Small Personal Loans

The pros and cons of small personal loans.

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No two financial situations are the same and as a result there are loans available in all sizes to meet all credit needs. Here's a guide to what's what when it comes to small personal loans.

Financial hardship

If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

⚠️ 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.


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Small personal loan options

Updated January 26th, 2020
Name Product Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Nimble Short Term Loan
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
15% of loan amount + 3% of loan amount each month
Finder Exclusive: 25% discount on the establishment fee (now 15%) and monthly fee (now 3%)
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
Sunshine Short Term Loans
9-12 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 9-12 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Wallet Wizard Smart Loan (Up to 2K)
Up to 2 years
3 hours - conditions apply
Apply for up to $2,000 and be able to access your approved loan as a convenient line of credit.
Safe Financial Small Loan
22 - 52 weeks
Same day - conditions apply
Up to $2,000 - 20% establishment fee + 4% monthly.

Above $2,000 - $400 + from 8.7% to 48% APR
Borrow from $1,000 to $5,000 with same-day funding and no early repayment fees.
Cash Converters Personal Loan
up to 12 months
Within 48 hours
20% establishment fee + 4% monthly fee
Cash Converters offers this loan from $400 that gives you up to 12 months to repay.
Ferratum Cash Loans
up 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.
Fair Go Finance Small Loan
3-12 months
1 business day
Establishment fee from 10% of loan amount + monthly fee from 2%
A small loan between $500 and $2,000 that can be funded in 24 hours.
Credit24 Short Term Loan
6-12 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.
Speckle Small Loan
3 to 12 months
1 business day
10% of loan amount + 2% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $2,000 from a lender backed by NAB. Transparent eligibility criteria and competitive costs.

Compare up to 4 providers

Wait! I have good credit.

What is a small personal loan?

A small personal loan is a form of credit that is between $100 and $2,000. These loans differ from regular personal loans in that they usually have shorter loan terms and have more flexible lending criteria. They are offered by non-traditional lenders. It’s important to note that most personal loans from banks, like the ones in the table above, have a minimum borrowing amount of around $3,000 to $5,000.

Small loan options

There are a few different types of small loans to choose from, all of which can meet different needs.

  • Payday loans. These are small, short-term loans that you can use to cover expenses that come up before payday. These loans may be an option for people who have negative listings on their credit file as the eligibility requirements tend to focus on income and the ability to pay back the loan rather than on your credit history.
  • Overdraft facilities. An overdraft gives the option of withdrawing more money than what's available in your account. The amount is generally quite small, usually, between $100 and $1,000 and users can overdraw up to a predetermined amount with set fees and rates.
  • Lines of credit. A line of credit is similar to an overdraft facility, but the credit line isn't attached to your transaction account and you may be able to borrow more money. The user can withdraw up to a set limit at a set rate and you will only be charged the rate on the amount withdrawn.
  • Cash advance. A cash advance involves withdrawing money from a credit card. This type of credit starts accruing interest straight away, usually in excess of 20% p.a. Learn more about cash advances here.
  • Good credit small loans. If you have good credit, you can still get a small loan. Compare the options below.

How can you compare small personal loans?

Small personal loans work in much the same way as other types of personal loans in that you are charged certain fees and rates in order to borrow money from a lender. Small personal loans do have a few key features, which are outlined below, that you can use in comparison:

  • What are the fees you'll be paying?
    Lenders will charge a range of fees for lending money. Check for upfront fees, such as establishment fees, and ongoing fees, such as annual or monthly fees. Other fees, such as those charged for early repayment, may also apply.
  • What loan terms are on offer?
    Traditional personal loans are lent for loan terms as long as 7 years, whereas small personal loans are usually lent for terms of between 16 days and 1 or 2 years. Check what terms are on offer before comitting.
  • How much can you borrow?
    A small personal loan can range from loan amounts as little as $100 to as much as $2,000. Lenders will differ on how much you can borrow, so ensure you will be able to borrow the amount you need before settling on a lender.
  • How can you apply?
    As these loans are smaller and for shorter terms, most lenders operate online and provide quick loan applications. Some lenders are able to offer instant approval and can have the small loan amount transferred to you within 24 hours. When applying, the applicant will need to provide personal and financial details.
  • How much will your repayments be?
    Depending on the type of loan you choose, the lender may offer different repayment options. Some lenders may arrange your repayments in line with your income frequency and amount. Other lenders may offer other repayment features such as additional repayments or redraw facilities.

Things to avoid

When applying for a small personal loan, it's vital to calculate the fees and rates to determine repayments and make sure it's possible that it can be done. Also it's important to consider just how critical taking out a loan like this is. If it’s not for an urgent expense, it may be worth trying to save the amount rather than taking out a small loan.

  • Getting into too much debt
    When considering whether to apply for a small loan, it's important to assess your financial situation first and ask whether the loan is necessary. For example if the small loan is to pay bills or rent - check with your utility provider or landlord first to see if you can arrange more time to make a payment or set up a payment plan instead.
  • Making too many applications at once
    Remember, each application made for finance will be listed on credit files. Too many listings can look bad and show a profile of risk. If you are seeking a loan, don't apply with every company you find as it may affect your credit score in the future which can impact on your ability to secure a loan.

