Can You Take Out Two Or More Personal Loans At The Same Time?

Can You Take Out Two Or More Personal Loans At The Same Time?

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated January 25, 2022

You’re already paying off a current personal loan that you took out to help cover some extra expenses. But now you might need another loan. Is it possible for you to have more than one personal loan at the same time?

Moreover, if you’re allowed to take out multiple personal loans, what are the potential risks of having several personal loans at the same time and how will it impact your financial situation? 

Can You Have Two Personal Loans At The Same Time?

There is no limit on the number of personal loans you’re allowed to take out in Canada. That said, the number of loans you can get approved for at the same time will depend on your financial circumstances and ability to handle more than one personal loan at a time. 

More specifically, certain factors impact your ability to get approved for two or more personal loans, as well as the loan amount, including the following:

  • Income 
  • Debt
  • Employment stability
  • Credit scores
  • Payment history
  • Lender policies

Can You Apply For Multiple Personal Loans at The Same Time?

There is no rule that says you can’t apply for more than one personal loan at the same time. It’s certainly possible, but you may want to consider whether or not it’s worth it given the fact that your credit scores and financial situation could be negatively impacted. 

Applying For Multiple Personal Loans To Compare Options

When you apply for a loan, the lender will usually access your credit report to verify your creditworthiness and likelihood to repay the loan. This is referred to as a “hard inquiry“, which may cause your credit scores to dip. 

Too many hard inquiries within a short period of time can signify financial trouble to future lenders which can make it more difficult for you to get approved for any loan you apply for. 

How To Apply For Multiple Personal Loans To Compare Options

If you’re simply applying for multiple loans to compare rates and terms, you should try: 

  • Getting Pre-Approvals: Getting pre-approval quotes is a better option than directly applying for a loan with a lender. This will give you the information you need without having to formally apply for a loan, and in turn, you’ll avoid hard inquiries that could affect your credit score. 
  • Loan Comparison Platforms: You can also use online aggregators to easily and quickly compare different lenders to see what kind of rates and loan amounts they offer based on your current financial and credit profile. 

Applying For Multiple Loans To Get A Larger Loan Amount

If you’re trying to get a larger loan amount by taking on multiple loans, it’s important to beware of overborrowing. Lenders check your credit and overall financial health to make sure you are financially capable of handling the loan. The requirements lenders have in place not only protect the lender from the possibility of loan default, but it also protects you. 

That’s because the lender will base your loan approval on your financial situation. You’ll only be approved for a loan that you can feasibly handle. This way, you won’t commit to a loan that could cause debt issues for you in the future.

Can You Apply For Multiple Loans To Get A Larger Loan? 

Yes, you can apply for multiple loans but it’s important to understand that new debt might not appear on your credit report immediately after being approved for a loan. So lenders might be approving you with a new loan based on your old debt level, which can cause problems for you once that extra debt load is added to the pile. 

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What To Consider When Getting Multiple Personal Loans At The Same Time

Before you apply for several personal loans simultaneously, it would be helpful to consider a few important factors, including the following.

The Reason For Getting Another Personal Loan 

What is the reason why you’re applying for a second personal loan? Is it a pressing need? An urgent expense? An important purchase? 

When you add another personal loan to your debt, you’re also adding another bill payment to your financial obligations. Considering this, be sure that the reason you’re applying for an additional loan is worthy of adding more debt to the pile. 

Additional Monthly Payments 

Will you be able to comfortably cover an additional monthly bill payment on top of all the other bills you have to pay? Even though you may be able to get approved for another personal loan, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the added payment will fit comfortably into your budget.

You may find that you have very little money left over every month after all your bills are paid. That leaves nothing extra to use for other purposes, including saving for a rainy day. And if your financial situation changes suddenly for the worse — such as a job loss, unexpected large expense, or injury that leaves you unable to work — you could find yourself in a financial predicament if you max yourself out on loan payments.

Risk Of Overborrowing 

Overborrowing involves taking on too much debt to the point that it negatively affects other aspects of your life. If you overborrow and experience financial issues in the near future (i.e: missed payments, high debt, bankruptcy), your credit may be negatively affected. Plus, your ability to borrow again may be impacted, too. 

How To Get Approved For Multiple Personal Loans

After careful consideration of your financial situation — both current and future — you may have decided to go ahead with applying for more than one personal loan. If so, here are some things you can do to improve your chances of loan approval:

  • Improve Your Credit Scores. Your credit scores play a key role in your ability to get approved for a loan. It also impacts the type of interest rate you’re charged and the loan amount you can get. If your credit could use some improvement, take some time to give it a boost to put you in a better position when applying.
  • Increase Your Income. More money coming in means more cash available to cover an added bill payment. A healthy income will increase your chances of loan approval. If you can, consider adding another income source to beef up your financial health. 
  • Reduce Your Debt. If you can’t add to your income, consider reducing your debt load. This will leave more money to dedicate to the new loan payments. 
  • Add Collateral. Unsecured loans are riskier for lenders because there is no asset to repossess to help recoup their losses. As such, lenders may be more stringent with their lending criteria for these types of loans. If you add collateral to the loan, this will effectively reduce the lender’s risk. In turn, you may have a slightly easier time getting approved for a secured personal loan. 
  • Add A Cosigner. If your financial or credit profile isn’t strong enough to help you secure a personal loan, consider adding a cosigner. This individual must have a good financial profile and will be responsible for taking over the loan payments if you default on the loan. It’s a risk for the cosigner, so make sure the person you ask is aware of the risks involved. 

Personal Loan FAQs

How many loans can you have in Canada?

There is no rule in Canada about the maximum number of loans you can have. Generally, lenders will limit the amount they lend to you based on your financial situation. 

Is having multiple loans bad for your credit? 

When you apply for a loan, the lender will pull your credit report. When that happens, your credit scores could take a hit. And when you apply for several loans at once, your credit scores may be more heavily impacted by all the hard inquiries on your credit report

Can I take out a second personal loan if I already have one? 

Yes, you can take out a second personal loan. However, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate to the lender that you can financially handle a second loan. 

Bottom Line

While it might be possible to have more than one personal loan at the same time, it might not be such a good idea if it means maxing out your finances. Before you apply for an additional personal loan, consider your current financial situation and how much you can comfortably afford.

Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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