You can use a personal loan to cover your next big purchase, consolidate debt or any other personal expense. Getting a low interest rate helps keep your ongoing costs down and your repayments manageable.
Find out what to look for and compare low rate personal loans below.
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
- Borrow from $2,000
- 100% online
100% confidential application
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
Apply today to get approved within minutes for up to $50,000.
- Max. loan amount: $50,000
- Loan term: Up to 60 months
- Turnaround time: 99% of approved online applications funded in 24 hours
- Fees: Establishment fee of $200 for loans from $2,000-$5,000 and $450 for loans from $5,000-$50,000
- No early repayment fees
- Personalised interest rates based on your circumstances
What is a low interest personal loan?
A low-interest personal loan is a loan that has a below average interest rate. It works like any other personal loan: you borrow money and then pay it back with interest and fees. But because of their low interest rates, they tend to cost much less than the average personal loan.
To qualify for a low-interest loan from most lenders, you typically need to have a good credit score and a strong financial history. Doesn’t sound like you? You still have low-interest options. Those without excellent credit might want to look at loans secured with collateral or borrow from credit unions or peer-to-peer lenders, which tend to offer lower rates than other direct lenders.
There are three main types of personal loans in the market to suit most borrowers’ needs, and some of these offer low rates. Here is a breakdown of the types of personal loans available:
- Secured loans This type of loan is used to purchase a car or another large asset, such as a boat or caravan. It comes with the most competitive interest rate because the asset you purchase is used as security by the lender in the event you default on the loan. Secured loans have more restrictions than unsecured loans. For example, some lenders base the loan amount on the value of the asset you purchase.
- Unsecured loans An unsecured personal loan does not require you to use an asset as security. Due to the increased amount of risk the lender is taking, interest rates for these loans are usually higher, but you can still find competitive rates if you compare your options.
Unsecured loans are also more flexible when it comes to restrictions the lender places on the loan. For example, you are able to use the loan amount for whatever purchase you like; and it may be one purchase or for a number of different purposes.
- Debt consolidation loans Another reason people opt for low interest rate personal loans is to help them consolidate their debt. By moving all of your debt into one personal loan you may be able to save yourself money and better manage your repayments. These loans are unsecured and you can find low rates when you compare your options.
Comprehensive guide to personal loans
A personal loan with a low interest rate can help you keep your ongoing repayments down while giving you access to the funds you need. When you compare low interest rate personal loans, it’s important to look at the loan as a whole product package, rather than just the interest rate. Consider the following features before you decide which loan to choose.
- What type of loan do you need?
Personal loans can be secured or unsecured and mainly come in the form of a lump sum payment. Alternatively, you can opt for a personal overdraft or line of credit loan. Determine what is best for your borrowing needs.
- What fees apply?
While a low interest rate can help you save, high ongoing fees can make a loan more expensive than it needs to be. See if you are charged an establishment fee, along with a monthly or annual fee, for a personal loan. Comparing your options by the comparison rate rather than the interest rate also gives you a better idea of the loan cost.
- How flexible are the loan repayments?
Most lenders offer the option of making weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, but not all do. It is also important to check how easy it is to make repayments. Are they automatically deducted from your account on the due date and can you manage your account easily online?
- Can you repay the loan early?
Repaying a loan early or making extra repayments is usually reserved for loans with variable interest rates, but some fixed-rate loans also offer these features. Check if there is any limit on additional repayments (you may only be able to repay a certain amount per year) and if you will be charged a penalty for repaying early.
- What are the minimum and maximum loan terms?
Are you able to borrow the amount you need and for the time period that will enable you to pay off the balance? Most lenders offer fixed-rate loans with terms of between one and five years, and variable-rate loans up to seven, but some lenders only offer certain terms within these ranges, such as one, three or five-year loans.
- What is the eligibility criteria?
You generally need to be over the age of 18 and a permanent New Zealand resident or citizen. Most lenders also set a minimum income which is usually a minimum of approximately $14,000 p.a. (for smaller loans). Eligibility criteria are outlined on all finder.com/nz review pages.
- What extra features does the loan come with?
These could be easy account management in the form of a mobile app or online account, or a redraw facility to access extra repayments.
- Check your credit score.
Make sure your credit is in good standing by checking your credit score.
- Collect all your necessary documents.
You’ll need payslips, ID and details of your finances (assets, income, debts and expenses). These help prove to the lender that you can service the loan repayments.
- Compare and apply online.
It is important to compare all your personal loan options before applying to find the loan that best fits your needs. You can start with some low interest rate personal loans in the table above.
Consider these benefits before applying
- Savings. If you take a low-interest personal loan that you want to repay in a few years, you can end up saving a tidy sum in interest.
- Simple process. You can usually apply online using any Internet-enabled device, and some lenders provide apps for mobile devices as well. Many lenders even let you complete the identification process online.
- Repayment flexibility. You can find lenders that let you make payments that match with your pay schedule, be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. And some will let you repay your loan early without charging any extra fees or penalties.
…and the drawbacks
- Prepayment penalties. Always check to see if your lender charges any prepayment penalties. These can put a dent in your plans if you plan to repay your loan ahead of time.
- Scams. The online world is not devoid of scammers. Before you apply for a low-interest personal loan online, find out if the lender you choose is legit.
- Bad credit is a problem. Finding low-interest personal loans for bad credit is near impossible, unless you consider getting a secured loan that uses one of your assets — like your car or house — as collateral.
What’s the catch with low rate personal loans?
Low interest rates are a great feature for lenders to advertise, but they aren’t the only feature you should be considering.
Remember to look at the loan as a whole package to decide if it’s for you. For example, a loan may come with a low interest rate but have a $10 monthly fee, which can really add up over a three-year loan term. Or, the loan may come with a low interest rate but not let you make extra repayments or repay the loan early without penalty. So, along with checking the interest rate, check what else you will be charged (upfront and ongoing fees), how flexible the loan is and whether it offers all of the features you need.
If you would like to apply for a personal loan with a low interest rate, you can compare your options using the table above. Once you have found a loan you want to apply for click on “Go to Site” to apply.
Eligibility criteria will differ between loans, but generally, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have a good credit rating
- Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident
The information you are required to provide will be different depending on the type of loan you apply for, but you will most likely need to provide the following:
- Personal details including your name, contact information and proof of identification
- Name and contact details of your employer
- Details of your employment, including income amount and how you are employed.
- Financial details including assets, liabilities and any other active credit accounts.
You can find a range of competitive options by comparing low interest rate personal loans online to find the right loan for your needs and situation.