Centrelink Loans

Are you in need of a loan, but have no idea where you can get one because of your income or credit history. Given the current economic climate, it can be very difficult to get a loan. When you are receiving benefits like Centrelink, there are not many loan options open to you. Most money lenders, banks and other financial institutions have very strict criteria when it comes to lending to low income earners or people without jobs, regular income or other means of repayment.

Say No to High Interest Short-term Loans
High risk loans like payday loans are the only options some people believe are available if they are struggling. These payday loans are typically high interest loans, as the risks are perceived to be higher. While they may not always be the best option, they do serve a purpose and can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Some better choices for loans might be Micro Loans through non-profits, StepUp, Centrelink itself, and Community Initiatives.

Quick view – See loan and benefit options for specific circumstances here.

Below are multiple loan and money assistance programs for those on Centrelink


 
Micro Loans through Non-Profits: As the name suggests, these loans are for small amounts, and to meet any sudden emergencies or urgent needs. With a range of $100 to $5000, these loans are usually processed fast and can be a godsend in case of emergencies.

Good Money: For those living in Victoria on a low income or collecting Centrelink and need a loan, this is a great community finance company with multiple locations. They provide low and no interest loans to cover; vehicle repairs, educational and medical expenses, bills, debt and more.

StepUp: This loan is specifically set up for the low income group people and is dispatched as small personal loan, with low interest rates. These loans are meant to help people with low income, to manage any emergencies without ending up further in debt. These loans are typically used to manage household and living expenses, like a second hand car, fixing your washing machine or any other household item.

No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS): Similar to the StepUp loan, this is a small loan between $800- $1200 and has no interest attached to it. This loan can not be used for general purchases, trips, shopping or debt consolidation, it is specific to the purchase of essential household goods.

Service’s Relief Trust Fund: If you are a Australian Defence Force member you can get access to loans and grants from the Service’s Relief Trust Fund. This fund was established to help members with financial difficulties. Loans come with a very low or no interest rate and can be repaid through a members salary. The 3 fund are the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund, the Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund and the Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund.

Fairloans: Like StepUp, this is a non-profit partnership with the Nab that provides low interest loans for people who are having troubles qualifying with a bank. They provide loans between $1000 – $4000 over a 12 month period and approval can be done in as little at 48 hours.

Concession Cards: There are concession cards available from CentreLink, which many people are unaware of. These concession amounts are usually lesser than the above sums. If you are an existing user of CentreLink, you might be able to get an advance payment on your regular monthly payments. This is paid out as a lump sum and is adjusted against the regular monthly payments, so that you don’t end up in further debt, as you will when you borrow from a conventional source like a bank or lender.

If you are dealing with financial hardship and are not collecting Centrelink benefits, find out how much financial assistance you or your family may qualify for through the Centrelink benefits calculators. If you are already collecting Centrelink, you may be able to qualify for additional benefits by reviewing the compare calculator/estimator.

Community Initiatives: In many states and even some cities of Australia, government initiatives have inspired or assisted with many non-profit community initiatives and cooperative societies that help low income group members with micro loans and even financial counseling to get out of the debt cycle. Check with your local community centre to find help.

Peer-to-Peer Lending: Is another possible option for those in need of larger sums of money. To qualify you generally need to be over 21, have good credit and people to prove income, among a few other terms depending on the provider platform. Learn more about peer-to-peer lending here.

Popular Low Cost Centrelink Loan Details

Low Cost Loan Options

Apart from the various options, there are also banks and building societies which may have special categories of loans targeted at the low income groups. You can choose from microloans, StepUp loans, concession cards, and community initiatives. Contact CentreLink if you are unsure about what you may qualify for. They are there to assist you in your time of need.


 
Are you in need of a Centrelink loan to pay for bills?
There are better options available, which will not put you into further debt. If you are behind on your water, phone, gas or electric bill, you can contact your provider to negotiate new repayment terms – simply ask to speak to a hardship officer. Some charities will also provide vouchers to help with utility debt, especially to keep the power running.

