Australia’s Best Personal Loans for September 2021

mother and son renovating using personal loan

There are many reasons for wanting to take out a personal loan and just as many options when it comes to choosing a loan and lender in Australia. That’s why it’s so important to be confident you’re getting the best personal loan deal you can.  

With over 70 lenders to choose from, there isn’t going to be a single best personal loan for every borrower but there are definitely some key features that all great personal loans have in common. These are low interest rates, minimal fees and the flexibility to make extra repayments.

Many personal loan lenders now use risk-based pricing and this means that the interest rate of your loan is based on your credit profile. Interest rates on personal loans start as low as 5.35% (6.14% comparison rate*) but go to comparison rates over 20% and to get the best rate you’ll need for your credit score to be in top shape.

Mozo’s money experts track personal loans from Australia’s lenders from big banks like ANZ, NAB, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank, through to online specialist lenders, all of which are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

There are many ways to define which personal loans are the best and ultimately the answer will depend on what’s most important to you and your financial circumstances. We have pulled together information about a range of loan options, some of which have won Mozo awards, and others the Mozo team has chosen to highlight great deals available right now. 

Expert recommendations: Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning best personal loans

Mozo Experts Choice Awards Badge

Each year, our team of data analysts run a comprehensive assessment of every personal loan in our database to determine which ones offer Australians the best value for their money as part of our Mozo Experts Choice Awards^. In 2021, our experts compared 334 personal loans from 88 lenders, with only the best in each category making the final cut.

Here is a selection of winners or if you want to learn more about how we choose the best, check out the personal loan awards page:

Best New Loan

Alex Bank Personal Loan
  • Fixed rates from 5.45% p.a. (5.45% p.a. comparison rate*)
  • No upfront, ongoing fees or early repayment fees (conditions apply)
  • Borrow up to $30,000

Why it won: Australia’s newest bank,  Alex Bank impressed our judges with its competitive pricing and straightforward personal loan. With low fixed rates starting from 5.45% p.a. (5.45% p.a. comparison rate*), this loan rewards customers with excellent credit. There is the choice of making weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayments as well as the option to make extra repayments whenever you like. Just keep in mind though, there are no redraws allowed on this loan. Another benefit is that Alex Bank is currently waiving the $295 application fee when you apply by 30 September 2021 - plus Alex Bank charge no ongoing or early repayment fees.

Best Unsecured Personal Loan

NOW Finance No Fee Unsecured Personal Loan
  • No fees
  • Fixed interest rates starting at 5.95% p.a. (5.95% p.a. Comparison*)
  • Borrow up to $50,000

Why it won: With fixed interest rates starting at 5.95% (5.95% comparison), online lender Now Finance is a top choice for borrowers with excellent credit looking to borrow between $5,000 to $50,000. You won’t be up from any upfront application or ongoing fees either. There is a maximum loan term of 7 years but if you’re borrowing less than $8,000 the maximum term is 3 years. You can also pay out the loan early without incurring a fee. This loan also has a choice between weekly and fortnightly payments.

Our Money Market Low Rate Personal Loan
  • Rates from 5.45% (6.07% comparison*) for excellent credit
  • No monthly fees
  • Borrow up to $75,000

Why it won: Newcomer OMM impressed the Mozo judges with its competitive rates which start at 5.45% (6.07% comparison) for borrowers with excellent credit. Even with the $250 application fee taken into account  it was cheaper overall than many other loans up for consideration. Available for loan amounts to $75,000 and loan terms of between 1 - 7 years, it has a lot of flexibility and no monthly fees.  Pay out the loan early without penalty, access to a free redraw and choose between weekly, monthly or fortnightly repayments are other benefits.

