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Many private schools in Australia expect school fees to be paid upfront, either term by term or annually, and this can be a huge burden on families. In some cases, a personal loan could be an appropriate solution, but only if you have the financial means to pay back the loan on time.
Several banks and lenders offer personal loans to cover school fees, but the cost and terms can vary significantly, so it’s a good idea to carefully compare what’s on offer across Australia before signing up to a personal loan.
What should I look for when choosing a personal loan for school fees?
To find a personal loan that suits your financial needs the best, it’s important to compare the following things:
- Interest rates – are they fixed or variable?
- Fees – how much are the upfront and ongoing fees?
- Repayment options – can I make payments weekly, fortnightly, monthly, and can extra repayments be made without penalty?
- Features – is there a redraw facility and fully-drawn advance?
- Customer service – is it all online or can I also get customer service over the phone and at a branch?
RateCity.com.au has an easy-to-use comparison tool to compare dozens of loans from a wide range of Australian lenders, so you can find one that will best help you pay the school fees.
How much can I borrow in a personal loan for school fees?
Every lender in Australia sets its own limit on personal loans, but generally personal loans vary between about $1,000 and $100,000.
Your own financial situation will heavily determine how much a lender is willing to let you borrow in a personal loan for school fees.
How long will I have to pay back a personal loan for school fees?
The term of personal loans tend to range from one to 10 years. If you get a personal loan that allows early repayment, it might be a good idea to pay off the loan ahead of schedule, so you can pay less in interest.
RateCity’s comparison tool lets you change the term of the loan to see how that affects your interest charges on repayments.
How can I apply for a personal loan for school fees?
Firstly, you need to make sure you are eligible. Each financial institution has its own list of criteria but generally you’ll need to prove the following five things:
- You are at least 18
- You an Australian resident or citizen
- You’re employed
- You receive a regular income into a bank account
- You have a fair credit history (although some lenders will accept a bad credit history)
Secondly, you will be required to provide the following:
- Mobile phone number and email address
- Driver’s license or Medicare Card or passport
- Three months’ worth of bank statements
Some lenders may also require additional documents and information.
If you are self-employed, you will also need to show your latest tax return for proof of income, but be aware that not all lenders offer personal loans to the self-employed.
If I have a bad credit history, can I still get a personal loan for school fees?
The short answer is yes.
There are a number of lenders who will give loans to customers with a bad credit history. However, usually you will be required to prove that you have a regular income deposited into a bank account, and that this is sufficient to repay the personal loan you are taking out for school fees.
Still have questions about personal loans for school fees?
RateCity.com.au has a personal loans guide filled with helpful tips that may help you in making a decision when purchasing a personal loan.
Property Personal Finance Writer
A property and personal finance writer, Nick Bendel covers property, loans, credit cards, superannuation, and other bank products. Nick has previously written for The Adviser, Mortgage Business, Lifehacker, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and InvestorDaily, and loves getting elbow-deep in the latest ABS, APRA and RBA data.
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Frequently asked questions
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 self-employed personal loan with bad credit?
It may be much more difficult for a self-employed borrower to successfully apply for a personal loan if they also have bad credit. Many lenders already consider self-employed borrowers to be riskier than those in full-time employment, so some self-employed personal loans require borrowers to have excellent credit.
If you’re a self-employed borrower with a bad credit history, there may still be personal loan options available to you, such as securing your personal loan against a vehicle of equity in a property, though your interest rates may be higher than those of other borrowers. Consider contacting a lender before applying to discuss your options.
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.
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.
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.
What are the pros and cons of bad credit personal loans?
In some instances, bad credit personal loans can help people with bad credit history to consolidate their debts, which can help make it easier for them to clear those debts. This is because the borrower might be able to consolidate several debts with higher interest rates (such as credit card loans) into one single debt with a lower interest rate and potentially fewer fees.
However, this strategy can backfire if the borrower spends the loaned funds instead of using it to repay the new loan. Another disadvantage of bad credit personal loans is that they have higher interest rates than regular personal loans.
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.
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.
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.
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.