Mozo guides

Instant personal loans


Looking to take out an instant personal loan? Whether it's for your dream holiday, a fresh new set of wheels, or to fix your broken washing machine – sometimes you need money quick-smart.

But what is an instant personal loan?

Instant personal loans vs. payday loans:

  • Instant personal loans: When talking about “instant personal loans”, this generally refers to lenders that offer instant (or fast) online approval and/or same-day funding.
  • Instant cash or payday loans: Instant cash loans” (also known as payday loans), on the other hand, are different to fast-approval personal loans and are not the savviest option when it comes to borrowing money. They often come with outrageously high interest rates and hefty fees and must be paid back in a short timeframe.

For some competitive personal loan options, start comparing below:

What loan options are there for instant money?

If you need money in a hurry and require a quick turnaround on a loan approval, there are plenty of lenders to consider. Not only do some lenders offer instant online personal loan approvals, but a few can even transfer the funds into your account on the same day!

Here’s a list of loan options where applying online is fast and simple:

  • Bank loans: Banks are profit-making financial institutions that offer secured and unsecured loans with either fixed or variable interest rates. You can apply for most bank loans online, and some even offer same-day funding to new and existing customers. 
  • Credit unions: These are smaller non-profit financial institutions that typically stand out from the crowd by offering competitive rates and fees.
  • Peer-to-peer lender (P2P): Peer-to-peer lending is a way for investors to connect with borrowers. The loans are usually unsecured with fixed interest rates and low fees, with some even providing access to funds on the same day. Compare P2P deals here.
  • Payday loans: These are short-term personal loans offering instant small amounts of cash. While the money usually hits your account within 24 hours, interest rates, fees, and charges are usually sky-high! 
  • Credit card: This piece of plastic can be a convenient way to buy what you want now (be it a new laptop, a designer handbag or a much-needed washing machine) and pay it back later. As useful as they can be, remember that credit cards come with high interest rates and often have expensive annual fees. Compare credit card options here.

How quick is "instant" with an "instant personal loan"?

As fast as Usain Bolt over 100m? Not quite. But you can get approved for a personal loan pretty quickly these days. 

Thanks to the internet, applying for an instant personal loan is fairly simple and can all be done from the comfort of your home. Plus, if you have the necessary paperwork ready, depending on the lender, an online application can be approved in as little as 90 minutes.

Same-day funding:

If you shop around, you’ll find lots of reputable lenders (including P2P lenders and banks) that offer same-day funding! As the name suggests, you'll receive your funds the same day you’re approved for a loan. This type of loan works the same as any other personal loan but you’ll have the funds sitting in your account much quicker.

What you’ll need to speed up your loan approval

The more prepared you are, the quicker the application process will be when taking out an instant personal loan. Make sure you’ve got the following documentation ready to go: 

  • Proof of identification: Some lenders require two forms of ID, e.g. driver's licence, passport, birth certificate or Medicare card
  • Proof of income: You’ll need to provide several of your most recent payslips to prove that you’ve got a steady income to repay the loan. Or, if you’re self-employed, some lenders might ask for your last two tax returns/financial statements and your last Tax Assessment Notice.
  • Financial details: The lender will want to know about your full financial situation, including any assets, debts, credit cards and savings you might have. And with open banking, sharing this information can be even easier!

If you’re already an existing customer of the lender, you might not have to supply all of the above documentation for same-day funding.

Features to look for in any loan

While an instant personal loan might sound quick and convenient, you still need to consider the following loan features. If you’re not so pressed for time and can wait a bit longer for the funds, you might find that a regular personal loan could suit your financial situation better.

  • Competitive rate: Shop around to find a low interest rate – Every per cent will count in the long run. You’ll have the choice between a fixed or variable interest rate; read our guide on personal loans to learn about the pros and cons of each.
  • Extra repayments: Try to find a loan that won’t charge you for making extra repayments. You never know when you might have extra cash to go towards the loan.
  • Low fees: Be aware that personal loans can come with a range of different fees, including upfront, ongoing, or early repayment fees. Try to find a lender with minimal fees.
  • Redraw facility: With a redraw facility, once you've paid off a portion of your loan, you’ll be able to draw that money back out again. This feature may be handy to have should any unexpected bills pop up.

Repayments: How much can you borrow & for how long?

Most lenders will let you borrow the same amount of money for a same-day loan as a ‘regular’ personal loan. The minimum amount is usually around $2,000, and the maximum can be up to $100,000. But remember, it’ll all depend on what you can afford in repayments.

How much you can borrow will also be determined by whether you take out a secured or an unsecured loan. Repayments are based on your loan amount, the loan term, plus any fees and interest rates.

Personal loan terms:

The term of your loan will again depend on your budget, what you need the loan for and what you can afford to repay each week, fortnight or month. Personal loans usually have a standard minimum term of 1 year and a maximum of seven to 10 years. Be aware that the longer the loan term, the more you’ll pay in interest.

Use the following Mozo calculators to help you figure out what you can afford to borrow:

Personal loan tips & traps

  • Check the comparison rate: This rate factors in the loan’s interest rate, plus any other fees and charges, so it’ll help you calculate exactly what your repayments will be on the loan.
  • Live within your means: Only take out a loan that you’re comfortable with. Don’t stretch your budget. It’s not worth it! You’ll end up paying more in charges than the loan itself if you fail to make repayments on time. Don’t forget to crunch some numbers into Mozo’s personal loan repayment calculator.
  • Secured vs unsecured: There are pros and cons to each loan type. Which one you choose will depend on several factors, including how much you want to borrow, the loan duration, why you need the loan and whether you have an asset to put up as security against the loan.
  • Watch out for fast cash rates: Remember, 'payday loans’ or ‘cash loans’ generally have the highest rates on the market! They can also become ‘addictive’, causing borrowers to spiral into a mountain of debt.

To learn more about and compare personal loans, head to our personal loans comparison page.

Polly Fleeting
Polly Fleeting
Money writer

Polly is a personal finance writer specialising in loans and credit cards and general consumer banking. She has a degree in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Rhianna Dews
Rhianna Dews
Senior Money Writer

Rhianna, RG146 certified in Generic Knowledge and Deposit Products, has helped Aussies with finances for a decade. She's written for TechRadar, Simple Living Australia, and worked with Foxtel and Vodafone.

* 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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