Can I top up my personal loan?

Looking for some extra funds? Find out what’s involved in topping up your existing personal loan.

If you have an existing personal loan and are hit with unexpected expenses, you may be considering a loan top-up. This allows you to add more funds to your existing loan amount, so you can keep all of your debt in one place and stay with your current lender. Find out how you can get a loan top-up and whether you’re eligible.

Should I top up my loan or take out a new one?

If you are in need of extra funds, you might be considering whether it’s better to top up your existing loan or to apply for a new loan to consolidate your old and new debt. Weigh up the pros and cons of both options before you apply:

Top-up an existing loan
  • Convenience of staying with the same lender
  • May have more of a chance of being approved
  • Application fees
  • Possible restrictions to loan top-ups
Apply for a new personal loan
  • You may find a more competitive loan
  • Possibility of early repayment fees with current loan

What should I check before topping up my personal loan?

Before applying for a personal loan top-up, ask your lender the following questions:

  • What fees will I be charged? Most banks will charge a single $100-$200 administration fee if you decide to top up your loan. This fee might be higher, lower or even non-existent depending on what kind of top-up options your lender offers. You need to check this before you apply.
  • Are there any restrictions to topping up my personal loan? You may not be able to apply for a personal loan top-up in the first 12 months of your loan or you may need to have a certain percentage of your loan paid off. Check if any restrictions apply.
  • Am I eligible for a personal loan top-up? You will need to meet certain criteria for a personal loan top-up. For example, you may need to meet the same eligibility criteria that were set when you applied for the personal loan. If your personal circumstances have changed, check the criteria again to ensure you can still apply.

Will my loan top-up be listed on my credit file?

Yes. Your credit file shows your debt history and the state of your finances. It’s used by lenders to determine whether you are likely to be able to pay a loan back, and loan top-ups are relevant to this.
When you top up a loan, it gives you more outstanding debt than before, which naturally appears on credit files.

Which lenders allow you to top up your personal loan?

BrandTop-ups offered?Fees and restrictionsEligibility
ANZYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Earn $15,000 p.a.
  • Australian citizen, permanent resident or have a valid visa
Bank AustraliaNo--
Bank of MelbourneYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Have an Australian residential address
BankSAYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Have an Australian residential address
Bendigo BankNo--
CommBankYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Have a good credit rating
  • Australian citizen, permanent resident, New Zealand citizen or hold a 457 visa
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt
  • Be employed
  • Live in Australia
  • Meet minimum income requirements
Gateway CUNo--
NABYesYou can't increase your loan amount if you have already borrowed the maximum loan amount of $55,000.
  • 18 years or older
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Earn a regular income
  • Be able to afford the loan repayments
  • 18 years or older
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident (not on 457 visa)
  • Be employed full-time, part-time, self-employed or casually (casual employees must be employed longer than six months)
Pepper MoneyNo--
QT Mutual BankNo--
RateSetterYesYou can apply for a loan top-up if you've made at least six monthly payments towards your existing RateSetter loan.
  • 21 years or older
  • Australian citizen, permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen
  • Have a regular source of income
  • Have a good credit history
St.GeorgeYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Have an Australian residential address
WestpacYesA loan approval fee may apply.
  • 18 years or older
  • Have an Australian residential address

How do I top up my personal loan?

Topping up a personal loan involves a couple of steps:

  1. The first step is to decide whether a top-up loan is the best solution for your particular situation or if there are other options that are more suitable. There may be fees for simply inquiring about a top-up or for assessing your eligibility, which is why it’s a good idea to be certain before you apply.
  2. Contact your lender. They tend to handle applications on a case-by-case basis and can either accept or decline your top-up application. They may want to discuss your financial needs, check your credit file and assess your eligibility before deciding whether to go ahead with a top-up.
  3. Once your personal loan is topped up, you will need to continue managing your debt.

Am I eligible for a personal loan top-up?

Eligibility requirements for loan top-ups vary depending on the lender. One bank might let you top up while another won’t. Generally, the requirements for topping up are similar to the requirements for taking out a whole new loan. However, they are usually considered on a case-by-case basis for existing customers, which means the requirements tend to be on the more lenient side. The following factors may affect your eligibility for a top-up loan.

  • Having a history of late repayments with your lender
  • If your loan has only been active for a short period of time
  • If your circumstances have changed since you first applied for your personal loan.
  • Having defaults on your credit report, which are payments of $150 or more overdue by 60 days or more

Your bank may also have particular top-up eligibility requirements. If you’ve decided that a top-up is the right course of action for your needs, the easiest way to find out whether you’re eligible is to contact your lender.

Picture: Shutterstock

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