Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

5 things to know before applying for a personal loan

personal loan, loan application

A personal loan could be preferable to a credit card for some, but there are five things borrowers should know before applying, a personal finance broker has said.

“Credit cards can be a trap. Many people can’t stop spending if there is available credit which means if you lack self-control, a credit card is the worst thing you can get,” the founder of You’re Welcome Finance, David Lennon said.

“I strongly believe personal loans are the best way to consolidate debt and borrow money for life experiences and purchases.”

However, borrowers may run into difficulty in a complex market, he added, noting that choosing between banks, credit unions and payday lenders can be a headache in itself.


“This also probably explains why the number of complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2016/2017 was up by 11 per cent on the previous year with teenagers as young as 18 being lent large sums of money. Most of the complaints were about personal loans provided by banks.”

He said there are five rules borrowers should follow when choosing a personal loan.

1.       Does it have a good interest rate?

Mr Lennon said the first rule is to make sure you’re receiving the best interest rate for the loan as even small differences will add up over time.

2.       Set-up fees and charges

He said borrowers should ask whether potential lenders charge administration fees for setting up the loan.

3.       Early repayment penalties

With some loans, borrowers are penalised for paying off their loans early as it means the lenders miss out on the expected interest, Mr Lennon said.

4.       Late payment fees

Borrowers could also cop penalties for late repayments, Mr Lennon said. It’s critical to make repayments on time, but borrowers can also face unexpected difficulties in servicing the loan so it’s important to assess the size of the fees for late repayments.

5.       Find a good broker

Mr Lennon argued a broker is the “best way to go about sourcing a loan product”, as they can help clarify requirements and obtain the best product without having to undertake multiple applications.

He said he hopes borrowers’ confidence in brokers is healing, thanks to revelations made in the royal commission.

“While the royal commission has uncovered concerning behaviour in the finance sector, it has also helped to clarify that brokers disclose all of their payments and commissions to clients unlike bank employed lending officers who are not required to disclose what type of bonuses or financial benefits they receive for writing business for their employer.”

5 things to know before applying for a personal loan
personal loan, loan application
nestegg logo
subscribe to our newsletter sign up
Recommended by Spike Native Network
TRC Unimpressed - Oh Golly Gosh... What will we do with an extra $15.00 per week??? Maybe buy milk or leave the heater or lights on for an extra 10 minutes. How about.......
Anonymous - The staff at the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as at June 2018 was one of the most discriminatory organisations you can imagine- 90% female (2.......
TRC - Not to mention that the Government has made the a SMSF impossible to manage and totally restricts how you finance an investment. Too much RED TAPE.......
Anonymous - The age pension is a subsidy scheme for inheritance of real estate. The pension should be a charge on the estate - and tax free accordingly.....