Find out more about Trade Support Loans, youth allowance and other credit options available to you during your apprenticeship.
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. In Australia, you’ve 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 are my loan options as an apprentice?
There are a few loan options available to apprentices:
- Trade Support Loan. 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, which could be any time in the future or possibly never.
- Personal loans. If you're looking to purchase a vehicle or need something else during your apprenticeship, you may be considering a personal loan 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.
- Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY. Apprentices aged between 16 and 24 may be eligible for Youth Allowance, while those aged 25 and over may be eligible for Austudy. ABSTUDY is available for apprentices of any age who are Indigenous Australians.
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 $20,000 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 in between one to seven 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 mimumum||More|
|Latitude Financial||Personal Loan||$24,000 p.a.||More|
|ME Bank||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|NAB||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|RACQ||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|RACV||Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|RateSetter||Peer-to-Peer Loan||No minimum||More|
|Society One||Peer-to-Peer Loan||$25,000 p.a.||More|
|St.George||Unsecured Personal Loan||No minimum||More|
|Westpac||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
- 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 your 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 day one and this can soon add up to a tidy sum.
- 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
Personal loan comparisons for apprentices
If you don't qualify for the Australian Government Apprentice Loan Scheme, below are 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