Do you need a business loan or a personal loan?

There is a range of financing options available for businesses. Find out if your business is more suited to a business loan or personal loan.

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There are many reasons why a company may choose to take out a loan. A sudden spike in sales might have created a need for some additional cash flow, or maybe that influx has created the need to expand. While a tailored business loan would seem to be the obvious choice, many smaller companies still side with a personal loan, believing in its security and simplicity. Here we consider the pros and cons of both.

Which is easier to set up, a business loan or a personal loan?

  • Business loan. Most banks want to see detailed projections, business plans and assurances that your company will be in a position to make repayments for the whole loan period. However, many online business lenders require fewer details to approve a business loan. You’ll find these lenders may approve you after simply seeing your business’s accounting information or financials as well as your own personal information.
  • Personal loan. The fate of your application for a personal loan will be predominantly decided by your credit position and your own personal financial situation. You’ll also need proof of income, and as you are self-employed you will likely need the last two years of tax returns.

Loan options you can apply with

Updated November 14th, 2019
Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Apply Now
$5,000
$300,000
3 months to 2 years
3% origination fee
Small business loans are available from $5,000 - $300,000 on terms of up to 2 years.
Note: New loans settled by 31 December 2019 offer a 6 week repayment pause to use when they choose plus the chance to win $6,000. T&Cs apply, click "go to site" to view on Prospa site.
$5,000
$300,000
3 months to 1 year
3% origination fee
An unsecured business loan up to $300,000 for eligible businesses. Businesses operating for a minimum of 6 months and having turnover of at least $10,000 a month can apply.
$10,000
$250,000
6 months to 2 years
2.5% origination fee
Apply for up to $250,000 and receive your approved funds in one business day. Minimum annual turnover of $100,000 and 1 year of trading history required.
$5,000
$200,000
3 to 18 months
2.5% establishment fee
Apply for up to $200,000 from Lumi and benefit from short loan terms, no early repayment fees and once approved receive your funds in just one business day.
$5,000
$500,000
6 months to 2 years
2% drawdown fee
A business loan up to $100,000 for unsecured loans, or $500,000 for secured loans that you can use for any business purpose. Transparent costs and redraw facility available.
$10,000
$500,000
6 months to 2 years
$0 establishment fee
A flexible business loan up to $500,000 with convenient top up and redraw facilities. Business must have been operating for 9 months+ and have monthly sales of $10,000+. Note: The establishment fee will be waived if you apply and are approved before 30 November 2019.
$5,000
$500,000
6 months to 3 years
$0 application fee
A loan of up to $500,000 that can be approved and funded within 24 hours. Available to businesses with 6+ months operating history and $5,000+ monthly sales. Note: Get the chance to win $2,020 in a prize draw if you submit your application between 1 November 2019 and 30 January 2020.
$5,000
$1,000,000
3 months to 5 years
$0 application fee
A Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 70 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $1 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
$2,000
$300,000
1 month to 1 year
$0 application fee
An unsecured business loan from $2,000 that offers convenient pre-approval and no early repayment fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated November 14th, 2019
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
From 9.99% (variable)
9.99%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a variable rate between 9.99% p.a. and 17.99% p.a. (9.99% p.a. to 17.99% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
A credit limit up to $75,000 that you can continue to draw down over terms up to 5 years. Note: No establishment fee and no monthly account service fees apply if you apply and are approved before 31 March 2020.
From 6.89% (variable)
8.89%
$2,001
6 months to 5 years
$299 (Based on $10,000)
$0
You'll receive a variable rate between 6.89% p.a. and 16.4% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible loan with amounts from $2,001 and terms starting from 6 months. Interest and comparison rates calculated for a loan term of 3 years.
From 7.5% (fixed)
9.51%
$5,000
2 to 5 years
from 3% of loan amount
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.5% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
8.99% (fixed)
9.13%
$5,000
2 to 5 years
$100
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.99% p.a.
Benefit from no ongoing fees, no early repayment fees and flexible loan terms on amounts up to $30,000.
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.69%
$2,000
3 to 5 years
$500 ($200 for loans of below $5,000)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 28.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $70,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.
From 5.75% (variable)
6.89%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
from 1% to 5% of the loan amount
$10
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
9.89% (fixed)
10.14%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 9.89% p.a.
An unsecured loan from $5,000 with flexible repayments and no monthly fee.
From 8.05% (fixed)
9.06%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
1.5–6% of your total loan amount
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.05% p.a. based on your risk profile
A personalised loan from $2,000 to $50,000 that varies based on your credit history and financial situation.
From 8.95% (fixed)
10.56%
$5,000
18 months to 7 years
$495 (Based on $10,000)
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate between 8.95% p.a. and 16.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for loans from $5,000 and get a dedicated loan manager. No security required.
From 10.69% (fixed)
11.58%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 10.69% p.a. and 18.69% p.a. ( 11.58% p.a. to 19.53% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
12.99% (fixed)
14.14%
$4,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate of 12.99% p.a.
Benefit from the security of a fixed rate with the flexibility of additional repayments. Note: Existing customers approved via online banking between 29 October and 21 November 2019 qualify for a 1% discount.
From 13.99% (fixed)
15.19%
$3,000
1 to 7 years
$250 (Loans under $5000 - $140)
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate between 13.99% p.a. and 24.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for what you need from $3,000 and use it for a range of purposes. Flexible repayments options.
10.99% (fixed)
12.21%
$20,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate of 10.99% p.a.
A secured or unsecured loan available to homeowners with a large minimum borrowing amount of $20,000. Benefit from flexible repayments and fast approval.
From 9.54% (variable)
9.83%
$3,000
Up to 5 years
$200
$0
You'll receive a variable rate of 9.54% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $3,000 that you can use for a range of purposes. Benefit from member discounts and flexible repayments. Only available to QLD residents
From 12.99% (fixed)
14.06%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$195
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate between 12.99% p.a. and 18.9% p.a. based on your risk profile
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 to fund a range of purposes.
From 8.99% (fixed)
10.31%
$5,000
6 months to 4 years
$250 ($195 For Loans $5000 to $10000)
$0
You'll receive a personalised rate of between 8.99% p.a. and 29.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow up to $25,000 over a 4 year loan term.
11.89% (variable)
12.15%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a variable rate of 11.89% p.a.
Borrow from $5,000 with the option for flexible repayments and no monthly fees.
10.89% (variable)
11.15%
$30,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a discounted variable rate of 10.89% p.a.
Borrow over $30,000 and receive a discounted interest rate. No monthly fees and a redraw facility also available.
From 10.69% (variable)
11.58%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a variable rate between 10.69% p.a. and 18.69% p.a. ( 11.58% p.a. to 19.53% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes. Benefit from fee-free additional repayments and a redraw facility. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
From 12.99% (variable)
14.06%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$195
$12
You'll receive a variable rate between 12.99% p.a. and 18.9% p.a. based on your risk profile
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 plus the convenience to make extra repayments and redraw them if you need them.

