Landing a personal loan has never really been easy, but since the recession began, it's been harder than ever, despite the fact that some types of lending, like auto loans, have started to make a comeback among banks.
The funny thing is, most of what goes into a bank decision to give you a personal loan has little to do with you personally. You may be the nicest person in the world and be immediately turned down for a loan -- or the meanest jerk in your neighborhood and have bankers falling all over themselves to give you money.That's because when it comes to personal loans, your credit report and credit score have the most direct impact on whether you'll be approved or not. But, as we've mentioned in recent WalletPop reports, including pieces on financial aid for college students and mortgage loans, what you say to the lender can have a direct affect on whether or not you get a loan.
So if you're planning to apply for a personal loan, here are the three worst things you can say to the banker.
1. "I Have a Job, But I Hate It."
What gives? At least you have a job. So what's so wrong about admitting you're not crazy about it?
"Your loan officer is looking for stability, says Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, a spokesperson for IndexCreditCards.com, a credit card comparison site. And if you're hinting around that maybe you plan on leaving that job sometime soon -- maybe even before you get another job to replace your lost income -- well, you're not exactly giving the lender a vote of confidence in your ability to pay back the loan.
About the only worse thing you could say -- but we're sure you wouldn't say this -- is, "I don't have a job, but I hope to have one soon," says Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
"A lender likes stability," says Cunningham, echoing Campbell's reasoning, "and not having a steady source of income doesn't make them feel secure about loaning you money."
2. "You're the Fourth Bank I've Come To."
"Going from bank to bank and being turned down for a loan doesn't exactly give a lender any confidence in you," says Cunningham, adding that while it's true "the lender is going to see the previous inquiries on your credit report, there's no use underscoring the situation by seeming desperate. If everyone's turning you down, there's probably a good reason."
And even if you feel there isn't a good reason, by mentioning it, whether on purpose or accidentally blurting it out, you're going to cause the lender to look at you a little more cautiously -- and they'll most likely end up being the fifth bank to turn you down.
3. "I Know It Doesn't Look Like I Have the Money to Pay Back This Loan, But I'm Upside Down on My Mortgage and Plan to Walk Away From My House, So I'll Have More Disposable Income Soon."
If this article included sound effects, this is where you'd hear the sound of the Jeopardy buzzer.
"Breaking a contract isn't good news to a lender," says Cunningham. "After all, if you're willing to break one contract, you'd most likely be willing to break another."
And if you ask for a loan shortly after walking away from your mortgage, despite the additional funds that you'll have every month, a lender won't exactly be looking at you as a good credit risk. After all, if you aren't currently in a good financial spot, why in the heck are you asking for a loan the bank has no guarantee you'll pay back?
Geoff Williams is a regular contributor to WalletPop. He is also the co-author of the book Living Well with Bad Credit.
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