Money lenders offer a wide variety of flexible financing options, which can provide funding for a variety of situations.
Simply put, money lenders provide financing for people for a range of reasons. They provide a host of financing options, which include personal loans, business loans, credit cards, bank overdrafts, equipment financing and more. The right lender, along with the most appropriate loan type, always depends on your particular personal or business situation.
Money lenders comparison
Warning about Borrowing
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.
How do money lenders work?
Money lenders work by offering money at a given interest rate. They disburse loans upfront or offer financing as needed (revolving credit) and charge an interest rate on the borrowed amount. This may be a fixed or variable interest rate depending on what you’ve applied for.
Money lenders also charge fees such as service fees, annual fees, transaction fees and other types of one-off and ongoing fees, which help them cover the cost of maintaining your account. They may also require security, such as home or business equity, to be provided as collateral for a loan, in order to approve applicants for certain types of financing.
What kinds of money lenders are there?
There are a host of Australian money lenders and they all generally fall into one of the following categories:
- Short-term lenders. Such lenders include payday lenders and others offering short-term personal or business loans. Your loan will usually be disbursed quickly and your repayment schedule should be short. Short-term lenders require loans to be repaid over terms of 16 days to one year.
- Bad credit lenders. These lenders specialise in lending to people or businesses with bad credit. Although there may be increased flexibility in terms of approving people with negative credit histories, the rates and fees are usually much higher in order to compensate for increased risk.
- Branch lenders. These include more traditional lenders such as banks and deposit institutions, as well as non-bank lenders with bricks-and-mortar branches, where people can actually walk in and request a loan (as opposed to online lenders, for example).
- Large-amount lenders. These types of lenders specialise in financing large loan amounts, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, for people and businesses. They include banks and deposit institutions, as well as credit unions, building societies and other non-bank lenders.
- Equipment/vehicle lenders. This could be the actual company selling you the equipment, such as a car dealership, or it could be a third-party lender specialising in equipment financing.
How can you choose a money lender?
Keep in mind the following factors when comparing financing options between money lenders:
- Reputation. Knowing your lender’s reputation is important as you want to make sure you choose a reliable source of funding. Therefore, details such as brand, business longevity and other elements of the lender’s reputation are important points-of-difference when choosing your lender.
- Loan amount and efficiency. Not only should you make sure your lender offers the loan amount you require, but you should also make sure they provide it within the timeframe you need. It would be a huge waste of time applying for a loan only to find out your funds won’t be available when you need them.
- Cost. Make sure you’re fully aware of your lender’s rate, as well as any one-off or ongoing fees. Also be aware of the difference between fixed and variable interest rates. You should use the loan’s comparison rate, which combines the lender’s interest rates with its fees, to better help you compare overall loan costs between lenders. Finally, see whether your lender requires any security, such as home or business equity, as loan collateral.
- Loan term. Your loan term is the timeframe in which your loan is scheduled to be paid back. Depending on whether you’re applying for a short-term or long-term loan, this may be anywhere between three months (even shorter for payday loans) and several years. Your repayment schedule will be based on your loan term so make sure you’re able to meet your monthly repayments.
- Service. Make sure you’re aware of any additional features your lender may offer such as online account management, customer support, ATM cards and additional sub-accounts for revolving credit.
Is there anything to consider before borrowing money?
Be aware of the following pitfalls before applying with any money lender:
- Getting into too much debt. Always avoid getting into too much debt by being aware of a lender’s associated costs and making sure you’re able to afford them. Also, make sure you’re able to meet monthly repayments and never request loan amounts larger than what you actually need.
- Shady money lenders and loan sharks. There are a great deal of shady lenders out there that offer what seem to be attractive rates or financing for bad credit applicants. Be very wary of any offer that seems too good to be true and be absolutely sure of your lender’s history and reputation before signing your name on the dotted line. Also, be wary of loan sharks who charge ridiculously high interest rates for desperate borrowers.
Frequently asked questions about money lenders
What’s the most important factor when choosing between money lenders?
There’s no single most important factor. Rather, you should consider overall factors such as your repayment ability, what your lender is offering and how it fits with your unique needs.
Will I be approved?
Your chances of approval depend on several factors determined by the lender you apply with. You usually need to be over the age of 18 and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (although there may be loans available for temporary residents). Your credit history, income and personal assets are also important factors in determining eligibility.
How much financing can I apply for?
This depends on your personal and financial situation, as well as how much your lender approves. You can always find out the minimum and maximum loan amount offered by looking at our comparison tables. Keep in mind that you should never apply for funding that exceeds your repayment ability or what you actually need.