Compare personal loans

A personal loan can be a useful way to finance a large project or purchase, such as home renovation, an overseas trip, or anything else on your bucket list. Take a look at various personal loan types from a range of lenders, right here on this page.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 10th September 2020

Comparing personal loans for $30,000.00 over 60 months

ANZ Variable Rate Personal Loan

On ANZ's website

ANZ Variable Rate Personal Loan

Interest rate

15.99%

Comparison rate

16.84%

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$150.00

Monthly repayment

$733.03

Total repayment

$43,981.80

Highlights

  • Get a variable rate of 15.99% p.a.
  • Make extra repayments whenever you like to reduce your loan term and interest you pay, helping you to pay it off earlier.
ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan

On ANZ's website

ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan

Interest rate

12.45%

Comparison rate

13.32%

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$150.00

Monthly repayment

$677.55

Total repayment

$40,653.00

Highlights

  • Get a fixed rate of 12.45% p.a.
  • Log on to ANZ Internet Banking to see your balance, repayments, interest paid and details about your next payment.
SocietyOne Personal Loan: Very Good Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term)

On SocietyOne's website

SocietyOne Personal Loan: Very Good Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term)

Interest rate

From 11.19% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 12.63% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $395.00

Monthly repayment

$663.74

Total repayment

$39,824.40

Highlights

  • The application fee for Very Good Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term) is from 4.25% of the loan amount (minimum of $395.00 up to $995.00).
  • Get a personalised interest rate of 11.19% p.a. to 12.19% p.a. (Comparison rate from 12.63% p.a. to 13.64% p.a.)
  • No monthly or early repayment fees.
SocietyOne Personal Loan: Excellent Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term)

On SocietyOne's website

SocietyOne Personal Loan: Excellent Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term)

Interest rate

From 7.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 7.99% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $0.00

Monthly repayment

$608.15

Total repayment

$36,489.00

Highlights

  • The application fee for Excellent Credit Rating (5 Year Loan Term) is from 0% of the loan amount (minimum of $0 up to $995.00).
  • Get a personalised interest rate of 7.99% p.a. to 10.49% p.a. (Comparison rate from 7.99% p.a. to 11.92% p.a.)
  • No monthly or early repayment fees.
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan (5 Year Loan Term)

On Harmoney's website

Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan (5 Year Loan Term)

Interest rate

From 6.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 7.79% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $295.00

Monthly repayment

$599.73

Total repayment

$35,983.80

Highlights

  • Personal Loans up to $50,000
  • No early repayment fees
  • Apply online in minutes
NAB Variable Rate Personal Loan

On NAB's website

NAB Variable Rate Personal Loan

Interest rate

From 9.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 10.88% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$150.00

Monthly repayment

$640.45

Total repayment

$38,427.00

Highlights

  • Get a variable headline rate of 12.69% p.a.* (for new loans only). The interest rate you get may be different depending on your circumstance.
  • 13.56% p.a. variable comparison rate.
  • With redraw facility.
  • 1-7 years flexible loan term.
  • Borrow from $5,000 up to $55,000.

*The variable headline rate is what the majority of personal loan customers will get or lower.

NAB Fixed Rate Personal Loan

On NAB's website

NAB Fixed Rate Personal Loan

Interest rate

From 9.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 10.88% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$150.00

Monthly repayment

$640.45

Total repayment

$38,427.00

Highlights

  • Get a fixed headline rate of 12.69% p.a.* (for new loans only). The interest rate you get may be different depending on your circumstance.
  • 13.56% p.a. fixed comparison rate.
  • 1-7 years flexible loan term.
  • Borrow from $5,000 up to $55,000.
  • Flexible weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.


*The fixed headline rate is what the majority of personal loan customers will get or lower.

MoneyMe Personal Loan - Excellent Credit Rating

On MoneyMe's website

MoneyMe Personal Loan - Excellent Credit Rating

Interest rate

From 8.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 10.68% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $200.00

Monthly repayment

$626.76

Total repayment

$37,605.60

Highlights

  • Easy application for up to $50,000 online, no paperwork required
  • MoneyMe's smart tech gives you an outcome on the spot
  • Funds hit your bank account in as little as minutes (transfer times may vary depending on your bank)
  • Flexible repayment options
  • No monthly charges, early exit fees or funky hidden costs
Plenti Personal Loan: Excellent Credit (Fixed)

On Plenti's website

Plenti Personal Loan: Excellent Credit (Fixed)

Interest rate

From 6.49% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 6.84% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $149.00

