Small Personal Loans

Rates and fees last updated on

Get quick access to some much-needed cash with a small personal loan.

While personal loans tend to be for larger amounts, helping you purchase a car, go on a holiday or consolidate debt, they can come for smaller amounts between $2,000 and $5,000. They can be secured or unsecured and offer a fixed or variable interest rate, giving you fast access to much-needed funds.

Small personal loans are available from banks, credit unions and standalone finance lenders.

Small personal loan comparison

Rates last updated June 24th, 2017
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Repayment Product Description
Bank of Melbourne Unsecured Personal Loan
From 12.99% (variable)
1 to 7 years
An unsecured personal loan that gives you a choice between a fixed or variable rate.
BankSA Unsecured Personal Loan
From 12.99% (variable)
1 to 7 years
BankSA allows you to borrow up to $40,000 with your choice of a fixed or variable rate.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a small personal loan work?

A personal loan is a lump-sum payment of funds from a lender that you pay back over a set term. Loans can be unsecured, letting you fund (almost) anything you have in mind, or secured, where you purchase an asset, such as a vehicle, that you use as a guarantee, or you use an asset you already own.

As a general rule, unsecured loans tend to attract higher interest rates because you’re seen as a higher risk to the banks. You may find secured loans come with restrictions depending on the security you provide and the purpose of the loan. Personal loans can also be fixed or variable, with the latter coming with more repayment flexibility.

Am I eligible for a small personal loan?

  • Employment/income. If you're applying for a small personal loan from a bank you will generally need to be employed and earn over a minimum income (this minimum can range from $25,000 to $75,000).
  • Credit history. You will need good credit if applying with a bank or credit union, but you can also find bad credit loans from other providers up to $5,000.
  • Centrelink payments. If you receive Centrelink payments as part of your income you may still be eligible for a loan.

How to compare your loan options

  • Secured or unsecured. You’ll need to decide whether you want a secured loan or an unsecured loan. A secured loan requires you to offer an asset as security, which can be repossessed by your lender if you fail to make repayments. Unsecured loans do not require you to offer security, though they do tend to attract higher interest rates and fees as a result.
  • Interest rate. Small personal loans are available with fixed or variable interest rates. A fixed interest rate offers the security of knowing exactly what your repayments will be well into the future, allowing you to plan your budget accordingly. A variable interest rate will fluctuate in line with the market, which could end up either costing you more or less over the life of your loan.
  • Loan amount. A small personal loan is one that lets you borrow between $2,000 and $5,000, so look for a loan that is suitable for borrowing the amount you would like.
  • Fees and charges. Just like with any other loan, keep an eye out for any hidden fees and charges that will end up increasing the amount you will have to pay. As an example, some personal loans charge an establishment fee of $250, which is quite a large amount if you’re only borrowing $3,000.
  • Repayment flexibility. Look for a loan that offers flexible repayment options, allowing you to tailor a repayment schedule to suit your budget. Also check whether you can make extra repayments and pay off your loan early without attracting any penalty.

Is there anything you should avoid?

  • Fees and charges. Just as with any other type of loan, keep an eye out for hidden fees and charges. Even if they seem small, they can add up to a substantial amount of money over the term of your loan.
  • Too much debt. Borrowers need to be careful not to get in over their heads and building a mountain of debt they have no chance of repaying. Make sensible financial decisions to prevent any problems.
  • Dodgy lenders. The personal loan market can tend to attract some dodgy lending companies from time to time. Make sure to do your research on a lender before you take out a loan, as getting into bed with an unscrupulous lender could end up costing you big.

How to apply for a small personal loan

Before you decide on the right small personal loan for your needs, use the comparison table on this page to compare your options. Once you’ve found a loan that suits you, click "Go to Site" to follow a link through to the lender’s website.

Eligibility requirements may vary from one lender to the next, but typically you’ll need to be over the age of 18, have a good credit rating and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You’ll also have to provide your name and contact details, proof of income, and details of your assets and liabilities when applying.

Most lenders offer fast approval to ensure you have fast access to your funds.

More Information: If you're worried that your credit rating is less than perfect, you could considering applying for a payday loan

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