Loans Questions answered

The most frequent questions we get asked about loans

Information verified correct on December 8th, 2016

If you don’t ask you’ll never know – these are the most popular questions we hear about loans, covering everything from consolidation to cars.

We receive a lot of questions at finder.com.au. Sometimes people need some help starting their search; sometimes they need assistance finding out details of a specific loan or lender, and sometimes they need help better understanding a product. Your questions can be very helpful to other people who are looking for their first or next loan, and so we’ve brought the best questions together on this page.

From personal, payday and car loans, find out what you, our readers, want to know about the products you compare. Here are some of the best loans questions we’ve received over the past few months on finder.com.au.

Question: What's the best approach to debt consolidation?

How do you consolidate loans to roll into one so you only have one loan payment? I have a personal loan and also a credit card I want to roll into one. I’m currently paying too much interest per month.

This is a common question we get on finder.com.au. It also has a common answer.

The first step is to check out our debt consolidation guide – it shows you the different options you have to "roll" your separate debts into one and lower your interest.

This reader had a personal loan and credit card they want to repay. They have two options for this – a debt consolidation personal loan or a credit card. The debt consolidation personal loan options you have depend whether or not you have bad credit and also how much debt you have. In terms of using a balance transfer credit card, there are a few providers on the market who let you balance transfer a personal loan debt onto your credit card.

Question: Can I get a loan while receiving welfare payments?

I’m just looking around to see where I can get a decent loan as I am on the single parent payment receiving $1,200 a fortnight and in 2 months time it will go up by $200 or $300 as I am having another baby very soon.

Firstly, have a look our Centrelink loans page. This page provides a list of lenders that will consider a loan for people on parenting payments. Finding out about alternative loan options is also useful. These include the No Interest Loans Scheme and the StepUP Program to help give eligible borrowers access to affordable finance.

What lenders can you apply with if you receive Centrelink?

Question: What happens to my application fee if I don't get the loan?

When I pay the application fee and I am unsuccessful in the getting the loan, does that fee get refunded to me?

This a common concern for anyone applying for financial products that have an application fee. Before you apply you should confirm this in the PDS, but

As a general rule, the fee will be charged only when you are approved for the loa it is often debited from your loan account. To be sure, check the product disclosure statement (PDS) for the loan.

Question: How can I get a loan quickly?

I need a small loan till next Tuesday. I am unemployed and I have bad credit. Am I able to get a small loan till then from anywhere? Please help!

Being of a limited income means your budget may be stretched tight more often than not, and sometimes you may find yourself in need of urgent temporary loans. We have written a guide that takes you through the considerations for getting a loan when you’re unemployed.

If you’re unemployed you can still get a loan as long as the lender sees you have the ability to repay it. This usually means you will need to be receiving Centrelink payments.  The main issue you need to consider have is whether you’ll be able to repay the loan. Don’t get yourself into a cycle of debt and repeat borrowing.

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Rates last updated December 8th, 2016
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Question: What figure should I put on my car loan application?

I’m planning to apply for a car loan soon, however I’m not sure exactly how much the car will end up costing because I plan to negotiate on the price. If an application asks for the price of the car, should I enter the advertised price?

This really depends on the loan you’re applying for. Many credit providers offer you pre-approval for a certain loan amount so you can negotiate for a car with a number in mind. If you can’t see anything for pre-approval, enter the advertised price of the car and advise your lender if you end up being able to negotiate the price down.

Question: Can temporary residents of Australia get loans?

I’m interested in getting a personal loan and wanted to know what the requirements were for temporary residents. My visa will expire at the end of the year but I’m applying for permanent residency early next year.

We get a lot of temporary residents asking questions about their eligibility for personal loans on finder.com.au. The first place we often direct them to is this page, which provides a guide to applying for a loan as a temporary resident and also offers some loan options to compare.

Generally, lenders will approve a loan for temporary residents for less than the length of their visa. For this reader, they would need a loan that was for less than a year – most standard personal loans are for a year or more so they may not be eligible.

Question: Can I fund renovations with welfare payments?

I own my house. I am on a Centrelink income only and would like to borrow $10,000 to fix the roof. Is this possible?

There are a few options you can consider. Since  you own your own home, the first option is a home equity loan which borrows off the existing equity. There are also a few lenders which offer loans  to people receiving Centrelink benefits.

There are also community financial assistance schemes available to help in these circumstances. More details can be found on this page, but they are typically used to fund necessary purchases and repairs.

Elizabeth Barry

Elizabeth is a senior writer for finder.com.au specialising in personal finance. She enjoys reading PDSs so you don’t have to.

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