Throughout your life, there’ll be times you need some help with your finances. If you need extra money, there are plenty of lending options - but think carefully before taking on debt.

Before borrowing any money, ask yourself if you really need it and whether you could save up for it instead. If you can't avoid going into debt, research your options - you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest.

At Kiwibank, we’re dedicated to looking after Kiwis with great rates and flexibility to suit your needs. We’ll work with you to make sure you get the best value option, so you can clear your debt as quickly as possible.

Your borrowing options

Overdrafts

Overdrafts (for amounts from $200) are great as an emergency back-stop, taking the stress out of unexpected expenses or not getting paid on time.

Credit cards

Credit cards are a handy way to pay for everyday things. The trick to managing a credit card well is to make sure you pay the balance off in full each month - or at least make the minimum repayment to avoid additional charges.

A low interest rate credit card could be a good alternative to a personal or vehicle loan, depending on how much you want to borrow. You can also reduce your interest payments on your existing credit card by taking advantage of balance transfer offers, where we offer very low interest rates for a set period of time if you transfer your outstanding credit card balance from another bank’s credit card or store card.

Kiwibank has a range of credit cards to suit different circumstances and spending habits - Low interest cards or rewards cards. Use our credit card selector to see which is right for you.

You should also check out our tips on reducing the cost of your monthly credit card bill.

Personal loans

Personal loans (for amounts from $3,000) are designed to help pay for larger items or events, such as overseas travel, weddings or household furniture. Personal loans can also be used to consolidate debt - bringing it all together into one place, so you only have one bill to pay, often at a lower interest rate.

Car loans

Car loans (for amounts from $3,000) can be used to help you get the car you want. If you want to borrow less than $3,000, you might be better off with a low interest credit card.

Home loan top ups

Home loans don’t just have to be used for buying property. Many people increase or top up their home loans to pay for things like renovations, cars or unexpected medical expenses. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you should try to pay off the extra debt as quickly as you can by setting it up as a separate loan with a shorter term. Otherwise that new kitchen or overseas trip could cost you thousands extra in interest over 20 years or more.

If you’re looking to buy a new house, or to switch your home loan to us, visit our home loan section and find out how you can be mortgage free quicker with Kiwibank.

Hire purchase/Store credit

Furniture, appliance and department stores often promote 'interest free' offers. Be careful with agreements like these - if you don't pay them off before the interest free period is up, you may get stung. Try to make regular payments throughout the interest free period so, when the time's up, there’s nothing left to pay.

There can also be a number of fees and charges associated with these kinds of agreements. Ask questions and read the fine print!

Paying by direct credit or automatic payment can help you keep on top of hire purchase repayments.

What banks and other lenders look for

You’ll need to be able to show lenders that you’re responsible with money and can pay off what you borrow. They’ll look at things like:

  • your income
  • whether you pay your bills on time
  • whether you save any money
  • whether your wages are regularly paid into your account
  • whether you have any other debt
  • your credit rating.

Breaking the debt cycle

Paying off your debt as quickly as you can is the fastest way to financial freedom.

Work out a realistic budget and include the highest repayments you can afford. Set up automatic payments on your pay day so you never miss a payment.

And once you’ve cleared the debt, start making your debt payments into a savings account. Before you know it, you’ll see that interest working for you, instead of against you.

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Kiwibank’s lending criteria, terms and conditions and fees apply. Transfers are subject to your Kiwibank approved credit limit. Interest will be charged on the amount you transfer from the date the transfer is processed.

Personal loans and car loans are provided by GE Finance and Insurance trading as GE Money. Kiwibank may receive a commission for referring a personal loan or car loan to GE Money. GE Money’s lending criteria, terms and conditions, and fees apply.