Loans for apprentices
Find out more about Trade Support Loans, youth allowance and other credit options available to you during your apprenticeship.
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If you've started out on an apprenticeship or plan to do so in the near future, you may need to take out a loan to help you manage your finances. It can be daunting applying for an apprentice loan, especially if you don't have much of a financial history. However, in Australia, you’ve still got multiple loan options to choose from. The Australian Government offers apprentices Trade Support Loans and there are also apprentice and standard personal loans offered by major banks.
Find out about your options in this guide.
What's in this guide?
- What are my loan options as an apprentice?
- The Government's 2020-2021 Budget and the Apprenticeship support scheme
- How do I compare my apprentice loan options?
- What are the benefits of a Trade Support Loan?
- What income do I need to receive to be eligible for a personal loan?
- What to look out for with apprentice loans
- Ready to apply?
- Compare personal loans apprentices can apply for
What are my loan options as an apprentice?
There are a few loan options available to apprentices:
Trade Support Loans
If you get a Trade Support Loan from the Australian Government, you don't have to make repayments until your income reaches a minimum income threshold ($45,880 for 2019-20). This could be any time in the future, or possibly never.
Trade Support Loans are available up to $21,078 and are paid monthly in arrears. If you successfully complete your apprenticeship, you'll receive a 20% discount on your loan amount.
If you're looking to purchase a vehicle or need something else during your apprenticeship, you may be considering a car loan or personal loan for apprentices from a bank or lender. Some lenders will consider apprentices for loans, and you may even be able to take advantage of interest rate discounts.
How much you'll qualify for with a personal loan will depend on factors such as your:
- Earnings. Your apprenticeship wage will affect the size of loan you qualify for. The more you earn, the more you will be able to borrow.
- Age. If you're 21 years old or over, you qualify as an "adult" and may be able to qualify for greater finance than if you are younger.
- Assets. If you own any assets of value, such as a vehicle (this could be the family car), using it as security could help you to be approved for a personal loan.
- Savings. If you have any savings in your name, these could also be used as security on the loan.
- Credit history. Your credit score will affect a lender's decision as to whether or not to offer you a loan. Luckily, you can check your credit score for free with Finder.
Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY
- Youth Allowance. Apprentices aged between 16 and 24 may be eligible for Youth Allowance. The amount that you're eligible for may vary.
- Austudy. Apprentices aged 25 and over may be eligible for Austudy. Austudy is available up to $1,156, which includes a $550 coronavirus supplement as of late April 2020.
- ABSTUDY. ABSTUDY is also available for apprentices of any age who are Indigenous Australians. The amount that you're eligible for may vary.
The Government's 2020-2021 Budget and the Apprenticeship support scheme
Prospective apprentices should be aware that that the Australian Government has put in place a record breaking investment in upskilling and reskilling Australians in its 20-21 budget. This part of the budget aims to boost the economy and help get Australians back in work during the current recession.
This scheme includes a $1.2 billion investment to create 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships, with a 50% wage subsidy for the businesses who employ said apprentices and trainees.
The wage subsidy for apprentices will support the following industries:
How do I compare my apprentice loan options?
- Interest. Trade Support Loans don't attract any interest and, in addition, if you complete your apprenticeship you receive a 20% discount. This essentially means you only repay 80% of what you borrow. Loans for apprentices offered by banks can attract fixed or variable interest rates. Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY are government allowances and not required to be paid back.
- Loan amount and term. You can get up to $21,078 through a Trade Support Loan and the Tools For Your Trade loan offers up to $5,500. The latter comes in the form of a grant that you don't have to repay. Funds for the Trade Support Loan are disbursed in stages over four years. You have to start repaying it only after your income reaches a minimum income threshold. Just how much you can borrow from a bank is up to any given bank's discretion, while the loan term in such cases is normally between 1 and 7 years.
- Fees. While most loans for apprentices do away with the majority of fees, this is not always the case and some loans end up charging establishment fees, disbursement fees, settlement fees and early exit fees.
- Features. If you're taking an apprentice loan from a bank, find out if it allows you to make extra repayments without charging penalties. This feature allows you to pay your loan off sooner. If your lender allows you to make extra repayments, find out if you can redraw this money if you need it in the future. You can also look for a loan that is part of a package which includes a cheque account and a debit card.
