Best personal loans and lenders

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You could take out a personal loan for a range of different reasons. While one person might need a personal loan to buy a car, another might take one out to renovate a home or consolidate debt. There are a large number of personal loans available, so how do you find the best one for you?

Must read: Looking for the best personal loan?

There’s no single loan that’s best for everyone as all our needs are different - and what’s best for you might not be best for someone else.

3 steps to help you find the best personal loan

1. Match the loan type with the reason why you're borrowing

Why are you taking out a personal loan? Are you consolidating debt, buying something or investing? Different types of personal loans are suited to different loan purposes. For example, a secured personal loan may be a good way to finance a used car and an unsecured personal loan is suitable to consolidate debt. Find the loan that will work for your loan purpose.

2. Compare loans to get features that matter to you

Think about the features that you want in your loan. Do you want to be able to repay the loan early without penalty? Do you want to be able to make additional repayments? Do you want a redraw facility? How much do you want to borrow and how long do you want to repay? Then compare your loan options to find a loan with the features you want.

3. Get the most affordable loan that meets your needs

You need to find a loan you can afford. Compare the interest rate that you will be charged as well as the upfront and ongoing fees. The comparison rate will give you an indication of the overall cost of the loan. Make sure you compare your options to get the most affordable loan with all the features you want. Choosing a loan that you can afford to make extra repayments will also allow you to pay it back faster.

What type of personal loan will best suit my needs?

Not sure what type of personal loan you need? Look at the information below to find the loan that may be suitable for your borrowing needs.

Loans designed for your loan purpose or borrowing situation

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Large purchase or investment
If you want to make a large purchase, such as furniture, electronics or a holiday, or you need funds for an investment, an unsecured personal loan might suit your needs.
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Home renovations or an ongoing project
If you need access to funds for an ongoing period or you aren't sure how much you need to borrow, you may want to consider a line of credit personal loan.
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A new or used car
If you're purchasing a new or used car, you can benefit from a lower interest rate when you take out a secured car loan.
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You already have a vehicle to use as security
Secured personal loans let you benefit from lower interest rates when you attach an asset you already own as security. You can then use the funds however you need to.
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You have bad credit or are on a lower income
Short-term lenders may consider you for a loan since some don't run a credit check, but keep in mind that the costs are much higher than with standard personal loans.

How to compare personal loans to find the best one for you

When you want to apply for a loan, you should first compare multiple personal loan offerings so you can track down the right product. Pay attention to the following features and you could enjoy considerable savings:

  • Secured or unsecured?
    Both of these loans suit different purposes. If you're looking at buying something like a car or you already own an asset like a car, you can consider a secured personal loan. You will benefit from a lower interest rate personal loan by using the asset as security, but you risk losing it if you default on the loan. An unsecured personal loan may come with a slightly higher interest rate, but it doesn't require security and allows you to use the funds however you want.
  • Fixed or variable?
    Both fixed and variable rate personal loans have pros and cons, depending on your preferences and circumstances. The interest of a fixed rate loan will not change for the life of the loan, so your repayments will never go up. Variable rate loans, on the other hand, can fluctuate, so your repayments could increase or decrease. Fixed rate loans have terms of up to five years and variable rate loans up to seven years. Variable rate loans also tend to be more flexible than fixed rate loans in terms of repayments.
  • What is the interest and comparison rate?
    Compare interest rates against similar loans. While you should also check the fees you will be charged, the comparison rate will give you an idea of the true cost of the loan as it is comprised of both interest and fees.
  • What fees are charged?
    Consider both upfront and ongoing fees. For example, upfront fees may include application or establishment fees and ongoing fees can include monthly or annual fees.
  • How much can you borrow?
    The amount you can borrow should also factor into your decision. You will not find out how much you will be approved for before you apply, but lenders will have a set minimum and maximum borrowing amount. Ensure how much you want to borrow falls within these limits.
  • What restrictions apply to the loan?
    Are there restrictions on additional repayments or repaying the loan early? Are there restrictions on how you can use the loan amount? Is the loan limited to borrowers with excellent credit? Find out what restrictions apply with the loan.
  • What will the term of your loan be?
    Work out how much you can afford to repay and what repayment terms you will need. Then, make sure the loan you are applying for offers these terms.
Man comparing loans on laptop
  • Is the lowest interest rate an indication of the "best personal loan"?

Yes, and no. Finding the lowest interest rate is definitely a good indication of a competitive personal loan. And obviously, finding the lowest interest rate possible for your circumstances is often in your best interests when it comes to saving money. However, as outlined above, interest rates are not the only feature worth considering when it comes to finding the best personal loan cost-wise. It's also important to consider other fees and features involved.

As well as considering the costs and features involved with a personal loan, it's important to be aware of your circumstances and have a good idea of what you can qualify for. Applying for the lowest interest rate loan you can find when you have a poor credit score will usually see your application rejected and can negatively affect your credit rating. Therefore, it's a good idea to know your credit score before you apply for any form of finance.

What should I keep in mind when looking for the best personal loan?

While personal loans are helpful in many scenarios, it’s in your best interest to avoid certain traps and pitfalls.

  • Read the fine print.
    Scrutinise all your options carefully right from the start and remember to look for ongoing account-keeping fees, early repayment fees and late payment fees. Read the terms and conditions document from start to finish and ensure you are aware of all fees and restrictions.
  • Don't take on a loan you can't afford.
    When borrowing money, it is always important to use a personal loan calculator to find out what your repayments will be. If you can comfortably afford a loan, don't feel tempted to consider borrowing more in the event that you can't afford it.