In addition, you can qualify for other financial benefits that include low income concession cards or an Advanced payment. – these payments range between $250 and $500.

Things to consider before applying for a loan – Understanding Approval Criteria

General eligibility for main stream lenders may include the following:

– Must be 18 years or older (proof with ID)
– Be an Australian resident (proof with ID)
– Earn a minimum net income of around $25k a year (this may slightly vary based on lender). You will also need to be able to prove your income with 2-3 months of payslips or provide 2 years of financial statements if self employed.
– Be able to make repayments after accessing incoming cash versus general out goings. Each bank will have its own ratios that it works from.
– Credit history; If you have any blemishes on your credit history it may be difficult to get approval from the big banks.
– Length of employment
– Length of residency in your home
– Amount of credit you already have
– Purpose of the loan may also have a bearing on if you qualify.
– If you have an established savings of more than 3 to 6 months.

The above is a starting point in understanding what mainstream lenders like the banks look at when considering loan applications. This information helps provide them with a risk profile on the borrower. Other specialty lenders will use different aspects of the above but with a bit more flexibility. They also charge a premium for their funds as they are taking a bigger risk of default by reducing their approval criteria.

If you are not confident in your ability to fulfill all of the above, talk to your potential lender first about your situation before applying. Being better prepared will reduce obstacles and help get you in the right loan.

* Centrelink Qualification Criteria
If 50% or more of your income is from Centrelink, the repayments for the loan you apply for must not go over 20% of your income – if they do, you will not qualify for the loan.


 
General borrowing tips – Important financial considerations
– If you are applying for a loan to pay off other bills, you may be setting yourself up serious financial issues. Consider non-borrowing options first and speaking to a free financial counselors.

– Before taking out a loan make sure you completely understand the full costs associated with borrowing. Are the benefits of the loan worth the costs?
As an example; Is it worth paying a lender an establishment fee, a loan service fee, payment handling fee (bpay or similar), interest and a possible termination or late fees – that is a long list of potential costs.

– If you have questionable credit, applying for a loan may negatively impact your credit further.

– A good question to ask yourself. How important is the purpose of the loan, is it worth getting in debt for?

Note – Any time you are looking for financial services help, always read the terms and conditions carefully. Try not to make emotional decisions or enter into an agreement out of sheer desperation, you may be putting yourself in a worst off position. If applying for a Centrelink loan or some form of credit, make sure you are fully informed and across all terms and fees, you can comfortably make the repayments and that their is a real benefit for obtaining the loan.

Centrelink News Update (8/05/15, 9:58 AM): The Australian government has announced that it will go ahead with the $1 billion upgrade to the Centrelink payment system.

Centrelink News Update (8/12/14, 10:44 AM): The Department of Human Services (DHS) has stated that it is considering upgrading its 30 year old Income Support Integrated System (ISIS) in 2015. This is a initiative to improve its online service offering.

This Post Has 98 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m in need of a $2100 loan in Tasmania. I am on Centrelink but also work part-time, can you give me a centrelink loan? I don’t want a payday loan because the fees are to high. thanks trisha

    1. Hi Trisha,

      Whilst there aren’t numerous loan options available for people on Centrelink, there are a few non-profits that provide loans of this size. In addition, as you are on Centrelink you may qualify for a advanced payment which can help you gain access to cash without taking on a loan.

      I hope the links provided help

      Regards,
      LILA

  2. I. Would like to start a small business I’ve. Try every lender and been knock back I was unfairly dismissed from my job I have been doing everything I can

    1. Hi Wayne,

      If you are currently unemployed and collecting Centrelink benefits, it may be hard to get any decent amount of cash to start a business. If however you have a strong business plan in place and can show that the business you would like to start can quickly become profitable you may be able to convince a investor. Have you heard of Peer to Peer lending? This is a increasingly popular way to borrow money for most circumstances. Learn more here.

