Different lenders have different rules for who they give personal loans to, but there is a checklist of requirements most tend to follow. For example, the lender will wish to know who employs you, your credit history, your debts and assets and whether you’re an Australian resident.
They will also ask for your age. The minimum age for a personal loan is usually 18 years and the lender will ask for proof of age, often via a birth certificate or passport.
While there is no maximum age for a personal loan, it can sometimes be harder to show a lender you can repay a personal loan when you reach retirement age.
If you are too young to take out a personal loan, there are sometimes guarantor personal loans available. In this scenario, the guarantor, usually a family member or friend, agrees with the lender they will take on the responsibility of repaying the loan if you are ever unable to pay. Given the burden these loans can place on loved ones if things go wrong, it’s important to seek advice and look at other available options.
When we speak about the personal loan age limit, we’re talking about two ends of a broad spectrum of eligibility: the starting age and the maximum age, which may change between lenders.
Loan options for younger people
Education, especially university or TAFE, can be very costly for those who do not get financial support from their parents. Besides the cost of tuition fees, there are living and travelling costs to think about.
There are various loan and support options available for young people who are studying, including the Government’s HECS-HELP, which helps pay for tuition fees. There’s also Centrelink programs like Youth Allowance for young people who are studying or undertaking an apprenticeship full-time.
Loan options for older Australians
For people who are 65 years old and older, there are pensioners' loans. While it may be difficult to get a loan when you reach your mid-60s or older, it is not impossible. It depends on the lender, the loan term and your credit rating.
If you’re at the age pension age and own some property, you may also be eligible for a loan from the Government. Under the Pension Loans Scheme, eligible pensioners can get a fortnightly loan to top up their retirement income. The loan isn’t taxed, but must be paid back and cannot be received as a lump sum.