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Personal Loans for Students

Use a personal loan for students to pay for big ticket items like a laptop or car.

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Name Product Mobile details underline Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Rate Type Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan Fixed, 3 - 7 Years, $2,000 - $70,000
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
3 - 7 Years, $2,000 - $70,000
5.35%
to 19.09%
6.14%
to 19.99%
Fixed
$275 - $575
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.35% p.a. and 19.09% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $70,000 and repay your loan over 3, 5 or 7 years terms.
Citi Personal Loan Plus Variable, 3 - 5 Years, $5,000 - $75,000
Exclusive
Citi Personal Loan Plus
3 - 5 Years, $5,000 - $75,000
8.90%
9.18%
Variable
$199
$0
You'll receive a variable rate of 8.90% p.a. with a comparison rate of 9.18% p.a. if you're approved.
A credit limit up to $75,000 that you can continue to draw down over terms up to 5 years.

Finder Exclusive: Earn 150,000 Velocity Points when you apply and activate your account within 90 days from approval.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Personal loans for students work the same way as personal loans for full-time employees. The difference is the eligibility criteria, which is usually more flexible. This allows students with lower incomes and fewer assets, or working part-time, to apply. Student loans also come with smaller borrowing amounts, and terms and repayments may be more strict. These personal loans may also have benefits such as discounted interest rates or fee waivers.

While personal loans can be used for any worthwhile purpose, you may want to avoid taking a student loan to cover small, everyday expenses. If you're already struggling to manage your daily expenses, adding loan repayments into your budget may not be the best option.

What is a personal loan?

With a personal loan, you can borrow money to pay for personal expenses. Personal loans are offered by a variety of lenders, including traditional lenders like banks, credit unions and building societies. They are also offered by online lenders. Personal loans come with loan terms, which is the time you have to repay the loan. Interest is usually charged, which is the fee borrowers charge for lending. There may also be additional fees, like establishment fees and monthly account keeping fees.

What type of personal loans can I apply for as a student?

For personal loans for students, there are several options:

  • Secured personal loans. This type of personal loan requires attaching an asset, such as a car, as a guarantee for the loan. As a result, these loans generally come with lower interest rates than unsecured loans. The eligibility criteria are also more flexible.
  • Unsecured personal loans. With an unsecured loan, you can borrow money without needing an asset as loan security. These loans are more expensive than secured loans. But applications are shorter and approval times are faster.
  • Medical student loans. This loan is offered by a few lenders exclusively for medical and dental students. Qualifying students in their final year of study can use the loan funds to pay for their course, living expenses, debt consolidation or other purposes.
  • Graduate loans. If you're a final year student at university, you may be eligible for a loan with no repayments for the first year. This loan can be used to finance anything and can help cover expenses while you're looking for a job after uni.
  • Car loans. If you're looking to buy a car, students may be eligible for a car loan with a wide range of lenders. This is a secured loan. You will have to use the car as a guarantee on the loan, and receive lower rates and fees in return.
  • Interest-free loans. This loan is for low-income earners. It is offered by 170 local community organisations across 600 locations in Australia. You can borrow up to $1,500 to pay for bills and essentials, with terms ranging from 12 to 18 months. As the name implies, no interest is charged. You will only pay for what you borrow.
  • Buy now pay later. You can make interest-free purchases and pay in instalments. Many retailers now offer this option, allowing you to break down your repayments into smaller, more manageable chunks. There are also buy now pay later services that let you pay your bills in instalments. Because repayment terms can be short, you should consider interest-free finance for larger purchases.
  • 0% interest financing from retailers. Some retailers offer interest-free periods on the sale of their goods and appliances. For instance, The Good Guys offers up to 60 months interest-free on home appliance purchases with a minimum spend in-store or online.
  • Payday loans. If you need a quick loan in emergency financial situations, a payday loan is an option. These loans are small and have short repayment terms, but are more expensive than standard payday loans. These loans come with high fees and charges, and are not a long-term financial solution.

What are the pros and cons of personal loans?

  • Can help you cover large, out-of-reach expenses, like the purchase of a laptop.
  • If you make all your repayments on time, your credit score will improve, making you eligible for further credit in the future.
  • Can alleviate financial stress in the short-term.
  • You're getting into a long-term debt contract.
  • You need some form of regular income to be able to pay for it.
  • Having to make regular payments can add to your stress.
  • If you don't make repayments on time or default, your credit score will take a hit.

What can I use a personal loan for?

A personal loan can be used for pretty much any legitimate purpose. Common reasons students take out personal loans include:

Which lenders offer personal loans for students?

