Compare personal loans

Comparison of personal loan interest rates, tenures, and fees. Make an informed decision before applying.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 30th October 2020

Comparing personal loans for $30,000.00 over 60 months

Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan (5 Year Loan Term,  $5000-$50,000)

Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan (5 Year Loan Term, $5000-$50,000)

Interest rate

From 6.99% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 0.00% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$450.00

Monthly repayment

$602.80

Total repayment

$36,168.00

Highlights

  • Rates 6.99% — 24.69% p.a. based on your credit assessment
  • Your rate is fixed for the life of the loan
  • Flexible repalement options - Weekly, fortnightly or monthly
Kiwibank Personal Loan ($10,000 and above)

Kiwibank Personal Loan ($10,000 and above)

Interest rate

16.95%

Comparison rate

0.00%

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$240.00

Monthly repayment

$750.73

Total repayment

$45,043.80

Highlights

  • 13.95% p.a. interest rate for Kiwibank Home Loan customers.
  • A fixed interest rate and set repayment amounts mean you’ll know exactly how much you have to repay and when.
  • You can make additional payments at any time to clear your debt faster.
NZCU Debt Consolidation Loan

NZCU Debt Consolidation Loan

Interest rate

From 13.95% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 0.00% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$250.00

Monthly repayment

$703.08

Total repayment

$42,184.80

Highlights

  • A selection of affordable repayment terms.
  • Dedicated loan consultant.
  • Top up your unsecured loan at any time.
ASB Unsecured Personal Loan

ASB Unsecured Personal Loan

Interest rate

From 12.95% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 0.00% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$99.00

Monthly repayment

$684.07

Total repayment

$41,044.20

Highlights

  • Minimum amount $2,000.
  • Choose your repayment term, from 6 months to 7 years.
  • Make extra repayments online at any time, with no charges and no fees.
ASB Secured Personal Loan

ASB Secured Personal Loan

Interest rate

12.95%

Comparison rate

0.00%

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$124.00

Monthly repayment

$684.64

Total repayment

$41,078.40

Highlights

  • Minimum amount $2,000.
  • Choose your repayment term, from 6 months to 7 years.
  • Make extra repayments online at any time, with no charges and no fees.
BNZ Advanced Personal Loan

BNZ Advanced Personal Loan

Interest rate

From 17.85% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 0.00% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

$50.00

Monthly repayment

$760.62

Total repayment

$45,637.20

Highlights

  • Pay off your loan in regular monthly repayments over a time period that suits, from 3 months up to 5 years.
  • Pay extra off your loan, or pay it off all together, with no early repayment charges or additional payment fees.
  • You can view your loan balance or make repayments whenever you want to in Internet Banking.
Pioneer Finance Personal Loan

Pioneer Finance Personal Loan

Interest rate

From 11.95% (personalised)

Comparison rate

From 0.00% (personalised)

Repayment period

5 years

Application fee

From $270.00

Monthly repayment

$672.57

Total repayment

$40,354.20

Highlights

  • Get a secured loan with a low fixed rate that never goes up
  • Pay at your pace loan terms up to 7 years with payments weekly/fortnightly/monthly
  • Fast and friendly service

Overview

Kiwis of all walks of life apply every single day for personal loans. Major once-off expenses such as weddings, funerals or holidays, as well as immediate expenses such as hospital bills or vehicle maintenance, are some of the common reasons people take out a personal loan.

Unlike a credit card, a personal loan lets you borrow a fixed amount over a fixed period of time, usually (although not always) at a fixed interest rate. Most banks and lending institutions offer up to NZD 100,000 as a personal loan amount, depending on your financial circumstances and the loan's purpose. Repayments are typically spread over one to 10 years, again depending on your personal circumstances, for example how much money you earn each month, your existing borrowings and your monthly expenditures.

Personal loans can be obtained via banks, credit unions, peer-to-peer lending, loan shops and payday lenders. Personal loans are popular in New Zealand and offer convenience for many Kiwis. Having a personal loan allows you easy access to funds while extending the repayment over a time frame that fits your schedule.

Types of personal loans

New Zealand offers a wide range of personal loans to those who have good credit, average credit or even bad credit. Check out the loan options below.

