Best Loans in Portugal: Explained

Compare the best options on the market and choose the one which best adapts to your day-to-day needs.

Further Below: Our Guide To Loans in Portugal, covering everything you need to know.

What Is a Loan?

At its core, a loan is a sum of money borrowed from a lender with an agreement to repay it over time, often with added interest. 

This financial instrument empowers individuals to make significant purchases, invest in opportunities, or address unforeseen financial challenges.

What are the Different Types of Loans in Portugal?

  • Personal Loan (CrĂ©dito Pessoal): This versatile loan, or CrĂ©dito Pessoal, provides individuals with financial flexibility for various purposes. 
    Whether it’s funding a dream vacation, covering medical expenses, or consolidating debts, a personal loan offers a lump sum amount that can be repaid in fixed installments over a specified period.
  • Auto Loan (CrĂ©dito AutomĂłvel): CrĂ©dito AutomĂłvel, or auto loan, is designed to assist individuals in purchasing vehicles. This loan lets you finance a new or used car, often with competitive interest rates. 
    The vehicle itself serves as collateral, allowing for favorable terms and helping you easily hit the road.
  • Housing Loan/Mortgage (CrĂ©dito Ă  habitação/Hipoteca): For those aiming to embark on homeownership, CrĂ©dito Ă  habitação, the Portuguese equivalent of a mortgage, provides a pathway. 
    This loan enables individuals to acquire property by offering a substantial amount of money, usually secured against the property itself. The repayment period can span several years, making homeownership more accessible.
  • Debt Consolidation Loan (CrĂ©dito de consolidação de dĂ­vidas): CrĂ©dito de consolidação de dĂ­vidas, or debt consolidation loan, is a lifeline for individuals juggling multiple debts. 
    This loan combines existing debts into a single, more manageable installment. Borrowers can streamline their finances and focus on a single repayment by offering a lower interest rate.
  • Renovation Loan (CrĂ©dito para renovação): CrĂ©dito para renovação, the renovation loan, caters to those seeking to enhance their living spaces. 
    Whether it’s upgrading a kitchen, adding an extra room, or revamping interiors, this loan provides the funds needed to turn renovation dreams into reality.
  • Education Loan (EmprĂ©stimo para educação): EmprĂ©stimo para educação, the education loan, supports individuals pursuing higher education. 
    Whether you’re enrolling in a university program or a vocational course, this loan covers tuition fees, books, and other education-related expenses.
  • Holiday Loan (EmprĂ©stimo de fĂ©rias): This specialized loan, EmprĂ©stimo de fĂ©rias, makes dream vacations attainable. It’s tailored for those seeking to travel and explore without compromising their financial stability.
  • Healthcare Loan (EmprĂ©stimo para cuidados de saĂşde): In times of medical emergencies or planned healthcare procedures, EmprĂ©stimo para cuidados de saĂşde provides the necessary funds for medical expenses, ensuring your health remains a top priority.
  • Business Loan (EmprĂ©stimo para empresas): Entrepreneurs and business owners can access EmprĂ©stimo para empresas, or business loans, to fuel their ventures. Whether it’s launching a startup, expanding operations, or investing in new equipment, this loan supports business growth.
  • Agricultural Loan (EmprĂ©stimo agrĂ­cola): EmprĂ©stimo agrĂ­cola, the agricultural loan, caters to the agricultural sector. Farmers and agricultural businesses can secure funds to purchase equipment, improve infrastructure, and optimize operations.

When should I or should not get a Loan?

SituationWhen You Should Get a LoanWhen You Shouldn’t Get a Loan
Emergency Medical Expenses✅ A loan can provide necessary funds if you’re facing urgent medical bills and need immediate treatment.❌ When the medical expense is minor and can be covered by your savings or insurance without causing financial strain.
Home Purchase✅ When you’ve found your dream home and secured a favorable mortgage rate, a home loan can help you realize homeownership.❌ If you’re uncertain about your long-term plans or if your financial situation isn’t stable enough to commit to mortgage payments.
Education✅ To invest in your education and future career prospects, an education loan can provide the means to pursue higher studies.❌ If you’re considering taking on excessive debt for education in a field with limited job prospects or uncertain earning potential.
Business Expansion✅ When your business has a well-thought-out growth plan, a loan can help you expand operations, enter new markets, or develop new products.❌ If your business idea lacks proper research, planning, or a clear strategy for generating sufficient revenue to repay the loan.
Debt Consolidation✅ If you’re struggling with multiple high-interest debts, consolidating them into a single, lower-interest loan can simplify repayments and save money.❌ If you’re not addressing the root causes of your debt, such as overspending or lack of budgeting, which could lead to further financial troubles.
Home Improvement✅ When making improvements will significantly enhance your home’s value, taking a loan can be an investment for the future.❌ If the improvements are merely cosmetic and won’t add substantial value to your property or if you’re taking on more debt than the improvements are worth.

