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Credit cards for single parents

Explore credit cards that work as hard for your money as you do.

If you’re a single parent, a credit card could be a convenient way to free up cash flow between paydays or to help manage financial emergencies. There is a range of cards that offer low annual fees, up to 55 interest-free days and have a lower minimum income requirement. Of course, if you meet the eligibility criteria, you're able to apply for any credit card that interests you. Use this guide to help you compare some selected options to find the most suitable one for you.

Comparing credit cards for single parents

It is always important to consider your financial situation and needs before applying for a credit card. If you’re looking for a credit card to use in case of emergencies, for example, you might want to consider one with low or no annual fees. If you plan on using your card to make regular purchases while carrying an outstanding balance, one with a low interest rate could be more suitable. If you have debt to pay off, on the other hand, a low or 0% balance transfer offer could be a useful way to pay down your existing balance without incurring additional interest. Note that most of these cards have a minimum income requirement of at least $15,000 and require applicants to have a good credit history, so you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before you apply.

Rates last updated December 18th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum Income Product Description
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
$1,000
$25,000
$15,000
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$90 p.a.
$6,000
Offers 7 complimentary insurance covers, a 0% p.a. for 24 month balance transfer and access to a 24/7 concierge service for a $90 p.a. annual fee.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$58 p.a.
$1,000
$15,000
Save with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers for 15 months with no BT fee. Plus a low 12.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$55 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a competitively low annual fee and purchase rate.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$55 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a competitively low annual fee and purchase rate.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
$1,000
$15,000
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
$500
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 6 months on purchases, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
$500
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
18.79% p.a.
$80 p.a.
$1,000
$15,000
Earn uncapped Reward Points and get 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 within the first 3 months from approval.
St.George Amplify
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months. Plus, earn 1 Amplify Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, uncapped.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$95 p.a.
$500
A Visa card that offers 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent, complimentary purchase protection insurance and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Card
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months. Plus, your choice of Amplify or Qantas Points.
BankSA Vertigo Classic
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$55 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low variable purchase rate.
BankSA Amplify
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
$500
$80,000
Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months. Plus, your choice of Amplify or Qantas Points.
Westpac 55 Day credit card - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter)
$500
$25,000
Save with 0% p.a. interest for the first 13 months on purchases and a $0 first year annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

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. Of course, the application assessment will also consider other personal factors such as your credit history, and you may still have to be employed. When in doubt, feel free to call the credit provider and discuss your particular situation. It’s always better to make sure before applying rather than having your application rejected.

AustudyCarer's AllowanceChild Support PaymentsChild Care BenefitsCentrelink long-term pensionsParenting PaymentsFoster Care AllowanceFamily Tax Benefit A and BComments/ Required documents
CBAYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesOnly the Newstart allowance isn’t recognised. Required documents include a statement of benefits from Centrelink and an official letter from courts showing child-support payment.
ANZNoYesYes
(Cannot be majority source of income)
N/A*YesNoNoYes"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 three months.
NABNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesBank statements and/or letter from Centrelink showing proof of payment.
Westpac Group (Westpac, St.George)NoNoYes
(if children are under 10 years of age)
Yes
(if children are under 10 years of age)
YesYes
(if children are under 10 years of age)
NoYesNewstart allowance isn’t accepted. You would have to provide documents from Centrelink showing proof of payments.
CUAN/A*YesYesYesYesNoYesYesYou will need to provide documents from Centrelink and the government proving these payments.
Horizon Credit UnionNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoN/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 to increase my chances of credit card approval if I'm a single parent

1. Compare your options

Just as there are many types of credit cards to suit different needs, there are many credit cards on the market that could be suitable and useful for a single parent. It’s important to compare the features, costs, terms and conditions in relation to your spending habits and financial situation.

2. Check the eligibility requirements before applying

Make sure that you meet the card’s eligibility requirements, which usually include:

  • Age. You must usually be at least 18 years of age to apply.
  • Residency. Typically, you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid visa.
  • Income. Most cards have a minimum income requirement which usually starts from $15,000. Some cards, if you refer to the previous section’s table, recognise government assistance payments as an acceptable form of income.
  • Credit score. Most cards require that your credit score be 'good'.

3. Organise the necessary documents

Apart from the standard documents (e.g. proof of identity and address, etc.), you will need to provide proof of income. You may use payslips, bank statements and documents from Centrelink (refer to table in previous section), but make sure to contact your card provider directly to discuss your specific circumstances and confirm the exact documents you need.

4. Understand common reasons for rejection

  • Bad credit history. It’s good practice to request a copy of your free credit score to ensure it looks good and there are no mistakes on it, or so you can find ways to improve it if it’s not ideal. Bad credit history is one of the major reasons why applications are rejected.
  • Too many applications. Making too many credit card applications can backfire on you, because each application leaves a black mark on your credit report that future credit providers often frown upon.
  • Insufficient income. Credit providers will consider your personal situation in its entirety, i.e. do you have sufficient income to be able to pay these future credit card bills, and do you already have existing debt to service?

Your credit card application will always be assessed as a whole, and lenders will take all pertinent factors into consideration when deciding if you are a low-risk borrower. Having a good credit score and proven history of paying your bills on time will help greatly, along with proof of consistent income, whether it be from employment or government assistance.

Images: Shutterstock

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards and frequent flyer expert by day and music maven by night.

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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    October 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

  2. 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      ArraSeptember 21, 2016Staff

      Hi T,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Please note that finder.com.au 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.

      Cheers,
      Arra

  3. Default Gravatar
    March 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

    • finder Customer Care
      DebbieMarch 24, 2016Staff

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for coming through finder.com.au.

      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.

      Cheers,
      Debbie

  4. Default Gravatar
    August 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

    • finder 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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  5. 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

    • finder 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.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    staceyDecember 3, 2014

    Can single mother go for this loan

    • finder 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.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  7. 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

    • finder 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.

  8. 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.

    • finder 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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