Am I eligible for a personal loan?

Find out everything you need to know about personal loan eligibility to give yourself the best chance of being approved.

Applying for a personal loan, whether it's secured or unsecured, fixed rate or variable, or for $3,000 or $30,000, is a big financial step. Finding the right loan can be difficult and getting approved can often be even harder. Every loan application you make is listed on your credit file, so you want to make sure you're eligible before you apply.

Below you'll find a guide to each of the eligibility criteria that lenders consider when you apply for a personal loan. While standards differ between lenders, there are some general rules that will help you get approved.

Read our guide to get a better understanding of how to work out if you are eligible for a loan and where to find a loan that will meet your needs.

See if you'll be eligible to apply

  • Income. Lenders will either have a set minimum income that you need to earn, for example, $35,000 p.a., or only require that you earn a regular permanent income. In the case of the latter, it's best that you determine whether the loan you're applying for will be affordable on your current budget.
  • Employment. This differs among lenders. If they have an employment requirement, it may be that you need to be in "regular" employment, meaning you can't be casually employed. If you are casually employed or work part-time you will still have loan options. For other lenders, they may just require additional details for self-employed borrowers.
  • Centrelink. Many banks and lenders do accept Centrelink as a form of income for personal loans. However, you will need to be earning a supplementary income and will need to meet the minimum income requirement.
  • Credit history. You will generally need good credit history to apply for a personal loan, especially if you're applying at a traditional bank. If you do have a few negative marks on your credit file, you may be able to apply with your current bank if you have good transaction history or go with a bad credit personal loan lender.
  • Loan security. If you're applying for a secured loan, such as a car loan, your secured asset may also need to meet certain eligibility criteria. For instance, the vehicle you use as security may need to be under a certain age or be of a certain value. Some lenders only finance new cars, but you can also find loan options for used cars.
  • Assets, debts and expenses. You will be asked to list your assets, debts and expenses on your application and these will all inform the lender's decision as to whether to approve you for a loan. Assets may boost your application whereas debts, such as credit cards, store cards or other loans, can hinder your applications. Expenses are always estimated but lenders generally have a good idea when you're under or overestimating based on the data of other customers.
  • Age and residency. Regardless of which personal loan you're applying for, you will generally need to be over the age of 18 and either an Australian citizen or permanent resident. There are some personal loans that are available to those on working visas, but they will have additional eligibility criteria.

Tips to get your personal loan over the line

If you're unsure about your eligibility or worried you may not be approved, consider the following tips to help give your personal loan application a boost:

  • Open a transaction account with the lender you're applying with. If you're applying with a bank that has transaction accounts and the personal loan isn't time-sensitive, establishing a banking history with the lender can help get your application across the line. It can also speed up the application process.
  • Reduce the limit of your credit card/s. Not using your entire credit card limit? Consider lowering it if you're not planning to use it soon. You'll need to list the total limits of your credit cards on your personal loan application and any credit limit will be seen as a potential debt by the lender.
  • Pay off some of your credit card before applying. While the Australian credit scoring system doesn't work in the same way as the US, where paying off your credit card can lower your credit score, it may help your loan application. If you take a look at your loan application (before submitting it) and the lender asks what is owing on your credit cards, see if you can pay down the cards before sending in the application. Lenders are able to check the limit of your card on your credit file but not the amount owing, this is up to you to tell them.
  • Make sure you're out of your employment probation period before you apply. Lenders don't want to take the chance of giving you a loan during your probation period. They will not approve a loan if you haven't been employed at least three months, no matter how secure you tell them the role is. If you have been employed six months the lender may call your employer to confirm you're out of your probation period.

Remember that no personal loan application is guaranteed, so use the guide above to ensure you're giving yourself the best chance of approval you can.

