Loans for Non-Residents – Yes, Non-Residents CAN get loans in Australia

If you’re feeling the pinch to your bank account from moving countries, a loan might be an excellent way to reduce some of that monetary stress.

Between having to pay for your flight to Australia, current accommodation, and all other financial drains involved with “packing up and shipping off”, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of dollars left in your bank account.

And while some types of finances might not yet be available to you in Australia, there are a wealth of options for you in the home, personal, and student departments, to help you set up home in your new, erm, home. This question will likely be one of the first to pass your worried mind.

man juggling cards

What about my credit history?

Here's your answer: Australian lenders CANNOT access your overseas credit history, and if you’re new to Australia, then you won’t have yet built a credit file. But this DOESN'T mean that loans will be inaccessible to you until you do.

Many lenders who approve migrant loans will use other criteria to determine their credit risk, assessing them on their financial situation, visa, assets, and overall ability to pay off the loan. Some may even lend migrants higher amounts depending on the strength of their application.

Something to remember is that your Australian credit history begins the moment you have funds or debts with an Australian financial institution. If you apply for too many loans in a short period of time, or obtain negative or bad credit history, this can damage your credit score with lenders. Maintaining a good credit history and keeping on top of your debts and bills will help increase your chances of successfully obtaining a loan.


So, can I get a loan for X amount?

This answer is never straightforward. Certain lenders will let non-residents borrow from them, others won't. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Big Four have options for non-residents, but they'll likely require you to meet some eligibility requirements before they can approve a loan and determine for how much. This eligibility may involve you:

  • Having stable employment / a source of income
  • Having a visa
  • Being able to repay your loan before your visa's expiry date
  • Having an Australian residence
  • Having an Australian bank account

Additionally, the lender may require you to pay a higher interest rate on your loan - depending on your circumstances and how much of a risk they assess you to be. You can compare some of the banks that offer loans to non-residents here and can further discuss your options by contacting them direct with details of your needs.


Migrant Mortgage: Home loans for non-residents

One of the creature comforts you’ll want to secure after arriving in Australia is a permanent home here - especially if you’re on an indefinite-stay permanent resident (PR) visa or have migrated with your family. When preparing to buy your first home in Australia, an important consideration is to research the best area for you to live in. As you house hunt, consider how accessible the house is to your workplace, school, and shops, as well as how safe the area is. If you intend to live in Australia for an extended period of time, you might want to look at ‘up-and-coming’ suburbs and turn your home purchase into a smart investment. Another consideration is to look at mortgages. It’s important to shop around and compare home loans to find the one that fits your needs and a good place to start doing this is by using the comparison tables found on finder.com.au.

Are you eligible for a home loan as a temporary resident?

Australia aims to promote growth by offering migrants easy options for home ownership, and as such, does not penalise permanent or temporary residents with things such as higher monthly payments. As a temporary or permanent resident, all the same terms, interest rates, and features (including offset accounts and the option to delay your mortgage payments under certain circumstances) that are offered to Australian citizens will be available to you. As such, the same eligibility criteria also applies. This includes;

  • Ongoing regular employment - you must be employed and be able to afford repayments on the loan with your income
  • Evidence of existing assets (liabilities, savings, equity)
  • A good credit history in Australia (if available)
  • Proficient funds to cover fees associated with purchasing property
  • Loan security (i.e. the value and saleability of your property)
  • Sufficient identification
  • Age (you must be over 18 to apply for a loan).

Migrants with permanent residence

Migrants who have PR will usually find it easier to obtain a home loan than migrants on temporary residence visas. Those who meet the financial requirements and hold a valid PR are eligible to borrow a higher percentage of the property value (on average, 90%). The exact amount will vary depending on whether you’re living in Australia, overseas, or if you’re a resident with a foreign income. Migrants with PR are also eligible for the first home owners grant (FHOG) so long as they meet the standard requirements i.e. they haven’t owned a home previously, intend to occupy the property as their principal place of residence for the first 12 months of settlement, and continuously live in the property for at least six months.

