To get an unsecured line of credit it is necessary to be employed, not have too much debt already, have a good credit rating and have a history of paying bills on time. You should also have necessary documentation to provide to the lender before you shop around and complete an application.
- Have steady employment or other source of income.
Unsecured line of credit lenders insist that applicants have steady employment or receive income from another source, such as a pension or annuity. Applicants don't necessarily need to have high income levels. However, the higher the income, the better the chances are of being approved.
- Have a reasonable amount of debt
As of 2014, lenders often look at the applicant's debt-to-income ratio. The maximum allowed is 36 percent for many lenders. New loans that put the ratio over 36 percent are usually not approved.
- Have a good credit score
Having a good credit history boosts approval changes for loans. Some borrowers cite 580 as the minimum FICO score. A higher score allows access to lower interest rates.
- Have necessary documentation
Most lenders require proof of income in the form of tax returns or copies of IRS Form W-2.
- Shop around
Compare interest rates, fees, access to funds, availability of credit or debit cards linked to the line of credit and other benefits offered by different lenders.
- Complete and submit an application
Submit the completed application to the lender and await a decision.