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Written byShaun McGowan
Before you apply, compare personal loans. Comparing personal loans can literally save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.
Details vary between lenders - so make sure you’re comparing loans of equal amount and term.
Fees aren’t included in the advertised rate for a loan, which is designed to make the loan offer more appealing than it is. The true cost of a loan is found by looking at the comparison rate, this shows all charges (interest plus fees) as the final rate you’ll pay
When comparing personal loan offers, use the comparison rate so you are accounting for all fees and potential charges. If you use our Money Matchmaker® to compare, the comparison rate will be listed clearly on the results screen.
Not included in the comparison rate are Variable fees - such as late-payment or dishonour fees and early repayment fees.
These are the four types of fees you should be look for of when comparing lenders:
Choosing a personal loan without any fees or penalties for early repayments may mean you can repay your loan earlier and save on interest. You can do this by lowering your monthly repayments or keeping your payments at the same amount while reducing the term of your loan.
There are lots of things you’ll need to look out for:
Seems like a lot? Let’s break it all down.
Interest is charged by your lender for borrowing the money. It’s essentially how much extra you’ll need to pay back on top of the amount you borrow.
It’s very standard that your repayments will have a fixed interest rate. Variable rates don’t really exist anymore.
This is also called the ‘term’ of your loan.
The shorter the term, the less overall interest you will pay.
This is a one-time fee you’ll pay when applying. You may be able to negotiate this or simply choose a lender who doesn't have one!
The worst type of fees. Try and avoid these where you can - they only add to the amount you have to repay. They’ll be disguised as monthly account keeping fees.
If you plan to repay your loan in full before the end of your term, check to see how much (if anything) you’ll be charged.
Lenders will use these fees to make up for the interest charges they’ll miss out if you repay early.
A broker is someone who can help you find, compare, and apply for a loan. This can be super helpful if you have no idea where to start and you’re making a major financial decision.
Like all professionals, brokers usually charge a fee. This is either open and upfront or may be concealed by secretly increasing the interest rate with the lender.
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Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.
*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $10,000 over 3 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.