Did you know...

As an aside, New Zealand citizens can borrow up to 95% of the property value, even if they live in New Zealand. As Australia and New Zealand share the same credit reporting system, New Zealand citizens’ applications will be assessed on their credit history. If the applicant lives outside New Zealand and Australia, they may be treated as a foreign citizen and be offered to borrow up to only 80% of the property value. Of course, the percentage available to borrow will depend on the particular loan's maximum Loan to Valuation Ratio (LVR).


Migrants with temporary residence

While only select banks and lenders have policies available for temporary migrants, the opportunities to obtain a home loan are still very much available - although there may be certain conditions and extra requirements that will have to be met before approval. Temporary residents of Australia who have been issued with one of these long-term working visas: 457, 475, 487 or 495, qualify for a home loan in Australia. To apply for this, you’ll need to prove that you have a steady source of income and, in many cases, need to obtain special permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Some lenders might also ask you to provide evidence of overseas liabilities and bank accounts to help create a more complete financial profile of you before approving your request. Once these requirements are met, you may apply for a home loan worth up to 80% of the value of the property, with a 20% deposit as security. As a temporary resident, you are not entitled to the FHOG, or to have your stamp duty waived. A select number of lenders will allow student and bridging visa holders with stable incomes to borrow up to 80% of the value of the property, however there may be stricter eligibility rules involved in these cases.


How to increase your home loan benefits

  • If your spouse is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident… and you purchase the property jointly with them, then you are eligible for the FHOG, so long as you meet all the other requirements.
  • If your spouse is an Australian citizen… you might be eligible for a loan worth up to 95% of the property value.
  • If you have good employment history… If you’ve held a professional job with the same company for two or more years, you may be entitled to borrow up to 10% more for your loan.

While the ability to obtain a home loan is there, not all lenders will grant loans to temporary residents. Each has its own policy regarding visas, so it’s important to research and ask around to determine what your options are for your specific visa. It can be worth speaking to a mortgage broker who has access to range of loans that may be applicable for you You can compare some of Australia’s award winning brokers below:

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Personal loans for non-residents

image02 Personal loans are not usually loans that are specifically designed for migrants, but rather are loans that have flexible eligibility criteria that allow migrants to apply. As with home loans, migrants with a PR will generally find it much easier to obtain a personal loan than migrants on a temporary visa, but this doesn’t mean that temporary residents cannot access personal loans. Depending on your financial situation and visa, you may still be eligible for a number of personal loans including; car, secured, unsecured, and payday loans.

How do I get a personal loan?

Personal loans for both permanent and temporary migrants can be offered by traditional banks, credit unions, and smaller lenders. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the Australian market and compare your options to avoid unnecessary rates and fees before taking out a loan. Owing to the fact that a migrant’s lending risk cannot be determined by credit file (which is normally the first point of call when assessing any loan application), the lender will determine the migrant’s risk on the strength of their overall profile and capacity to repay the desired loan amount. This is based on:

  • Confirmed employment in Australia
  • Profession
  • Minimum income
  • Cash savings
  • The holding of an Australian bank account
  • The type of Australian visa you are on

Depending on the lender’s policy and your financial/visa situation, temporary residents and students in particular may be required to meet a few extra requirements for their loan to be approved.This might include having to provide a cash deposit to reduce the amount borrowed against your loan and minimise the lender’s risk. If you’re on a temporary visa, your loan will NOT extend past the length of your visa. For example, if you have two years left on your 457, you will only be able to secure a two-year loan. Certain lenders might be better suited to cater to a migrant’s circumstances than others. So if you're here on a temporary visa, it might be worth considering speaking to a broker to find a loan that fits your needs.

