personal cash loans compare

Personal loans vs cash loans

Information verified correct on October 28th, 2016

Find out the difference between personal loans and short-term cash loans and learn which is best for you.

There's a wide range of loan options available to those who are in need of money. Each type of personal finance is suited to a different type of borrower and can be used for different purposes, and this includes personal loans and online cash loans. In this guide we will break down the key differences between the two, outline their costs and help you determine which will be the best loan for your needs and situation.

Short-term cash loansPersonal loans
  • Can be a small loan (below $2,000), medium loan ($2,001-$5,000) or a large loan (over $5,000)
  • Usually unsecured
  • Come with higher interest rates and fees when compared to personal loans
  • Loan amounts differ, but you can usually find lenders offering between $5,000 and $100,000
  • Can be secured, unsecured or as a line of credit
  • Interest rates differ depending on whether security is offered, but they usually range between 5% and 16% p.a.

Learn about more of the differences in fees and features in the guide below the table.

Compare cash loans and personal loans

Rates last updated October 28th, 2016
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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.

Rates last updated October 28th, 2016
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Repayment
HSBC Personal Loan
A competitive fixed interest rate loan with the option to make extra repayments. Min. income $30,000
From 11.99% (fixed) 12.54% $5,000 1 to 5 years $150 Go to site More
Latitude Personal Loans (Unsecured)
An unsecured loan designed for multiple purposes – renovating, buying a car or travelling. Funds can be in your count in as little as 24 hours.
From 13.99% (fixed) 15.2% $3,000 2 to 7 years $250 (Loans under $4000 - $140) Go to site More
CUA Fixed Rate Personal Loan
A competitive fixed-rate loan with flexible repayments that can help you consolidate debt or make a large purchase.
From 11.99% (fixed) 12.83% $1,000 1 to 7 years $120 Go to site More
IMB Unsecured Personal Loan
A low interest rate personal loan from IMB
From 11.69% (fixed) 13.09% $2,000 1 to 5 years $199 Go to site More
ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan
A flexible loan option that lets you pay off your debt, buy a car, fix up your house or cover travel costs.
From 13.95% (fixed) 14.81% $5,000 1 to 7 years $0 Go to site More
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
Interest rates range from 7.9% p.a. to 24.25% p.a. Comp rate from 9.58% p.a. to 27.99% p.a. depending on your credit score
From 7.9% (fixed) 9.58% $5,000 2 to 5 years 2.5% (of loan amount) Go to site More
Latitude Low Rate Personal Loan (Secured)
Homeowners can take advantage of a competitive low rate secured loan.
From 9.99% (fixed) 11.22% $20,000 2 to 7 years $250 Go to site More
RACQ Unsecured Loan
An unsecured personal loan that lets you borrow funds for what you need. Repay the loan on terms up to seven years.
From 13.95% (fixed) 14.52% $5,000 1 to 7 years $378 Go to site More
Pepper Money Unsecured Personal Loan
Apply for up to $50,000 and receive conditional approval within minutes.
From 11.99% (fixed) 11.99% $5,000 1 to 7 years $0 Go to site More
RateSetter Personal Loan
Ratesetter allow you to get a personalised rate based on your credit score.
From 9.42% (fixed) 9.42% $2,001 0.5 to 5 years $0 Go to site More
RACV Personal Loan
You could use this personal loan offer from RACV to help finance a renovation, holiday or project.
From 9.15% (fixed) 9.69% $5,000 1 to 7 years $370 Go to site More
Bank of Melbourne Unsecured Personal Loan
An unsecured personal loan that gives you a choice between a fixed or variable rate.
From 14.74% (variable) 15.61% $3,000 1 to 7 years $195 Go to site More
ANZ Variable Rate Personal Loan
A variable rate loan that lets you make and redraw additional repayments.
From 14.69% (variable) 15.55% $5,000 1 to 7 years $0 Go to site More
BankSA Unsecured Personal Loan
BankSA allows you to borrow up to $40,000 with your choice of a fixed or variable rate.
From 14.74% (variable) 15.61% $3,000 1 to 7 years $195 Go to site More

Disclaimer and warning about borrowing

* The personal loan offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of personal loans has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available for comparison in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing personal loans.

What's the difference between personal loans and cash loans?

There are several key differences between personal loans and short-term cash loans:

  • Loan amount. You can borrow up to $5,000 from many cash lenders, and some offer loans as high as $10,000. Personal loans come with much higher minimum and maximum loan amounts, with lenders rarely offering loans below $5,000 but having maximum amounts as high as $80,000-$100,000.
  • Eligibility. Personal loans offered by banks and credit unions have strict eligibility criteria that often includes good credit and a regular income from employment or above a certain amount. Cash lenders that offer short-term loans are much more flexible and will consider those with bad credit, those who receive Centrelink payments as income or people who are unemployed.
  • Lenders. Personal loans are offered by banks, credit unions, building societies and standalone lenders. Cash loans tend to be offered by lenders specialising in that type of product.
  • Loan term. Cash loans come with much shorter terms, usually between 16 days and one year (depending on the loan amount). Personal loans, on the other hand, come with a minimum loan term of one year and a maximum of between five and seven years.

What is the cost difference between a personal loan and a short-term loan?

Online cash loans are heavily regulated by ASIC and lenders are restricted as to what fees and rates they can charge. Personal loans do not have such restrictions as long as they are offered by an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution such as a bank or credit union.

Cash loan costs
  • Cash loans under $2,000 with terms of between 16 days and one year cannot charge more than a 20% establishment fee and a 4% monthly fee.
  • Cash loans between $2,001 and $5,000 with terms of between 16 days and two years are restricted to a $400 establishment fee and an interest rate of 48% p.a.
  • Cash loans over $5,000 or with terms longer than two years cannot exceed an interest rate of 48% p.a., which includes all fees and charges.
Personal loan costs

How can I decide which type is right for me?

While there are similarities between these two products, there are stark differences as well. Asking yourself the following questions will help you decide which type of loan is right for you:

  • How much do you need to borrow? Personal loans allow you to apply for a much larger loan amount, while cash lenders usually have maximum amounts of $2,000 (although some lenders will provide loans of up to $10,000).
  • When do you need the money? Cash lenders offer a quick turnaround for your loan and can have your approved funds in your bank account within the next business day. Some personal loan lenders offer same-day turnaround for existing customers but the usual waiting time is a few days to a few weeks.
  • How is your credit history? Online cash lenders have more flexible eligibility criteria than lenders offering standard personal loans. You may still be able to apply for a cash loan if you have bad credit or a low income. Personal loans come with more stringent eligibility criteria. The majority of personal loan lenders will require you to have good credit and will usually have a minimum income requirement to show you can repay the loan.
  • What can you afford to repay? Short-term cash loans come with much higher rates and fees, meaning higher repayments. Your loan will be repaid in a shorter period of time but you need to determine your ability to afford the repayments. Personal loans come with lower rates and fees, and while they are spread over a longer term, they may make for more manageable repayments.
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