small business owner

Small Microfinance Loans

Borrow up to $20,000 to start your own business with an unsecured business loan from the NAB Microenterprise Program.

When you're dreaming of starting your own business, it can sometimes be difficult to find a lender willing to give you the financing you need to turn your dream into a reality. To help struggling startups access the funds they need, NAB's Microenterprise Program provides unsecured business loans of between $500 and $20,000 to low-income earners.

What is a microfinance business loan?

A microfinance business loan is a small loan of between $500 and $20,000 that is paid to low-income earners to help them start a new business. The loan funds can be accessed via credit card and you have a 90-day interest-free period to help you get on top of your repayments. Featuring a fixed interest rate of 9.99% p.a., the loan can be repaid over a period of up to three years.

Is my business eligible for a microfinance business loan?

To qualify for the NAB Microenterprise Program you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident.
  • Want to borrow between $500 and $20,000 and not be eligible for a mainstream business loan.
  • Not have been declared bankrupt in the past seven years.
  • Have no overdue debts.
  • Work with one of NAB's partner organisations to submit your application. These partners are experts in small business management and developing business plans and you can find a list of organisations on the NAB website.

If your application is successful, you must continue to work with the partner organisation for a minimum of 12 months after your loan is approved.

What are the features of a microfinance business loan?

The microfinance business loans offered under the NAB Microenterprise Program provide a wide range of useful features, including:

  • Loan amount of between $500 and $20,000. Get up to $20,000 of funding to help get your business off the ground.
  • Access to your funds via credit card. The loan funds can be accessed via a NAB Microenterprise Program credit card.
  • Access to expert advice. Approved loan applicants will receive ongoing training, support and advice from a partner organisation that specialises in small business management.
  • 90-day interest-free period. A 90-day interest-free period applies to allow you to get on top of your repayments. You must also spend the loan funds within this 90-day period.
  • Fixed interest rate of 9.99% p.a. This competitive fixed rate allows you to enjoy the security of consistent repayment amounts.
  • No fees. There are no ongoing fees attached to the loan.
  • Loan term of up to three years. You have up to three years to repay the funds you borrow.

How much does a microfinance business loan cost?

There are no ongoing fees or charges attached to NAB Microenterprise Program business loan. The only cost you will need to worry about is the 9.99% p.a. fixed interest rate that applies to the funds you borrow.

What are the alternatives to a microfinance business loan and how do they compare?

Updated January 16th, 2019
Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee
3 months to 2 years
A business loan available up to $250,000 that can be funded in 1 business day. Must have a turnover of $6,000+ per month and provide 6 months of trading history, 3 months history for existing business purchases.
3 months to 2 years
Apply online for up to $500,000 and get access to over 25 lenders through Lending Express.
1 to 3 years
Apply for up to $100,000 and get a response within 60 seconds. No upfront or ongoing fees and a transparent fixed rate.
3 months to 5 years
A Small Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 60 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $1 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
6 months to 2 years
A loan of up to $250,000 that can be approved and funded within 24 hours. Available to businesses with 6+ months operating history and $5,000+ monthly sales.
3 months to 2 years
Benefit from a fixed interest rate and no upfront fees with a loan available up to $400,000. Must have been operating for at least 18 months and have turnover over $200,000.
6 months to 2 years
Initial draw down fee
A flexible business loan up to $500,000 with convenient top up and redraw facilities. Business must have been operating for 9 months+ and have monthly sales of $10,000+
6 months to 2 years
Initial draw down fee
A business loan up to $100,000 for unsecured loans, or $500,000 for secured loans that you can use for any business purpose. Transparent costs and redraw facility available.
6 months to 2 years
2.5% origination fee
Apply for up to $250,000 and receive your approved funds in one business day. Minimum annual turnover of $100,000 and 1 year of trading history required.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply for a microfinance business loan?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and you'd like to apply for the NAB Microenterprise Program, you'll need to follow a few simple steps:

1. Choose a partner organisation from the list of approved organisations and work with them to prepare your loan application. The organisation will check that your business plan and financial details are adequate.

2. Collect and complete and the following required documents and send them to NAB:

  • An application form
  • A business plan
  • Two years of projected financials
  • A letter of support from your partner organisation
  • Documents confirming your personal income and expenditure
  • Bank statements from the past six months for any non-NAB business and personal accounts
  • A copy of your most recent personal tax return
  • If trading as a business, you will need to supply additional information such as your ABN, financial information and tax returns

3. Attend an interview with a NAB Business Manager. He or she will ask about your business, assess the strength of your application and check your repayment capacity.

4. If your application is successful, a NAB Microenterprise Program credit card will be mailed to you.

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