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An Uber Driver with with his passengers.

A Simple Uber Driver's Guide: Personal Loans for Uber Drivers

Uber drivers may need a personal loan for several reasons, whether to maintain a vehicle they already have or purchase a new one. Luckily, there are options out there to help get or keep them on the road.

The financially smart Uber driver will realize that a personal loan can give them the boost they need to do the job. Read on to learn why an Uber driver might need a personal loan, how these can be beneficial, and the process they must go through to obtain one.

Why Uber Drivers Might Need Personal Loans

There are many valid reasons that an Uber driver may need a loan, such as:

  • Covering startup costs
  • Maintaining, repairing, or upgrading their current vehicle
  • Purchasing a new vehicle

These situations apply to different drivers, but there is a chance you may fall into one of these categories.

Startup Costs

There are many reasons you might want to become an Uber driver (flexible hours being the main point), but the cost to get started can be a bit intimidating.

First, you need to make sure your vehicle is up to Uber’s standards (as elaborated below), but beyond that, you still have things like gas, inspection costs, and insurance costs to consider.

Things that can push a client to give you a stellar review may require some money upfront:

  • A detail-cleaned vehicle
  • Amenities (like beverages, snacks, or a charging station)
  • Organization/decorations

Looking at your position from a business standpoint proves that taking out a small loan to start strong pays off in the long run and makes it easier to transition to this position.

Upgrading Current Vehicle

Although you work as an independent contractor, you still need to meet Uber’s current vehicle requirements. At the very least, your vehicle must:

  • Be 15 years old or newer
  • Have four doors and the ability to transport at least four passengers
  • Not be rebuilt or salvaged
  • Have no cosmetic damage or commercial branding 

In some cases, you can repair the damage. However, if your vehicle is too old or damaged, it is better to buy a new one.

While auto loans are a great option for purchasing new vehicles, they are not always the right fit. You may benefit from a personal loan if:

  • You are purchasing from a private party
  • You do not wish to carry full coverage insurance
  • You are buying a project car that can easily be fixed to meet Uber’s standards

In these cases, an auto loan will not cut it, but a personal loan can get you well on your way.

Vehicle Maintenance or Repairs

Uber drivers usually need a personal loan to pay for maintenance or unexpected car repairs.

Most maintenance can be dealt with at minimal cost, but that starts to climb when you are replacing things like worn-out tires or brakes. Setting aside savings to eventually cover these costs is a good plan, but it does not always work out.

The same goes for unexpected repairs. You cannot make any money using your vehicle if it is sitting around waiting to get fixed.

This also applies to problems with the car's appearance, even if they don't stop you from using it. You still need to meet Uber’s basic requirement of a vehicle without cosmetic damage, so dealing with things like dents or scrapes as soon as possible is important.

A man earning income driving for Uber.

Pros and Cons of Personal Loans for Uber Drivers

Getting a personal loan as an Uber driver has plenty of benefits. However, bringing some issues to light will help you make a more informed decision about what is best for you.

Pros of Personal Loans for Uber Drivers

The pros of a personal loan for Uber drivers are numerous, starting with a quick application process and fast decision. Most personal loans can be applied for online, so you can complete the form and move on with your day.

Because of this, the funds can also be deposited into your account quickly so that you can deal with the issue. This means less downtime and more time driving and making money.

Personal loans have repayment plans that are easy to manage. The schedule should be clearly laid out so you can figure it into your budget before committing, and you can even opt-in for payments to be automatically drafted to avoid late fees.

Cons of Personal Loans for Uber Drivers

The biggest issue with a personal loan for Uber drivers is that you are taking on more debt. If not managed well, this could increase your debt-to-income ratio, decrease your credit score, and interfere with loan applications in the near future.

If you expect to apply for credit cards or other loans in the future, this may become an issue. 

Ensure you are also prepared to take on the monthly payment. Taking out a loan to keep things rolling is fine, but not if it handicaps you in the future.

How Personal Loans Work for Uber Drivers

Personal loans work for Uber drivers by providing instant cash to finance a specific need to either get them on the road or keep them on the road. They give the driver peace of mind by ensuring they can work and they are easy to obtain.

You can receive up to $3,000 by going through a quick and easy online application process with Simple Fast Loans.

How to Apply for a Personal Loan as an Uber Driver

Once you decide that a personal loan will work for your situation, you can fill out some basic information using an online application form. Usually, this includes:

  • Information from a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport
  • Routing and account numbers for the checking account that receives your income
  • A valid phone number that is available to contact
  • Social security number

Applicants must be 18 years old or older and can't be regular or reserve military members on active duty or dependents of active-duty military members.

Once you have completed the online application, it should be processed either that same day or the next day at the latest. You will be contacted with a determination regarding your loan request and an explanation of the next steps you can take.

If you are approved for the loan, you will be presented with a document outlining the amount you are approved for, interest rates, fees, and a repayment plan. If you are comfortable with these terms, you can sign up online and get the funds deposited into your account.

What Determines Your Ability to Borrow as an Uber Driver

Your ability to borrow tells a creditor whether you can handle taking on the debt and exactly how much debt you can handle.

This is usually determined by considering your current debt, income, and credit history.

Your loan application may not be approved if you have a high debt-to-income ratio or a poor credit history. In these cases, it is better to speak directly to a creditor to see what options you have. Bad credit does not necessarily stop you from getting a loan, but you may need more assistance in finding an option to fit your needs.

Proving Income as an Uber Driver

The hardest part of getting a loan as an Uber driver is showing proof of your income. Independent contractors of all types have issues providing proof of income, but it does not mean the work is any less valid or that loans are out of reach for you.

Instead, you need to find some other ways to prove your income.

Experienced drivers who received a Form 1099 for their taxes last year can use that to show how much money they made. If you are unsure if you received one, think back to your income for last year. You should have been sent one if it was more than $600.

Bank statements are also useful for proving income. A bank statement can provide proof that a company regularly transfers money into your account, and the amount deposited should be shown on your bank statement. These can even be itemized for further proof regarding your loan application.

Uber also sends out a monthly tax statement that can be used to show your current income situation. These statements show the amount you were paid in the past month, so they can provide a more updated view of your earnings if something like a Form 1099 is deemed outdated.

You can also screenshot your daily and weekly earnings on your phone. These show your predicted payout and can prove that you are currently working or that you have worked recently, but they are not as “official” as some of the statements mentioned before.

Before putting it on your application, check with your creditor to see what kind of proof of income they accept or need.

Final Thoughts

Being an Uber driver is a fantastic way to make part-time and full-time money, but unexpected expenses can interrupt your workflow. When you are faced with a situation that requires funding that you do not have, a personal loan can keep you hard at work.

This decision should not be made lightly, but the opportunity should not be overlooked. The next time you need fast cash to deal with an emergency expense, consider applying online for a personal loan.

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