      Good luck!
      LILA

  3. Hi, I desperately need a $5000 loan to purchase a car. I am a single parent on centrelink and have four children. Can you advise me where I can get some help.

    thanks

    Jess

  4. Hey,

    Im a single mum with a 10 week old baby, I am currently receiving Centrelink payments but I’m needing a loan of just roughly $600 to get my car repaired,
    can you help please?

      1. Hi Lila I’m pensioner I have bills catch up with me and rite now I can’t pay this bills I need advance money round $2’ooo to cover and that put me up front what best way to obtain this loan. Please advice kind regards Antoun

        1. Hi Anthony,
          Have you looked at the advanced payment service from Centrelink? Depending on the types of bills you are having issues with, there are many grants and benefits which can help you with this – view here. In addition, if you visit the homepage of our site, there is a clickable map which outlines financial assistance programns by State or Territory.

          Regards,
          LILA

  5. Peter
    Hi I need to borrow 1500
    am currently unemployed and on centerlink disability..
    am trying to start a small thing where I buy used cars from ebay or gumtree that have fairly small mechanical problems, fix them up and resell to make my profit.
    Bought my first car but am little short on coins for the repire part, thats why am here.
    thanks..
    Peter

    1. Hi Peter,

      If the car you are repairing will also be used for personal use for a set period, you may be able to qualify for a loan through StepUp or Nils. Also check out this article on how to get money without a loan as it may be of some assistance.

      Regards,
      LILA

  6. Hi, I am currently on single parenting payments and after a $3000 loan to purchase a used car. Wondering what my options maybe?

    1. Hi Tegan,

      One of the main criteria for loan approval from most lenders is your serviceability of the loan – essentially your ability to make your repayments easily. For low income earners or those with irregular incomes and/or Centrelink, this can be challenging. Luckily there are a few potential options from non-bank lenders or non-profits that may be able to assist. One of the most popular options come from the Good Shepard Microfinance In addition, peer to peer lending is also becoming more popular.

      Regards,
      LILA

  7. i need 4,000 help buy a car debts and bond. im on centrelink and also work few days a week but have bad credit wont get accepted anywhere please helppp me

    1. Hi Danika,

      As you have a few different financial needs there are a few things you may want to consider. Getting a Centrelink loan from a reputable lender may be difficult but there are possible options, please visit this link for more information on a possible Centrelink loan. In addition, you may want to visit this page for a list of potential benefits to help with certain bills and this link for information on bonds.

      We hope this information helps.
      Regards,
      LILA

  8. Hi
    I am a single mum on centerlink and my car has just died. I have not got the best credit history. Is there anywhere thay would be able to help me get a loan for a second hand car?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Donna,

      Whilst there are a few Centrelink loan options available, taking on debt to pay bills may put you in a worst position. Have you looked into Advanced Payments from Centrelink, it is a great alternative to a loan. In addition, if you are having difficulties with rent and utility repayments, you may want to look at grants and benefits which can help reduce these costs.

      If the above information and resource isn’t appropriate for your situation, please visit our loan options section and go to the financial counsellours section as they will be able to provide you with further assistance.

      Regards,
      LILA

  9. Hi. I am a waiter who was only paid cash in hand and wasnt paying taxes. I wasn’t officially employed, I was just doing the job and getting money.
    Can I apply with big banks? Is an official letter from the company stating my length of working there and employment is enough? Will my employer be fined for not legally hiring me? The job market is tough so you happy even to work for a soup.
    I do not live at one place for more than 3 weeks. I live only at hostels and travel a lot. Will they give me a loan if I, as 99% of young adults does not have an estate for $1000,000?
    I earn about 38000 per year – no tax paid. And I never was using bank accounts – its just stupid to pay 2bucks every time you need cash, pay for transactions and monthly fee. Can I apply for a personal loan with normal banks with my circumstances?
    Thanx

    1. Hi Krios,

      Under these circumstances it may be difficult to get lending from a mainstream bank. The issue is that you don’t have a paper trail of your residency and financial history (in terms of tax returns). If you have ever banked with a bank in the past, it might be worth a call to see if you meet their criteria. Peer 2 Peer lending might also be a options as they typically have lending terms which are more flexible than banks.

