• It is generally more difficult for casual employees to secure a personal loan but some lenders do provide them, sometimes at a potentially higher interest rate.
  • Unstable income and a lack of paid entitlements are the reasons why lenders may be reluctant to lend to casual employees.
  • Lenders may have stricter criteria when assessing a casual employee’s personal loan application, as they are seen as a higher-risk borrower.
  • If a casual worker can prove to the lender that they earn a consistent income, they could potentially have a higher chance of scoring approval.

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based on $20,000 loan amount for 3 years at 6.47%

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Learn more about personal loans

Some 2.5 million Australians are casual employees. While it might be harder for these workers to secure a personal loan, they are available from some lenders. If you’re a casual employee considering to apply for a personal loan, make sure to do your research and that you are aware of the things that could influence your application process

What is a casual employee and how is it different from a part-time employee?

A casual employee does not have access to paid leave entitlements, including sick leave or holiday leave. Instead, they are entitled to a casual loading, which is an extra payment additional to their regular wages designed to compensate for the lack of paid leave.

Casual workers also generally do not have set or guaranteed working hours. The nature of their work means they will not be paid if they are away from work.

A part-time employee is defined as someone who completes paid work of less than 38 hours per week but usually works regular hours each week. They are generally permanent employees or on a fixed-term contract. Like full-time employees, part-time employees are entitled to paid sick leave and annual leave.

Why is it harder to get a personal loan as a casual employee?

Most lenders typically prefer borrowers to be in full-time employment and the reasons are simple.

  • Unstable hours and income – A casual employee’s working hours are not guaranteed and can change from week to week. Consequently, their income is unstable, regardless of their rate of pay. For example, while a casual worker might earn $1,000 in a good week, they might earn half of that the following week if their employer feels there is less work that needs to be done that week. Lenders generally value work stability as they see it as an indicator of one’s capacity to service the loan.
  • Lack of paid entitlements – A casual employee is not entitled to sick leave or annual leave. This means they will not be paid if they need to take time off work, whether it is for a holiday or because of other circumstances outside of their control. This can affect their ability to meet repayment obligations.

Despite the above, this doesn't mean casual employees can’t get a personal loan.

Who offers personal loans for casual employees?

Though casual employees could have a hard time getting a personal loan approved by a major bank or financial institution, many smaller banks and lenders may consider personal loans for casual employees who meet their eligibility criteria. While the specific criteria will depend on the lender, it could include the following:

  • A minimum age of 18.
  • A minimum annual income, which would vary with each lender.
  • Must be in regular employment.
  • A minimum period of continuous employment at current employer, generally between six and 12 months.
  • A good credit rating.
  • A minimum amount left over after regular expenses to see if the borrower can service repayments.

What do casual workers need to know about getting a personal loan?

The personal loan application process for casual employees is slightly distinct from full-time employees. Casual workers seeking a personal loan need to look out for several different points before signing on the dotted line.

  • Interest rates - As a casual employee is generally considered a higher-risk borrower, personal loans for casual employees might attract an interest rate that is higher than usual. This is to reduce the risk factor for the lender. For the borrower, it could mean higher weekly or monthly repayments. To be sure you are able to meet these repayments before committing to the loan, consider using RateCity’s Personal Loan calculator
  • Assessible income – Lenders know that the income of a casual employee can vary, and in some cases this fluctuation can be significant. To determine a casual employee’s income, rather than looking at their weekly or monthly earnings, lenders may instead assess their income over a three-month period and annualise this figure. For example, if you earned $9000 in the past three months, the lender may assume your annual income is $36,000 for the purpose of the assessment, even if you may potentially earn more or less than $9,000 in the next three months.
  • Income consistency – On the flip side, if you can prove to the lender that your income is fairly consistent despite being a casual employee, you could potentially have a higher chance of getting approved and your borrowing power may be strengthened. While casual employees have no guaranteed working hours, some could be in a situation where they consistently work 38 hours a week, just like a full-time employee. In this case, the lender may view this favourably. 
  • Essential documents for casual employees - As with all personal loans, casual employees applying for a personal loan will have to provide the lender with various documents to prove their eligibility for the loan. These will vary with the lender, and could include the following:
    • Proof of identity such as a passport or driver’s licence.
    • Proof of income such as recent pay slips and tax returns/notices of assessment.
    • Proof of financial status such as bank statements and credit card statements.

Frequently asked questions

Can unemployed single parents get personal loans?

It can be more difficult for unemployed borrowers to successfully apply for a personal loan. Most lenders require borrowers to have a regular income available to cover the cost of loan repayments.

If you’re self-employed, or if less than half of your income comes from Centrelink, you may not be eligible for some personal loan options. Consider contacting the lender before applying.

Can you refinance a $5000 personal loan?

Much like home loans, many personal loans can be refinanced. This is where you replace your current personal loan with another personal loan, often from another lender and at a lower interest rate. Switching personal loans may let you enjoy more affordable repayments, or useful features and benefits.

If you have a $5000 personal loan as well as other debts, you may be able to use a debt consolidations personal loan to combine these debts into one, potentially saving you money and simplifying your repayments.

How can I get a $3000 loan approved?

Responsible lenders don’t have guaranteed approval for personal loans and medium amount loans, as the lender will want to check that you can afford the loan repayments on your current income without ending up in financial hardship.

Having a good credit score can increase the likelihood of your personal loan application being approved. Bad credit borrowers who opt for a medium amount loan with no credit checks may need to prove they can afford the repayments on their current income. Centrelink payments may not count, so you should check with the lender prior to making an application.

What is a bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.

What is the average interest rate on personal loans for single parents?

