If you’ve got a bad credit history it can be hard to get a loan from the bank. However, there are bad credit loan options available.
You'll just need to show that you can repay the loan by providing evidence of a regular income, whether that's through employment or Centrelink. If you're unemployed and need a loan, read our guide here.
Do 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: Have you been caught short? You can 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.
What companies offer bad credit loans up to $5,000?
You have various options when it comes to finding bad credit loans up to $5,000. You can consider any of the below. Click through to the review page to find out more details on the loan.
Find out more
Fair Go Finance
$500 to $10,000
Earn at least $500 per week
Only consider single parent, family tax benefit and carer's allowance for Centrelink income
Employed on a casual, part-time or full-time basis
Bad credit and self-employed applicants are considered
$500 to $5,000
Bad credit, Centrelink and unemployed applicants are considered
$2,001 to $5,000
Good to Go Loans
$500 to $5,000
Receive regular income
Centrelink borrowers considered
$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
Tips on being approved for a bad credit loan
There is no single surefire way to ensure you are approved for a fast cash loan application. When you're considering applying for a loan and your credit history isn't perfect, keep the following tips in mind:
Check the eligibility criteria before applying. Lenders have set eligibility criteria which you can check on finder.com.au review pages. Check to see if you meet these criteria, and if you're unsure you can call the lender to discuss your situation.
Order a copy of your credit file. While you may think you have a good idea of your credit history, your credit file is the only true record of your financial history and is what lenders will use to judge your creditworthiness. You can order a free copy of your credit file from the main credit reporting agencies in Australia.
Compare your bad credit loan options before you apply. Every application you make shows up on your credit file, so make sure you compare your options before you apply to minimise the number of applications you make.
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.
When you apply, your credit history may or may not be checked (this will be disclosed by the lender beforehand), but bad credit will not disqualify you from borrowing.
How do I know if I have bad credit?
Generally, if you have any black marks on your credit file (defaults, bankruptcies, etc.) you can assume that you 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.
Fair / Average
Weak / Below average
Options for an unsecured $5,000 loan with a good credit rating
If you don't have bad credit you can be eligible for a loan from a bank, credit union or standalone lender at a more competitive rate than bad credit loans. You may be able to borrow up to a limit of $5,000 and not have to attach an asset as a guarantee.
Updated August 25th, 2019
Compare bad credit loan options below if you need to borrow $5,000
Updated August 25th, 2019
How much do $5,000 loans cost?
If you're borrowing from a non-authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI), 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 to two 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 consider when comparing $5,000 loans
The convenience of an online application The convenience of online application forms and quick approval systems can save you time. You’ll also have a chance to compare a range of credit providers, improving your choices.
There are minimal or no credit checks It's common to have difficulty being approved for a personal loan from other credit providers if you’ve got 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, and if you have major credit problems you can consider a no credit check loan.
The simple repayment terms You'll generally have your repayments lined up with when you get paid, and some lenders will give you the option of how to make repayments. Direct debit repayments are offered by most lenders; you don't have to worry about making the repayments yourself, you just need the money available in your account.
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 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 make sure you evaluate the lender before you apply.
Things to avoid with bad credit loans
There are quite a few risks associated with loans for people with bad credit. Avoid the pitfalls outlined below:
Not being cautious. ASIC has issued a warning to those intending to take out a bad credit personal loan due to high fees and inflexibility.
Not considering the affordability. Make sure you think twice before applying for a bad credit loan up to $5,000 – the repayment period is a lot shorter than standard loans which means your repayments are quite high. Lenders usually offer calculators to show an indication of your repayments.
Not considering the fees as well as the interest rate. Lenders may charge you an interest rate as well as fees and other charges. Check these before you apply and consider the total cost of the loan.
*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 you can apply directly on the lender's website.
What happens after I send my application?
This will differ between lenders, but you will usually receive a notification as to whether you have been approved 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 am unemployed?
When an institution lends you money, they want to be certain that you can repay the debt within the allocated timeframe. If you are unemployed your income may be limited unless you are receiving Centrelink benefits. If the majority of your income comes from Centrelink payments, you may still be eligible for a personal loan – please read our guide to getting a loan on Centrelink before applying.
Matt Corke is the head of publishing in Australia for Finder. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.