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Loans for pensioners

Pension loans exist as long as you meet the lenders criteria. Whether you're getting the Disability Support Pension, Carer's Allowance or the Age Pension, you have personal loan options.

You can still get a loan if you're getting Disability Support Pension (DSP), Carer Allowance or the Age Pension. Although some lenders will need you to have income outside of your pension payments. The maximum loan amount for most pensioners is $2,000.

⚠️ 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.

Retired? Click here to see your loan options

Loan options for retirees

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Credit24 Short Term Loan
$2,000
4 to 12 months
Same day - conditions apply
$10
20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
$396
Credit24 offers this loan up to $2,000 and gives you 12 months to repay. Centrelink borrowers are considered as long as Centrelink payments are not more than 50% of income.
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Some of the brands that consider pensioners for a loan

BrandCan pensioners apply?What conditions are there?
Cash ConvertersYesYour loan repayments cannot exceed 20% of your income from the pension.
Cash StopYesYou're able to apply.
ClearCashYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Credit24YesAt least 50% of your income needs to come from outside of Centrelink payments.
Good to Go LoansYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
NimbleNoYou need to be employed and your primary source of income can't be from Centrelink.
Rapid FinanceYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Banks that may consider you for a loan

BrandCan pensioners apply?What conditions are there?
ANZYesYou need to earn $15,000 p.a.
Bank of MelbourneYesAge pension and DSP are accepted.
You'll need to provide a letter from Centrelink detailing your pension payments.
BankSAYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Bank AustraliaYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
BankwestYesDSP and parenting payments are accepted.
You'll need supplementary income to be able to apply.
Bendigo BankNoYou need to be in regular, paid employment.

Centrelink payments are accepted with supplementary income.

CitibankYesYou need to earn $40,000 p.a.

Age pension is accepted. You can apply if your pension income is taxable.

CommBankYesYou need to earn $14,000 p.a.

Parenting payments, DSP and carer's pension are accepted.

NABYesSome Centrelink income is considered.
You need to demonstrate you can afford the loan repayments.
St.GeorgeYesParenting payments and DSP are accepted.
WestpacYesYou need to earn $35,000 p.a. DSP is accepted.

What finance options do I have as a pensioner?

Lenders take into account the borrower's income as an indicator of their ability to repay the loan. As a pensioner, this can be problematic as you no longer earn an income. This means that your loan options may be limited compared to when you were employed.

But there are loans you can apply for, depending on your financial situation and your pension. There are also government-assisted schemes and community financial-assistance programs. Some of these loans feature no or low interest rates and may be easier to pay back.

How much can I borrow as a pensioner?

Depending on the loan you apply for, you may be able to borrow up to $3,000. However, most traditional lenders cap it at $2,000. You may be able to get a bigger loan if you have savings, assets and a good relationship with your bank.

Will I be eligible for a bank loan as a pensioner?

Banks have a strict lending criteria. This is because banks are regulated by both ASIC and APRA and so have limitations on who they can lend to. Most banks, for instance, will not consider bad credit applicants. However, they do consider pensioners, although you may not be able to borrow as much as if you were employed. Depending on the bank, there may also be a minimum income threshold. If you have a good relationship with your bank, your chances of approval may increase. The table above includes a breakdown of banks that lend to pensioners and their conditions.

What loans can I apply for as a pensioner?

