A guide to $5,000 loans with bad credit

What are the options for bad credit loans?

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It can be difficult to get a loan from a bank with a bad credit history, but there are some bad credit loan options available. If you're unemployed and looking for a loan you can read our guide here.

Financial hardship

If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

Compare these bad credit loan options

  • Cash Converters: Borrow up to $4,600 and get the funds within 48 hours of approval.
  • Wallet Wizard: Access your funds as a line of credit. Bad credit and Centrelink borrowers considered.
  • Nimble: Apply for up to $5,000 online with this loan.
  • Swoosh Finance: Find out if you have been conditionally approved for a bad credit loan within 60 seconds.

Which companies offer bad credit loans up to $5,000?

There are various options when it comes to finding bad credit loans up to $5,000. Click through to the review page to find out more details on the loan.

LenderLoan amountEligibility criteriaFind out more
Fair Go Finance$500 to $10,000
  • Earn at least $500 per week
  • Only considers Single Parent, Family Tax Benefit and Carer's Allowance for Centrelink income
  • Employed on a casual, part-time or full-time basis
enably$200 to $2,000
  • Be employed
  • Earn over $1,500 per month
Swoosh Finance$2,100 to $4,581.80
  • Over 18
  • Employed for at least three months
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
Nimble$300 to $5,000
  • Earn a regular income
  • Not be dependent on Centrelink benefits
Rapid FinanceVaries
  • Bad credit and self-employed applicants are considered
Wallet Wizard$500 to $5,000
  • Bad credit, Centrelink and unemployed applicants are considered
MoneyMe$2,001 to $5,000
  • Over 18
  • Australian residents
  • Be employed
Good to Go Loans$500 to $5,000
  • Over 18
  • Receive regular income
  • Centrelink borrowers considered
Needy Money$5,001 to $100,000
  • Bad credit borrowers are able to apply
  • Bankrupt and Part 9 borrowers can apply provided they haven't entered into the bankruptcy/Part 9 in the past 12 months

How bad credit affects taking out a loan

There are some important points to consider before applying for a loan with bad credit.

  • Check the eligibility criteria before applying. Lenders have set eligibility criteria that can be checked via the Finder review pages. Check the criteria online, if it's still not clear call the lender to discuss the situation.
  • Order a credit report. A credit report is the most up-to-date and accurate recording of a person's financial history and this is what lenders use to judge creditworthiness. You can order a full credit report for free with Finder.
  • Compare options before applying. Every application for credit you make shows up on your credit history so it's best not to make numerous applications at the same time. It's also important to be crystal clear on the fine details of the loan before making an application or taking out a line of credit.

Alternatives to payday loans

How do bad credit loans work?

Bad credit loans work in a similar way to standard personal loans, except with different fee and interest rate structures. These loans are more expensive because the lenders need to offset the risk of lending to those with adverse credit histories.

The applicant's credit history may or may not be checked (this will be disclosed by the lender beforehand) and as a result bad credit may not disqualify an applicant from having a loan approved.

Understanding bad credit

Generally, if someone has any black marks on their credit file (defaults or bankruptcies, for example) it's safe to assume they have some degree of "bad credit". However, as the degree of "bad credit" does vary between people, one of the easiest ways to check if you have bad credit is by checking your credit report and credit score, which you can do for free with Finder.

When you check your credit report you should look out for bad credit listings such as defaults, bankruptcies, late payments and excessive credit enquiries. Your credit score will also give you a good indication of where you sit. The credit score you receive from Finder is from Experian and will be a number between 0 and 1,000. You can see a breakdown of the credit score ranges below from both Experian and Equifax – the lower your credit score, the more likely it is that you have bad credit.

Credit bandExperianEquifax
Very good700–799726–832
Weak/below average0–5490–509

Options for an unsecured $5,000 loan with a good credit rating

For people who don't have bad credit they're likely to be eligible for a loan from a bank, credit union or standalone lender at a more competitive rate than bad credit loans. For example they may be able to borrow up to a limit of $5,000 and not have to attach an asset as a guarantee.

Updated January 23rd, 2020
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 10.69% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate between 10.69% p.a. and 18.69% p.a. ( 11.58% p.a. to 19.53% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Variable Rate
From 10.69% (variable)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a variable rate between 10.69% p.a. and 18.69% p.a. ( 11.58% p.a. to 19.53% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes. Benefit from fee-free additional repayments and a redraw facility. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% p.a. (13.56% p.a. comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan
From 7.5% (fixed)
2 to 5 years
from 3% of loan amount
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.5% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Westpac Unsecured Personal Loan
11.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 11.99% p.a.
Benefit from the security of a fixed rate with the flexibility of additional repayments.
St.George Unsecured Personal Loan - Variable Rate
From 12.99% (variable)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a variable rate between 12.99% p.a. and 18.9% p.a. based on your risk profile
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 plus the convenience to make extra repayments and redraw them if you need them.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare bad credit loan options below if you need to borrow $5,000

