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Getting A Loan When You're A Tenant
By Michael D. Strauss
Wherever we go these days we're bombarded with offers of credit, whether loans, credit cards, remortgages - there seems to be no end to the number of companies asking us to consider applying for finance through them. It's true that gaining credit is easier than ever before, a fact borne out by the record levels of personal debt we see revealed in survey after survey.

Whether or not you think borrowing is a good idea, a necessary evil, or to be avoided at all costs, in the modern world it's increasingly taken for granted and many feel that easy access to credit is almost a right.

The problem for many people is that getting approved for a loan is not as easy as it might at first appear. We've all heard about the problems encountered by people who have a poor credit rating for whatever reason, but there are millions of other people with no bad credit history on their files who nonetheless find it more difficult to arrange a loan.

Many of the loans advertised on TV, in the press and online are aimed solely at homeowners. These kind of loans are known as secured loans and are fairly easy to be approved for as the applicant agrees to put their home up as security for the loan. Indeed, with house prices at an all-time high, lenders are positively falling over themselves to extend credit to homeowners, knowing full well that the high equity levels enjoyed by people who took a mortgage out before the latest property boom make it very unlikely that the lender won't be able to recoup their loan somehow, even if the borrower fails to keep up with repayments.

This is of little help to people who don't own their home though, and for these people a different kind of loan is called for : a tenant loan.

A tenant loan is a different name for an unsecured loan, or a loan which is offered without the need for collateral to back up the repayments. This lack of collateral means that the loans are more risky for the lender, which makes them more difficult to be approved for.

The first difficulty tenants face in getting a loan is that the credit checks will be more stringent, and a higher proportion of people will be rejected. If you apply for an unsecured loan from a high street bank or one of the big name lenders, the chances are you'll need to boast a good to excellent credit record, with little or no history of missed payments, defaults, or recovery action. You'll also need a regular income from employment, and this income will need to be large enough to satisfy the lender that you'll have little trouble keeping up with the repayments.

Even if you satisfy these requirements, you may still find that you're offered


a loan at a higher rate than the one you saw advertised.

But what's the outlook for tenants with less than perfect credit ratings? Are there loans available? It's best to be realistic and say that if you're not a homeowner and your credit rating is poor, then you're going to struggle to get an unsecured loan. There's still hope for tenants with a middling credit score though, and there are several companies who can help - do a search for 'tenant loans' on your favourite search engine and see what comes up.

The drawback in this kind of situation though is the price you'll have to pay for the loan. The interest rate or APR will be much higher than those you see splashed around in flashy adverts, and the amount you can borrow will probably not be as high as you'll expect either, but nevertheless if you're in urgent need of extra funds then a tenant loan may be worth applying for so long as you're aware of the downsides.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.