Can You Take Out Multiple Personal Loans at the Same Time?

Personal loans are rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of loans. And there's a good reason for this. Many personal loans have lower interest rates than other kinds of consumer debt. They typically also come with a steady monthly payment and a clear payoff date, and you can generally use them to fund anything you want.

Personal loans can seem like such an attractive way to borrow that you may decide you want to take out more than one. You could find yourself in this situation if, for example, you've borrowed to consolidate debt and then you need to make a big purchase you want to pay off over time.

Whatever the reason, if you're considering taking out multiple personal loans at the same time, you're likely wondering whether that's even possible. 

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You may be able to take out multiple personal loans at once

The good news for would-be borrowers who want to take out more than one personal loan at the same time is that there is no rule that says you can't do this. 

Theoretically, you could even take out multiple loans from the same lender. However, be aware that different lenders have different restrictions -- some forbid it entirely, while others impose other requirements. These can include a waiting period or a mandate that you've made a certain number of on-time payments on your first loan before getting your second one. 

You could also opt to take out personal loans from a few different lenders at one time. But bear in mind that you would need to be able to qualify for each personal loan based on your individual financial situation. It doesn't matter whether you apply for multiple loans from the same lender or from a few different lenders, you still need to meet their requirements.

When you already have one or more personal loans, this debt will show up on your credit report if you apply for another loan. The new lender you're applying with will want to make sure your debt relative to your income isn't too high. If it is, you could be turned down. Monthly payments from both your existing personal loan and the new one you're applying for will be factored in when the lender determines affordability.

If you've applied for lots of loans and it seems you're getting in over your head with debt, you're also unlikely to be able to qualify for the new loan you're trying to take out.

Is it a good idea to take out multiple personal loans at one time?

Even if lenders allow you to take out multiple personal loans at the same time, this doesn't mean it's a good idea.

When you take out multiple loans, you're committing to making several monthly payments. This will take a good chunk of your income and make it harder for you to do other important things with your money. The fact that you've taken on lots of obligations could also put you at greater risk of defaulting on your loans.

Every time you apply for a personal loan, the lender will carry out a hard credit check. Too many inquiries in a short time can lower your credit score, making future borrowing more difficult and expensive. 

Finally, if you have to keep borrowing, it could be a sign you're living beyond your means. There are certainly times when you need to borrow more money even though you already have a loan outstanding. But you don't want to keep relying on debt, as the interest costs of doing so will make every purchase more expensive. 

Be smart about your borrowing

Personal loans can definitely be a better way to borrow than using credit cards -- but taking on multiple loans at one time can still come at a cost. Be sure you're smart about your borrowing habits and research all of your options carefully so that you don't take on unnecessary debt.

Our Picks of the Best Personal Loans for 2020

We've vetted the market to bring you our shortlist of the best personal loan providers. Whether you're looking to pay off debt faster by slashing your interest rate or needing some extra money to tackle a big purchase, these best-in-class picks can help you reach your financial goals. Click here to get the full rundown on our top picks.

The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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