Monthly repayment

$589.76

Total repayment

$35,385.60

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low rate that is 100% made for you.
  • Apply online in under 10 minutes with your driver’s licence and bank details. Enjoy no monthly or early repayment fees.
Plenti Personal Loan: Very Good Credit (Fixed)

On Plenti's website

Plenti Personal Loan: Very Good Credit (Fixed)

Interest rate

From 7.79% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 8.35% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $249.00

Monthly repayment

$610.31

Total repayment

$36,618.60

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low rate that is 100% made for you.
  • Apply online in under 10 minutes with your driver’s licence and bank details. Enjoy no monthly or early repayment fees.
Plenti Personal Loan: Good Credit (Fixed)

On Plenti's website

Plenti Personal Loan: Good Credit (Fixed)

Interest rate

From 9.49% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 10.20% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $249.00

Monthly repayment

$635.14

Total repayment

$38,108.40

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low rate that is 100% made for you.
  • Apply online in under 10 minutes with your driver’s licence and bank details. Enjoy no monthly or early repayment fees.
Driva Car Loan

On Driva's website

Driva Car Loan

Interest rate

From 4.47% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 5.28% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $0.00

Monthly repayment

$558.88

Total repayment

$33,532.80

Highlights

  • Matches your unique profile to the best pre-qualified car loan rate.
  • Choose your preferred lender, with 100% rate and fee transparency.
  • Approval can take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days depending on your lender.
  • Submit your car details and have your funds released to get you on the road.

Overview

A personal loan refers to money borrowed from a bank or credit union that is used by the borrower to serve various purposes and paid back in monthly instalments. The interest rate you pay is dependent on your creditworthiness, which is determined by assessing your credit history, income, and existing debts.

Purpose of personal loans

Personal loans serve a multitude of objectives that allow for optimal financial flexibility. In this section, we'll be comparing personal loans and what purposes they can be used to serve.

  • Debt consolidation. If you're facing financial troubles due to multiple loans or outstanding credit card debts, a personal loan allows you to pay off such debts at lower interest rates. By grouping various debts, you can easily work around a more flexible time frame for paying off your balances and work within your current financial capabilities.
  • Home renovation. Whether it's to fully remodel your home, install several pieces of major equipment, or cater to emergency home repairs, a personal loan can eliminate the need for having a large amount of cash on hand. Especially for homeowners without equity, personal loans will involve less risk when they are unsecured and therefore don't require you to offer your home as collateral.
  • Emergency costs. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances such as an accident or death will require you to take out a personal loan if you can't immediately cover the expenses for medical bills or a funeral. If, for example, the deceased person's estate cannot cover outstanding medical expenses or funeral services, you can satisfy these fees and charges with a loan.
  • Large purchases. Whether to purchase a brand new vehicle, fund a dream holiday or pay for a glamorous wedding, a personal loan can be used to shoulder big-ticket items. Rather than saving up for months or even years to purchase a major item on your wishlist, you can choose to acquire it immediately, accommodating repayment over a fixed period with a personal loan. 
  • Education. Enrolling in a program at university or pursuing further studies doesn't come cheap. Not everyone can afford to shoulder tuition and living expenses every year, but personal loans offer an easy and immediate solution.
  • Business start-up. Among one of the most popular reasons to apply for a personal loan is starting up a business. If you've taken up too much time trying to save capital and haven't experienced a breakthrough, applying for a personal loan may be your best bet towards success. A business credit card is an alternative for businesses with an established trading record.

Eligibility criteria

Requesting a personal loan is a major financial step. Whether you're applying for a secured or unsecured personal loan, you will be expected to meet certain eligibility criteria (including Australian citizenship or residency) in order to qualify. Temporary residents can also be eligible for personal loans but may have to adhere to additional criteria. All applicants will need to supply details of:

  • Income. Regardless of the lender you choose to work with, applicants are almost always expected to have a steady source of income. This ensures that you're capable of repaying monthly instalments without any delays.
  • Employment. Secondary to proof of income, you may need to be employed full-time in order to qualify for the best personal loan options. Part-time workers and the self-employed can also apply, however. In some cases, unemployed applicants can be considered for a loan if they receive government benefits.
  • Existing debts. The lender will want details of your existing debts so that they can make sure you can still afford to repay a new debt.
  • Credit score. Perhaps one of the greater considerations lenders make when considering loan applicants is their credit score. Naturally, those with higher credit scores will be able to reap the benefits of lower interest rates and larger borrowing amounts.

