If you’ve got a major family expense coming up like the purchase of a new car, a kitchen reno or possibly a long awaited overseas family trip, you might be considering a personal loan as a way to finance it.
When shopping around for a personal loan, there isn’t going to be a single best loan for every situation, but there are some key features that all great personal loans have in common such as a low interest rate, minimal fees and the flexibility to make extra repayments.
Many lenders of personal loans in Australia have tiered interest rates depending on the credit profile of the borrower/s. This is great news if you’re an established borrower with an excellent credit score as it means you’ll likely qualify for the lowest interest rates on offer.
If you’re still building up your credit history, you’ll usually have to pay a higher interest rate, which is why it’s a good idea to get a loan which allows for free extra repayments and no early repayment penalties so that if you find you family budget has a bit of extra capacity, you can pay off the loan as quick as possible.
With most personal loans you’ll get to choose the loan term ( usually 1-5 years) and the repayment frequency (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) that best suits your family’s budget and timeframe. It’s a good idea not to be too ambitious with the timeframe and also not too lax. Find a balance so that you can comfortably meet your repayments but if you do have extra cash available you can put towards the loan so that you can lower the overall interest paid.
Here’s a look at some of the top personal loan deals available this month:
OurMoneyMarket is one of the new breed of digital lenders challenging the big banks. For borrowers with excellent credit interest rates start at a low 6.57% fixed (7.19% comparison rate*). You can borrow as little as AU$2,001 up to AU$75,000 and choose either a weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments over 1 to 7 years. There are no monthly account keeping fees, no exit fees and no early repayment fees but there is a AU$250 loan establishment fee. The speedy online application process guarantees you a decision in just 1 minute.
This Mozo Experts Choice award-winning^ non-bank lender offers no-fee personal loans for AU$5,000 up to AU$50,000, with competitively low rates for excellent credit borrowers starting at 6.75% (6.75% comparison rate)*. You can apply online to get a personalised rate quote in 2 minutes without impacting your credit score. Now Finance offers funds as fast as 24-48 hours after you’re approved. Loan terms available from 18 months - 7 years.
With unsecured rates from just 5.76% p.a. fixed (6.55% p.a. comparison rate*) Harmoney is making a name for itself. Funds can be in your account in as little as 24 hours after loan term acceptance. Available for loan terms 3 - 7 years, and for borrowing amounts from AU$2,000 up to AU$70,000. There are no early repayment fees and no monthly fees to contend with. You need to earn over AU$30,000 to qualify. There is an establishment fee between AU$257 to AU$575 to pay depending on the loan amount.
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If the above personal loans aren't quite what you're looking for, there may be another that suits your needs. Check out these additional personal loan offers currently available at Mozo:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can family members get a personal loan together?
Yes, there are several ways in which you can get a loan together with family members.
The first way is to be a joint applicant. This is common for couples or spouses who want to make a large purchase and it is harder for one salary to cover the full estimated repayment so both salaries, assets and liabilities are taken into account.
The second way to get a loan with a family member is for one party to become a loan guarantor. This is usually done when a parent will go guarantor on their child’s loan such as for the purchase of a car. There is a financial risk in doing this, so if you are the parent this decision should not be taken lightly, especially if you are putting up your own home or car as collateral for the loan. If your child defaults on the loan, the bank or lender will go after you / your assets for repayment.
Are there any limits to what I can use a personal loan for?
Some personal loans do come with conditions where they need to be used for a specific purpose such as a green home improvement loan where you’ll be required to show proof of purchase.
You’ll usually be required to state the loan purpose when you apply for the loan but for most general purpose unsecured personal loans as long as you are prepared to pay the borrowed amount back with interest and each family applicant qualifies there isn’t a clear cut rule for what you can use a personal loan for.
What’s better, a fixed or variable rate loan?
The type of interest rate that will be best will depend on your family’s financial circumstances. If you need to know exactly how much they have to pay each month then consider opting for a fixed rate. If you want to be able to benefit from any possible rate drops over the loan period a variable rate loan might suit you more. But don’t forget rates can also go up so it is best to consider this when you are deciding on the loan term.
How do I select the best loan term for our family’s needs?
The best loan term for you will depend on a number of factors such as how much you want to borrow and your family’s income. The issue with selecting a loan term that is too short is that you could get into financial stress and miss a payment (which would then affect your credit score). But the longer the loan period, the more money you’ll have to pay in interest and fees.
Most lenders these days allow you to pay out loans early without penalty so it is best to select a loan term that you can comfortably meet repayments and whenever possible make more than the minimum monthly payment so that you can pay it back as fast as possible.
What do I need to do to get the best chance of getting a loan approved?
Before applying for any loan, make sure that you and any family member who is applying meet the eligibility criteria.
Some of the most common eligibility criteria includes:
• 18+ years of age
• Reside in Australia
• Hold Australian citizenship or an eligible visa
• Meet minimum income (each lender will have different income level benchmarks)
• Pass a credit check
* Comparison rate disclaimer:
The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of AU$30,000 for a term of 5 years on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may inﬂuence the cost of the loan.
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Gabby is a money and lifestyle writer for Australian money-saving site Mozo and contributor for GoodtoKnow. She has a Media and Communications background, with a thirst for research and reviewing products and services in the Australian market her goal is to ensure that all consumers make smarter purchasing decisions and make the most of their hard-earned money.
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