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personal loans for single mothers

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Personal loans for single mothers

Balancing the family finances as a single mum can seem impossible. Food, bills, rent and life's extras all seem to pile in the door at once, making it hard to make ends meet, especially on one income.  Unfortunately being a single parent also makes it all the more harder to get finance for a personal loan, when you need to pay for a big expense such as a new washing machine, unexpected medical bills or a much needed holiday after a busy year.

Fortunately, a personal loan can help you manage your finances, but it is always important to research your options carefully and get the best deal possible for your finacial circumstances.

Can single mothers apply for personal loans?

Yes. While it is a lot harder to apply for and pay off a loan with just one income, it is possible. What the lender will want to know is whether you have enough money to pay for the loan, without ending up in financial stress. Other things that will play a major factor in whether you get approved is your current savings, the amount you are applying for, the reason for the loan and your credit score. 

What is a credit score and how does it affect my loan application?

Your credit score is based on your history of borrowing and repaying money – the better your credit history, the higher your credit score. Borrowers who repay bills on time, pay off loans, and manage their credit cards are more likely to have good credit scores. Bad credit borrowers are more likely to be those who miss bill payments, default on loans, or have outstanding debts owing.

Banks and other lenders use your credit score to assess whether you’re likely to repay a loan. Good credit borrowers may see their loan applications approved and even be offered discounted interest rates, while bad credit borrowers may see their loan applications declined or be charged higher interest rates.

To learn more about your credit score and what steps you can take to improve it, visit our credit score page.

Can single mothers with a bad credit score get personal loans?

If you’re a single mother with a bad credit score, it may be more difficult for you to successfully apply for personal loans, but it’s not impossible for you to borrow money.

Some lenders specialise in loans for borrowers with bad credit, though you may need to pay higher interest rates, and there may be additional terms and conditions. For example, your loan may need to be secured against the value of an asset, such as your car or equity in your home.

To find out what lenders will borrow to people with below average credit scores, visit our personal loan marketplace. When you input your details, our marketplace will show you loans you might be eligible for, and your chance of approval.

How to apply for a personal loan as a single mother:

  • Check your credit score – Most credit reporting agencies let Australians check their credit report for free once per year. If there are any errors on the report, you can look into getting them fixed to help improve your credit score.
  • Compare personal loans – remember that the cheapest personal loan isn’t always the best option for your finances. Consider the features and benefits of each offer compared to their fees and interest charges.
  • Check you fulfil the personal loan criteria – Many personal loans require you to be over 18, be a permanent resident, meet minimum income requirements and have a good credit rating.
  • Contact the lender – If you have any questions or concerns about a personal loan, consider getting in touch with the lender before making an application, to hopefully avoid being rejected.
  • Prepare your documents – Depending on the lender and personal loan, you may need to provide proof of identity, proof of income/savings, and details of other loans.
  • Complete your application – Many lenders let you apply for a personal loan online, or you can fill in a form in person at a branch.
  • Wait for your results/money – Your personal loan application could be approved in less than an hour, or by the next business day. You may also receive your money on the same day, or have to wait a few days, depending on your lender.

What should you do if a personal loan application is rejected?

Single mums whose personal loan applications are rejected may feel like they should apply with another lender straight away, but there are risks involved with this plan. A loan rejection on your recent credit history could lead to your next application also being rejected, further hurting your credit score.

If you’re rejected for a personal loan, it may be worth considering spending a few months clearing other debts and keeping up to date with your bills if possible, to help your credit score recover and hopefully lessen the likelihood of your future personal loan applications being rejected.

Are there emergency loans for single mothers?

If you’re a single mum doing it tough, and are having trouble being approved for a personal loan, there may be emergency loan options available with no interest charges.

The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) from Good Shepherd Microfinance is available for low-income borrowers needing to pay for essential household goods and services, such as fridges, washing machines and medical procedures.

Other low-interest loan options are available from different lenders. If you’re not sure of the best place to start, consider contacting a financial counsellor, or calling the national debt helpline.

Can single mothers on Centrelink get personal loans?

Unemployed single mothers on Centrelink benefits may find it more difficult to successfully apply for personal loans. This is because before many lenders will approve your application for a personal loan, they will want to know you can afford the repayments on the income from your job without ending up in financial stress. Many lenders won’t include Centrelink payments when assessing a borrower’s income for this purpose. 

Even if you’re a single mother with a part-time or casual job, or if you’re a self-employed single mother, if more than 50% of your income comes from a Centrelink benefits or a pension, there may be fewer lenders out there willing to lend to you.

Some lenders do offer personal loans for borrowers on Centrelink, though you may need to pay a higher interest rate than other borrowers. It’s often worth contacting a lender before applying for a personal loan to check if your Centrelink payments would likely affect your application’s success.

At the end of the day, having bad credit can make it difficult to borrow money but there are options out there. For more information on how to borrow money with bad credit, including information about bad credit home loans, car loans and credit cards, visit our bad credit hub to help find the right financial option for you.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.

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