Loans for Self-Employed

Cara Bradley

Written by

Cara Bradley

5 min read

Updated: 08/03/2024

Our handy guide tells you all you need to know about applying for a loan when you’re self-employed.

Can I get a loan if I’m self-employed?

You may be able to get a loan if you’re self-employed, although in some instances depending on your circumstances, you may find it harder to be approved than somebody who is in regular, salaried employment.

Your chance of being approved for a loan will depend on a variety of factors, including your credit score and affordability.

Can I get a loan if I’m self-employed and have bad credit?

Regardless of your working status, getting approved for a loan with bad credit can be tricky.
If you have a low credit score, lenders could consider your application as riskier.

That being said, being approved for a loan with bad credit is not impossible. Some lenders – including a number of those on the Viva Money panel – specialise in loans for people with less-than-perfect credit scores.

If you are approved for a loan with bad credit, it’s worth noting that you may be offered a higher interest rate than advertised, and you might not be able to borrow as much money as you’d like.

Can I get a loan if I’m self-employed and have no credit history?

Having no credit history is sometimes referred to as having a ‘thin’ credit file and is usually the case for people who have never paid bills or borrowed credit before.
While having a thin credit file isn’t a bad thing, it could have a negative impact on your chance of being approved for a loan.
As with bad credit, lenders may see a thin credit file as a lending risk. This is because they have no evidence of how borrowing has been managed in the past.

Viva Money work with a large panel of lenders, some of whom are willing to consider applications from those with no credit history.

Can I search for a loan with Viva Money?

Viva Money is a credit broker, not a lender. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as are all the companies we work with.
The lenders on our panel offer short-term personal loans between £100 and £10,000, with repayment terms between 3 to 60 months, depending on how much you apply to borrow.

You can search for a loan with Viva Money if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You’re over the age of 18;
  • You are a UK resident with a UK address;
  • You have a UK bank account and valid debit card; and
  • You have a regular source of income paid into your bank account.

Viva Money welcome people with all credit scores to search for a loan.

How does the Viva Money process work?

Our online form is straightforward and should take less than five minutes to complete.

Step one

Decide how much money you need to borrow and how long for. You should never borrow more money than you need or can afford to repay.
Fill out our form, answering each question as accurately as possible – this will help reduce the risk of any unnecessary delays.

Step two

We’ll run a soft credit search on your financial history, with no impact to your credit score and scan our panel of lenders for a suitable loan. In just 60 seconds, we’ll let you know if we’ve found you a match - your result will be shown on your screen.

Step three

If we’ve matched you to a loan, you will be redirected to the lender’s website. Here, you can learn more about the loan you’ve been offered and decide whether you’d like to go ahead and make a full application.
The lender will then carry out some further checks to make sure the loan is affordable for you, including a hard credit search. A hard credit search will be visible on your credit file and will affect your credit score.

Step four

If the lender is happy with the outcome of their checks, you will be sent a loan agreement. You should read this thoroughly before deciding whether this is right for you. If you’re happy with the terms, and you’re confident you can comfortably afford your monthly repayments, you can sign and return it.
Then, pay back the balance of your loan in monthly instalments.

What documents will I need to provide when applying for a loan?

Every lender will have different requirements when it comes to applying for a loan, but you could be asked by your lender to provide one or some of the following:

  • Proof of identity;
  • Proof of address; and
  • Recent bank statement(s) or payslip(s).

If you’re self-employed, you may also be asked to provide your tax returns (SA302), and your company/ business information.

I’ve taken out a loan and can no longer afford my repayments. What are my options?

If you find yourself in a position where you’re no longer able to keep on top of your monthly repayments, you should contact your lender as soon as you can.
Your lender will appreciate the fact that you’ve got in touch, and they will want to work with you to figure out a suitable solution moving forwards.
While sharing your difficulties may be the last thing you feel like doing, you could well feel a sense of relief once you have a plan in place and a clear idea of the next steps you can take.

Remember, many of us will experience money worries at some point in our lives, and your lender is not there to judge your personal situation.

I need money and debt advice. Where can I turn for help?

Money troubles can leave us feeling isolated.
Opening up about any worries that you might have is so important, even if you don’t feel like speaking to somebody in person just yet.
Whatever you’re facing, you can access free, impartial debt and money management advice on a range of websites such as Citizens Advice, MoneyHelper, and National Debtline.

Here at Viva Money, we’re proud to have teamed up with charity StepChange to provide a free, online Money Health Check quiz. The answers you provide will generate advice on what you can do next to help ease your situation and take back control of your finances.
Taking the quiz will not impact your credit score in any way and your answers will remain confidential.