  • Secured personal loan: The amount you borrow will be secured against an asset you own as collateral. The asset offered as collateral may be the one you are funding with the loan (e.g. a car).
  • Unsecured personal loan: This loan is ideal if you want a loan that doesn't need an asset as a guarantee (collateral), or you want to finance a purchase that is unsuitable for a secured personal loan (e.g. a holiday).
  • Car loan: If you can't afford to purchase a car outright from your savings, you're going to need a car loan or some other form of car finance.
  • Debt consolidation loan: This is a way of merging a variety of loans, especially those with a high interest rate, into one manageable loan with a single monthly repayment and a lower overall interest rate.

It's important to compare loans. Borrowing from some lenders can be quite expensive in the long run, which is why it is crucial that you know what to look for when comparing lenders so you don't get stuck with a debt that you can't get out of.

Whether you are looking for a short term loan, cheap loan or quick loan, you can get all the information you need and compare personal loans right here at Finty. We compare New Zealand's leading personal loan offerings so that you can find the right loan and the right lender within minutes.

Learn about personal loans

Answers to common questions about applying for and using a personal loan.

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

  • FAQs

  • Glossary

Debt trap

If you take out a loan designed for someone with bad credit, or your financial circumstances change after you take out a loan, you could get stuck with a debt you can't afford to repay.

Fast approval and access to funds

Unlike a home loan, which can take up to a month to organise, a personal loan applied for online can potentially be conditionally approved in minutes, and could take no more than a few days to finalise so that the funds appear in your bank account.

Flexible financing

A personal loan can be used for many purposes - debt consolidation, home renovations, medical bills, a dream holiday. You can also borrow an amount to suit your purpose and usually choose the loan repayment term as well. It's a very versatile borrowing method.

High fees

Most loans have extra fees attached. Make sure you are aware of all of them, particularly any early exit fee.

Interest rates can be higher than expected

Some personal loans can have quite high interest rates, especially if you are perceived as a bad credit risk. Make sure you shop around to get the best rate.

Interest rates lower than credit cards

Personal loans tend to have much lower interest rates than credit cards, which typically charge between 13% p.a. and 21% p.a. on overdue purchases balances.

Many lenders to choose from

Many lenders offer personal loans, which makes it more likely that there will be a product available to suit your needs exactly. A wide market also leads to more competition for your business, which should result in lower borrowing costs.

Be sure to ask questions

If in doubt, always ask for clarification. Send the lender a message, call on the phone or sit down with them and clarify how long the process will take, what they are providing, as well as any other information you would like to have. Debt is a major decision, so understand the facts before signing. It is also a good idea to speak to a personal finance professional about your expectations and requirements before making any decision.

Check the mode of payment

There are two basic ways of repaying a personal loan. Some lenders will require you to provide details of your bank transaction account so payments can be automatically drawn from your account every month. Others may give you a monthly statement, requiring you to make every payment by yourself when due.

One method is not particularly better than another, although sometimes lenders who automatically take their payments from your account may offer a lower rate of interest than those who don't. The point here is to know how to make payments, when they are due, and how it works with your personal cash flow.

Know the terms and conditions

Don't hesitate to compare and shop around with lenders. Check interest rates, fees, loan conditions and payment methods before any contracts are signed. Also, before you fill out an application, read the fine print of the lender's terms and conditions. 

Terms and conditions include everything from time of payment, loan time frame and early or lump-sum payments. The actual payment period which is best for you depends on your own financial situation and on your ability to pay, so look for a provider that best fits your needs.

Likewise, check if you can make lump-sum repayments to your loan, or pay it off before the end of its term. You may be able to make those early payments with a bonus, refund, or extra cash, although some lenders may charge extra fees, such as early repayment or early exit fees.

You should also check for red flags which may suggest a scam. You will want to make sure that your lender is registered and that there is plenty of business information available so that you can be certain you are not giving a fake company your banking details.

