Latitude offering lower rates for home owners

Latitude offering lower rates for home owners

Need a personal loan? If you own your own home and have an excellent credit rating, you may be able to secure a lower interest rate.

Let's say for example, Susanna* approaches Latitude for a $22,000 personal loan to help fund her upcoming wedding.

As Susanna owns her own home, with a mortgage attached, and has an excellent credit rating, she was able to qualify for Latitude’s Low Rate Personal Loan product. This product is targeted toward safer borrowers, and so offers an interest rate that is three percentage points less than their regular Personal Loan.

Susanna chooses to secure her personal loan, rather than have it unsecured. By securing the property with an asset, she is able to knock one more percentage point off the interest rate offered.

Loan type Advertised rate Comparison rate
Low Rate Personal Loan (secured) 9.99% 11.22%
Low Rate Personal Loan (unsecured) 10.99% 12.21%
Personal Loan (secured) 12.99% to 28.99% 14.20% to 30.13%
Personal Loan (unsecured) 13.99% to 29.99% 15.19% to 31.13%

Data accurate as at 26 September 2019

Susanna may save money by paying off her loan early, but fees do apply

When she sets up the Low Rate Personal Loan, Latitude fixes the interest rate 9.99 per cent for the length of her five-year loan term.

Susanna pays a $250 establishment fee, and commits to a $13 monthly fee. Whilst these fees are small, Susanna is careful to make every repayment on time, as late repayment fees and other charges may apply.

Susanna has the option of making weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments, and decides to choose the monthly option as her salary is paid monthly.

Even though Susanna opted for a five-year term, she wanted to see if she could pay off the loan in four years, to save money.

Latitude charges an early termination fee of $300 if you pay off your loan in the first half of the term, but waives it if you pay off the loan in the second half. 

Loan term Monthly repayments (including monthly fees) Total repayments (including establishment and monthly fees)
5 years $480 $28,820
4 years $571 $27,402

Susanna plans to pay an extra $395 per month for four years, as she has calculated by exiting the loan one year early, she could save up to $1500.

But even if she can’t make the extra repayment every month, she may still be ahead overall, which should give her some breathing room if her finances get tight for a while.

Personal loans can be costly

Australians should think carefully before taking out a personal loan, as they can be costly products with many associated fees and charges.

It’s also important to compare personal loan interest rates, because there are many providers in the market, and they offer a wide variety of interest rates.

That said, the cheapest personal loan won’t always be the best personal loan; fees, features and customer service are also worth considering when you do your research.

It's a good idea professional financial advice before applying a personal loan, as a rejected application can negatively impact your credit score. 

* Susanna is not a real person. This is a hypothetical case study.

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Learn more about personal loans

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 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 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 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 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.

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 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 get a bad credit personal loan with a guarantor?

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.

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.

How do I consolidate my debt if I have bad credit?

The worse your credit history, the harder you will find it to consolidate your debts, because lenders will be less willing to lend you money and will charge you higher interest rates.

However, people with bad credit histories can make debt consolidation work by following this three-step process:

  1. First, find a lender willing to give you a bad credit personal loan. This process will be simplified if you go through a finance broker or use a comparison website like RateCity.
  2. Second, make sure the interest repayments on your new loan are less than the repayments on the loans being replaced.
  3. Third, instead of spending those savings, use them to pay off the new loan.

What interest rates are charged for personal loans?

Lenders aren’t allowed to charge interest on loans of $2,000 and under. Instead, they make their money by charging a one-off establishment fee of up to 20 per cent and a monthly account-keeping fee of up to four per cent. Lenders might also ask you to pay a government fee.

For loans between $2,001 and $5,000, lenders can make their money in only two ways: a one-off fee of $400 and annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

For loans of $5,001 and above, or for loans that have terms longer than two years, lenders can charge annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.

Those fee caps don’t apply to loans offered by authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions, although such institutions are highly unlikely to charge interest rates of anywhere near 48 per cent.

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.