It seems like the lifeline that you’ve been waiting for.

It’s no big deal, right? You’re getting paid next week, and you just need a few hundred to pay the mechanic for the service and those tyres that he replaced. You’d driven the last set until the mesh was almost showing, so it was seriously overdue. You need to pay him today, so you have your car to get to work tomorrow.

Why do the kids’ birthday parties always come at the absolute worst time? Between the play centre, the cake, lolly bags and the rest it cost you pretty much the same as you need to find for the mechanic.

That payday loan looks ridiculously quick and easy. You’ll pay it back next week. No dramas. It’s only 4% interest; that’s not bad. Totally doable. The website said that the cash could be in your account within an hour! That’s amazing! There’s no credit check so that should make it a piece of cake.


Oh, cool. The website looks totally legit. They’ve got all this official-sounding stuff on there about responsible lending and stuff, so it looks like it’s all above board.

Click. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

Gosh, that’s it? Too easy! It’s taken you less than five minutes, and you’re ready to hit the apply button. OK, so there’s that 20% establishment fee before you’ve even started, but that’s OK, it only adds up to an extra few bucks per fortnight. You’ll be able to handle that, no sweat. There’s all that other stuff about fees and charges if you miss repayments, but that’s got nothing to do with you. You’ll make your payments on time and have it paid off by the due date for sure.

Sweet. You’ll finish this off and have the cash in your account within 60 minutes so you can pay the mechanic and pick up the car before you need to pick up the kids from school. How brilliant is that?! OK, here goes…

Click. Done!

All Is Not As It Seems

This scenario, or something like it, is happening thousands of times every day in households right across Australia. The payday loan industry is tipped to exceed $1 billion this year, with no sign of abating. With aggressive, shrewd marketing, easy to use websites that promise quick, easy money in a few simple clicks, it can seem like the perfect solution to your immediate financial circumstances.

Unfortunately, for too many people, the dream can very quickly turn into a nightmare. That fine print that you can easily skim over details the oppressively punitive measures that small amount credit providers can, and frequently do, implement if any of the loan conditions are not met. That 4% “monthly fee” can rapidly balloon to an effective interest rate of 400% or even higher, turning your handy lifeline into a financial deadweight that drags you down to the abyss. Stories abound of everyday people still desperately trying to repay loans for years after they thought it would be done and dusted, yet still owing many times more than the amount they originally borrowed. With one in five payday loan borrowers behind on their repayments or in default, that is a whole lot of people who find themselves in a serious fiscal mess.

The Alternative to Payday Loans

So, if someone does find themselves in a financial tight spot and needs to access quick cash, what are they to do? This is precisely the question that served as the catalyst for the founding of Speckle. Speckle’s primary objective is to assist people all across Australia to access the cash they need, without seducing them into a vicious cycle of debt from which they are unable to extricate themselves.

As a not-for-profit organisation and backed by NAB, we’re committed to financial inclusion and responsible, ethical lending practices that empower the borrower. This is because unlike many predatory payday lenders, Speckle is not ravenously obsessed with the pursuit of maximum profits. We’re completely focused on that other “P” word – people, and helping them to achieve financial security and independence.

Speckle Loans Vs Payday Loans

Let’s take a look at how a Speckle loan stacks up against the average Payday loan:



Typical Payday Lender

Maximum Loan Amount



Loan Establishment Fee

10% of the principal loan amount

20% of the principal loan amount up to $2000 and a maximum of $400 for $2001-$5000

Monthly Fee

2% of the principal

4% of principal for amounts up to $2000. For higher amounts, interest is charged at rates as high as 47%-65% per annum, calculated monthly.


Must be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident aged 18 or above, earning a minimum of $22,000, with no more than 50% of total income coming from Centrelink benefits. Borrowers cannot have had two or more payday loans in the previous 90 days.

Borrowers need to be in paid employment and receive less than 50% of their income from Centrelink payments.

Dishonour Fee

If a payment dishonours, Speckle may charge you a flat fee of $5 to cover part of the administration costs

Vary from lender to lender. Recent legislation has limited the amount lenders can charge for dishonoured payments and most now set it at $15 per missed payment.

Default Fee

If a repayment is missed for more than 30 days, Speckle charges a fee of $1 per day until it is made, or until we can discuss and agree to an alternative arrangement with the borrower

Typically, $5/day from the day the loan is in default. By law, lenders are limited to charging a maximum of 200% of the principal. However, you will be required to pay “enforcement expenses” which can often be radically inflated, adding up to many times the principal 

Repayment Flexibility

If at any time a borrower experiences difficulty in repaying a loan, we will work with them to make alternative arrangements that allow them to fulfil their obligations without additional costs and punitive measures. Our goal is to help people gain financial independence, rather than keep them in debt to inflate profits. 

