When I'm applying for a loan or a credit card, the application usually asks for my annual income—the amount of money I make each year.

The problem is that I don't make the same amount of money each year. I might earn 50,000 zorkmids one year and 30,000 zorkmids the next.

So should I write down

  1. the amount of money I made in the previous calendar year?
  2. the amount of money I reasonably expect to make this year?
  3. the amount that my current job pays, converted to an annual amount?
  4. something else?

In particular, during times that I'm between jobs, do I have to report my annual income as 0, or can I use a different amount?

I live in the United States.

  • I would put the average of the past two years, if the expectation for this year is similar. If you expect this year to be significantly higher, put your expectation for this year, along with a justification for the difference. P.S. If your expectation for this year is 0, you shouldn’t be applying for a loan. (I haven’t made this an answer, because it is an opinion with no references.) – prl Feb 24 '19 at 22:28
  • I always use the figures from my most recent tax filing. I've already checked those numbers, so I'm going to get some wear out of them! – Rupert Morrish Feb 24 '19 at 22:42

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