NAB Personal Loans
As one of Australia’s Big Four banks, NAB is a name we all know well. As a big bank, it offers a huge range of personal and business banking products and services, including home loans, personal loans, credit cards, super and investments. It’s safe to say, NAB has banking covered. But, is a big bank such as NAB the right choice for you as a borrower?
Whether you choose NAB as your lender will really depend what you’re looking for both in a personal loan and a provider. As we said, NAB is huge. With more than 9 million customers on its books, it employs 30,000 people at more than 900 locations throughout Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
However, the size of its operations offers both benefits and drawbacks to its customers. For many of those who choose NAB, the bank’s sheer size offers them a sense of security. We all remember the shaky times that surrounded the GFC here in Australia, and the sense of safety that came with banking with our Big Four banks, which were deemed ‘too big to fail’.
That concept lives on for many Aussies more than a decade later. Banking with a big bank just feels safer. On top of that though, there is the choice that comes with banking with a big bank. While smaller providers may only offer one type of home loan, one credit card, and one personal loan, big banks like NAB have a large enough customer base to make offering a larger range of products feasible.
And the drawbacks? Like any big bank, NAB has to cover the cost of its operations. It has branches to run and wages to pay – and of course, profits to pay out to its shareholders. This can result in higher costs for its customers, who may pay higher rates and fees than if they were to go with an online lender, for example.
Variable Rate Personal Loan
With all that in mind, it’s time to look at how NAB personal loans stack up against the competition. NAB offers two types of personal loan, one with a fixed rate and one with a variable rate. Let’s start with the variable rate loan first.
The NAB Variable Personal Loan has a variable rate of interest. This rate may change over the life of the loan, as the official cash rate rises and falls. But, while the rate may be influenced by external factors within the market, it is NAB that has the final say when setting the rate.
Reasons to choose a variable rate loan may include:
- You could benefit from falling rates. If rates fall as you pay off your loan, NAB may choose to lower the rate you pay. With a lower rate, you will pay less in interest, allowing you to either pay off your loan faster, or pay a lower repayment.
- You can benefit from more flexibility. Variable rate loans typically offer more flexibility than fixed rate loans. With the NAB Variable Personal Loan, this is offered in the form of a redraw facility. So, when you make extra repayments on your loan, you have the option to redraw those funds should you need them later on down the line.
Reasons you may want to look at other options include:
- Your rates may rise. Just as you may benefit from falling rates over the life of your loan, you may also have to deal with rising rates as well. As your rate rises, so too will your repayments. If you opt for a variable rate loan, it’s important to make sure you will be able to cover your repayments, even if rates increase in the coming months and years.
- You need to know what your repayments will be. With a variable rate loan, your repayments may change. The repayment amount you start out paying may be more or less than the repayment you pay a year or so down the line. If you like a careful budget, those unknown changes could be difficult to live with.
Fixed Rate Personal Loan
Now to the NAB Fixed Personal Loan. With this loan, the rate remains fixed throughout your loan term. That means the rate you are approved for when you start out will be the same rate you pay when the loan ends.
Why would you choose this loan over a variable option?
- You want your repayments to stay the same. With a fixed rate loan, you know exactly how much you will pay out on each repayment, month after month, year after year. There are no surprises here, making it much easier to budget, as you set aside just enough for each repayment.
- You want to lock in a nice, low rate. When rates are low, there is always the possibility that they won’t stay that way for long. By choosing a fixed rate loan, you can lock in that low rate, knowing that it won’t go up, even if rates start to rise elsewhere in the market.
What might make you think twice?
- You might lock in a rate that’s too high. If you opt for a fixed rate loan when rates are high, you may end up paying over the odds in interest as rates start to fall on other loans. You may end up getting stuck paying off an expensive loan that you can’t get out of.It’s worth mentioning here that the NAB Fixed Personal Loan – unlike many other fixed personal loans – doesn’t have an exit fee. That means, if you decide to pay off the loan early, for whatever reason, NAB won’t make you pay heavy exit fees, as might happen on other loans.
