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.

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

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.


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.

Picture: Shutterstock

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244 Responses to Pensioner Loans

  1. Default Gravatar
    | May 26, 2017

    I am after a loan, as I’ m on the carer payment a lot of places reject me I need money for a brand new washing machine and groceries today, who can help me?

    • Staff
      Harold | May 26, 2017

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are currently receiving carer payments through centre link you may want to check the available option/s here.

      I hope this information has helped.


  2. Default Gravatar
    Kylie | May 14, 2017

    Hi , I’m enquiring about borrowing 5500 , what would the fortnightly payment be , an how many months could I take it over


    • Staff
      May | May 14, 2017

      Hi Kylie,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The repayments and term for a $5,000 personal loan would depend on the lender you go with. If you are a pensioner, you can contact a lender featured above to directly discuss your loan options and eligibility.


  3. Default Gravatar
    | April 6, 2017

    If I take out a $50000 mortgage on my home does Centrelink use this as an asset I would have $25000 plus $50000.
    Total assets using the $75000 figure would be about $100,000 including furniture and car.
    But I would have a fortnightly repayment to bank.
    Probably about $120 per fortnight not known yet as I am investigating with banks

    • Staff
      Harold | April 14, 2017

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are on a pension and are looking to apply for a loan, you can compare your options we’ve listed on this pag. Please each lenders may required eligibility criteria. You can click the name of the loan product on our comparison table, then you will be redirected to a page where you can check the full details for your further review and comparison.

      I hope this information has helped.


  4. Default Gravatar
    Julia | March 28, 2017

    I need to get a lone im on a pension

    • Staff
      Anndy | March 29, 2017

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are on a pension and are looking to apply for a loan, you can compare your options above.Please do note that that other eligibility criteria apply.

      When you click the name of the loan product on our comparison table, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can check its requirements and eligibility criteria to apply.


  5. Default Gravatar
    Brian | March 26, 2017

    I get a DSP pension and i want to get a car loan for $7000. I have had credit cards in the past for limits up to $5500 and paid them off. My credit rating is very good according to credit savvy website. I could do a a secured loan as i own my own house. What are my options? i want a low interest rate and i could just get a $5000 low rate credit card and but a car with that but i want to be more sensible

    • Staff
      May | March 27, 2017

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The lenders that are featured on this page offer loans to people who receive DSP and other Centrelink payments. If you need to borrow to buy a car, please review the criteria and contact a lender on that page to discuss your options and eligibility.


  6. Default Gravatar
    suzy | March 6, 2017

    I’m on a dsp and I need a loan of at least 5000 to repair my balcony on my house. It’s very dangerous cant be walked on.and only yesterday whilst I was unlocking the front door a huge portion of the balcony floor fell off and almost took my head off.Isthere anyone that can help me. I need an answer asap.thankyou

    • Staff
      Anndy | March 7, 2017

      Hi Suzy,

      Thanks for your question.

      On the above page, we have listed short-term lenders and banks that may consider you for a loan. Kindly refer to those with green checks. To check the loan features and eligibility criteria to apply for a particular loan, simply click the name of the brand/bank on our table.

      Please note that lenders have stricter criteria for those receiving disability support pension (DSP).

      Before submitting an application, make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products you are interested in.


  7. Default Gravatar
    Karen | February 17, 2017

    I would like a small loan to help with some bills etc i receive carers allowance can you please help….urgent
    Thank you

    • Staff
      Anndy | February 21, 2017

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are receiving Carer allowance, some of the lenders and banks above may consider you for a loan. By clicking the lender or bank that accepts Centrelink, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can check and compare your options.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision whether the product is right for you.


  8. Default Gravatar
    | February 1, 2017

    my partner & I are aged pensioners. We have a credit card debt of $21,000 on which we pay $600per month. How can we obtain a personal loan paying $600 per month to pay of our card. The interest would be considerably lower & we could pay of the debt off over 5 years.

    • Staff
      Anndy | February 1, 2017

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for your question.

      On the above page, we have listed some of the lenders that may consider you for a personal loan. However, please note that for non-bank lenders, the average maximum amount that you can get is only up to $5,000. For banks, one of the requirements is for you to have another source of income.

      You may want to consider getting a balance transfer card to save on interest payments. Some balance transfer cards offer 0% balance transfer rate for up to 24 months. For more information about how balance transfer work, you can check this page.


  9. Default Gravatar
    judy | January 25, 2017

    My husband receives age pension and I the DSP.We have recently received a personal loan of just $6.000 to purchase a vehicle. We did ask for a monthly payments but didn’t get it. Our repayments are $100.00 a fortnight which is a bit high for us and we were wondering if we would be able to apply to centrelink for a personal loan to payout our existing loan so that we can make monthly payments they also maybe a little less than what we are currently paying. Thank you for any information you can help us with.

    • Staff
      May | January 25, 2017

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are looking to apply for a personal loan, please check this page for your options. On that page, you can find the lenders that offer loans to people who receive Centrelink payments. You’d be best to review the criteria and get in touch with a lender directly to discuss your loan options and approval.

      Hope this helps.


  10. Default Gravatar
    Sarah | January 9, 2017

    A heads up: St George Bank does give personal loans to people on the DSP but mine was rejected. They seem to have very stringent requirements for how much money you have left after paying living expenses. Ie you can’t afford to pay much on food, medication, bills, transport and entertainement in order to be approved for a loan. Would this website have an idea of how much you need to quote for living expenses in order to be approved for a loan? Ie how much of your total income needs to go on food etc and how much you have left over in order to get a loan? What percentage of your total income is necessary for a loan? Thanks Sarah

    • Staff
      May | January 10, 2017

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question and I’m sorry to hear about your rejected application.

      Generally, most lenders will base their approval of your application on their assessment of your financial position, income, other liabilities and credit rating. So basically, the discretion to whether approving your application or not would depend entirely on the lender how they see you capable of servicing the loan. But not all lenders are the same, their eligibility requirements vary from each other and would be on case-by-case basis.

      Since you’re on DSP, you may like to check this page to find a possible lender who may approve your application.

      Hope this helps.


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