Updated on 26 October, 2020
2020 RateCity Personal Loan Gold Awards Winners
Finding Australia's best Personal Loans has just been made easier. Select a category below and discover the loans that have received a coveted RateCity Gold Award.
How RateCity works out the Gold Award
With more than 13 years of experience in financial product comparison, RateCity has been rating products using our world-first Real Time Ratings™ system since 2016.
RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ is the cornerstone of our awards. The system scores every personal loan in our database out of five, based on factors such as rate, fees, features, and flexibility. Overall, more than 400 products are analysed and compared across different lenders and providers, and only the top 10 per cent are named winners.
While ongoing changes to products are often missed by other ratings and awards systems which may be calculated once or twice a year, RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ are run every day. It’s all in the name, as the Real Time Ratings™ system has been designed to capture product changes, including rate cuts and specials, in real time. Real Time Ratings™ does not account for customer experience factors, such as loan processing times and customer service, as the data may not always be accessible across lenders.
The RateCity Gold Award winners are determined by averaging the daily Real Time Ratings™ scores over a six-month period to narrow down the most consistent top performers in each category. RateCity’s personal loan awards are issued twice a year, so you can be confident the awards are up-to-date.
We recognise that personal loan borrowers may have different needs, which is why RateCity provides three different award categories: best excellent credit personal loans, best green personal loans and best new personal loan lender.
While there are many quality personal loan products and lenders in the market, we can't give every player a prize. To assist in your decision-making, RateCity's Gold Awards are given to the top 10 per cent of personal loan products. RateCity does not charge lenders to be listed, rated, or to receive an award to ensure integrity in our awards process.
While RateCity's Gold Awards recognise consistent performers, people should look at the most current Real Time Rating™ scores on our website and consider their own personal financial needs before selecting a personal loan product.
How RateCity works out the Gold Award winners
With more than 13 years of experience in financial product comparison, RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ system has been built on our expertise.
The cornerstone of our awards, RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ gives every personal loan in our database a score out of five, based on factors such as rate, fees, features, and flexibility. Importantly, these ratings are run every day to capture product changes including rate cuts and specials – factors that are often missed by ratings and awards systems calculated at one or two points in time.
The RateCity Gold Award winners are then determined by averaging the daily Real Time Ratings™ scores over a six-month period to identify the most consistent top performers in each category. We recognise that there is no 'one size fits all’ personal loan, which is why we have formed three different award categories to help consumers with different needs.
There’s no doubt there are some genuinely great products and lenders in the market, but we can't give every player a prize. To help you make your decisions just that much easier, RateCity's Gold Awards highlight the best personal loan products and lenders which are working hard to help customers.
What are the pros and cons of debt consolidation?
In some instances, debt consolidation can help borrowers reduce their repayments or simplify them. For example, someone might take out a $7,000 personal loan at an interest rate of 8 per cent so they can repay an existing $4,000 personal loan at 10 per cent and a $3,000 credit card loan at 20 per cent.
However, debt consolidation can backfire if the borrower spends the extra money instead of using it to repay the new loan.
How can I improve my credit rating/score?
Your credit score will improve if you demonstrate that you’ve become more credit-worthy. You can do that by minimising loan applications, clearing up defaults and paying bills on time.
Another tip is to get the one free credit report you’re entitled to each year – that way, you’ll be able to identify and fix any errors.
If you want to fix an error, the first thing you should do is speak with the credit reporting body, which may take care of the problem or contact credit providers on your behalf.
The next step would be to contact your credit provider. If that doesn’t work, you can refer the matter to the credit provider’s independent dispute resolution scheme, which would be the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
AFCA provides consumers and small businesses with fair, free and independent dispute resolution for financial complaints.
If that doesn’t work, your final options are to contact the Privacy Commissioner and then the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Can I get a personal loan if I receive Centrelink payments?
It is hard, but not impossible, to qualify for a personal loan if you receive Centrelink payments.
Some lenders won’t lend money to people who are on welfare. However, other lenders will simply consider Centrelink payments as another factor to weigh up when they assess a person’s capacity to repay a loan. You should check with any prospective lender about their criteria before making a personal loan application.
Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?
Few, if any, lenders would be willing to give guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan. Borrowers with bad credit histories can have more complicated financial circumstances than other borrowers, so lenders will want time to study your application.