Updated January 23rd, 2020
Name Product Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $5000 Loan)
Wallet Wizard Smart Loan
Up to 2 years
24 hours
Apply for up to $5,000 and be able to access your approved loan as a convenient line of credit.
Swoosh Finance
12-24 months
Next business day
$418.20 + 48% p.a. of borrowed amount
A secured loan up to $4,581.80 you can apply for in 10 minutes. Have up to 2 years to repay what you borrow.
Nimble Medium Loan
up to 22 months
1 hour - conditions apply*
Application fee of $400 + 47.62% p.a.
Apply for up to $5,000 and have up to 22 months to repay.
Fair Go Finance Personal Loan
3-36 months
Within 24 hours
from 17.9% p.a. + establishment fee of between $360 - $695 + $5 monthly fee
A larger loan up to $10,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
Cash Converters Medium Personal Loan
Up to 24 months
24 - 48 hours
$400 (establishment fee; financed under loan) + 48% p.a. interest
A larger loan up to $4,600 available even if you have bad credit. You'll have up to 2 years to repay.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much do $5,000 loans cost?

If you're borrowing from a non-authorised deposit-taking institution, which is basically any lender that isn't a bank, credit union or building society, you'll be charged the following:

  • Loans under $2,000. You will be charged a 20% establishment fee and a 4% monthly fee. Both fees are calculated using your loan principal.
  • Loans of $2,001 to $5,000. These loans are repaid over 16 days up to 2 years. You cannot be charged more than a one-off establishment fee of $400 and a maximum annual interest rate of 48% p.a. which includes all other fees and charges.
  • Loans over $5,000. You cannot be charged more than 48% p.a. including all fees and charges.

What to remember when comparing $5,000 loans

  • Online applications
    The convenience of online application forms and quick approval systems can save time. They also offer the opportunity to compare a range of credit providers.
  • There are minimal or no credit checks
    It's common to have difficulty being approved for a personal loan from other credit providers with a bad credit history. Getting a bad credit loan gives you access to lenders that look at your current financial situation when considering you for a loan. If you have major credit problems you can consider a no credit check loan. However, it's important to remember that bad credit loan lenders generally charge high fees.
  • Repayment terms
    Some lenders may offer options of how to make repayments and direct debit repayments are offered by most lenders.
  • Bad credit loans are high cost
    Due to the high risk of this loan, the lender will usually charge higher fees. However, keep in mind fees are capped by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
  • Loans over $2,001 come with high interest
    While loans under this amount do not come with interest rates (only set fees), loans above this amount come with rates maxed at 48% p.a.
  • Disreputable lenders operate in the bad credit loans space
    There are many disreputable lenders operating online that prey on people with bad credit, so it's important to thoroughly research the lender in question and consider if a bad credit loan is the best approach to the situation.

Things to watch out for with bad credit loans

There are quite a few risks associated with loans for people with bad credit:

  • High fees and inflexibility. ASIC has issued a warning to people intending to take out bad credit personal loans. These loans typically come with high fees and inflexibility from the lenders.
  • Is it realistic? It's vital that anyone considering applying for a bad credit loan up to $5,000 considers how they intend to repay the loan. Repayment periods are a lot shorter than standard loans which means repayments will be quite high. Lenders usually offer calculators to show an indication of your repayments so it's a good idea to run the numbers before committing.
  • Not considering the fees as well as the interest rate. Lenders may charge an interest rate as well as fees and other charges. Check these before applying and consider the total cost of the loan.

Quick ways to borrow money

Type of lenderAverage interest rateAverage repaymentTurnaround time
Traditional bank14% p.a.$1,041.93*1–3 business days
Online lender39.20% p.a.$672.24^1 hour – conditions apply
Payday loan319.38% p.a.$1,280~Same day
Peer-to-peer loan8.86% p.a.$955.21*Next business day

*Average repayment based on a $30,000 loan over 3 years | ^ based on a $3,000 loan over 220 days | ~ based on a $1,000 loan over 32 days

Frequently asked questions about bad credit loans

How do I apply for a bad credit loan?

You can apply to any of the lenders on this page by clicking "Go to site". If you don't see this button, apply directly on the lender's website.

What happens after I send my application?

This will differ between lenders, but typically applicants receive a notification of approval (or not) along with further instructions for the next steps.

Are my details secure?

When you apply for a bad credit loan online up to $5,000, your details are securely transmitted over an encrypted connection. The majority of sites you apply at use 128-bit SSL encryption to ensure your details are safe and secure.

Can I get a $5,000 loan if I'm unemployed?

When an institution lends you money, it wants to be certain that you can repay the debt within the allocated timeframe. For people who are not employed, their income may be limited unless they are receiving Centrelink benefits. If the majority of income comes from Centrelink payments, they may still be eligible for a personal loan. Please read our guide to getting a loan on Centrelink before applying.

Options for borrowing smaller amounts like $1,000

Related Posts

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248 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    addhuJanuary 7, 2019

    looking for international lender quick and easy

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnJanuary 7, 2019Staff

      Hi Addhu,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Though the page we have does not have an article on international lenders available, you may want to check available local lenders or banks that are able to provide you a loan that you require. The page we are on is specific to the Australian geo. Hope this helps!


