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Short term loans – Find and compare

For short term loans under $2,000, lenders can't charge more than a 20% establishment fee and a 4% monthly fee. These loans are very expensive.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo 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.

Short term loans comparison

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Sunshine Short Term Loans
12-20 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $3,000 that you repay over 12-20 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Fundo Small Loan
13 to 26 weeks
Same day - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
Borrow up to $2,000 and pay it off over 20 weeks. Same day approval for eligible borrowers.
Credit24 Short Term Loan
4 to 12 months
Same day - conditions apply
20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
Credit24 offers this loan up to $2,000 and gives you 12 months to repay. Centrelink borrowers are considered as long as Centrelink payments are not more than 50% of income.
Nimble Small Loan
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
Fair Go Finance Medium Personal Loan
6 to 15 months
Within 24 hours
Establishment fee of $400
A larger loan up to $5,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.

What is a short term loan?

Short term loans in Australia normally mean the same thing as payday loans. They refer to loans of under $2,000 designed to be repaid in under a year.

The Australian government regulates how much you can be charged for one of these loans, but even then they are very expensive. Before taking one out, be sure to look at the alternatives to payday loans.

How much does a short term loan cost in Australia?

Short term loans are an expensive form of credit and cost more than traditional personal loans. Short term loans are regulated by the Australian government, so while still expensive they cannot charge you more than:

Establishment fees.
20% of the borrowed amount
Monthly fees. 4% of the loan amount
Late or default fees. Only if you miss your payments by their due date. Each fee varies but in total cannot be more than double what you borrowed.

If you take out a $1,500 short term loan for 12 months, your costs will be:

  • Total loan amount of $1,500
  • Total establishment fees of $300
  • Total monthly fees of $720
  • The total cost of this example loan will be $2,520. Your fees alone come up to $1,020.

    What should I look at when I compare short term loans?

    Comparing short term loans is important as they are one of the most expensive forms of debt on the market. You should look at:

    • Rates and fees. You should make note of all fees and charges. This includes additional fees that may be applicable.
    • Loan term. Loan terms are typically short, ranging from 16 days to 12 months. Longer loan terms mean lower monthly repayments. But you also end up paying monthly fees for longer. All these costs add up and make the loan more expensive. You should also only apply for a loan if you can repay within the agreed loan term.
    • Loan amount. Loan amounts for short term loans are usually up to $2,000. How much you're approved for will depend on your income, credit history, the loan amount you've asked for and your ability to repay the loan.
    • Repayments. Your repayments will be structured around the income you receive. This can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Before applying, you should calculate the cost of your repayments. It can help you determine whether it fits into your budget. Some lenders will allow you to repay the loan early. This can help you save on fees and charges.
    • Turnaround. If you need the funds fast, you should consider how long lenders take to deposit the money in your account. Some can issue funds within 30 minutes or a few hours, while others can take longer.

    Am I eligible for a short term loan?

    The eligibility criteria of short term lenders is more flexible compared to personal loan lenders. The criteria will differ between lenders, but you'll generally have to meet the following to qualify for a loan:

    • You must be over the age of 18
    • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia
    • You must be able to provide identification
    • You must be able to provide 90 days of banking history
    • You must earn regular income, usually at least $350 a week. If you receive income from Centrelink, it cannot be more than 50% of your total income. If you have bad credit, you need to prove your financial situation is stable and that you're able to repay the loan.

    What are the pros and cons of short term loans?

    Pros of short term loans

    • They will lend to those with bad creditFor people with low credit scores, these loans can sometimes be the only form of credit available.
    • Fast turnaround.These loans generally have an automated review process, so approval and funding tends to be quite fast - especially if you apply during business hours.

