Loans and credit

Learn about borrowing and credit to help manage your money.

Things to think about

There are things you need to think about when taking out a loan or using credit. You should ask:

  • Is this something you really need right now or can you save up and buy it in full later?
  • Will repayments make your budgeting tight or make it hard to cover bills like rent or food?
  • Will paying it stop you from saving or having money for emergencies?
  • Are there other ways to get or pay for what you want?

There’s safe and affordable finance out there. Check if you can get a no interest loan from Good Shepherd.

Before applying for a loan or credit, use the simple money manager. It can help you work out your budget. We also have the Rent vs buy calculator that can help you to find out the costs of renting or buying household items.

If you do apply for a loan or credit, always check the terms and conditions. There will be things lenders won’t tell you up front. Don’t sign a contract if you still have questions.

Think about talking to a professional, like a financial counsellor, before you take out a loan or credit. You can also find out about free legal advice on the Moneysmart website.

Types of loans and credit

There are many types of loans and credit with different fees, charges and interest rates.

Visit the Moneysmart website for advice about:

No interest loans

No Interest Loans are for the purchase of essential goods and services. Loans cannot be used to pay for food, rent, bills, cash or debts. You can use it to help cover unexpected costs and pay the money back at a rate that’s manageable for you.

Read more about No Interest Loans on the Good Shepherds website.

Licensed lenders

If you get a loan or credit, it’s a good idea to protect yourself. This may mean taking the time to choose the right loan or lender.

There are laws that licensed lenders must follow when lending money to you. Find out more about consumer credit laws on the ASIC website.

To check for a licensed credit provider or credit assistance provider, search Connect’s Professional Registers on the ASIC website.

If you’re unhappy with a lender, find out how to make a complaint on the Moneysmart website.

Loan scams

Be cautious if you get a phone call or an email from a salesperson offering you a loan or credit. It could be a loan scam. Don’t give them any personal information over the phone or select any links in emails you think are suspicious.

Protect yourself by doing some research before you agree to anything. A scam can appear as a great deal but will cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful.

Read about loan scams on the Moneysmart website.

Protecting you from scams is important to us. Read about how to identify scams and getting help with a scam or reporting one.

Tips and tricks

Read more about managing your money. This includes a rent vs buy calculator that compares the cost of renting or buying essential items.

Also see our free and confidential Financial Information Service to inform and educate you on financial matters.

If you’re having trouble paying a bill, loan or mortgage, speak to your bank or service provider. Most will have a hardship team who can help. They may be able to delay, reduce or waive debt repayments depending on your situation.

The Moneysmart website has advice about trouble with debt. It can help you manage particular debt issues, like credit cards or bills. They also have information to help you identify and avoid financial scams.

It’s worth getting free expert advice to get a clear picture of your finances. For help in your area find a financial counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website.

If you’re a farmer or small rural business, you can speak to a rural financial counsellor. Read about the Rural Financial Counselling Service on the National Emergency Management Agency website.

Page last updated: 5 September 2022.