Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Bad credit car loans Australia

You can still get a car loan if you have bad credit, but you might need to meet extra criteria. Find out what you need to know.

If you need to replace your current car or are looking to make a new purchase, unless you have the cash to pay outright, you should consider your car finance options. This can be tricky if you have a mark on your credit file or a low credit score.

You can still get a car loan if you have bad credit.

In fact, lenders may be more willing to provide bad credit car finance because they can use the car as security for the loan.

3 things to know about bad credit car loans

  • You may have to attach the car as security to the loan, meaning it can be repossessed if you miss a repayment or default
  • The bad credit car loan may come with higher interest loan and fees than standard car loans
  • You may not be able to borrow a large amount of money with a bad credit car loan

Bad credit car loans for small amounts

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Sunshine Short Term Loans
9-20 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $2,500 that you repay over 9-20 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Nimble Small Loan
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.

Bad credit commodoreFeatures to know (and ask) about bad credit car loans

Interest rates

The interest rate charged will be a percentage and affects how much your repayments will be. You can compare the rate to other loans to find out how competitive it is. Remember that with bad credit car loans, interest rates are usually higher and therefore less competitive.

Your rate will either be fixed and so remain unchanged over the term of your loan, or variable, where it will be able to change.


Some lenders charge a monthly account fee or administration fee on their bad credit car loans, which generally range from $5 to $15 per month. Many will also charge an establishment fee to create your loan, and this fee can be as little as $100 or as high as $600 or greater.

Finally, some loans will also include a fee if you repay any or all of the loan before the agreed loan term date. If you intend to make extra repayments to pay your debt off sooner, check how much you might be charged. You want a loan that doesn't penalise you for paying off your debts because, otherwise, all these fees can add up and significantly increase how much you pay over the term of the loan.

Secured vs unsecured

Bad credit car loans can be either secured or unsecured. Secured loans can be easier to be approved for because they are less of a risk for the lender; if you default on the loan, the lender is able to take your security (the vehicle you purchase) from you to cover its losses. Because of this, secured loans may come with lower interest rates and fees.

Loan terms

This is how long you have to repay your loan and varies between lenders, but it can be as little as 6 months up to 7 years. Shorter loan terms mean higher repayments because you have less time to pay off the loan. A longer loan term will give you lower repayments but also means you pay more in interest because interest is charged each year.

You can use the car loan repayments calculator here to see how loan terms affect what you pay over the life of the loan.

Loan flexibility and repayments

Bad credit car loans come with different levels of flexibility that might help you pay them off more easily and quickly. For example, can you make extra repayments and pay your loan off early without incurring a fee?

Will you need to take out insurance?

As the lender will be using your car as security for your loan, they may require that the vehicle be insured until the loan is fully repaid.

It's also a good idea to use the loan calculator below to calculate how much you'll be paying back on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. In order to get the best deal, the calculator also gives you a comparison feature for various loan options.

Back to top

Bad credit car loan for large loans

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $5000 Loan)
Nimble Medium Loan
62 days to 48 months
1 hour - conditions apply*
Application fee of $400 + 47.62% p.a. for $2,050 to $5,000
Apply for up to $5,000 and have up to 48 months to repay.
Fair Go Finance Medium Personal Loan
7 to 19 months
Within 24 hours
Establishment fee of $437 to $771
A larger loan up to $5,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
Fair Go Finance Large Personal Loan
14 – 24 months
Within 24 hours
Establishment fee of $546 – $795
Apply for a loan up to $10,000 and have up to 2 years to repay. Bad credit and casually employed borrowers considered. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.

Calculate your bad credit car loan amounts

Simply enter your details in the calculator below to get an idea of where you stand with your borrowing power.

Back to top

What to avoid with your bad credit car loan

Unfortunately, a lot of dodgy and unlicensed lenders operate in the bad credit lending space. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign up for a bad credit car loan. Here's what to avoid:

  • Unlicensed lenders
  • Unnecessary or exorbitant fees (compare with similar lenders to see what is reasonable)
  • Unnecessary contract stipulations

Check review sites where other consumers have rated the performance of car loan lenders, peruse discussion boards on car sales websites and car enthusiast sites to see what other people have to say about certain lenders, or ask the advice of people you know who've been in a similar position when financing a car purchase. You can also look up the lender's licence numbers to check they are legit and check their customer service numbers are working before you submit your application.

Back to top

Alternatives to bad credit car loans

If a bad credit car loan isn't the right choice for you, there are other options to consider. You could, for example, use a credit card to buy a car. The main way to pay for a car purchase is to use a low interest rate or 0% offer, which could let you pay off the balance gradually without the hefty charges associated with a regular credit card or personal loan. Read our guide to paying for a car with a credit card here.

Another way to avoid going down the bad credit car loan route is to wait until the bad marks on your credit file are gone. You can also work to improve your credit rating by making regular repayments on your current debt, removing incorrect listings on your file, paying your bills on time and more. You can see more in our guide here.

Frequently asked questions about bad credit car loans

Back to top

Picture: Shutterstock

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JustinOctober 10, 2018

    Hi my name is justin and i am a client of the state trusties and i have my case manager here with me that would give you pert mission to be able to apply for a loan to help get to a funeral and get accommodation in a hotel or motel while he is a the funeral he wants to borrow 600 dollars pls and my name is Zac

      JohnOctober 10, 2018Finder

      Hi Justin,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You may refer to our list of short-term loans to find the lender that suits you. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    AndreaAugust 20, 2017


    Ive been discharged of bankrrupcy for 6 months and I have seem a financial broker and they refused to give me a car loan.
    My question is who’s a reliable and not a rip off lender that I can use?

      DeeAugust 20, 2017Finder

      Hi Andrea,

      Thanks for your question.

      The lenders we have listed above may consider you for a car loan. You may use our table to compare which options are more suitable for you based on cost or fortnightly repayment.

      Kindly review also the eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of the loan before clicking the “go to site” button to submit your application.


    Default Gravatar
    AmyAugust 17, 2016

    I am looking for a bank who will do a secured car loan for someone who is currently bankrupt.

      ElizabethAugust 17, 2016Finder

      Hi Amy,

      You can find a list of lenders that consider current and discharged bankrupts through our bankrupt loans page.
      I hope this helps,


    Default Gravatar
    JasmineSeptember 11, 2014

    I need your advice on Motor Finance wizard, we are looking at getting a car through them but I am having my doubts.

      ShirleySeptember 12, 2014Finder

      Hi Jasmine,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are number of complaints about Motor Finance Wizard online. I’d recommend that you get in touch with a government body, such as LegalAid or ASIC to confirm its validity.

      Please note that is an independent organisation. We are not owned by any Bank or Insurer and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider.


Go to site