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Guide to student car loans

See how you can get a car loan while studying and compare loans now.

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Having a car can make student life a lot more convenient, but finding the money to buy one can be hard. A student car loan gives you the funds you need to buy a new or used car.

Find out if you can get a car loan as a student, what to look out for and compare your options below.

How does a car loan work?

A car loan is a financing option that lets you purchase a new or used vehicle. You borrow money to cover the purchase of the car, then repay the loan over a set period of time, generally one to seven years. You are charged interest on the loan, and this is added to your regular repayments.

What is the difference between secured and unsecured?

You generally have the option of a secured or unsecured loan, although car loans are typically secured. This means the vehicle you purchase is used as security against the loan, and the lender can take ownership of the vehicle if you fail to make your repayments.

With an unsecured car loan, you don't need to use the vehicle as security. However, you'll generally receive a higher interest rate, as this type of loan represents more risk to the lender. This means you're also more likely to be approved for a secured car loan as a student.

Am I eligible for a car loan?

As a student, you're able to get a car loan provided you meet the lender's eligibility requirements. This means you'll generally need to be at least 18 years old, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have a job or regular source of income.

Some lenders may have additional lending criteria and will generally not lend money to applicants whose primary source of income is Austudy, Youth Allowance or Newstart.

What if I'm an international or exchange student?

Unfortunately most lenders require you to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. If you're on a study visa or other type of visa, it's unlikely that you would be eligible for a loan, but it may be worth checking with the lender directly.

How to compare student car loans

You should keep the following in mind when comparing student car loans:

  • The interest rate. The interest rate determines the amount of interest you will pay on your loan. The lower the rate, the less interest you will pay. Car loans can be offered with either a fixed rate, which stays the same throughout the loan, or a variable rate, which changes in line with market rates. Secured car loan rates generally range from 6% to 10%, and unsecured car loans generally range from 8.5% to 17%.
  • Any fees or charges. Many car loans will have additional fees or charges that you will need to pay as part of the loan. You should check which fees you may need to pay before applying for a loan, as these will affect your comparison rate, which helps show you the true cost of the loan.
  • Repayment flexibility. Some lenders will let you select how often you make repayments, which is generally on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. You may also be able to make early repayments or repay the loan early, without penalty.
  • Additional features. These may include a redraw facility for additional repayments, pre-approval, online account management, a car-buying service to help you find your car or discounts on other products and services.

Student car loans comparison table

IMB New Car Loan

IMB New Car Loan

4.99 % p.a.

fixed rate

5.34 % p.a.

comparison rate

  • No monthly fees
  • No early repayment fees
  • Borrow up to $75,000
Security Logo

100% confidential application

IMB New Car Loan

A low rate loan to finance new vehicles or cars up to two years old. Borrow up to $75,000.

  • Interest rate: 4.99% p.a.
  • Comparison rate: 5.34% p.a.
  • Interest rate type: Fixed
  • Application fee: $275.12
  • Minimum loan amount: $2,000
  • Maximum loan amount: $75,000
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
IMB New Car Loan
4.99% (fixed)
5.34%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
5.22%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Note: Settle the loan before 30 November 2020 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel voucher. Terms & conditions apply.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 4.45% (fixed)
5.29%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$350
$5
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.45% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.29% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
7.16%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$265 ($175 Establishment Fee + $90 Security Administration Fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 9.99% (fixed)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
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% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From 5.75% (variable)
6.47%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
$10
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 4.99% (fixed)
5.69%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p. a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Plenti Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
from $249 to $799
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Driva Car Loan
From 4.34% (fixed)
5.5%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.34% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.49% (fixed)
7.19%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From 6.49% (fixed)
7.75%
$3,000
1 to 7 years
Loans under $5000 - $140
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.49% p.a. and 19.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Tips for students on how to get a car loan

If you're a student, you may be working part time or casually, have a lower income and have a limited credit history, which can make it difficult to get a car loan. Use the tips below to help improve your chances of getting approved for a car loan.

  1. Build your credit history. Having a good credit history will make you more likely to be approved for a loan and may even help you get a better rate. You can build and improve your credit history by paying your existing bills on time, including your phone and utility bills, and by not applying for multiple loans. If you don't know your credit history, you can order a free copy here.
  2. Save for a deposit. While you don't necessarily need a deposit to get a car loan, it can give you a better chance of being approved. If you don't have any credit history, have a bad credit history or have negative equity on your existing car, you may be required to provide a deposit.Consider opening a high-interest savings account to earn interest on your savings and help build your deposit. Some of these accounts also have incentives for you to save regularly by awarding you bonus interest.
  3. Use a guarantor or co-borrower. If you don't have a credit history, it may be worth trying to find a guarantor for your car loan. A guarantor is generally a parent or other relative, and they take on the legal and financial responsibility of the loan if you fail to make your repayments. Having a guarantor may give you a better chance of being approved for a loan. However, you should make every effort to make your repayments, so your guarantor is never held responsible for the debt.You can also find a co-borrower to take out a joint personal loan, where you're both responsible for repaying the debt.

How to apply for a student car loan

Once you've chosen the car you want to buy, you'll need to find the car loan that best suits your needs. It's important to understand your loan options, and what you'll need to do to give yourself the best chance of being approved.

1. Compare your loan options.

You will need to choose whether you want a secured or unsecured car loan and a fixed or variable interest rate. You should also compare a number of loans based on the rate, fees and features they offer.

2. Check the eligibility criteria.

You should ensure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying for a specific loan. If you don't, you're likely to be rejected, which can affect your credit score. Lenders usually require you to be over 18, have a regular income and have some form of employment to be eligible for a car loan.

3. Have your documents ready.

As part of your application, you will need to provide a form of ID, payslips and information regarding your employment and finances (income, expenses and debts). If you've chosen your car, you will need to submit the make, model and year, the VIN/chassis number, registration number and purchase price.

4. Submit your application.

Depending on the lender, you may receive a response within a couple of minutes. Other lenders may take a few days to review your application and approve or deny your loan.

What criteria do car lenders have for used cars?

If you're looking to get a car loan for a used car, you need to check that the car meets the age requirements of the specific lender.

LenderCar loansVehicle requirementsMore information
ANZANZ Online Secured Car LoanCar needs to be under 7 years oldMore
Beyond BankLow Rate Car Loan
Flexi Loan
Car can be up to 6 years old
Car needs to be over 6 years old
More
CUAFixed Rate Car LoanCar can be up to 7 years oldMore
IMBSecured Personal LoanCar can be up to 6 years oldMore
NRMANRMA Car LoanNo set limitMore
RACVRACV Car LoanCar can be up to 10 years oldMore
St.GeorgeSecured Personal LoanCar must be less than 12 years old at loan expiryMore
SuncorpSecured Car LoanCar must be less than 12 years old at loan expiry
WestpacSecured Car LoanCar can be up to 7 years oldMore

Read our guide to buying a used car

Picture: Shutterstock

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Car Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for IMB New Car Loan
IMB New Car Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.

Logo for Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"

You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.89% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.

Logo for RACV New Car Loans
RACV New Car Loans

You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.

Logo for NRMA New Car Loan
NRMA New Car Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.

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