How to navigate your way around comparison sites when looking for a personal loan?

Published on June 16th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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One of the benefits that come with taking out a personal loan is that there is a wide range to pick from. However, being spoilt for choice can make things a bit confusing which is why many Aussies use comparison sites to help them decide. Knowing what to compare can make your search for the right personal loan easier. We have compiled 4 essential tips on how to navigate your way on a comparison site.

1. The common suspects

Aussies have become savvy when it comes to checking if a loan comes with features that are suitable to their finances in the long run. Before taking out a loan it is vital to check features such as the interest rate, ongoing fees, and charges. Using a personal loan calculator, which is available on most comparison sites, can give you an estimate on how much you will be paying over the course of the loan. But there is more to comparing a loan than the price.

2. Look beyond the price

Comparison sites have undoubtedly become popular among Australians. Research by Nielsen revealed that out of 98% of Australians that were online 71% used a comparison service.

Furthermore, 14.8% of Aussies were likely to make a switch once they have visited a comparison site. Looking beyond the price of a loan can ensure that you end up getting the best value for your money over the term of the loan. This means checking if the loan comes with flexible repayment features that work with your cash flow, and a loan term that is suitable for your needs.

3. Speak to a financial advisor or broker

You will find that comparison sites tend to be straightforward and easy to navigate to find a lender that offers the best rate for you. However, it does have its own limitations. For example, as much as comparison sites are able to gather various loan rates from a wide range of lenders, you won't be able to get a complete picture of the various options available to you. Speaking to a financial advisor or a broker can get you a personal loan that comes with a rate and features that is suitable for your situation.

4. Avoid taking things at face value

With so many comparison sites to use on the market, you are bound to find a chancer. This is why you should avoid taking things at face value. The ACCC found that there were a few reputable comparison sites that were marketing misleading rates and claims that trapped consumers into taking out a loan. Such comparison sites are slapped with hefty fees for their misconduct. Remember to get a second opinion to see if what the site is offering is in fact true. Comparing loan rates with their competitors can also help you see if you are being offered the best rate.

You can also check to see what people are saying about the site in terms of reviews and forums which can help you gauge the service of the lender. Keep in mind to walk away from something that you do not understand before placing your hard-earned cash on it.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

Approval for personal loans is always subject to our lender’s terms, conditions and qualification criteria. Lenders will undertake a credit check in line with responsible lending obligations to help determine whether you’re in a position to take on the loan you’re applying for.

The interest rate, comparison rate, fees and monthly repayments will depend on factors specific to your profile, such as your financial situation, as well as others, such as the loan’s size and your chosen repayment term. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, aren’t included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate.

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