While most lenders claim to offer flexibility in repayment schedules, in reality, it is notoriously difficult even to reach someone with whom to discuss alternative arrangements.

Think it Can’t Happen to You?

On paper, that all looks clinically simple. For some borrowers, it can be. As long as you’re paying your loan off in full and on time. The problem is that nobody takes out a payday loan when they are flush with cash. Make no mistake, payday loans were created for and aggressively target people who are in financial stress. The more trouble the consumer has in paying it back, the greater the lifetime value of the loan. Put simply: they profit from your misery.

The entire payday loan industry relies on otherwise hardworking people hitting a fiscal pinch and needing money fast. Many of these people have poor credit scores or simply have nowhere else to go. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, payday lenders are often the only place they can go to get the cash that they need. Already on a knife’s edge, all it takes is one more unexpected bill and you can find yourself in a world of hurt. A sick kid, a little rear-ender, a speeding fine, a broken fridge… The list of things that can and often do go wrong is endless. The sources of cash are most certainly not.

Payday Loans in Australia - A Growing Issue

Just because it’s dressed up in a pink rabbit suit, doesn’t make it cute and cuddly. The Payday Loan industry is booming in Australia and the growth appears unlikely to slow any time soon. Data released towards the end of last year gave us plenty to be concerned about. The report, compiled by an alliance of 20 consumer advocacy groups, found that over 30,000 payday loans are being taken out every week across Australia. That’s 135,000 loans a month - a 35% increase in 3 years. Even more worrying is the value of all those loans. In the previous three years, an estimated $3 billion loans have been paid out to Aussie’s under financial stress, generating around $550 million in profit for the industry. Is it any wonder, then that payday lenders can afford to splash money around on TV, radio and other advertising. The cycle of debt keeps consumers in the palm of the lenders’ hands. With disposable income directed to servicing debt, many are returning, again and again, to help them make it through each month. In fact, the report found that a significant number of borrowers are taking out five or more payday loans per year.

The Choice is Simple

From the table above, it should be pretty clear that a Speckle loan is a far more affordable, flexible and safe option for anyone looking for a hand up. In fact, even if you pay on time, every time and incur no additional fees, a small cash loan from Speckle will likely cost a mere half of what you would expect to pay with a payday lender. Our absolute commitment to working positively with our customers to help them through repayment difficulties is your insurance against the nightmare scenario experienced by far too many borrowers. 

With such a low-risk alternative to payday loans available throughout Australia, if you find yourself in difficult economic straits, you’re far better off giving us a call to see whether you qualify for a Speckle fast, small loan.

Is a Speckle Small Loan for Everybody?

While our commitment to helping people across Australia have safe, affordable access to cash is unwavering, that doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone. Our status as a not for profit means that we sometimes need to be a bit more careful about whom we lend to. Ultimately, our aim is to help people achieve financial security, not issue loans to people who can’t afford them, thereby getting them into further trouble.

For this reason, we do have some limitations on who qualifies for a Speckle loan that the other guys don’t. As we have indicated in the table above, you may not qualify for Speckle loan if:

  • You earn less than $22,000/year in income, aside from Centrelink payments

  • You derive over 50% of your total income from Centrelink payments

  • You are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident

  • You are under the age of 18

  • You have taken two or more similar small loans in the previous 90 days.

While we understand that this may exclude some prospective customers, these rules are there to help you, just as much as they are to help us. If you’re concerned about whether you meet the requirements to access a short-term cash loan from Speckle, then please give us a call. We are always happy to discuss your circumstances.

If we can’t help you directly, it may be that your circumstances mean that another solution is likely the best for you. Our caring staff will certainly point you in the right direction so that you can get the assistance and support that you need. Whether that’s alternative ways to source the things you need, or access to a financial counsellor to help you bring your finances into order, we’re always here to help.

Speckle - A Safer, More Affordable Alternative to Payday Loans

Virtually everyone needs to access some extra cash at some stage in their life. At speckle, we speak to people from all over Australia every day. Some of them are in a crisis, others just need a bit of a hand until their next pay. Some of them may not have made the best financial choices, others find themselves in a bind despite doing everything right with regards to managing their money. Whatever your situation, it’s crucial for you to know that you have options. Many payday loans look and sound great on TV, radio and social media. However, far too many people in Australia are falling foul of their unscrupulous practices that are designed to get you into unmanageable debt and keep you there for as long as possible.

If you’re looking to cut through the slick marketing and double-speak and deal with a small amount lender that will help raise you up, rather than drag you down, contact Speckle today to see if our loan is right for you.