What to Look Out for When Picking a Loan in Portugal?

When selecting a loan in Portugal, several factors warrant your attention:

  • Interest Rates: It’s crucial to compare rates from various lenders and understand whether the rate is fixed or variable. 
    A fixed rate provides stability in monthly payments, while a variable rate may change over time, impacting your repayment plan.
  • Term Length: The term length, or the duration of the loan, directly affects your monthly installments. While longer terms might offer lower monthly payments, they can lead to higher overall interest payments. 
    Shorter terms mean higher monthly payments but lower total interest costs. Choose a term that aligns with your financial capabilities and goals.
  • Fees and Additional Costs: In addition to interest rates, loans may come with various fees such as origination fees, processing fees, and prepayment penalties. Be sure to factor in these costs when evaluating the true cost of the loan.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): The debt-to-income ratio is a critical metric lenders use to assess your loan repayment ability. 
    It compares your monthly debt payments to your monthly income. Lenders prefer a lower DTI, as it indicates you have enough income to manage your debts. Aim to keep your DTI ratio below 40% for a more favorable loan application.
  • Local Credit Scoring System: Portugal employs its own credit scoring system, which takes into account your financial behavior and history. 
    This system assesses your creditworthiness and is known as the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de Crédito (CRC)
    Maintaining a positive credit history is crucial by making timely payments on existing debts to ensure favorable loan terms.
  • Collateral and Guarantees: Depending on the type of loan, lenders may require collateral or guarantees to secure the loan. 
    Collateral could be an asset like a property or vehicle, while a guarantee involves a third party assuming responsibility for the loan if you’re unable to repay. Understand the implications of providing collateral or guarantees before committing to a loan.
  • Repayment Flexibility: Evaluate whether the loan offers flexibility in repayment, such as the option to make extra payments without penalties. Flexibility can be advantageous if you experience a financial windfall or wish to pay off the loan sooner.
  • Reviews and Reputation: Research lenders thoroughly and consider reading reviews from other borrowers. A reputable lender with a positive customer experience is more likely to provide transparent terms and excellent customer service.
  • Your Financial Situation: Lastly, assess your own financial situation realistically. Consider factors such as your stability of income, employment status, and future financial goals. 
    Ensure that the loan aligns with your overall financial plan and enhances your financial well-being.

How to Qualify for a Loan in Portugal?

Securing a loan in Portugal necessitates meeting specific eligibility criteria:

  • Legal Residency: To be eligible for a loan in Portugal, you typically need legal residency there. Lenders prioritize borrowers with a stable legal presence, ensuring they can be held accountable for the loan obligations.
  • Steady Income and Employment History: Demonstrating a steady and reliable source of income is crucial. Lenders want assurance that you have the means to make consistent monthly payments. 
    A consistent work record can positively impact your loan application by showing your ability to maintain a regular income.
  • Credit History: Your credit history plays a significant role in loan approval. In Portugal, the local credit scoring system, known as the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC), assesses your creditworthiness. 
    A positive credit history with a track record of timely repayments enhances your chances of loan approval and favorable terms.
  • Age Requirements: Most lenders have age criteria for loan applicants. You’ll need to be within 18 to 75 years to qualify for a loan. 
  • Collateral or Guarantees: Some loans may require collateral or guarantees, especially if you’re applying for larger amounts or riskier loans. 
    Collateral could be an asset like property or a vehicle, while a guarantee involves a third party co-signing the loan. These assets provide a safety net for lenders in case of default.
  • Financial Stability Other Than Income: Lenders assess your overall financial stability, including your savings, assets, and existing financial commitments. A stable financial profile reassures lenders of your capacity to manage the loan responsibly.
  • Loan Purpose: Some loans may have specific eligibility criteria based on their intended purpose. For instance, a mortgage might require additional documentation related to your purchasing property.

How Can Fundgecko Help You Get the Best Loan in Portugal?

Fundgecko can play a pivotal role in helping individuals secure the best loan tailored to their specific needs.

We offer a platform to compare various loan options from different lenders and select the most appropriate one for your needs.

Fundgecko generates personalized loan recommendations that align with your unique situation, ensuring you’re presented with the most relevant options.

