St.George Personal Loans
Founded in the southern Sydney suburbs in 1937, St.George has a long, proud history within the Australian banking industry. Over the decades, it built its reputation as Australia’s foremost building society, until it achieved full banking status in July 1992. In 2008, St.George made the decision to merge with the Westpac Group – and from there, continued to grow.
Today, St.George is one of Australia’s leading retail and business banking brands, offering a wide range of financial products and services. With the help of that little green dragon we all know so well, the bank has become known for its excellent service, its innovative, award-winning products, and the specialist financial advice it provides to both personal and business banking customers.
Like many banks, St.George looks beyond banking to help the communities it serves. For St.George, not only does this mean building strong connections with local communities through initiatives such as the St.George Foundation and the sponsorship of deserving community organisations, it also means working towards greater sustainability through environmental programs.
What does this mean for you as a potential borrower? Whether you choose St.George will depend on what you’re looking for in a lender and in a personal loan. On this page, you can uncover all the need-to-know info regarding what it’s like to have St.George as a lender, including what it has to offer on each of its personal loans.
Secured Personal Loan
St.George offers secured personal loans and unsecured personal loans. Both of these options are available either with a fixed rate or variable rate. We’re going to look at the St.George Secured Loan first.
With a secured loan such as this, you secure an asset of value against the loan. This asset is used as collateral, lowering the risk for the lender. This can offer a number of benefits to you as a borrower.
- Lower Rates: You will usually find secured loans offer lower rates than unsecured loans. Why? Enjoying lower risk on the loan, the lender rewards the borrower with a lower rate.With a lower rate, you can benefit from lower interest costs, reducing the cost of the loan.Paying less in interest, you could choose a shorter loan term to pay off the loan quicker, or borrow slightly more, while still enjoying a comfortable repayment schedule.
- Easier Approval: Secured loans can offer easier approval than unsecured loans.While you will still need to meet St.George’s eligibility criteria – while proving you are able to repay the loan – you may find a secured loan is easier to get approved for than an unsecured option because it offers less risk to the lender.
- Higher Loan Amount: Choosing a Secured Personal Loan from St.George, you could borrow $3,000 to $80,000.Unlike St.George’s unsecured personal loans, which range from $2,000 to $50,000, the bank’s secured personal loans allow extra access to cash, should you need it.It’s worth bearing in mind that the loan amount you are approved for will depend on your personal circumstances. St.George will only lend an amount that it knows you will be able to repay.
Fixed vs. Variable Rate
If you opt for a secured personal loan with St.George, you will have to decide whether you want a fixed rate or variable rate. Here’s how they differ.
With a fixed rate loan, the rate you are approved for when you apply will remain the same throughout the entire loan term.
- Budgeting: This can make it easier to budget, as you always know what your repayment will be, month in, month out.
- Locked Rate: It also allows you to lock in a rate. If you do this when rates are low, it can help to protect you from rate increases when rates rise elsewhere.
- Lower Rates: Fixed rates can be lower than variable rates, although this will depend on the market and the lender.
- Loan Term: With this St.George Fixed Rate Secured Personal Loan, you can choose a loan term between one and five years.
With a variable rate loan, your rate may vary as you pay off your loan, depending on market conditions and the rate set by the lender.
- Falling Rates: If rates fall, you can take advantage of lower interest costs to either repay your loan sooner, or to benefit from lower repayments each month.
- Rising Rates: Similarly, if rates rise, you will pay more interest and your repayments will increase. This makes it especially important you choose a loan with a repayment schedule you can afford to pay, even if rates rise.
- Loan Term: With this St.George Variable Rate Secured Personal Loan, you can choose a loan term between one and seven years. This gives you longer to pay off your loan should you need it.
- Flexibility: Variable rate loans tend to offer more flexibility than fixed rate loans. In this case, that means having access to a redraw facility to withdraw additional repayments. Each request is subject to approval and a fee.
What do you need to know about this loan?
Before you apply for a personal loan, you need to get into the small print. Here are some of the more important points to note.
St.George states you can ‘borrow up to $80,000 to spend on anything from a car to renovations’. You will have to provide information regarding what you want to use the loan for. If you are buying a car with the loan, the car you buy will usually be the asset you use to secure the loan. If you are looking to fund a project or another type of purchase, St.George may require another asset of value to use as security on the loan.
If you choose to use this personal loan as a car loan, the car you offer as security must be:
- Registered in the applicant’s name once purchased.
- A four-wheel vehicle that has never been extensively damaged or written off.
- 12 years old or less at the end of the loan term to qualify for a lower interest rate.
- Covered for one year’s full comprehensive car insurance when you access the funds.
When you apply for a secured loan to buy a car, St.George notes that the interest rate you receive will be determined by the value of the car.
