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What is a fast loan?

Fast loans, sometimes called cash loans, are personal loans that allow you to receive your funds quickly after being approved. These loans are typically for smaller amounts than traditional personal loans, and may help with unexpected bills and other urgent expenses.

How long does it take to get a fast loan?

The application and approval process for fast loans is typically quick and relatively simple. Most lenders provide a straightforward online application form to complete and submit through their website. 

The timeframe for receiving your funds will depend on the lender you choose. Some lenders deposit the funds into your bank account within an hour after approval, and some can take 24 or even 48 hours. 

What about instant approval loans?

Please keep in mind that the idea of “instant approval” loans can be misleading. If you see a company advertising that it offers instant or fast approval, this means that when you apply online the lender will give you a response within 60 seconds after you submit your application.

This does not necessarily mean you will be approved – it just means that the lender’s response is near-instantaneous.

Who offers fast loans?

A range of Australian online lenders offer fast cash loans, and some provide fast loans with no credit check. Each have different interest rates, fees, and features, so it’s best to compare lenders before applying for a fast loan.

What is the best fast loan in Australia?

While there is no single ‘best’ fast loan, you can find the most competitive fast loan option that suits your financial needs by using comparison tools. 

  1. Comparison table RateCity’s fast loan comparison table allows you to search and compare important components in fast loans, including the interest rate, fees, flexibility, and repayment schedule.
  2. Calculators RateCity’s fast loan repayment calculator helps you see the monthly repayments you’d be expected to make for each fast loan. All you need to do is enter your fast loan details (loan amount, loan term, annual income and more) and our calculators will show you the true cost of each loan. This allows you to determine which loan type would best suit your budget.
  3. Guides and articles RateCity’s experts provide personal finance guides and articles for any financial levels, including the information you’re reading right now. If you’d like to learn more about personal loans, please go here.

How do I compare fast personal loans?

There are a few important components to compare in online fast personal loans, including the interest rate, fees, flexibility, and repayment schedule.

Types of loans:

  • Secured fast loan – allows you to offer up an asset as security against the loan. This usually comes with a lower than average interest rate as offering up security presents borrowers as more reliable, as the lender will seize the asset if they can’t pay off their loan.
  • Unsecured fast loan –no security is offered against the loan, typically meaning a higher interest rate than secured loans. However, they also tend to come with more flexibility and you don’t run the risk of losing an asset if you default on the loan.
  • Fixed fast loan – meaning you lock in an interest rate at the time of taking out a loan. This allows for more stability in your budget.
  • Variable fast loan – your fast loan’s interest rate will fluctuate with the market. While your repayment amounts may fluctuate, you can take advantage of dips in the market and therefore lower interest rates when they come around.

Before you take out a fast loan and secure the most competitive interest rate available to you, you’ll want to compare the loan’s features too.

Fast loan features


Personalised interest rates

You may be offered a personalised interest rate based on your credit history. This will be an advantage to borrowers with a great credit score.

Repayment schedule

Some lenders allow you to choose your repayment schedule, usually monthly, fortnightly or weekly repayments.

Line of credit

This feature allows you to access money and withdraw funds, usually up to a set limit.

Loan length

Choose the length of your fast loan. Short loans tend to be around 6 months to a year. More common loans range from two to five years.

It’s also important you compare any fees involved with the fast loan of your choice, including: 

  • Establishment fees
  • Ongoing monthly fees
  • Annual fees
  • Administrative fees
  • Late payment fees

What are the pros and cons of fast loans?

Fast loans, like all personal loans, have both pros and cons. Of course, the biggest benefit of fast loans is that they allow people to receive their funds quickly. They are also relatively easy to apply for and get approved. 

One of the most significant disadvantages of a fast loan is that they may have high interest rates and policies that favour the lender. The consequences for defaulting on a fast loan can be severe, so it’s important to be confident you can make your repayments.

  • Receive funds quickly
  • Low hassle application and approval
  • Higher interest rates
  • Harsher consequences for defaulting

Case study: Kelly

Kelly fell behind on a couple of car lease bills. Before long, she was given final notice on her bills and only had days before her car was to be taken away. 

Kelly searched for fast cash loans and used RateCity.com.au’s comparison tables to find a range of competitive loan options that suited her financial needs. 

After finding the loan with an interest rate and repayment schedule that worked with her budget, she applied for and secured the most competitive loan available to her. She was then able to pay her outstanding car bills and work her fast loan repayments into her budget.

What other speedy loan types are available?

If you feel you need money urgently, there may be a few quick cash loan options available to you. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind they all come with their own set of risks, and your eligibility is up to the lender’s discretion. 

If you’re on Centrelink benefits you may be eligible for advance payments on your benefits. Receiving advanced payments may help you cover unexpected expenses. You can contact Centrelink to find out how much may be available to you.

Payday loans are another ‘fast’ alternative when you need money urgently. They are a high-cost short-term loan of up to $2,000 that is usually paid to the applicant within 24 hours. The online loan application process for these emergency loans tends to be relatively easy, and they do offer loans to borrowers with bad credit.

