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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

Everything you need to know about SocietyOne

SocietyOne, a prominent player in Australia's peer-to-peer lending landscape, has garnered attention for its innovative approach to personal loans. If you're curious about what SocietyOne has to offer or are considering using their services, you're not alone. In this article, we'll address five of the most common questions people have about SocietyOne to help you gain a clearer understanding of this fintech platform.

What is SocietyOne?

SocietyOne is a leading Australian peer-to-peer lending platform that connects borrowers seeking personal loans with individual investors willing to fund those loans. Founded in 2012, SocietyOne aims to provide a more streamlined and cost-effective lending experience compared to traditional banks. Borrowers can apply for personal loans, while investors have the opportunity to earn returns by funding these loans. SocietyOne acts as the intermediary that facilitates this lending process.

How Does SocietyOne Work?

SocietyOne's lending model is based on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. Borrowers can apply for unsecured personal loans through the platform, specifying the loan amount and purpose. Investors, often referred to as "lenders," can review loan listings and decide which loans to fund. Once a loan is fully funded, the borrower receives the funds, and investors start earning interest on their investment. Borrowers repay the loan in fixed monthly installments, which include both principal and interest. SocietyOne charges a one-time establishment fee, and investors may pay a platform fee on their earnings.

Who Owns SocietyOne?

SocietyOne is an Australian financial technology (fintech) company that specializes in peer-to-peer lending and personal loans. It was founded by Greg Symons and Matt Symons in 2011. SocietyOne now operates as a fully-owned subsidiary of MoneyMe Ltd, a company listed on the ASX. It was acquired by MoneyMe in December 2021.

What Types of Loans Does SocietyOne Offer?

SocietyOne primarily offers unsecured and secured personal loans. Borrowers can use these loans for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement, travel, and more. The loan terms typically range from 2 to 5 years, and borrowers can apply for loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $70,000, depending on their creditworthiness and financial situation.

What Are SocietyOne's Interest Rates?

Interest rates on SocietyOne loans vary depending on the borrower's creditworthiness and the specific loan grade assigned to the application. Generally, borrowers with strong credit profiles may receive lower interest rates. The current lowest comparison rate is 8.27%, which would be offered to a client with a good credit score and creditworthiness. SocietyOne also charges a one-time establishment fee, which is added to the loan amount, and investors may pay a platform fee based on their earnings. Borrowers should carefully review their loan offers to understand the interest rate and fee structure applicable to their specific loan.

What Are SocietyOne's Fees?

Society one charge no ongoing fees as long as you pay on time. There will be a one time establishment fee for the loan of the up to $545.

Monthly fees $0

Early repayment fees $0

Establishment Fee Up to $545

Dishonour Fee $15

Overdue Account Fee $35 (capped at $210)

Their loan rates say that the establishment fee is $0 to $495, but upon reading the fine print it states you can be charged up to $545. I dislike when companies claim to be upfront and transparent like this, then state in the fine print something different to what they claim in the slick marketing. It makes them feel untrustworthy to me.

Can I Pay SocietyOne Early?

Yes, you can pay off your SocietyOne loan early. SocietyOne typically allows borrowers to make early repayments without incurring any early repayment fees. This means you have the flexibility to pay off your loan ahead of schedule if you wish to do so, and you won't be charged any additional fees for doing this. Early repayment can help you save on interest costs and potentially clear your debt faster. However, it's always a good practice to double-check the specific terms and conditions of your loan agreement or contact SocietyOne directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding early repayments for your particular loan.

Is SocietyOne Safe and Reliable?

SocietyOne is a licensed and regulated financial institution in Australia, which adds a layer of credibility and security. The platform employs rigorous security measures to protect users' personal and financial information. However, as with any financial transaction, there are inherent risks involved in P2P lending, and it's important for both borrowers and investors to conduct their due diligence and assess the associated risks before participating in SocietyOne's lending marketplace. In reading their website I found that their fees are misrepresented based on what is in the fine print, which makes them seem untrustworthy and that they may try to charge extra than you initially thought when you applied.

Does SocietyOne do Credit Checks?

Yes, SocietyOne typically conducts credit checks when processing loan applications. Like many other financial institutions, they assess the creditworthiness of applicants to determine whether they are eligible for a loan and what interest rate and terms they qualify for. These credit checks are a standard practice to evaluate an applicant's credit history, including factors like their credit score, payment history, and outstanding debts.

It's important to note that credit checks can impact your credit score temporarily, so it's a good idea to be aware of your credit profile before applying for a loan. If you have concerns about your credit history, you may want to discuss them with SocietyOne or explore loan options that cater to individuals with varying credit profiles.

Does SocietyOne Do Bad Credit Loans?

SocietyOne, like many lenders, offers loans with varying interest rates based on the applicant's creditworthiness. They use a tiered approach, where individuals with better credit scores typically receive lower interest rates, while those with less favorable credit profiles may receive loans with higher interest rates.

While SocietyOne may consider applicants with lower credit scores, it's important to note that they may have a minimum credit score requirement, and individuals with very poor credit may find it challenging to qualify for a loan through them. However, having tiered interest rates based on creditworthiness is a common practice among lenders, and it allows individuals with less-than-perfect credit to still access financing, although at a higher cost.

If you have concerns about your credit score and are interested in a loan from SocietyOne, it's a good idea to contact them directly or check their website to understand their specific eligibility criteria and terms for borrowers with different credit profiles. Keep in mind that improving your credit score can help you qualify for loans with more favorable terms in the future.

Does SocietyOne Do Centrelink Loans?

SocietyOne typically provides personal loans, and eligibility for these loans may depend on various factors, including your financial situation and creditworthiness. If you receive Centrelink payments, you may still be eligible for a loan from SocietyOne, but your ability to qualify and the terms of the loan could be influenced by other factors, such as your income and credit history.

It's important to note that some lenders are more accommodating to individuals who receive Centrelink payments, while others may have specific criteria for considering such applicants. Generally a lender will consider you for a loan if you receive Centrelink, as long as you have an income from employment and it is more than 50% of your income.

SocietyOne review: The Bottom Line

In conclusion, SocietyOne offers an innovative alternative to traditional banking for both borrowers and investors. However, they lie in their fine print, which makes them seem disingenuous and untrustworthy. Considering this, I would not get a loan from SocietyOne. If you are looking to borrow large amounts of money, look for a traditional bank, not an alternative lender like SocietyOne.

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