  2. Default Gravatar
    LauraSeptember 14, 2018

    Hi I have an emergency n need to borrow $2.500 ASAP I try many places but refuse to help me because I’m not working at the moment due to health issues I get a Centrelink payment I can pay it back please need help urgently if anyone can help me ty.

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelSeptember 14, 2018
        Hi Laura,

        Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

        Sorry to hear about what you went through. Aside from the lenders on the table above, you can check out THIS link for loans specific to people who get Centrelink payments.

        When comparing short-term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It’s important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

        If you’re experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.


  3. Default Gravatar
    BrianJuly 28, 2018

    bad credit loans for students

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelJuly 28, 2018

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      There are no interest free student loans in Australia considering you also have a bad credit score. We have a comparison of student loans in THIS link that you can check out. Please check out the eligibility criteria for each loan provider before you apply so you would know what you are getting into.


  4. Default Gravatar
    DebbieNovember 15, 2017

    How long does the process take am I gonna get at least something?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezNovember 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The lender may usually contact you within 24-48 hours after you’ve submitted your application online. This is the reason why you should provide accurate details and necessary documents and information needed for a smooth processing. It would be best to contact the lender directly for an update.


  5. Default Gravatar
    AndrewJuly 4, 2017

    How much a fortnight on $2000?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 5, 2017

      Hi Andrew!

      Your repayment terms and eligibility will be discussed collectively upon application by your prospect lender.

      You may click “Go to Site” green button of your chosen to proceed with your application.

      Hope this helps.


  6. Default Gravatar
    JasonMay 15, 2017

    Hi there I need a loan up to 4,000 I have ok credit rating but don’t seem to be anyone who wants to give me one can you recommend any loaners that might help I am employed full time

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldMay 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Jason,

      At present, if you have clean record with your credit history you may want to consider the available options here.

      I hope this information has helped.


  7. Default Gravatar
    johnApril 5, 2017

    can i get a 5000 loan with a bad credit rateing

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeApril 5, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      The lenders on the page above may consider you for a loan, subject to other eligibility criteria.

      Please make sure to read the terms and conditions of the loan product you are interested in before submitting your application.


  8. Default Gravatar
    RoseOctober 26, 2016

    Hi! I would like to know if it is possible for me to get a $7,000-$10,000 loan (or car loan) on a Centrelink income. I know I will be able to afford the repayments but which bank would consider me?

    • Default Gravatar
      LetitiaJanuary 4, 2017

      Will I get approved for this loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Letitia,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you want to check your eligibility for a loan, please review the criteria set out by the lender. You can click on the ‘Go to site’ button above if you’re eligible and you wish to apply. I also suggest that you contact the lender directly to discuss your chances of approval.


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JasonOctober 26, 2016Staff

      Hi Rose.

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      There are lenders that will consider lending to you if you’re receiving Centrelink payments. Please note that your eligibility for a loan and the amount that they lend to you will depend on the amount you earn, whether or not you’re employed and your credit history. You can take a look at the lenders and your options on this link and see if you meet the eligibility criteria.

      I hope this helps.


  9. Default Gravatar
    DavidOctober 24, 2016

    Hello, i’m in need of an $8000.00 loan for a deposit on a truck. The truck is $70,000.00 and have finance for $62,000.00 but that lender requires the truck as security.
    I have a contract for work for the truck earning $3000-4000pw and could easily make $300pw repayments.
    However, as i don’t have the truck yet i am not working and on Centrelink benefits, though i could have the truck working in a week if i have the money. Only have one blemish on my credit rating and don’t currently owe any money. Current assets are a car worth $3000.00 and a few grand in other assets. is there anyone that would be able to help?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethOctober 25, 2016Staff

      Hi David,

      You can find lenders that consider bad credit applicants for loans up to $10,000 on this page, but it’s important to keep in mind that your current financial situation will be taken into account when you’re being considered for a loan. The lender will be able to see that you have a large loan already and no employment (as of yet), and while you have upcoming employment it will be your current financial situation that is considered.

      You should contact the lenders prior to applying to see your chances of being approved.

      Hope this helps,


  10. Default Gravatar
    DaniOctober 9, 2016

    Hi hi there,

    I have a default on my credit report that’s I never paid, it’s been 5 years tomorrow (10/10/11). Will it disappear from my credit file and would I be able to apply for a loan straight away? I’m in need of $5000, I have a full time job but I think my credit rating is only 400.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethOctober 10, 2016Staff

      Hi Dani,

      Veda automatically removes default listings on or before the expiry date. To be sure the listing has been removed, you can order a free copy of your credit file (it takes 10 days to arrive) or pay a fee to receive it overnight. This way you can be sure whether or not the listing has been removed, and request it be removed by Veda if it hasn’t.

      Lenders will see an updated copy of your credit file when they check your credit so only the current listings will be taken into account.

      Hope this helps,


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