Personal loans available to migrants

  • Car loans: Although car loans are usually restricted to PR and citizens, migrants on a the 457 may have a better chance at being approved for a car loans so long as they meet certain financial conditions.
  • Secured personal loans: When you use other assets, such as jewellery or property, to access finance, you’re taking out a secured personal loan. Unlike car loans (the monies of which you can only use to finance your vehicle), personal loans can be used to finance a variety of needs. Before taking out a personal loan, ensure that the purpose you intend for the loan amount is permissible.
  • Unsecured personal loans: Unsecured personal loans don’t require any assets for security, which means these loans typically come with higher interest rates and fees. As there’s no security or assurance involved, unsecured personal loans may have stricter criteria and may not be available to migrants with certain lenders.
  • Payday loans: These are small, short term loans, generally no greater than $2,000 and for no longer than a year. Due to these minimal amounts and lending time periods, migrants may find it easier to access payday loans than other, more long term and high risk loans.
Rates last updated October 22nd, 2018
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Application Fee Product Description Monthly Repayment
Westpac Unsecured Personal Loan
12.99% (fixed)
14.14%
$4,000
1 to 7 years
$12
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 12.99% p.a.
Benefit from the security of a fixed rate with the flexibility of additional repayments. Existing Westpac customers may qualify for discounts.
ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan
12.45% (fixed)
13.32%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$150
You'll receive a fixed rate of 12.45% p.a.
Apply for up to $50,000 to use for a variety of purposes without needing to add security. Available to self-employed applicants.

Compare up to 4 providers

Get a personal loan as a temporary resident

READ MORE: Compare personal loans for temporary residents

READ MORE: Compare business loans for non-citizens

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Student loans for international students

Australia’s student loan system is called HELP (Higher Educational Loan Program). This is a government initiative that provides students financial aid to fund their education. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for HELP, but this doesn’t mean that financial assistance systems aren’t available to them.

The first port of call for international students requiring financial aid is their educational institution. Most universities offer grants and scholarships, while some (e.g. Southern Cross University and the University of Western Australia) also offer student and general purpose loans for full fee-paying onshore international students or students with permanent residency. Note that all loans are subject to the university’s student loans policy and are granted at the university’s discretion. To review all your options, consider making an appointment with your educational institution’s student financial assistance officer.

If a student loan is unavailable, international students might wish to consider applying for a personal loan (see above) to aid them in their financial situation. Alternatively, there are countries that have loan systems in place to offer financial aid to citizens studying in Australia. These countries include: Canada, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the US. Once you’ve been approved for a loan, the next thing you’ll have to think about is how much to borrow. Keep in mind that it’s not just about covering tuition fees, there’s also room and board, general living, and insurance expenses to consider, so play it smart and spend the time to calculate your financial requirements before committing to a loan.

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How to compare loans

  • Loan terms and amount: Lenders will offer varying lengths for loan terms and different minimum and maximum loan amounts. Make sure what’s offered meets your borrowing needs.
  • Fees: All loans come with fees, which can add considerably to the overall cost so always calculate how much you’re likely to pay all up before committing to a loan.
  • Repayment flexibility: Many lenders allow you to choose between weekly, fortnightly, or monthly repayments. Choose one that suits your pay frequency, and also check if your lender allows for additional payments without penalty so you can pay your loan back early (if possible), which can save you considerable interest.
  • Discounts and redraw facilities: Look out for offers and discounts - although remember that they might not be beneficial to your situation, despite their “special” tag. It’s better to take out a loan that suits your needs than one that’s a steal.
  • Reputation: It’s easy to fall into the trap of a “too good to be true” loan. Do your research and avoid dodgy lenders as, if anything goes wrong over the course of your loan, you’ll want to be sure the lender can be contacted and provide sound assistance.
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174 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    youssefOctober 10, 2018

    I would like to ask something. I have partner visa subclass 820 and I am looking to flex loan 4000$. Can you tell me if i can take one?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelOctober 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Youssef,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      While a Temporary Work (skilled) Visa or Subclass 457 is considered by most banks, other types of visas like yours may not be. Most lenders/banks will also require that you have a certain amount of time left on the visa. Investigate this thoroughly before filling out an application. You may refer to this page for options that would best fit your needs. ​You may review and compare the offers available on the table. And once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  2. Default Gravatar
    RobelOctober 10, 2018

    Hello there,
    My name is Robel Zeray a prodigy in Ethiopia I have been accepted at Deakin University, Australia I have a trustworthy US Cosigner, am I eligible for a student loan?

