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Low income loans

A lower income gives you fewer loan options than a higher one, but as long as you earn at least $300 per week there are options available.

Personal loans for low income borrowers include short-term loans, small personal loans, secured personal loans and Centrelink cash advances. The amount you can qualify for will usually depend on your wage, financial circumstances and/or the assets that you own.

Borrowers should be aware that low income loans may have higher interest rates and fees compared to other personal loans, particularly if they are unsecured. Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting a loan when you're on a lower income.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

What personal loan options do I have if I have a low income?

  • Personal loans for small amounts. Some lenders and traditional financial institutions offer personal loans for low income applicants as long as the amount requested is small.
  • Short-term loans. A short-term or payday loan offers small amounts of funds over a limited period of time, typically between 2 and 12 months.
  • Secured personal loans. Using asset security on a personal loan can often help you if you're on a lower income. This is because secured personal loans pose less risk to lenders.
  • Centrelink advance payments. If you receive Centrelink payments, you may be eligible to get some of the payment early. This is known as an advance payment, which is then repaid out of future Centrelink payments.
  • Low income credit cards. Some lenders offer low income credit cards if you can prove you meet minimum income requirements, usually at least $15,000 p.a. However, low income credit cards may have high interest rates, annual fees and other costs that can increase the risk of debt.
  • Alternative loan options. Other low income loan options include payday loans and no-interest loans from Good Shepherd Microfinance as part of its No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) program. Here, you may qualify for anywhere from $300 to $1,200 and are only responsible for paying back the borrowed quantity, meaning no interest or fees.

What income do I need to get a loan?

Although some lenders list a minimum income requirement, other lenders do not. If a lender sets no minimum income requirement, then look at the other requirements to make sure you meet them.

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Sunshine Short Term Loans
$3,000
12-20 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
$35
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
A small loan up to $3,000 that you repay over 12-20 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes. Centrelink must not be your primary income
Nimble Small Loan
$2,000
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
$15
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
$396
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
Fair Go Finance Small Loan
$2,000
3 to 12 months
24 to 48 hours
$35
Establishment Fee of $60 – $400
$354
A small loan between $500 and $2,000 that can be funded in 24 hours.
Fair Go Finance Medium Personal Loan
$5,000
6 to 15 months
Within 24 hours
$35
Establishment fee of $400
A larger loan up to $5,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
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Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Nimble Medium Loan
$5,000
62 days to 23 months
1 hour - conditions apply*
$15
Application fee of $400 + 47.62% p.a. for $2,050 to $5,000
Apply for up to $5,000 and have up to 48 months to repay.
Fair Go Finance Medium Personal Loan
$5,000
6 to 15 months
Within 24 hours
$35
Establishment fee of $400
A larger loan up to $5,000 you can apply for even with bad credit. Fast turnaround within 1 business day. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
Fair Go Finance Large Personal Loan
$10,000
14 – 24 months
Within 24 hours
$35
Establishment fee of $546 – $795
Apply for a loan up to $10,000 and have up to 2 years to repay. Bad credit and casually employed borrowers considered. Note: You must earn more than $500 per week.
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How to compare low income loan options

Make sure you take the following factors into consideration when comparing different loans:

  • Interest rate. Interest charges add to the overall cost of borrowing money, so it's essential to check this rate and compare it to other options. Also, be aware that with variable interest rates, the lender could change the rate you pay on your loan.
  • Comparison rate. The comparison rate takes into account both the lender's interest rate and other fees charged with the loan. This can help you get a better idea of the overall cost of a loan.
  • Fees and charges. These include ongoing fees such as monthly or annual service charges, as well as one-off fees such as application fees and early repayment fees.
  • Loan term. This is the length of time in which you’re required to pay back the loan. Personal loan terms can range from a few months (for short-term loans) to five or more years.
  • Repayments. Loan repayments are typically monthly, fortnightly or weekly for a set amount of money. This makes it important to check the required repayment amount before applying. It's also worth checking whether or not a lender accepts additional repayments or variations.
  • Minimum and maximum amounts. Loans may have requirements around the minimum and maximum amount that can be borrowed. This is an important feature to check so that you can make sure you don't borrow more (or less) than what's required.
  • Secured vs unsecured. Some lenders may require collateral, such as a home or business equity, as security for your loan. This means if your loan goes into default status, your lender has the right to seize any collateral you have committed as security for the borrowed money.

What can I use a low income loan for?

What to watch out for

  • Falling into too much debt. Make sure you avoid a situation where you get into too much debt. This means you must carefully weigh your future monthly income with your monthly repayments on any loan you commit to. Also, make sure to avoid applying for a loan amount that’s more than what you actually need.
  • Applying for too many credit products. Lenders can see exactly how many times you’ve applied for loans. Applying for several loans within a short period of time increases the risk for lenders, which can make it harder to get approved.

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Frequently asked questions about low income loans

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KalaJuly 13, 2019

    I want to ask. I’m in Ontario, Canada. I have a job and I earn $730 a month. Do I qualify?

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaJuly 14, 2019Finder

      Hi Kala,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      If you are in Ontario, you might want to check this Finder Canada easy approval loans. On this page, you will learn more more about how to apply for easy-approval loans if you have low income. On the same page, you will also be able to check your options and compare based on the loan amount, turnaround time, and term of loan. Once you’re done comparing, you can then select the “Go to site” button to learn more.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    SabarudinJanuary 29, 2019

    How much can I borrow with low income and with who

      AvatarFinder
      JohnJanuary 30, 2019Finder

      Hi Sabarudin,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      The guide we are on offers the maximum amount each lender offers for approved applicants. You will see this in the comparison table. (Second Column from the left). Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    NikkiNovember 30, 2017

    Can i find a lender who can do loans for low income earners up to $100,000 to buy a block.of land? i have $28,000 deposit and a good credit rating.

      AvatarFinder
      HaroldNovember 30, 2017Finder

      Hi Nikki,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      At this time, we do not have access to lenders that offer vacant land loans for someone with low income however, you can get in touch with lenders offering Vacant land home loans to discuss your options and chances of approval before you send anything final for your application or speak to a mortgage broker who can help you find a suitable lender and provide you with a range of borrowing options.

      As a reminder, when applying for a home loan, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options to see whether it is right for you.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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