Rates last updated November 19th, 2018
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Application Fee Product Description Monthly Repayment
ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan
12.45% (fixed)
13.32%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$150
You'll receive a fixed rate of 12.45% p.a.
Apply for up to $50,000 to use for a variety of purposes without needing to add security. Available to self-employed applicants.
Harmoney Unsecured Personal Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.69%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$0
$500 (Upfront fee)
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 26.95% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Apply for a loan up to $70,000 and repay your loan over 3 or 5 years terms.
Citi Personal Loan Plus
From 8.99% (variable)
9.96%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$10
$199
You'll receive a variable rate between 8.99% p.a. and 17.99% p.a. (9.96% p.a. to 18.91% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
A credit limit up to $75,000 that you can continue to draw down over terms up to 5 years.
RateSetter Unsecured Personal Loan - 3yr Fixed
From 8.95% (fixed)
9.55%
$2,001
0.5 to 5 years
$0
$89
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible loan with amounts from $2,001 and terms starting from 6 months. Interest and comparison rates calculated for a loan term of 3 years.
HSBC Personal Loan
From 8.5% (fixed)
9.06%
$5,000
1 to 5 years
$5
$150
You'll receive a fixed rate between 8.5% p.a. and 16.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
An unsecured personal loan with a tailored, fixed rate where you can make additional and early repayments without penalty.
Latitude Personal Loan (Unsecured)
From 13.99% (fixed)
15.19%
$3,000
2 to 7 years
$13
$250 (Loans under $4000 - $140)
You'll receive a fixed rate between 13.99% p.a. and 29.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for what you need from $3,000 and use it for a range of purposes. Flexible repayments options.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
Headline rate 13.49% (fixed)
14.36%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$150
You'll receive a fixed rate between 11.49% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years.
Westpac Unsecured Personal Loan
12.99% (fixed)
14.14%
$4,000
1 to 7 years
$12
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 12.99% p.a.
Benefit from the security of a fixed rate with the flexibility of additional repayments. Existing Westpac customers may qualify for discounts. Note: $250 establishment fee waived if you apply before 20 December 2018.
Latitude Low Rate Personal Loan (Unsecured)
10.99% (fixed)
12.21%
$20,000
2 to 7 years
$13
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 10.99% p.a.
A secured or unsecured loan available to homeowners with a large minimum borrowing amount of $20,000. Benefit from flexible repayments and fast approval.
Pepper Money Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
From 9.99% (fixed)
9.99%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 27.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no monthly or application fees.
NOW FINANCE Personal Loans
From 8.95% (fixed)
10.56%
$5,000
1.5 to 7 years
$13
$495 (Based on $10,000)
You'll receive a fixed rate between 8.95% p.a. and 16.95% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for loans from $5,000 and get a dedicated loan manager. No security required.
St.George Unsecured Personal Loan - Fixed Rate
From 12.99% (fixed)
14.06%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$12
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 12.99% p.a. and 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 to fund a range of purposes. Note: $195 establishment fee waived if you apply before 20 December 2018.
ING Personal Loan
8.99% (fixed)
9.13%
$5,000
2 to 5 years
$0
$100
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.99% p.a.
Benefit from no ongoing fees, no early repayment fees and flexible loan terms on amounts up to $30,000.
Australian Military Bank Fixed Rate Personal Loan
From 7.93% (fixed)
8.77%
$1,000
1 to 5 years
$10
from $100 to $500
You'll receive a fixed rate between 7.93% p.a. and 18.87% p.a. based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan with a low minimum borrowing amount and flexible repayment options.
RACQ Bank Unsecured Personal Loan
12.95% (variable)
13.25%
$3,000
5 years
$0
$200
You'll receive a variable rate of 12.95% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $3,000 that you can use for a range of purposes. Benefit from member discounts and flexible repayments. Only available to QLD residents
CUA Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
11.99% (fixed)
11.99%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 11.99% p.a.
An unsecured loan from $5,000 with no monthly or establishment fees and flexible repayments.
CUA Discount Fixed Personal Loan (Loans over $30,000)
10.99% (fixed)
10.99%
$30,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a discounted fixed rate of 10.99% p.a.
Receive a discounted rate for borrowing over $30,000 and benefit from features such as no monthly fees and flexible repayments.
ANZ Variable Rate Personal Loan
15.99% (variable)
16.84%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$150
You'll receive a variable rate of 15.99% p.a.
A flexible loan with amounts starting $5,000 that offers flexible repayments and a redraw facility.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Variable Rate
Headline rate 12.69% (variable)
13.56%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$150
You'll receive a variable rate based on your risk profile. The headline rate is 12.69% p.a.
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes. Benefit from fee-free additional repayments and a redraw facility.
CUA Unsecured Variable Personal Loan
11.89% (variable)
11.89%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a variable rate of 11.89% p.a.
Borrow from $5,000 with the option for flexible repayments and no monthly fees.
CUA Discount Variable Personal Loan (Loans over $30,000)
10.89% (variable)
10.89%
$30,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a discounted variable rate of 10.89% p.a.
Borrow over $30,000 and receive a discounted interest rate. No monthly fees and a redraw facility also available.
Pepper Money Unsecured Variable Personal Loan
From 9.99% (variable)
9.99%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
You'll receive a variable rate between 9.99% p.a. and 27.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Make extra repayments and repay early at any time.
Australian Military Bank Variable Rate Personal Loan
From 7.88% (variable)
8.72%
$1,000
1 to 7 years
$10
from $100 to $500
You'll receive a variable rate between 7.88% p.a. and 18.82% p.a. based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan with flexible repayment options and a low minimum borrowing amount.
MyState Bank Unsecured Personal Loan
12.99% (variable)
16.42%
$3,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$200
You'll receive a variable rate of 12.99% p.a.
Apply for up to $50,000 and make additional repayments at any time without penalty.

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Personal Loan Offers

Important Information*
HSBC Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate between 8.5% p.a. and 16.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
An unsecured personal loan with a tailored, fixed rate where you can make additional and early repayments without penalty.

Citi Personal Loan Plus

You'll receive a variable rate between 8.99% p.a. and 17.99% p.a. (9.96% p.a. to 18.91% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
A credit limit up to $75,000 that you can continue to draw down over terms up to 5 years.

Latitude Personal Loan (Unsecured)

You'll receive a fixed rate between 13.99% p.a. and 29.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for what you need from $3,000 and use it for a range of purposes. Flexible repayments options.

CUA Unsecured Fixed Rate Personal Loan

You'll receive a fixed rate of 11.99% p.a.
An unsecured loan from $5,000 with no monthly or establishment fees and flexible repayments.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LindaJune 9, 2016

    Hi just wanted to know if you have any advice for me I am looking for a loan to consolidate my debt I am so stressed and feel like there no hope at the moment I know that if someone would just give me the chance they would not regret it I am employed full time (7years)own a car (8000) and own my home 800000 my debt is about 20000 dollar any help would be greatly appreciated thanks

    • finder Customer Care
      ElizabethJune 9, 2016Staff

      Hi Linda,

      Unfortunately I can’t recommend any lenders to you – you can compare your personal loan options here and click through to the review pages to find eligibility criteria for each loan. If you meet the criteria you are eligible to apply.

      If you’re looking to financial advice you can call the free financial counselling hotline on 1800 007 007.

      I hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

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