Let’s cut to the chase: at People’s Choice, we offer unsecured personal loans for $2,000 and up to $40,000, plus we have secured loans from $10,000Not every lender is the same and not every person is the same either, so there are a few things you need to understand about borrowing and repayments before you go any further.
If you're thinking of applying for a personal loan from any lender, you need to get a feel for how much you might be able to borrow, depending on your individual circumstances. This amount is called your borrowing power and can be pretty complex to work out.
To make things a bit simpler, we’ve broken down: what goes into working out your borrowing power; what your repayments might look like if you took out a personal loan; and how to make a budget so you can pay back your debts faster.
Let’s get into it.
What is borrowing power? What’s my borrowing power?
In a nutshell, your borrowing power is how much money a lender is willing to lend you. Amongst other things, your borrowing power depends on factors such as: your income (including your salary, rental income and investment); your expenses (like rent, utilities and groceries); your assets (things you already own like shares or a car); and liabilities (what you already owe, like credit card or HECS debt).
When you’re applying for a personal loan, your lender will have to make a judgement call about how much you can afford to repay, and make sure the loan meets your needs, before they can approve your application.
Calculating your borrowing power for a personal loan isn’t easy. It’s much more than just the value of what you can provide upfront as a security (for a secured loan): it’s also about how much you can afford to pay back in regular repayments, and that the purpose of the loan and its amount meets your needs. Your lender (and you) will have to consider fees and charges, as well as interest rates, when they work out your monthly payments.
Having plenty of assets or income from work won’t be enough to secure a loan — your lender will also want to look at your credit report, and find out what your regular expenses and outstanding debts look like. They’ll want to know more than how much you spend on groceries and going out, but also your regular commitments like paying back debt acquired through buy now, pay later services, or credit card and home loan repayments. For more detail, read our article that breaks down everything you need to provide when you apply for a personal loan.
You’ll also need to consider your Remaining Disposable Income (RDI), which is your remaining income after expenses, liability and the new loan repayment are taken out. Knowing this will help you understand how manageable it’ll be if your personal loan is approved.
How to use a personal loan calculator
If you’re thinking of applying for a personal loan, you’ll want to know what your loan repayments will look like if you get approved. With the People’s Choice Personal Loan Calculator you can get an easy estimate of what your personal loan repayments will look like.
Using a personal loan calculator can help you work out your repayments by adjusting your interest rate, loan amount, repayment frequency, and loan term. It can also help you work out the amount of time and interest you could save if you make extra loan repayments.
People’s Choice budget planner calculator
The People’s Choice Budget Planner Calculator can help give you a clearer picture of where your money is going, how much you can put into savings every week, plus how much you can afford to repay if you got a personal loan.
Can I get a personal loan if I have a low income?
To work out what suits you best, we need to get to know you and your financial situation first. Taking out a personal loan can be helpful for people who can afford to repay them, but if you miss payments it can have an impact on your credit score. You should also consider that missing or making late payments can leave you facing extra fees and charges, get you on the receiving end of debt collectors, or lead to loss of an asset if you take out a secured loan.
If you’re in a difficult financial situation, a personal loan might not be your best option. If you’re a member and you're having trouble making ends meet, you can get in touch with our team about financial difficulty and we can see what we can do to help.
How many personal loans can you have at once?
You can have more than one personal loan at a time. However, you need to consider if having multiple loans at once is right for you and your needs.
Hopefully now you have a better idea of how to go about finding out how much you can afford to borrow. If you’re more confident that a personal loan is right for you, your next questions might be how long it takes to get a personal loan.
If you’re ready to apply for a personal loan, feel free to visit our personal loans page and we can get you started.