Showing personal loans for
for a credit score of
Advertised Rate


% p.a

Fixed up to 7.49%

Comparison Rate*


% p.a

Fixed up to 10.79%

Monthly repayment


36 months

Loan term

2 years to 3 years

Total repayments
Real Time Rating™


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Total repayments for a 3-year, $30,000 loan at 5.95% would be $32,831*. Terms from 2-3 years

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Personal loan lenders we compare at RateCity

Learn more about personal loans

Learn more about personal loans

If you wouldn’t buy a car without comparing makes and models, you probably shouldn’t be getting a personal loan without doing thorough research. Whether you're looking to fund some home improvements, or you need a debt consolidation loan, it's important to weigh up your options.

Find out what you need to know before starting your personal loan search.

Why should I search for personal loans?

Searching for personal loans can be a time-consuming chore. With so many personal loan options on the market from different lenders across Australia, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the information.

While you might be tempted to leap for the most convenient credit product, or sign up for a personal loan recommended by a friend or family member, this may not be a great idea. The reason is everyone’s personal borrowing needs and financial situation can be vastly different. For example, you may have a good credit score but your friend may have a different credit history, meaning you may qualify for a lower rate. Or perhaps your friend may have a home loan, giving them another liability to factor in.

Different types of personal loans may also have different eligibility criteria. Just because your friend secured a personal loan from one lender, doesn’t mean you automatically pass that same lender’s lending criteria.

Investing time to search for a personal loan could also save you money in the long run. By shopping around before making a loan application, you’re more likely to find a personal loan with the fees, features and interest rate that you’re happy with.

Like with other financial products, it’s important not to skip this search and shop around so you can make sure you’re choosing the best personal loan suited to your own circumstances. After all, getting a personal loan is all about satisfying what you need.

What should I look for when searching for a personal loan?

Many people often start their personal loan search simply by looking for the lowest personal loan interest rate. The interest rate is the percentage extra you’ll need to pay your lender with each loan repayment, and is effectively one of the biggest determining factors of the cost of the loan.

But the best personal loan for you may not be the cheapest, as there are other loans features that you may find useful. It's always wise to research your options before you make your loan application (or refinancing application) by comparing different types of personal loans to find the best one for you.

Aside from a low rate, some personal loan features you may want to look at include:

  • Fixed or variable interest rates – Having a fixed rate loan means the interest rate you’re on and your loan repayments won’t change. A fixed interest rate gives you certainty about your monthly repayments, and you won’t be in for any surprises. If you’re on a variable rate loan, your loan repayments and interest rate could move up or down.
  • Secured or unsecured personal loan - A secured personal loan means the loan is secured by an asset, such as a car. A personal loan is unsecured if a borrower doesn't put down collateral to secure the loan. Lenders will typically charge higher interest rates for unsecured personal loans because they deem them as riskier than secured loans. Unsecured car loans are generally considered personal loans.
  • A longer or shorter loan term – Generally, personal loan terms are between one and seven years. The longer the term, the lower your regular repayments may be, but the more overall interest you may be paying.
  • The ability to make extra repayments - Some personal loans will allow you to make extra repayments additional to your regular repayments. Having the option to make additional repayments on your personal loan could mean saving money on interest and paying your loan off faster. Not every personal loan offers this feature.
  • No early exit fees – As the name suggests, a personal loan which doesn’t charge early repayment fees means you can pay off your loan before the scheduled loan term ends without forking out potentially hundreds of dollars for it.
  • Redraw facility - A redraw facility allows you to redraw any additional payments you’ve made, which can be useful if you need cash for any reason in the future. You may be charged redraw fees for this.
  • Other fees - Upfront and ongoing fees can considerably add to the cost of the loan. An example of an upfront fee is an application fee, while ongoing fees may include monthly account keeping fees.

How do I search for personal loans?

Some people know the importance of searching for a personal loan, but may not be sure where to start.

A good place to kick off your personal loan search is a comparison site such as RateCity, where you can easily compare the interest rates, fees, features of prospective personal loans side-by-side.

A side-by-side comparison can help make it clear to you which personal loan is your best option.

To search for the personal loan most suitable for you, think about what your own financial needs are and, from there, narrow down which features are most useful or attractive to you.

You can then scan through comparison tables and use personal loan repayment calculators to do more research.

Comparison tables

A comparison table lays out the key details of multiple personal loans in a table format. It allows you to clearly compare apples with apples. To use comparison tables effectively, enter the main details of what you want from a personal loan (for example, how much you want to borrow) and filter down the results according to loan type, interest rate type and other details. The table will then show you the options that fit your bill, along with the key details of each.

By comparing the interest rates, comparison rates, fees and features side-by-side, comparison tables make it easier for you to find a personal loan that's well-suited to your financial circumstances. Using comparison tables may also help you find a lower interest rate.

Personal loan calculators

When you have narrowed down your search to a few personal loan options, you may want to use a personal calculator to work out what your potential repayments could be. To use, enter how much you want to borrow in the calculator. As the calculator won’t affect your credit score, you can try keying in different loan amounts and different terms to compare results. Enter the interest rate you have in mind and select between weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayments. You’ll also need to choose a loan term, before your calculation comes up. Keep in mind that any calculations are estimates only and may not include fees and other charges. For specific details on this, it could be worth going through a personal loan's product disclosure statement.

How do I use RateCity's Real Time Ratings™?

Done enough research but want to know if your findings stack up with what the professionals think? It could be worth heading over to RateCity’s Real Time Ratings™ to add a credibility boost to your search and comparison results. Real Time Ratings™ is a world-first rating system that ranks personal loans, tailored to your personal borrowing requirements.

While other personal loan rating systems generally rate products less than a few times year, Real Time Ratings™ are assessed daily. Each personal loan is rated with five stars being the highest score, based on cost of the loan, flexibility. The assessment also factors in your personal loan amount, loan term, borrowing purpose and whether you’re putting down any security.

Why does my personal loan search show a different best personal loan from someone else’s?

You may have noticed that someone else has selected a personal loan that’s ideal for them, but looks different from what you’ve chosen. This is because the best personal loan for you doesn’t necessarily suit everyone else.

The best personal loan for you is one that meets all your needs and suits your loan purpose, while factoring in price, features and benefits. This is why it’s so important to shop around and make personal loan comparisons, rather than signing up for a personal loan with your existing bank or the first one that appears on Google. Comparison sites like RateCity allow you to compare personal loans by a combination of interest rates, fees and features. This can help you do your research more effectively and a lot faster, so can get started on that home renovation or consolidate your debts sooner!


Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

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

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.

Can I get a $2000 loan on Centrelink?

If more than half of your income comes from Centrelink benefits, it may be more difficult to have a $2000 loan application approved. Many lenders will check if you can afford a loan’s repayments on the income from your job before they’ll approve an application, and many won’t count Centrelink payments when assessing your income for this purpose.

Some lenders may offer $2000 loans to borrowers on Centrelink – consider contacting potential lenders to check before applying.