How to submit your personal loan application

Before you apply for a personal loan, establish how much you want to borrow and your monthly repayment ability. You should find out how long it might take for you to pay the loan off completely, remembering that you can usually choose between making weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.

Read through the eligibility criteria set by the lender and then ensure you meet them. Also make sure you have the required documents – usually your driver's licence, financial and employment documents and bank details – on hand. If you're applying for a secured loan you will need details of the asset.

Once you find a loan you wish to apply for in the table above, proceed to the lender’s website by clicking "Go to Site" and start the application process.

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Personal Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.

Logo for NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed

You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.

Logo for SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.

Logo for Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.95% p.a. and 17.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Make additional repayments or pay off the loan early, penalty-free.

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69 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    BradMarch 14, 2019

    I am wanting to consolidate my current loans of about $75000. Who would be the best and cheapest for this?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiMarch 15, 2019

      Hi Brad,

      Thanks for getting in touch! To know your options and the best debt consolidation loan for you, view this page and it will guide you what steps to take in getting this type of loan. As a friendly reminder, 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.


    Default Gravatar
    KatieFebruary 19, 2019

    I currently own my own home. There’s no mortgage. I was wondering about using it for a loan. How to go about it?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 21, 2019Staff

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, you can use your home to apply for a secured loan. You can use your home as a security to increase your chance of getting approved for a loan and even borrowing for a bigger amount of money.

      You can learn more about secured personal loan here.

      On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare secured personal loans. You can compare based on interest rate, loan term, and loan amount, to name a few. Once you’re done comparing your options, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    LeonardoNovember 15, 2018

    I would like to know if i can have a loan for a small amount, i have a working visa and im just 3 months working, so im basically starting up everything. Anyone can help?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Leonardo,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You might be interested in this link which gives you a better idea on loans available for non-residents. You will also see a panel of lenders that you could reach out to for your request. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    MatNovember 14, 2018

    Hi there I’m looking for a personal loan to finalise a separation /divorce any ideas would be helpful. Thanks

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiNovember 15, 2018

      Hi Mat,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You can find the lender for your personal needs on the list above. As a friendly reminder, review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the product disclosure statement of the product and contact the lender should you need any clarifications on the loan.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.


    Default Gravatar
    LeighOctober 15, 2018

    I started an online personal loan application with Harmoney, but withdrew the application when they asked for my banking client number and password. This is not acceptable and does not seem right to me. You need to followup on this!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezOctober 16, 2018Staff

      Hello Leigh,

      Thank you for your comment.

      With regards to your online banking login being asked when you apply for a loan, there are actually pay-day loan lenders that do that. Nevertheless, please know that they will not have access to your bank account and neither will the third-party service like finder that facilitates the sending of read-only copies of your bank statements. Lenders will also not store your login details and generally, this process is encrypted and secure through their site. 

      There’s an article on this page that explains why lenders do this.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


    Default Gravatar
    AmieeMay 13, 2018

    I tried to follow steps for a loan with Harmoney but it said my drivers licence details were incorrect – they weren’t, I’ve no other ID from the list.

    What’s the best bank in SA to go to to collaborate debt with a low interest low payment loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Aimee,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Regarding your enquiry that you don’t have a driving licence, below are the list of documents needed to verify your identity.

      Lenders usually require at least two forms of identification. These can be any of the following:

      -Driver’s licence
      -Proof of age card

      You may also need supplementary documentation in the form of:

      -Your birth certificate
      -Your citizenship certificate
      -A pension card or health care card
      -Utility bills
      -Your overseas driver’s licence

      Currently, we have no page about banks in a certain state/territory however we have a page about personal loans for debt consolidation. You may want to check out the list of lenders/banks that would help you further on this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


    Default Gravatar
    AmandaFebruary 20, 2018

    would like a personal loan for a holiday and payout an existing loan would it be possible

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The personal loan you can compare are listed above. You can use the proceeds of the loan to whatever purpose you want. Best to contact a lender directly so you can discuss your options and chances of approval.


    Default Gravatar
    KellyDecember 15, 2017

    I have a small amount in a term deposit with a major bank and wonder if I would be eligible for a fast approval small amount to enable me to have a Christmas which is just not possible in my current situation

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      If you’re in need of some extra money but don’t think you’ll be eligible for a standard personal loan, you still have options to consider. Lenders that offer “easy approval” look behind your salary and employment and just focus on your ability to afford the loan. Find out more about your options in this guide.

      Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

      Best regards,

    Default Gravatar
    MarkDecember 10, 2017

    I’m wishing to get a personal loan wanting to do some renovations to my house to upgrade the value of it. Any help would be appreciated.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      You can also have a look on this page for helpful info and compare your options for
      Home Improvement & Renovation Loans. While on this page, you can make use of our personal loan calculators to give you an idea how much you can borrow and how your repayments will be.

      Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

      Hope this information helped.


    Default Gravatar
    JessicaNovember 8, 2017

    I’m wanting to get a loan for $10,000 and the “big” banks won’t help me because I had a quick cash loan but it was paid off last month with no dramas. I don’t have a bad credit rating and I’m not sure who I can go to for help?
    Thank you,

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoanneNovember 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      The information on this page allows you to compare some personal loans you can choose from. You make click on “more” to get additional details about the loan offered.

      As each time one applies for a personal loan, the information shows up on the credit file, so multiple loan applications may not look good on the lenders. You may want to review this page as it will give you a guide on how you can narrow down your choices in terms of selecting a personal loan you can go for.


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