Pensioner Loans

Just because you receive a pension doesn’t mean you can’t take out a loan.

If you receive Centrelink payments, including the pension, and are looking for a loan, you may find your options somewhat limited. Lenders have stricter criteria for those receiving disability support pension (DSP) carer's pension or the age pension.

It’s important to know that there are loan and financing options out there. It’s even more important to know how to compare these options so you find the right product for you. Read on to see what’s available, compare your options and find out how to apply.

Retired? Click here to see your loan options

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.

Credit24 Short Term Loan Offer

Credit24 Short Term Loan

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  • Get a decision in minutes
  • Flexible repayments
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Credit24 Short Term Loan Offer

Credit24 offer a fast and easy online application for up to $2,000. You can apply 24/7 with a good credit rating and employment to be approved.

  • Loan amount: $2,000
  • Loan term: 6-12 months
  • Turnaround time: Same day
  • Fees: 20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
  • You must earn $600 p/m
  • Quick and easy Approval of your loan with good credit
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Rates last updated February 18th, 2018
Name Product Max. Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Costs Fortnightly Repayment $1,500 Product Description
Credit24 Short Term Loan
6-12 months
Same day
20% of loan amount establishment fee + 4% of loan amount monthly.
A loan with a quick turnaround time and generous loan term. To be eligible, Centrelink must not be 50% or more of your income.
Ferratum Cash Loans
up to 6 months
Same Day if approved
20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
Ferratum lets you apply for up to $1,900 without a credit check.

Compare up to 4 providers

Some of the brands that consider pensioners for a loan

BrandCan pensioners apply?What conditions are there?
Cash ConvertersYesYour loan repayments cannot exceed 25% of your income from the pension.
Cash FirstYesYou also need to be employed.
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.
DollarsDirectNoYou need to be currently employed.
Ferratum LoansYesYou need to earn 50% of your income from outside of Centrelink payments.
Good to Go LoansYesYou're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Max FinanceYesYou'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.
AussieNoYou need to earn $24,000 p.a.You need to be in regular, paid employment
Centrelink is a valid form of supplementary income
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.
bankmecuYesYou'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 $35,000 p.a.
Age pension is accepted.You can apply if your pension income is taxable.
Commonwealth BankYesYou 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 $15,000 p.a.DSP is accepted.

What loan options do pensioners have?

The right loan will depend on your financial situation and also the type of pension you receive. Here are a few options that people on the pension can consider:

  • Your existing bank. If you've held an account with your bank or credit union and have a good history with them, this may be a good place to start. You can visit in-branch to discuss your options and find out what loans might be available.
  • Low doc loans. These loans are designed for self-employed applicants or for borrowers whose incomes are tied up in investments. If this describes your situation, it might be an option to consider. Keep in mind that these loans usually come with higher interest rates and will normally only let you borrow up to 80% of the property price.
  • Short-term loans. As these loans are smaller and repaid in the short term, they have more flexible lending criteria than what is set by banks and other lenders. You can usually borrow between $100 and $2,000 for a period of 16 days to one year. Many lenders understand the pension payment varies from each pensioner to the next. Your income and expenses will be verified before your loan is potentially funded.
  • Bank loans. Some banks, such as those listed in the table above, consider applicants receiving the disability pension or age pension. You will usually need to meet minimum income criteria to be approved.
  • Loans for retirees. If you receive the age pension, are a self-funded retiree or are a pensioner, there are loans specifically designed for you and lenders that will consider you. Follow the link below to find out more about retired loans.

Loans options for retirees

*The cost may change and this is dependent on any other fees and charges applied by the lender at the time of your loan repayment


Government assistance schemes

The Government has established a few schemes and support options for people who are receiving the pension.

  • Pension Loans Scheme
    This loan is for people who are of pension age but are ineligible for the Age Pension due to assets or income. Using this scheme you can access capital tied up in your assets to provide extra income. You are able to receive up to the maximum amount of the Age Pension, with payments made each fortnight.
  • No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS)
    This scheme offers loans of up to $1,200 to people on low incomes to buy essential household items, health items or to pay for car repairs in some cases. To be eligible you must hold a pension card and be willing to repay the loan within 12 or 18 months.
  • Centrelink Cash Advance
    If you regularly receive pension payments you may be eligible to receive one of your payments in advance. Whether you are eligible depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you’ve been receiving it and the amount you receive.

