Canstar Awards NZ’s Best Value Personal Loans

To discover NZ’s best value personal loans, let Canstar’s 5-Star Outstanding Value loan awards be your guide.

Whether you need a new car, a new kitchen or even expensive dental work, a personal loan can be a quick and easy way to boost your finances. However, as with all financial decisions, doing your homework and comparing lenders is essential. This is because advertised rates can be deceiving, and many loans come with hidden fees and charges.

Currently, on Canstar’s personal loan comparison tables, there are big differences in interest rates and charges, from as low as 7% up to a whopping 23% p.a. And while some lenders don’t have establishment fees, others charge over $200.

That’s why it pays to shop around, and to start your search with Canstar’s latest 5-Star Outstanding Value Personal Loan Awards.

Canstar’s 5-Star Outstanding Value Personal loans

To help Kiwi consumers find the best value personal loans, each year Canstar’s expert research team rates and compares the major personal loan lenders in the market. For this year’s research, our team analysed over 50 loans from 12 providers:

  • Car Loans – 35 rated
  • Personal Loans – 19 rated

On the findings of the research, the best lenders are awarded our 5-Star Outstanding Value rating. This year, three lenders take out our top awards, across the two loan categories:

  • Harmoney NZ
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Westpac

Best personal loans: the analysis

When deciding our 5-Star Outstanding Value winners, our research team rates each loan primarily on its cost: 80% of a loan’s rating score is based on its associated fees and interest charges.

But in addition, the features and services associated with each loan are also rated. These cover the entire loan journey, from application to closure, and include:

  • Pre-approvals
  • Online application
  • Loan terms and eligibility, including for the self-employed
  • Online repayments and management of the loan facility
  • Ability to make lump-sum repayments
  • Fees and penalties
  • Customer service

Only the best loans are then awarded Canstar’s ultimate 5-Star seal of approval:

5-Star Outstanding Value Personal Loans

Lender Loan | Credit Range
Unsecured Personal Loan | A1-A5
Unsecured Personal Loan | A++ to A

5-Star Outstanding Value Car Loans

Lender Loan | Credit Range
Secured Car Loan | A1-A5
Unsecured Personal Loan | A++ to A
westpac logo Electric Vehicle Loan | n/a

Secured/unsecured personal loans: what’s the difference?

Personal loans are either secured or unsecured.

Secured loans: When you use something you own, such as a home, car or boat, as security against the debt. If you’re unable to repay the personal loan, the lender may sell your asset to recover the debt. A car loan, for example, is usually secured against the car you are purchasing. Because there is a physical asset to back up the loan, secured loans tend to come with lower rates than unsecured loans.

Unsecured loans: The lender agrees to lend you money without you making a promise of security. If you aren’t able to repay an unsecured personal loan, the lender might take you to court. As there is more risk involved with this type of loan, lenders usually charge higher interest rates. This means that although you can use an unsecured loan to buy a car, you might be able to get a better rate by using a secured loan instead.

Note: While standard car loans are secured against the automobiles they are used to purchase, some lenders will allow you to use an unsecured loan to purchase a vehicle. This is why The Cooperative Bank’s Unsecured Personal Loan | A++ to A rates highly in both our personal loan categories.

5-Star Outstanding Value Personal Loan Lenders

Overview of Harmoney’s loans:

  • Long-term personal loans from $2000 to $70,000, for either three or five years
  • Secured fixed rates from 9.89% p.a to 21.49% p.a. depending on the borrower’s individual credit rating
  • Unsecured fixed rates from 9.99% p.a. to 24.99% p.a. depending on the borrower’s individual credit rating
  • Harmoney has a one-off establishment fee of $150. The establishment fee is added to your approved loan amount and repaid on settlement of the loan
  • There are no fees for early repayment

The Co-operative Bank Logo Long

Overview of The Co-operative Bank’s loans:

  • Unsecured personal loans from $3000 to $50,000, from six months to five years
  • Loans over $50,000 also available
  • Repayments either weekly, fortnightly or monthly
  • Interest rates from 8.99% to 17.75% p.a. depending on the borrower’s individual credit rating
  • $155 application fee applies

Overview of Westpac’s loans:

  • Unsecured personal loans of up to $50,000, from six months to five years
  • Westpac’s special EV Loan rate is 7.99% (for use towards purchasing a new or used electric/hybrid car, e-moped or e-bike
  • Westpac’s standard interest rate for all other personal loans is 13.9% p.a.
  • No establishment fee
  • Change your repayment amount, or pay it off early, with no additional charges or fees in internet banking

For more information, and to compare all the loan providers and products in Canstar’s extensive database, just hit the button below.

Compare personal loan providers for free with Canstar!

About the author of this page

Bruce Pitchers

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

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