How Old Do I Have To Be To Apply For A Loan?

Author · Modified on 14 September, 2022

You have to be at least 18 years of age to apply for a payday loan in the US, but there are some other criteria that you will have to meet.

When you are just entering adult life, you should make any financial decisions very carefully, as you want to make sure that you protect your credit score and yourself!


Key Points:


  • In the US, you have to be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for a payday loan.
  • You must also be a US citizen, have an active checking account and, in most cases, have a form of income.
  • The age bracket who most relies on loans is 18-24, with 51% of millennials having considered taking a payday loan out before.
  • Around 6% of adult Americans have borrowed from a lender before.
  • Failing to repay loans can damage your credit history, which you should be nurturing from a young age. This means you should avoid taking out a loan unless it’s absolutely necessary.


How Old Do You Have To Be To Get a Loan?


The criteria may vary from lender-to-lender and whilst you might initially meet the basic criteria, some lenders might be more strict in terms of your minimum monthly income and also for those who are on welfare, self-employed and have not been employed for long than a few weeks or months.

However, it is important to note that if you do not meet this basic criteria, your loan application is likely to get declined early on. The basic criteria includes:


  • You must be a legal US citizen.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Working full-time or part-time, with a regular income of at least $800 a month.
  • You must have a valid current/checking account, for your loan to be paid into.
  • You can’t have had a recent bankruptcy.


You can even get a payday loan if you have bad credit; Dime Alley accepts people with all types of credit histories. As the broker, we find the most suitable lender for you that it most likely to accept your payday loan claim.


You have to be at least 18 years of age to apply for a payday loan in the US.


Why Should I Be Mindful Of How Young I Am?


If you are just entering the age bracket which qualifies you for a loan, you should be very mindful of whether to take one out or not. At your young age, you have the rest of your life to manage, including the financial side of it.

While payday loans can help you out of tricky situations, they can also scar your credit history, leave you with higher debt, and a reliance on loans. You should use this time in your life to set a precedent for managing your finances responsibly and sustainably. That’s not to say that you should not take out a loan, but you should be 100% confident in your decision prior to doing so.


What Should A Payday Loan Be Used For?


Payday loans are designed to assist those who have a stable income in urgent cash crises. You might consider using one to cover a hospital or veterinary bill, get your car repaired, or fix your boiler. Whatever difficult circumstance you face, a payday loan can get you the money you need to tide you over until payday.

Payday loans are not designed to be used for shopping or frivolous spending and should never be used to make repayments on other loans. See also what payday loans are used for.


How Much Should I Borrow And How Long For?


How much you should borrow is up to you and your lender, however you should make this decision very carefully. With Dime Alley, you can get a loan from as little as $100 up to $35,000, but payday loans are usually just one-off emergencies and you may wish to borrow $500 or around this amount.

For more significant amounts, you should consider an alternative loan. Make sure you will be able to afford your loan repayments and review your income when choosing how much to borrow. Over-borrowing may make it difficult to meet repayments on time.

It would be best to consider how long you need the loan to get you through your financial difficulties. You can choose a period of just 2-4 weeks, which will allow you to reach your next payday!

You can then repay the money in one final repayment. You can repay the amount early at any time, and this will also save you money on interest.


With Dime Alley, you can get a payday loan from $100 up to $35,000. Remember that payday loans are designed for one-off emergency payments.


Why Was My Payday Loan Application Rejected?


There are a number of reasons your application for a payday loan might have been rejected.

For starters, if you haven’t met any one of the basic criteria then your application will be rejected very quickly. There are several other reasons, however, why your application may not have been accepted.


Not Meeting The Minimum Credit Score Requirements


When applying for most loans, the lender will carry out a credit check to get an idea of your credit history and how well you have paid off other financial obligations in the past.

Most loan underwriting systems are automated, with a set of rules already built in. So first you will need to meet the initial criteria (see above) and then the lender will run a credit check and this will all happen pretty much instantly.

The lender’s minimum credit score requirement might be set to a certain amount e.g 600 or 700 – and if you are stronger than this, you can pass to the next stage, but alas, if your score is below this, your loan could be declined.

However, do not let a poor credit score deter you from applying, as applying does not affect your score, and at Dime Alley, we accept applicants with a variety of credit histories.


Your Income Is Not High Enough


Your income is an important feature when determining your eligibility for a loan, since it is going to be the main way to repay your loan. The lender needs peace of mind that you are earning a regular income and that it is high enough.

You may find that some lenders require your earnings to be a minimum of $800 or $1,000 per month and some will allow you to be employed part-time and only earning $500 per month – but this could vary from lender-to-lender.

By asking to borrow too much money, the lender could think that you are living beyond your means and decline you outright.


Affordability And Debt-To-Loan Ratio


When applying for a loan, the lender will look at your affordability and debt-to-loan ratio. This considers how much you can afford to borrow compared to what you can afford to repay.

So if you have applied for a loan, your monthly income may be able to cover it, but when it comes to affordability, you may have too many other outstanding obligations or other loans open. So even though you have borrowed $500 or $1,000, the lender may consider how well you can afford your loan if also have to pay credit cards, rent and two other loans each month.

In some cases, the lender will decide that you cannot afford it and that is why your loan is declined.

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