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What is a good personal loan interest rate?

By Louise Chan · June 19 2019
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Good personal loan interest rate

What is a good personal loan interest rate?

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By Louise Chan · June 19 2019
Reading:
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Good personal loan interest rate

One of your options when you want to consolidate your debt or purchase a big-ticket item without spending your entire savings or using credit cards is to take out a personal loan.

Just like any other debt product, taking out a personal loan requires you to repay the borrowed amount and the interest over an agreed time frame, including all applicable fees.

The interest rates that are applied to the loan amounts, however, might result in larger debts. To avoid blowing up your debt, it’s important to practice due diligence and compare loan offers to get a better rate before signing up for a personal loan.

A good interest rate is, of course, the lowest possible rate you can get. However, you need to consider loan fees and your own financial circumstances to set a realistic target.

Personal loans with the lowest rates

Different banks and lenders offer loans with low interest rates, but it’s up to you to compare and determine which one suits your financial situation best.

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According to a June 2019 Canstar comparison, the following rates apply for a $10,000 personal loan with a term of five years in NSW.

Loan amount: $10,000
(NSW)

Advertised rate
(% per annum)

Loan term: 5 years Lowest Highest
Secured personal loan

4.24
Endeavour Mutual Bank

12.99 to 28.99
Latitude Financial Services

Unsecured personal loan

5.99 to 16.99
G&C Mutual Bank

13.99 to 29.99
Latitude Financial Services

 

It’s important to note that the above rates are true only for the given example. For a more accurate comparison, you need to compare the rates and fees published in each lender’s product disclosure statement.

How are personal loan rates determined?

Most lenders, especially big financial institutions like banks, usually provide interest rate ranges when publishing loan offers. You will only receive a definite offer once you apply for the loan.

Lenders still take the applicant’s credit score into consideration when screening applications. They also typically decide on a personalised interest rate range based on the applicant’s credit score. This is because the lender’s priority is to protect itself in case the borrower defaults on loan repayments.

This means you have a higher probability of being offered lower interest rates if you have a good credit rating.

How to secure a low interest rate for a personal loan

Different lenders have different criteria when deciding on the interest rates and loan approvals, but there are some things you can do to influence their decision.

To secure a lower interest rate, keep the following in mind:

  1. Make sure you satisfy all the lender’s eligibility requirements.
  2. Apply for an appropriate amount considering your current income and the loan term you are applying for.
  3. Prepare necessary application documents.
  4. Have a good credit rating.
  5. If you have a different account with the lender (i.e. savings or credit account), show a good track record of depositing regularly or paying on time.
  6. Don’t make numerous loan applications. Each application affects your credit score, especially when it is rejected.

How to compare personal loans

Interest rate
It’s important to compare personal loan interest rates as it is the additional amount you will pay each billing. A lower interest rate is usually better but you also have to consider the type of interest and other fees and charges.

Upfront fees
Some lenders waive initial charges when you apply for a loan from their institution, but most lenders charge an upfront establishment fee to set up the loan. 

Monthly and/or annual fees
Ask the lender about any recurring fees or other loan charges to pay for each loan on a monthly or annual basis.

Penalties
Ask about any penalty fee for late payments, extra repayments and paying the debt in full early.

Many lenders welcome the idea of its borrowers paying off their debts early. Some charge a penalty or service fee to recompute the remaining debt when borrowers make extra payments or pay off the full amount early.

Fixed v variable interest rates

The type of interest can make a loan cheaper or more expensive in the long run. You need to know if the rate you’re offered will change or stay the same within the loan term.

Fixed interest rate
Interest rate remains the same over the life of the loan regardless of interest rate movements. This means the amount you pay each repayment period remains the same for the full term of the loan.

Variable interest rate
Interest rate can change depending on interest rate movements. This means your repayment each pay period may vary depending on whether there was a rate hike or rate cut.

Things to consider before applying for a loan

There are some things you need to think about before applying for a loan.

For starters, you need to think about why you’re considering a loan and if you’re eligible to apply – you may have debts that need to be paid first before taking on more debt.

Likewise, consider how much you plan to borrow and whether you have a credit score that can get you a good deal. Having a bad credit score may lock you in a high-interest loan that could make things financially difficult for you in the long run.

Think about whether you have enough money to consistently make repayments even when interest rates move. 

If you’re applying for a personal loan to consolidate debt, it’s best to seek the advice of a licensed professional first to determine whether this is the best solution to your debt problem.

What is a good personal loan interest rate?
Good personal loan interest rate
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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

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About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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