Sharon and Greg


As a couple, Sharon and Greg receive $1,154.80 through the disability support pension after Greg had an accident at work. This is their only source of income. They are renting an apartment and their budget is stretched tight, not leaving any room to purchase any large items. Their fridge breaks down and they need $800 for a new one.

They are not eligible for a personal loan from most of the larger banks because their income is not sufficient. They consider their payday loan options, which will allow them to borrow the money and make repayments to coincide with their Centrelink payments, but they find out that they would have to pay back the loan within 60 days and this will not be manageable on their budget.

What they decide to do: They then take a look at the StepUP program and realise they will be able to borrow $800, or more should they need it, because they are using it to finance an essential household item. They can choose to pay the loan back over two or three years and their payments can be as low as $20.15 a fortnight. They decide that this level of repayment is manageable on to their budget. The loan also comes with a low fixed rate of 5.99% p.a. and is more affordable than some of the other loans they were considering.

All rates, fees and repayments correct at the time of writing

Community financial assistance programs

  • AddsUP.
    If you have successfully repaid a NILS or StepUP loan then you are eligible for a matched savings plan. Once you have $300 saved the bank will put in a dollar for every dollar saved, up to a limit of $500.
  • Saver Plus.
    This program helps families and low-income earners to improve their finances by developing savings plans and building assets. As you save you will be matched dollar for dollar up to a limit of $500.
  • Good Money.
    Operating out of Victoria, this community finance hub helps people access no- or low-interest personal loans, such as NILS, to purchase household goods. They also help people to 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 to buy essential household items. There are no fees and charges and the interest rate is fixed.

All rates, fees and repayments correct at the time of writing

How can pensioners apply for loans?

The table above will give you a good starting point to find a pensioner loan. You can click through to the page to find out more about the personal loan options available, and you can click "Go to Site" to submit your application. If you have questions regarding your eligibility it would be best to contact the brand directly.

Every loan application you make will be listed on your credit file and too many applications within a short space of time will not look good to a prospective lender. If you would like to see if your bank would approve a loan for you, have a chat to them over the phone, online or in a branch to see what they say before you apply.

To apply, you will need to provide personal information including your name and contact details, as well as financial information regarding your pension payments, assets, debts and open credit accounts.

Financing a caravan or motorhome? Read our guide here.

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268 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MariaDecember 8, 2017

    My husband & I are on Disability & Carer Pensions.
    We own our own home (720,000)
    We own our 2012 Hyundai Elantra
    We would like to consolidate credit card debt ($35,000) into a lower interest rate so as we can pay it off faster & add an extra ($5,000) for a front yard fence – a total of ($40,000).
    Presently, we make a total of $450 per fortnight for the 2 credit cards alone ($900 per fort).

    • Staff
      ArnoldDecember 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Centrelink benefits can be classed as genuine income by some lenders and can be used as income to assess your serviceability for a debt consolidation loan. It’s important to calculate your repayments and find out if your lender accepts your types of income. If you are on Newstart or Youth Allowance you may need to speak to your creditors and work out a repayment, please.

      Please note that eligibility requirements will vary among lenders.

      Hope this information helps


  2. Default Gravatar
    AmieNovember 30, 2017

    I have just entered a part 9 debt agreement about 3 weeks ago. This week I’ve found out that my son needs medical treatment that will take 12 months in the public system. Due to his age waiting 12 months will cause further speech delays. I’ve tried to access super with no luck. Is there a loan option for me?

    Thank you.

    • Staff
      RenchNovember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Arnie,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      You may also check this page for helpful info and compare your options for loans if you’re under a part 9 debt agreement.

      Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

      Best regards,

  3. Default Gravatar
    ThelmaOctober 18, 2017

    My 84 year old mother has to replace her car. She is on a DVA pension, and doesn’t have enough funds to purchase a car. Is there any way she can access a loan?

    • Staff
      MariaOctober 18, 2017Staff

      Hi Thelma,

      You’re on the right page for your concern.

