How do I compare personal loans?

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  • 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 are the interest rate and the comparison rate?
  • How do these rates compare to other loans?
  • What are the fees and charges? (e.g. 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.
  • Can you use the funds for what you need? You can’t always use the borrowed money for whatever you like, particularly if you’re taking out a Secured Loan. For example, if you are taking out a car loan, you’ll only be able to spend the loan funds on a vehicle purchase, and the vehicle needs to be eligible according to the particular lender's criteria (such as new, secondhand, age). Some lenders don’t allow you to take a personal loan for business purposes. Make sure you can use your loan how you need to.
  • What are the options for managing the loan? Check and compare how easy the loan will be to manage. The option to manage your account online is often available but not always. Using direct debit for repayments is common, however, if it's not, manually paying is less convenient. It also increases the likelihood of late payments if you aren’t especially disciplined.

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