Lender

FixedSecuredN/AMore details
NO ONGOING FEESNO APPLICATION FEES
NO ONGOING FEESNO APPLICATION FEES

Low Rate Personal Loan (Excellent Credit) (Secured)

    FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
    CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES
    • No ongoing fees
    • No application fees
    • Apply online
    CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES

    Unsecured Loan (Excellent Credit)

    • No ongoing fees
    • No application fees
    • Apply online
    VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

    Personal Loan - Excellent Credit

      FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details

      Liberty Personal Loan (Excellent Credit History)

        FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

        Personal Loan Fixed

          FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details

          Low Rate Personal Loan (Excellent Credit)

            FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details

            Unsecured Loan ( Very Good Credit)

              *Comparison rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate, Rates correct as of May 22, 2022. View disclaimer.

              Given there are loans on the market that don’t charge you for this, why would you choose one that does? There are reasons for doing so, but being lazy and not comparing different personal loans shouldn’t be one of them.

              Here you’ll find some personal loans with no application fees, as well as information on what they cost on average, and how much of a difference a no-fee loan can make.

              What is a personal loan application fee?

              The personal loan application fee, also referred to as an establishment fee or just an upfront fee, is charged by lenders for the cost of arranging a personal loan for you. These costs might be to pay staff members, file and submit paperwork, assess your application digitally and more. This is a common fee in all types of loans and is often charged on both home loans and car loans.

              See also: The different personal loan fees explained.

              What do personal loan application fees cost?

              Personal loan application fees tend to cost between $0 and $600, although a select few charge much more than this. But on average, personal loans charge about $165 on average for upfront fees, which can be around $270 if other ‘upfront’ fees like documentation or valuation fees are included. Other lenders will charge a percentage of your borrowed amount as a fee instead, around 1-5% of the loan value.

              The big four banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB and Westpac) charge an average of $388 to apply for a personal loan at the time of writing. This should give you an idea of how much more you can pay if you don’t compare different options.

              How many personal loans have no application fees?

              Application fees are very common on personal loans. In a sample of more than 200 products, Savings.com.au’s research found there are only 21 personal loans that charge a flat $0 or 0% to apply. That’s less than 10%.

              Other personal loan fees are less common, but there’s a good chance a loan you’re comparing will charge an upfront fee for an application.

              Are $0 application fee loans cheaper?

              ‘Cheaper’ can be determined by many things, including how quickly someone pays off their loan. But in terms of pure interest rates and fees, personal loans with no application fees look to be cheaper overall.

              Based on Savings' research, that selection of loans with 0 application fees have lower interest rates on average compared to those that do charge one. The average interest rate is 7.87% p.a (per annum) for no upfront fee loans compared to about 10.30% p.a otherwise. The maximum interest rate on these loans is also 15% p.a and 20.25% p.a respectively.

              Comparing two average loans in terms of fees and interest rates lead to two very different total repayments for a $30,000 loan with a five-year term (fixed repayments):

               

              Loan 1

              Loan 2

              Interest rate

              7.87% p.a

              10.30% p.a

              Upfront fee

              $0

              $270

              Monthly repayments

              $606

              $642

              Total cost

              $6,386

              $8,781

              Based on this scenario (no ongoing repayments or extra repayments made) loan 1 would be cheaper by almost $2,400 over five years, which is nearly $40 per month. On average, loans with no application fees are cheaper, but that is no guarantee.

              Related: Compare the lowest-rate personal loans

              Fixed vs variable personal loans

              Personal loans can have fixed and variable repayments just as home loans and car loans can. Like car loans, fixed personal loans are more common but only just. Based on that sample of 200-odd loans earlier (213 to be exact), just over half (112) have fixed repayments and 101 are variable.

              There isn’t much difference between the two in terms of fees. Both have loans offering no application fees, while the average upfront fee is approximately $167 for fixed loans and $163.5 for variable loans. The maximum fee ($600) is charged on a fixed-rate loan, but on average these loans are very similar in terms of application fees.

              Secured vs unsecured personal loans

              Fees for secured personal loans are often lower than fees for unsecured loans because of the reduced risk to the lender.

              What other personal loan fees are there?

