cheapest

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Product
Advertised Rate
Comparison Rate*
Company
Monthly repayment
Loan term
Total repayments
Real Time Rating™
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8.50%

Fixed

9.36%

Wisr

$947

36 months

3 years

3.61

/ 5
More details

5.75%

Variable up to 9.99%

6.47%

Symple Loans

$909

36 months

1 year to 7 years

4.33

/ 5
More details

9.99%

Fixed

11.22%

Latitude Financial Services

$968

36 months

2 years to 7 years

3.25

/ 5
More details

12.69%

Fixed

13.56%

NAB

$1006

36 months

1 year to 7 years

3.05

/ 5
More details

12.45%

Fixed

13.32%

ANZ

$1003

36 months

1 year to 7 years

3.01

/ 5
More details

12.69%

Variable

13.56%

NAB

$1006

36 months

1 year to 7 years

3.12

/ 5
More details

15.99%

Variable

16.84%

ANZ

$1055

36 months

1 year to 7 years

2.64

/ 5
More details

4.94%

Variable

7.41%

Heritage Bank

$898

36 months

1 year to 10 years

4.56

/ 5
More details

5.60%

Variable

5.70%

Family First Credit Union

$907

36 months

0 year to 10 years

4.49

/ 5
More details

5.85%

Variable

6.70%

Holiday Coast Credit Union

$911

36 months

0 year to 10 years

4.20

/ 5
More details

6.49%

Fixed up to 8.79%

6.84%*

Plenti

$919

36 months

3 years to 5 years

4.25

/ 5
More details

7.79%

Fixed up to 10.49%

8.35%*

Plenti

$937

36 months

3 years to 5 years

3.96

/ 5
More details

8.00%

Fixed

8.21%

Our Money Market

$940

36 months

1 year to 7 years

3.77

/ 5
More details

8.99%

Fixed

9.13%

ING

$954

36 months

2 years to 5 years

3.67

/ 5
More details

9.00%

Variable

9.28%

Holiday Coast Credit Union

$954

36 months

0 year to 5 years

3.83

/ 5
More details

6.99%

Fixed up to 29.99%

7.69%

Harmoney

$926

36 months

3 years

3.95

/ 5
More details

10.89%

Variable

11.15%

CUA

$981

36 months

0.08333333333333333 year to 7 years

3.45

/ 5
More details

10.99%

Fixed

12.21%

Latitude Financial Services

$982

36 months

2 years to 7 years

3.08

/ 5
More details

11.50%

Fixed

12.38%

Wisr

$989

36 months

3 years

3.09

/ 5
More details

12.99%

Fixed

14.14%

Westpac

$1011

36 months

1 year to 7 years

2.81

/ 5
More details

12.99%

Fixed up to 28.99%

14.20%

Latitude Financial Services

$1011

36 months

2 years to 7 years

2.86

/ 5
More details

13.99%

Fixed up to 29.99%

15.19%

Latitude Financial Services

$1025

36 months

2 years to 7 years

2.69

/ 5
More details

14.00%

Variable

14.30%

Holiday Coast Credit Union

$1025

36 months

0 year to 5 years

2.96

/ 5
More details

Learn more about personal loans

What is a cheap personal loan?

To find the ‘cheapest’ personal loan, you need to calculate the total cost of the personal loan you’re applying for. 

To do this, you have to look further than the amount you apply for and the interest you will be charged. You need to look in depth at the various fees and charges when you calculate. 

 

What fees are associated with personal loans?

Over the loan term of a personal loan, you can be charged a number of fees that may include:

  • Upfront fee - Also known as an establishment or application fee, this fee is charged at the beginning of the loan term. It covers the lender’s admin costs for setting up the account and can vary from $0-600. Make sure to ask if you can get it waived, as some banks are willing to cover the fee for new business.
  • Ongoing fee - To cover the admin costs for managing the loan, these fees are charged on a monthly or annual basis. 
  • Early exit fee - If you decide to pay off your personal loan before the end of the agreed term, you'll be charged a fee. This is to provide some compensation to the lender, as they miss out on the interest.
  • Missed payment fee: If you don’t pay the minimum monthly payment by the due date, you’ll most likely be charged a missed payment fee.
  • Declined direct debit fee: When a direct debit authorised by you is declined, a declined direct debit fee may be charged. 
  • Information fee: If you request information about your account or the contract provided in writing, an information fee may be payable to your lender. The fee can be paid upfront or debited from the loan balance.

Before you apply for a personal loan, make sure to check for fees and charges associated with your loan, that may not be advertised on your lender’s product page.

How can you find the cheapest personal loan?

If you’re looking for the cheapest loan, personal loans with low interest are a good place to start. Interest is not the only charge to consider when comparing personal loans, but it is one of the main factors.

Lenders assess your ability to meet loan repayments in order to reduce their financial risk. So, as a general rule, the lower the risk to the lender, the lower the interest rate will be.

Secured personal loans are one type of personal loan usually accompanied by a low interest rate, because it’s secured with an asset. That way, if you default on your repayments, the lender can sell the security to cover the loan.

What is the comparison rate?

To get a better idea of the total cost of a low rate personal loan, it’s worth looking at its comparison rate as well as the advertised interest rate.