    Respectfully

    • finder Customer Care
      JohnOctober 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Robel,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      Yes, you may be eligible for a loan. You may want to check your educational institution first to see if they offer student loans or assistance.
      Alternatively, you may check this link to compare personal loans for temporary residents. This may include a higher minimum income requirement. You will also need to be on a certain type of visa, according to the lender’s requirements, and the term of your loan cannot exceed the time left on your visa.
      Once you’ve chosen a lender, you may click on the “Go to site” to be directed to their main website where you can check more details or even start your application.
      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.
      Hope this helps. Should you have further questions or clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    neelAugust 26, 2018

    Hi,
    I am Neel.
    I have some query according to financial loan for bike.
    I am an international student.
    I have a 2-year-study visa and I am studying in CQ University in Melbourne. I need to buy a bike but I don’t have money to buy it. That is a reason to get a loan and then buy it.
    Please give me proper solution for it.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Neel,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      There are a number of banks and lenders in Australia who consider applications for personal loans from people that have a temporary resident visa. Most lenders will need the details of your visa before you are approved to ensure that the terms of the personal loan do not exceed the amount of time left on your visa. You may also need to meet higher minimum income criteria or show extra credentials. One advantage of applying for a loan in Australia is that your overseas credit history is not a factor.

      To check if your visa is eligible to apply for a personal loan and to prepare yourself for the other loan requirements, kindly check out this PAGE. On that page, you would see list of Australian brands that offer personal loans to temporary residents. Please keep in mind that lenders will still consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

      I hope this somewhat helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    NaveenMarch 10, 2018

    Hai ,
    I’m currently on student visa , can I get any small personal loans or educational loans in Australia.

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelMarch 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Naveen,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      As an international student, your first option when it comes to getting a loan is with the university you are currently studying. Most universities offer grants and scholarships, while some also offer student and general purpose loans for full fee-paying onshore international students or students with permanent residency. To review all your options, consider making an appointment with your educational institution’s student financial assistance officer.

      If a student loan is unavailable, you may also consider getting any of the loan products we have listed above. The interest rate depends on the loan product you are getting.

      You can also consider getting a personal loan as a non resident HERE.

      Before applying for a loan, please ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and requirements of the lender and read the loan details, as well as the relevant PDS/ T&Cs before making a decision. After which, consider whether the product or option is right for you and your needs.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  5. Default Gravatar
    RalphFebruary 16, 2018

    hi, I have PR and currently living in Adelaide and I want to buy my first property. I am overseas employed and they pay me 40,000 RMB (7,500 Aud) per month to my China bank account. I just wondering whether the big four could approve my application or I have to choose some others like ING or NAB? Thanks. Ralph

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Ralph, thanks for your inquiry!

      As long as you meet the application requirements, you should be able to apply for the big four or any other banks.

      Was there a particular bank you were interested in applying with? You can compare home loans here.

      Best,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    ZeinJanuary 31, 2018

    Hi, I have been accepted for worker visa class 190. I am currently working overseas and I want to plan my life in Melbourne Australia. Can I get an approval on mortgage home loan with my current employment overseas?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelFebruary 3, 2018Staff

      Hi Zein,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder. You can go to our page about home loans here but your best bet is to speak with a mortgage broker who can give you personalized advice. If you need anything else, please send me a message anytime.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  7. Default Gravatar
    MahdiNovember 8, 2017

    Hi I’m on temporary humanitarian visa and I was wondering if you can help me to buy a business please let me know thanks.

