Everything you need to know about your balloon payments

Find out how balloon payments work before comparing your car finance options.

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If you're looking at getting a car loan, you may come across some that offer a balloon or residual payment option. These loans can help reduce your repayments but require you to make a large lump sum payment at the end of the loan term.

While a balloon payment can help save you money, it's important to understand how they work and how they differ to residual payments before you take on a loan that offers them as a feature.


What is a balloon payment?

A balloon payment is a single, lump sum payment that is made at the end of a loan term to cover the remaining cost of the loan. It is commonly found as part of dealer finance, but is also offered on some car loans. The balloon payment amount is only payable at the end of the loan, meaning it can help reduce the size of your regular repayments.

What’s the difference between a balloon and residual payment?

Both a residual and balloon payment refer to the amount left over at the end of a loan term and which needs to be paid out at that time. The key difference lies in how these amount are determined.

A balloon payment is set in an agreement by the borrower and the lender in order to lower the ongoing monthly repayments and does not take depreciation into account.

A residual payment is forecast based on how much the asset will be worth once the loan term finishes, taking into account depreciation.

What are the benefits of a balloon payment?

Balloon payments offer a number of advantages, including:

  • Repayment reduction. This is the main advantage of balloon payments. The amount is subtracted from the principal loan amount and your repayments are lowered as a result. This can allow you to finance your car purchase while still keeping your repayments affordable.
  • Flexibility of the balloon payment amount. The amount of the payment is generally flexible, so you can agree on the amount with the lender. A standard payment is a few thousand dollars, but can be more or less depending on the lender.
  • Business benefits. The increased amount of interest payable may have benefits to those borrowing for business purposes. You will be paying less principal and more interest, and as the principal is non-deductible this can work out in your favour in terms of tax.

What to consider when comparing financing options with balloon payments

Before opting for a balloon payment at the end of your term, ask yourself the following:

  • How much additional interest will you be paying? While your repayments are lower, working out how much the lowered repayments are costing you in additional interest over the loan term is an important step. Are the long-term costs worth the short-term savings?
  • How will you pay off the balloon payment? Do you have a savings plan to be able to pay off your balloon payment at the end of the loan term? Will you be refinancing or putting it on a credit card? Do you have an end-goal in mind for how you will manage the payment?

Example

John wants to borrow $18,000 for a car, with a loan term of 5 years. While this would normally mean he makes monthly payments of $300, plus interest, he chooses to include a balloon payment of $5,000. This means he only makes repayments on the remaining $13,000 (as well as interest on the entire loan amount), which works out to be $216.67 each month, plus interest.


Want a car loan without a balloon payment? Compare now

Updated September 19th, 2019
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
5.69% (fixed)
5.97%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
5.49% (fixed)
5.84%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.49% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
6.99% (fixed)
8.1%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$295
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.99% p.a.
Apply for a loan from $5,000 to finance a new or used car. Flexible repayments and options to finance a classic car.
From 4.79% (fixed)
5.34%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.79% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.34% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees. Note: Product only available to residents of Victoria.
From 4.99% (fixed)
5.54%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.
8.49% (fixed)
9.67%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a.
Finance a new or used car and benefit from convenient features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
From 8.49% (fixed)
9.6%
$3,000
1 to 5 years
$195
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
From 4.69% (fixed)
5.64%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700 (for private seller vehicles this fee is $608)
$9
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $100,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
From 5.71% (fixed)
6.57%
$1,000
1 to 7 years
$100 (from $100 to $500)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.71% p.a. and 8.66% p.a. based on your personal credit history
A flexible loan to help you finance a car, motorbike or boat up to five years old.
From 7.99% (variable)
8.96%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$200
$10
You'll receive a variable rate from 7.99% p.a.
Apply for up to $75,000 and benefit from features such as fast approval, free online redraws and no penalties for early repayment.
6.45% (variable)
6.59%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$100
$0
You'll receive a variable rate of 6.45% p.a.
Finance 100% of the purchase price of a new or used car up to 3 years old with a loan starting from $10,000
6.69% (fixed)
7.04%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$250
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.69% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p. a.
Purchase a new car with this loan and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.7%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.

Compare up to 4 providers

Should you refinance a balloon payment?

Many dealerships make their money by refinancing balloon payments. If you're coming to the end of your loan term and unable to pay your balloon payment outright, refinancing is an option to consider.

You should consider this as a new credit product and give it the same consideration as you would give before taking on any other loan. Remember that you don’t need to refinance with the same lender, so you should compare your refinancing options before you apply.

Should you refinance or pay out your novated lease balloon payment?

Car loans that offer balloon payments can be a good option to consider as they help keep your ongoing repayments low. However, as they leave you with a large payment to deal with at the end of your term, it’s important you understand everything about this financing option before you apply.

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You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.49% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.

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Latitude New and Used Car Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.99% p.a.
Apply for a loan from $5,000 to finance a new or used car. Flexible repayments and options to finance a classic car.

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Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"

You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.

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RACV New Car Loans

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    GopinathMay 20, 2016

    Is a car dealer liable to disclose a Balloon payment on the loan agreement document, during signing a Commercial loan & mortgage agreement?

    Can the dealer charge Balloon payment at the end of the loan period if it has not been agreed upon or shown on the loan document?

    Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethMay 23, 2016Staff

      Hi Gopinath,

      All fees, interest and payments, including balloon payments, need to be properly disclosed to you before you sign on to a loan. If the balloon payment wasn’t in your loan contract then you should get in contact with your car dealer to discuss this. If the issue isn’t resolved (that is, they are still requiring you pay the balloon payment) then you may want to lodge a dispute with the Credit and Investments Ombudsmen. You’re able to lodge a complaint online by visiting its website.

      Hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

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