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Are you looking for a personal loan that won’t get out of control? Do you have a budget and a plan to pay back your loan once you’re home from your dream honeymoon, or your new business is up and running, or your debts have been consolidated? Do you want simple and consistent monthly repayments to suit your budget, without surprises?

If stability and security are among your financing priorities, then you may be interested in personal loans with fixed interest rates. By organising your loan repayments in advance, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into when you sign on the dotted line, so you can enjoy peace of mind from your personal loan, in addition to its financial benefits!

What is a fixed rate personal loan?

A fixed rate personal loan is a personal finance option with an interest rate that is locked in for the duration of the loan term. Fixed interest rates can provide borrowers with a level of certainty, as the interest rate and repayments will remain the same throughout the life of the loan, with no risk of an increase.

Benefits of a fixed rate personal loan

When it comes to fixed rate personal loans versus variable rate loans, fixed rate loans are typically the more consistent choice. Variable interest rates may rise or fall from month to month, and your monthly repayment amounts could also change with them, making preparing your household’s monthly budget much more challenging.

Having a fixed interest rate on your personal loan means that you’ll always make the same repayments each month, regardless of the current economic conditions. This means you can be confident that each repayment will bring you one step closer to getting your personal loan fully paid off, without the risk of your interest rate potentially rising higher than you can easily afford.

Disadvantages of fixed rate personal loans

Agreeing to pay a fixed amount of interest on your personal loan usually also means agreeing to pay back your loan over a set length of time, without a lot of room for changes or adjustments to your repayment schedule.

Even if you find yourself with extra money to spare, such as a bonus from work or a refund from the tax office, you may not be able to easily make extra repayments and get ahead on your personal loan repayments, nor may you be able to easily pay off your personal loan ahead of schedule.

Whether you choose a loan term of 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or as much as 7 years, you will generally be required to stick to that specific length of time.

In fact, some lenders may charge early repayment fees, or even fees for making additional repayments, to make up for the interest payments they’d be missing out on if you were to make an early exit.

Is a fixed rate personal loan normal?

Yes, fixed rate personal loans are a common personal finance product, and there is a wide range on RateCity’s database for you to search and compare.

Can you refinance a fixed rate personal loan later on?

As fixed rate personal loans tend to have less flexibility than variable rate loans, it may be more of a challenge to refinance. However, it is typically still possible to refinance a fixed rate loan, but there may be significant fees involved that could make the refinancing process an expensive one.

When deciding whether it may be worth it to make the switch, consider using RateCity’s personal loan switch and save calculator, and be sure to factor in all the fees and charges payable.

How long can you fix a personal loan rate for?

Unlike fixed rate home loans, fixed rate personal loans will have a fixed interest rate for the entire duration of the loan term. So, if your loan term is three years, the interest rate will be fixed for the full three years.

Fixed rate personal loans with a redraw facility

Even if your fixed rate personal loan offers the option of easily making extra repayments, you may be hesitant to sink your additional savings into your loan. Sure, you could get ahead on your repayments, but what if that leaves you without any spare funds available in case of emergency?

If your personal loan also includes a Redraw Facility, when you get ahead on your repayments, you’ll be able to withdraw your surplus cash when you need it, subject to the lender’s terms and conditions. This adds some extra flexibility to your fixed rate personal loan, providing you with some options for managing your finances.

Fixed rate personal loan comparison rates

When you’re looking for a good deal on a fixed rate personal loan, it makes sense to start narrowing down your available options by looking at which lenders are offering the lowest interest rates – remember that these fixed interest rates should remain the same for the lifetime of the loan!

However, once you take ongoing fees and other charges into account, low interest personal loans may not actually be the cheapest options available. Low interest personal loans with high fees may end up costing more over the life of the loan than higher-interest personal loans with lower fees.

Some of the fees you may be charged include:

  • Application fees
  • Establishment fees
  • Early repayment fees
  • Redraw fees
  • Late payment fees
  • Ongoing monthly fees
  • Other account keeping fees

To get a more accurate idea of a personal loan’s total cost to you, consider its Comparison Rate, which is the approximate combined total of its advertised interest rate and its standard fees and charges. Not every cost associated with a loan is included in its comparison rate, so it’s usually still worth looking further into the costs, features and benefits of each shortlisted loan option before making your final choice.

Debt consolidation with fixed rate personal loans

One possible reason to consider taking out a fixed rate personal loan is to consolidate your debts. If juggling payments on a number of different loans and/or credit cards is making your household budget overly complicated, it may be simpler to swap these out for a single personal loan repayment. And if you choose a personal loan with a fixed interest rate, you can simplify your budget even further, with consistent fortnightly or monthly repayments that bring you one step closer to being debt-free with every month.

Remember though that not every personal loan can be used for debt consolidation, so be sure to check first.

