If only money grew on trees…ah yes, wouldn’t that be lovely! While notes may not sprout from trees, there’s still a means of accessing finance, in the form of a personal loan. When you don’t have the money for some of those big ticket items, a personal loan can help you achieve your financial goals.
There are a range of lenders out there who offer different types of personal loans, which one you go with, will all depend on what it is you’re after and your financial situation. Regardless of the type of personal loan, you will incur interest, fees and charges during the loan term so be sure to read the fine print. This handy guide will give you all the ins and outs of personal loans.
What sort of personal loan can I take out?
It’s only human to have the urge to go trek around South America, renovate your 1950’s bathroom or upgrade your old school Holden. Be it a necessity or a desire there are many sorts of personal loans that can turn your dreams into a reality! Here’s a list of what you can take a personal loan out for:
- Debt consolidation
- Furniture and appliances
Personal Loan Types:
There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a personal loan. It all comes down to what suits your personal needs and financial situation. To avoid the head spins and confusion, Mozo has broken down the different types of personal loans for you below.
A secured personal loan requires you to put up an asset as security in order to borrow money from the lender. As security for the bank you can offer your car, house or even jewellery as collateral. This means the lender can take possession of your asset if you fail to make the required repayments. The bank enjoys the security against defaulting, and you enjoy the lower interest rates that come with less risk for the bank.
- Lower interest rates and fees because the lender has less risk
- Secured bank loans are easier to obtain from reputable lenders
- If you default on the secured loan you could find yourself without a car or roof over your head…the lender will sell any particular asset to recover any money
An unsecured personal loan does not require you to put up an asset to the lender for security. So if you don’t have an asset like a car or a house you’ll be looking at taking out an unsecured loan. You may have to convince the lender you can make the repayments on the loan by way of providing evidence of your income through pay slips. If it’s your first ever loan you are applying for, having a guarantor may help you in getting the unsecured loan.
- Good option if you don’t have any assets
- Unsecured loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards and many “buy now, pay later” financing deals
- High fee penalties for late payments and
- The lender may take possible legal action if you default on the loan
- Most providers charge higher fees and interest rates compared to a secured loan
Let’s face it; you’re usually on a very tight budget and pretty ‘povo’ when you’re a university student! Fortunately many lending institutions recognise the financial burden university students are under by offering assistance in the form of a student loan. This loan can help purchase a laptop, textbooks and other such educational expenses. so you can avoid the stress of holding down a part time job while studying.
- A student loan can be deferred for up to five years
- Some banks don’t have an upfront fee on a student loan
- Interest applies from the date you take out the loan, so it piles up pretty high
Overdraft/Line of Credit
An overdraft or line of credit personal loan is great to have in case of an unexpected emergency. It allows you to overdraw your account to an agreed amount established by the bank. You only pay interest on the money you use not on the maximum you are able to borrow.
- Access to extra money when times are tough, 24/7
- Interest is only charged on what you use
- Interest rate is usually higher than other types of personal loans
A debt consolidation loan can help you to get out of debt sooner. By combining all your debts into one personal loan you can save on interest repayments.
- Helps you pay off all your debts faster with a competitive rate
- One regular payment as opposed to several throughout the month
- Chance to fall into more debt, easy to slip back into bad spending habits
Interest Rates of Personal Loans:
There are two options when it comes to paying interest on a personal loan and sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you cannot avoid it. You can choose between a fixed and variable interest rate, in the end it all comes down to personal preference. Have a read of the pros and cons of each below to help you make your decision.
Fixed personal loans
A fixed interest means that the rate is locked in over the life of your personal loan. As the interest rate will not change, it makes budgeting a whole lot easier.
- Avoid the stress of rate rises
- Repayments remain the same throughout the term of the loan, making financial planning easier
- Generally higher rates and fees than variable rate personal loans
- Miss out on low interest rates if market rates fall
- You can’t make extra payments to get ahead, charges may apply
Variable rate personal loans
A variable rate loan can change at any time during the term. As the interest rate can fluctuate repayments on this type of loan will go up and down.
- Lower rates and fees compared to fixed interest personal loan
- If interest rates decrease your repayments will be less
- Difficult to budget as repayments vary according to the changing rates
- When interest rates rise so do your payments
How long should the loan be?
The duration you take out a personal loan for will depend on why you need the loan and your financial situation. Personal loans usually have a standard minimum term of 1 year with a maximum of seven to 10 years. Be aware, the longer the term of the loan, the more you will pay in interest.
Features to look for when choosing a personal loan;
Fair enough if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at choosing a personal loan, there’s a lot to take in. So here’s a list of features to consider, helping make the decision a little bit easier.
Low fees: Avoid or keep to a minimal, upfront, ongoing, or early repayment fees.
Borrowing: Usually the minimum amount is $2000 the maximum will depend on what you can afford. To help figure out what you can borrow try out our personal loan repayment calculator.
Flexible repayments: Make sure your personal loan provides you with the flexible option of an extra repayments facility…you never know when you may find yourself with some extra cash.
Redraw facility: Once you’ve paid off a portion of your bank loan, you can draw that money back out again. This feature may be handy to have for when an unexpected bill or health issue pops up.
Loan Repayments FAQ’s:
1. How are the repayments calculated?
It’s based on the full amount of your loan, related fees, the loan term and interest rates.
2. When do I make repayments?
It’s determined when you set up the loan; weekly, fortnightly, monthly or an agreed date.
3. How do I make repayments?
Direct loan repayment, direct debit, phone banking
4. What happens if I make my repayment late?