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Personal Loans for Students

Find out what loan options you have as a student.

Updated

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We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

Many students find themselves on tight budgets while they make their way through university. Course fees and living expenses often start piling up quicker than expected when it's your first time out of home or if you're only able to work part-time or casually and earn minimum wage (or close to it). So, it’s good to know that if you find yourself in need of a loan, there are options available to you.

How does a student loan work?

Student loans work the same way as personal loans available to others working full-time and who have left their studies. The main differences are the eligibility criteria, which is usually more flexible to allow those with lower incomes, with fewer assets or those with part-time jobs to apply and be approved. Because of these, student loans are usually for smaller amounts and the terms and repayments may be stricter. These personal loans may also come with benefits, such as discounted interest rates or waived fees.

Keep in mind that while many student loans can be used to finance a range of purposes, you may want to avoid taking out a student loan to cover small, everyday expenses. You need to factor the loan repayments into your budget before you apply, and if you are already struggling to manage your everyday expenses, adding loan repayments into your budgets may not be your best option.

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What types of personal loans can students consider?

When it comes to selecting a student loan, there are a few options available:

  • Secured personal loan. This type of loan requires you to attach an asset, such as a car or equity in a home, as a guarantee in order to be approved for the loan. These loans can be fixed or variable and usually come with lower rates due to the guarantee, which can be repossessed by the lender in case you default on the loan.
  • Unsecured personal loan. This loan does not require a guarantee, although as such, usually comes with higher rates. This type of loan is generally more flexible and can be used for a range of purposes, and also comes with fixed or variable terms.
  • Medical student loan. This is an innovative type of loan offered by a few lenders to medical and dental students. Qualifying students in their final year of study can secure a loan that they can put towards their course, living expenses, debt consolidation, or other purposes.
  • Graduate loan. If you’re a university student in your final year of study, you may be eligible to take out a loan and enjoy no repayments for the first year. This graduate loan can be used to finance anything of your choice and can help cover expenses while you find a job in your first year out of uni.
  • Car loan. If you’re looking at purchasing a car, students may also be eligible to take out a car loan with a wide range of lenders. These loans require that you attach the car as a guarantee on the loan, but in return you can usually enjoy quite competitive rates and fees.
  • Payday loan. If you really find yourself strapped for cash and in an emergency situation, you also have the option of taking out a short-term loan. These are small, short-term financing solutions and can be accessed by those receiving benefits, working part-time, or even those with bad credit.

Student loans comparison

How will I know if I am eligible for a student personal loan?

Checking if you're eligible for a personal loan is relatively simple. Just make sure you do the following:

  • Check the minimum eligibility criteria. Lenders will have minimum eligibility criteria that need to be met before you apply for a personal loan. This is usually to do with your age, employment and income. Some lenders have very tight minimum eligibility criteria and others are more flexible. Before you submit any application to a lender, make sure you meet every minimum eligiblity criteria. Finder also lists the minimum eligibility criteria for loans on every review page and in the table below.
  • Confirm with the lender if you are unsure. Not sure if you meet one of the criteria? Call the lender or jump on live chat and confirm with them directly before applying. This is an easy way to avoid a rejection being listed on your credit report later on. This can inhibit your ability to be approved for subsequent loans.
  • Consider ways to improve your application. There are many ways for you to improve your application before you apply. For example, a couple of lenders (such as NAB) note on their site that if you open a transaction account with them for a few months before you apply for a personal loan and establish a good history with them, you may have more of a chance of being approved. If the lender you're applying with doesn't offer transaction account products, you could consider building up your savings a bit more before applying or repaying your credit card debt a bit. Anything to prove you are a reliable borrower.

What discounts and eligibility criteria apply to student personal loans?

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
Commonwealth Bank
  • 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

How to compare student loans

Before you apply for any student loan, it’s important to compare your options to ensure you choose the most competitive one for you:

  • How much can I afford? While you may be approved for the loan, keep in mind that ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether you can afford the loan or not. Take a look at the rate, the fees, and see how much your repayments will be. If you don’t think you’ll comfortably make the repayments, you may need to reconsider the loan. Use a personal loan calculator to help.
  • Who is the lender? Are they reputable? Can they be easily contacted? Have other customers left positive reviews of their services/products online? The reputation of the lender should inform your decision.
  • How much can I borrow? You should also check the loan amount being offered to ensure it will be sufficient for your needs. Keep in mind that the amount you’re actually approved for will depend on the criteria set by the lender and your ability to repay the loan.
  • How competitive are the rates and fees? Compare the rates and fees you will be charged 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, so make sure you’re getting the product that’s giving you the best deal.
  • What are the restrictions? You should familiarise yourself with the terms of the loan to see if there are any restrictions that will affect you. The last thing you need is to take out the loan only to find out you can’t use the loan amount the way you wanted, or you can’t make extra repayments like you’d planned. Find out what you can and can’t do with a personal loan.

Compare personal loans available to students side by side

Just because you are a student, doesn't mean you don't have options available for finance. Compare your options below.

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
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan

From 6.99% (fixed)
7.79%
$2,000
3 to 5 years
$575 ($275 for loans of below $5,000)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 year terms.
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan (2-3 years)

From 6.99% (fixed)
6.99%
$5,000
2 to 3 years
from 0% to 5% (capped at $995)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 17.99% 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.
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan (5 years)

From 7.99% (fixed)
7.99%
$5,000
5 years
from 0% to 5% (capped at $995)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.99% p.a. and 20.49% 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.
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% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Variable Rate

From 9.99% (variable)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a variable 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. Benefit from fee-free additional repayments and a redraw facility. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
Latitude Personal Loan (Unsecured)

From 7.99% (fixed)
9.24%
$3,000
1 to 7 years
$250 (Loans under $5000 - $140)
$13
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.99% p.a. and 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for what you need from $3,000 and use it for a range of purposes. Repay weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
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Compare up to 4 providers

What to avoid when applying for a student loan?

While student loans can offer you a way to access finance that may be needed by you, you should consider your ability to afford the loan before applying. Students are generally on tight budgets, and a loan is a serious and long-term expense to take on. Consider your financial circumstances, compare the options available and decide whether this loan is right for you.

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Personal Loan Offers

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

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.

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

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% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.

Logo for SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% 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.

Logo for Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.95% p.a. and 17.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Make additional repayments or pay off the loan early, penalty-free.

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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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