Short Term Loan Finder™ – Compare short term loans options

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

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A short term loan is a small loan designed to be repaid within a short period. These loans are under $2,000, with terms from 16 days up to 12 months. They usually feature quick applications and fast turnaround times. These loans are typically expensive, with high fees and charges. Given how costly these loans are, you should only apply in case of financial emergencies. They are not long-term financial solutions.

Are you struggling financially?

If you're struggling financially and would like to speak to someone for free financial advice, information and assistance you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 (open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support.

⚠️ 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
9-14 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $2,000 that you repay over 9-14 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Credit24 Short Term Loan
4-12 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 Short Term 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.
Ferratum Cash Loans
3 to 12 months
Same day - conditions apply
20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
Borrow what you need with loans starting from $500 and approval in minutes.
Jacaranda Finance Personal Loan
9 to 24 months
Under 1 hour - conditions apply
$0 - $1,000 depending on credit
Borrow up to $10,000 and get access to your funds in as little as 1 hour.

Compare up to 4 providers

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. In Australia, lenders have restrictions on how much they can charge you for the loan. Legally, they cannot charge you interest for a loan less than $2,000. Credit providers charge fees instead, but they cannot change you more than:

  • 20% of the loan amount for an establishment fee
  • 4% of the loan amount for a monthly account-keeping fee

There are also other fees associated with short term loans, which may or may not be applicable. These include:

  • A government fee or charge. This covers government duties, if any. Most lenders don't charge this.
  • Default fees. This will be charged if you miss a payment or fail to pay. You can be charged up to 200% of what you borrow.
  • Enforcement expenses. If you default on the loan, you could be charged for enforcement expenses. This is to cover the cost of going to court to recover the money you owe.

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 the loan will be $2,520, inclusive of fees. Your fees alone come up to $1,020, which is at least 60% of the loan amount.

The fee structure differs for short term loans with higher amounts.

What are the risks 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. As the name implies, these loans come with short terms of up to 12 months. If you don't repay the loan within this period, you could incur default fees, which can be up to 200% of what you borrowed.
  • 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. It should also be easy to contact.
  • Long-term repercussions and legal issues. Once you sign a loan agreement, you are bound to its conditions. You will have to pay the loan and all the fees and payments. Typically, these are unsecured loans. This means the lender can initiate legal proceedings against you if you do not repay the loan. It can also report the debt to a credit reporting body like Equifax and use the services of a debt collector.
  • Multiple applications. Every loan application shows up on credit reports. Some short term lenders may not consider your credit history. But several applications within a short period can have a negative impact on your credit score. This can make it harder for you to get a loan in the future.
  • 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.

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

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.

How can I compare short term loans?

Comparing loans can help you find a loan product that suits your financial circumstances and allows you to save. Before applying, you should make it a point to read reviews and online testimonials. You should also avoid applying for multiple loans as this could hurt your credit score and chances of getting credit in the future. When comparing loans, you should watch out for:

  • 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.
  • Loan extensions. Some lenders can extend your term by 90 days. This extension will come with extra fees, so you should avoid it if possible. Before signing the agreement, ask the lender the terms and conditions regarding defaults.

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.

✍ You can submit an online application. Keep all the documents required handy. This will speed up the process.

What's the difference between short term loans and buy now pay later?

Buy now pay later (BNPL) services are rising in popularity and you may be wondering if you're better off with that instead. We've outlined the key differences between short term loans and BNPL to help you decide:

Short term loansBNPL
Product typeLoanLoan
Type of fundingLump sum payment, which can be used how you wish e.g. medical bills.Tied to a goods basket. There are also BNPL options for utility bills and flight tickets.
Repayment frequencyDepends on loan term and when you're paid (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly).Pay in instalments. Most services offer 4 instalments, but it depends on the service provider.
CostNo interest, but hefty fees.No interest, but small fees may be charged.
Credit checkDepends on the lender and might not be required. Loan applications will appear on your report, as will defaults.Depends on the provider, but a soft credit check may be required. Defaults may be reported.
Loan amountUp to $2,000.Depends on the provider, but there are BNPL services with a lofty credit limit of $30,000.


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6 Responses

    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?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      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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