Credit cards for single parents

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If you’re a single parent, you can apply for any Australian credit card as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. The specific criteria will vary between cards but usually includes a minimum income requirement and a good credit history. You can use this guide to compare credit cards and see a list of providers that consider applicants who receive government benefits such as carer's allowance and child support payments.

Can I apply for a credit card if I’m a single parent receiving government assistance?

To meet the income criteria, some credit cards will accept your application with proof of Centrelink payments such as Austudy, Carer's Allowance, Child Support Payments, Child Care Benefits, Centrelink long-term pensions, Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Family Tax Benefit A and B.

The credit card issuer will also consider other factors including your credit history, employment status, expenses and liabilities. If you're not sure if you're eligible, contact the issuer directly to discuss your options. You can compare some Australian credit card issuers by whether or not they consider specific benefits below.

BenefitCBAANZNABWestpac groupCUAHorizon Credit Union
Carer's allowanceYesYesNoNoYesNo
Child support paymentsYesYesNoYesYesNo
Child care benefitsYesN/A*NoYesYesNo
Centrelink long-term pensionsYesYesNoYesYesNo
Parental/Maternity leave paymentsYesNoNoYesNoNo
Foster care allowanceYesNoNoNoYesNo
Family tax benefit A and BYesYesYesYesYesNo
Comments/ required documentsNewstart allowance isn't recognised. You will need to provide a statement of benefits from Centrelink and an official letter from courts showing child-support payment."Signed Statement of Position" from Centrelink or Family & Community Services confirming the ongoing payment, or bank statement showing consistent payments have been received in the last 3 months.You will need to provide bank statements and/or letter from Centrelink showing proof of payment.Newstart allowance isn't accepted. You will need to provide documents from Centrelink showing proof of payments.

Parenting payments, child support and child care benefits are accepted if the children are <10 years old.

You will need to provide documents from Centrelink and the government proving these payments.N/A*

*N/A - In this instance, the institution doesn’t have a set policy on this, so you’ll need to contact them directly to discuss it on a case-by-case basis.

How do I apply for a credit card if I get income from more than one source?

If you receive income from a combination of sources – such as child support payments, the JobSeeker allowance and a casual job – you should include details of each payment when you apply for the credit card.

Applications can vary between issuers, but you typically need to nominate a primary source of income, and then include other types of income and assets in the financial section. You will also need to submit supporting documentation for each type of income, which could include bank statements, payslips and statements from the income providers that verify the details. And before you apply, check that you total combined income meets the card's minimum income requirement (if one is listed).

Compare credit cards with low minimum income requirements

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum income
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
Earn 0.75 Qantas Points for your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card on this no-frills frequent flyer card.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 24 months and a $200 cashback offer.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB StraightUp Card
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
BankSA Vertigo
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
BankSA No Annual Fee
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I increase my chances of credit card approval if I'm a single parent?

1. Compare your options

There are many types of credit cards on the market to suit different needs. Depending on your financial situation, you might want to consider a card with low minimum income requirements. If you'll only use a card for emergencies, consider a card with $0 annual fee that won't burn a hole in your pocket while you're not using it. If you think you'll be carrying a balance from month to month, consider a card that charges a low purchase interest rate. If you pay on plastic regularly and always pay your balance in full each statement period, you could reward your spending with frequent flyer points.

Once you've narrowed down the type of card you want, compare a few different options and consider the rates, fees, features and eligibility requirements that apply before picking a card.

2. Check the eligibility requirements before applying

Before you apply, check if you meet the card's requirements. This usually includes:

  • Age. You must usually be at least 18 years of age to apply.
  • Residency. Some providers only approve applicants who are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid visa.
  • Income. Most cards have a minimum income requirement which usually starts from $15,000.
  • Credit score. Most credit card issuers will only consider applicants with good credit scores.

3. Organise the necessary documents

You'll be asked to provide proof of identification (such as your driver's licence or passport) and proof of income. This may include recent payslips, bank statements and documents from Centrelink.

4. Only apply for one card at a time

Every time you apply for a credit card, this is listed as a hard inquiry on your credit report. If you apply for too many credit cards in a short period of time, this can lower your credit score and raise red flags to future lenders when assessing your credit report. Instead, compare your options and only apply for one card at a time. If your application is rejected, spend some time improving your credit score and comparing your options before you apply for another one.

