Debt consolidation may be an option for Aussies struggling with debt. If you have multiple personal loan or credit card repayments each month, you may want to consider consolidation. Monzi is here to explore how it all works and give a little information on our own service.
Please note, certain ideas and products presented in this article may not be offered by Monzi nor the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.
What is debt consolidation?
Debt consolidation is the process of rolling multiple debts (personal loans, credit cards etc.) into one payment. As a result, you only have one rate, one set of fees and one repayment schedule.
Outside of making your life easier, consolidating your debts may end up saving you money on interest and fees.
If you are struggling with debt and looking for potential relief, consolidation may be worth considering. However, there are potential risks involved with any credit product.
Monzi’s here to get to the bottom of it all; read on.
What are the different debt consolidation options?
There are a number of different ways to make it easier to manage your repayments. Two examples include a personal loan for debt consolidation and a balance transfer credit card.
Both of these options function differently and have distinct pros and cons. Monzi will explore both of these credit products.
How do personal loans for debt consolidation work?
Just like any personal loan, consumers apply for a secured or an unsecured amount before being assessed. Moreover, lenders assess whether or not the credit product is suitable for the consumer. If the lender approves the application, they make the consumer an offer.
Unlike normal personal loans however, you do not receive the total lump sum into your account as cash. Instead, your loan is used to pay out any outstanding debts.
Finally, once your multiple different debts are settled, the consumer continues to pay down his consolidation loan until it settles. You could be debt-free after you pay your loan out.
Pros & cons of consolidating with a personal loan
- Easier repayments. Dealing with one lender, one repayment and one set of fees is far easier than dealing with multiple. As a result, you can simplify your life and reduce stress.
- Save money. If done correctly, consolidating your debt could save you money. If your paying fees and interest on a number of debts, it may be cheaper to pay down one loan and one interest rate.
- Debt relief. Becoming debt-free may be easier by saving you money on interest and having a single end-date.
- There is a chance there may be cheaper debt management options available.
- Personal loans are interest-based. You may not save money if you choose a loan with a higher rate or longer term than your original debts.
- It may be difficult to secure approval if you have already defaulted on some repayments.
How does a credit card balance transfer work?
A credit card balance transfer, as the term suggests, is when you move the amount you owe on one credit card over to another. Generally, the new interest rate on the balance you transfer may be 0% or another low-rate for a specific period of time. However, compare credit cards do determine what’s available.
You can save money if you manage to repay the amount you transferred within the set period of time. If, however, you cannot, you may end up paying more than your original amount.
Is a balance transfer right for me?
Weigh up the pros and cons of a balance transfer card before deciding whether they are right for you.
- Lower rate. You may be able to take advantage of low or even no-interest during the promotional period.
- Better terms. You can transfer your balance to a different account with more attractive fees.
- Multiple cards. Balances from multiple different cards can be transferred into one.
- Time frame. You’re given a set period of time to settle your debt before the promotional interest period ends.
- Once the promotional period ends, your interest rate may be more expensive than your regular cards.
- Depending on the balance transfer card, you may need to pay a transfer fee of between 1% and 3%.
- Your credit rating may be adversely affected if you open a new card with a balance exceeding the limit.
- It may be tempting to spend the new credit at your fingertips.
Weigh up your options before making a decision.
What debt consolidation does Monzi offer?
Technically, Monzi does not offer any consolidation products directly. This is because we are a lender-finder service. If we’re able to match you with a lender, however, they may be able to help you consolidate your debt with a personal loan.
More specifically, the personal loans potentially on offer may be secured or unsecured, depending on the amount you apply for and the lender’s policies.
The loans potentially available through Monzi’s network of lenders are as follows:
|Personal loan||Amount offered||Security||Term|
|Small loan||$300 to $2,000||Unsecured||Up to 12 months|
|Medium loan||$2,001 to $4,600||Secured||13 to 24 months|
|Large loan||$5,000 to $10,000||Secured||13 to 24 months|
Please note however, due to each lender in our network being an individual company, we cannot guarantee the terms of your loan. As such, the actual repayment terms on your loan may vary to what we present above.
Can I get debt consolidation loans with bad credit?
Yes, debt consolidation bad credit loans are potentially available through Monzi’s network of lenders. These loans function the same as normal personal loans for consolidation, except they are available to Aussies with less-than-impressive credit history.
Bad credit history could potentially be the result of:
- missed or late payments
- court orders
- debt agreements.
You may need to consider applying with a bad credit lender if your report is looking a little bruised. Traditional lenders like banks and credit unions may be hesitant to extend credit to consumers with poor credit scores.
What about an unsecured loan?
Yes, you can apply for unsecured debt consolidation loans through Monzi’s panel of lenders. Specifically, any loan valued $2,000 or less cannot be secured by an asset.
If, however, you apply for a loan over $2,001, you may be required to nominate an asset as security. This is because attaching collateral to a loan reduces the risk posed to the lenders. As a result, lenders are often willing to offer larger amounts.