Best Car Loan

Loans.com.au New Car Loan
  • Low 4.67% interest rate (5.22% comparison rate*)
  • Borrow up to $100,000
  • 3 - 5 year loan terms

Why it won: Online lender Loans.com.au has been a consistent award winner in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards best car loan category^.  The new car loan has a low 4.67% fixed interest rate (5.22% comparison) but it can only be used when buying a new or demo model from a car dealer. The maximum loan amount is an impressive $100,000 and loan terms are between 3 - 5 years. There is a $400 application fee to pay upfront but this loan doesn’t have any monthly fees. If you choose to pay out the loan early there is an early repayment penalty of $700  but could have saved this much in interest compared with other loans for this fee to be a disincentive.

Best secured and green loans 

To determine the winners of awards in these categories our research team ranked contenders from highest to lowest total costs for a $10,000 loan, repaid over three years. 

Secured personal loans that came out on top were:

For loans specifically designed to fund environmentally friendly home improvements the three loans that received an award were:

  • Endeavour Mutual Bank - Green Loan
  • Police Credit Union - Solar Eco Loan
  • Sydney Mutual Bank - Green Loan

Customer favourites: Best personal loans from Mozo People’s Choice Award winners

Mozo People's Choice Awards Badge

The Mozo People’s Choice Awards are a national survey of what real Australians think of their banks and lenders. Providers are rated on a range of important factors, including customer satisfaction, customer service, friendliness, trust and whether they’d recommend them to others. Here’s a look at some of our 2021 winners and the personal loan options they offer.

Great Southern Bank Unsecured Loan
  • 9.39% interest rate (9.64% comparison rate)
  • Borrow up to $50,000
  • 1 to 7 year loan terms

What you need to know: Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA) won awards for Excellent Customer Service and Highly trusted in the 2021 Mozo People’s Choice Awards^. Its unsecured loan has no account keeping fees, a redraw facility and a choice of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. Borrowers can choose between 1 to 7 year loan terms and from loan amount as low as $5,000 up to a maximum of $50,000. There is an upfront $175 application fee to consider. Apply online and you can receive approval usually within 24 hours.

Greater Bank New Car Loan
  • Fixed 4.98% interest (5.36% comparison)
  • Borrow up to $100,000
  • Extra repayments allowed and redraw
Find out more

What you need to know: Greater Bank had a clean sweep in all key banking categories in the People’s Choice Awards in 2021^ taking awards for trust, customer service and excellent customer satisfaction. For people who are looking to purchase a new car, the new car loan has a lot going for it. The interest rate is fixed at 4.98% (5.36% comparison) and can be taken out up to 7 years. There’s a loan maximum of $100,000 and it has flexible weekly, monthly or fortnightly repayments. You can make extra repayments and pay out the loan early without penalty but there is a $275 loan establishment fee. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents.

Editor’s pick of the month:  best personal loan deals on Mozo in September

Here’s a selection of some of the top deals available right now from our partners as selected by our editors. These are options that we think are worth highlighting for people wanting a great personal loan. You can also visit our personal loan hub where you can do a full database search, read guides or more detailed product reviews.

Earning Qantas rewards points

Symple Unsecured Personal Loan
  • Rates from 5.75% (6.47% comparison)
  • Earn up to 50,000 Qantas points
  • Borrow from $5,000 to $50,000

Key details: Borrowers can earn 1 Qantas point for every $1 borrowed up to $50,000 (T&Cs apply). There is a minimum loan amount of $5,000 and loan terms of 1 up to 7 years. Interest rates start at 5.75 % but will vary depending on your credit history. Repayments are on a monthly basis but you also have flexibility to pay out the loan early at any time without penalty or to make extra repayments. There is a $10 monthly fee to consider and if you don’t qualify for the lowest rate of 5.75% you will need to pay an upfront loan application fee which can be up to 5% of the loan amount.