We've listed lenders and benefits and discounts for students below:

LenderEligibility criteriaBenefits for studentsReview the loan
ANZ
  • Earn at least $15,000 p.a.
  • Casuals need to have been employed for 6 months
  • Have a regular income
  • Have a good credit rating
  • No loan application fee
  • Lower minimum of $1,000
  • No loan top-up fee
Review
Bank Australia
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have no bankruptcies listed on your credit report
  • Be receiving a regular income
-Review
Bank of Melbourne
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be a permanent Australian resident
-Review
BankSA
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be a permanent Australian resident
-Review
Bankwest
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be in full-time employment
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a regular, permanent income
  • Not have an active personal loan application that has been conditionally approved
-
bcu
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have no outstanding defaults or judgements against your name
-Review
Bendigo Bank
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be in paid employment
  • Have no defaults, bankruptcies or court judgements on your credit report
  • Discounted interest rates
Review
BOQ
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have never been bankrupt
  • Be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • Earn a regular income
  • Medical graduates may be eligible for a personal loan package from BOQ Specialist
Review
Citi
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Earn over $40,000 p.a.
  • Have good credit
-Review
CommBank
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Earn at least $14,000 p.a. after tax
  • Have a good credit rating
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen or hold a 457 visa
  • No establishment fee when you apply in-branch
Review
CUA
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • Have a regular income that you can demonstrate
  • Have not declared bankruptcy or insolvency
  • Have not defaulted on any finance in the last 5 years
-Review
enably
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • Be employed
  • Earn at least $1,500 per month
-Review
Gateway Bank
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a good credit rating
-Review
Harmoney
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a reasonably good credit record
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen with a valid Australian driver's licence or passport
-Review
Heritage Bank
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have never declared bankrupt
-Review
HSBC
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Earn at least $40,000 p.a.
  • Have a good credit rating
-Review
IMB
  • Casuals need to have been employed for 12 months
-Review
ING
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have an Australian residential address
  • Be employed and have access to your PAYG payslips
  • Have a good credit rating
  • Earn at least $36,000 p.a.
-Review
Latitude Financial
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be a permanent Australian resident or citizen
  • Have had excellent credit history for the last 5 years
  • Haven't been bankrupt in the last 7 years
-Review
ME
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a good credit rating
-Review
MoneyMe
  • Be employed
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Good credit history will be rewarded
-Review
MoneyPlace
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Earn at least $20,000 p.a. (the majority of your income cannot be from Centrelink)
  • Have a good credit history
-Review
MyState Bank
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have been employed full-time or part-time for at least 3 months. If you work casually you need to have been employed for at least 1 year.
  • Have no defaults or bankruptcies on your credit report
-Review
NAB
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Earn a regular income
  • Be a permanent Australian resident or citizen
  • Have a good credit rating
Review
NOW Finance
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Not receive the majority of your income from Centrelink
  • Not have previously been bankrupt or under default
-Review
People's Choice CU
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a stable income
-Review
Pepper Money
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
-Review
Plenti
  • Be aged 21 or over
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a regular source of income that you can demonstrate
  • Have a good credit history
-Review
RACQ Bank
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Reside in Queensland
  • Be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
-Review
RACV
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be in regular, ongoing employment
  • Have had no loan or credit card defaults in the last 3 years
  • Have not filed for bankruptcy in the last 7 years
-Review
SocietyOne
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a good credit history
  • Earn more than $30,000 p.a.
  • Have at least 2 years of good credit history
  • Not be in hardship with another financial provider
  • Not have a pending, current or previous bankruptcy
-Review
St.George
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
-Review
Westpac
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a regular income
  • Be a permanent Australian resident or citizen, or a non-resident with an acceptable visa and confirmed employment in Australia
-Review

What should I look for when comparing personal loans?

  • Interest rate. This is how much the lender will charge you for the loan. Interest rates can either be fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate stays the same over the loan period. This makes it easier to predict and budget. In contrast, a variable rate of interest can change on a monthly basis depending on the market interest rate. It can be lower in some months and higher in others.
  • Comparison rate. The comparison rate is the true cost of the loan. This is displayed as a percentage. It includes both the interest rate and the various fees and charges that come with the loan. The comparison rate is often higher, but never lower than the interest rate. It is how much you will actually pay for the loan.
  • Fees. These can include establishment and ongoing fees, and will add to the overall cost of your loan. Some lenders may waive them altogether, but in some cases it may be unavoidable. These fees are generally included in the comparison rate. But some fees, like fees for paying the loan early, may not. It's important to consider all fees before applying.
  • Loan terms and repayment. Apart from the cost of the loan, you should also take into consideration the length or term of your loan. This is how long you have to repay the loan. While it may be tempting to opt for a long term, remember that you'll be paying interest and fees during that time. This may drive up the total cost of the loan.
  • Loan amounts. Minimum and maximum loan amounts are set by lenders. How much you can borrow will depend on your income and credit score. It's important to check if the amount you need is within the range offered by the lender.

What should I keep in mind when applying for a personal loan?