What are the benefits of a Trade Support Loan?
- Means to better skills. If a lack of money is keeping you from getting an apprenticeship and furthering your career, you can easily turn to an apprenticeship loan or a student loan to take care of your finances and set yourself on a path to a better future.
- Flexible loan purpose. In most instances, you can use the funds you receive through such loans for different purposes like buying tools of the trade, buying used vehicles and even taking care of everyday living expenses.
- Repayment flexibility. In many instances, you don't have to start making repayments until you start earning or until your income reaches a minimum income threshold. When it comes to making repayments, you can choose from making weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. In addition, extra repayments are also allowed.
What income do I need to receive to be eligible for a personal loan?
Banks and lenders usually have set minimum income criteria for you to be eligible for a personal loan. Take a look at the loan options below to see if you meet the income requirements:
|Lender||Loan type||Minimum income||Learn more|
|act.||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|ANZ||Personal Loan||$15,000 p.a.||More|
|Bankwest||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Bank of Melbourne||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|BankSA||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|bcu||Unsecured Multipurpose Loan||No minimum||More|
|Bendigo Bank||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Citibank||Ready Credit||$40,000 p.a.||More|
|Commonwealth Bank||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|CUA||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|IMB||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Latitude Financial||Personal Loan||$24,000 p.a.||More|
|ME Bank||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|NAB||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Plenti||Peer-to-Peer Loan||No minimum||More|
|RACQ||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|RACV||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Society One||Peer-to-Peer Loan||$30,000 p.a.||More|
|St.George||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Westpac||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Wisr||Unsecured personal loan||No minimum||More|
|Lender||Loan type||Minimum income||Learn more|
|Cash Converters||Medium Personal Loan||$1,000 per week||More|
|Cash Train||Cash Loan||$1,200 per month||More|
|Credit24||Personal Loan||$1,000 per month||More|
|DollarsDirect||Short Term Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Fair Go Finance||Personal Loan||$500 per week||More|
|Ferratum||Payday Loan||No minimum||More|
|MoneyMe||Short Term Loan||No minimum||More|
|Nimble||Short Term Loan||No minimum||More|
|Sunshine Loans||Short Term Loan||$450 per week||More|
|Swoosh Finance||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
What to look out for with apprentice loans
- Not comparing. Before applying for an apprentice loan, make sure you're not doing it on the back of a hasty decision. This is because if you drop out of your apprenticeship any time after you start, you still have to repay the loan.
- Interest capitalisation. With some student loans, while you might not have to start making repayments until you receive your first pay, they start attracting interest from the first day, and this can soon add up.
- Choosing ineligible alternatives. Before you choose any particular apprenticeship, find out if you can get a loan for it in the first place. For example, while some might require you to enrol in an approved Australian Apprenticeship traineeship course, others support most Certificate III and IV qualifications as well as certain Certificate II horticulture and agriculture qualifications.
Ready to apply?
Before you apply for an apprenticeship loan, take some time to compare the offerings on this page. Once you find a suitable option, simply click on the corresponding "Go to site" button to start the application process. Remember that different student and apprentice loans come with different eligibility criteria, which can include the following:
- You should be between 18 and 25 years of age
- You should be part of an approved Australian Apprenticeship course that is at least 12 months in duration
To complete an application for a typical apprentice loan, you may have to submit the following:
- Your contact details
- Copy of enrolment letter or statement
- Copy of registration from training provider
Compare personal loans apprentices can apply for
If you don't qualify for the Australian Government Apprentice Loan Scheme, below is a comparison of low interest personal loans. These can be used for tools and equipment for your apprenticeship.
Remember to compare all the available options before you apply for a personal loan as an apprentice. Use the comparison table above to research your options and do your due diligence before clicking through to a lender
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Personal Loan OffersImportant Information*
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 25.69% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $50,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 10.5% p.a.
Apply for up to $50,000 to use for a variety of purposes without needing to add security. Available to self-employed applicants. Note: These rates are available until 2 February 2021. Credit, eligibility criteria and terms & conditions apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% 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.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% 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.
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