Where To Get Personal Loans

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Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of personal loan lenders in New Zealand, including a summary of the pros and cons of each so you can decide which lender might be right for you. 

Where to apply for a loan in New Zealand:

  • Banks
  • Non-bank lenders
  • Specialist finance lenders (such as a vehicle dealership)
  • A personal finance broker


Banks are often the first place you’ll go to look for and apply for a loan

Many New Zealanders have a long relationship with their bank and consider them stable, trusted institutions. While they’re unlikely to be the cheapest loans available, most banks provide decent loan offers at reasonable rates. 

  • Lower initial fees. 
  • Finance can be added to an existing mortgage
  • Higher rates of interest. 
  • There may be penalties or fees for early repayment.

If you’re applying for a personal loan with your bank, the process will be slower than other non-traditional lenders, though this just reflects the established and somewhat rigid process of loan approval through banks in general. 

This means that there’s often less flexibility offered in terms of payment and negotiation on fees than through other lenders, which is why many people who do apply for loans with their bank will look for ways to repay their loan sooner to reduce costs as much as possible. 

Thankfully, many loans offered by banks will include extra payment options to allow this - just make sure that when you’re applying to read the terms and conditions of your loan to make sure that repaying your loan early won’t incur extra charges. 

Non-bank lenders

Non-bank lenders are becoming increasingly popular with borrowers due to fast approval times, low fees, and easy, online loan applications. 

  • Same-day approval.
  • Quick, easy online applications. 
  • Generous repayment flexibility
  • Often includes loan features such as fee-free early repayments.
  • Higher interest rates compared to the big banks.

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Specialist Lenders

Many dealerships that sell cars, caravans, motorcycles, or boats will offer finance as well. 

These loans are often convenient and include an easy application process - you can generally apply at the dealership when you purchase your vehicle - but they’re rarely good value compared to loans from established lenders. 

  • Have higher interest rates and fees. 
  • Have less favourable repayment terms. 
  • Suitable if you are looking to finance your vehicle immediately at the time of purchase. 

Applying for car finance at a dealership can be convenient for many people; simply choose a car and receive finance at the same time. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest loan, the interest rates and fees included with dealership loans will often be higher than applying with a separate lender.


Finance brokers are intermediaries who secure finance from lenders for their clients. Usually, they’re paid a commission by lenders, although some brokers charge their clients a fee.

A good finance broker will offer impartial advice on a range of finance products and advise you on which is most suitable. They can also assist in your application to ensure you meet a lender’s approval criteria. 

  • May require a fee.
  • Allow you to select from a range of the most suitable loans.
  • Often include guidance on submitting your application (your broker may even submit your application for you).
  • Have varying rates, fees, and terms depending on the options available - your broker will consider the best options based on your financial circumstances. 

Generally, most brokers will work with a small pool of trusted, specialist lenders, and will have an expert understanding of their lending criteria.

This translates to a better, and more suitable, deal for the customer than through a dealer or the banks; a broker will work to understand your financial position and advocate on your behalf where other institutions may not. 

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