Couple on centrelink applying for loan

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

Rates and Fees verified correct on December 6th, 2016

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 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.

A way to borrow if you’re receiving Centrelink benefits

Ferratum Cash Loans

Borrow up to $1000 with bad credit

Ferratum offer no credit check loans with a fast and easy online application. Apply today to get approved.

  • Loan Amount: $1,900
  • Loan Term: Up to 6 mths
  • No credit checks
  • Turnaround Time: Same Day if approved
  • Total Cost of Borrowing $100: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
  • Must be 18+
  • 50% of your income must not be Centrelink
  • Confidential and secure!

    Personal Loans people on Centrelink could apply for

    Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
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    Tips on making your application count

    • Know if you are eligible. Check the minimum eligibility criteria listed on 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.
    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 LoansNo-
    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
    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 forms of 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. 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, 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 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 a dependant 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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    192 Responses to Don’t let the pension get in the way of getting a loan

    1. Default Gravatar
      Cecilia | November 2, 2016

      I am a mother of five but I have three children that I take care and received parenting payments for. It’s hard for me to borrow money from the bank to buy a new car and I was wondering if you might be able to help me.

      • Staff
        Jason | November 2, 2016

        Hi Cecilia.

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        You may check out the lenders and banks that’s featured on this page to check if you can borrow or apply for a loan from them. They might be able to lend or offer you loan options as long as you meet their eligibility requirements.

        Please note that is a financial information service and general information website that helps consumers make better decisions. We are not a loan service provider or bank.

        I hope this helps.


    2. Default Gravatar
      | October 16, 2016

      I was wondering if you have
      Centrelink loans.My car is a lemon.

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | October 17, 2016

        Hi Dawn,

        You can find a list of lenders that will consider you for a loan on this page. You can click through the find the eligibility criteria of each lender, and when you’re ready to apply you can click “Go to Site”.

        Hope this helps,


    3. Default Gravatar
      BONISWA | October 5, 2016

      How much can I get I pay child support grant

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | October 5, 2016

        Hi Boniswa,

        Your eligibility for a loan will depend on the amount you earn, whether or not you’re employed and your credit history. You can take a look at your options on the page above and see if you meet the eligibility criteria (listed on each review page). If you are not currently employed you can compare your options on this page.

        Hope this helps,


    4. Default Gravatar
      Michelle | September 28, 2016

      Hi! I need a car loan as my car has broken down.I am on disability pension.I wonder would I qualify

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | September 28, 2016

        Hi Michelle,

        The lenders on the page above will consider you for a loan even if you’re receiving the disability pension. Your eligibility depends on whether you meet the minimum criteria and your financial situation.

        I hope this helps,


    5. Default Gravatar
      sharon | September 3, 2016

      I’m on newstart allowance, I get about $600 a fortnight. Just want to know, is there any place that i could get a car loan for amount $10,000 . And if i need a deposit i could get it let me know if there is. Thank you.

      • Default Gravatar
        Tabatha | September 18, 2016

        im a single parent off six beautiful children I’m not working I’m studying a diploma in community service. i will be finished my diploma in 2017 were i will go on and work. I’m on PPS family tax benefit A and B I have saved up $2500 for a second hand car. I am in need of 7 to 9 seater car. I am able at pay a loan back a loan at $300 per fortnight. $600 monthly. i have a good credit rating. I’m in need for a loan around $6000 to get car that i need for work when i start. and for my children. Is there a loan out for me. Thank you

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | September 19, 2016

        Hi Tabatha,

        Thanks for your question.

        The loan options for those receiving Centrelink benefits is outlined on this page. I can’t recommend a specific lender to you but you can look through your options on that page and click through to providers to see what loans they have on offer.



      • Staff
        Elizabeth | September 5, 2016

        Hi Sharon,

        If you aren’t currently employed you can compare your loan options on this page.

        Hope this helps,


    6. Default Gravatar
      Ava | August 15, 2016

      Hi I receive centerlink family tax benefit part a and b up to 880 with 3 children and living with my partner.Im looking at finding finance for a car.but without my partner being included as I have already tried not long ago with a joint application that was declined. I’ve heard from loan places when enquiring about finance that they work with centrelink not sure what that means but can possibly offer up to a 5000 loan. Is this correct? if so considering my circumstances do you think it’s possible to get this loan? Tia.

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | August 16, 2016

        Hi Ava,

        Some lenders, including those listed on the page above, consider those receiving Centrelink payments as income for a loan. Take a look at the table above and ensure you meet the criteria listed. You can click through to the lender’s page to see what type of loans are on offer.

        I hope this helps,


    7. Default Gravatar
      catriona | July 15, 2016

      Hello. I need a centrelink loan for free I do get centrelink payments I need $480 dollars and can you give this money ti me in hand?

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | July 18, 2016

        Hi Catriona,

        One option you have is a Centrelink advance that brings forward one of your Centrelink payments. There are also some lenders that will consider lending to you if you receive Centrelink payments. If you want to consider some of your alternative options, you can find out about them on this page.

        Hope this helps,


    8. Default Gravatar
      Chris | June 18, 2016

      I’m on centrelink, I get $634.50 per fortnight , My TV has just given up the ghost. I’ve looked at radio rentals and rent for keeps but it’s really not worth it as you pay way more for the item. Can I get a credit card on centrelink ?? Or what’s the best way to get a decent tv?? Not a cheap piece of junk as there are so many out there.

      • Staff
        Matt | July 6, 2016

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your TV.

        Most credit cards require a certain income threshold to be reached to be eligible. Short term lenders may have less strict criteria attached, and it might be useful to compare the lenders on this page.

        There are also alternative finance options such as Certegy EziPay.

        I hope this information has been of help.


    9. Default Gravatar
      kirstie | May 25, 2016

      We are looking at starting a small business, and at present are both receiving a Centrelink Newstart payment. Is there any lenders that finance small business start up loans, that will over look any defaults that may be on credit file. Needing approx 5000.

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | May 26, 2016

        Hi Kirstie,

        The only lender we currently have available for comparison on that considers bad credit applicants for new business ventures is Max Finance – you can read more about its loan and apply for pre-approval here.

        Hope this helps,


    10. Default Gravatar
      Betty | May 24, 2016

      I’m on centre link payment how much can I borrow I get 645 a fortnight an also get cares allowance an that is 121 a fortnight

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | May 25, 2016

        Hi Betty,

        The amount you can borrow depends on your entire financial situation, including your income, debts and assets. If you are only receiving Centrelink payments you can find out some of your options on this page.

        Hope this helps,


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