      Regards,
      LILA

  10. Hi,
    I’m a single Mother on parenting payment. Looking for a loan to cover my rent as my child support isn’t being paid. I understand garnishing wages is not a quick process. I’m looking at approx $1500. My credit rating is damaged.
    How do I go about applying? What are my chances? How are repayments made? How soon is money received?
    Thank you

  11. Hi I’m a mother on parenting payment as well as family tax. And I’m looking for a Loan of 2000. Before I do anything I was wondering if it’s possible to go for it

  12. Hi , I am wondering if I can get a loan through centrelink , I m getting the carers payment through centrelink, but the bank will not give me the loan because they consider it an ‘unsecured job’. I look at the short cask loan through “Nimble” and other websites but they are very high interest. I am looking at getting $2000 to fix my car which .

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Cristina,

      Try contacting the Good Shephard as they provide specialised low income loans in the $2000 range. You can learn more about these loans here along with contact details.

      Regards,
      LILA

  13. Hi my names Jessica.
    im looking for a loan of $2500 to move into a new apartment.
    I am unemployed and on single parenting payments.
    in need of this money desperatly as the house I am currently in is way above my affordability.
    Please help.

  14. I have a broken arm and o am currently on Centrelink till in able to get back to work I’ve had a bone graph been off 9 weeks and not sure how much longer and in need of 500 dollar loan what’s my best option

    1. Hi Aidan,

      As you are currently collecting Centrelink, you may qualify for a Advance Payment which can be a good alternative to a loan whilst still accessing the cash you need. If that is not a option for you, there are a few other low income loan options which you can review here.

      Regards,
      LILA

    1. Hi Leanne,

      We are not a actual lender, we provide details on possible loan and finance options for low income earners and those collecting Centrelink benefits. We look at responsible lending through organisations that are in partnership with the government or non-profits and these loans are more for financial emergencies or household necessities. With regards to your situation, you may want to review our non-loans section or our articles section which is full of personal finance articles.

      Regards,
      LILA

  15. I am needing help to move from an island located in QLD after having a mental break down. I am on a disability pension but needing the money to move off which would be roughly $3000. Can anyone help

  16. Hey, I’m looking to get a loan for a car around $2500. I’m 19 and unemployed on centrelink, is there anything I can really go for that wont send me in debt. Cheers

  17. Hi

    I’m finding it hard to get work and have the opportunity to move to Melbourne and live with brother. I just need $1000 and was wondering how I can achieve this.

    1. Hi Neoma,

      If you are collecting Centrelink benefits, an Advanced Payment may be of assistance. Other possible options include, Relocation Scholarship from Centrelink if you are studying, Reconnect may be another possibility. Follow this link to see additional aid services – DSS Support Services. The Salvos may also be of assistance as they provide different support options based on your circumstances.

      Regards,
      LILA

  18. Hi,
    I am receiving Youth Allowance and need to find a lender that will help me with the purchase of a secondhand car at or under $5500, I have my own hobby business which earned $4000 over the past year. I am finding it hard to get approved from any lenders. Is there anything I can do?
    The car would be an important asset to my business as it will allow me to go out every weekend (I am a photographer) and earn much more than I currently do (my mum helps take me to events but only once a month). Thanks.

    1. Hi Megan,

      In this instance you may want to look at peer to peer lending or just try to get by with public transport and save of. You can try a micro loan from the goodshepherdmicrofinance organisation but their loan limits are much lower and are specific to essential living needs…a car may fall into this space.

