How to get a personal loan on a low income
Discover your options for finance when you earn a lower income. Learn about personal loan options, including alternatives, for low income earners today.
Low income personal loans
Whether you need to consolidate debt, pay for a holiday or a home renovation, a personal loan can be a competitive option when you need a financial helping hand.
If you earn a lower income, getting approved for financing can feel like an uphill battle due to minimum income requirements in a lender's eligibility criteria. But don’t despair, there may still be options available for low income earners.
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Before applying for a personal loan, consider checking your credit score. The better it is, the better your offers may be, and the better your finances will be in the long term.
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What low income personal loan options are available?
Most lenders have minimum income requirements that all borrowers must reach to be approved for financial products – usually around $30,000 - $40,000 per annum.
While it can be disheartening if you’re not applicable for a loan, lenders do have your best interests in mind. Being unable to pay back a loan can negatively impact your finances, your credit score and your mental health.
Personal loans for low income earners may not come packaged as a traditional loan. If you need extra cash, it may be worth considering the pros and cons of some alternative options:
- Small loans – Lenders may approve personal loans for small loan amounts that a borrower may have a more realistic chance of paying back. Use RateCity's Borrowing Power Calculator to discover the loan size you may be able to comfortably service based on your income.
- Short term loans – Short term, or payday loans, are typically offered to low income borrowers by online lenders. They have shorter loan terms than traditional loans (up to a year), but typically carry very high interest rates and high fees.
- The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) – The NILS provides people on low incomes “access to safe, fair and affordable access to loans of up to $1,500 for essential goods and services”. Repayments are set up over 12 - 18 months, and to be eligible you must have a Centrelink healthcare or pension card (or qualify for one).
- Buy now, pay later – While not a personal loan, buy now, pay later platforms may be another option worth considering for low income earners that need 'credit'. The application process is typically less stringent than a traditional loan. But keep in mind that missed repayments can incur late fees and credit score penalties.
Learn about how to boost your credit score
How do I choose the right personal loan as a low income earner?
While there is no one ‘best’ low income loan available due to varying individual financial circumstances, there are a few features and fees associated with personal loans you may want to consider before applying:
|What to compare||About|
|Interest rate||The personal loan interest rate will determine your repayment amounts. Consider comparing lower rate options, as the lower the interest rate, the smaller your repayments and less you pay over the life of the loan.|
|Loan term||The amount of time you will have to pay off the debt. This is particularly relevant for short-term loans, as longer loan terms tend to mean lower monthly bills but more interest charges and fees over time.|
|Annual fees||Some providers may charge low or no annual fees, which may help you to keep personal loan costs down.|
|Late payment fees||Amount owed if you miss a payment.|
|Centrelink availability||Some lenders will offer short-term loans to applicants on Centrelink. If half of your income comes from Centrelink, you typically cannot receive a loan that exceeds 20 per cent of your income.|
What person loans are available if you’re unemployed?
Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to gain personal loan approval if you are not earning an income. Lenders will typically not provide loans to individuals with no income source as they need proof that you will be able to make regular loan repayments.
You should consider showing lenders you have a source of income outside of full-time, part time or casual employment, such as:
- Centrelink payments
- Capital or interest earned through assets
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 $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.
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.
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.
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.