You've already decided to take out a personal loan... But how does one go about doing it? Before you go in to apply for what could be your first personal loan, there are a few things you should cross off your list.

1. Get your identification ready

All credit issuers will require your identification in order to verify and ease the disbursement of a loan. Make sure you have this information on hand (if you haven't already memorised it)!

If you don't have your physical documents with you – fret not! Some loan providers, particularly banks, have linked up and been authorised by the government to make filling out this section of your personal loan application much easier with an 'auto-fill from SingPass' option, just like what we do at Lendela.

2. Have your employment and income information on hand

When it comes to seeing whether you qualify for a personal loan, banks and other financial institutions will need to analyse your employment history.

Regardless of your current employment status, having your employment records on stand-by for banks and other financial institutions to look at is key in assessing your eligibility for a personal loan. Certain loan providers are linked to SingPass and can access that information when you link your account with their services, hence eliminating the need for physical documents.

What if I’m self-employed?

If you’re self-employed and managing a business, you need to show proof of income in the form of certain documents.

To process loans for self-employed individuals, banks or credit issuers will need the latest copies of your ARCA BizFile, IRAS Notice of Assessment (NOA), and a corporate bank statement.

Unfortunately, not all of these documents are linked to your SingPass accounts, so you'll need to get them from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), and directly from your corporate bank.

What if I’m a freelancer?

If you’re a freelancer, you’ll similarly have to provide a copy of your ARCA Bizfile (if applicable), your latest NOA, a bank statement, and any relevant invoices or receipts.

3. Prepare to provide some necessary credit reports

Get ready to submit your credit reports if you want to get a personal loan!

If you’re borrowing from a bank or a credit issuer, you’ll need to submit either a Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) or a Moneylenders Credit Bureau (MLCB) credit report before you get approved for a personal loan. These reports are crucial as they allow lenders to assess your credit scores and decide on an appropriate interest rate for your loans.

Read more about why credit scores are important and how to deal with them.

4. Make a list of any existing debts and loans

Before approving any type of personal loan disbursement, lenders will check to see if you have any outstanding loans with other lenders, and you will be required to provide a list of your current debts and loans.

Due to internal lending laws and the fear of debtors defaulting on a potential loan arrangement, many financial institutions are reluctant to give money to individuals with many existing loans. However, if your financial condition is within their tolerance limit, you may still be eligible for a personal loan from the more generous ones!

How Lendela makes the personal loan process easier

Depending on the number of lenders you contact, you may need to repeat these steps several times until you find the loan of your dreams.

However, we at Lendela have made it much easier for individuals to get a personal loan through this three-step process:

  • Submit your application on our loan comparison website

  • Lenders will come back to you for offers in your Lendela account

  • Select the best offer and get your money

Lendela's one-stop loan comparison platform helps you reduce the legwork needed in applying for a personal loan, making the entire loan process a smoother experience – especially if you’re getting the best loan deal for yourself!