pensioners applying

Pensioner Loans

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 27th, 2016

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

Ferratum Cash Loans

Borrow up to $1000 with bad credit

Ferratum offer no credit check loans with a fast and easy online application. Apply today to get approved.

  • Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Loan Term: 16, 22 or 32 days
  • No credit checks
  • Turnaround Time: Same Day if approved
  • Total Cost of Borrowing $100: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
  • Must be 18+
  • Must not be receiving benefits
  • Confidential and secure!

    Here are some loans that pensioners could apply for

    Rates last updated October 27th, 2016
    Max. Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Total Cost of Borrowing $100
    Ferratum Cash Loans
    A small loan from Ferratum lets you borrow up to $1,000 without a credit check
    $1,000 16, 22 or 32 days Same Day if approved 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month Go to site More
    *The cost may change and this is dependant 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.

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    Picture: Shutterstock

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    216 Responses to Pensioner Loans

    1. Default Gravatar
      Michelle | October 22, 2016

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

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | October 25, 2016

        Hi Michelle,

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



    2. 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

    3. 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.

      • Staff
        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,


    4. 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

      • Staff
        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,


    5. 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.

      • Staff
        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,


    6. Default Gravatar
      Jenny | August 11, 2016

      I receive the DSP and work in a casual job. My income is approximately $600 per week. I have a credit card debt of $8000 but no other debt. My house is sinking and I need to borrow $4500 to fix it. I wondered what my options were other than a fixed term personal loan.

      Kind Regards


      • Staff
        Elizabeth | August 16, 2016

        Hi Jenny,

        The lenders on the page above consider people receiving the pension, so you can take a look at your options above. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and keep in mind your financial situation and ability to manage the loan will be taken into account before you’re approved.

        I hope this helps,


    7. Default Gravatar
      Gina | August 5, 2016

      Hi, my 27 year old son is on a DSP and I am on a Carers Pension, He would love to buy a computer (Value around $3k), he spends most of his time alone with me and would like to have a powerful computer to play games on. Who would you advice us to approach?

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | August 9, 2016

        Hi Gina,

        Either yourself or your son can consider applying with one of the lenders on the page above. As you’re both receiving the pension you’re both in a similar position – you can consider your own assets, debts and income when deciding which of you is in a better position to apply. The lenders on the page above are all available to those on the pension.

        I hope this helps,


    8. Default Gravatar
      natalidrummond | July 29, 2016

      i would like to know whom i could get a loan of 3000 with on 950 a fortnight please

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | August 1, 2016

        Hi natalidrummond,

        You can compare your $3,000 loan options on this page but your eligibility will depend on each individual lender – you can find out eligibility criteria by clicking on the lender’s name and checking its review page.

        I hope this helps,


    9. Default Gravatar
      delores | July 29, 2016

      can I get cash from govt pension?

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | July 29, 2016

        Hi Delores,

        You can find out about the eligibility requirements for the disability pension on this page. If you’re looking to apply for the pension you’ll need to contact the Department of Human Services directly.

        I hope this helps,


    10. Default Gravatar
      Iris | July 13, 2016

      If I were to apply for amount of $10.000. Over4 years, & weekly payments, What would weekly payments be? And how much over the amount would u pay in interest? Iris

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | July 13, 2016

        Hi Iris,

        This depends on which lender you’re approved with as each charge different fees and interest. You can compare your options above and click through to the lender’s review page to find out more information, including costs.

        Hope this helps,


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