Long term personal loans can be used for larger purchases with your repayments spread out over five to seven years. While this can be good for your budget with lower weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be in debt for longer. Having a longer term also means that you will pay more interest over the course of your personal loan, making it more expensive than choosing a shorter term.
Our top pick:
The Lending People - Personal Loan
The Lending People - Personal Loan
Secured and unsecured loans
The Lending People - Personal Loan
Apply today to get a decision within 60 seconds for a secured or unsecured loan up to $75,000.
Interest rate from: 6.99%
Min loan amount: $2,000
Loan term: 1 to 7 years
Fees: Broker fee of $250 to $995 depending on size and type of loan. Other fees vary with lender.
Eligibility: Be 18+, an NZ citizen or permanent resident, employed and earning at least $500 per week.
Which is better: long term loans or short term loans?
Ultimately, a shorter loan term is better. Your repayments may be higher with a short-term personal loan but you will pay less interest overall.
For example, a $20,000 loan repaid over four years, at a rate of 12.5% p.a., will see you repay $532 each month and pay $5,517 in interest over the course of the loan. If that term is extended to seven years, you will repay $358 per month, but the interest you pay essentially doubles to $10,108 over the life of the loan.
You will also need to factor in any applicable ongoing account fees that will make your total loan cost even higher.
How to compare long term personal loans
What is the interest rate of the loan? This defines what your repayments are over the course of the loan and it is important to take this into account. Use a repayment calculator to determine whether you can afford the repayments.
Is the loan secured or unsecured? Secured loans require you to provide collateral, and tend to attract lower interest rates in comparison to unsecured loans. If you’re buying a car, the car can serve as collateral. You can also use an asset you already own, such as your current vehicle, boat or equity in your home.
What is the loan amount you’ll be borrowing? How much you can borrow depends on various factors like what the loan is for, your ability to provide suitable security, credit history, income and monthly expenditure.
Do you have multiple repayment options? Repayment flexibility comes in the form of being able to choose between weekly, fortnightly, and monthly repayments. You should also check if you can make extra repayments when you want and if there is an early repayment penalty fee.
What are the fees and charges on the loan? Besides interest charges, there are fees to take into considerations such as an establishment fee, monthly account maintenance fees and direct debit fees. You can find out what fees are applicable to your loan on the individual lender’s site.
Do you have a range of loan terms available? As the name suggests, long-term personal loans usually take 5-7 years to pay off.
The good and not-so-good
Lower repayments. A loan with a longer term means lower repayments, giving you more cash flow throughout the loan term.
You could hack the loan. By choosing a longer loan term and making additional repayments when you have extra funds, you can pay back the loan sooner to save on interest costs.
You could use the finance for a huge expense. Long term personal loans allow you to finance more expensive purchases such as cars, boats or weddings. You can also use a larger loan to consolidate debt.
You will pay more in interest. A longer loan term will see you pay more interest over the course of the loan. This could be hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the size of the loan amount.
Keep you in debt longer. Having a longer repayment period means it takes far longer to repay your debt. If you apply for another loan or credit card before it’s paid off, the debt will show on your credit report.
Tendency to incur another debt. With lower repayments, you may be inclined to apply for other sources of credit.
Things to avoid with long term personal loans
Excessive debt. While taking out a long-term personal loan may seem like a good idea at the time, it can leave you in debt that you find difficult to repay. Make a repayment plan ahead of time and be sure to account for unexpected expenses in your budget.
Fees and charges. Make sure you go through the fine print and find out exactly what you have to pay regarding fees. These can come in the form of application fees, insurance costs, arrangement fees, early repayment fees, settlement charges, and late charges.
Tendency to splurge. Long-term personal loans usually set a minimum loan amount, so you can receive more money than you need. You may then be tempted to use it all and be in more debt than you anticipated.
Personal loan #1
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How to apply for long term personal loans
Applying for a long term personal loans is straightforward. Go through the various loan providers on this page and once you find a suitable product, click on it to go to their website. As part of the application process, lenders require you to meet some basic eligibility criteria, which usually include you being a New Zealand citizen or resident, having a regular income and being over the age of 18.
You will also be asked to provide details about your employment and your earnings, plus provide photo ID and proof of address. If you want to take out a secured loan you have to provide documents to prove ownership of the collateral you use to secure the loan.
Matt Corke is Finder's head of publishing for rest of world and New Zealand. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time, he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
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