The comparison rate on a personal loan attempts to incorporate the interest and all standard fees and charges attached to a personal loan. The comparison rate therefore gives you a more accurate indication of how much your personal loan will cost over the life of your loan.

Comparison rates help you compare low-interest-rate personal loans quickly, as if you notice the comparison rate is much higher than the advertised rate you will know there are a number of associated fees and charges.

Just keep in mind the comparison rate doesn’t take into account any ‘optional’ charges such as late fees, so when you have narrowed down your choice it’s still worth taking a closer look at the fine print before making your final decision.

Is a low interest personal loan always the cheapest?

Low interest personal loans may not always be the cheapest option, as there can be hidden fees and charges associated with these types of loans. As mentioned above, make sure you check the comparison rate when comparing low interest loans. 

If you see if there is a big difference between the comparison rate and their advertised rate.

How do you negotiate a low interest personal loan?

If you can’t find a low interest personal loan that suits your needs, you may be able to contact lenders directly to negotiate the rate you desire. In order to get a low interest rate, you need to prove you are low risk to the lender. Here’s how you can prove you are low risk: 

Show your savings

If you can prove that you have consistently saved over time, it may help to prove you can meet the structured repayments that are part and parcel of a personal loan.

Prove you are a reliable employee

Maintaining regular work and proving regular income over the past 12 months or more can paint a picture of you as a credible and trustworthy borrower. 

Prove you have regular income

Proving that your standard income or minimum income covers your expenses, proposed repayments and savings can be extremely beneficial to negotiate a lower rate. Showing your lender tax returns with annual income from previous years can help if you’re self-employed.

Compare cheap personal loans

The cheapest personal loan isn't always the personal loan that provides you with the most value, so before making your final decision, it's worth comparing the personal loan offers from several different lenders at RateCity, and then work out whether you're comfortable with repayments using a personal loans calculator.

Once you find a personal loan that costs you less money, while providing you with features and benefits that suit your financial situation, you'll be well on your way towards fulfilling those personal goals of yours.

*The phrase 'some of the cheapest' is not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of home loans from selected providers, not all products or providers are included in the comparison. No home loan is one size fits all. The best home loan for you will not be the best home loan for someone else. As a result, it's worth getting advice on whether a product is right for you before committing.

Frequently asked questions

Can you refinance a $5000 personal loan?

Many personal loans, much like home 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 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.

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, without worrying about ending up out of pocket 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 usually 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 repay a $3000 personal loan early?

If you receive a financial windfall (e.g. tax refund, inheritance, bonus), using some of this money to pay extra onto your personal loan or medium amount loan could bring you benefits, such as reducing the total interest you’re charged on your loan, or clearing your debt ahead of schedule.

Check your loan’s terms and conditions before putting 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 a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. They have higher interest rates than regular personal loans and are also harder to access.

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 offers – consider contacting the lender before applying. >

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.

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 even the same day, in some cases.

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, but you’ll find it hard to get approved for a bad credit personal loan above $50,000.

How can I get a $3000 loan approved?

Personal loans and medium amount loans from responsible lenders don’t have guaranteed approval, 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).

What are the pros and cons of debt consolidation?

In some instances, debt consolidation can help borrowers reduce their repayments or simplify them. For example, someone might take out a $7,000 personal loan at an interest rate of 8 per cent so they can repay a (different) $4,000 personal loan at 10 per cent and a $3,000 credit card loan at 15 per cent.

However, debt consolidation can backfire if the borrower spends the extra money instead of using it to repay the new loan.

Can I get an easy/instant personal loan?

Some lenders are able to approve applications over the internet 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.

How do I find out my credit rating/score?

Credit reporting bodies like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service will give you a free credit report once a year. You can also get a free report if you’ve been refused credit in the past 90 days.

Credit reporting bodies have up to 10 days to provide reports. If you want to access your report quickly, you’ll probably have to pay.

What is credit history?

Your credit history covers everything to do with applying for loans. It includes the number of loans you’ve applied for, the amounts you’ve borrowed and your record of meeting repayment schedules.

How do I know if I've got a bad credit history?

You can find out what your credit history is like by accessing what’s known as your credit rating or credit score.

What causes bad credit history?

Bad credit history is caused by filing for bankruptcy, defaulting on your debts, falling behind on your repayments and having loan applications rejected. Lenders are wary of borrowers who demonstrate this sort of behaviour, because it suggests they might struggle to repay future loans.

How are personal loans regulated?

Personal lenders are regulated by ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission) and must follow responsible lending rules. That means they can’t lend money without making “reasonable inquiries” about a borrower’s financial situation and ensuring the loan is “not unsuitable” for them.

When was comprehensive credit reporting introduced?

Comprehensive credit reporting was introduced to make credit reports fairer and more accurate. Under the previous system, credit providers only saw negative information about potential borrowers. Now, they get to see both positive and negative information, which means that credit providers can see if a borrower’s negative credit behaviour is typical or a one-off.

How long will I have bad credit?

Most negative events that appear on a personal’s credit file will stay in their credit history for up to seven years.

You may be able to improve your credit score by correcting errors in your credit report, clearing outstanding debts, and maintaining good financial habits over time.