St.George also highlights the fact that for secured loans, if the loan-to-value ratio of your loan is greater than 150%, then an extra 1% p.a. may be added to the interest rate for your loan.
Unsecured Personal Loan
With an unsecured personal loan, you don’t have to put down any form of security. Generally offering more flexibility than secured loans, this type of loan could be used to:
- Consolidate Debt: If you have a number of debts that you are currently paying off, you could choose to roll them all into one personal loan. This can simplify your finances, giving you just one repayment date to think about, and one repayment to cover. Depending on the other debts you are looking to pay off, you could also save on interest.
- Renovate Your Home: If you have been thinking about doing some home improvements, but don’t have the cash to cover them upfront, a personal loan such as this could provide a solution. You can work on projects big or small, covering everything from DIY to getting in a professional, or simply upgrading your white goods.
- Buy a Car: If you want to buy a car, you don’t have to choose a secured loan. You could opt for an unsecured option instead. You could also use this type of loan to invest in a caravan or boat, a motorbike or jet ski, or another other type of vehicle that will get you out and about.
- Take a Trip: If you’re planning a holiday, a personal loan could allow you to book your trip and spread the cost of paying it off. Whether you’re planning the adventure of a lifetime, a family trip, or a much-needed getaway, you could use this loan to cover flights, accommodation, tours, and anything else you need to pay for to make the trip memorable.
- Cover Other Costs: Providing plenty of flexibility, this loan could cover pretty much anything (within reason). You could use the loan to pay for your wedding, to cover school fees, or to cover unexpected costs that you don’t have the money for upfront. You can then spread the cost over a repayment period that suits you.
So, what does an unsecured personal loan from St.George have to offer you?
- You can borrow between $2,000 and $50,000. Whether you need to borrow a little or a lot, St.George could have you covered. Remember, you will only be approved for an amount St.George determines you can comfortably repay.
- You don’t need an asset to secure the loan. This could make it a good option for borrowers who don’t have an asset worthy of securing a loan, or those who don’t want to risk losing an asset if they fail to repay their loan.
- You can enjoy more flexibility. If you opt for a variable rate unsecured personal loan, you can take advantage of St.George’s redraw facility to redraw additional repayments.
Fixed vs. Variable Rate
Similar to the secured loan option from St.George, the bank’s unsecured personal loan is also available with a fixed rate or variable rate. The same pros and cons mentioned previously apply.
- With a fixed rate unsecured loan, you will pay less in interest than the bank’s unsecured loan. You can choose a loan term over one to five years. Your rate and repayment is fixed, making it easier to budget.
- With a variable rate unsecured loan, you may pay a higher rate, but you can benefit from slightly more flexibility. You can pay off the loan over one to seven years – and any additional repayments you pay in can be accessed via redraw.
When comparing personal loans, the interest you pay on the loan is ever important. However, you should also take note of the fees you will have to pay as well, as this will affect the overall affordability of the loan. St.George is not light on fees, so pay particular attention to this aspect when deciding whether a St.George personal loan is right for you.
Take note of the loan’s one-off establishment fee, which will be added to your loan amount, as well as the ongoing monthly fees. If you opt for a secured loan, you may have to pay search fees and fees to register security interest with the Personal Property Securities Register. On variable loans, you will pay a redraw fee.
If you pay off the loan early, a number of fees may apply. You will pay a fee if you pay off your loan within the first 12 months, and a slighter lower fee if you pay off the loan after the first 12 months and before the end of the loan term. If you have a fixed rate loan, you will have to pay break costs if you repay your loan in full early, or pay more than $5,000 in additional repayments in any 12 month period.
Please refer to the Personal Loan Terms and Conditions for more details.
To be eligible for a St.George personal loan, you must:
- Be aged 18 years or over,
- Have a regular permanent income before tax of at least $35,000 p.a.
- Be an Australian citizen or have a permanent residency visa.
If you’re a non-resident, you must have confirmed employment in Australia.
St.George notes some factors that may help with your application:
- You are regularly meeting your repayment obligations for your mortgage, other loan or credit card accounts.
- You have considered whether you need to keep any credit accounts you may no longer use, such as store cards
- You have been with St.George for six months or more.
- Choice. You can choose a secured or unsecured loan, with a fixed or variable rate. This could allow you to choose a personal loan that suits both your needs and your budget.
- Big Bank Backing. If you don’t want to bank with a big bank directly, choosing a bank such as St.George could be a good alternative. It is part of the Westpac Group, but it still offers some of that smaller bank feel.
- Service. St.George backs all of its products with great customer service. You can get in contact with the bank when you need to, while taking advantage of excellent features, such as online banking and the bank’s app.
For more info, simply click through to St.George’s personal loan pages.