If you’re looking for a personal loan then applying for one online could make the whole process quicker and easier. Online loan applications are not just streamlined, but hitting up a comparison site can make choosing your ideal product much easier. This is your InfoChoice guide to getting a personal loan, online, today. Here we answer all your Personal Loan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The advantages of an online loan Faster turnaround times When you apply online personal loans can be approved and funded much sooner than with other lenders. If you’re successful, you could be approved in minutes and funded within the same business day. Quick comparisons Having all your options side by side, as well as filter options to hand, makes comparing fees, comparison rates and other features much simpler. You get a tracking number You can monitor the progress of your application to see where it’s at. Exclusive online offers Bricks–and–mortar lenders might offer discounts for applying online and online–only lenders may always offer lower rates. There are pros and cons to online and physical branch loans. Online options Online–only lenders have fewer overheads so they may charge smaller fees and lower rates. It’s easier to compare and apply for online–only loans. In–branch loans You can have helpful real live advisors to guide you. Your branch might offer you special discounts for loyalty. You could also have the option of applying for quick easy phone–based personal loans from your branch. What sorts of online loans can you get? Unsecured personal loans Most lenders offer these loans, which you can use to fund a holiday, home renovations or a wedding. Secured personal loans If you have a valuable asset, such as a car, a term deposit, a property or even jewellery then you can use it as collateral for a secured loan. Offering a guarantee could mean a larger loan amount or a lower interest rate. A car loan Many lenders offer car loans so you can buy a new or used vehicle. Which lenders are 100 per cent online? There are several lenders which operate solely online and all big banks also accept online applications, especially from their own customers. Many online–only lenders are peer–to–peer or alternative and as such they can offer competitive rates as they have fewer overheads than the big boys, as well as no shareholders to answer to. Looking for the best online loan You need to compare a few features when you’re looking for the best online loan for you and your circumstances. The interest rate Interest rates can be fixed or variable, with fixed rates being more predictable and “safe”. Variable rates could go up, making repayments larger, but these loans tend to let you make extra repayments or pay the loan off early without charging you. The fees You’ll still pay fees for online loans, whether it’s an establishment fee or an ongoing one. You’ll also get fees for late or missed payments, so, just as you would with an in–branch loan, check the comparison rate as well as the basic interest rate. Repayment flexibility Can you pay weekly or fortnightly, or just monthly? Are extra repayments penalised? How about clearing the entire loan early without a fee? Look out for these details as well. Additional features How do you reach customer service? Is it just chat or can you talk to someone? Do you get a discount if you have another product with the same lender? Can you manage your account online or through an app? Are online loans safe? Online loans are as safe as loans from in–branch lenders, but to be on the safe side, make sure there’s a credit licence clearly displayed on the website. It’s also a good idea to try out the contact information to make sure the lender is easy to reach. Reviews, both on the lender’s own website and other forums, also offer a good indication of the safety of the provider. How do online loans work? Each lender has its own application process, but you’ll usually fill in an online form detailing your name, employment and financial information, as well as your assets, liabilities and debts. The lender will probably ask for payslips and other supporting documents as well. Eligibility for online loans Again, each lender is different, but you’ll usually need to be aged over 18, have a steady income of at least $15,000 p.a. and if you’re looking for a car loan, the car will also need to meet certain criteria in terms of age and value. Compare personal loans from Australia’s banks, online lenders and other institutions at InfoChoice. The products compared in this article are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market and influenced by a range of factors including interest rates, product costs and commercial and sponsorship arrangements InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible. The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. Do not interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.