However, even though they are small loans, these types of loans are generally regarded as one of the riskiest methods of borrowing money, and can easily hurt your finances and credit score. They tend to come with higher than average loan application and account-keeping fees, as well as higher than average late payment and default fees. Payday loans should only be used in emergency situations when no other options are available.

Consider speaking to a financial adviser or broker for information specific to your personal financial situation.

Sometimes you need a quick burst of money for something, but you don't always have the financial options available. That's where fast loans can come in, offering a speedy personal loan when you need it without the wait. Also known as "cash loans", fast personal loans are about a speedy application and approval time, so you can get your money fast. However even the best fast loans are worth learning about, to find out whether a fast loan is the best option for you, as what makes them "fast" might not be worth it in the end. 

*The phrase ‘best’ is not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of personal loans from selected providers, not all products or providers are included in the comparison. No personal loan is one size fits all. The best personal loan for you will not be the best personal loan for someone else. As a result, it's worth getting advice on whether a product is right for you before committing.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get a fast loan if I’m unemployed or on Centrelink?

Even if a lender has no credit checks, they will usually still need to confirm you can afford to repay a fast loan on your income before they’ll approve your application.

If 50% or more of your income comes from Centrelink payments, you may find it more difficult to have a fast loan application approved. Consider checking with the lender before applying to confirm if they lend to people on Centrelink.

What do I need to get a fast loan?

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
  • Over how long you want to pay it back
  • Purpose of your loan

Can I get a fast loan with bad credit?

Some lenders offer fast loans to borrowers with bad credit. Providers of small payday loans of up to $2000 or medium amount loans of up to $5000 may have no credit checks, though these lenders will usually want to confirm you can afford its loans on your income.

What can quick loans be used for?

Many borrowers use quick loans to cover short-term or urgent costs, such as paying for car repairs, medical bills, or replacing broken appliances or electronics. Quick loans often have high interest rates compared with regular personal loans.

Before applying for a quick loan, consider your other available options, such as working out a payment plan or applying for an advance or extension. 

Can you pay off a quick loan early?

Many lenders will allow you to make extra repayments onto a quick personal loan when you can afford them, or even exit the loan early, which can help reduce the total interest you are charged. Be sure to check your quick loan’s terms and conditions, as some lenders charge early exit fees for paying off a loan ahead of schedule.

Can I apply for a quick loan online?

While some lenders will require you to provide paperwork in person, many lenders will allow you to make an application for quick personal loan online. You’ll still need to provide information on your identity, income, and loan purpose in most cases.

What is the average interest rate on personal loans for single parents?

Like other types of personal loans, the average interest rate for personal loans for single parents changes regularly, as lenders add, remove, and vary their loan offers. The interest rate you’ll receive may depend on a range of different factors, including your loan amount, loan term, security, income, and credit score.

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 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 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.

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.

Can I merge my personal loan with my home loan?

Yes, you can refinance your home loan and, in the process, merge or consolidate your personal loan and home loan. By doing so, you can lower the number of debts you have, and you may also reduce the total interest you have to pay.

However, you should consult a financial advisor or a mortgage broker to confirm that you are decreasing your total outstanding debt, including interest payments. The repayment term for a home loan can be much longer than that for a personal loan, and by merging the two, you could be repaying a higher amount over the full term.

How can I get a $3000 loan approved?

Responsible lenders don’t have guaranteed approval for personal loans and medium amount loans, as the lender will want to check that you can afford the loan repayments on your current income without ending up in financial hardship.

Having a good credit score can increase the likelihood of your personal loan application being approved. Bad credit borrowers who opt for a medium amount loan with no credit checks may need to prove they can afford the repayments on their current income. Centrelink payments may not count, so you should check with the lender prior to making an application.

Does refinancing a personal loan hurt your credit score?

Personal loan refinancing means taking out a new loan with more desirable terms in order to access a more competitive interest rate, longer loan term, better features, or even to consolidate debts.

In some situations, refinancing a personal loan can improve your credit score, while in others, it may have a negative impact. If you refinance multiple loans by consolidating these into one loan, it could improve your credit score as you’ll have only one outstanding debt liability. Your credit may also improve if you consistently pay the instalments on time.

However, applying to refinance with multiple lenders could negatively affect your credit if your applications are rejected. Also, if you delay or default the repayment, your credit score reduces.

Can I repay a $3000 personal loan early?

If you receive a financial windfall (e.g. tax refund, inheritance, bonus), using some of this money to make extra repayments onto your personal loan or medium amount loan could help reduce the total interest you’re charged on your loan, or help clear your debt ahead of schedule.

Check your loan’s terms and conditions before paying extra onto your loan, as some lenders charge fees for making extra repayments, or early exit fees for clearing your debt ahead of the agreed term.

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.

Which lenders offer bad credit personal loans?

Several dozen lenders offer bad credit personal loans in Australia. These are generally smaller lenders that aren’t household names.

What is an unsecured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is ‘unsecured’ when the borrower doesn’t offer up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. Lenders generally charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans than secured loans.