Make sure you work out in advance the total cost of your loan

  • Calculate how much you need. Borrow as little as you need to have a good borrowing experience and repay it as soon as possible, reducing the total amount of interest you will have to pay on the loan. Although borrowing for a longer term length means lower monthly repayments, it greatly increases the amount of interest you must pay back overall. For example, borrowing NZD 10,000 for two years at 15%, the interest cost is around NZD 1,600. Borrowing the same amount for a span of five years it is around NZD 4,300 – a big difference.
  • Compare interest rates. It's important to compare interest rates between various lenders and types of loans while shopping for a personal loan. Here's where a good to great credit score has its advantages. A good score will make the application process much simpler and give you a more attractive rate. Not all lenders are created equal, of course, and interest rates can vary widely. In general, the interest rate is the single most significant difference between lenders. Compare personal loans by Annual Percentage Rate (or APR) when shopping around.
  • Compare fees.The interest rate is not the only amount to be understood and settled upon. Personal loans typically come with setup and other fees, depending on the lender you choose. All Kiwi lenders charge a fee for the establishment of a personal loan, ranging from NZD 100 to NZD 750 and sometimes higher. Furthermore, early repayment fees can be incurred if you pay the loan back before its due date. Again, the sum of these fees can vary considerably, so it helps to go through every detail before you sign up.

What to look for in a personal loan

While the right personal loan structure for you will depend to some extent on your reason for obtaining the loan, your assets, and how you intend to repay the loan, there are a few features every customer should look into when shopping for a personal loan. Some of these include:

  • The length of the loan term. A personal loan is typically repaid over three years, but can in fact be repaid in anywhere between one and five years. A longer repayment term results in lower monthly payments. However, it may come with a higher interest rate as well. So when you're shopping for a loan, the first thing to figure out is how much time you need to repay it. Ideally, a balance needs to be struck between the interest rate you pay and the flexibility you get with a longer loan term. If you're on a tight budget, consider picking up a longer-term loan for greater flexibility. The extra time and lower monthly payments will give you some breathing room. Besides, if you come into extra cash later on, you can choose to pay off your loan faster than planned by making a larger loan payment.
  • Fixed or variable interest rate: A fixed interest rate gives you the predictability of knowing what your repayments are going to be, but there is the risk that if the cash rate drops at the Reserve Bank, bringing interest rates with it, you'll be trapped at your current rate and end up having to pay more. On the other hand, when the Reserve Bank adjusts its cash rate, a floating interest rate goes up and down. Be cautious about promotional offers beginning with a low interest rate but jumping to a higher rate after the introductory period; ideally, you want to pay a low interest rate for as long as your loan lasts.
  • Secured or unsecured loan. Secured loans give you a lower interest rate but if you default on the loan you risk losing the property or asset you put up as security. Unsecured loans have higher interest rates, meaning that you may end up paying more interest over the loan's duration.
  • The amount you can borrow. The amount you are borrowing will depend on the purchase amount you are attempting to finance, and on your income. It's better to figure out how much you can afford to repay each month and take out a loan for less than the maximum you can afford, so that you avoid stretching your budget and finances too thinly. Taking out a loan that's too small will leave you with residual financial needs, but taking out a loan that's too big means you'll be stuck paying interest on a larger sum than necessary. This is why, before applying, you should carefully measure the debt that you can manage and the cost of your contract. Although most banks have a minimum loan amount ( around NZD 2,000), because personal loans are flexible there is no limit to the amount you can borrow or a maximum loan term. When assessing your ability to repay a personal loan, lenders take into account your earnings, credit report and savings levels among other things. In doing so, they will also set a number of acceptable terms for repayment.
  • Repayment flexibility. It's helpful if your loan allows for extra lump-sum or annual repayments. That way, you have the opportunity to repay the loan ahead of time, if your finances allow.
  • Early repayment fee. If you plan to pay off your personal loan early, be careful of lenders that charge an early repayment fee to borrowers who want to clear their loans early due to improvements in their financial condition. In many cases this fee will defeat the purpose of clearing your debt ahead of time.

Your credit profile matters

A good credit score and record is crucial to getting loans of every sort. It shows you are a reliable borrower, and most importantly, this gives the loan issuer confidence that you will be making your payments on time.

But what if you've got a poor credit history or no credit history? While it can complicate the borrowing process, it is not necessarily a huge issue. It's important to understand that your credit score can affect the borrowing costs – i.e. interest rate – so make sure you consider your options carefully.

The lender may also look at your debt-to-income ratio, in addition to your credit history. The basic principle is simple: the debt-to-income ratio takes what you earn every month and compares it with what you intend to borrow, to work out whether you can afford to pay back the monthly instalments.

There are three credit agencies licensed by the government, and from whom you can receive a free credit report:

Veda Advantage: You can get a free copy of your credit report (to be delivered within 20 business days).

Credit Simple: This is a consumer credit reporting agency which falls under the Dun & Bradstreet umbrella.

