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Used Car Loan - Dealer Only

Real Time Rating™

3.84

/ 5
Interest Rate

3.99

% p.a

Fixed

Comparison Rate*

4.53

% p.a

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Monthly repayment

$552

Loan amount

$5k to $100k

Total repayments
Real Time Rating™

3.84

/ 5
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Can you get a car loan as a single parent?

It may not be easy, but it is possible to get a car loan as a single parent in Australia. To do so, you’ll need to fulfil a lender’s eligibility criteria, such as earning sufficient income to service the repayments, and having a good credit history.

What car loans are available to single parents?

Balancing parental responsibilities with work and other commitments is hard. Being there for your kids can mean having less time available for managing your personal finances, which could unfortunately affect your eligibility for car loans, personal loans and other forms of credit.

Some of the factors that could make getting a car loan harder include:

  • Not being employed full time
  • Earning a low income
  • Having Parenting Payment Single (PPS) being your primary income source
  • Being in debt
  • Having a bad credit score

Lenders can consider your employment status a sign of how likely you are to meet loan repayments. If you receive Centrelink income or PPS payments, there are some factors that may improve your chances of receiving approval on a loan.

  • Having a part-time job
  • Being an Australian resident
  • Having income or benefits worth more than $400 a week

What car loans are available to single parents?

Some types of car loans are structured in such a way that it may be easier for single parents to qualify for them. These may include:

  • Secured car loans: As these car loans are guaranteed by the value of the vehicle being purchased, the risk for the lender is reduced, which could help make it easier for a single parent to apply.
  • Low-doc car loans: These car loans don’t require the same types of documentation that are typically required by other car loans, such as payslips from an employer, which can be helpful if you're self-employed.
  • Guarantor car loans: Some lenders will allow single parents to get a car loan with the help of a guarantor – typically a close relative such as a parent who agrees to take responsibility for the loan if the borrower is unable to manage it.
  • Centrelink-accepted loans: Some lenders accept fortnightly Centrelink payments and similar benefits as valid forms of income for servicing a car loan.

Can you get an unsecured car loan as a single parent?

Unsecured car loans may be harder to qualify for as a single parent, as they represent a higher risk to the lender. You may have a higher chance of approval if you secure your loan against the car.

However, you may be able to use an unsecured car loan to purchase a wider array of vehicle options, as you won’t need the car’s value to secure the loan. This means you may be able to buy a used car, which is typically cheaper than buying a new car, so you may only need a smaller loan amount.

Will your credit score affect your chance of approval?

There are a number of lenders who specialise in bad-credit car finance. If you’re struggling for loan approval as a single parent because of your bad credit history, these may be an option. But bad-credit car loans often have higher interest rates, meaning you may struggle to meet their higher interest costs over the loan term. 

Think carefully too about whether you can afford the monthly repayments on a car loan. If you don’t think you can keep up, you may want to reconsider. Use our car loan calculator to see what your repayments might be.

Who can help you get a car loan as a single parent?

Finding a car loan that suits your needs as a single parent doesn’t have to be hard. You can use RateCity’s comparison tables to view a range of car loan options side by side, and use filters to tailor the search results to better match your needs.

You can also consider contacting a car finance broker for more help choosing a car loan. These financial experts can recommend specific car finance options to suit your personal situation, and may be able to negotiate with the lender on your behalf to help you get a better deal. They can also help you manage the loan application process to help ensure a smooth experience.  

What documentation do single parents need for a car loan?

If you’re applying for a car loan, you’ll need the following:

  • Personal identification (e.g. driver’s licence or passport)
  • Proof of income (including Centrelink or Parenting Payment Single - PPS)
  • Copies of bank statements and bills
  • Information on any debts you have (e.g. credit cards)
  • Information about the car you want to buy

The key difference for single parents often involves documentation - check what's required before you fill out a car loan application form. 

If you’re on Centrelink payments, or you're receiving child support payments, check if the lender will consider this income when assessing your application. 

You should also check the minimum income you need to be eligible for the car loan.

Are there banks that specialise in single parent car loans?

While there aren’t any lenders who specifically focus on single parents, there are plenty who lend to less creditworthy borrowers. Single parents may find that some smaller lenders may be more flexible than the big banks, though this isn’t always the case. Before you apply, consider contacting a lender to ask whether they will lend to someone in your financial situation. 

It’s important you’re confident that you’ll be approved for a car loan before you apply, since a rejection can negatively affect your credit score. If your credit history is a concern, you could consider bad credit specialist lenders for a loan. Keep in mind that their interest rates will likely be higher than if you have a good credit rating.

How much can I get towards a new car as a single parent?

It really depends on your financial circumstances as to how much a lender will grant you towards a new car as a single parent. With most lenders, the smaller the loan you apply for, the higher your chances are of approval, so getting a cheaper car or adding some savings of your own, may be a valid option if you are struggling for approval on a car loan.

How much can I get towards a new car as a single parent?

It really depends on your financial circumstances as to how much a lender will grant you towards a new car as a single parent. With most lenders, the smaller the loan you apply for, the higher your chances are of approval, so getting a cheaper car or adding some savings of your own, may be a valid option if you are struggling for approval on a car loan.

Where can I find car loans for single mothers?

Single mothers can sometimes find that due to their circumstances the bigger banks can be less inclined to lend to them, but there are smaller companies and specialist lenders who can be willing to provide loans to people in a range of circumstances.

Single mothers could benefit from getting in touch with a car finance broker, as a broker is likely to have knowledge and access to options that are suited to their needs.

Advantages to using a broker:

  • Finance brokers often don’t charge for their services as they work on a commission basis from lenders.
  • Brokers will have industry knowledge and contacts within lending companies and is therefore more likely to be able to find the best deal for your circumstances.
  • Brokers are qualified professionals who are licensed under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act so have an obligation to follow responsible lending practices and to work in your best interests.

Find car finance through a broker.

Can you get a car loan as a single mum?

Getting a car loan can be tricky if you’re a single mum, but it’s not impossible. Juggling your finances can be difficult, particularly if you are reliant on a sole income or on Centrelink payments (or a combination of the two), and having a car is a necessity rather than a luxury for many who have to look after children. Luckily there are specialist providers and services that can help you get the loan you’re after, even if you’re in a tough spot financially.

Where can I get a student car loan?

Student car loans are not a necessarily a product in and of themselves, but what you may be looking for is a guarantor car loan.

A guarantor car loan has a third-party act as a form of guarantee for your loan application, telling the bank or lender that if you default on your loan, someone will pay the loan repayments.

Going guarantor on a car loan is no new thing, and before internet-based credit scores, guarantor car loan applicants would apply for loans with a guarantor or property owner who could vouch for the person borrowing the loan.

To get a guarantor car loan, you’ll need someone willing to act as a guarantor for your car loan.

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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