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Loans for 18 year olds

Find out what types of loans you could qualify for if you've just turned 18 and how to improve your chances of approval.

The Lending People - Personal Loan

The Lending People - Personal Loan logo

From 6.95% p.a.

Secured and Unsecured loans

  • Borrow up to $75,000
  • Min. loan amount: $2,000
  • Loan term: 1 to 7 years
  • Broker fee of $195 - $995 depending on size and type of loan.
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Establishment Fee
Kiwibank Unsecured Personal Loan
9.95% - 18.95%
6 months to 7 years
Eligibility: Be 18+, an NZ citizen/permanent resident, and have a stable income. Ts&Cs apply.
Unsecured personal loans from $2,000
The Lending People Personal Loan
6.95% - 26.95%
1 to 7 years
$0 - $10 depending on lender
$50 to $695 depending on lender
Eligibility: Be 18+, an NZ citizen or permanent resident, in employment and earning at least $500 per week.
Secured and unsecured loans of up to $75,000 from a variety of reputable lenders.
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
6.99% - 19.99%
3 or 5 years
Eligibility: Be a NZ resident/citizen and have a good credit score.
Apply for an unsecured personal loan up to $70,000 with no early repayment fees.
FROM 6.99%
The Co-operative Bank Unsecured Personal Loan
6.99% - 19.99%
6 months to 5 years
Eligibility: Be 18+, an NZ citizen/permanent resident, or have a valid work visa.
Floating-rate, unsecured personal loans from $3,000.
Nectar Unsecured Personal Loan
8.95% - 29.95%
6 months to 4 years
Eligibility: Must be 18+, an NZ citizen or permanent resident, have an income of $400 per week or more (after tax) and a stable credit history.
Unsecured loans from $1,000 with payouts made within one day of approval. Applications entirely online.
Lending Crowd Personal Loan
5.03% -19.30%
2, 3 or 5 years
$200 - $500 depending on the amount borrowed
Eligibility: Be a NZ resident/citizen and have a good credit score.
Secured and unsecured personal loans from $2,000 to $200,000. 100% online with no paperwork or early repayment fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

When you first turn 18 you have little to no credit history, and you may have limited savings. So, what are your options if you are an 18-year-old who needs a personal loan? Read our guide on loans for 18 year olds to find out.


Types of first time loans for 18 year olds

When you become 18 you have various loan options you can consider:

  • A loan from your current bank. One of the problems 18-year-olds encounter when trying to be approved for a loan is they have limited or no credit history. One way to try and overcome this is to apply to your current bank. You are more likely to have a history with your bank if you’ve accessed transaction accounts, travel cards and other products, so they may be more willing to give you a loan.
  • Unsecured loans for lower amounts. If your bank doesn’t have a loan you want to apply for, you can consider a loan for a smaller amount. The standard minimum amount for personal oans is usually around $2,000, but you can find some lenders offering $1,000. Short term loans start from $200. Compare your options and only apply for as much as you need.
  • Secured car loans. If you want to buy a new set of wheels, secured car loans are less risky for lenders. This is because the car is named as collateral against the loan, and the lender can recoup their losses if you default by repossessing it. New and used car loans are available and you can get a lower rate than with an unsecured loan.
  • A guarantor. If you find you are ineligible for a bank loan, you could consider asking your parents, another relative or even an older, close friend to become a guarantor for you. This person takes on a lot of responsibility because they are agreeing to take on the loan payments if you can no longer make them. You can compare lenders that accept guarantors and joint application personal loans here.

How to compare loans for 18 year olds

When choosing the right loan for you, consider the following factors:

  • The interest rate. Check how competitive it is compared to similar products. While some banks have a standard interest rate for all personal loans, non-bank lenders tend to state their interest rates as a range. The rate you receive depends on factors such as your credit rating, loan amount and current financial standing.
  • How much you’re able to borrow. Lenders offer varying minimum and maximum loan amounts, but what they offer ultimately depends on what you can afford to repay. This is determined by criteria set by the lender.
  • Loan features. It’s important to familiarise yourself with value-adding features of a loan. These can include the ability to make extra repayments or no establishment fee for students.
  • The fees you will be charged. There are different types of fees you may be charged, ranging from establishment fees to monthly and early repayment fees. Find out what charges are associated with your loan before signing on the dotted line.

5 tips to be approved for a loan at 18

  1. Show that you have savings. If you can show the lender you are good at saving they may be more willing to approve you. A steady savings history works best with your current bank as they can view your account information when you apply.
  2. Offer a deposit. Having a deposit when you apply for a car loan shows you are in a good financial position. The larger the deposit, the less you need to borrow and the more likely you are to be approved.
  3. Get a letter from your employer. If you are only employed casually or have not been employed for long, a letter from your employer stating the security of your employment may help your application.
  4. Apply for a lower amount. Applying for too much when you have a limited credit history or don’t earn a high enough income can be a red flag to lenders. Instead, ask to borrow a lower amount.
  5. Apply for a secured loan. Secured loans, such as car loans, are less risky for banks because they can recoup their losses.

3 mistakes to avoid when applying for your first loan

While personal loans are helpful in many scenarios, it is in your best interest to avoid certain traps and pitfalls.

  • Not reading the fine print. Read through all of the loan documents before you sign anything and keep an eye out for ongoing account-keeping fees, early repayment fees and late payment fees. Make sure to read the terms and conditions document from start to finish.
  • Taking on a loan you can’t afford. When borrowing money, it is always important to use a loan calculator to find out what your repayments will be. If you can comfortably afford a certain amount on a loan, don’t feel tempted to borrow more, just in case circumstances change and you are unable to meet repayments.
  • Borrowing from an unlicensed lender. There are credit brokers and providers in New Zealand who operate illegally and target individuals who might not be approved for other loans. Make sure any lender you borrow from is licenced with the Financial Market Authority.

    Pros and cons to consider before applying for first time loans

    • Gaining access to funds. A loan could give you access to the funds you need to make a purchase or investment.
    • Build up your credit history. Acquiring a loan allows you to establish and build your credit history. This ultimately affects your eligibility for other types of loans and access to better interest rates as well.
    • Limited loan amounts. If you have no or limited credit history you may only be eligible for a small loan, which may not be enough for what you need.
    • Risk of getting into debt. Taking on any loan comes with risk, so make sure to budget your repayments and don’t apply for a higher loan amount than you can afford.

    How to apply for your first loan

    After browsing through the comparison table above and finding a suitable loan, click the relevant link to go to the lender’s website and start the application process. Typically, to get a personal loan you will need to meet a range of criteria set by the lenders:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
    • Have a good credit rating and be able to provide proof that you can pay off the loan
    • You may be asked to provide copies of your payslips, bank account statements and other credit contracts
    • You also need to provide proof of ID, such as your driver’s licence or passport

    Frequently asked questions

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