Centrix: After you complete an online form, Centrix confirms that they can provide you with a free copy of your credit report, usually within 48 hours.

Lenders are going to pull your credit report and take a look at your credit score as one way to determine whether to grant you a loan or not. You will be able to reduce the number of inquiries on your credit report by applying only to lending institutions that can match your borrowing needs. Having too many credit profile checks in your report can reduce your credit score. Besides, having only one loan is much easier than having several smaller personal loans with different repayment dates.

Once you have obtained your personal loan, make sure you never miss a payment. A missed payment is a significant event. It puts a black mark on your credit record and makes new credit cards or loans more difficult to get.

Are personal loans better than credit cards?

In general, personal loans are best for bigger expenses that take longer to pay off. Typically, credit cards are best for minor purchases that can be paid off fairly easily. That's because credit cards usually have higher interest rates than personal loans, so it can be expensive to hold a balance on a card for a long time.

Can I get a personal loan with bad credit in New Zealand?

If you have a bad credit history this doesn't mean you can't be considered for a personal loan. There are a variety of different lending opportunities for people with poor credit in New Zealand, as well as steps that applicants can take to increase their likelihood of getting approved.

If you're looking for finance and you have a bad credit history, your choices will be reduced, but you can still find options. The most likely alternative is a 'bad credit' personal loan – a loan explicitly targeted by lenders to holders of poor credit scores .

The terms of bad credit loans, such as interest rates, fees and loan terms, will depend on the level of risk your credit rating indicates. The interest rate on the loans available to you would usually be higher than on loans given to those with strong credit scores. Poor credit personal loans are also more likely to be secured rather than unsecured.

If you are not sure whether your credit score will get you a personal loan, the first thing you need to do is find out what your credit score is. It will also enable you to check whether that score is correct (i.e. if there are any errors in your report) and help you find ways you can boost that score before you apply.

Credit agencies in New Zealand are required by legislation to issue credit reports to individuals free of charge. This type of credit report enquiry does not affect your rating, unlike a lender's enquiries on an individual's record, which may have a negative effect. If you verify that your credit score is insufficient for a loan, talk to an expert about the possibility of getting a bad credit loan. Managing any kind of loan well can improve your credit profile.

Can migrants and non-residents get approved for a personal loan?

In New Zealand, even if you have just immigrated and are not able to access all forms of financing, you may still be eligible for a personal loan. Conventional banks, credit unions and smaller lenders may all provide personal loans for migrants or non-residents.

Because a recent migrant will have little or nothing in their New Zealand credit file, the lender will need to use other information as a basis for approving a loan. You'll need a New Zealand work visa, and having a confirmed job in New Zealand with a salary confirmed by an employer will go a long way.

If you are on a conditional visa and are applying for a loan, the loan duration will not extend beyond the duration of your visa. For instance, if you have a temporary work visa for two years, you will only be able to obtain a two-year loan.

How do you get a personal loan?

Obtaining a personal loan in New Zealand is fast becoming a simple process thanks to internet use. It is now possible to do virtually every step of the application online, saving the borrower the trouble of lengthy paperwork and office visits.

More and more providers and credit unions are using the internet for their borrowing process, which means that more applications can be processed successfully, leading to improved product offerings.

The basic requirements when applying for a personal loan in New Zealand are:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You must be a New Zealand resident, or a New Zealand work visa non-resident
  • You must provide proof of identity and be able to provide details of your income and financial history

The next move is that the lender will run a credit check on you. If the credit test is completed and you passed, you can move to the next stage – providing documents:

  • Latest public utility bill or bank statement
  • Evidence of your income
  • Banking transaction history
  • Proof of other debts and payments if you are applying for a debt consolidation loan

After you have obtained and processed all the required paperwork and have fulfilled your eligibility requirements, all you have to do is sign the loan agreement and agree to the terms.

As with any financial decision, getting a personal loan may require expert advice from a finance professional.

How long does it take to process a personal loan application?

Depending on the type of lender, getting approved for a personal loan can take between a few minutes to several weeks. In just a few minutes, online and peer-to-peer lenders can approve your loan, while traditional applications via banks and credit unions may take weeks.

How much can I borrow with a personal loan?

Different lenders have their own special terms for the amount and length of the loan. You can usually apply for an unsecured loan of between NZD 2,000 and NZD 100,000 – or perhaps more, depending on your circumstances – and the lender will consider many factors before deciding whether to advance the amount you requested.