Click here to get started with our Loanfinder!🔥

What Documents Should I Have Ready to Present?

To expedite your loan application, prepare the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity: This includes a valid passport or citizen card (CartĂŁo de CidadĂŁo).
  • Proof of Residency: Provide a document that confirms your legal residency in Portugal, such as a utility bill, rental agreement, or residence certificate.
  • Proof of Income: Lenders want assurance of your ability to repay the loan. Include recent pay stubs, tax returns, employment contracts, or other documentation validating your income sources.
  • Credit History Report: A copy of your credit history report from the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) can showcase your credit behavior and history.
  • Property Information (For Mortgages): If you’re applying for a mortgage, documentation related to the property is crucial. This includes property details, ownership records, and any relevant legal documents.
  • Loan Application Form: Complete the lender’s loan application form accurately and comprehensively. This form gathers essential personal and financial information required for assessment.
  • Financial Statements: If you’re self-employed or a business owner, provide recent financial statements to demonstrate your business’s financial health.
  • Bank Statements: Recent bank statements reflect your financial transactions and give insight into your financial habits and stability.
  • Proof of Down Payment (For Some Loans): If the loan requires a down payment, provide documentation verifying the source of those funds.
  • Guarantor or Co-Signer Information (If Applicable): If someone is co-signing the loan or providing a guarantee, their relevant documentation will be needed.
  • Existing Debt Information: If you have existing debts, include information about them, such as loan statements, credit card statements, or any other relevant documentation.
  • Legal and Personal Documents: Depending on the loan type, lenders may require additional documents, such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or legal agreements.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting a Loan in Portugal?

Enhance your loan approval odds with these tips:

  • Foster a Robust Credit History: Building and maintaining a favorable credit history within the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) framework is pivotal for loan approval. 
    Ensuring timely payments for bills, loans, and credit card balances establishes a positive track record. Detect and rectify any inaccuracies in your CRC-verified credit reports promptly to ensure an accurate representation of your credit history.
  • Optimize Debt Management: Lenders scrutinize your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) through the lens of the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) data.
    Reducing existing debts and upholding a balanced relationship between your income and financial commitments showcases prudent financial management.
  • Cautiously Apply for New Credit: Applying for multiple lines of credit within a confined timeframe can raise alarms under the lens of the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC)
    Limit new credit applications to maintain a positive outlook on your credit behavior.
  • Streamline Existing Debts: Strategically consolidating various debts under the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) regulations can simplify your financial landscape, impacting your DTI favorably.
  • Steadfast Employment and Income: Steady employment history, validated by the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC), assures lenders of your repayment capability. 
    Regular income sources strengthen your position within the CRC context.
  • Prudent Financial Planning: The Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) system rewards meticulous financial planning. Devise a practical budget that aligns with your income while reflecting responsible credit behavior.
  • Collaborate with Advisors: Seek advice from financial professionals who comprehend the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) framework. Tailored insights will help you navigate the system effectively.
  • Accurate Documentation: Ensuring you’re equipped with the requisite documents while following the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) guidelines ensures a seamless application process.
  • Select the Right Lender: Aligning lender preferences with the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) standards is key. Research lenders whose criteria match your CRC-influenced profile.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get the Best Loan in Portugal

Whether you’re a resident or an expatriate, following these steps can guide you towards securing a loan that suits your requirements and supports your financial goals.

  1. Define Your Financial Needs and Goals: Begin by identifying why you need the loan.
    Whether it’s for education, a home purchase, or debt consolidation, clearly understanding your financial needs and goals will help you choose the right loan type.
  2. Research Loan Types: Explore the array of loan options available in Portugal, including CrĂ©dito Pessoal (personal loans), CrĂ©dito AutomĂłvel (auto loans), CrĂ©dito Habitação (mortgages), and others. 
    Understand each loan type’s specific features and terms to determine which aligns with your purpose.
  3. Check Eligibility: Review the eligibility criteria for your chosen loan type. This includes age requirements, legal residency, steady income, and credit history. Make sure you fulfill these criteria before moving forward.
  4. Compare Lenders: Explore different lenders to analyze interest rates, terms, and fees. Seek out trustworthy institutions known for their history of transparent dealings.
    Consider online resources, reviews, and recommendations to narrow down your options.
  5. Gather Required Documents: Prepare the necessary documents, including proof of identity, proof of residency, proof of income, credit history report, and any other documents specific to the loan type you’re applying for.
  6. Submit Loan Application: Complete the lender’s application form accurately and comprehensively. Provide all required documents along with the application. Some lenders offer online applications, while others may require in-person visits.
  7. Wait for Approval: After submitting your application, be patient as the lender reviews your information. Depending on the lender’s procedures, this process may take a few days to a few weeks.
  8. Review Loan Terms: Upon receiving loan offers, diligently examine the terms and conditions. Pay close attention to interest rates, repayment periods, fees, and any other relevant details.
  9. Accept the Loan Offer: If you’re satisfied with a loan offer, inform the lender of your acceptance. This usually involves signing an agreement and any required documentation.
  10. Understand Repayment Obligations: Fully comprehend your repayment obligations, including monthly installment amounts, due dates, and any penalties for missed payments.
  11. Make Timely Payments: Once the loan is disbursed, make timely payments as per the agreed schedule. 
    Timely payments not only ensure good financial standing but also positively impact your credit history within the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de Crédito (CRC) framework.
  12. Monitor Your Loan: Regularly monitor your loan account and stay updated on your remaining balance, payments made, and any changes in terms.

