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How to choose a personal loan

Read our guide to finding the right personal loan for you.

Updated

Fact checked

If you're looking at getting a personal loan, it's important to understand all the options that are available to you.

Applying for the wrong type of loan could end up costing you time and money, and getting a loan you can't afford could have a long-term impact on your ability to borrow in the future.

Compare personal loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Plenti Fixed Rate Personal Loan

From 6.49% (fixed)
6.84%
$2,001
3 to 5 years
From $149 to $599
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.49% p.a. and 12.79% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible loan with amounts from $2,001 and terms starting from 3 years. Interest and comparison rates calculated for a loan term of 5 years.
Plenti Variable Rate Personal Loan

From 6.49% (variable)
7.49%
$2,001
1 to 2 years
From $149 to $599
$0
You'll receive a variable rate from 6.49% p.a and 12.79% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible loan with amounts from $2,001 and terms starting from 12 months. Benefit from transparent costs and a rate estimate before you apply.
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan (2-3 years)

From 6.99% (fixed)
6.99%
$5,000
2 to 3 years
from 0% to 5% (capped at $995)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 17.99% 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.
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan (5 years)

From 7.99% (fixed)
7.99%
$5,000
5 years
from 0% to 5% (capped at $995)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.99% 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.
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan

From 6.99% (fixed)
7.79%
$2,000
3 to 5 years
$575 ($275 for loans of below $5,000)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 year terms.
Symple Loans Personal Loan

From 5.75% (variable)
6.47%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
$10
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed

From 9.99% (fixed)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% 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.
Wisr Personal Loan

From 7.95% (fixed)
8.78%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$595 (Establishment Fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.95% p.a. and 19.45% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 that charges no fees for extra or early repayments. Keep in mind security is required in some cases.
Latitude Personal Loan (Unsecured)

From 7.99% (fixed)
9.24%
$3,000
1 to 7 years
$250 (Loans under $5000 - $140)
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.99% p.a. and 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for what you need from $3,000 and use it for a range of purposes. Repay weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Heritage Bank Fixed Personal Loan
8.99% (fixed)
9.62%
$5,000
1 to 5 years
$200
$5
Choose a fixed rate loan and receive a comparison rate of 9.62% p.a.
Fixed rate loans are available up to $100,000 on terms from 1 to 5 years.
Alex Personal Loan

From 6.95% (fixed)
6.95%
$2,100
6 months to 5 years
$0 (waived $295)
$0
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 6.95% p.a. to 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow between $2,100 and $30,000 from 6 months to 5 years. Benefit from no ongoing fees. Note: The establishment fee of $295 is waived for all applications until 30 September 2020. Terms & conditions apply.
CUA Unsecured Variable Personal Loan
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.
OurMoneyMarket Personal Loan

From 7.99% (fixed)
8.46%
$2,001
1 to 7 years
1.5–6% of your total loan amount
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.99% p.a. to 25.25% p.a. based on your risk profile
A personalised loan from $2,001 to $75,000 that varies based on your credit history and financial situation.
ING Personal Loan
Finder Award
ING Personal Loan
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.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Variable Rate

From 9.99% (variable)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a variable rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% 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.
CUA Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
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.
Heritage Bank Standard Variable Personal Loan
11.99% (variable)
12.61%
$5,000
1 to 10 years
$200
$5
Choose a variable rate loan and receive a 12.61% p.a. comparison rate
Variable rate loans are available from $5,000 - $100,000 on terms of 1 to 10 years.
MoneyMe Personal Loans

From 8.99% (fixed)
10.68%
$3,001
2 to 5 years
5 - 8% of the principal borrowed, capped at $1,200
$0
You'll receive an interest rate between 8.99% p.a. and 29.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible personal loan from MoneyMe with access to cash when you need it.
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How do personal loans work?

A personal loan is a financial product that lets you borrow a specified amount from a lender that you then have to repay with interest over a set period of time. You typically have to pay back a personal loan over one to seven years, but you may be able to pay it back early, depending on the lender. You can use the loan for any worthwhile purpose, including personal expenses, purchases, travel or debt consolidation, and you can generally borrow from $1,000 to $100,000.

A quick guide to personal loan types

Loan typeTypical loan term (years)Typical loan amountInterest rateSuitable forCompare
Unsecured personal loan1-7$1,000-$50,000Fixed or variable rate, 8-16% p.a.
  • Debt consolidation
  • Used car purchase
  • Travel
  • Renovation
Secured personal loan1-7$1,000-$100,000Fixed or variable rate, 7-14% p.a.
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Debt consolidation
  • Renovation
Car loan1-7$2,000-$100,000Fixed or variable rate, 4-14% p.a.
  • New or used vehicle purchase
Low doc loan1-7$1,000-$50,000Fixed or variable rate, 10-30% p.a.
  • Debt consolidation
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Travel
  • Renovation
Peer-to-peer1-5$2,000-$35,000Fixed rate based on your credit score, 4-15% p.a.
  • Debt consolidation
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Travel
  • Renovation
Line of creditOngoing$5,000-$50,000Variable rate, 7-14% p.a.
  • Debt consolidation
  • Travel
  • Renovation
OverdraftOngoing$100-$50,000Variable rate, 11-15% p.a.
  • Unexpected expenses
  • Travel
  • Renovation

How to compare your options and choose a personal loan

  • Check the repayment flexibility. Most lenders offer you the choice of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments to line up with your pay schedule, but this is not always the case. You should also find out if you are able to make extra repayments without penalty or restrictions and whether you can pay back the loan before the end of the term.
  • Make sure you can use the funds for the purpose you need. Some loans, especially secured loans, come with restrictions on how you can use the loan amount. For example, if you get a car loan, you will only be able to spend the loan funds on a vehicle purchase and the vehicle needs to be eligible. Similarly, some lenders will not let you use a personal loan for business purposes. Make sure you can use your loan how you need to.
  • Find out how easy the loan will be to manage. You'll find that online account management is on offer from most lenders, but not all. You may also be required to pay the loan rather than using a direct debit, which is a standard for many lenders. You should also check how easy the lender is to contact and find out how you can contact them.
  • Determine if the repayments will be manageable on your budget. Use the personal loan repayment calculator to see what repayments you will need to make and then make sure that these repayments will be manageable on your budget.

Loan Repayment Calculator

*Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should only be used as an indication. They are neither a recommendation nor an eligibility test for any product and should not be construed as financial advice, investment advice or any other sort of advice.

Questions you need to ask to find the right loan

Before you settle on a personal loan, there are several questions that you should ask to make sure it's right for you.


Picture: Shutterstock

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Personal Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.

Logo for NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed

You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% 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.

Logo for SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% 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.

Logo for Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.95% p.a. and 17.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Make additional repayments or pay off the loan early, penalty-free.

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