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16 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SandraOctober 24, 2017

    Hi if I’m on Centrelink payments can I get a creditcard

      Default Gravatar
      MariaOctober 24, 2017

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      It’s possible as some credit card issuers would accept Centrelink payments as part of your income. However, they would still consider other personal factors such as your credit history and your other sources of income.

      You may refer to the table on this page for the accepted government assistance payments for each bank/institution.

      I hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    TSeptember 8, 2016


    I am almost finished paying off a part 9 debt agreement (one payment left!) I’m a single mother on parenting payment. My taxable income is approx $19,000. I want a credit card with a low limit just for emergencies for eg if my car needs repairs. Is there any chance of me being approved for a credit card? Or will my credit rating be affected forever because of the part 9 agreement?

    Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ArraSeptember 21, 2016Staff

      Hi T,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Please note that is an online comparison service and is not in a position to recommend specific products, providers and services.

      To give you some tips on increasing your chance of getting approved for a credit card, you might to check our guide about getting a credit card if bankrupt or repaying debt.

      I hope this has helped.


    Default Gravatar
    SarahMarch 23, 2016

    I’m a single mum with 2 babies who has been left with bad credit and have to start from scratch. I’m trying to get back on my feet but I need help and my daughters 3 birthday is around the corner. I’m looking for anything that can help me get through and something I can use for back up

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DebbieMarch 24, 2016Staff

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for coming through

      As on online comparison service, we are not in the position to recommend specific products, issuers or services.

      You may wish to check other options from our payday loan lenders comparison here.

      I hope this has helped.


    Default Gravatar
    sarahAugust 28, 2015

    I’m a single mum of 2 young children on centerlink with bad credit I’m looking to get all my past and new debts rolled into one with a little cash left over to buy a cheap car. Where can I go

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyAugust 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      There are a few options available to you.

      Perhaps you should try debt consolidation wherein your all your loans will be combined into one. With minimized rates and fees, it’ll be easier for you to get rid of debt.

      For more information, see our Balance Transfer Credit Card comparison page and Personal Loans for Debt Consolidation page.

      Also, you might want to take a look at our Bad Credit Car Loans page for more tips.

      Make sure to compare your options while considering your own financial situation to find which alternative is of most value to you.

      I hope this helps.



    Default Gravatar
    tiffanyFebruary 3, 2015

    I am looking to get a credit card. I am a single parent on center link benefits. my credit isn’t the best

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanFebruary 3, 2015Staff

      Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for your inquiry!

      Please see this page for a list of lenders who accept Centrelink benefits as a form of income.

      I hope this has helped.



    Default Gravatar
    staceyDecember 3, 2014

    Can single mother go for this loan

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ElizabethDecember 4, 2014Staff

      Hi Stacey,

      Thanks for your question.

      These are credit cards rather than loans, but you are still able to apply for them if you want to. If you’re interested in the cards on this page you can click the titles to read a review and check if you meet the eligibility criteria (minimum income, etc.) If you do, you can click the ‘go to site’ button to apply.

      If you are looking for a loan rather than a credit card, you can find out more about loans for single parents on this page.

      I hope this has helped.



    Default Gravatar
    TamaraApril 11, 2014

    Hi, I am a single mum of one, & I receive $26,477.68 per year. Is there any credit card that I am eligible for? Thank you

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 14, 2014Staff

      Hi, Tamara.

      You can check your eligibility for a product by having a look at the application requirements table at the bottom of each card’s review page. It will list a minimum income requirement and other criteria you have to meet in order to apply for a card. The fact that you’re a single mother shouldn’t matter.

      Thanks for your question.

    Default Gravatar
    MoniqueJuly 11, 2013

    Is there a credit card provider available for a single mother on Centrelink benefit with child support? I have total benefits of approx $1400 per fortnight and feel a credit card would be beneficial to me. Thanks.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 11, 2013Staff

      Hi Monique. Thanks for your question. Please refer to the minimum eligibility requirements at the bottom of the review page for each card. If you meet these requirements, you’re eligible to apply for the card. Centrelink payments and child support are considered an eligible form of income. I hope this helps. Jacob.

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