Get the lowdown on green loans

Woman relaxing at home in an armchair with her eyes closed and arms behind her head while sitting next to a fiddle leaf fig
Chapter 1
Mother sits on grass in backyard and smiles as her two young children run towards her with a trampoline behind them
  • Secured or unsecured?
  • Fixed or variable?
Chapter 2
woman basking in nature while standing at edge of creek
  • Late payment fees
  • Break costs or early termination fees
  • Deferred establishment fees
  • Broker fees (when taking out a loan through a broker, the broker’s service fees aren’t included in the comparison rate, which can be significant)
  • A flat fee (e.g. $499) that applies regardless of the value of the loan
  • A tiered fee (e.g. $250, $500, $750) based on the value of the loan
  • A percentage fee (e.g. 3%) based on the total amount borrowed and the credit or risk profile of the customer
  • A hybrid fee (e.g. $200 + 2% of the loan amount)
  • A fixed fee where the loan is repaid in full any time prior to the end of the loan term (e.g. $500)
  • A fixed fee where the loan is repaid in full prior to a minimum period (e.g. $250 if full repayment is made less than 2 years into a 5-year loan)
  • A variable fee based on the amount you would have paid in interest and fees had the loan run to full term
Chapter 3
solar system being installed on roof
  • Solar panels and home batteries
  • Solar pool heating units
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Energy-efficient air conditioning units
  • Hybrid low emission cars
  • Air source heat pumps
  • Power factor correction
  • Variable speed and frequency drives
Chapter 4
woman crossing bridge on hiking trail wearing a yellow jumper and red pants
  • What’s the interest rate like? Before choosing your loan type, you should compare green loan rates to find the lowest possible rate available
  • Do you prefer a fixed or variable rate?
  • Can you realistically make repayments on time?
  • What is the length of the loan?
Chapter 5
A young family stopping on a bike ride in a community garden where the father holds their young son on his shoulders
  • Any monthly or annual fees (e.g. account keeping fees)
  • Any default, dishonour or missed payment fees
  • Any other hidden fees — check the terms and conditions to find these!
  • For personal loans 3 years and under comparison rates are calculated on a $10,000 loan amount over 36 months
  • For personal loans 4 years and over comparison rates are calculated on a $30,000 loan amount over 60 months
  • A flat fee (e.g. $150) that applies regardless of the value of the loan
  • A tiered fee (e.g. $250, $500, $750) based on the total amount borrowed
  • A percentage fee (e.g. 4%) based on 
  • the total amount borrowed; and
  • the credit or risk profile of the customer
Chapter 6
Couple rugged up for coastal walk on sunny day
  • Price — comparative pricing factoring in interest and fees.
  • Features — like the complexity of the application, the time involved before settlement, product management, customer service and loan closure.
  • What is the interest rate and the comparison rate?
  • How do these rates compare to other loans?
  • What are the fees and charges? eg Upfront, ongoing, early exit.
  • What are the terms and conditions?
  • Do the loan term and loan amount fit your needs?
  • Can you afford the repayments?
  • Are you comfortable with the lender? Have you checked its reputation and accreditation?
  • Are there flexible repayment options? Usually, you can choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments according to what suits your pay cycle. However, not all lenders offer this.
  • Compare a loan’s conditions and fees around making extra repayments and paying the loan off before the end of the term. This can be a great way to reduce the overall cost of your loan - but not if you’ll incur extra penalties.
  • What are the options for managing the loan over time? Check and compare how easy the loan will be to manage - the repayments, your personal details, any refinancing down the track. The option to manage your account online is often available but not always, and some lenders have more functionality than others. Using direct debit for repayments is common, yet without it monthly repayments will be much less convenient and you are more likely to be penalised for late payments if you aren’t perfectly disciplined.
Chapter 7
Wind Farm
  • Over 18 years of age, and in some cases over 21.
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Earning at least $25,000 per year, from a regular, proven source of income. If you are self employed you will have to provide additional information.
  • The holder of a provisional or full driver’s licence.
  • proof of identification: an Australian drivers licence or a passport
  • proof of address: copies of your recent utility bills.
  • verification of a stable income: payslips, bank statements or tax returns.
  • details of your expenses and liabilities: bank, credit card and loan statements.
  • Your employment stability
  • Your income (eg salary, rent, interest etc)
  • Your expenses (eg mortgage, groceries etc)
  • Your repayment history on other loans
  • Credit agency/bureau information (Credit Report and Score/Rating)
  • Which Green Energy installer you are planning to engage, and are they an accredited service provider.
  • How much money you’ve borrowed in the past
  • How much credit you currently have
  • How many, and what type of credit applications, you’ve made (This can now include payday loans and buy-now-pay-later services such as AfterPay.)
  • Whether you usually pay your bills and loan repayments on time
  • Any loan defaults
  • Any court judgments
  • Information from your bank, telco, insurance and utility companies
  • Your age, address and employment situation
  • Up to two years of your general financial history