      The lenders on this page consider applications from pensioners.

      You can check out each brand or bank’s conditions and then click on their name to read more about the loans that they offer.

      Please note that the approval of her application would depend on the lender’s assessment of her financial situation and ability to make loan repayments.

      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 her.


  4. Default Gravatar
    NicoleOctober 12, 2017

    My husband has bad credit but works full time. I have good credit but am on Centrelink. We need a relocation loan. Could you give us some advice on what lenders to try please.

  5. Default Gravatar
    BelindaSeptember 14, 2017

    My husband and I have been renting for 15 years. We have 3 children aged between 8-13yrs . Currently we are both employed but are low income earners (casual & partime.
    We receive Family tax benefits too.
    Are we eligible for first time home owners loan ?
    Are we likely to get loan from bank or what other options are available? We have no deposit at this stage.
    Or are we dreaming?

  6. Default Gravatar
    DamienSeptember 14, 2017

    Hello I’m be hind in rent by $12.50dollars and need a tie over loan. I’m currently on new start and family benefits tax a. I’m lined up for a job in the next few weeks but just need a loan to catch up on rent so I don’t get evicted. Can you please help as I am scared and don’t know what to do. Thank you Damien

    • Staff
      MariaSeptember 16, 2017Staff

      Hey Damien,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You’re on the right page for your concern as the lenders featured consider applications from pensioners.

      However, most of these lenders require you to be employed upon application. It would be best to confirm your eligibility and options directly with a lender featured on our pages.

      Also, you may find useful information on this page on Unemployed Loans.

      Please note that finder is an online comparison service and is not a product issuer, the approval of your application would depend on the lender’s assessment of your financial situation and ability to make loan repayments.

      I hope this helps.


  7. Default Gravatar
    MelindaAugust 27, 2017

    I have been on disability government payments since 2007,all my bills are taken out of my Disability government payment leaving me with 500$ a fortnight, I’m paid weekly, I’d like to pay my bills in full & advance so I can get my full payment not payment after all bills are paid,I’d like to borrow & consolidate my payments to one place & pay them weekly payments leaving me to be able to access my full payment after payments taken from a lender is this POSSIBLE FOR ME,so I can pay weekly payments to a lender who helps me pay all bills in advance leaving me with 300+$ p/f better off if I’m a viable candidate???

    • Staff
      MariaAugust 27, 2017Staff

      Hey Mindy,

      You’re on the right page for your concern as these lenders consider applications from pensioners.

      As finder is an online comparison service and is not a product issuer, it would be best to get in touch directly with a lender featured on this page to discuss your eligibility or options.

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

      You may click on “Go to site” or their linked name to be directed to their page.

      I hope this helps.


  8. Default Gravatar
    FallanAugust 24, 2017

    Where can you go to get a home loan on centrelink payment pensioner payment

    • Staff
      HaroldAugust 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Fallan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Some lenders view pensioners as being high-risk borrowers, there are still lenders willing to offer home loans to individuals receiving pension benefits. You may want to consider checking your options here.

      I hope this information has helped.


  9. Default Gravatar
    robertJuly 16, 2017

    I have defaults, I work full time. I would just like a second chance on a loan to purchase a motor vehicle. If not successful with a loan, can a pensioner on carer pension get a loan for a motor vehicle and if so, how much?

    • Staff
      RenchJuly 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      If you need to borrow to buy a vehicle, please review the criteria and contact a lender on this page to discuss your options and eligibility. You can request a quote from the provider. You can also make use of the car loan repayment calculator on this page to give you an idea.

      Hope this information helped.


  10. Default Gravatar
    PHILOMENAJuly 13, 2017

    I am looking at taking out a loan of $800. I am on a DSP Pension. Could you please direct me where to go. I also have an earned income of $180 per fortnight. I would like a low interest rate. I have already taken out the supplement loan with centrelink.

    • Staff
      JhezelynJuly 13, 2017Staff

      Hi Philomena,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Some lenders and institutions do consider Centrelink payments as income, so you may be eligible for a loan. It generally depends on how much you earn, what kind of financial situation you’re in and what kind of payments you receive. To find out if you are eligible, read our comprehensive guide to getting a loan on Centrelink payments.


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