While some payday lenders operate accept applications in a branch, many offer online applications. These applications usually take around 10 to 20 minutes to complete and if approved, borrowers can receive the funds within an hour or the next business day. Before applying for a personal loan, it's important to understand the fees and risks involved as well as the eligibility criteria that must be met to apply.
If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.
⚠️ 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.
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Compare online payday loans
Updated December 12th, 2019
What is a payday loan?
A payday loan is a small, short term loan that's usually for less than $2,000 but can be for as much as $5,000. Once the lender deposits the funds, the borrower must pay it off in full by the end of the loan term. The customer usually must make regular repayments according to the frequency of their pay (for example, fortnightly) and depending on the loan, the term may be as short as 16 to 60 days or up to one year.
What to compare before applying for a payday loan online
- Loan amount. The loan amounts generally vary between $150 and $2,000, although some lenders offer amounts up to $5,000. The more you borrow, the larger the repayment amounts and fees will be so it's important not to borrow more than you need and can afford to repay.
- Loan term. It's important to choose a loan term that offers enough time to repay it in full. However, payday loans charge monthly fees and the longer the loan term, the more of these the borrower will pay.
- Repayments. Payday loans usually require borrowers to make regular repayments that line up with their pay frequency. For example, if a borrower is paid fortnightly, their payday loan repayments will be due every two weeks. The repayments will be outlined in the contract before the loan is processed, so it's important to pay attention to these and ensure that you can afford them before signing anything.
- Fees. Lenders charge a one-off establishment fee as well as monthly fees. For a loan under $2,000, the establishment fee is capped at 20% and the monthly fees are capped at 4%. If a customer makes late repayments, they'll be charged late payment or default fees. If the borrower fails to pay the loan in full and is taken to court, they'll also be charged enforcement expenses.
- Reputable lender. Before applying with an online lender, make sure that it's a responsible and reputable credit lender. Check that the lender has a credit licence, read reviews online and try to get in touch with the customer service and ask a few questions to see if they're helpful, transparent and easy to contact.
- Turnaround. Some lenders deposit the loans in as little as 30 minutes or one hour while others will take one business day to send the loan. Most lenders also have cut-offs to send the money on the same day (for example, between 2pm and 4pm) and only operate during business hours which should be noted if you're applying on a Friday or weekend.
How to apply for a payday loan online
Once you've compared your options, confirmed that you can afford the repayments and fees, you can consider applying for a loan online. Before you start the application, check if you meet the eligibility criteria and have the necessary documents to complete the application. The specific requirements will vary between loans but usually include:
- Income. Applicants must receive an income. Lenders may accept incomes such as a pension or Centrelink benefits, as long as the Centrelink payments don't make up more than 50% of their total earnings.
- Credit history. Some online lenders will accept applicants with bad credit, but applicants must still meet the other criteria and demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.
- Residential. Most lenders will only accept online applications from permanent Australian residents.
- Age. You must be over 18 years old to apply.
Documents and information to provide
- Personal information. This includes your full name, residential address and contact information. You may also be required to provide proof of ID. If you're a new customer, this is usually 100 points of ID.
- Income. Confirm your employment status, your employer's contact information and recent payslips.
- Finances. You may be asked to provide copies or read-only access to your bank statements as well as information regarding expenses and any liabilities (such as credit cards or other loan repayments).
If you have all of the information, the application should only take around 20 minutes to complete and the lender will usually give a response within a few minutes.
As payday loans are an expensive form of credit, you shouldn't apply for one unless you've compared your options and are sure that you can afford to make the regular repayments for the length of the loan term.