personal loan

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan allows you to borrow a specific amount of money (usually under $50,000) and then repay the debt over an agreed amount of time (usually 1 to 7 years).

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Personal loans, on average, offer borrowers lower interest rates than credit cards. They come with a set repayment schedule with some allowing you to make early repayments. This gives you the flexibility to reduce the time to repay your loan whilst saving on interest costs.

At Plenti, we offer fast, fair, flexible loans. You can borrow between $2,001 to $50,000 over 6 months to 7 years. There are no monthly or early repayment fees. This gives you the freedom to save more by making extra repayments on your loan.

What is an unsecured personal loan?

An unsecured personal loan does not require any specific property as collateral. Instead, the loan is issued on the basis of your ability to repay the loan. To get an unsecured loan you will need to provide information about your income, savings, employment and credit history. 

Unsecured loans can be difficult to obtain if you have a low credit score but if you are a responsible consumer and can prove you are able to make repayments, an unsecured loan can offer great flexibility. Because there’s no collateral you’re not restricted on what you can buy and there’s also no risk that you’ll have your car seized. The application process for both unsecured personal loans and secured personal loans is made easy with Plenti.

What is a secured personal loan?

A secured personal loan is a loan that’s guaranteed by an asset (e.g. a car). This asset is used as security, allowing the lender to take possession of the asset and sell it to cover the cost of the unpaid amount in the event you default on the loan.

A secured personal car loan is generally only available on vehicles that will be less than twelve years old at the end of the proposed loan term as the lender needs to be confident of its value. You’ll also need to provide details of the vehicle when you purchase so that the value can be verified.

The benefits of a secured loan can mean larger borrowing amounts and lower interest rates. The disadvantages of a secured loan is that you run the risk of having your car repossessed should you miss payments and that you’re restricted on what you can buy.

At Plenti, we offer both secured and unsecured personal loans. You can choose whether you wish to secure your loan as part of the application process.

Fixed vs variable rates personal loans?

A fixed-rate personal loan charges a fixed interest rate, therefore your repayments will not change for the entire term of the loan or a portion of. Fixed personal loans offer stability, allowing you to see exactly what your repayments will be each month. This can make budgeting easier and can take the worry out of rising interest rates.

A variable personal loan, on the other hand, charges an interest rate that is subject to change. As such, your repayments may vary during the life of your loan. Changes occur in the variable rate for a number of different reasons (e.g. market changes, cost of funds etc.). When rates move down, you as the borrower benefit from lower repayments. When rates move up, you will need to be able to cover the added costs. To account for this uncertainty, variable rate loans have a lower starting price than their fixed-rate counterparts and offer more flexible repayment terms.

At Plenti, the repayment types we offer vary by loan term. For loans 3 years and under we offer variable interest rates. For loans 4 years and above we offer fixed interest rates. Our variable interest rates are set according to the underlying rate in our Lender Markets and may change month to month. These underlying rates are stable and tend to only move within a small range up and down.

What is a debt consolidation personal loan?

Debt consolidation involves rolling all your existing debts into one easy payment. This can help you better manage your repayments and secure a better interest rate.

Taking out a debt consolidation personal loan can be helpful if it means you pay less in fees. It can also help you take back some control when repayments for credit cards, student debt, store cards etc are due on different days of the month. All these payments can get confusing and having just one repayment to make can eliminate some of the risk associated with missed payments. 

A debt consolidation personal loan doesn’t mean you’re instantly on easy street – you still have to pay off the loan. It does, however, make your debt journey a little simpler. A debt consolidation loan works just like a personal loan. That is, you borrow a specific amount of money and then pay it back with interest over an agreed term. To qualify you’ll need to submit an application and provide us with information to verify your identity and financial circumstances (such as a bank statement).

As part of this process, the lender will take into account your borrowing history, employment status, credit score, and other factors. If you’re successful, the lender will pay down your existing debts and create a new loan (equal to the value of your previous debts) that you can pay off over time.

Debt consolidation loans generally allow you to enjoy a lower interest rate than you would receive with a credit card. They also offer a consistent repayment schedule while allowing you to make early repayments. This may let you pay down your debt faster, helping you save in interest and getting you out of debt sooner.

What is a travel loan?

A travel loan is a type of unsecured personal loan that’s intended for travel purposes. It can help cover the costs associated with a holiday, such as airfares, accommodation, tours and travel accessories. 

A travel loan works in the same way as any other unsecured personal loan. The amount you can borrow is determined on your ability to repay the loan – your circumstances and the length of the loan term. You can choose to pay back your travel loan with weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. The loan itself will be paid to you in one lump sum so that you can start planning your holiday accordingly.

What is a wedding loan? 

A wedding loan is a loan that covers wedding expenses, such as venue hire, a wedding dress, wedding rings, accommodation, flowers and catering. A wedding loan can help you prepare for the big day, one of the most important days of your life.

A wedding loan is a way to alleviate some of the stress that comes with financing a wedding. It lets you secure what you want and then pay it off over a long-term period. Wedding loans are becoming an increasingly common way to fund a wedding – a survey carried out by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) showed that 60% of 400 online respondents used a personal loan as a way to finance their wedding.

