centrelink-payments

Don’t let the pension get in the way of getting a loan

Receiving Centrelink payments doesn’t cut off your access to credit. Discover what loan options are available to you.

When you receive Centrelink payments, whether it's a carer's allowance, the disability pension or another type, you might find it difficult to access credit. However, there are options available to you when you need finance. These include banks and credit unions as well as short-term lenders. Government and community financial assistance schemes are also available.

Read the guide below to find out if you're eligible for a short-term loan, also referred to as a micro loan, while receiving Centrelink. You can find out about Centrelink business loans here and if you are looking for a home loan, read our Centrelink home loans guide.

Financial hardship

If you’re experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

Sunshine Short Term Offer

Sunshine Short Term Offer

  • Centrelink borrowers considered
  • Fast approval service
  • Borrow up to $2,000
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100% confidential application

Sunshine Short Term Offer

This is a short term loan offer with a fast and easy online application for bad credit borrowers who are employed. You can apply today to get approved for up to $2,000.

  • Loan amount: $2,000
  • Loan term: 9-15 weeks
  • Turnaround time: 30 Minutes - conditions apply
  • Fees: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
  • Bad credit borrowers OK
  • Quick and easy Approval
  • No Credit Checks
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Personal Loans people on Centrelink could apply for

Rates last updated November 21st, 2017
Name Product Max. Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Costs Fortnightly Repayment $1,500 Product Description
Sunshine Short Term Loans
$2,000
9-15 weeks
30 Minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
Apply online with Sunshine Loans and you could borrow up to $2,000 paid directly into your account. Family Business since 1999.
Credit24 Short Term Loan
$2,000
6-12 months
Same day
20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
$396
A loan with a quick turnaround time and generous loan term. To be eligible, Centrelink must not be 50% or more of your income.
Ferratum Cash Loans
$1,900
up to 6 months
Same Day if approved
20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
$396
A small loan from Ferratum lets you borrow up to $1,900 without a credit check

Compare up to 4 providers

Tips on making your application count

  • Know if you are eligible. Check the minimum eligibility criteria listed on finder.com.au review pages before you apply for a product. If you meet the minimum eligibility you will be able to apply, although keep in mind that you may not be approved as applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • "Centrelink accepted". You may not see this on bank or lender's sites, but that doesn't mean they will not accept your Government benefits as income. You can often check whether the lender requires you to be employed or if they explicitly state that those on Centrelink are unable to apply.
  • Give yourself the best chance of being approved. You may want to get in touch with a lender to discuss your eligibility, or you may even want to call your current bank who you may have a better chance of being approved with.

Loan options you have if you receive Centrelink

Now that you know how much you can borrow, let's take a look at the lenders who may accept Centrelink benefits as genuine income. Click on the links to see their range of products and to see their eligibility requirements.

BrandGenerally accepted?Conditions
Cash Converterstransparent--green-tickYour loan repayments cannot exceed 25% of your gross income.
Cash Firsttransparent--green-tickMust also be employed and not be receiving Newstart or DSP.
Cash Stoptransparent--green-tickYou're able to apply, even if you receive Newstart or Youth Allowance.
Cash TrainNo-
ClearCashtransparent--green-tickYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Credit24transparent--green-tickYou can apply as long as Centrelink payments are not more than 50% of your income.
Dollars Directtransparent--green-tickYou need to have been employed for at least one month.
Ferratum Loanstransparent--green-tickMore than 50% of your total income or 20% of your repayments can't come from Centrelink.
Good to Go Loanstransparent--green-tickYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Loan RangerNo-
Max Financetransparent--green-tickSole income from Newstart, Youth Allowance or Austudy is not accepted.
MoneyMeNo-
MoneyPlusNo-
Money Starttransparent--green-tickYou need to be employed and earn more than 50% of your income through employment.
Nimble Short Term LoansNo-
Rapid Financetransparent--green-tickYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Sunshine Loanstransparent--green-tickYou must have a minimum income $300 per week.
BrandGenerally accepted?Conditions
American Expresstransparent--green-tickHandled on a case-by-case basis
ANZtransparent--green-tickMinimum income $15,000 p.a.
Austudy or Youth Allowance is not eligible
AussieNo-
Bank of Melbournetransparent--green-tickMost Centrelink payments are accepted
Provide a letter from Centrelink (or Department of Social Security, or equivalent) detailing your current entitlements
BankSAtransparent--green-tickAccept all Centrelink payments except Newstart
bankmecutransparent--green-tickAccept Centrelink benefits as income
Bankwesttransparent--green-tickAccept parenting payments and DSP as income
Bendigo Banktransparent--green-tickAccept Centrelink benefits as income
Citibanktransparent--green-tickMinimum income $35,000 p.a.
Will consider the payments if type of Centrelink income is taxable
Commonwealth Banktransparent--green-tickMinimum income $14,004 p.a.
Accepts parenting payments, DSP and carer's pension as income
HSBCtransparent--green-tickMinimum income $30,000 p.a.
will consider the payments if type of Centrelink income is taxable
IMBtransparent--green-tickIt may be considered if you are also earning a wage. Cannot be your sole source of income.
NABtransparent--green-tickHandled on a case-by-case basis and strict criteria applies
St.Georgetransparent--green-tickAccept parenting payments and DSP
Suncorptransparent--green-tickMinimum income $25,000 p.a.
Will consider some Centrelink payments
Westpactransparent--green-tickHandled on a case-by-case basis and depends on the type of income you receive
Parenting payments are not considered a type of income
DSP is accepted

