Personal Loan Pre-Approval

Compare from a range of personal loan offers with Savvy and get pre-approved to find the best personal loan for your needs.

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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What is personal loan pre-approval and how does it work?

Personal loan pre-approval takes place before your lender submits a hard enquiry and is done to determine whether you qualify for a specific type of personal loan that they provide. The pre-approval process differs from lender to lender but involves less documentation than hard applications and is based on meeting basic eligibility criteria as set by lenders. 

Personal loan pre-approvals help give customers an indication of their chances of formal approval based on their eligibility. Furthermore, pre-approval gives customers an idea of their expected repayments and what interest rate they will qualify for.

What are the basic eligibility criteria for personal loan pre-approval in Australia?

The following are the basic requirements to be met for personal loan pre-approval:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Australian citizen, Australian permanent residency or living here on an eligible visa
  • Meet minimum income requirements (usually at least $20,000 annually)
  • Currently employed or receiving regular income through full-time, part-time or casual work
  • Have a good credit rating and no prior history of bankruptcy

What are the benefits of a personal loan pre-approval?

A major benefit of personal loan pre-approvals is that they give you a solid idea of what you're capable of borrowing ahead of time. If you're using your personal loan to buy a particular item, such as a car or jewellery, this gives you a clear ceiling as to how much you can potentially spend, which results in a stronger hand when negotiating on its price.

In addition, quick processing is another advantage of the personal loan pre-approval process. Once the initial credit and finance checks are complete, your lender can move on to other remaining steps, expediting the processing time of your personal loan application.

If you’re concerned about a pre-approval negatively affecting your credit score, don’t be. A personal loan pre-approval is a form of soft enquiry and will not impact your score.

How to get pre-approved for your personal loan

Frequently asked personal loan pre-approval questions

How long does my personal loan pre-approval last?

Pre-approvals with most lenders will last between three to six months, as a borrower’s financial situation can often change during or after this period.

How much can I borrow?

This also depends on your profile as a borrower: your credit score, employment, income and past borrowing experience all play a role here. For a standard unsecured personal loan, you can generally borrow anywhere from $2,000 up to $75,000. However, if you add security to your loan, you can increase this amount up to as much as $100,000.

If I have bad credit, am I still eligible for personal loan pre-approval?

Yes – although you are likely to face higher interest rates and fees due to your poor credit history, some lenders will still process your pre-approval for a bad credit personal loan.

What happens if I change my job after getting pre-approved?

If your employment changes in between receiving pre-approval and formally applying for a loan, your eligibility for that loan is likely to change. Even if you’ve moved into another full-time job on a higher salary, you’ll have moved into a new job which recommences your probation. This means that you’re likely to not be as safe a bet as you would’ve been if you’d stuck to the same job. All of this depends on the nature of the job change, however.

What do I do if my pre-approval is denied?

You can try again – because pre-approval is conditional, it doesn’t show up on your file in the same way that a formal application would. As such, you can take this opportunity to analyse your application to find the areas that you can improve upon to either be pre-approved or increase your potential borrowing power. 

How long can I take to repay my personal loan?

Personal loans generally range from one to seven years in length, but this isn’t the same for all lenders. Some offer higher minimum terms (two or three years) or lower maximum terms (five years), so you should double check that your chosen lender offers the term length that you’re looking for. Additionally, the term you’re pre-approved for will correlate to your loan amount and your profile. For instance, you won’t be approved for a seven-year loan if you have bad credit, nor will you be if you only apply for a small amount such as $5,000.

Do all lenders offer pre-approval?

No – not all lenders will be able to offer pre-approval for personal loans. This is why it’s important to compare as many options as possible before choosing the one to go with. With Savvy, you can compare a range of personal loan deals from lenders who also offer pre-approval.

Helpful personal loan guides