Guide to Banking in France
8. French Bank Loans
8.1. Eligibility for French Bank Loans
Banks and finance houses in France operate in a very similar manner to those elsewhere, although with probably a greater degree of caution!
So, if you are looking to take out an unsecured loan in France, as a general rule you will need to be resident and, ideally, with a stable and regular income.
Most importantly, in considering you for a loan the lender cannot offer you a facility if the total level of your debts (including any rent payable) exceeds 33% of your net income.
You will be required to provide comprehensive documentary proof of your income and circumstances.
A system of credit scoring takes place in the same manner as in most other countries. You will also need to have a clean credit record.
If your earnings are variable, then the lender will want to see your income tax returns over several years and it is likely the rate offered will reflect the greater risk being taken by the lender.
It is possible for a non-resident to obtain an unsecured bank loan in France, but you will probably have to jump through hoops to get it.
The attitude of the bank will be strongly influenced by how long they have known you and the confidence they have in you.
You are likely to have to deposit with them about 25% of the value of the loan until it has been repaid.
But, if you can get one, it may be worth having, for the rates of interest in France are generally lower than in the UK and many other countries.
If you seek a loan, then your first port of call should be your bank – if you have a good track record with them they are likely to in the best position to offer you a good rate.
But you should also check what else there is in the market-place.
Two of the largest internet credit brokers in France are Meilleur taux and Empruntis.
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