    Cons of short term loans

    • High fees and charges. Short term loans of $2,000 or less don't include interest. Rather, they have a hefty fee to cover the cost of borrowing. There are also fees for late payments. These fees are regulated by ASIC and it's illegal for lenders to charge more. You should ensure you can repay the loan with ease before applying.
    • Short terms. These loans come with short terms of only up to 12 months.
    • Inflexible loan terms. Most lenders will ask you to repay the loan on the next payday. They could deduct the funds directly from your account.
    • Disreputable lenders. Check the lender's website and make sure it's a reputable company. You should ensure it is registered with ASIC. The lender should also be easy to contact.
    • More debt. Given how expensive these loans are, they could potentially lead to more debt if you can't meet your repayments. Late or non-repayments could lead to more fees, which has the potential to spiral out of control. Failure to repay could also lead to legal issues for you.

    Reasons you might need a short term loan

    Ideally, you should only take a short term loan for:

    • Unexpected or forgotten bills or payments. If you have no other alternative to cover a forgotten bill, a short term loan may be an option. If you have an urgent utility bill to pay, you should contact your service provider first. It may be able to work out a plan to pay bills or fines in instalments.
    • Financial emergencies. This can include emergency medical expenses or emergency car repairs.
    • Unavoidable home repairs or purchases.
    • Unexpected expenses before payday. If you have no other alternative and you're short on funds due to an unexpected expense. It's important to remember that this is not a long-term strategy.
    • Income bridge. If you're waiting on guaranteed funds to come through on a large payment, a short term loan may be an option.

    Given how costly these loans are, you should avoid taking them to pay for:

    • Everyday necessities. If this is the case, you should consider a longer-term solution for your credit needs.
    • Repayments for existing debts. Taking a loan to pay for another loan may make your debt problem worse. You may end up paying more in fees and charges and get into further debt. Short term loans are not a long-term financial solution.
    • Holidays
    • Big-ticket items like cars
    • Other non-essential expenses and purchases that can wait

    How can I apply for a short term loan?

    • Compare lenders. Look at the fees, terms and eligibility criteria and find a loan that suits you.
    • Once you've settled on a lender from the table above, click "Go to site" to visit the lender's website.
    • Submit your application. This normally takes around 10 minutes, but can be faster if you have documents like your bank statements ready.

    FAQs about short term loans

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    8 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      RoslindeOctober 13, 2023

      I want a loan ,got no internet on my bank acccansupply bank statement and centerlink statment

        SarahOctober 13, 2023Finder

        Hi Rosalinde,

        This guide about PayDay Loans may be helpful.

        Also, if you need help to manage your budget or get out of debt, the National Debt Helpline provides a free and confidential service to help you get back on track.

      Default Gravatar
      PatriciaJanuary 8, 2020

      Where can I go to find a short term loan?

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiJanuary 8, 2020

        Hi Patricia,

        Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well. This page shows all lenders you can review for a short term loan.

        Above, you will find a table that lists the brand covering short term loans. As there’s a lot of lenders to choose from, what’s good about this table is you can compare up to 4 providers side by side by ticking the box below the brand name. ​Click COMPARE and it will show a pop-up window of their features and benefits side by side. When you already have a brand in mind, I suggest reading more information about them via Finder review pages by clicking the MORE INFO button. The page contains benefits and features that you would want to know, eligibility criteria and especially how to apply to their company. When you are ready, find a green GO TO SITE button to be brought to the official website of the provider.

        ​Know that this is where you get a quote or start your application. As a friendly reminder, carefully review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the bank should you need any clarifications about the policy.

        Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.


      Default Gravatar
      marleneMarch 29, 2019

      I am not working at the moment I do not have a bank account I get Cash Aid from the government once a month would I qualify

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiMarch 30, 2019

        Hi Marlene

        Thanks for reaching out.

        There are loan options available while you are unemployed and receiving Cash Aid. You may refer to our list of Centrelink loans to compare lenders that might consider you for a loan. You can click the name of the lender to read our product review. When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

        Be sure to review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the lender should you need any clarifications about the policy.


      Default Gravatar
      MarkJanuary 16, 2017

      I just need a quick $1000 which I can repay by mid March. What do you recommend?

        DeeJanuary 16, 2017Finder

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks for your question.

        You may want to check fast cash loans featured on our website for your guide and options. Please do check the eligibility criteria to apply before clicking the ‘go to site’ button.


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