Types of personal loans

Though the majority of personal credit union or bank loans are unsecured and come with fixed payments, there are also other types you can consider that range in terms and qualifying factors. Here, we'll compare personal loans and their implications.

  • Unsecured vs secured. The most popular type of personal loan are unsecured since they don't require collateral in the form of your home, vehicle, or other properties. Whether or not you qualify and receive a low interest rate will be determined primarily by your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. On the other hand, secured personal loans adhere to opposite guidelines. Lenders can legally seize your collateral if you default on your loan.
  • Fixed interest rate vs variable interest rate. As its title suggests, a fixed-rate loan charges you monthly rates and payments that never change for the duration of the loan. If you're concerned about the rising rates linked to long term loans and would rather maintain consistent payments, fixed-rate loans are usually easier to budget for. Alternatively, variable rate loans demand charges that fluctuate according to how benchmark interest rates rise and fall. Variable rate loans make the most sense for borrowers who are looking to pay off a sum in a shorter period of time, as rates less likely to surge at short notice.

Alternatives to personal loans

Before applying for a personal loan, consider these alternatives which might better suit your situation:

  • Balance transfer credit card. A new credit card with a 0% interest offer for an extended period on balances transferred to the card (from your existing credit cards and/or personal loans) may be a good alternative for debt consolidation, or immediately following a major purchase on your existing credit card.
  • Credit card with 0% on purchases offer. If you're contemplating a major purchase (such as home appliances, technology or a holiday) you could apply for a new credit card with a 0% interest offer on purchases for up to 15 months, sometimes longer.
  • Bank overdraft or line of credit. The benefit of this type of finance is that you don't need to draw down the full amount for your needs upfront. You just use the credit as you need it, which means that you're not paying interest on the entire loan amount, just the amount you've used to date.
  • Refinance your home loan to make use of equity. If you have a reasonable amount of equity in your home, you could consider refinancing it for a larger amount than your remaining loan balance. This gives you access to cash which you could use for any purpose normally covered by a personal loan, but be aware that in so doing you are converting short-term debt into long-term debt.

Learn about personal loans

Find out how personal loans work and what to watch out for with help from Finty's team.

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

  • FAQs

  • Glossary

Reasonable interest rates

Most of the time, the interest rates on personal loans are more favourable than those on credit cards. If you boast a good credit score, you may qualify for a very low interest rate.

Versatile

Personal loans can be used to pay for almost anything, whether it's a car repair, home renovation or dream holiday, depending on the financial goals you need to meet. 

Requires only passable credit

Personal loans don't require individuals to have great credit. In fact, you can still likely qualify for one with a score of 600 or lower, although you may be able to borrow less, and will pay a higher interest rate, than someone with a great score.

Unlimited borrowing amount

With this type of loan you can borrow as much as you need – provided you have the qualifying criteria to be approved for the amount you are seeking – and usually more than you can with a credit card.

Lengthy repayment periods

Unlike payday loans, you'll be given a reasonable amount of time to pay off a personal loan. This applies especially to an unsecured personal loan. 

Early payment penalties

If you make early or extra repayments, your lender may be missing out on interest they would have earned had you paid according to the original schedule. You may be charged early repayment fees to compensate the lender.

Potential for scammers

If you aren't looking carefully, you may find yourself indebted to a lender that isn't actually legitimate. Always ensure that a lender is registered or accredited. All the lenders listed at Finty are properly accredited.

Upfront application fee

On top of interest charges, personal loans will usually require borrowers to shell out an application fee (not in order to apply, but once the loan is approved) which may be anything between $50 and $500 or more. Some loans also charge a monthly administration or account-keeping fee.

Potential for high interest rates

If your credit score isn't great you may find that the interest rate you are offered is higher than the advertised rate.

Clean up your credit score

To qualify for a personal loan at all, you'll first want to clean up your credit score by requesting a free copy of your credit report from one of the Australian credit bureaux (Experian, Equifax, illion), checking the report for errors and getting on top of outstanding payments.

Understand and check the comparison rate

When trying to picture the true cost of applying for a personal loan, a comparison interest rate considers any ongoing fees you might need to pay over the duration of your loan. Different comparison rates can help guide your final decision when considering competing personal loans.

Borrow only what you can afford

Work within your budget. Asking for more money than you need to accomplish your financial goals can put you in a vulnerable position when it comes to paying off the loan.

Choose the right lender

If you meet a potential lender's minimum requirements, you can likely pre-qualify for their services. Do this with various lenders and consider personal loans and different comparison rates that best fit into your budget.