Like other types of personal loans, the average interest rate for personal loans for single parents changes regularly, as lenders add, remove, and vary their loan offers. The interest rate you’ll receive may depend on a range of different factors, including your loan amount, loan term, security, income, and credit score.

What documentation is needed for a self-employed personal loan?

Personal loans may require a borrower to provide proof of identity, proof of residence, details of any other outstanding loans (including credit cards), details of assets they own (e.g. savings, car, property), and proof of income.

While borrowers in full-time or part-time employment can often provide payslips and similar documents to prove their income, self-employed borrowers may need to provide other documents, such as bank statements or tax returns, to demonstrate that their income can cover a loan’s repayments.

Can I get a $4000 personal loan if I’m unemployed or on Centrelink?

Before most providers of personal loans or medium amount loans will approve an application, they’ll want to know you can afford the loan’s repayments on your current income without ending up in financial stress. Several lenders don’t count Centrelink benefits when assessing a borrower’s income for this purpose, so these borrowers may find it more difficult to be approved for a loan.

If you’re unemployed, self-employed, or if more than 50% of your income come from Centrelink, consider contacting a potential lender before applying to find out whether they accept borrowers on Centrelink.

How much can you borrow with a bad credit personal loan?

Borrowers who take out bad credit personal loans don’t just pay higher interest rates than on regular personal loans, they also get loaned less money. Each lender has its own policies and loan limits, but you’ll find it hard to get approved for a bad credit personal loan above $50,000.

Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?

Few, if any, lenders would be willing to give guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan. Borrowers with bad credit histories can have more complicated financial circumstances than other borrowers, so lenders will want time to study your application. 

It’s all about risk. When someone applies for a personal loan, the lender evaluates how likely that borrower would be to repay the money. Lenders are more willing to give personal loans to borrowers with good credit than bad credit because there’s a higher likelihood that the personal loan will be repaid. 

So a borrower with good credit is more likely to have a loan approved and to be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.

Should I get a fixed or variable personal loan?

Fixed personal loans keep your interest rate the same for the full loan term, while interest rates on variable personal loans may be raised or lowered during your loan term.

A fixed rate personal loan keeps your repayments consistent, which can help keep your budgeting consistent. You won't have to worry about higher repayments if your rates were to rise. However, on a fixed loan you’ll also potentially miss out on more affordable repayments if variable rates were to fall.

How long does it take to get a student personal loan?

Completing an online personal loan application can often take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on your lender, processing your personal loan application may take anywhere between 1 and 24 hours. If your personal loan application is approved, you may receive the money in your bank account the following business day, or, in some cases, the same day.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan sits somewhere between a home loan and a credit card loan. Unlike with a credit card, you need to sign a formal contract to access a personal loan. However, the process is easier and faster than taking out a mortgage.

Loan sizes typically range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, while loan terms usually run from one to five years. Personal loans are generally used to consolidate debts, pay emergency bills or fund one-off expenses like holidays.

What do single mothers need to apply for a personal loan?

Like other personal loan applicants, single mothers will likely need to provide a few documents to any potential lender, such as personal identification, bank statements (savings, loans, credit cards), proof of address, and proof of income (payslips, tax returns).

Are there low doc personal loans?

Self-employed borrowers may be eligible for low doc personal loans, which require less documentation in their application process than many other personal loan options.

It’s important to remember that though low doc personal loans may require less paperwork, you may need to provide additional security, or pay a higher interest rate.

Can I get a bad credit personal loan with a guarantor?

Some lenders will consider personal loan applications from a borrower with bad credit if the borrower has a family member with good credit willing to guarantee the loan (a guarantor).

If the borrower fails to pay back their personal loan, it will be their guarantor’s responsibility to cover the repayments.

Can I apply for a quick loan online?

While some lenders will require you to provide paperwork in person, many lenders will allow you to make an application for quick personal loan online. You’ll still need to provide information on your identity, income, and loan purpose in most cases.

Can I get a self-employed personal loan with bad credit?

It may be much more difficult for a self-employed borrower to successfully apply for a personal loan if they also have bad credit. Many lenders already consider self-employed borrowers to be riskier than those in full-time employment, so some self-employed personal loans require borrowers to have excellent credit.

If you’re a self-employed borrower with a bad credit history, there may still be personal loan options available to you, such as securing your personal loan against a vehicle of equity in a property, though your interest rates may be higher than those of other borrowers. Consider contacting a lender before applying to discuss your options.

What do credit scores have to do with personal loan interest rates?

There is a strong link between credit scores and personal loan interest rates because many lenders use credit scores to help decide what interest rates to offer to potential borrowers.

If you have a higher credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a lower-risk borrower. That means they’ll be keen to win your business, so they may offer you a lower interest rate if you apply for a personal loan.

If you have a lower credit score, lenders will probably classify you as a higher-risk borrower. That means they might be concerned about you defaulting on the loan and costing them money. As a result, they might protect themselves by charging you a higher interest rate.

Will comprehensive credit reporting change my credit score?

Comprehensive credit reporting may change your credit score, either positively or negatively, depending on an individual's situation.

Under comprehensive credit reporting, credit providers will share more information, both positive and negative, about how you and other Australians manage credit products. That means credit reporting bureaus will be able to make a more thorough assessment of everyone’s credit behaviour. That will lead to higher scores for some consumers and lower scores for others.

What do single parents need for a personal loan application?

Much like applying for other personal loans, applying for personal loans for single parents will likely require the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income
  • Details of assets (e.g. car, home)
  • Details of liabilities (e.g. credit cards, other loans)
  • Loan amount
  • Loan term