Compare up to 4 providers

Which offers better value for my business?

  • Business loan. For business taxes, there are significant benefits to keeping your personal and business affairs separate. As well as claiming goods and services tax, retail and manufacturing companies, in particular, can benefit from reduced import duties on products purchased using your loan.
  • Personal loan. Ensuring that you are not being overcharged for business expenses that are paid for with a personal loan can be difficult and time-consuming.

What if I have business partners?

If you opt for a business loan, the loan will be held in a joint account with easy access for all partners. With the loan guaranteed by each partner, the risk placed on each individual is greatly reduced. If you decide to apply for a personal loan, lack of joint access to your company’s loan may affect the efficiency of your company, or create issues of responsibility if the business is unable to meet repayments.

However, there is the option of taking out a joint application personal loan. These loans usually have a maximum of two applicants, although some allow up to four.

Do business loans or personal loans offer better flexibility?

Business loans

  • Lenders are likely to enforce strict limits in the first 12 months of your loan, but if you can back up your initial projections you could well be granted an increase in your funding amount.
  • You will need to use the entire loan amount for business purposes.

Personal loans

  • If you want to take out more funds later on, you will have to prove to the bank that your personal loan was in fact used, successfully, to fund a growing business. The administrative processes attached to this can be slow.
  • Funds can be used for business purposes as well as for other personal needs.

Should I opt for a secured or unsecured loan?

  • Business loan. Deciding between a secured or unsecured business loan will often depend largely on the amount of money required. Most banks require security for startup loans, or only offer unsecured line of credit loans. However, there are now a number of online lenders offering unsecured loans. Keep in mind that these unsecured loans can come with higher rates, so if you do you have security to offer you may want to compare what secured options you have available.
  • Personal loan. There are a variety of assets you can secure a personal loan to. However, if the business fails it will have a huge impact on your home and professional life should you default on the loan.

Is there anything else to consider?

Before you apply for a loan, there are a number of other factors worth thinking about.

  • Sole trader or partnership? There are clear reasons why a business loan would most likely be better suited to a company run by partners. However, a sole trader may appreciate the control they have over a personal loan, which will likely involve a smaller sum of money.
  • The length of the loan. For a shorter period, the lower rates of a personal loan might hold more appeal. However, over an extended period, for example, 10 years, this advantage might be overshadowed by the ease of use offered by a business loan.
  • The age of the company. One of the most common issues with a business loan is getting access to it in the first place. Startup companies will need to decide whether the difficulty of accessing the type of finance they’ve chosen will be worth it in the long-term.

Picture: Shutterstock

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