There are several loans you may be eligible for, including loans with low documentation requirements. You can apply for the following loans:

  • Loans from your current bank. If you have a good history with your bank or credit union, this may be a good place to start. As you already have an existing relationship with them, it may be easier to be approved for a loan. You can visit in-branch to find out what loans may be available to you.
  • Low doc personal loans. These loans are designed for self-employed applicants or for borrowers whose income is tied up in investments. Low doc personal loans don't require as much documentation and are generally easier to apply. They are also approved faster. As these types of loans are more risky for the lender, they tend to be more expensive. Lenders usually charge higher interest rates. If you are using an asset as security, you may only be able to borrow up to 80% of the property price.
  • Short term loans. These loans are also known as payday loans. They are small loans that come with short repayment terms. You can usually borrow between $100 and $2,000 for a period of 16 days to 1 year. The lender will look at your income and expenses as an indicator of your ability to repay the loan. There are many pros and cons to consider with short term loans. The application process is fast. You could potentially receive the money within hours or a day of applying. However, they are generally more expensive. They also come with higher fees and shorter repayment periods than standard personal loans. There may also be many extra charges, adding to the cost of this loan. It is also easier to fall into a debt trap with this type of loan.
  • Bank loans. Some banks consider applicants receiving disability or age pension. You may have to meet a minimum income threshold to be eligible.
  • Loans for retirees. These loans are specifically designed for people who receive age pensions, are self-funded retirees or pensioners. Learn more by reading our guide on loans for retired people.
  • Bad credit loans for pensioners. You may still be eligible for loans if you're a pensioner with a bad credit history. However, these loans can be expensive. This is because lenders usually charge higher establishment and monthly fees. There may also be costly penalties for late payments.

What should I watch for with payday loans?

Before you apply for a payday loan, you need to keep an eye out for the following:

  • Disreputable lenders. Check the lender's website and make sure it's a reputable company. There have been many cases where scammers have pretended to be a loan provider. You should check if they are licensed with ASIC. They should also be easy to contact.
  • High interest rates and fees. Payday loans of $2,000 or less do not include an interest fee. Rather, they have a hefty fee to cover the cost of borrowing. There are also fees for late payments. These fees are regulated by ASIC and it's illegal for lenders to charge more.
  • Multiple applications. Every loan application shows up on credit reports. Some payday lenders may not consider your credit history. But several applications within a short period can have a negative impact on your credit score.
  • Unaffordable repayments. You should consider how much your repayments cost and whether you can afford them. You should also ask yourself if you can pay the loan within the repayment window. Most of these loans come with short repayment terms, so include that in your calculations. You should ensure the loan is repaid within the loan term. If you wish to extend your loan term, keep in mind that extra fees will apply.
  • Long-term repercussions and legal issues. Once you sign a loan agreement, you are bound to its conditions. You will have to pay the loan and all the fees and payments. Typically, these are unsecured loans. This means that the lender can initiate legal proceedings against you if you do not repay the loan.

What government assistance schemes can I apply for?

The Australian government has established a few support schemes for pensioners. These include the following:

  • Pension Loan Schemes. You can apply for this loan if you are of pension age and are eligible or receive an Age Pension. If you own real estate, you could get tax-free fortnightly payments for a short or indefinite period. This loan is secured against the real estate you own and allows you to access extra income. You are taking out a loan against your equity and receiving payments every fortnight. You could get up to 150% of your pension as a loan.
  • No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS). This interest-free loan scheme is offered by Good Shepherd Microfinance and is subsidised by the government. It is offered by 170 local community organisations across 600 locations in Australia. These loans let you borrow up to $1,500 with a loan term between 12 to 18 months. As the name suggests, these loans come without interest rates and feature no fees or charges. You will only have to repay the amount you borrowed. You can use this loan to buy essential household items, medical expenses or car repairs. You will need to hold a pension card to be eligible.
  • Centrelink Cash Advance. If you receive regular pension payments from Centrelink, you may be able to bring it forward as a cash advance. This is not an additional payment, but an advance on your existing payments. You may be eligible depending on how long you have been with Centrelink, the type of payment you receive and how much you receive.

What community financial assistance programs can I apply for?

