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What are instant-approval loans?

When unexpected bills or last-minute expenses come your way, you may need extra money in a hurry to cover the costs. Instant-approval loans provide borrowers with access to small amounts of money, usually up to $2,000, have loan amounts that are generally lower than other types of personal loans and are offered on a short term of up to one year.

Instant-approval loans may suit borrowers who need money instantly, but it's worth keeping in mind that they generally have higher fees associated. Borrowers looking for instant-approval loans should always compare their options to make sure they’re getting a good deal that suits their needs.

Who offers instant-approval loans in Australia?

Otherwise known as ‘payday loans’ or ‘cash loans’, instant-approval loans are offered by a range of traditional lenders like banks and credit unions, and non-traditional online lenders and peer-to-peer lenders. As instant-approval loans vary between lenders, it always pays to do your research and make sure you’re applying for an instant-approval loan from a trustworthy lender.

How do you take out an instant-approval loan?

Taking out an instant-approval loan is usually a quick process which can give you funds almost instantly. As eligibility criteria vary between lenders, borrowers looking to take out instant-approval loans should always start by comparing their options.

Once you’ve used a comparison website like RateCity and you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of instant-approval loans, you have the option to click through to the lender’s website and apply to take out the instant-approval loan online. Once you receive your loan approval, the funds will be available in your bank account

Lending criteria that borrowers will need to meet tend to include the following at a minimum:

  • Aged 18 years of age or older
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Provide proof of income

Can people with bad credit take out instant-approval loans?

Eligibility criteria tend to vary from lender to lender, but as a general rule of thumb, people with bad credit may still be able to take out an instant-approval loan. While each lender sets their own rules, some instant-approval loans allow you apply for up to $2,000 without a credit history check.

Credit-impaired borrowers should always exercise caution when applying for loan products and be sure they are not taking on debt they cannot afford to repay.

How do you compare instant-approval loans?

With so many instant-approval loans on the market, comparing your options can be challenging. When comparing instant-approval loans, consider the following:

  • Fees: Look out for fees and charges. Most instant-approval loans have an upfront establishment fee, which may vary depending on the amount you borrow. Other fees include early repayment fees and ongoing monthly fees.
  • Features: You may want to consider opting for an instant-approval loan that offers features such as flexible repayments, as you may wish to coordinate your loan repayments with your pay cycle (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment options).
  • Secured vs unsecured: Instant personal loans will typically be unsecured personal loans. Secured loans are more common for larger standard personal loans or car loans.
  • Fixed interest rate vs variable interest rate:Instant-approval loans tend to have fixed rates. The loan's comparison rate should give you a better idea of the total cost of the loan as it will include both the interest rate and the main fees payable. RateCity's personal loan calculator may also help with your calculations.

What are the pros and cons of instant-approval loans?

Before submitting an instant-approval personal loan application, borrowers should always compare loan options and make sure they’re taking out a loan that suits their lifestyle, needs and budget.

  • Fast access to additional funds when you need them
  • Typically offer a lower interest rate than a credit card
  • Usually a simple application process involving filling in an online application form
  • Tend to have higher fees than other types of loans and credit
  • Often restricted to shorter loan terms
  • Usually offer smaller loan amounts capped at $2,000, which may not be suitable for all borrowers

What else should I consider before applying for an instant-approval loan?

It's important to note that, when compared to standard personal loans, instant-approval loans tend to have much higher fees and interest charges attached. This can make them riskier, because if you fall behind on repayments, the penalties will likely be significant and could potentially land you in a debt spiral.

A standard personal loan can be a bigger commitment than an instant-approval loan (in terms of their larger loan amounts, longer loan terms and more complex application process), but the additional security requirements and credit checks means it’s less likely you’ll be approved for a loan you can’t afford to repay. 

So, if time is on your side, it may be worth considering a standard personal loan instead of an instant-approval loan to limit your risk of overcommitting or over-borrowing.

And remember, personal loans and instant-approval loans aren’t the only financial options to consider. Depending on your personal needs and circumstances, there may be other financial products better suited to your requirements. Consider reaching out to a financial adviser for information specific to you.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get an easy/instant personal loan?

Some lenders are able to approve applications with little documentation and within minutes. However, there is a catch. People who take out easy/instant loans generally pay higher interest rates and are restricted to lower amounts than people who follow a traditional borrowing process.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Do student personal loans require security?

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, which typically have 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 fully or partially guarantee the loan, taking on the financial responsibility if the borrower defaults.

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.

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.

Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?

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 be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.

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

Are there emergency loans with no credit checks?

While many personal loans require a credit check as part of the application process, some personal loans and payday loans have no credit checks, which may appeal to some borrowers with a bad credit score.

Keep in mind that even if a loan is available with no credit check, the lender will likely want to confirm that you can afford the repayments on your current income.

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 I get a no credit check personal loan?

Personal loans with no credit checks are available and called ‘payday loans’. These are sometimes used as short-term solutions for cash-strapped Australians. They often carry higher interest rates and fees than regular personal loans, and individuals risk putting themselves into a worsened cycle of debt.

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.

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.

How long does it take to get a $5000 loan?

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.

Can students with no credit history get loans?

It is possible for students with no available history of borrowing or managing money to get a personal loan, though it may be more difficult as well as expensive than for borrowers with a good credit history.

Having no credit history means having no credit score. While many lenders may consider having no credit score to be better than having a bad credit score, they may still consider it riskier to lend to an unknown borrower and may charge higher interest rates or fees than to borrowers with good credit scores.

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.

Can single mothers get personal loans online?

Many lenders offer online applications for personal loans, which can be convenient for borrowers who have busy lives. If you’re not confident your personal loan application will be approved, you may want to consider contacting the lender by email, live chat, phone, or by visiting a branch, to discuss your situation before applying.

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.