This page contains essential information for people looking for a personal loan or a car loan. InfoChoice updates this page regularly with the best loan deals and the lowest rate personal loans and car loans in Australia currently listed on InfoChoice. You can also check out the best car loan deals in Australia at InfoChoice and the best loans for bad credit . Update 12 March 2020: Online personal loans go under 7% pa RateSetter has unsecured personal loan rates starting from 6.89 per cent pa (comparison rate 8.89 per cent pa) and car loan rates starting from 4.69 per cent pa (comparison rate 6.03 per cent pa). Go directly to RateSetter personal loan interest rate and fees information at InfoChoice. Harmoney’s Unsecured Personal Loan rates are set according to your own credit score. Harmoney rates start from 6.99% pa (comparison rate 7.69% pa) for loans up to $70,000. There’s a $500 application fee and terms range from three to five years. Go directly to Harmoney’s Loan interest rate and fees information at InfoChoice. 12 March 2020: Secured loan and car loan rates crash under 7% The NRMA Secured Personal Loan offers interest rates starting at 6.99 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 7.70 per cent p.a.) to borrowers looking for loans of between $5,000 and $7,000,000. Loan terms range from one to seven years and there’s an application fee of $301.44. Go direct to NRMA loan interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice. The Latitude Secured Personal Loan also has an interest rates starting at 6.99 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 8.25 per cent p.a.) for people looking to consolidate debts. The maximum interest rate is 18.99 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 20.16 per cent p.a.) and terms range from two to seven years. Amounts range from $3,000 to $999,999 and there’s a $13 monthly service fee. Finding your best personal loan Your best personal loan will be different from someone else’s because your needs and circumstances are different. It’s a case of finding the best product for you out of the best loans on offer. Ask yourself why you need a personal loan You need to think about your reasons for needing the loan before you start searching. Do you need it for a series of purchases over a period of time or for one big purchase? Is it to consolidate other debts? Your reasons will have an impact on the amount and type of loan you go for. You can take out loans for things like holidays, renovations, tuition fees, visa applications and debt consolidation, as well as furniture or IT equipment. Personal loans release the funds in one go, so if you’re planning to spend all or most of the funds at once, this could be ideal. If you’ll be making your purchases in stages, then a credit card or line of credit could be better as you’ll have paid off some of the debt in between each purchase. Which sort of loan is best? Although each product is slightly different from the others, the main differences are between fixed rate and variable rate loans, as well as secured and unsecured. Fixed vs variable rate loans A fixed rate loan gives you the same interest rate for the duration of the repayment period. Even if the lender changes its rates or the cash rate changes, your monthly repayments stay the same. This makes things more predictable and you can budget more easily, but if the lender’s rates fall, you could be missing out on savings. With variable interest rates, your repayments can change throughout the course of the loan. They could go down, which is good, but if they go up, you’ll be paying more. When you’re using a loan calculator to work out your budget, factor in an extra three per cent on the interest rate as a stress test. Secured and unsecured personal loans A secured personal loan needs you to guarantee the loan with an asset that you own. If you default on the loan, the asset will be seized and sold to cover the shortfall. With an unsecured loan, the lender doesn’t ask you for security, but will probably apply a higher interest rate than it would for a secured loan to reflect the extra risk. If you default, then the lender’s only recourse is legal action. Applying for a personal loan You can apply for a personal loan through InfoChoice. Compare the best deals and lowest rate personal loans in Australia now listed on InfoChoice and click through to apply to our partner lenders. Online applications make for easy personal loans, but you’ll be assessed on the same criteria as you would be if you made an in–branch application. Remember, every unsuccessful credit application you make may leave a footprint on your credit file, so think carefully and have all your information to hand before you start. Many lenders will give you a rate quote and conditional approval before you apply. You’ll need all your financial information, as well as your passport or other form of ID, bank and credit card statements, tax returns or proof of employment, utility bills as proof of address and the details of existing credit agreements. Make sure you can afford the repayments While personal loans have lower interest rates than most credit cards, this doesn’t mean anything if you can’t afford it anyway! This is why you should head to a comparison site to see what’s on offer and to use a personal loan calculator. Don’t just assume that your current bank or lender will offer you the best rate; take some time to look elsewhere because you never know. Always look at the comparison rate There’s the advertised interest rate and then there is the comparison rate. The comparison rate is the advertised rate combined with the loan’s standard fees and charges, so you know what the overall cost will be. What fees might apply? Many lenders apply several kinds of fees to reduce the risk they’re taking by lending you money. Fees and charges can include application fees, maintenance fees, account keeping fees and early repayment charges. There’s also late or missed payment fees, which don’t feature in the comparison rate, but you should find out what they are nevertheless so that you’re prepared. Even the so–called quick personal loans will apply late fees, so always read the small print. What about personal loans for bad credit rating applicants? You can get a personal loan if you have a bad credit rating, but you’ll almost certainly get higher interest rates than your friend with the flawless credit report might. You might also have some restrictions imposed on the purposes, with debt consolidation and more utilitarian purposes like buying a vehicle or education being “better” prospects for approval. Personal Loans: The comparison rates are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless otherwise indicated in the product name with^, in which case, the comparison rate is based on a loan of $10,000 and a term of 3 years. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products. 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.