A guide to Internet loans where loan applicants can submit their documentation and get their funds fully online - without the need to head into a branch.
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The financial world is becoming simplified in the online space, and this is especially true when it comes to applying for a loan. You can now apply for loans fully online, without the need for a fax machine, visiting a branch or posting any documents. While most lenders will also have a phone number, they are usually also contactable via email or live chat, if you prefer to communicate with them in this way.
Are you struggling financially?
If you're struggling financially and would like to speak to someone for free financial advice, information and assistance you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 (open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support. Find out more here: https://www.finder.com.au/coronavirus-financial-help
⚠️ Warning about Borrowing
Do you really need a loan today?*
It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.
Check your options before you borrow:
- For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
- Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
- If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94
The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.
* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
What is an Internet loan?
Technically speaking, it's any loan that can be applied for online. This includes banks that let you apply for one of their loans online, lenders offering online versions of their loans, online-only lenders and so on. However, with the rise of payday lenders and small loans, Internet loans have come to mean payday loans.
Why would you take out an Internet loan rather than apply in-branch?
- No need to download and submit three months of bank statements, which can be time-consuming to acquire. This is done automatically when you apply for an Internet loan.
- The application process is quick, and you should get a response within minutes.
- If your application is approved, the funds are transferred directly into your bank account.
- You can easily compare lenders online, making it easier to find the right loan for you.
- You need to print and bring all copies of the necessary documentation to the branch.
- The application isn't automated, which may be more time-consuming.
- There are not as many lenders to choose from. Distance can also make it harder to compare lenders.
- If you work long hours or don't own a car, getting to a branch can be time-consuming and difficult.
How can you compare Internet payday loans?
If you're interested in applying for a payday loan, your first step will be to compare your loan options. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- How much the loan costs. Lenders of small cash loans have restrictions on how much they can charge you in fees. They can charge a 20% establishment fee and a 4% monthly fee for loans of less than $2,000 with terms between 16 days and one year. However, if you compare your options, you may find some lenders offering more competitive terms.
- Loan eligibility. This is the most important factor to consider when comparing loans. Lenders will outline basic criteria regarding your age, income, employment, restrictions in terms of Centrelink payments and other factors to help you determine whether you are eligible for a loan. Make sure you review this criteria before submitting your application.
- What features the lender offers. The payday market is getting more competitive, which means lenders are sweetening their deals. Some of these include easier application processes, free debit cards to upload your own funds and receive repeat loans, and member-only areas to expedite the repeat borrowing process. Find out what's on offer from lenders and if you're interested in the additional features.
- How quickly you can receive your funds. As cash loans are usually used in emergencies, the time it takes to be approved and receive your loan comes into play when comparing lenders.
"I'm worried about submitting my payday application online. Is it safe?"
If you haven't applied for a loan online or you've never dealt with an online lender before, you may be wondering what kind of precautions are necessary to protect your information. As lenders use different systems to process applications, it's best to check how your details will be protected before you submit them online. Here are some of the ways lenders may protect you online:
- Most lenders use bank-level (SSL) encryption technology to protect your personal, financial and employment-related information. This means your data is encrypted from when you click send to when it is received by the lender.
- If you send your Internet banking logins, payday lenders will only receive a read-only version of your statements through a third-party company. You can read more about how this works here.
- If you are worried about submitting your Internet banking online, some lenders allow you to send your statement manually.
How you can apply for an Internet loan
You can start by comparing your options using the table above. If you want to read a review of any of the lenders in the table, just click on the name of the loan or "more". The review pages will show you a more detailed explanation of fees, loan terms and eligibility criteria. Once you find a loan you want to apply for and that you are eligible for, click "Go to Site" to submit your application.
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