In addition, if you apply for a secured loan with bad credit, you may have a higher chance of success than if you apply for an unsecured loan. This is because your loan is guaranteed by your car, motorbike or other asset.
Finally, remember that bad credit loans often carry higher interest rates to accommodate for the additional risk.
How do I compare debt consolidation loans?
While all personal loans for consolidation have the same intended purpose, different lenders vary in a number of ways. Moreover, it is important you compare different lenders before making a decision.
When considering a personal loan, pay particular attention to the following:
- Rate. Obviously, you need to find a lower rate than your original debts if you wish to save money.
- Fees & charges. Lenders may charge upfront and ongoing fees on top of your interest rate.
- Repayment term.Longer repayment terms result in lower regular payments but more paid in overall interest. The reverse is true for loans with shorter terms.
- The lender. Confirm the lender you are dealing with is fully licensed and reputable.
Finally, also take into consideration the comparison rate. The advertised comparison rate takes into account the interest plus most of the fees and charges associated with your loan. As such, it may be a truer reflection of the cost of your loan.
What are repayment calculators?
Debt consolidation loan calculators provide a rough guide to what your regular repayments may be.
In short, these calculators are offered by a number of online resources. Moreover, they provide an estimate of your repayments, based on the the amount you wish to borrow, the term and interest rate.
Keep in mind, these calculators may not be exact. Instead, they simply aim to give you information to help you decide whether or not to apply.
Finally, Monzi’s loan slider provides estimates of your weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. These are very rough estimates and may not reflect your actual repayments.
Are there any loans with guaranteed approval?
No lender operating legally in Australia should be offering loans with guaranteed approval. This is because, due to Australia’s National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
In short, the key idea behind these responsible lending practices is that lenders only offer consumers credit products that are suitable for their situation.
What exactly do they mean by suitable? A credit product is considered suitable if:
- it meets your requirements and objectives; and
- you’re reasonably able to afford your regular repayments.
Therefore, in order to confirm your suitability, lenders must:
- Make inquiries into your financial situation, as well as your needs and goals.
- Take reasonable steps to confirm the above information.
- Make an assessment about whether the loan product is suitable.
As you can see, offering loans with no assessment is illegal. In short, be cautious around any lenders offering guaranteed loans. After all, they may be untrustworthy.
Access a full copy of the Act here.
How do I apply with Monzi?
Monzi’s lender-finder service is easy to use. In fact, you can apply in three easy steps. Let’s show you how it’s done:
Aussies use the loan slider to pick the amount they wish to apply for. The loan slider provides estimates of repayments. These are simply estimates and may no reflect the actual cost of your loan. Moreover, you can pick your ideal repayment schedule and term.
Click apply now once you are happy with your selection.
Next, the system takes you to our submission form. In short, you provide all your information. Don’t stress though – we only ask for the important stuff and there are helpful instructions at every step.
We also ask you to provide your online banking details. Understandably, some of you may be apprehensive. In short, our system asks for your details so we can pull read-only copies of your bank statements.
Monzi then passes this information on to potential lenders. Lenders use this information to get an idea of your current financial situation.
Finally, Monzi gets to work once you submit your application. In short, we try to match your application with a potential lender.
If we are successful, we’ll let you know. The lender will then be in touch to complete the assessment. Remember, matching with a lender does not guarantee approval. Lenders conduct their own assessment.
Lenders send through a digital loan agreement if they can make you an offer.
What is in my debt consolidation loan contract?
Lenders offer a loan agreement if they can make you an offer. Moreover, it is essential you read through this contract carefully before approving it.
After all, you are under no obligation to approve the contract offered to you. However, if you approve the contract and then decide to change your mind, things may become a little tricky.
Therefore, read through your contract to confirm you are happy with the following:
- Amount. Lenders may not always be able to offer the loan you apply for on our site, but they’ll do their best. Therefore, confirm you are happy with the amount on offer.
- Interest. Do you understand what rate is applied to your loan? This will have a big impact on the total cost of your loan.
- Fees. Lenders charge upfront and ongoing fees. In addition, confirm you understand what happens if you miss or cancel a repayment.
- Term. Do you prefer a longer term with lower repayments or a shorter term with less paid in overall interest?
Ultimately, do not sign a contract you do not understand. Get in contact with your lender and they will be able to help you.
How do I make repayments?
Repayments are super easy and generally made through a direct debit set up from your account. In other words, your repayments automatically deduct from your account until your loan settles.
Get in contact with your lender if you cannot afford an upcoming repayment. If you give them enough notice, they may be able to cancel or reschedule your payment for a contractual fee.
In addition, get in contact with your lender if your circumstances change. Moreover, you may be eligible for financial hardship if you cannot afford your repayments.
Consumers need to provide evidence of hardship when they apply. This may include:
- separation certificate from employer
- medical certificate
- bank statements showing reduction in income.
Lenders assess your claim and may offer a repayment plan if you’re approved.