- You don’t benefit from as much flexibility. While you may be able to pay off the loan early, you won’t be able to access flexible features such as redraw. This can be a handy feature to have if you want to pay extra repayments on your loan to reduce the interest you pay, to then redraw those funds when needed.
A personal loan is only as good as what it allows you to do. Which is why it’s so important that you look at the various features on offer with each personal loan you compare. Here are some of the features offered on the NAB Personal Loan.
Personal loans are usually pretty flexible when it comes to what they can be used for. NAB doesn’t offer any specific guidance around what its personal loan can and cant’ be used for, however, it’s likely most personal uses will be approved.
These may include paying for a wedding, covering home renovations or consolidating debt, or buying a car, caravan, motorbike or boat. The loan is also unsecured, so you don’t need to worry about putting up an asset as collateral against the loan.
When you apply for a NAB personal loan, you can choose a loan term between one and seven years. It’s worth comparing different loan terms using a personal loan calculator before you apply. Doing this, you can find the shortest possible loan term with a repayment schedule that comfortably fits your budget.
You can also play around with your repayment frequency, to work out whether paying weekly, fortnightly or monthly would work better for you.
Before you apply for a personal loan, it’s a good idea to work out how much you will need to borrow. If you are planning on using the loan to cover the cost of a holiday or home renovations, this may involve some forward planning to ensure your loan amount will cover all your costs.
With the NAB personal loan, you can borrow between $5,000 and $55,000, depending on your circumstances.
All personal loans offer an advertised rate and a comparison rate. While the advertised rate includes the loan’s applicable interest rate only, the comparison rate includes known fees. Using the comparison rate when comparing loans can help borrowers compare their options more efficiently.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the rate used to advertise NAB personal loans may not be the rate you get. NAB refers to this process as ‘tailored pricing’, but it basically means you will receive a rate based on your factors such as your creditworthiness and income.
“The majority of our personal loan customers will get the advertised headline rate (or lower). However, depending on your personal circumstances, we may offer you a higher or lower interest rate when you apply.”
Aside from interest, the main cost on any personal loan is fees. Most lenders charge fees on their personal loans, either in the form of a one-off establishment fee, ongoing fees, or both. NAB charges both an establishment fee – what it calls an application fee – and a monthly, ongoing fee.
Before you apply, work out what you will pay in fees on your loan, as this will give you a better idea of both the overall cost of the loan, and how much you will pay month to month.
As we mentioned earlier, NAB doesn’t charge an exit fee on its personal loans. This is a nice feature from a big bank, as most fixed personal loans come with an early exit penalty. This can discourage borrowers from paying off their loan early, either to clear their debt or refinance to a better option.
To apply for a NAB personal loan, you must meet the bank’s eligibility criteria. This means you must:
- Be 18 years or older.
- Be applying as an individual.
- Be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident, or have an acceptable Temporary Residency Visa.
- Earn a regular income.
With so many personal loans out there – and so many of them similar in nature – it can be difficult to choose between them all. What can set certain personal loans apart can be the lender offering them. So, why would you choose NAB as your lender over other personal loan providers?
Like the look of NAB’s personal loans? Check out each loan option in more detail by clicking through to its page.
It is a big bank. While we might have mentioned this earlier, for many borrowers, the fact that NAB is a big bank can be the clincher. There are dozens of online lenders out there, most of which you probably haven’t heard of before. NAB, on the other hand, you know very well. You know its history, you know what it offers, and you know how to get in touch with the bank should you need to.
It has deep pockets. Big banks have the funds to develop processes and applications that make life as a borrower so much easier. Using NAB’s people and processes, you can get help when you need it, while managing and tracking your loan online, 24/7.
It offers choice. NAB has both a variable rate loan and fixed rate loan to choose from, each with some great flexibility on offer. And, should you like NAB as a lender, you may choose to branch out into other forms of banking, making the most of the bank’s many other products and services.
It’s an award-winner. Don’t just take our word for it. NAB has been recognised within the RFi Group’s Australian Lending Awards 2020 as the Best Unsecured Personal Lender. So it must be doing something right.