Your other options: Government and community financial assistance

When you receive Centrelink payments or earn a lower income, traditional financial institutions or even payday lenders are not your only options. There is a range of schemes and programs that give you access to credit, often for no or low interest. Here are some of the options that are available:

  • Pension loans scheme. If you're of age pension age, you have equity in Australian real estate and you or your partner receives a reduced age pension rate, you could be eligible for a Pension Loan. These can be short term loans or a loan over a longer period, and how much you're eligible for depends on the equity you have and your age when the loan is granted. Currently, the rate for this scheme is 5.25% and compound interest is charged on how much you owe.
  • NAB StepUP. Developed by NAB and Good Shepherd Microfinance, these are unsecured personal loans of between $800 and $3,000 for individuals and families on low incomes. They are offered at a rate of 5.99% p.a. and are designed for the purchase of essential goods and services.
  • No interest loans scheme (NILS). This is a loan offered by Good Shepherd Microfinance that's designed to be repaid over a 12- to 18-month period. You can apply for between $300 and $1,200 for essential goods and services and you'll be charged no fees and no interest. Eligibility criteria include that you have a Health Care Card/Pension Card or that you are on a low income, that you've been in your current residence for three months or more and you show a willingness and capacity to repay.
  • Centrelink cash advance. Depending on what payment you receive, you could be eligible for an advance on your Centrelink payments. Your eligibility also depends how long you have been receiving payments and how much you receive. Keep in mind you can usually only receive an advance once a year.
  • Concession cards. As a current Centrelink recipient, you may be eligible for a concession card, which you may be unaware of. Check on the Centrelink website to see what's available.
  • Good Money. If you reside in Victoria and receive Centrelink payments, you may be eligible for a low or no interest loan from Good Money. Eligibility includes that you're looking for a loan top cover vehicle repairs, educational and medical expenses, bills or even debts. Visit its website to find out more.
  • Service's Relief Trust Fund. Australian Defence Force Members can access no and low interest loans as well as grants through this fund. These are then repaid through your salary.
  • Fairloans. This non-profit has also partnered with NAB to offer loans to people for up to $3,000. The loans are repaid over a period of 12 months.

What types of personal loans am I eligible for if I receive Centrelink?

You have a few options if you're receiving Centrelink payments and are in need of a loan. Generally, you'll find lenders who can offer you:

  • Personal loans. You're able to apply for personal loans from banks, credit unions and other lenders even when you receive Centrelink. You will have to meet a minimum income requirement and not all types of Centrelink income are accepted. To see what banks will consider you, take a look at the table above.
  • Payday loans. These are small, short-term loans that are available to Centrelink applicants as well as those with bad credit. Also referred to as micro loans, you're normally able to apply for up to $2,000 although sometimes up to $5,000 or more is available.
  • Car loans. If you're looking to purchase a car, you can consider a secured car loan from a lender that accepted Centrelink applicants. You can purchase a new or used car and use it as security for the loan to get a lower rate.
  • Overdrafts. Do you want credit you can use in an emergency? An overdraft is linked to your account and lets you draw up to and including a certain limit. If you have a good history with your bank you can be approved, even if you receive Centrelink.
  • Alternative financing. There are also various community financing programs and alternative sources of financing you can consider as well as an advance from Centrelink. These are outlined on the page above.