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaNovember 8, 2017

      Hi Mahdi,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      You may want to reach out to the lenders directly on this page on Business Loans for Temporary Residents to discuss your eligibility and options.

      Once you’ve chosen a lender, you may click on “Go to site” to be directed to their main website where you can start your application.

      Please note that we are not a product issuer as we do not represent any of the companies featured on our pages.

      Before applying, please ensure to read the details, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/ Terms and Conditions of the option before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      Best,
      Maria

  8. Default Gravatar
    APSJune 15, 2017

    hi, – 2 questions!!

    A) I am a kiwi and have been living in Australia for 9 years now.
    I own two properties in NZ, (combined value approx 400K).
    Would an Australian lenders recognize the capital i own in these properties as security for a loan on an Australian property?

    B) Also, would Australian lenders be willing to grant a mortgage for the purchase of a NZ property?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlJune 16, 2017

      Hi APS,

      Thanks for your questions.

      Most lenders wouldn’t accept overseas property as the security for a home loan. As for buying a property overseas through an Australian home loan, that would only be possible if the loan was secured with another asset. The bank would be unlikely to accept the house overseas as security. You may find our guide here on using your property as security useful.

      It would be a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker, as policies can vary significantly from one lender to another.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  9. Default Gravatar
    JulesJune 12, 2017

    My husband has applied for a permanent partners visa we got a bridging visa with status working rights. We want to borrow $15000 my husband is casual but permanent hrs 40hrs a week been working for 4 moths so far. Which bank would consider our application or could you recommend a broker possibly.

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJune 13, 2017

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

      While a Temporary Work (skilled) Visa or Subclass 457 is considered by most banks, other types of visas may not be. Some banks will also require that you have a certain amount of time left on the visa. Investigate this thoroughly before filling out an application. You may refer to this page for options that would best fit your needs. ​You may review and compare the offers available on the table. And once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

    • Default Gravatar
      JulesJune 13, 2017

      457 visa we have but the visa states indefinite not 2 year visa. Is this common on a visa?

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJune 13, 2017

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

      Yes. Once you’ve lived (min. two years) and worked (min. 12 months) in regional Australia on a skilled regional visa (489, 475, 487, 495, 496), you may be eligible for this regional residence visa, which will allow you to stay in Australia indefinitely. You may refer to this page for more details.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

    • Default Gravatar
      JulesJune 13, 2017

      My husband has got his bridging visa in march this year however we have been married for 7 years. I just find this confusing from your previous response.

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJune 14, 2017

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

      Apologies for the confusion, you may want to consider these options, please proceed to this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

    • Default Gravatar
      JulesJune 15, 2017

      No you didn’t even answer the question

    • finder Customer Care
      MayJune 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Jules,

      Thanks for getting back.

      Since you are on a visa, you may be eligible to get a loan so long that you meet the eligibility requirements of the lender/bank. Please compare your loan options on this page (which was previously given to you by Danielle). Make sure to review the criteria and once you’ve chosen a loan, please contact the lender/bank directly to discuss your options/eligibility. From that page, can also click on the ‘Go to site’ button once you are ready to apply.

      Cheers,
      May

  10. Default Gravatar
    larajenJune 1, 2017

    I’m a nurse in the Philippines and I’am applying for permanent resident visa in Australia, will i be able to get a loan (Study now, pay later) in the Australian government for bridging course for nurses? Thanks for answering.

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlJune 1, 2017

      Hi Larajen,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’m afraid study assistance from the government, such as student loans and student income support, is not available to international students. However, you might be able to obtain a student loan through your university, depending on your university and financial circumstance. Alternatively, you can check for scholarships or awards available for you.

      Another option available for you, once you’re in Australia, is to apply for a loan. Whilst we can’t say if you’ll be approved for a loan of not, you can review the criteria and get more information on our guide here. Meanwhile, you can go through our moving to Australia guide on this page which you might find useful in your preparation.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

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