Personal loan rates on the move in April

author-avatar By on April 23, 2021
Personal loan rates on the move in April

Some major personal loan interest rate changes occured this month, with a few Westpac brands the most high-profile.

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
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Interest TypeSecured TypeEarly Withdrawal FeeOngoing FeeApplication FeeTotal RepaymentEarly RepaymentInstant ApprovalOnline Application
FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AGo to site
NO ESTABLISHMENT, ACCOUNT OR EARLY REPAYMENT FEES

No Fee Personal Loan

  • No security required
  • Can apply online
  • Fast time to funding
NO ESTABLISHMENT, ACCOUNT OR EARLY REPAYMENT FEES

No Fee Personal Loan

  • No security required
  • Can apply online
  • Fast time to funding
FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AGo to site
FAST APPROVAL TIME

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit) (Amount > $5000)

  • No ongoing fees
  • Flexible repayment options
  • No security required
FAST APPROVAL TIME

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit) (Amount > $5000)

  • No ongoing fees
  • Flexible repayment options
  • No security required
FixedUnsecuredN/AGo to site
CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES
  • No ongoing fees
  • No application fees
  • Apply online
CHECK YOUR RATE IN 2 MINUTES
FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details

Liberty Personal Loan (Very Good Credit History)

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 September 25, 2021. 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
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Interest TypeVehicle TypeMaximum Vehicle AgeOngoing FeeApplication FeeTotal RepaymentEarly RepaymentInstant ApprovalOnline Application
FixedUsedNo maxGo to site
QUICK APPLICATION PROCESS WITH NO FEES

Used Vehicle Fast Loan Low Rate

  • No ongoing fees
  • No early exit penalty
  • Flexible repayment options
QUICK APPLICATION PROCESS WITH NO FEES

Used Vehicle Fast Loan Low Rate

  • No ongoing fees
  • No early exit penalty
  • Flexible repayment options
FixedUsed4 yearsGo to site

Used Car Loan (up to 4 years)

  • Flexible repayment options
  • Can apply online
  • Approval is instant

Used Car Loan (up to 4 years)

  • Flexible repayment options
  • Can apply online
  • Approval is instant
FixedNew, UsedNo maxMore details

Car Loan

FixedNew, Used5 yearsMore details

Fixed Car Loan (with Low Emission Vehicle discount)

FixedNew, UsedNo maxMore details

Liberty Car Loan (Excellent Credit History)

Rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a five-year loan term. Products sorted by advertised rate. Rates correct as of September 25, 2021. 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

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:
  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2019. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*The Comparison rate is based on a $30,000 loan over 5 years. 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.

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author-avatar
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.

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