On 16 April, Westpac-owned St. George, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne all made some substantial increases to their personal loan interest rates. 

The unsecured fixed personal loan offered by these banks saw the interest rate increased by 150 basis points for between one and five years. 

Depending on the borrower's risk profile, the minimum interest rate available is now 11.49% p.a (comparison rate 12.57% p.a*) and the maximum is 17.40% p.a (comparison rate 18.44% p.a). 

Related: Risk-based personal loans explained

This is perhaps a surprising increase given Westpac recently decreased interest rates on its own unsecured personal loans by 200 basis points to 9.99% p.a (comparison rate 11.16% p.a.*), one of its lowest ever. 

Another major bank NAB also followed suit, cutting interest rates on its unsecured fixed and variable personal loans by 300 basis points to a new low of just under 7% p.a 

St. George, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne did not make this same change to its secured personal loan product, a type of loan which generally carries lower interest rates on average compared to unsecured loans


The table below features personal loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.

Lender

FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit)

    VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

    Personal Loan

      Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

      All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

      The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

      Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of April 21, 2024. View disclaimer.

      Plenti cuts personal loan rates

      Online lender Plenti (formerly RateSetter) this week cut various personal loan rates by up to 140 basis points. 

      On 19 April, Plenti changed its whole personal loan suite across fixed and variable personal loans for different credit profiles. 

      The 140 basis point decrease applies to its fixed and variable 'good credit' personal loans:

      • The good credit variable personal loan now has a minimum interest rate of 8.59% p.a (comparison rate 10.27% p.a*)
      • The good credit fixed personal loan now has a minimum interest rate of 7.49% p.a (comparison rate 9.16% p.a*)

      Other changes included 100 basis point drops to its average credit loans and 40 basis point decreases to its 'very good credit' loans. 

      Plenti last week reported a strong growth in its personal loan customers, with loan originations in the March 2021 quarter up 120% from the same period in 2020. 

      Automotive lending grew by more than 306% for Plenti, while personal borrowing rose 64%. 

      “The personal lending performance was particularly pleasing, representing record quarterly originations and a strong return to growth following the COVID-induced lows in prior quarters,” Plenti said.

      Plenti's renewable energy lending recorded a 24% yearly increase - the lender recently introduced an interest-free product for customers borrowing for renewable energy technology like solar panels. 

      NRMA cuts car loans 

      The only other cut to be made by a major player this month was from NRMA, which lowered the interest rate on its 'Fast Loan - Low Rate' product for used cars by 25 basis points. 

      The interest rate range for NRMA's used car loan (fixed) is now between 6.24% p.a and 9.49% p.a (minimum comparison rate 6.94% p.a*). 

      The table below features some of the lowest car loan interest rates on the market for used cars. 

      Lender

      FixedNew99 yearsMore details
      Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
      • Available for any new motorised vehicle
      • No ongoing or early exit fees
      • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
      • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
      Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

      New Car Loan

      • Available for any new motorised vehicle
      • No ongoing or early exit fees
      • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
      • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
      FixedUsed99 yearsMore details
      Credit Score +832
      • No ongoing fees
      • No early exit penalty
      • Flexible repayment options
      Credit Score +832

      Used Vehicle Fast Loan Low Rate

      • No ongoing fees
      • No early exit penalty
      • Flexible repayment options
      FixedUsed5 yearsMore details
      • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.

      Used Car Loan (up to 5 years) (Fixed)

      • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
      FixedUsed12 yearsMore details
      • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.

      Used Car Loan (Fixed) (8+ years)

      • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
      Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

      All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

      The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

      Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of April 21, 2024. View disclaimer.

      While these lenders may have lowered their personal loan interest rates, the remainder of the changes made in April were increases. 

      Hume Bank raised the interest rates on both its secured and unsecured personal loans by 100 basis points, and Australian Military Bank upped its Green Car Loan and Green Personal Loan interest rates by 50 basis points. 

      Based on a market comparison of roughly 200 personal loan products, the average personal loan interest rate from March to April remains almost unchanged at about 10% p.a. 

      Related: What are the lowest rate personal loans, and do you really need a personal loan? 

      Photo by Joss Woodhead on Unsplash