Fast-approval and funding

Plenti Unsecured Personal Loan
  • Rates from 6.39% (7.49% comparison) for excellent credit
  • 1 minute rate estimate
  • $50,000 loan max

Key details: Plenti’s simple online application means that you can get a response within minutes and funds the next business day following approval. Interest rates start at 6.39% (7.49% comparison) for borrowers with excellent credit. Loan terms range from 3 - 5 year terms with the maximum borrowed amount of $50,000. There is no establishment fee or ongoing fees. Extra repayments are allowed and there is no penalty for paying out the loan early. To be eligible you must be earning $25,000 or more per year from a regular source of income (other eligibility criteria apply).

Green home improvements

Handypay Green Loan
  • Rates from a low 5.79% p.a. (6.36% comparison)
  • Borrow up to $75,000
  • Loans 1 to 7 years

Key details: Handypay is a specialist home improvement plan provider offering loans for borrowers with excellent credit which you can use for a range of green home initiatives such as solar panels, batteries, rainwater tanks or energy efficient renovations. There is a $250 application fee but the loan doesn’t have any ongoing or monthly account fees. Borrow up to $75,000 and choose a loan term between 1 to 7 years.

Most common FAQs about personal loans

What can I use a personal loan for? 

There are many reasons why you might want to get a personal loan. Some of the common reasons for getting a loan include buying a car, consolidating debt, renovating your home or getting married. But there really is no limit to what you could use a personal loan for, so long as you’re prepared to pay the borrowed money back (with interest). 

Just be aware that some personal loans will come with some conditions where they need to be used for a specific purpose such as a green loan where you’ll have to show proof of the purchase. 

What features do the best personal loans have?   

Money-saving features are what you should look for when you are doing a personal loan comparison. With personal loans these include:

  • A low interest rate: The lower your interest rate, the smaller your repayments. To get the lowest rate personal loan you’ll generally need to have an excellent credit rating. Learn more about what this means by reading our guide on how to improve your credit score.
  • Low fees: There are many lenders these days that have no fees so it is worth shopping around. There are many avoidable fees as well such as late payment fees so if you do get approved for a loan, be sure to set up an automatic or direct debit to be sure you meet due dates for your bills. 
  • Extra repayments: if you’re in a situation where you have extra cash to put towards your loan it’s a good idea to do it so that you can get out of debt sooner. This smart habit will also have a positive impact on your credit history which will help if you need to borrow money again in the future. 

Which bank has the best personal loan rates? 

If by best, you mean best interest rate, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. The reason is because in Australia many banks and online lenders use risk-based pricing for personal loans so the interest rate that you will get will be personalised based on your credit history. This is why you’ll see an interest rate range for each personal loan listed on our site. To find out the interest rate you are likely to get if you apply for a loan try Mozo’s Rate Matcher tool.

What’s best, a fixed or variable rate personal loan? 

The type of interest rate that will be best for you will depend on your financial circumstances. Fixed interest rates are great for people who like to know exactly how much they have to pay each month. Variable interest rates can move over the loan term so they could go down, but they could also go up so it is best to consider this when you are deciding on the loan term. 

What’s the best loan term for a personal loan? 

The best loan term for you will depend on a number of factors such as how much you want to borrow and your income. If you select a loan term that is too short, you could get into financial stress and miss payments. But take out a loan over a long period of time and the more money you’ll have to pay in interest and fees. 

The good news is that most lenders allow you to pay out loans early without penalty so it is best to select a loan term that you can comfortably meet repayments and whenever possible make more than the minimum monthly payment so that you can pay it back as fast as possible.

What is a secured loan? 

A secured loan is a personal loan that is secured against an asset so that if you were unable to repay the loan, the lender could claim against that asset. Secured car loans are a common type of loan for new car loans in Australia and generally these loans will have lower interest rates than unsecured ones.   

Are these loans best for me? 

We have provided some of our editor’s picks and information about products which have got Mozo’s seal of approval through the Mozo awards. Ultimately, you will need to consider your priorities and financial needs to identify which options are best for you. Be sure to read the information provided on a product issuer’s website before making a decision.

* WARNING: The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years or a loan of $10,000 for a term of 3 years as indicated, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. 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.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Awards

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