Loan Cost Calculation Example for a Loan in Portugal

Let’s consider an example to understand how the monthly Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) is calculated for a loan in Portugal. Imagine you’re applying for a Crédito Pessoal (personal loan) of €10,000 with an interest rate of 6% and a repayment period of 3 years.

The formula to calculate EMI is:

  • EMI = [P * r * (1 + r)^n] / [(1 + r)^n – 1]
  • Where:
    • P = Principal loan amount (€10,000)
    • r = Monthly interest rate (annual interest rate divided by 12 months and 100)
    • n = Number of months in the loan tenure (3 years * 12 months)
  • Given the interest rate is 6%, the monthly interest rate would be 0.06 / 12 = 0.005.

Plugging in the values:

  • EMI = [10,000 * 0.005 * (1 + 0.005)^(3*12)] / [(1 + 0.005)^(3*12) – 1]

Calculating this will give you the monthly EMI.

Using a financial calculator or spreadsheet, the calculated EMI for this loan comes out to be approximately €304.63.

Where to Get Loans in Portugal?

Here are some prominent places where you can seek loans in Portugal:

Banks and Credit Unions

Traditional banks and credit unions are primary sources for obtaining loans in Portugal. They offer a wide range of loan types, including personal loans, auto loans, mortgages, and more. These institutions often provide personalized guidance and access to in-person assistance.

Online Lenders

The digital era has brought online lending platforms offering convenience and flexibility. Online lenders in Portugal provide various loan options, and the application process can be completed entirely online. 

This option is especially beneficial for those who prefer a streamlined and efficient borrowing experience.

Mortgage Brokers

If you’re specifically looking for a mortgage (Crédito Habitação) to purchase a home, mortgage brokers can be valuable intermediaries. They connect borrowers with various lenders, helping you find competitive rates and terms tailored to your requirements.

Financial Institutions

Other financial institutions, such as savings banks and cooperative credit institutions, also offer loans in Portugal. These institutions often have a community focus and may provide unique loan options.

Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms have gained popularity, connecting borrowers directly with individual investors. P2P lending can offer competitive rates and a decentralized approach to borrowing.

Credit Companies

Credit companies specialize in providing different types of loans, from personal loans to specialized loans for specific needs like home improvement or travel.

Consumer Finance Companies

These companies offer consumer loans that cater to specific purchases or needs, such as buying electronics or funding a vacation.


Some retailers offer in-store financing options for purchases made at their outlets. This is common for big-ticket items like appliances, furniture, or electronics.

Homebuilders and Developers

If you’re looking to buy property, some homebuilders and developers may provide financing options for their properties.

Online Loan Comparison Websites

There are websites dedicated to comparing loan offers from various lenders. They provide a convenient way to explore multiple loan options and choose the one that suits you best.


Getting the perfect loan in Portugal requires careful research, knowing what you need, and picking the right lender. This guide equips you with the know-how to make smart choices.

Whether you’re chasing education, a home, or dealing with the unexpected, maneuvering Portugal’s loan scene becomes easier. Remember that the choices you make now can shape a more financially secure tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of loans are commonly available in Portugal?

In Portugal, you’ll find diverse loan options like “CrĂ©dito Pessoal” for personal needs, “CrĂ©dito Habitação” for home purchases, and “CrĂ©dito AutomĂłvel” for cars. 

Each reflects Portuguese financial flavor and meets specific needs while aligning with the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de Crédito (CRC) system.