Apart from considering interest and comparison rates, there are a few other factors to keep in mind when applying for a loan. You should look into the following before applying:

  • How much can I afford? While you may need the loan funds, you need to be able to afford the loan. You need to take into consideration how much the loan will cost over its lifetime, and not merely your monthly repayments. Don't forget to include fees as well as interest rates in your calculations.
  • Does it fit my budget? After you calculate the cost of the loan, you need to ask yourself if you can afford it. How does it fit in with your current budget? Will making repayments leave you out of pocket? You should only apply for a loan if it fits comfortably within your budget.
  • Can I repay the loan within the given loan term? Once you've calculated its cost and affordability, ask yourself if you can repay the loan in the time given to you. If you fail to make your repayments, there may be high fines and even legal repercussions. If you've opted for a secured loan, the lender can also repossess your asset.
  • Is the loan competitive? Compare rates and fees to other similar loan products and see how they fare. Are they competitive? You want to select the product that will cost you the least. Sometimes lenders advertise low interest rates, but these loans aren't always the cheapest. That's because they may charge high fees, which may offset any gains from low interest. You should factor all this in your comparison.
  • Am I eligible for the loan? This may sound obvious, but if you don't meet the lender's requirements, you're not likely to get the loan. You can talk to the lender before applying to determine if you qualify.
  • What is the lender's reputation? This is particularly important with payday loans. You need to check if the lender is registered with ASIC. Look into how easy the lender is to contact. This is important in case there's an emergency and you need to contact them regarding repayments. If possible, you should also read third-party customer reviews of the lender.
  • Is the loan I'm applying for suitable for the loan purpose? If you want to purchase a laptop, you need to apply for a loan suitable for the purpose. Applying for a car loan won't be of much help as car loans come with restrictions. While personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, there may be restrictions that limit how you can use the funds. You should familiarise yourself with the terms of the loan to see if the loan you're applying for is suitable.

What are the risks of applying for a personal loan?

  • 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. For short-term loans, you could be charged up to 200% of what you borrowed. For unsecured loans, the lender can initiate legal proceedings against you if you don't repay the loan. For secured loans, your asset can be repossessed by the lender. The lender 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. Several applications within a short period can hurt your credit score. This can make it harder for you to get a loan in the future. Find a single loan you're eligible for and only apply for one loan product at a time.
  • Getting into debt. Debt comes with responsibilities. If you can't meet your repayments, you should contact the lender as soon as you can. If you fail to do so, you may be charged late or default fees, which will lead to more debt. Your payment history will affect your credit score – for better or worse.

How do I know if I'm eligible for a personal loan?

Checking if you're eligible for a personal loan is relatively simple. Here's what you have to do:

  • Check the minimum eligibility criteria. Lenders will have minimum criteria you'll have to meet to qualify for a loan. The criteria will vary from lender to lender, but there are some basic requirements. These involve age, residency, employment and income. Some lenders have more stringent requirements than others. Before submitting an application, you should make sure you meet all the minimum requirements. We've also listed the minimum eligibility criteria for loans on every review page and in the table above.
  • Call the lender if you're unsure. Not sure if you meet one of the criteria? Call the lender or jump onto live chat and confirm with them directly before applying. This way you'll know for certain before applying.
  • Consider how you can improve your application. There are many ways to improve your application before you apply. For instance, some lenders (such as NAB) note on their site that opening up a transaction account with them can improve your chances. You'll need to do this a few months before applying. This will give you an opportunity to establish a good transaction history with them. If the lender you're applying with doesn't offer transaction account products, you could work on your savings before applying. A good savings record goes a long way. Additionally, paying all your bills on time, including utilities and credit cards, can demonstrate you're a reliable borrower.

Tuition fees and FEE-HELP loans

When you attend university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.
These loans do not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or textbooks.

To be eligible for a FEE-HELP loan, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia
  • Be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements. Permanent residents can only get FEE-HELP for approved bridging studies.
  • Have an available HELP balance
  • Be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans
  • Be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date (your provider can tell you if your course is eligible)
  • Submit the Request for FEE-HELP loan form to your provider by the census date
  • Maintain a pass rate of more than 50%

For more information on FEE-HELP and managing student debt in Australia, you can check out our guide to government student assistance.

How can I apply for a personal 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.

More guides on Finder

    Personal Loan Offers

    Important Information*
    Logo for Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
    Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan

    You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.35% p.a. and 19.09% p.a. based on your risk profile.
    Apply for a loan up to $70,000 and repay your loan over 3, 5 or 7 years terms.

    Logo for ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan
    ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan

    You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.49% p.a. and 15.99% p.a. ( 7.41% p.a. to 16.84% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
    Apply for up to $50,000 to use for a variety of purposes without needing to add security. Available to self-employed applicants.

    Logo for NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
    NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed

    You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
    Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 years to 7 years loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.

    Logo for SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
    SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan

    You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.95% p.a. and 22.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
    A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.

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    2 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      GradJanuary 6, 2018

      Hi,
      I am looking to move interstate to complete a Graduate Law degree. I am looking for a loan of about $50,000 to cover living expenses for 3 years. I would be working part-time while studying. Are there any loans available that I can pay back once I’ve graduated and am working as a lawyer full time, instead of making repayments while studying?

      • Default Gravatar
        ArnoldJanuary 6, 2018

        Hi Grand Law Student,

        Thanks for your inquiry

        The page above has all the information you need to know in applying for a student loan. Please note that lenders may require you to meet eligibility criteria such as but not limited to a minimum monthly income for you to be approved for a loan. Although some lenders may be flexible with their requirements, it would be best to confirm this with the lenders directly before applying.

        Hope this information helps

        Cheers,
        Arnold

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