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What are the RateCity personal loan calculators?

RateCity’s personal loan calculator is a helpful interactive online tool that can be used in two different ways – to calculate your personal loan repayments, and to calculate your personal loan borrowing power.

By entering information such as the amount you’d like to borrow, your preferred loan term and interest rate, the personal loan calculator can estimate your potential weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, as well as the interest payable over the life of the loan.

Want to calculate how much you can borrow based on your salary? By entering your preferred repayment amount, repayment frequency and interest rate, as well as your credit rating, you can calculate how much you may be able to afford to borrow with a personal loan.

What can a personal loan repayments calculator tell me?

  • Your estimated repayment
  • Total interest payable
  • Total cost of the loan

What can a borrowing power calculator tell me?

  • Your estimated loan size
  • Total interest payable
  • Total cost of the loan

How does the repayment calculator work?

  1. Enter how much you’d like to borrow: Try putting in different amounts to compare results. If you borrow a larger loan amount, you may need to make higher repayments, or take on a longer loan term.
  2. Select your preferred interest rate: The lower the interest rate, the more affordable your personal loan repayments may be.
  3. Choose monthly, fortnightly, or weekly repayments: Choosing a repayment schedule that suits your pay cycle could help make your budgeting simpler. Plus, more frequent repayments could help reduce the total interest you may pay.
  4. Choose a loan term: A shorter personal loan term means your repayments may be higher, but you could pay off your debt sooner and pay less total interest. A longer personal loan term means your repayments may be lower, but the cost of the loan may be higher, and you might need to pay more in total interest.
  5. Compare personal loans: Look for personal loan options that have similar interest rates to your calculation. Aside from the interest rate, be sure to check a personal loan’s fees and features before you apply to make sure it suits your needs.

RateCity’s Personal Loan Repayment Calculator offers estimates only, making it a personal loan estimator, and does not include fees and other charges. Variable interest rates may change over time, and affect the cost of your personal loan repayments. Products are not recommendations. You may not be eligible for every personal loan offer. Consider contacting a financial counsellor for professional advice about whether a personal loan is right for you.  

How does the borrowing power calculator work?

  1. Enter how much you’d like to pay each repayment: Consider how much of your household budget you’d be willing to put toward repaying a personal loan.
  2. Select how frequently you’d like to make repayments: weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
  3. Select your preferred personal loan rate: The calculator can automatically suggest an average interest rate based on your credit rating.
  4. Select your credit rating: Choose one of five options between excellent and below average. If you don’t know your credit rating, consider checking your credit score.
  5. Compare personal loans: Look for personal loan options that are similar to your calculation. Aside from the interest rate, be sure to check a personal loan’s fees and features before you apply to make sure it suits your needs.

Are all personal loan calculators the same?

There are a few key differences between RateCity’s personal loan calculators and the personal loan calculators offered by lenders and some other comparison sites.

  • Calculate repayments or your borrowing power: Get a more complete picture of how a personal loan could become part of your household budget.
  • Experiment with variables: Some personal loan calculators only let you use pre-filled information for specific personal loan products. RateCity’s personal loan calculator lets you select each variable for yourself, to help you better understand how each option may affect your personal loan.
  • Find the total interest payable: Rather than simply showing you the interest rate or the regular repayment of a personal loan, our calculator can help you find the total amount of the personal loan, including interest, though you’ll also need to account for any other fees and charges that may apply.
  • Compare home loans based on your calculations: Once you’ve made a personal loan calculation, our calculator can point you towards personal loans that are similar to the variables you entered. While these loans may not match your calculation exactly, this can serve as a benchmark for working out whether these loans may suit your needs.
  • Find personal loans based on your credit score: By including your credit rating with your personal loan calculations, you can be more confident about applying for the loans based on your results, as you’re more likely to fulfil the eligibility criteria.

How do I compare personal loans?

A personal loan calculator is just one part of the comparison process. Before applying for a personal loan, it's wise to do your research to understand how a personal loan works. You should always make sure the personal loan you're considering matches your financial needs.

Here are five factors to consider when comparing personal loans:

  • Interest rates: A personal loan’s interest rate may already be the first thing you look at when making a comparison, though A low rate shouldn't be all you look for. You can choose between a fixed rate loan (which keep your repayments the same) and a variable rate loan (which may increase or decrease your repayments each month). As well as the advertised rate, make sure to check the comparison rates to get a better idea of the loan’s total cost, as comparison rates combine a loan’s interest rate and standard charges into a single percentage.
  • Fees: A lender may charge upfront fees, such as an establishment fee or application fee, and ongoing fees, which could be charged annually or monthly. If you want to make extra repayments on your personal loan, you might also need to pay early repayment fees. Late payment fees and redraw fees may also apply.
  • Personal loan repayments: It’s important to know you can meet your personal loan repayments. In general, making higher repayments may mean a shorter loan term and lower total interest costs. Some personal loan lenders may let you choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, to help you better manage your budget.
  • Secured or unsecured personal loan: A secured loan generally has lower interest rates than an unsecured personal loan. With a secured personal loan, you use an asset such as a car, equity in a property, or money in a term deposit as collateral to reduce the lender’s risk. However, you may lose your asset if you fail to pay back the loan.
  • Features: Some personal loans offer the ability to make extra repayments, or a redraw facility that lets you access any extra repayments you have made and return this money to your bank account.

Which is the best lender for personal loans?

Choosing your best personal loan will depend on your financial situation, loan requirements and credit history, so remember to factor these in when comparing products offered by different lenders.

Many lenders offer personal loans, including Australia’s big four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB) and smaller banks like ING. You might also like to consider personal loans from credit unions, mutual banks and peer to peer lenders.

It’s always worth comparing personal loans from a range of different banks and other lenders before you decide what's right for you. When shopping around, consider the amount you wish to borrow and any features that are important to you. Some lenders might offer what you need, while others mightn't. 

You should also make sure you meet your preferred bank’s lending criteria before submitting an application.

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

Popular personal loans lenders

Frequently asked questions

Can you refinance a $5000 personal loan?

Much like home loans, many personal loans can be refinanced. This is where you replace your current personal loan with another personal loan, often from another lender and at a lower interest rate. Switching personal loans may let you enjoy more affordable repayments, or useful features and benefits.

If you have a $5000 personal loan as well as other debts, you may be able to use a debt consolidations personal loan to combine these debts into one, potentially saving you money and simplifying your repayments.

Is a personal loan a variable or fixed-rate loan?

Depending on the personal loan lender, you may be able to choose between a fixed and a variable interest rate. But, there are a few distinct differences between the two, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on what’s right for you.

A fixed interest rate loan gets you the convenience of knowing exactly how much you need to repay each fortnight or month. On the other hand, you generally won’t be able to make lump sum or advanced payments to close your personal loan early - or at least not without a penalty.

With a variable interest rate personal loan, you may be able to get a longer loan repayment term, with the option of paying off the loan early. You typically won’t need to pay any additional charges for an early full repayment either. The potential disadvantage with an interest rate that can change is that your repayment is not entirely predictable, as it can fluctuate with the market. However, you’ll likely have more options as more lenders offer a variable interest rate personal loan.

Should I get a fixed or variable personal loan?

Fixed personal loans keep your interest rate the same for the full loan term, while interest rates on variable personal loans may be raised or lowered during your loan term.

A fixed rate personal loan keeps your repayments consistent, which can help keep your budgeting consistent. You won't have to worry about higher repayments if your rates were to rise. However, on a fixed loan you’ll also potentially miss out on more affordable repayments if variable rates were to fall.

What is a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.