Small Personal Loans

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 28th, 2016

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

Small personal loans are considered to be loan amounts between $3,000 and $5,000. They can be secured or unsecured and offer a fixed or variable interest rate, giving borrowers fast access to much-needed funds.

How you use the cash from a small personal loan is entirely up to you. You could use it to buy a car, do some home renovations, pay for a holiday or simply to get you out of a tight spot. However, there are some traps and pitfalls to be wary of with small personal loans, so read on to find out how to compare your lending options and find the right loan for you.

Small personal loan comparison

Rates last updated October 28th, 2016
Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Repayment
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

How does a small personal loan work?

Just as the name suggests, a personal loan is a loan you take out to gain access to funds for personal use. As a result, you can use the finance from a small personal loan to pay for everything from a new TV to a holiday, or simply to tide you over for a little while as you get your finances in order.

You can take out a secured personal loan, which requires you to offer an asset as security, or an unsecured personal loan, where you don’t offer anything as security. As a general rule, unsecured loans tend to attract higher interest rates and fees because you’re seen as a higher risk to the banks. You can also choose whether you want a loan with a fixed or variable interest rate in order to suit your budget and your repayment requirements.

How to compare small personal loans

  • 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.
  • Comparison rate. When comparing loans, remember to look at the comparison rate of each loan. This is a true reflection of how much a loan will cost you and is what you should use to weigh up one loan against others.
  • Loan amount. A small personal loan is one that lets you borrow between $3,000 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.

Pros and cons of small personal loans


  • Fast approval. Many lenders offer fast approval for small personal loans, granting you quick access to money when you need it.
  • Flexible. Small personal loans can be used for any purpose you wish, giving you money to spend on whatever it is you need.
  • Plenty of choice. The personal loan market is quite competitive, with a wide array of lenders and loan options to choose from. A competitive market is always a plus for borrowers, and it gives you plenty of options to compare to ensure you find the right loan.


  • High fees and rates. The interest rates and fees on small personal loans are generally quite high. This will obviously end up costing you more money over the life of your loan.
  • Unscrupulous lenders. When looking for a personal loan, it pays to be wary of lenders offering deals that sound too good to be true. Keep an eye out for dodgy lenders and make sure you borrow from a trusted lender.

Things to avoid about small personal loans

  • 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 small personal loans

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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