How to Get a Personal Loan in New Zealand
Getting a personal loan in New Zealand is quickly becoming a straightforward and easy process thanks to the use of the internet. Practically every step of the application can now be done online, saving the borrower the trouble of visiting their nearest branch and having to post multiple documents. More and more institutions and credit unions are utilising the internet for their lending process, meaning they can process more applications efficiently which then translates into better product offerings for their members.
So since general operations are shifting to the online environment, we figured we should give everyone an update on how the personal loan process in New Zealand is done. The personal loan process is subject to change from institution to institution, but this is the basic overview of what is required and how personal loans are processed and disbursed.
Firstly before you apply for a loan, there are a few things you should do to prepare.
Make Sure You Meet the Criteria
First things first, we need to make sure you can get a personal loan. The standard criteria for being eligible for a New Zealand personal loan is:
- Must be 18 or older
- Must be an NZ resident or be a non-resident with an NZ work visa
- Have proof of identity and can provide details of income and banking history
However, each institution might have additional requirements of different conditions, so it pays to check before you apply. It pays to find out because when you apply for a loan, a credit check is performed right away. If you pass this credit check, only to then be declined for not meeting eligibility, you may find your score to be negatively impacted. So applying at multiple institutions and fishing for offers is not a good idea. Read up on the lending criteria for a personal loan and find out first before you apply.
You can read more on personal loans lending criteria, on our Personal Loans FAQ page.
Work Out Your Credit Score
So as said before, when applying for a personal loan, lenders will make an enquiry on your credit history to determine your credit score and the potential risk that may come with lending to you. A lower score affects your potential to borrow and the offers you may be able to receive. Having a lender carry out a credit check on you can negatively impact your credit score, so it pays to do a soft cap check yourself. Doing so will give you an indication of your score and what products/rates you could be offered. It also will provide you with an insight as to what areas of your finances has negatively impacted your rating and how you could correct those.
Shop Around & Compare Rates
Once you have established an expected credit score, you should then ‘shop around’ and find an institution that offers the best interest rate and tailored services. However, by ‘shop around’ we don’t mean apply! Instead, read all the available information that is online and check their advertised interest rates. There are third party lender, banks and credit unions that can all offer unique and different deals. So you don’t have to be afraid of straying away from what is familiar. Borrowing money is a big decision, you should find what works best for you. Finance.co.nz is an excellent site if you wish to compare rates quickly.
Use a Calculator
So after doing your research, you should have an expected credit score and offered interest rate in mind. You should then seek to figure out how much you wish to borrow and for how long you want to borrow for. This is where the personal loan calculators comes in handy. Most websites should have personal loan calculators set up for you to use and experiment with. Go and work out how much you could expect to be repaying each week or month and ask yourself if it is manageable for you? It is essential you establish this understanding as no one knows what the future holds. However, if your circumstances do change, you can call your institutions lending team and discuss alternative repayment options.
Right, so now you should be ready to submit the actual personal loan application. You should have a fair idea of what to put in since you have done your research. Once you have filled out the form with your personal information, financial details and requested lending details, you submit the application and wait to receive contact from the institutions lending team.
The lenders will perform a credit check on your credit history and then will contact you on how the credit check went. If you passed the credit check, then the lenders will request additional details from you. So to save everyone the trouble, we figured we should state what we will need:
- Photo I.D (could be a drivers licence, passport, recent utility bill or bank statement)
- Proof of income
- Transaction/Banking history
- Will require proof of other debts if applying for a debt consolidation loan
Once all the necessary documents have been received and processed, and you have met eligibility, all you have to do then is sign for the loan and accept the terms. Signing can also be done online, so your lending provider will inform you on how this process will be carried out. Once signed, the loan will be deposited either that day or on the following, dependent on the selected bank account for payment.
Where Should You Expect To See the Money?
Depending on what you got the personal loan for, you could expect to find the money in one of three places.
- For a debt consolidation loan, the money will go to the third party lenders where the debt subsides.
- For car loans or other large purchases, the money will go to the stated vendor or business to which the purchase was made from.
- For personal loans, the money will be paid directly to the bank account of your choosing.
So there you have it, the personal loan process itself is an easy and efficient one as you just need to fill out your details online and then provide proof of those details a little bit down the track. However, to ensure you can apply successfully and to protect yourself financially, you should follow our additional suggested steps. Read the lending criteria, soft check your credit score, compare the rates and use a personal loan calculator. Applying for a personal loan is a big decision, so making sure you have everything covered is essential for your financial future.
If you believe you have everything in order, you can apply online here.
Here are some additional blogs for you to read if you would like further information on the process of getting a personal loan: