ME Bank Personal Loans
While it may not be a name you know as well as other big banks, ME Bank is certainly worth getting to know better. Well then, who is ME Bank exactly?
Established by a group of Australian super funds back in 1994, ME Bank was created with the overarching goal of helping Aussies get more from their finances. Today, ME Bank is a fully-fledged bank with more than 450,000 customers. It is owned by 26 of Australia’s leading industry super funds – with the same goal they had at the start.
ME Bank offers a wide range of banking and savings products, credit cards, home loans and personal loans. Within this range, the bank keeps a strong focus on its customers, helping them get more back on their savings, as they pay less on their loans thanks to low rates and fees.
One of the reasons the bank is able to do this relies on the way it distributes its profits. Unlike other banks, where profits tend to be paid out to external shareholders, ME Bank ensures 100% of its profits go back to its members and the retirement funds of over 5 million Australians.
ME Bank is also branchless. By keeping it digital, the bank doesn’t have to pay out on bricks and mortar. This allows it to offer lower fees and higher returns on its products, backed by 24/7 banking and an Australian call centre.
Another aspect that sets ME Bank apart from the competition is its affinity for simplicity. This is a bank that believes banking should be as simple as possible. That means everything you need to know is there in black and white, with very little jargon.
Unsecured Personal Loan
In its goal of simplicity, ME Bank offers just one personal loan. While the one-size-fits-all nature of this loan won’t suit everyone, it still holds plenty of appeal.
In terms of what you can use the loan for, ME Bank leaves that up to you. While you will need to advise ME Bank of what you plan to use the funds for, it’s all pretty flexible, with the bank offering up options such as debt consolidation, buying a car, or investing in toys like motorbikes and scuba gear.
With that in mind, you could perhaps use the loan to cover a holiday you’re wanting to book, renovations around the house, or even your big day.
ME Bank does note there are some things that are off-limits. You can’t apply for a ME Personal Loan to cover business expenses, to pay bills, to assist with a property purchase or to cover tax costs.
Keeping it Simple
So, what do you need to know about the ME Bank Unsecured Personal Loan? Let’s get into it.
You can borrow $5,000 to $50,000. Within this range, there is plenty of room to finance anything from a large home renovation project to a trip of a lifetime. You can also fund smaller purchases as well, only borrowing what you need, to then pay it back over a period that suits you.
ME Bank’s personal loan is unsecured. That means you don’t need to worry about putting up an asset as collateral against the loan. There are, of course, pros and cons to choosing an unsecured personal loan over a secured loan, the most of important of which, are as follows.
- There is no risk of losing your asset. Should you fail to repay your loan, you will not lose the asset placed against the loan as collateral, as you might do with a secured loan. You may face other serious consequences, however, which is why you should only ever apply for a loan that you know you will be able to pay back.
- No asset? No problem. Not everyone has an asset worthy of using as collateral on a loan. While most loans are secured against assets such as homes and vehicles, some lenders allow borrowers to use assets such as jewellery, fine art and term deposits to secure their loans. Needless to say, you still may not have anything that offers sufficient value to use as collateral, counting you out on a secured loan option.
- You may pay more in interest. Unsecured loans are deemed higher risk by lenders, as there is no asset secured on the loan lowering their risk. This usually means unsecured loans have higher rates than secured loans, so as a result, you will typically pay more in interest on this type of loan.
- You will need good credit. With no asset securing the loan, you will need to demonstrate your low risk status by showing the lender you have good credit. The lender will also look at your income, debt and employment status to ensure you have the ability to repay the loan.
This personal loan offered by ME Bank is a fixed rate loan, rather than a variable rate loan. By opting for a fixed rate, you know that the rate you are approved for will never change, no matter what rates are doing elsewhere in the market. Again, there are pros and cons to this option.
- You can manage your money more effectively. Your rate remains the same, which means your repayments will also stay the same. This can make it easier to budget, as you always know how much to set aside for your repayments each month. If your budget is somewhat tight, knowing how much your repayment will be can reduce stress.
- You can lock in a low rate. If you apply for a fixed rate loan when rates are low, you can lock in a nice, low rate and keep it for the life of the loan. Even if rates rocket right after you apply, your rate will remain the same, month in, month out.
- You won’t benefit from decreased rates in the market. In the same vein, you won’t benefit if rates fall. That means if you lock in a rate when rates are high, you might end up paying much more than you would on a variable rate loan, with rates that decrease with the market.
- Fixed rate loans often offer less flexibility. Quite often, fixed rate loans are restricted in the features they offer, limiting additional repayments and charging large break costs upon early exit. With that being said, the ME Bank Personal Loan bucks this trend, allowing borrowers to make additional repayments at any time, and to pay off the loan early with no penalty.
You can choose to repay your personal loan from ME Bank over a period of one to seven years. Should you borrow a smaller amount – or want to pay off a larger amount more quickly – this loan allows for that. Similarly, if your budget needs some stretching, you can choose a longer loan term, creating a more affordable repayment schedule.
Another flexible feature on this loan allows you to choose when you want to make your repayments. You can choose fortnightly or monthly repayments, however, ME Bank does note that you can set up automatic monthly, fortnightly or weekly payments via direct debit, allowing you to pay in more, when it suits you.
Once your loan is set up, you can change your repayment amount at any time, without penalty, simply by accessing internet banking. You can also change the frequency of your repayments at any time, including moving the day on which your repayment falls on.
Keeping Costs Down
Aside from offering simplicity, ME Bank also focuses on keeping costs down. When it comes to personal loans, this means keeping fees down, while offering competitive rates.
When you apply for a ME Bank personal loan, you will pay a one-off establishment fee. After that, there are no ongoing fees to worry about. Be sure to check the fee schedule to find out more about any other fees that may apply, such as late payment fees. These types of fees can, of course, be avoided by always making repayments on time.
Take a look at ME Bank’s personal loan rates, comparing them to other unsecured loans on the market. Be aware that the rate you pay may not be the rate that’s advertised, as the lender typically determines rates according to factors such as borrower creditworthiness.
As we mentioned before, you can make additional repayments on the ME Bank Personal Loan whenever you like. This could involve increasing the amount you pay on each repayment, or putting in extra amounts when you are able. There is no fee to do this.
ME Bank advises there are two ways you can make extra one-off repayments on your loan.
- You can ‘push’ the money from your everyday transaction account to your personal loan account.
- You can use ME’s internet banking to ‘pull’ the money into your loan account from your nominated account, even if your nominated account isn’t with ME.
By making additional repayments, whether it is a regular or one-off thing, you can reduce the amount of interest you pay on your loan. Not only does this help you save money, it can also allow you to pay off your loan early.
NOTE: ME Bank makes no mention of a redraw facility on its personal loan. That means, unlike certain other personal loans, you cannot withdraw extra funds paid into your loan.
Pay It Off Early
While some fixed personal loans place a limit on the additional funds you can pay into your loan each year, ME Bank doesn’t. It also does not charge a fee for paying off the loan early. This makes paying off your loan early even more appealing – not only do you clear your debt, you can also save on interest.
ME Bank makes this process as easy as possible. The bank says that should you want to pay off your loan early with a lump sum payment, all you need to do is contact them for a payout figure. If you’re happy with the amount, ME Bank will arrange the direct debit to transfer the money into your personal loan. Once it’s received, the bank will close the personal loan and you’re all done.
Want to apply for a ME Bank Unsecured Personal Loan? Here’s what you’ll need to apply.
To be eligible for the loan, you’ll need:
- To be at least 18 years old,
- To be an Australian citizen or permanent resident,
- To open an account for personal use,
- To have a good credit rating,
- To be an individual. ME Bank does not offer joint applications.
Why ME Bank?
Why should you choose ME Bank over all the other lenders out there? Let’s hit the highlights.
- Transparency. Unlike so many other financial providers, ME Bank likes to keep jargon to a minimum. It explains things in plain English, it offers terms and conditions that are easy to understand, and it offers great communication with its customers should they have any questions about how anything works.
- Simplicity: Not only is the way ME Bank explains things as simple as it can be, its products tend to be nice and simple too. By choosing a basic product, you don’t have to worry about paying for features you won’t use – and they are also easier to understand. And should you want to get a bit more savvy financially, ME Bank has created Ed – a fast, fun, free online school of money.
- Service: ME Bank prides itself on the service it provides. And it shows. The bank has picked up a number of awards over the years, with one of the most recent being Money magazine’s Money Minder of the Year award in 2020.
- Conscience: ME Bank is a bank with a conscience. Over the past decade, the bank has helped raise more than $1 million towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation with the Mother’s Day Classic. The bank also believes in equal opportunities for all – and doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, coal mining, coal ports, coal power, gas power or liquid natural gas plants.
Ready to apply? To find out more about ME Bank’s personal loans before applying, simply click through to the loan’s page.