2. How can I check my credit history in Portugal?

Access the Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de Crédito (CRC) report to check your credit history. This comprehensive report outlines your financial behavior and creditworthiness. Ensure accuracy and address any discrepancies directly through CRC channels.

3. What’s the role of CRC in loan approval?

The Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de CrĂ©dito (CRC) is pivotal. Lenders rely on it to assess your credit history and repayment capacity. 

A positive CRC-backed credit history enhances your chances of loan approval and favorable terms, echoing responsible financial behavior.

4. Can expatriates in Portugal apply for loans?

Yes, expatriates can apply for loans in Portugal. However, eligibility factors like legal residency and steady income apply. Banks and online lenders offer a welcoming avenue, ensuring that both locals and expats can access credit options.

5. How does Portugal’s loan landscape differ from other countries?

Portugal’s loan scene features unique offerings like “CrĂ©dito Consolidado” for debt consolidation and “CrĂ©dito Educação” for education. 

The Banco de Portugal’s Central de Responsabilidades de Crédito (CRC) framework sets it apart, emphasizing credit history and responsibility for a solid financial journey.

Glossary for Portugal loan terminology

Portuguese TermEnglish translation
Agência de créditoCredit agency
Cheque especial em conta correnteCurrent account overdraft
Contrato assinadoSigned contract
Custos de aplicação, custos de aquisiçãoApplication fee: the fee charged by a lender to cover costs associated with processing the loan
Dados bancáriosBank account, bank details
Dados pessoaisPersonal data
Dados profissionaisProfessional Data
Depósito de segurançaSecurity Deposit
Duração do empregoDuration of employment
Empréstimo desejadoLoan desired
Empréstimo Lombard, garantias, cauçãoLombard loan, guarantees, collateral(asset that backs your loan)
Empréstimo pessoal, empréstimo sem garantiaPersonal Loan, unsecured loan
Empréstimo seguroSecured loan
FiadorA guarantor is someone who promises to make sure you repay the loan completely. Lenders ask for guarantors when your credit history isn’t good enough. If this happens, the guarantor is legally responsible for paying back the loan
Historial de crédito, situação financeiraCredit history, financial standing
Juros variáveisVariable interest rate
Licença por doença, invalidezSick leave, disability
Linha de créditoLine of credit, official document that shows the rules for a personal loan
Montante do empréstimoLoan amount
Morte, acidente, invalidez, desemprego (perĂ­odo de espera de 3 meses (exceto morte acidental)).Death, accident, incapacity for work, unemployment (waiting period of 3 months (except death due to accident))
NĂŁo pagamento, atraso no pagamento, juros de moraNon-payment, late payment, interest on arrears
NĂŁo pagamentos, pagamentos em atrasoNon-payment, late payment
Número de crianças com direito a abono de famíliaNumber of children entitled to child benefits
Obligation to provide evidenceObligation to provide evidence
Obrigações de terceiros a amortizarThird-party obligations to be redeemed
Opção de proteção do pagamentoOption on Payment protection
Pagamento automático de facturasAutomatic bill payment
Pagamento em prestaçõesPayment in installments
Pedido de empréstimoLoan request
Pequeno empréstimoSmall loan
Prazo do empréstimoTenure of the loan
Prazo/período do empréstimoLife/period of a loan
Primeira prestação a pagar emFirst installment payable on
Reescalonamento da dĂ­vidaRescheduling of debt
Relação profissionalProfessional relationship
Resultado lĂ­quidoNet income
Segurança socialSocial security system
Seguro de proteção de pagamentoPayment protection insurance
SolvênciaSolvency, a credit score is an individual’s valuation and ability to repay a loan
Taxa de débito fixaFixed debit rate
Taxa de juroInterest rate
Taxa de juro efectiva anualEffective annual interest rate
Taxas de empréstimoLoan rates
Termos e condições geraisGeneral terms and conditions
Tipo de residĂŞnciaResidence type

About this page, our methodology

What this page is for: Our goal is to help you get the best financing for your needs. Therefore, here we explain you what credits with payday guarantee are, how you can compare them to know which one suits you and which offers are the most attractive right now.

Source: The information regarding the main characteristics of payday loans and their current regulation comes from Law 16/2011 on consumer credit contracts among other reference portals.

Methodology: The data relating to the conditions of these products (amount, term, interest, etc.) have been obtained through online research and consultation of the official statistics of the aforementioned reference sources.

About Fundgecko: We are an online comparison site specialized in personal finance and home economics products. Here you can, in addition to comparing the conditions of all offers, find quality information that will help you identify the payday loans that best suit your needs.

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