Calculate your borrowing ability

If you think you’re eligible for a centrelink loan, look at your most recent Centrelink statement to determine your annual income (this may involve you multiplying your statement by 26 as payments are received every fortnight). Remember to include your supplementary income, or income from your co-borrower.

Understanding your Centrelink payments

It can be easier to be approved for a loan when receiving certain types of Centrelink payments over others. For instance, youth allowance is a common payment that is not accepted by lenders as a form of income. The first step to applying for a centrelink loan is to identify what type of Centrelink benefit you are currently receiving. This can be done by looking at your Centrelink documents. Here is a breakdown of the Centrelink payments that are available and whether they are generally accepted by lenders:

  • Age Pension. This provides you with monetary support when you're retired. Many payday lenders accept this as a form of income while banks may require supplementary income.
  • Carer's Allowance. If you're caring for dependent person, this provides you with monetary support. This is generally accepted as a form of income by lenders.
  • Youth Allowance. Young people aged 16 to 24 who are studying, undertaking an apprenticeship, training, looking for work or sick can be eligible for youth allowance. Many lenders do not accept this as a form of income although you may find some payday lenders will.
  • Austudy. This is for full-time students and Australian apprentices 25 years or older. You may find it difficult to get a loan with this as your income.
  • Foster Care Allowances. This is a fortnightly payment intended to help you support and pay for a foster child in your car. You may be able to include this as part of your income but you will need to earn supplementary income.
  • Disability Pension. People who have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops them from working can be eligible for the Disability Support Pension. While this is generally accepted, you may find some lenders will not accept this as a form of income.
  • Child Support Payments. This is income received to help cover the cost of raising your child or children. You may be able to have it included as part of your income if you can provide a copy of the Family Law Court Order, bank statements proving you receive this income, a letter from your solicitor and a letter from the Child Support Agency (CSA).
  • Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments. This is financial support to help cover the costs of raising children. Family Tax Benefits Part A and B is generally accepted by lenders but having supplementary income will help. The age of your children will also be taken into consideration.
  • Overseas Pension. If you receive the pension from overseas some lenders may recognise it as income. This is generally if your pension is coming from: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. You might be required to show that pension is ongoing for a period of time.

When you're looking for a loan, considering all the options available to you can better place you to find the one that best suits your needs. Hopefully this guide had made this process much easier to understand, and has provided a background about how lenders make their decisions.

Jargon Buster

Supplementary income - Income that you may have from a full time or part time job. This also includes income that may be earned by your partner or joint applicant.

Taxable income - Income that you will need to pay tax on, after you have deducted all expenses you are allowed to claim.

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252 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    IanNovember 5, 2017

    Im on disability pension. How much money can i ask for a loan. I mean what is it maximum money can i get?

    • Staff
      DanielleNovember 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      That would depend on the lender that you are going to choose. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  2. Default Gravatar
    StephOctober 31, 2017

    I’m on a disability pension and require finance for dental. Which finance companies offer loans to people on a pension/unemployed specifically for dental?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanOctober 31, 2017

      Hi Steph,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Some lenders will accept Centrelink payments as a form of income, but, as outlined above, they will have guidelines surrounding this.

      There are loans on this page which may be used for dental work, depending on your eligibility. You may click “Go to Site” green button to proceed with your application of your chosen lender.

      It is worth reminding to speak with a loan consultant or read through their Product Disclosure Statement to ensure this suits your financing needs.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    sharynOctober 21, 2017

    What loans would i be able to get if im on just over 400 a fortnight? Im 19 and on youth
    My rent has gone up, i need to take my kitten to the vet, pay my electricity bill and at the moment i also have no food in my house as i am the only person living in this house and am struggling to feed myself after everything’s been paid but i cant seem to find the right loan company.