You can apply for these community financial assistance programs if you are eligible:

  • Saver Plus. This is a financial education and matched savings program. It helps families and low-income earners improve their finances by developing savings plans and building assets. Your savings will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500.
  • Good Money. Operating out of Victoria, this community finance hub helps people access no or low interest personal loans, such as NILS. This is to help people purchase household goods. It also helps people better manage their money and improve their finances.
  • NAB StepUP program. This program offers low-rate personal loans for amounts between $800 and $3,000. It can be used to buy essential household items. There are no fees and charges with this loan, and the interest rate is fixed.

How can I apply for a pensioner loan?

You can use the table above to find a pensioner loan. You can use it to compare between lenders and see which loan you can apply for. Apart from the interest rate, you should look at the comparison rate. You should also compare between lenders. Also keep an eye out for any additional costs like exit fees or early repayment fees.

Once you've found an option that suits you, you can click "go to site" to begin your application. If you have questions about your eligibility, you should contact the provider directly by phone, online or in-branch. As every loan application gets listed on your credit file, it is best to be certain of your eligibility. Too many applications made within a short period can affect your credit score. This could reduce your ability to get credit in the future.

To make the application process easier, you should keep the following documents handy:

  • Proof of identification. You must be able to show proof of age and identity, including that of your partner if applicable.
  • Financial Information. This includes your pension payments, bank statements, proof of assets, debts and open credit accounts.

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312 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DaleAugust 5, 2023

    Hello
    My partner & I are looking for a loan of about $20,000 to buy a caravan for $40,000 we have savings of about 20,000 in the bank. We own our vehicles worth about $40,000 rent at $350 p/w Life insurance & funeral insurance worth over $130,000. Is it possible to apply for a loan for this amount. My partner works full time and also receives age pension & I receive my individual age pension also.
    Regards Dale

      AvatarFinder
      SarahSeptember 20, 2023Finder

      Hi Dale,

      We are not a bank or lender, we’re a review and comparison site so we can’t provide personal advice about your situation. Your best bet is to contact one of the banks listed in this article and ask for more information. Your ability to get a loan will depend on your income, so you can talk to them in more detail about your income and situation and what your options are.

      Best of luck!

    Default Gravatar
    DebbieApril 17, 2023

    I have trying to get a personal loan for a new car washing machine and fridge as my food is in eskies im looking for 8500 for 7 years im on a disability penisioner and i keepgetting knot back as credit score is very low because of looking around and applying to them.

      AvatarFinder
      SarahApril 25, 2023Finder

      Hi Debbie,

      There may be some options for you applying with lenders who offer specialty loans. However, you might be best off contacting the National Debt Helpline for some guidance first. They offer free debt support, 5 days a week – contact them on 1800 007 007 or viist https://ndh.org.au/

      Hope this helps!

    Default Gravatar
    sharelleOctober 17, 2019

    is there any loan where i can apply without a mobile phone?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiOctober 17, 2019

      Hi Sharelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch! You can apply for all the loans on the pensioner loans page without a mobile phone. For more information on how you can apply for pensioner loans, please go to the table showing some personal loan options that are available and you can click “Go to Site” to submit your application.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the eligibility criteria of the loan before applying to increase your chances of approval. Read up on the terms and conditions and product disclosure statement and contact the bank should you need any clarifications about the policy.

      Best,
      Nikki

    Default Gravatar
    DonnaJanuary 9, 2019

    Hi l receive DSP l would like to apply for a $5000 personnel loan repayed over 2 years , l privately rent and have no debt , own my own car would l have a problem getting a loan through a bank ?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnJanuary 10, 2019Finder

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      The general eligibility requirements are the following:

      Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
      18 years or over
      Have a regular income

      The page offers you a list of lenders that you could reach out to if you wish to make an application. 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
    StevenJanuary 9, 2019

    I’m in dire straghts and need a cash advancement on my general electric pension check of 580.00 I live with my girlfriend and have no expenses, we’re do I turn too

      AvatarFinder
      JohnJanuary 10, 2019Finder

      Hi Steven,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      The page we are on offers a list of lenders that you could reach out to. 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

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