Pensioner loans

Find out the loan options available to pensioners and the eligibility criteria that applies.

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Lenders have stricter criteria for those receiving a Disability Support Pension (DSP), Carer Allowance or the Age Pension. Read on to see what loan options are available to pensioners, the eligibility criteria and costs that apply then compare the options that are available.

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. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

⚠️ 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.

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What's in this guide?

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Some of the brands that consider pensioners for a loan

Brand Can pensioners apply? What conditions are there?
Cash Converters Yes Your loan repayments cannot exceed 20% of your income from the pension.
Cash Stop Yes You're able to apply.
ClearCash Yes You're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Credit24 Yes At least 50% of your income needs to come from outside of Centrelink payments.
Ferratum Loans Yes You need to earn 50% of your income from outside of Centrelink payments.
Good to Go Loans Yes You're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Nimble No You need to be employed and your primary source of income can't be from Centrelink.
Rapid Finance Yes You're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Banks that may consider you for a loan

Brand Can pensioners apply? What conditions are there?
ANZ Yes You need to earn $15,000 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Yes Age pension and DSP are accepted.
You'll need to provide a letter from Centrelink detailing your pension payments.
BankSA Yes You're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Bank Australia Yes You're able to apply, applications are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Bankwest Yes DSP and parenting payments are accepted.
You'll need supplementary income to be able to apply.
Bendigo Bank No You need to be in regular, paid employment.

Centrelink payments are accepted with supplementary income.

Citibank Yes You need to earn $40,000 p.a.

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

Commonwealth Bank Yes You need to earn $14,000 p.a.

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

NAB Yes Some Centrelink income is considered.
You need to demonstrate you can afford the loan repayments.
St.George Yes Parenting payments and DSP are accepted.
Westpac Yes You need to earn $15,000 p.a. DSP is accepted.

What loan options do pensioners have?

Loans that are available 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 it, 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. These are small loans that are repaid in the short term. You can usually borrow between $100 and $2,000 for a period of 16 days up to 1 year. Your income and expenses will be verified before your loan is potentially funded. Keep in mind these loans come with much higher fees than other standard personal loans.
  • 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.

Loan 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

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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're 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're eligible depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you’ve been receiving it and the amount you receive.

Community financial assistance programs

  • AddsUP
    If you have successfully repaid a NILS or StepUP loan then you're 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. It also helps 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 is one starting point to find a pensioner loan. The table shows some personal loan options that are 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 it over the phone, online or in a branch to see what it says 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.

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308 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    sharelleOctober 17, 2019

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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiOctober 17, 2019Staff

      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

  2. 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 Customer Care
      JohnJanuary 10, 2019Staff

      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

  3. 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 Customer Care
      JohnJanuary 10, 2019Staff

      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

  4. Default Gravatar
    BonnieDecember 8, 2018

    I need extra money for car repair and Xmas. Online my dsp says clearly that I’m eligible for a advance loan but the operator would not allow it.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You are on the right page when it comes to pensioner loans. You may want to check the conditions provided per lender to see your qualifications prior to opening an application. You may also contact their customer support department to know more about the qualifications to take out a loan. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  5. Default Gravatar
    BruceDecember 5, 2018

    How do I qualify for a small loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezDecember 11, 2018Staff

      Hello Bruce,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you’re referring to the qualification for a pensioner loan, basically, you just need to meet the lending requirements. As long as they can see that you have a stable income and you’re capable to repay the loan, then you may be eligible.

      You can see the lenders listed above that consider pensioners. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  6. Default Gravatar
    GEOFFNovember 8, 2018

    Im disability pensioner & ex bankrupt for many yrs I will have saved $2,500 + by may 2018 i am wondering if any financial services will lend me $6,000 long term repayments over 5 yrs plus i want to use the money above mentioned as a deposit in bank so when required gor copy of 90 days past to present bank statement 2018 to 2019 yrs it will show that i have a good track record of saving & direct-debts no defaults etc can you please give me any constructive advise i thank you for your time and appreciation regarding my online email enquire

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      I can’t provide a personalised advice since I’m not completely familiar with your situation, but generally, what the banks would want to know is that you have a stable source of income and you have the ability to make repayments. If you have that, then your chance of getting approved would increase.

      Basically, the lenders who might approve your loan application are the lenders listed above. The maximum amount of money you would be approved for would depend on the lender. Please review the tables found above especially the ones with the check marks. They are more likely to be able to help you in your situation. Please discuss with them your eligibility and options.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  7. Default Gravatar
    TracyOctober 24, 2018

    How can I apply for a $110, 000 loan, please ??

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelOctober 24, 2018

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      There are a few considerations that come into play when determining how much you can borrow with a personal loan, including how much you can afford to repay and your loan purpose. But in terms of how much you can apply to borrow, it comes down to the type of loan you apply for. Unsecured personal loans usually offer loan amounts of between $1,000 and $50,000 while secured personal loans and car loans usually offer loan amounts of between $3,000 and $80,000.

      Assuming you are a pensioner looking to have a loan of this amount, it would be difficult to get approved because most lenders will only lend up to 2000$ in this page and getting approved for a huge amount of money as a personal loan will have stricter eligibility criteria such as your credit score, employment and residency.

      If you need real time answers to your questions, you can send us a message via chat on the bottom right next time. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  8. Default Gravatar
    MichaerlOctober 4, 2018

    Hello. I am an age pensioner, I am separated from my wife, we are putting our house on the market, half being my share, I would like to get a loan of $5000.00 that would help to improve the house before selling. How would I being separated affect my chances, and what institution would give me a loan, My share of the house would be approx $250.000.00. Thank you.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezOctober 5, 2018Staff

      Hello Michaerl,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I’d refer you to this page which will guide you about loans for home improvement or renovations. The page does not specifically state that a pensioner can be considered for this kind of loan however you may be considered when you disclose your financial assets.

      We also have a page about home loans for pensioners which will guide you on how to go about getting a loan when you’re on a pension. Please compare the loan products listed on the page and click either Enquire Now or Go to Site button to inquire or apply.

      Please note that lenders consider your income and financial position in getting a home loan for your house renovation. A pension is lower than the normal income of other applicants who are applying and the income level required. If you have assets and believe you can meet lending requirements, it might be a good idea to discuss your options with the financial provider or mortgage broker, as applying online may be difficult if you can’t demonstrate your capacity to repay the loan.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  9. Default Gravatar
    TyroneSeptember 24, 2018

    I’m on DSP and I owe money $830. I would like to borrow $3000 + $830 (I have a good credit rating) who will give me a loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 24, 2018Staff

      Hello Tyrone,

      Thank you 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.

      The page does show the lenders that accept Centrelink benefits as an income, which means that they may consider you for a loan. Please read the guide and compare the lenders, once decided, please click the Go to Site button. It is important to ensure your eligibility before submitting an application for the loan.

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

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  10. Default Gravatar
    LomekinaAugust 24, 2018

    I need $5500 for a hair transplant , who should i approach,what should i do.But the problem is I’m on DSP.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnAugust 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Lomekina,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      For this, you may need to consult a lender directly who offers pension loans just like the ones on this page and check your eligibility as well as requirements necessary to take out a loan. Just ensure that you meet these requirements first prior to taking out the loan. You may also speak to the lender’s representative to check on your qualifications. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

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