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What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is money borrowed from a bank, credit union or online lender that you pay back over a set period of time on a fixed monthly payments, i.e. you borrow $5,000 and pay it back every month for 2 years. You will be charged interest on the $5,000 that you borrowed, as well as a one-off fee, and you will need to repay the amount borrowed as well as the interest rate charged.

Personal loans are popular and offer convenience for many New Zealanders. Getting personal loan allows you to have access to money immediately while spreading the repayment over a period that suits your budget, which is a main advantage of it.

What is a secured loan? What is an unsecured loan? And what is the difference?

A secured loan is a loan where the borrower secures an asset, for example your car, to the lender as collateral for the loan. This acts as a guarantee should the borrower be unable to repay the loan, the lender can take possession of the asset, in this example taking the car.

An unsecured loan is a loan where there is no security, which means a higher risk for the lender.

The main difference between the secured and unsecured loan is the interest rate. As mentioned before, an unsecured loan carries more risk for the lender, so often will come with a higher interest rate compared to an secured loan.

Who can get a personal loan?

Every New Zealander can apply for personal loans, in fact many do every day. You can get it as long as you meet the criteria and get approved.

What can I use a personal loan for?

You are free to spend the money on what you want. The most popular reasons include debt consolidation, holidays, big one-time expenses such as weddings, as well as urgent money needs such as medical bills, home repairs/renovations or children expenses. However, these are just some of examples as there are thousands of other reasons people get personal loans.

How much can I borrow? When do I need to repay it?

Most banks have a minimum borrowing amount, which is around $2,000. Personal loans are flexible, and what that means is there is no maximum amount you can borrow nor a date you need to pay it all back by.

When do I need to repay it?

When applying for the loan lenders take into account your income, credit history and savings levels. Lenders do that to assess your ability to repay a personal loan. In doing so, they will also determine a range of suitable repayment terms.

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