Learn more about personal loans for Indigenous Australians
Not sure if a personal loan is the right option for you? Learn more about financial options available to Aboriginal Australians, and compare personal loan interest rates, fees and more.
Are there personal loans specifically for Aboriginal Australians?
There are no personal loans created exclusively for Aboriginal Australians. However, government services and community organisations can provide financial advice for our First Nations people.
If you want a loan to buy a home, you can learn more about Aboriginal home loans.
Which services provide financial advice for Indigenous Australians?
If you’re an Aboriginal Australian in the market for a personal loan, here are a few services that may be able to provide you with financial advice:
- Mob Strong Debt Help (Australia wide) - A free legal advice service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. You can call their Helpline on 1800 808 488 for advice about credit, debt, banking and insurance. They may also be able to:
- Negotiate with your bank, insurer or other lender/debt collector
- Help you to argue your case in a free external dispute resolution service (like the Australian Financial Complaints Authority - AFCA)
- Represent you in court (only rarely)
- Refer you to other organisations which may be able to help you, particularly if you have a matter in the court of a State or Territory outside NSW
- Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network, or ICAN (QLD Only) – Provides financial counselling services, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. Caters for all people living in Townsville, Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Tablelands, Cape York and the Torres Strait.
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – Provides free financial advice for all Australians, as well as online tools to help you understand finance. Its “Be Smart, Buy Smart” guide was written specifically for our First Nations people, and a section of its MoneySmart website is dedicated to sharing money tips for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
How to apply for a personal loan in Australia
All Australians, including Aboriginal Australians, may be eligible for a personal loan if they meet the loan’s requirements. When you apply for a personal loan, the lender will look at your employment status, annual income and expenses.
Before you apply for a personal loan, check if you can afford the repayments. If you don’t think you’ll be approved for a personal loan, do not apply. Having a loan application rejected can affect your credit score, as can getting a personal loan then being unable to pay it back. A bad credit score can make it much harder to apply for a loan in the future.
Grants of up to $10,000 awarded to boost financial literacy amongst our First Nations People
On 4th October 2019, Good Shephard Microfinance announced grants of up to $10,000 have been awarded to 27 community organisations working to improve the financial resilience and capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
These organisations, which include the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre in Queensland, Global Care Dubbo in New South Wales and Broome Circle in Western Australia, are due to receive grants from the Indigenous Money Network, a joint initiative of Australia’s largest microfinance charity, Good Shepherd Microfinance, and NAB.
The following offers are not personal loans specifically for Indigenous Australians. We’ve shown you these personal loans to help you compare what’s available in the Australian personal loan market, and make a more informed financial decision.
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Business Finance Writer
Rachel Wastell is an award-winning writer with a knack for translating complicated subjects. She is a strong environmental advocate, and is as passionate about the planet as she is about finance and open education. Writing professionally for almost ten years, Rachel's work has been published across the Australian media landscape including the Australian Financial Review and The Guardian, and she regularly contributes to Business Insider and Lifehacker.
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Frequently asked questions
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.
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 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.
Can I repay a $3000 personal loan early?
If you receive a financial windfall (e.g. tax refund, inheritance, bonus), using some of this money to make extra repayments onto your personal loan or medium amount loan could help reduce the total interest you’re charged on your loan, or help clear your debt ahead of schedule.
Check your loan’s terms and conditions before paying extra onto your loan, as some lenders charge fees for making extra repayments, or early exit fees for clearing your debt ahead of the agreed term.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 do you get a bad credit personal loan?
You can get a bad credit personal loan by applying directly to a lender, by going through a mortgage broker or by using a comparison website like RateCity.
Can I get a fast loan with bad credit?
Some lenders offer fast loans to borrowers with bad credit. Providers of small payday loans of up to $2000 or medium amount loans of up to $5000 may have no credit checks, though these lenders will usually want to confirm you can afford its loans on your income.
How long does it take to get a $5000 loan?
Depending on the lender, personal loans and medium-amount loans for $5000 can sometimes be approved in under an hour, and give you access to the money the same day. Other loans may take 24 hours or longer to assess your application, and you may not get the money for a few days.
What do I need to get a fast loan?
Most lenders will need to you provide the following information in your application for a fast loan:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of residence
- Proof of income
- Details of any assets you own (e.g. car, home etc.)
- Details of any liabilities you owe (other personal loans, credit cards, mortgages etc.)
- How much you want to borrow
- Over how long you want to pay it back
- Purpose of your loan
Are there any interest-free emergency loans?
The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) allows low-income borrowers to take out no-interest loans for up to $1500 to purchase essential goods and services.
There are also similar low-interest loan schemes available to borrowers in financial hardship who are having a tough time getting finance approved.
Are there alternatives to $2000 loans?
If you need to borrow $2000 or less, alternatives to getting a personal loan or payday loan include using a credit card or the redraw facility of your home, car or personal loan.
Before you borrow $2000 on a credit card, remember that interest will continue being charged on what you owe until you clear your credit card balance. To minimise your interest, consider prioritising paying off your credit card.
Before you draw down $2000 in extra repayments from your home, car or personal loan using a redraw facility, note that fees and charges may apply, and drawing money from your loan may mean your loan will take longer to repay, costing you more in total interest.