pensioners applying

Pensioner Loans

Rates and Fees verified correct on January 23rd, 2017

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.

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 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. tKeep in mind 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 a 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

Here are some loans that pensioners could apply for

Rates last updated January 23rd, 2017
  • Product

Compare up to 4 providers

  • empty
  • empty
  • empty
  • empty

Fetching your data...

*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

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.


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.

Case study 1: 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 look to see if they have any loan options to purchase a new one.

They work out that they need $800 to buy a new fridge, have it delivered and have the old one taken away. 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 50 days with the payday lender they are looking at and this will not be manageable on their budget.

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.

Case study 2: Linda and Grant

As a couple, Linda and Grant receive $1,270 in super repayments every fortnight. They’ve paid off their house and have a small source of additional income from a rented-out investment property. While their payments are enough to support their lifestyle, they don’t have the means to make additional larger purchases. When their car stops working, they want to take out a personal loan to buy a replacement.

They are currently with the Commonwealth Bank and want to take out a loan with them. They look and see that they can borrow $5,000 at an interest rate of 9.49% p.a*. Calculating the repayments they can afford, they see they can make repayments of $125.59* per month and repay the loan within four years. They find out that Commonwealth Bank requires a car to be less than five years old, but they can only afford an older car. They look at the unsecured loan option but it is outside of their budget.

They then consider an unsecured loan option from ANZ, but see that they will have to pay fees every quarter that will cost them money over the life of the loan. They then see a loan option, the Citibank Ready Credit, that will let them borrow $5,000 for a fixed rate of 8.99%* p.a. for a term of four years. They like the fixed rate because it will let them plan for their repayments and the competitive rate on offer seals the deal for them. All they have to do is prove they have a taxable income of $35,000 per annum and they can buy the car they had in mind.

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

How pensioners can 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 making 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

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

HSBC Personal Loan

A competitive fixed interest rate loan with the option to make extra repayments. Min. income $30,000

Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)

Can be used for whatever purpose: renovating, buying a car, booking a holiday. Funds can be in your account in as little as 24 hours.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

226 Responses to Pensioner Loans

    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

      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.


    Default Gravatar
    Redfox | November 22, 2016

    I’m on dsp I get 879.00 a f/n but have bad credit but I need A loan to go see my sick father I have enough to pay repayments back so who can I borrow of and pls I don’t want suggestions I want to no who will defentily lend to me I’m after about $1000

      Harold | November 22, 2016

      Hello Redfox,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are aiming to increase your credibility you may want to read these articles (listed below) for your guide and reference.
      1. Improve Your Credit Score
      2. Since you mentioned you have a bad credit history you may also consider this options.

      I hope this information has helped.


    Default Gravatar
    Mel | November 10, 2016

    Could you please tell me if there is any lenders that only use your pay details and dont need to view banking history?

      Harold | November 10, 2016

      Hello Mel,

      Thank you for your question.

      If you wish to apply for a personal loan that requires less document you may find this article useful.

      I hope this has helped.


    Default Gravatar
    Pilar | November 9, 2016

    Dear sir and madam! My husband past away 2007 and now the pension was transferred to me. I have breast cancer and I need money for my treatment. I need £ 7,000 for my operation. I leave here in the Philippines. I hope I can find a loan that can be paid in installment or deducted from my monthly pension of £1000 a month.

      Harold | November 10, 2016

      Hello Pilar,

      Thank you for your question.

      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.

      I hope that helps.


    Default Gravatar
    Liz | November 4, 2016

    I’M on a carers pension and I am 65.l need a personal loan for $26,000 how much do I have to pay a month.

      Anndy | November 8, 2016

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your monthly repayment depends on the interest rate and term of the loan.

      You can check this page to compare personal loan products for your needs. Please do use the loan calculator on top of the table so you can compare the monthly repayment for each loan product depending on the loan period that you want.

      Most banks accept pensioner applicants on a case-to-case basis. So once you have selected a particular lender, you can directly get in touch with them to know your chance of approval. You might as well check the above page for lenders and banks that may consider you for a loan.


    Default Gravatar
    Michelle | October 22, 2016

    Not question just statement.NAB does NOT recognise Disability Pension as a source of income.

      Elizabeth | October 25, 2016

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for letting us know! We’ll confirm with NAB and update the page so it’s correct.



    Default Gravatar
    ron | October 22, 2016

    I’m on DSP but I’m looking to buy a coffee van so I can get off the DSP but vans start at 35000 up and info wood be good thanks

    Default Gravatar
    Heidi | October 21, 2016

    I am about to have my 4th child and have to get a bigger car I’m on the DSP with centerlink I have saved some but just need $1000 loan can’t get a loan with centerlink till months away..what bank does small loans or something that is safe.thank you.

      Elizabeth | October 24, 2016

      Hi Heidi,

      There are a variety of schemes to assist those on Centrelink or on low incomes to purchase essential items, such as vehicles. You can learn more about the schemes that are available here. If you’d prefer to apply with a short-term lender, those that consider pensioners for loans are listed on the page above.

      Hope this helps,


    Default Gravatar
    Alex | August 30, 2016

    I wish to apply for an advance payment via centrelink or a loan of 2,000 as I need it for medical reasons and dental reasons due to domestic violence that happened 6 weeks ago. Please advise what I am entitled to. I have already had an advance payment this year. I am in dire straits with medical bills and more dental surgery is needing. I am also in need of counselling. Please advise, Thanks

      Elizabeth | August 30, 2016

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your question and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. You are eligible to apply for an advance Centrelink payment as long as you are not repaying an advance payment you received more than 12 months ago. You can receive free financial counselling by calling 1800 007 007. This service will be able to advise you on your best options.

      I hope this will help,


    Default Gravatar
    Grant | August 24, 2016

    Hi Elizabeth just thought I would give your readers heads up on what happened to my Wife and I when went for a $5,000 personal loan at our ANZ bank. We are both on DSP payments.

    My Wife and I worked our total living expenses and what our current loans is. With ANZ in several years saved up to almost $1,500 even our loan manager stated that after going through our details for the loan that looked good just needed approval from the lending department.

    A few days later the loan was declined after going to the ANZ Bank was advised that even though on paper was good the lending criteria for the ANZ has a maximum of $2,200 for total Living expenses so no matter under that still gets to work out to the max amount. Not only that any dependants you have is included another $300 per month added to the total living expenses and any debts you have.

    Elizabeth do you know any of the other top 4 banks that follows ANZ lending criteria? Would you know of any other banks that only takes in consideration what is put on the loan papers as total living expenses and how much surplus you have left over? Also 100% on DSP only.

      Elizabeth | August 25, 2016

      Hi Grant,

      Thanks for the update!

      The banks tend to rely on similar methods to calculate living expenses (find out how it’s calculated on this page). So while your expenses may actually be less, lenders rely on averages to help process your application and ensure the information is accurate.

      You may have more luck applying with your current bank (if they accept pensioner applicants – you can confirm this by looking at the “banks” tab on the page above) as they can confirm your living expenses by looking at your bank statements. You may also ask if you could provide bank statements to confirm your living expenses with another lender that accepts DSP applicants.

      Hope this information has helped,


Ask a question