — it’s a large amount. And if you have a long loan term and a high interest rate, it can cost a lot of cheddar. It’s worth your time (and money!) to compare lenders and rates and try for the best loan you can qualify for.

Calculate your loan repayments

Experiment with loan amounts, interest rates and terms to see how much a personal loan may cost.

Steps to apply for a $15,000 loan

Before you get started on an application, follow these steps:

  1. Check your credit. Knowing your credit score and history will help you find lenders that are more likely to approve you for a loan.
  2. Compare lenders. Since multiple lenders offer $15,000 loans, you should compare your personal loan options to narrow down your search — and avoid filling out dozens of applications.
  3. Apply for preapproval. Most lenders offer preapproval to let you see your potential loan terms before you undergo a hard credit check. While you aren’t guaranteed full approval, it can help you narrow down the list of lenders you can work with.
  4. Submit the required documents. You must provide proof of income, employment and residence to finalize your application.
  5. Sign your loan agreement. Once you submit a full application, your lender will perform a hard credit check. If approved, review and sign your loan agreement to complete the loan process.
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For a full breakdown of the application process, read our guide on how to apply for a personal loan.

How to pay off $15,000 in debt

Terms for this loan amount typically range from 12 to 84 months. If you want to pay off debt faster than planned or save some cash, consider these payment methods:

  1. Payment roundup. If your lender doesn’t have prepayment penalties, you could round up your monthly payment each month to end the loan faster. Or, you could make an extra payment here and there when able. Not only does this end the loan quicker, but it reduces interest charges. There are many ways to pay off loans early.
  2. Debt consolidation. Feeling overwhelmed by the $15,000 and your other debts? Debt consolidation may be worth considering. It involves getting one loan that pays off one or more credit accounts for a more manageable monthly budget. And if you get a low rate on the debt consolidation loan, you could save on interest.
  3. Forbearance. Most lenders will pause your payments for up to three months if you lose your job or are otherwise facing financial hardship. But avoid this when possible — interest continues to accrue during this period, meaning you’ll owe more when your payments restart.

Bottom line

A $15,000 personal loan can be used for many things: debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses or unexpected life events.

If you need a $15,000 lump sum and a personal loan isn’t the route for you, check out our personal loan alternatives guide.

Other loan amounts

  • $10,000
  • $20,000
  • $35,000
  • $50,000
  • $75,000
  • $100,000