Always pay on time

As with any type of loan, making your repayments on time can help you avoid penalty fees and potential damage to your credit score.

Can I still get a personal loan if I’m self-employed?

There’s no doubt that it’s easier to get a personal loan as a wage earner than as a self-employed entrepreneur. A wage or salary earner is perceived as a lower risk option because they have a provable steady income stream, unlike the more unpredictable income of the self-employed. But with around 17% of Australian workers now classified as self-employed, the process is almost certain to get easier for this now very large group. Right now though, you’ll still have quite a lot of choice from many lenders, provided you can supply the following information:

  • Last two business and/or personal tax returns
  • Last two years of ATO tax assessments
  • Recent business financial statements (Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet) if you have them
  • Bank statements showing business income and expenses
  • Rental property income statements, if applicable
  • Details of any existing personal or business loans and credit card debt
  • Official ID document, such as Australian driver’s licence or passport
  • Your residential and business addresses
  • Your ABN and any other business operating licences

If you are unable to provide this information, you may have to resort to a low doc loan, which will usually have a much higher interest rate.

Can I still get a personal loan if my credit rating is poor?

A low credit rating will certainly limit your loan options. It is possible to get a secured loan with no credit check, if you have some sort of collateral to offer, such as your house or a car. Some lenders may even be prepared to give you an unsecured personal loan with no credit check, but you’ll probably have to meet a higher income requirement and certainly pay a higher interest rate. As a last resort, so-called ‘payday loans’ (short-term loans of low amounts from lenders who are not Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions) are extremely expensive and can often lead to a long-term debt spiral. Avoid them if you possibly can.

How can I decide which personal loan best suits my needs?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate?
  • Do I want a secured or unsecured loan?
  • What loan repayment term do I need?
  • Which loan fitting all my requirements is offering the lowest comparison interest rate?
  • Am I satisfied with this lender’s reputation for service?

How can I qualify for a good personal loan interest rate?

It will depend to a large extent on your credit rating. If you have a high credit score you will usually be offered a lower interest rate than someone with a poor score. A really low credit score could mean that your application is declined altogether.

How much can I borrow with a personal loan?

The amount you are allowed to borrow will depend on your income and credit rating, and possibly other factors such as how long you have been in your current job and what assets you have. When you apply you won’t know in advance how much you will be approved for, but you do need to have an amount in mind. Lenders will usually indicate the minimum and maximum amounts they are prepared to lend with an advertised loan, so before you apply you need to make sure that the amount you want to borrow falls within the lender’s limits.

Is it a good idea to get a personal loan?

It depends on why you want or need to borrow money. If you already have high interest debt (such as credit card debt) that you would like to consolidate, or you would like to finance a large project such as a home renovation, a personal loan can be a better option than a credit card because it will usually have a much lower interest rate. You may also need a personal loan to cover an emergency, such as medical expenses or urgent home repairs. But it may not be the best idea to get a personal loan to cover discretionary spending like a short holiday or a new TV, unless your only other option is to put the purchase on a standard credit card.

The cheapest option for discretionary spending is obviously money you’ve already saved, or, failing that, a credit card with a long 0% interest period on purchases (provided you are sure you will have saved up enough to repay the balance when the 0% interest period ends). However, if you really need or want to make that major purchase, a personal loan is likely to be a less expensive option than finance obtained through the seller.

What information and documents will I need to supply when applying for a personal loan?

You will need to provide:

  • A primary ID document such as an Australian driver’s licence, Australian passport (or foreign passport with residency visa), or other forms of ID (birth certificate, citizenship certificate, Medicare card, overseas driver’s licence, utility bills) if you don’t have a primary form of ID
  • Proof of income, such as recent payslips, rental income statements, or tax returns/assessments to prove self-employment income
  • Details of your personal assets (bank deposits, real estate property, vehicles &c) and liabilities (credit cards, other loans including home loans)
  • Details of your monthly or annual living expenses

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is financial product, an instalment loan that allows you to borrow money during an agreed term for a wide variety of purposes, and pay interest on the amount borrowed along with repayments of the loan principal. You might use a personal loan to finance a once-in-a lifetime overseas trip, or a wedding, or to renovate your home, or buy a car or consolidate your debts.

A personal loan may be secured or unsecured, and have either a fixed or variable interest rate, and you don’t need to nominate and stick to a specific purpose for the loan.

What is the comparison interest rate?