              Aside from upfront fees, personal loans can charge any of the following:

              1. Ongoing annual fees
              2. Monthly fees
              3. Other ongoing fees
              4. Documentation fees
              5. Encumbrance check fees
              6. Early repayment fees
              7. Missed repayment fees
              8. Redraw fees
              9. Break/early exit fees

              Before taking out a personal loan, make sure you understand what fees the lender will charge by reading the product disclosure statement (PDS). Some of these fees are more common like ongoing annual or monthly fees, while others are avoidable like break fees, which can be much larger on the off chance you have to pay them.

              The table below shows a selection of personal loans on the market with no ongoing fees, sorted by the interest rate (ascending order).

              Lender

              FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
              APPLY ONLINE
              • No extra repayment or early exit fees
              • No ongoing fees
              • Up to $75,000 in loan amounts
              • Funding approved within 24 hours
              APPLY ONLINE

              Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

              • No extra repayment or early exit fees
              • No ongoing fees
              • Up to $75,000 in loan amounts
              • Funding approved within 24 hours
              VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details
              NO ONGOING FEES
              • No application fees
              • No ongoing fees
              • Apply online
              NO ONGOING FEES

              Plenti Personal Loan (Excellent Credit Rating) (Variable)

              • No application fees
              • No ongoing fees
              • Apply online
              FixedSecuredN/AN/AMore details
              NO EARLY PAYOUT FEES
              • No ongoing fees
              • Cash in bank account in 60 seconds once contract signed
              • Approval is instant
              NO EARLY PAYOUT FEES

              Personal Loan - Credit Builder

              • No ongoing fees
              • Cash in bank account in 60 seconds once contract signed
              • Approval is instant
              FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
              CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES
              • No ongoing fees
              • No application fees
              • Apply online
              CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES

              Unsecured Loan (Excellent Credit)

              • No ongoing fees
              • No application fees
              • Apply online

              *Comparison rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate, Rates correct as of May 22, 2022. View disclaimer.

              There are very few personal loans that have absolutely zero fees. Lender NOW FINANCE introduced a personal loan with no establishment, ongoing or early repayment fees last year - one of the few on the market - but only for loans under $15,000. There are only a handful of others, like:

              • The Citi Personal loan plus
              • The Liberty Personal loan
              • The Police Credit Union Solar Eco Loan
              • MoneyPlace Unsecured Personal Loan

              But at the time of writing, some of these loans also charge late payment fees for missing a repayment. Across all the fees listed above, there’s bound to be at least one hidden in the terms and conditions.

              Savings.com.au’s two cents

              While upfront fees can be expensive (often costing a couple of hundred dollars), they aren’t the most important thing to consider. That would be the interest rate in the vast majority of cases. In the comparison of the two loans above, most of that $2,000+ difference in cost is down to the different interest rates. On a five-year loan with $0 fees for everything, this is the difference a good rate can make:

              $30,000 loan 

              $50,000 loan 

              6% p.a. interest rate 

              $34,799

              $57,998

              10% p.a. interest rate

              $38,245

              $63,741

              15% p.a. interest rate 

              $42,822

              $71,370

              Look for a personal loan with a combination of a low interest rate and a low application fee, but prioritise the low interest rate first. The comparison rate on the personal loan can be a good giveaway as to how cheap it truly is, as it generally accounts for these upfront and ongoing fees.

              Frequently Asked Questions

              Interest is typically the biggest cost of a loan, and essentially reflects the price of borrowing money. Loans are charged interest because the lender assumes some risk for giving you a loan, and also wants to make some money back. Without interest, there’d be little incentive for institutions to lend money. Interest is usually displayed as an annual rate, but it is typically calculated on a daily basis. It is only charged on the outstanding debt, so as you pay off the loan, interest makes up a smaller portion of the repayments.

              Common fees on personal loans include a loan establishment fee, early discharge fee, and/or an ongoing monthly fee. These tend to cover admin costs and are a way for the lender to make extra money. The extra cost is usually reflected in the comparison rate - a higher comparison rate could indicate more fees.

              It could pay to look at personal loans holistically, beyond just fees and interest rates. For example, it might be worth paying an upfront fee for a personal loan if the interest rate is lower than other comparable products. Other things to look for include loan flexibility, extra repayments, loan length, and whether the loan is secured or unsecured.

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