NOW Finance named Money's 2022 Non-Bank Personal Lender of the Year
Australians looking to purchase a car, consolidate their debt, or finance some home improvements aren't short of options from bank or non-bank lenders. In fact, the abundance of options can make it difficult to differentiate one lender from the next.
One player determined to stand out from the crowd, though, is NOW Finance, winner of the non-bank Personal Lender of the Year award. To do that, NOW Finance has moved away from a "one size fits all" approach to lending by offering its customers competitive, personalised interest rates.
"Our technology and data analytics generate a proxy score based on a few basic questions that a prospective customer answers, meaning we are able to give them an individually tailored rate whether they want to apply for the loan or not," says NOW Finance CEO Richard Blumberg.
"If they do apply for a loan there's no changing of rates when the loan is finally approved - that's the rate and it doesn't change."
NOW Finance's rates start as low as 4.45%pa for a secured loan and 5.95%pa for an unsecured loan with terms ranging from 18 months up to seven years. Blumberg says that its ability to offer such competitive rates is partly down to its funding model.
"We've always been a balance sheet lender and we've always had a sophisticated funding platform with a strong and diverse institutional support base and multiple warehouses, which means we have a very efficient cost of funds."
Personalised rates are one thing, but so is transparency. That's why NOW Finance has made the move to axe fees on its loans - a decision which Blumberg says ultimately helps borrowers get a clearer picture of the true cost of their loan.
"The personal loan market is plagued by fees, and customers don't always understand that the rate they see is not the rate they pay because there are fees all over the show."
"That was the reason why we decided to do away with fees - to really maximise transparency. We're the only personal loan provider that has absolutely no establishment fees, no account management fees and no early termination fees right across our product range."
Meanwhile, Stratton Finance took out second place in the category this year. The Melbourne-based broker impressed with its car and vehicle loans in particular, which provide secured and unsecured options and competitive interest rates.
Illawarra Credit Union was also recognised, taking out third place. Among the sharpest products it offers are its green loan, with rates as low as 3.99%pa, and its secured personal loan, with rates from 5.25%pa.
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