How much do personal loans cost?

The cost of a personal loan differs by lender and situation. Most lenders charge one-time fees for the establishment of a loan, and sometimes they charge maintenance costs on a recurring basis (monthly or annually) in addition to the interest charges. Such costs will dramatically drive up the effective cost of the loan.

Before you agree to a loan, we suggest you find out four main things:

  • The net amount that you will receive as a loan from the lender
  • The total amount of each repayment
  • The number of repayments that you will be expected to make
  • The total amount of all the repayments

Is a personal loan a good idea?

When you deal with a trustworthy provider, intend to be using the loan for the best purposes and can commit to the agreed repayment, then a personal loan will be a wise choice. When you use it to meet a financial target, such as paying down debt by consolidation or refurbishing your house to raise its value, a personal loan may be a smart investment. Using a personal loan for big purchases that you don't want to put on your credit card can make sense too.

On the other hand, if the loan you are considering comes with a huge interest rate, and you have limited or unstable means of repayment, then a personal loan is definitely not a good idea.

What can personal loans be used for?

There are many reasons why a personal loan can be taken out. An unsecured loan may, for example, provide funds to cover large purchases, consolidate credit card debt, repair or improve a home, take a holiday, or provide financing to fill an income gap. Unsecured loans are not protected by any collateral.

Car loans and other forms of secured loan are also known as personal loans. These loans must follow normal credit approval protocols but they could be easier to obtain as they are secured by an asset. For example, with a car loan, the lender has the right to take ownership of your vehicle after a certain number of missed payments. Secured loans typically come with better rates and conditions as the lender has implied ownership rights that reduce their risk. 

What types of personal loans are there?

There are two main types of personal loans – secured loans and unsecured loans.

A secured loan is one backed by an asset which is used as collateral. This means that if you fail to meet your repayment obligations, the lender could take possession of your asset, such as your home or vehicle.

An unsecured loan does not need any asset as collateral, so there is no chance that your property will be repossessed if you do miss payments.

Each of these types of loan has advantages and disadvantages and your choice will depend a great deal on your personal situation. It may be a good idea to talk to an expert before choosing the type of personal loan best suited to you.

Additionally, make sure the repayments are manageable and will work well for your budget before applying for a personal loan. A personal loan calculator can give a better idea of what your debt payments could be, how much you can borrow and how long it could take to clear the loan.

Will applying for a personal loan affect my credit score?

If you apply for any form of credit, including a personal loan, lenders will usually carry out a background check on you. This means a hard inquiry on your credit report, which negatively affects your credit score. The effect of a single hard inquiry only lasts a few months. Nevertheless, too many hard inquiries within a short time frame can harm your credit score quite a bit.

If you plan to apply to multiple lenders for personal loans to get the best terms, credit scoring models may see this as rate shopping. So try to spread out your applications over a longer period, to lessen their damaging impact on your credit score.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The amount of interest charged on a loan expressed as an annual rate, even though the interest may be paid monthly.

Collateral

An asset offered as security on a loan. The lender places a charge on the asset, so that they are able to take possession of it in order to recover their funds and costs if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Credit score

A numerical expression of the events recorded in your credit file, compiled by a credit agency.

Early repayment fee or early exit fee

A fee payable by a borrower if they wish to repay their loan in full before the end of the agreed loan term.

Fixed interest rate

An interest rate advised by the lender and agreed to by the borrower at the start of the loan term, and applied to the loan amount throughout the term, so that monthly repayment amounts never vary.

Loan term

The agreed length of time within which the borrower must repay the loan.

No-credit-check loan

A loan from a lender who agrees not to check your credit report, unlike other lenders for whom the credit check is a normal part of the approval process. The reason for not checking the credit report will usually be that the prospective borrower has a poor credit history. As a result, this type of loan will typically have a higher interest rate and higher fees.

Peer-to-peer lending

Loans provided directly by non-traditional lenders to individuals or businesses, often via an online platform, cutting out the usual banking middleman.

Secured personal loan

A loan where the borrower provides an asset as collateral (i.e. guarantee of repayment). The lender could take possession of the asset offered as security if the borrower defaults in the loan.

Unsecured personal loan

A loan where the borrower does not provide any collateral.

Variable interest rate

An interest rate which may change during the term of a loan, usually going up or down in line with changes in the Reserve Bank cash rate.