How are personal loans regulated?
Personal lenders are regulated by ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission) and must follow responsible lending rules. That means they can’t lend money without making “reasonable inquiries” about a borrower’s financial situation and ensuring the loan is “not unsuitable” for them.
Generally, bad credit personal loans can be used for one or more of the following purposes:
- Debt consolidation
- Paying bills
- Buying vehicles
- Moving expenses
Some lenders restrict how their bad credit personal loans can be used as part of their commitment to responsible lending – be sure to check before applying.
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 get that approval faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and to get that approval slower.
Most lenders will need to you provide the following information in your application for a fast loan:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residence
- Proof of income
- Details of any assets you own (e.g. car, home etc.)
- Details of any liabilities you owe (other personal loans, credit cards, mortgages etc.)
- How much you want to borrow
- How long you want to pay it back
- Purpose of your loan
While some personal loans can be secured by the value of an asset, such as a car or equity in a property, student personal loans are often unsecured, with higher interest rates.
Some lenders also offer guarantor personal loans to students. These loans have lower interest rates, as a guarantor (usually a relative of the borrower with good credit) will guarantee the loan, taking on the financial responsibility if the borrower defaults.
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.