Credit cards for people on Centrelink

Being on Centrelink doesn't mean you automatically can't get a credit card. Just make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria. Compare cards with low minimum credit limits.

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Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee Min credit limit Minimum income
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
$0
$2,000
$35,000
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 28 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
$500
$30,000
Save with a $0 annual fee for the first year, plus, a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 28 months
$55
$500
Enjoy a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months, with no balance transfer fee.
humm90 Mastercard
23.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 36 months
$99
$1,000
$25,000
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for 36 months, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 28 months
$55
$500
Save with a 0% interest on balance transfers for 28 months, with no balance transfer fee.
MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard
16.99% p.a.
$0
$1,000
Get approved quickly online and start using your card right away. Plus, the ability to transfer money to a bank account.
NAB StraightUp Card
N/A
$0
$1,000
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 28 months
$55
$500
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee), a low purchase rate and annual fee.
BankSA No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$0
$500
Offers 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30
$1,000
Receive complimentary insurance covers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
$1,000
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
$0
$2,000
$40,000
Earn 0.75 Velocity Points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card with this no-frills frequent flyer card.
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Just because you're on Centrelink doesn't mean you can't get a credit card. You just have to make sure you understand and meet the eligibility requirements. The criteria will vary but usually include a minimum income requirement and a good credit history.

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 groupGreat Southern BankHorizon Credit Union
AustudyN/A*
Carer's allowance
Child support payments
Child care benefitsN/A*
Centrelink long-term pensions
Parental/Maternity leave payments
Foster care allowance
Family tax benefit A and B
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).

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.

        Best,
        Maria

      Default Gravatar
      TSeptember 8, 2016

      Hi,

      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 Finder 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 check our guide about improving your credit after bankruptcy. It should also help you know how to get a credit card if bankrupt or repaying debt.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,
        Arra

      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 your inquiry.

        Sorry to hear about your situation. If you are receiving Centrelink payments, you may apply from the lenders who accepts loan application for people receiving Centrelink payments or receiving a low income. These include loans from short-term lenders, banks, and credit unions. You can also avail of Government and community financial assistance schemes.

        Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions of the loan to ensure that you got everything covered before you apply.

        I hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Debbie

      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 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, you can also see our balance transfer credit card comparison page.

        Also, you might want to take a look at our bad credit car loans 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. Before applying, please also 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.

        I hope this helps.

        Thanks,
        Sally

      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.

        You may find our guide to credit cards for single parents useful to know your chances of approval while receiving Centrelink benefits. You can also compare credit cards with low income requirements. 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.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

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