You will usually see two interest rates quoted for a each personal loan. The first is the ‘advertised rate’, the face value interest rate that is applied to the loan principal to work out how much interest you have to pay. The second rate is the ‘comparison rate’, which will be slightly higher or possibly much higher. The comparison rate has built into it the effect of any upfront, ongoing and unavoidable exit fees associated with the loan. Expressing these charges in terms of the effective interest rate you will be paying allows you to compare the true cost of competing loans more accurately.

But be aware that the comparison rate is calculated based on a typical loan amount (e.g. $10,000) and typical loan term (e.g. three years) and may not include absolutely every possible fee, so use it as a general guide rather than a guaranteed result.

What is the loan term for a personal loan?

Loan terms can vary between six months and seven years. Choose the shortest term that will result in monthly repayments that you can afford without stretching your budget to the absolute limit. This will result in a lower overall interest cost than choosing a loan term longer than necessary, but too short a loan term could put you into financial difficulties if something unforeseen interferes with your budget.

What kinds of personal loan are available?

Personal loans can be unsecured or secured, and they can have an interest rate which is fixed or variable. The best approach is to find the right kind of loan for your borrowing purpose and personal financial circumstances.

  • Unsecured personal loans are the most common type of loan. Unlike, for example, a home mortgage or a car loan, the lender will not take a charge over your asset (e.g. the house or the car) as security in the event that you default on your loan repayments. The lender would still have the option of taking you to court to recover the debt. Interest rates on unsecured loans tend to be higher than those on secured personal loans.
  • Secured personal loans have a charge against an asset, usually the asset you are buying with the loan money, as a form of collateral. The lender could repossess and sell the asset if you default on the loan. This kind of personal loan is considered less risky for the lender and therefore usually comes with a lower interest rate.
  • Fixed interest rate personal loans have an agreed interest rate applied to the amount borrowed over the full term of the loan. The interest rate never changes, and total interest charges are calculated upfront. The sum of principal plus interest is then usually divided by the number of repayment periods during the loan term, so that the amount of each monthly or fortnightly repayment is also fixed. It makes budgeting easier, but there’s a risk that you end up paying more than you needed to if other interest rates go down while you are still making repayments.
  • Variable interest rate personal loans are offered at an interest rate which may go up or down during the loan period, usually in response to a change in the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate. A variable rate loan can be an advantage in a period where interest rates are generally declining, or a disadvantage in a period where interest rates are rising. They are also more difficult to budget for, since the monthly repayment about is subject to change in line with interest rate changes.

What other features should I look for in a personal loan?

Once you’ve decided whether you need a secured or unsecured loan, and a fixed or variable interest rate, you need to start comparing the other features of the loans on offer, including:

  • The interest rate and comparison interest rate
  • The available loan terms (i.e. the length of time over which your repayments will stretch, with longer loan terms resulting on lower monthly or fortnightly repayments, but more interest cost in total)
  • Any fees associated with the loan, such as an application fee, monthly or annual account keeping fee, late periodic payment fee, early loan discharge fee
  • Flexibility or restrictions around making additional repayments or repaying the full amount early, both of which could reduce your interest cost but see you paying additional fees

Will applying for a personal loan have an impact on my credit score?

A personal loan application is what is known as a ‘hard enquiry’ because a third party will ask to see the details on your credit file. It will cost you a few points on your credit score, but can’t really do much damage if you have a good credit rating. Once you’re approved and your loan term begins, your score will go down slightly again, but will recover and improve as long as you keep up with repayments.

In fact, there are two more ways in which taking out a personal loan can improve your credit score. Having a mix of different types of debt, rather than just credit card debt, can lift your score. A personal loan may also lower your credit utilisation ratio — the amount of credit you’re using as a percentage of your credit limit — if you use the loan to pay off credit card debt.

APR (Annual percentage rate)

The interest rate you incur on your loan expressed as an annual percentage, even though interest is charged monthly.

Comparison rate

The overall cost of a loan based on terms, interest rates, other fees, and repayment frequency. The aim of a comparison rate is to give you a full grasp of the loan's cost in its entirety. 

Cosigner

An additional loan applicant, in conjunction with a single borrower who might not have been approved for an unsecured personal loan on their own.

Debt consolidation

The act of taking out a personal loan to pay off other debts, leaving a single debt with a single monthly repayment.

Debt-to-income ratio

The percentage of your monthly income that is needed for debt repayment.

Interest rate

The advertised rate applied to the loan principal amount in order to calculate the total amount to be repaid (loan principal + interest), and not including any other fees payable.