A personal loan lets you borrow money for things like a holiday, car or home renovations. Under responsible lending laws, the person who takes out the loan in their name should receive the main benefit from it. Personal loans can be secured or unsecured and have either a fixed or variable interest rate.

If you are concerned about a personal loan in your name and want to find out more, talk to your lender or bank to get more information. If you are struggling to repay a loan (for instance because of domestic violence), financial institutions have a team you can contact to discuss a new or reduced repayment plan; these teams are called 'hardship teams' and sometimes have other names like 'financial assistance' or 'community wellbeing' teams. Some organisations have specialist teams trained in domestic violence.

Alternatively, and depending on your circumstances, a financial counsellor or community legal centre may be able to help outline your options.

If you have discovered there is a personal loan in your name that you were not aware of, and you haven’t already seen a copy of your credit report, it could be worth getting a copy of this to see if there are any other loans in your name that you didn’t know about.

A secured loan means there is an asset, such as a car, provided as ‘security’ in the event the loan isn’t repaid. If you are unable to repay a secured personal loan, you may need to sell the asset or the bank may repossess the asset to cover the loan amount.

Not making repayments on a personal loan, or falling behind on repayments, is likely to affect your credit rating, so it is best to address the problem as soon as you get a chance.

Talk to a financial counsellor. Learn more about personal loans. Find a Community Legal Centre near you.