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What are personal loans for single parents?

Personal loans for single parents are loans suitable for households that only have one parent and one income.

Having just one income to rely on can make it harder to make ends meet, but it also makes it harder to get finance such as a personal loan. 

That said, all is not lost. There are plenty of lenders willing to lend to single parent households, provided you can show proof of a steady income and a good track record of having paid previous debts.

Who offers personal loans for single parents?

There are a range of lenders that offer personal loans for single parents, but eligibility always depends on your personal circumstances, and the criteria of each individual lender.

The problem is, the lender's criteria isn't always obvious and applying to multiple different lenders for a personal loan can have a negative impact on your credit score.

RateCity's chance of approval system, however, can tell you the likelihood you'll get approved for a loan before you apply, which means no more black marks on your credit file just because you didn't understand the lender's eligibilty criteria

To find out your chance of getting approved for a personal loan, visit RateCity's personal loan marketplace:

single parent loan

Can single parents with bad credit get personal loans?

It’s possible for single parents with bad credit to get a personal loan, but it may be challenging. Many reputable personal loan lenders require a certain credit score or proof of financial health before approving loans, so if you  don't have steady employment or you have a bad credit history, talk to your preferred lender about whether you are eligible to apply for a personal loan.

How do you compare personal loans for single parents?

To compare personal loans for single parents, use a comparison site like RateCity.com.au that shows you all the different products side-by-side. In your assessment you should consider the interest rate, fees, and repayment flexibility. Ensure you can afford to make the repayments on time, and make sure you fully understand the consequences of late payments and defaults.

How can you improve your chances of being approved for a single parent loan? 

To improve your changes of being approved for a single parent loan, make sure you know your credit score. A higher score will more likely result in approval. You can also consider borrowing a lower amount to ensure you can make the repayments on time.

How do you take out a personal loan for single parents?

Most lenders have a straightforward online application process. After completing and submitting an online form, the lender will review and make a decision about your eligibility. 

How long does it take to get a personal loan for single parents?

The length of time it takes to receive your loan will depend on the lender. The timeframe can range from within a day to several days, so talk with your lender if you need the funds fast.

single parent personal loans

What are the pros and cons of personal loans for single parents?


  • Get access to funds to help you cover expenses and pay bills.
  • Having a set repayment schedule that helps you pay off your debt in full, within a set timeframe.


  • Paying interest charges and fees on your loan.
  • Saving enough money each month to make your repayments.
  • Risk of defaulting on the loan.

Can single parents on Centrelink get personal loans?

Yes, single parents on Centrelink can get personal loans, under certain conditions. Some lenders enforce restrictions on loans for single mothers on Centrelink, such as requiring an additional primary source of income.

What are the alternatives to personal loans for single parents?

If you’re thinking about taking out hardship loans for single mothers or fathers, it’s best to consider your alternatives. If you’re on low income, you may be eligible for low or no interest loans. This may help you cover household costs without high interest. You could also consider taking out a low-interest credit card, but be sure you don’t spend over what you can pay back.

CASE STUDY: Sandy compares and saves

Sandy wants to take out a personal loan to cover some of her daughter’s education bill. She has considered her income and financial status and wants to find the lowest interest rate possible. She finds a personal loan for single parents with an interest rate of 12 per cent, and considers applying. Sandy decides to do a bit more research, and thirty minutes later, finds a loan with an interest rate of 10 per cent, saving herself hundreds of dollars.

Frequently asked questions

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 are the pros and cons of personal loans?

The advantages of personal loans are that they’re easier to obtain than mortgages and usually have lower interest rates than credit cards.

One disadvantage with personal loans is that you have to go through a formal application process, unlike when you borrow money on your credit card. Another disadvantage is that you’ll be charged a higher interest rate than if you borrowed the money as part of a mortgage.

Where can I get a personal loan?

The Australian personal loans market contains dozens of lenders offering several hundred different products. Personal loans are available through a range of institutions, including:

There are three main ways to access personal loans. You can go through a comparison website, such as RateCity. You can use a finance broker. Or you can directly contact the lender.

Can I get a personal loan if I receive Centrelink payments?

It is hard, but not impossible, to qualify for a personal loan if you receive Centrelink payments.

Some lenders won’t lend money to people who are on welfare. However, other lenders will simply consider Centrelink payments as another factor to weigh up when they assess a person’s capacity to repay a loan. You should check with any prospective lender about their criteria before making a personal loan application.

How are personal loans regulated?

Personal lenders in Australia are regulated by ASIC (the Australian Securities & Investments Commission) and must follow responsible lending rules. That means they can’t lend money without making “reasonable inquiries” about a borrower’s financial situation and ensuring the loan is “not unsuitable” for them.

How long do personal loans take?

Depending on the lender, some personal loan applications can be approved in as little as one hour, or you may need to wait until the next business day. If approved, you may receive your money on the same day, the next business day, or within the week.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Can single mothers get personal loans online?

Many lenders offer online applications for personal loans, which can be convenient for borrowers who have busy lives. If you’re not confident your personal loan application will be approved, you may want to consider contacting the lender by email, live chat, phone, or by visiting a branch, to discuss your situation 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.

What are the pros and cons of bad credit personal loans?

In some instances, bad credit personal loans can help people with bad credit history to consolidate their debts, which can help make it easier for them to clear those debts. This is because the borrower might be able to consolidate several debts with higher interest rates (such as credit card loans) into one single debt with a lower interest rate and potentially fewer fees.

However, this strategy can backfire if the borrower spends the loaned funds instead of using it to repay the new loan. Another disadvantage of bad credit personal loans is that they have higher interest rates than regular personal loans.

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.

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).

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.

Does refinancing a personal loan hurt your credit score?

Personal loan refinancing means taking out a new loan with more desirable terms in order to access a more competitive interest rate, longer loan term, better features, or even to consolidate debts.

In some situations, refinancing a personal loan can improve your credit score, while in others, it may have a negative impact. If you refinance multiple loans by consolidating these into one loan, it could improve your credit score as you’ll have only one outstanding debt liability. Your credit may also improve if you consistently pay the instalments on time.

However, applying to refinance with multiple lenders could negatively affect your credit if your applications are rejected. Also, if you delay or default the repayment, your credit score reduces.

Do student personal loans require security?

While some personal loans can be secured by the value of an asset, such as a car or equity in a property, student personal loans are often unsecured, which typically have higher interest rates.

Some lenders also offer guarantor personal loans to students. These loans have lower interest rates, as a guarantor (usually a relative of the borrower with good credit) will fully or partially guarantee the loan, taking on the financial responsibility if the borrower defaults.