    • Staff
      JhezelynOctober 21, 2017Staff

      Hi Sharyn,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Sorry to hear that you’re in that situation. Usually, lenders will look into your ability to repay the loan. You may compare the lenders on this page who may grant you a loan considering your current situation.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    ElishaOctober 16, 2017

    I have a really terrible credit history two young children and only need $2500 for a decent car that will be available in the next couple of weeks. Is there anyone out there that would lend money so it’s deducted from my Centrelink payments.

    • Staff
      DanielleOctober 19, 2017Staff

      Hi Elisha,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You are on the right page. You may review and compare the offers available on the table here. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  5. Default Gravatar
    PeterOctober 5, 2017

    How do I apply for a loan i’m 71 and the wife is 70

    • Staff
      JudithOctober 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      On the page that you’re viewing, scroll down and check the topic, “Loan options you have if you receive Centrelink.” There are Short-Term and Bank options and their eligibility requirements. Please click on the links to find out more information.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Judith

  6. Default Gravatar
    KylieSeptember 30, 2017

    Hello. I am on Centrelink Parenting Payment & Tax benefit solely and I am looking at applying for a car loan. I have some money saved, am I able to get a loan with those payments?

    • Staff
      JudithSeptember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Kylie,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      You will still be able to find car lenders if you are on Centrelink.

      You may consider a secured car loan from a car lender that accepts Centrelink applicants. You can purchase a new or used car and use it as security for the loan to get a lower rate.

      You may also compare car loans in this page.

      Regards,
      Judith

  7. Default Gravatar
    AlanSeptember 26, 2017

    I just receive the Age Pension from Centrelink as my only Income, and I have hardly any Personal Savings, etc., at all.
    I live alone in a small Unit that I rent from “Housing NSW (FACS)”, the State Government Housing Department.
    My Commonwealth Bank MasterCard Credit Card ($15,000 limit) is nearly “maxed out” and I wonder if I could obtain a Personal Loan of some $5,000 or so to pay towards this debt, please. The Interest Rate for such Personal Loan would either have to be Nil or really very low indeed, significantly and greatly very much lower that my Credit Card interest. Monthly Repayments would also have to be quite low in order to be able to be made from my Pension, which is not much at all when having to pay Rent, buy Groceries, pay bills, etc., etc., etc.. Please fully and simply advise me at your convenience. Thank You.

    • Staff
      JhezelynSeptember 27, 2017Staff

      Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Some lenders and institutions do consider Centrelink payments as income, so you may be eligible for a loan. It generally depends on how much you earn, what kind of financial situation you’re in and what kind of payments you receive. To find out if you are eligible, read our comprehensive guide to getting a loan on Centrelink payments. The lenders listed above may consider you for a loan, subject to other eligibility criteria. Please also be sure to check the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions of the loan before submitting your application. You can check these details by clicking the name of the lender on our table.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  8. Default Gravatar
    CorineSeptember 25, 2017

    Can I get loan if $300 please to pay my plane fare?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 25, 2017

      Hello Corine,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Are you on Centrelink? If you are, you are on the right page. :)

      Kindly review the eligibility requirements of both short-term credit lenders and banks, as well as their loan terms on their respective websites.

      Take note that processing time can be as short as same-day or up to one week depending on the completeness of your documents.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    September 11, 2017

    I’m on carer allowance and carer payment, I need $500 to pay for my car reg I was wondering if there’s a way that I can get loan from somewhere as my bank won’t approve me for one

    • Staff
      MaySeptember 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can actually review the criteria and speak to one of the lenders listed above for your loan options and approval.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  10. Default Gravatar
    YasinSeptember 7, 2017

    Hi, I have $8000 owing on my credit check which is external now. I receive Disability support pension and have a NSW Trustee and Guardian appointed to me under a FMO. What is my best option for a loan of up to $2000?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 7, 2017

      Hello Yasin,

      Thank you for your question.

      The listed lenders on this page contains the loan products you may qualify for. You may review the rates provided and the terms of the product on the lender’s website prior application.

      Please be advised that finder.com.au is unable to recommend a specific product to our customers as this is largely dependent on their personal preferences, financial needs and other factors. There are also credit guidelines that vary per lender that would affect your approval, therefore it will be recommended to inquire this with your prospect lender directly.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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