Compare personal loans
When you’re planning a holiday, it makes sense to compare destinations, flights and hotels to find the best deals. If you’re starting a business, it’s worth comparing your products or services to those of the competition to see what you can do better. If you’re buying a car, you should compare different models to work out which one will get you from A to B in style.
So when it comes to personal loans, which can be used to pay for any of these expenses, or to help you consolidate your existing debts, it also makes sense to compare the offers from different lenders. RateCity puts a wide variety of personal loan options in one place, so you can compare their interest rates and other benefits side by side and make an informed decision.
Compare personal loan interest rates
No matter your reason for taking out a personal loan, you’re going to have to pay interest to your lender as well as paying back your balance. While comparing advertised interest rates is usually a good way to start your search for personal loans on RateCity, keep in mind that the personal loan with the lowest interest rate may not necessarily provide the cheapest deal, or the most value for your money.
Many lenders charge fees as well as interest on their personal loans, which can make an impact on their overall cost to borrowers. A personal loan with a low advertised interest rate, but high fees and charges, may ultimately turn out to be a more expensive option than a personal loan with a higher interest rate and lower fees and charges.
To get a more accurate picture of the relative costs of different personal loans, it’s often worth also looking at their Comparison Rates, which combine their interest rates with their standard fees and charges.
It’s worth noting that a personal loan’s Comparison Rate may not take the lender’s nonstandard fees into account, so you may want to double-check whether the loan could end up costing more than you expected. You may also want to find out which personal loans on your shortlist come with extra features that could offer additional value and influence your final decision.
Compare fixed and variable interest rates
If you opt for a fixed interest rate on your personal loan, you’ll pay the same amount of interest with each repayment for the full term of your personal loan. Every repayment will bring you one step closer to getting your debt fully paid off, which can help to keep your household budget nice and simple. However, fixing your interest rate in advance could mean missing out on potential savings from interest rate cuts.
If you choose a personal loan with a variable interest rate, then your lender may increase or decrease the amount of interest on your personal loan repayments each month. If there’s a rate cut, your repayments may drop, leaving you with some spare cash in your budget. However, if rates rise, you could find yourself coming up short, unless you do some careful budgeting in advance.
Compare the benefits and drawbacks of fixed and variable interest rates to work out which option will best suit your financial situation.
Compare extra repayment/early exit fees
When you compare the cost of your personal loan’s repayments to the available finances in your monthly budget, you may sometimes find yourself with some extra money to spare. This could be savings from an interest rate cut, some extra cash from a tax refund, or a bonus from work.
While saving this money or using it elsewhere is certainly a valid option, you may also want to consider adding the extra money onto your personal loan. By making extra repayments, you can get closer to fully paying off your personal loan ahead of schedule, which can help to reduce the total amount of interest you pay overall.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that some lenders charge fees for making extra repayments or for making an early exit from your personal loan, to help make up for the extra interest payments they’d be missing out on. These fees are usually more common in fixed rate personal loans with pre-set repayment plans than in variable rate personal loans, which are often more flexible, though there are always exceptions. If you’re hoping to pay off your personal loan ahead of schedule, it’s worth comparing the available options for a lender with flexible terms.
Compare redraw facilities
If you choose a personal loan that allows you to easily get ahead on your repayments, it’s often also worth comparing the available options to find a lender that also offers a Redraw Facility. Once you’re ahead on your personal loan repayments, this redraw facility can be used to withdraw your surplus balance if required.
This can allow you to confidently make extra repayments onto your personal loan, knowing that you’ll have the option to access this money again in case of emergency, subject to the lender’s terms and conditions.
Comparing debt consolidation options
If you’re already paying off multiple loans or other debts to a variety of lenders, and struggling to manage the numerous payments and interest charges, if you compare the available options, you may decide to consolidate these debts with the help of a personal loan.
By paying off your other debts with the money from a personal loan, you can swap your plethora of lenders for just the one, and make one simple, easy-to-budget repayment per month, and be charged interest just the once.
However, not every personal loan can be used for debt consolidation, so it’s worth comparing the available options from different lenders.
Comparing secured and unsecured personal loans
If you already own a car or another valuable asset, such as equity in a property, you may be able to enjoy a lower interest rate by opting for a secured personal loan. These loans guarantee the money that you borrow against the value of your asset, which can be seized by the lender if you don’t stay up to date with your repayments. Secured personal loans can sometimes also be viable options for unemployed borrowers, or borrowers with bad credit, as the extra security helps to reduce risk to the lender.
Unsecured personal loans are also available for borrowers who don’t have access to a valuable asset, or for anyone who’d prefer not to risk potentially losing their security. Because these loans tend to be riskier to lenders, you’re more likely to be charged a higher interest rate as a result, so it’s worth comparing the options that are available to you.
Comparing deposit options
How much money do you have saved up for a deposit on a personal loan? Even if the answer is “not as much as you’d like”, there may still be options available.
Some lenders can provide personal loans with a high Loan to Value Ratio (LVR), where you pay a smaller upfront deposit and instead borrow a greater percentage of your loan’s total. Some lenders can even offer 100% personal loans, where you pay no deposit and instead borrow the full loan balance.
Remember when you compare these personal loan options that they may come with higher interest rates, due to the increased lender risk.
Compare personal loans at RateCity
Do you know what you want from a personal loan, or do you want to learn more about the options that are available to you? Either way, you can find a variety of personal loans from a range of lenders right here at RateCity.
By comparing the interest and comparison rates side by side, then taking a closer look at the features and benefits offered by different lenders, you’ll be well on your way to finding a personal loan that’s ideally suited to your personal finances.