With a low rate Plenti loan, you don’t need to give up on enjoying the wedding of your dreams just because you can’t pay for it all at once. Your wedding loan will work just like a personal loan. That is, you borrow a specific amount of money and then pay it back with interest over an agreed term. To qualify for a loan, you must submit an application and agree to a credit check that takes into account your borrowing history, employment status, credit score, and other factors

What is a renovation loan?

Home improvement costs can quickly add up and a renovation loan offers some of the greatest investment potential. Renovating your home has the advantage of adding some serious value to your property, as well as making your home a more comfortable place in which to live.

A renovation loan can be used for any number of common or less common renovations. This could be a kitchen or bathroom remodelling, a new swimming pool, energy efficient additions (solar panels, insulation etc), home repairs, an extension or new furniture. The list of what you can do with a renovation loan is endless, so long as the intention is to improve your home.

What is a medical loan?

A medical loan is an unsecured personal loan that can be used to pay for various medical expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, surgery costs, dental work, physical therapy, laser eye surgery, orthodontics, bariatric surgery or IVF treatment

A medical loan allows you to borrow a specific amount of money and then pay it back with interest over an agreed term. To qualify for a medical loan you will need to verify your identity and financial circumstance. A medical loan can be paid quickly with an online application meaning urgent medical expenses can be taken care of immediately. Approval can be granted in minutes and the funds received in less than 48 hours.

Green loans for solar energy

A green loan is an unsecured loan that can be used to fund the purchase and installation of approved clean energy products. These products include solar panels, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, solar pool heating lights, air-source heat pumps, home batteries and more.

Plenti green loans can provide a lower interest rate than traditional personal loans and credit cards, offering affordable repayments to help more homeowners jump on the clean energy bandwagon. To qualify for a green loan for solar energy you simply need to be an Australian permanent resident or citizen, aged over 21, have a good credit rating and a regular source of income.

Plenti green loans can provide a lower interest rate than traditional personal loans or credit cards, and with terms of up to 7 years, offer affordable repayments to help you (and those around you) access the benefits of clean energy technology.

Can I refinance a personal loan?

Refinancing a personal loan is your opportunity for a better deal on your current loan. A refinanced personal loan is ideal for debt consolidation. You’ll get a lower overall interest rate, saving you money, and because you’ll only have one monthly repayment, budgeting will be easier. Refinancing can also get you a higher credit limit or a longer timeframe to pay off your debt.

Sebastian Paulin

Written By Sebastian Paulin

Sebastian has worked with Australia’s leading banks and fintechs for over 12 years building better consumer experiences.

FinTech & Consumer Finance Author

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a personal loan?

To make sure you meet the criteria when applying for a personal loan, get to know your situation. Maintain a good credit rating by paying things like your phone and electricity bills on time and check your credit rating and the accuracy of the information with reporting bodies such as Equifax. Check the terms and conditions of the personal loans you’re applying for, show a good savings record and apply for the right amount. When it comes time to apply, get your rate, apply in minutes and enjoy your funds.

What is debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is bringing all your existing debts – such as student debt, credit cards, store cards etc – together into one new debt. It can help you manage your repayments better, giving you a clearer picture of your financial future. One of the major benefits of debt consolidation is a reduction in fees associated with multiple debts.

Does debt consolidation affect credit score?

A debt consolidation loan can help you take control of your finances and improve your credit, but only if you stick to a plan to pay down your debt. Consolidating debt pulls several levers at once, which can either help or harm your credit score. The first possible damage happens before you’ve even consolidated. Just applying for a consolidation loan will apply a hard inquiry on your credit, which will lower your credit scores by a few points.

Opening a new credit account also temporarily lowers your credit score. Lenders look at new credit as a new risk, so you can see a temporary dip in your score. The best way to fix this is to pay your new consolidated date on time. Do this and your credit score will rise to higher than ever before.

Who offers the best personal loans?

Defining ‘the best personal loan” is no easy task. Each person applying for a personal loan is different, therefore they have different needs from their loan. 

Plenti and its fast, fair, flexible lending approach is continuously recognised for outstanding quality. We offer award-winning, low rate personal loans from 6.79% p.a. (comparison rate 8.46% p.a.)* with no ongoing fees.

What does conditionally approved mean?

When a lender conditionally approves a personal loan it means the loan will stand unless you fail to meet the stipulations the lender lays out. A conditionally approved loan comes after a pre-approval and before a fully approved personal loan. Conditional approval comes once you have provided the necessary documentation to get your loan set up and verified and once an underwriter has dug a little deeper into your circumstance. 

It essentially means that your loan request is looking good but that some more information is required. What happens next is that you may be asked to provide further information. Once the lender has made a decision you’ll be advised as to whether or not your requested loan is approved or denied.

Can I use a personal loan for a car?

The main difference between a car loan and a personal loan is that car loans are secured to the vehicle being financed and personal loans are unsecured. That means that a car loan provider can repossess your car if repayments are not made on time. When purchasing a car with finance you can use either a personal loan or a car loan. 

The main things to remember are that personal loans can be very different in their terms and conditions and that car loans can come with a lot more restrictions. If you’re expecting a change in finances over the next few years – you’re planning a new baby, or buying a bigger house – then a personal loan is probably better than a car loan. Personal loans don’t use your car as security, so you can retain the vehicle and not risk having it repossessed.