Secured and unsecured personal loans

If you’re looking at fixed rate personal loans because financial stability and security appeal to you, then you may also be interested in the option of a secured loan, where the money you borrow is guaranteed against the value of an asset you own, such as a car, or equity in your home. This helps to reduce the lender’s financial risk, which may allow you to enjoy lower interest rates. Also, if you’re unemployed or have bad credit history, secured personal loans can sometimes be viable options, depending on the lender and your financial situation.

One of the most common types of secured personal loans is a new car loan, but you generally have the option to secure almost any kind of personal loan, as long as you have a valuable asset to use as collateral. If you don’t have an asset available with enough value to guarantee your personal loan, or if you’d prefer not to risk losing your asset if you find yourself unable to make your personal loan repayments, there’s also the option of an unsecured personal loan. These loans are more likely to have higher interest rates than their secured counterparts, due to their increased lender risk, so consider which option will best suit your financial situation.

100% loans

Many lenders will require you to pay a deposit as security to qualify for a personal loan. But if you aren’t currently able to afford a full deposit, what are your options?

Some lenders offer personal loans with a high Loan to Value Ratio (LVR), where you pay a smaller deposit up front and borrow a greater percentage of your loan total. Some lenders also have 100% loans available, where you pay no deposit and instead borrow the total amount. These loan options are usually considered to be higher risks, with correspondingly high interest rates as a result.

Compare fixed rate personal loans

Deciding whether you’d prefer a fixed or variable interest rate should be among the first choices you make when choosing a personal loan. Once you know what to look for, you can compare a range of Australian personal loans, so your final choice can be an informed one.

If a fixed rate personal loan is ticking all of your boxes, then go ahead and start comparing the offers available from different lenders right here at RateCity.

How to find the best fixed rate personal loans in Australia

Finding the best fixed rate personal loans to suit your needs might be simpler than you think. Using RateCity’s Real Time Ratings, a rating system that ranks personal loans based on unique individual requirements, you could save time finding the most competitive fixed rate personal loans that are applicable to you.

The rating system scores each personal loan out of five stars, based on the cost of the loan and the flexibility it offers. It also factors in features that are specific to your needs, so you don’t spend unnecessary time looking at loans that aren’t suitable for or available to you. Your preferred loan amount, loan term, flexible repayment options, borrowing purpose and whether you’re providing loan security are all features that will be considered when narrowing down your search results.

There is no one fixed rate personal loan that’s the best choice for every borrower, so using RateCity’s ratings can instead help you find some of the best choices for you.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 unemployed single parents get personal loans?

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.

What do single parents need for a personal loan application?

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

Can I get a $4000 personal loan if I’m unemployed or on Centrelink?

Before most providers of personal loans or medium amount loans will approve an application, they’ll want to know you can afford the loan’s repayments on your current income without ending up in financial stress. Several lenders don’t count Centrelink benefits when assessing a borrower’s income for this purpose, so these borrowers may find it more difficult to be approved for a loan.

If you’re unemployed, self-employed, or if more than 50% of your income come from Centrelink, consider contacting a potential lender before applying to find out whether they accept borrowers on Centrelink.

How long does it take to get a student personal loan?

Completing an online personal loan application can often take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on your lender, processing your personal loan application may take anywhere between 1 and 24 hours. If your personal loan application is approved, you may receive the money in your bank account the following business day, or, in some cases, the same day.

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.

Are there any interest-free emergency loans?

The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) allows low-income borrowers to take out no-interest loans for up to $1500 to purchase essential goods and services.

There are also similar low-interest loan schemes available to borrowers in financial hardship who are having a tough time getting finance approved.

Are there alternatives to $2000 loans?

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.

What do credit scores have to do with personal loan interest rates?

There is a strong link between credit scores and personal loan interest rates because many lenders use credit scores to help decide what interest rates to offer to potential borrowers.

If you have a higher credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a lower-risk borrower. That means they’ll be keen to win your business, so they may offer you a lower interest rate if you apply for a personal loan.

If you have a lower credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a higher-risk borrower. That means they might be concerned about you defaulting on the loan and costing them money. As a result, they might protect themselves by charging you a higher interest rate.

Are there low doc personal loans?

Self-employed borrowers may be eligible for low doc personal loans, which require less documentation in their application process than many other personal loan options.

It’s important to remember that though low doc personal loans may require less paperwork, you may need to provide additional security, or pay a higher interest rate.

Can you get an emergency loan on Centrelink?

When many lenders assess a borrower’s income to determine whether they can afford a loan’s repayments without ending up in financial stress, they may not count Centrelink payments as income for this purpose.

Before applying for an emergency loan, it may be worth contacting a potential lender to find out if they accept applications from borrowers on Centrelink.