The newcomer named Money's Non-Bank Personal Lender of the Year
NON-BANK PERSONAL LENDER OF THE YEAR: ALEX
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, Aussies have racked up $144.7 billion in personal loan debt as of October 2020, with the average fixed rate for a personal loan sitting at 12.46%pa.
That's a lot of interest, which is all the more reason to compare products.
Non-banks get their own award category this year, and for good reason. They secure funds at wholesale prices, which can often translate into better rates for borrowers.
The inaugural award goes to Alex, a 100% digital newcomer to lending.
"We believe that personal lending is such an innovative space to be a part of and ultimately it's the customer's expectations of financial services experiences that has changed," says Alex CEO Simon Beitz.
"Customers expect simplicity, speed and fairness without losing the human touch and that is exactly what Alex aims to be.
"For example, we've seen a lot of property owners approach Alex for funding of small home improvement projects as opposed to obtaining a mortgage increase, which is a cumbersome and timely process and can involve higher interest costs."
Alex offers personal loans from six months to five years, with interest rates ranging from 5.45% to 19.99%. There are no establishment fees, ongoing fees, payout penalties or extra-repayment fees. That's the "what" part of the Alex story, but equally important is the "how".
"Alex brings different leading-edge technologies and partners together to provide safer, simpler and more personalised offerings," says Beitz.
"Our personal loan applications can be completed within three minutes with all necessary information seamlessly and securely collected from customers, resulting in minimal circumstances where Alex needs to ask them for additional information to make a good lending decision. As a result, we can commit to providing customers with a decision on their loan within a business day."
Don't expect Alex to remain in this category for long, however.
"Alex is bit more ambitious than most digital lenders as we're aiming to become a bank so that we can offer customers both lending and savings products," according to Beitz.
"We've kicked things off with a multi-award-winning personal loan and we can't wait to launch our additional offerings in the future."
In second place is loans.com.au, which has five-year car loans for 4.67%pa.
Now Finance rounds out the top three, offering unsecured loans from $5000 to $50,000 with interest rates ranging from 5.95% to 17.95%.
WHY THEY WON
Highest scores across unsecured personal loans over 3 and 5 years; no ongoing fee and no early-payout penalty.
Personal loans offered at rates as low as 5.45%pa for loans up to $30,000; 100% digital.
3. Now Finance
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