First Option Bank Ltd Personal Loans
First Option Bank is a member-owned bank that has delivered financial services for Australia for over 50 years. It was previously known by the name First Option Credit Union.
First Option has four branches to visit, all located within Victoria and New South Wales. As such, First Option is an online bank for Australians outside those two states.
In addition to personal loans, members of First Option Bank have access to services such as home loans, financial planning, bank accounts, term deposits and savings accounts.
First Option Bank personal loan repayment calculator
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First Option Bank personal loans rates
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VIP Personal Loan (existing HL customer)
based on $30,000 loan amount for 5 years
Fully drawn advance
based on $30,000 loan amount for 5 years
Fully drawn advance
- Very low interest rates available
- No ongoing fees or early exit fees
- Redraw facility available
- Moderately high interest rates possible
- Limited branches to visit
- Upfront and redraw activation fees possible
Features of a First Option Bank personal loan
First Option Bank has a variety of personal lending options, including secured and unsecured loans with variable or fixed interest rates.
First Option Bank personal loan rates vary from very low to moderately high, depending on the type of loan.
Some personal loans from First Option come with an upfront fee. However, all First Option Bank personal loans are free of ongoing fees.
There are no early exit penalty fees for members who wish to pay off their loans before the end of the loan term.
Redraw facilities are available, and some personal loans come with an activation fee to borrow back money paid on the loan.
First Option Bank personal loans - customer service
Members of First Option Bank have only four branches to visit, and they are all located within Victoria and New South Wales.
First Option acts as an online bank for the rest of Australia. Those who prefer to talk to a person can also do so by phone.
Who is eligible for a First Option Bank personal loan?
First Option Bank personal loans come with the following eligibility criteria:
- Must be at least 18
- Must be a member of First Option Credit Union
- Must pass a credit check
- Must be employed
- Term deposit might be needed for a secured loan
How to apply for a First Option Bank personal loan
An application for a First Option Bank personal loan can be completed in the following ways:
- Online at the First Option Bank website
- By phone
- By visiting a branch
First Option Bank personal loans review
There is a variety of personal loans for First Option members to choose from. This includes secured and unsecured loans, with fixed and variable interest rates.
Very low to moderately high interest rates are available for members of First Option Bank. Those looking to reduce the risk of added debt might be pleased with the lower interest rates available on some personal loans from First Option Bank. No ongoing or early exit penalty fees could also be useful for customers looking to save money on their loan.
With only four branches in NSW and Victoria, potential borrowers in Australia will most likely need to be comfortable with managing their personal loan online or over the phone.
Redraw facilities are available for those who might want to borrow back money paid on the loan. Most loans available come with a redraw activation fee.
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It can be hard to improve your credit score, as it usually requires sacrifice and discipline, but hard doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. Some simple ways you can give your credit score a boost include closing extra credit cards, reducing your credit card limit, pay off any loans and make loan repayments on time.
As a general rule, the lower your credit score, the more remedies you can apply and the greater the scope for improvement.
Some lenders will consider personal loan applications from a borrower with bad credit if the borrower has a family member with good credit willing to guarantee the loan (a guarantor).
If the borrower fails to pay back their personal loan, it will be their guarantor’s responsibility to cover the repayments.
Personal loans may require a borrower to provide proof of identity, proof of residence, details of any other outstanding loans (including credit cards), details of assets they own (e.g. savings, car, property), and proof of income.
While borrowers in full-time or part-time employment can often provide payslips and similar documents to prove their income, self-employed borrowers may need to provide other documents, such as bank statements or tax returns, to demonstrate that their income can cover a loan’s repayments.
If you’re having trouble being approved for a loan of less than $2000 and urgently need to purchase household essentials, there may be emergency loan options available to you.
For example, the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) allows low-income borrowers to take out interest-free loans of up to $1500 for essential goods and services.
For further assistance, consider contacting a financial counsellor, or calling the National Debt Helpline on 1300 007 007
It can be more difficult for unemployed borrowers to successfully apply for a personal loan. Most lenders require borrowers to have a regular income available to cover the cost of loan repayments.
If you’re self-employed, or if less than half of your income comes from Centrelink, you may not be eligible for some personal loan options. Consider contacting the lender before applying.
Much like applying for other personal loans, applying for personal loans for single parents will likely require the following:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residence
- Proof of income
- Details of assets (e.g. car, home)
- Details of liabilities (e.g. credit cards, other loans)
- Loan amount
- Loan term
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.
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.
Depending on the lender, personal loans and medium-amount loans for $5000 can sometimes be approved in under an hour, and give you access to the money the same day. Other loans may take 24 hours or longer to assess your application, and you may not get the money for a few days.
If you need to borrow $2000 or less, alternatives to getting a personal loan or payday loan include using a credit card or the redraw facility of your home, car or personal loan.
Before you borrow $2000 on a credit card, remember that interest will continue being charged on what you owe until you clear your credit card balance. To minimise your interest, consider prioritising paying off your credit card.
Before you draw down $2000 in extra repayments from your home, car or personal loan using a redraw facility, note that fees and charges may apply, and drawing money from your loan may mean your loan will take longer to repay, costing you more in total interest.