Whether you’re buying a car or holiday, a personal loan can be a quick and simple way to borrow money. Compare loan rates and terms here to find the best loan for you.
How to get the best personal loan
The best personal loan will allow you to borrow the amount of money you need, will have affordable monthly repayments and the lowest interest rate possible.
Using a personal loans comparison tool or broker to help you shop around for the best rates in Ireland is a great way to find the right loan for your budget.
To help you find the best loan for your financial needs, think about:
The amount you need to borrow: Keep your loan to the minimum and don’t be tempted to borrow more than you need. If you are using the loan for a purchase, such as a car, use as much cash up front as you can afford.
The total cost of the loan: Check the overall cost of the loan because the final amount payable may end up being more than you think. Interest rates and extra fees will always make credit more expensive than paying in cash.
Interest rates: The lower the interest rate, the cheaper your loan will be. We include the typical APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for each lender in our loan calculator so you can get an idea of the cost before you apply.
Monthly repayments: You can keep monthly costs down by spreading the loan over a longer period, but you will end up paying more in total. Set your monthly repayments at an affordable level but don’t spread the cost for longer than you need to.
Repayment term: Keep the repayment term as short as you can afford because the quicker you pay back the loan, the cheaper it will be. Most personal loans give you the option to repay over a period of one to 10 years.
Early repayment fees: Some lenders will charge you for early repayment which is another reason to consider the repayment term carefully. Look for a lender with flexible payment terms if you think you may want to repay early.
Other charges: Banks will charge you for late payments, missed payments and sometimes just to arrange the loan. Make sure you check the small print and are aware of any charges that could be incurred during the loan period.
Your credit score: Some banks may be reluctant to give you a personal loan if you have a poor credit rating. A low score may mean interest rates are higher too so work on building your credit score to maximise your chance of getting the best loan.
If you take all these factors into consideration before applying for a loan, you are more likely to find the right balance between the repayment term and an affordable monthly cost to get the best loan.
If you want to talk through your options and costs it may be better to apply over the phone or in person. If you’re clear about your needs, then you may benefit from better rates if you apply online.
Documents you need
If you apply with your current bank, they will only require documentary evidence of your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). This is required by the Central Bank of Ireland’s Central Credit Register for customer identification.
If you apply with another lender or finance company, other eligibility checks will need to take place in addition to your PPSN. Documents to provide will include:
Proof of identity, such as your passport
Proof of residence, such as a utility bill
Document showing your PPSN, such as an Employment Detail Summary
Proof of income, such as 3 months of bank statements from your main current account or payslips.
You will need a current account with the facility to set up a direct debit or standing order and fit other eligibility criteria set by the lender.
Alternatives to personal loans
If you don’t want to apply for a personal loan or are finding it hard to get approved for a personal loan; there are alternatives.
Credit cards: A 0% purchase credit card in certain circumstances may offer a cheaper alternative to a personal loan. It’s a cost-effective way to borrow if you’re sure you can repay the credit within the 0% purchase period.
Secured loans: This type of loan requires you to provide security against the loan to lessen the risk to the lender - usually a property. These loans are often easier to get if you have equity in your home and have bad credit, but your home could be at risk if you are unable to repay the loan.
Guarantor loans: This works like a personal loan, except when you apply you have to provide a guarantor that undertakes to make payments for you if you default.
Cash secured loans: The cash in your savings acts as security for the loan so you can borrow up to the value of your savings at a discounted rate.
If you feel you may struggle to repay your personal loan due to a change in financial circumstances, then contact your lender immediately. They may be able to arrange a repayment break for up to three months, but check it doesn’t affect your credit score.
Your payments will still accrue and you will need to repay the deferred payments including interest when the repayment break is over. This means that you may pay a higher amount per month than before the deferment period.
It depends on how much you borrow and how long for.
Credit cards allow you to borrow to a pre-set limit which can typically be anything up to €10,000. You choose how much you pay each month and the quicker you pay off the debt, the less interest you pay on the credit.
A 0% purchase card or balance transfer card used wisely can make this a cheaper option for borrowing smaller amounts of money for a short amount of time. You also get greater flexibility over repayments so you can pay off your debt sooner without early repayment penalties.
APR is short for Annual Percentage Rate. It’s a calculation of the overall cost of your loan and takes into account all the costs during the term of the loan including set up charges and the interest rate. Any extra fees are added to the loan amount before interest is calculated.
It’s a legal requirement for credit lenders to show their interest rate on borrowing so an easy and fair comparison of interest rates can be made between finance companies like banks and lenders.
The Typical APR is an advertised rate that the majority of people approved for credit will be offered. If your credit rating is poor or you have a low income you could pay more than the typical APR being advertised.
For personal loans, the Typical APR may also differ depending on the size of the loan (for instance, 12% APR for loans up to €3,999, and 8% APR for loans of €4,000 to €9,999).
Loans are useful when you need a financial helping hand, but borrowing money can also be costly. Here’s all you need to know about loans in Ireland and how to make the right choice.
Loan repayment calculator
Our personal loan calculator can help you work out your monthly repayments and interest in just a few clicks. See how much a loan costs from Ireland’s leading lenders.
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Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.Warning: you may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early.Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home.Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.Information provided and Interest rates quoted valid at 13/01/2022