It’s all about risk. When someone applies for a personal loan, the lender evaluates how likely that borrower would be to repay the money. Lenders are more willing to give personal loans to borrowers with good credit than bad credit because there’s a higher likelihood that the personal loan will be repaid.
So a borrower with good credit is more likely to have a loan approved and to be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.
What causes bad credit ratings/scores?
Failing to repay loans and bills will damage your credit score. So will falling behind on your repayments. Your credit score will also suffer if you apply for credit too often or have credit applications rejected.
How long does it take to get a bad credit personal loan?
In the best-case scenario, an application for a bad credit personal loan can be made within minutes and then be approved within 24 hours. However, if a lender needs more information or needs more time to verify the provided documents, the application process may take longer.
Can I get an easy/instant personal loan?
Some lenders are able to approve applications with little documentation and within minutes. However, there is a catch. People who take out easy/instant loans generally pay higher interest rates and are restricted to lower amounts than people who follow a traditional borrowing process.
How do I find out my credit rating/score?
You're entitled to one free credit report per year from credit reporting bodies like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. You can also get a free report if you’ve been refused credit in the past 90 days.
Credit reporting bodies have up to 10 days to provide reports. If you want to access your report sooner, you’ll probably have to pay.
What is credit history?
Your credit history covers everything to do with applying for loans. It includes the number of loans you’ve applied for, the amounts you’ve borrowed and your record of meeting repayment schedules.
What causes bad credit history?
Bad credit history is caused by filing for bankruptcy, defaulting on your debts, falling behind on your repayments and having loan applications rejected. Lenders are wary of borrowers who demonstrate this sort of behaviour because it suggests they might struggle to repay future loans.
Borrowers with bad credit may find it more difficult to be approved for a loan, or they may get higher interest rates when they do get approved.
What are the pros and cons of personal loans?
The advantages of personal loans are that they’re easier to obtain than mortgages and usually have lower interest rates than credit cards.
One disadvantage with personal loans is that you have to go through a formal application process, unlike when you borrow money on your credit card. Another disadvantage is that you’ll be charged a higher interest rate than if you borrowed the money as part of a mortgage.
Can I get a no credit check personal loan?
Personal loans with no credit checks are available and called ‘payday loans’. These are sometimes used as short-term solutions for cash-strapped Australians. They often carry higher interest rates and fees than regular personal loans, and individuals risk putting themselves into a worsened cycle of debt.
Who calculates your credit rating/score?
Credit ratings or credit scores are calculated by credit reporting bodies. The main bodies are Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service.
Where can I get a personal loan?
The Australian personal loans market contains dozens of lenders offering several hundred different products. Personal loans are available through a range of institutions, including:
- The big four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac)
- Smaller banks (such as Bank of Queensland, Bendigo Bank and MyState)
- Mutual banks (such as Heritage Bank, Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent)
- Credit unions (such as People’s Choice Credit Union, BCU and Community First Credit Union)
- Non-bank lenders (such as Pepper Money, Liberty and RACV)
- Peer-to-peer marketplaces (such as Harmoney, SocietyOne and RateSetter)
There are three main ways to access personal loans. You can go through a comparison website, such as RateCity. You can use a finance broker. Or you can directly contact the lender.
What is comprehensive credit reporting?
Comprehensive credit reporting is a system which includes both positive and negative information on a person’s credit file. Before comprehensive credit reporting was introduced, only negative information was included.
What is a personal loan?
A personal loan sits somewhere between a home loan and a credit card loan. Unlike with a credit card, you need to sign a formal contract to access a personal loan. However, the process is easier and faster than taking out a mortgage.
Loan sizes typically range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, while loan terms usually run from one to five years. Personal loans are generally used to consolidate debts, pay emergency bills or fund one-off expenses like holidays.
What is a secured bad credit personal loan?
A bad credit personal loan is 'secured' when the borrower offers up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender can then seize the asset to recoup its losses.
How do you get a bad credit personal loan?
You can get a bad credit personal loan by applying directly to a lender, by going through a mortgage broker or by using a comparison website like RateCity.
How much can I borrow with a personal loan?
It’s unusual for a lender to provide a personal loan of above $100,000, although there is no formal limit. As with all lending products, each lender sets its own policies, while each borrower is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
How much can you borrow with a bad credit personal loan?
Borrowers who take out bad credit personal loans don’t just pay higher interest rates than on regular personal loans, they also get loaned less money. Each lender has its own policies and loan limits, but you’ll find it hard to get approved for a bad credit personal loan above $50,000.