Pros and cons of small loans

  • Quick access to funds. Some short-term loan brands offer 60-minute turnarounds (of course, conditions do apply)
  • Borrow only what's needed. Applicants can request small amounts of cash, rather than having to borrow large sums of money and then pay it back, borrowing under $1,000 may be more financially feasible.
  • Set repayment periods. Generally, small loan repayment periods are short and will be set to match the applicants next payday.
  • Higher fees. Because small personal loans are offered over a shorter period of time, the fees and charges are often higher. This is to protect the lender in the event of default or late payment.
  • Limited range of lenders. Depending on the applicant's credit history and income, there may be a limited selection of credit options. It's always important to compare the options before applying.

How to apply for a small personal loan online

Compare small personal loan options using the comparison table. If you find a loan you want to apply for, click the "Go to site" button. This will securely take you through to the lender’s website to complete an online application form and provide personal and financial details. Some lenders offer instant approval and some may have the loan amount deposited in the designated account within 24 hours. To be eligible for a personal loan, applicants generally need to be over the age of 18 and a permanent Australian resident.

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19 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    lorettaMarch 15, 2018

    I need a loan of 8000 dollars to pay off some legal bills and other expenses , I am retired and have an income of 45000 a year is this possible?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMarch 15, 2018Staff

      Hi Loretta,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. If you are looking for a financial help to pay off some legal bills and expenses through personal loan, please refer to this link Small Personal Loan may not be suitable for you since it offers a maximum loan of $2,000.

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

      Have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    nosratollahJune 30, 2016

    Hi w can give loan with my credit 450 scor my daughter is 17 years old she can apply loans thank you

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethJuly 1, 2016Staff

      Hi nosratollah,

      Your daughter is ineligible to apply for a loan because she’s under the age of 18. The lenders on the page above will consider you for a loan despite your bad credit history, as long as you show you have the means to repay the loan.

      I hope this helps,


  3. Default Gravatar
    TristianJuly 22, 2015

    is there any way that i could get a loan if I’m on centrelink youth allowance earning $450 a fortnight with no Identification?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MattJuly 23, 2015Staff

      Hi Tristian,

      Thanks for your comment. Most lenders require 100 points of identification to get any form of credit. If you’d like to find out more about these companies for centrelink borrowers, check out this link here.


  4. Default Gravatar
    LynetteJune 10, 2015

    Would i be able to apply for another small loan as I am an existing customer and have an emergency

    • Default Gravatar
      gabrielJuly 11, 2015

      is this available even if im here in the philippines?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethJuly 13, 2015Staff

      Hi Gabriel,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, these loans are only available if you currently reside in Australia.



    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethJune 10, 2015Staff

      Hi Lynette,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ve come through to, a financial comparison site and not a lender directly. To apply for another loan you just need to click ‘Go to Site’ next to the name of the lender you applied with originally. Depending on the lender they may have a member’s area or returning borrowers area set up for easy repeat borrowing.

      I hope this has helped.



  5. Default Gravatar
    donApril 26, 2015

    Can i get a $8000 loan my income is $74000 per year with a 600 credit score? How soon can I receive the money?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MattApril 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for your comment. If you’d like to get an approximation of your borrowing power, you can use our calculators.

      If you’d like to find out the income and requirements for each loan, click into the review pages linked from the table above.

      If you have any other questions, please leave a reply to this comment.

      I hope this has helped.


  6. Default Gravatar
    HasanJanuary 27, 2015

    Hi Shirly about the 10000 loan can you think were else I could try

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Hasan,

      Unfortunately at the moment we can’t provide other options. Please keep in mind that too many inquiries on your credit history also reduces your credit score.

      You may want to consider credit repair to open up your options.


  7. Default Gravatar
    HasanJanuary 27, 2015

    im on a carer pension and have bad credit and need a loan to by a van I need $10,000 who do you think can help me

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 27, 2015Staff

      Hi Hasan,

      Thanks for your question.

      We have an article titled “How to get approval for a $10,000 Loan with bad credit” that may be of interest to you.


    • Default Gravatar
      HasanJanuary 27, 2015

      I have tried that company and no good they say bad credit and they can help that’s a lot of balony, plus the fact im on a carer pension I guees that don’t help these banks and so on I have a sick mother who I take care of and the pension gives me 900 a fortnite so what do they expect a person to do I can pay back the loan so what is the issue I don’t realy understand why they knock me back and yet they give credit cards to young kids that don’t even have a job and a lot of these kids don’t even pay them back . oh well ill keep trying thanks anyway

  8. Default Gravatar
    yvonneOctober 29, 2014

    hi I woundered if I could have a loan

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyOctober 30, 2014Staff

      Hi Yvonne,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please check the eligibility requirements of the loans (you can do this by clicking into the reviews). Generally if you meet the requirements, then you can apply for the loan.


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