      Regards,
      LILA

  19. Hi I am in desperate need of a new car and my partner has just had a spinal fusion two weeks after hi operation my engine in my car decided to just stop I was wondering what I can do to get finance cause i have had no luck so far and I have 3 kids I need to get around plus get my partner to and from the doctors

    1. Hi Yana,

      If you are collecting Centrelink benefits you may be able to apply for an Advanced Payment – this good cover the costs of the repairs depending on the amount. If that is not a option, you may want to look at NIL or StepUp loans.

      Regards,
      LILA

  20. Hi quick question my wife is on tax a and b benifits and we need a second car as my oldest son starts school next year and with one car and my hours its near inpossible for us to do both i cant borrow as im bank rupt but my wife would like to get a loan for our second car under her name as she is not bank rupt were can she go to get a loan or any advice would be grate

    1. Hi Josh,

      If your wife’s sole income is only from benefits it may be hard to get approval from any reputable lender. Try looking in to NILs or StepUp loans as they may be a good option.

      Regards,
      LILA

  21. Hi,
    Im a single mum and i just got my license and wanted to buy a car i was wondering if i would be able to get a loan of 5000

    1. Hi Jodie,

      Congratulations on getting your license. Here at LILA we don’t provide actual loans, but information on responsible lending products for low income earners. Depending on your situation, may want to look at StepUp loans or Peer to Peer lending.

      Regards,
      LILA

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      Try contacting the goodshepardmicrofinance to see if they may be able to assist you. Peer 2 Peer lending may also be another lower interest option.

      Regards,
      LILA

  22. I am currently renting and am on single parent pension and ftb a + b. My problem is i have 2 loans equal to about $10000that i am paying back at $260 per fortnight. I want to consolidate these into one loan as this is completely breaking my bank account. Normal lenders will not help as i dont meet their criteria because of the rent. Who can i get help from?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Consolidating your loans may be a great option if you are able to secure a lower interest rate and the fees for doing so aren’t high. If Centrelink is your sole source of income, it may be difficult to qualify with most mainstream lenders. A possible solution for you might be Peer 2 Peer lending or try to manage the debt without taking on any new credit. Here is some great information on tackling debt.

  23. I’ve been knocked back for loans (not the best credit) but desperately need a new computer and bits for study and potential business (as a freelance artist)
    I’m on Newstart and study full time (course is not long enough to change to Austudy) I also work casually. (With regular hours) what are my options?

    1. Hi Chloe,

      We are actually writing a article on this very situation as we have many readers who are on Centrelink and looking for a loan for computers and other equipment. Currently there are 2 main programs we know of which may be able to assist you. Try contacting WorkVentures and Makeitmine.

      Regards,
      LILA

  24. Hi there,

    I am pregnant and on centreline but the father of the child is in the mining therefore I desperately in need of $30,000 for a car loan. Can you help me?

    Regards
    Amaa

    1. Hi Amaa,

      The different types of Centrelink loans shown here are for important household needs and only go up to $3000. If you partner is on a good income, perhaps he can purchase or be a co-signer on a vehicle.

      Regards,
      LILA

  25. So I really need around $2-3000 because I somehow need to come up with bond + 2 weeks advance rent since the main person on my lease is leaving I’ll have nowhere to go. I’m receiving Centrelink and have already taken out an advanced payment a while ago. Is there any help for someone in my situation?

  26. hi, im am in debt $700 with my car finance and $1500 with government fees due to a fine. I’m 18 and not living with parents, is there anything i can do to get help?

  27. I am on a Wife’s Pension and have disabilities. I recently totaled my car and the insurance payout was not enough to buy another one.
    Can you tell me where I could get a loan for approximately $13,000 as I need to purchase a specific type of vehicle that can cater for my disabilities. I have just finished paying of an advance from Centrelink, so that option is closed for another 6 months.

  28. Hi,
    I am travelling to America in December and have been saving all year, though I will not meet my quota for the amount of money I will need. I was hoping to find out about getting a loan of around $2000.

    What are my options?
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Serena,

      Most of the loans recommend here are for financial emergencies and for essential household needs. If you are looking for an affordable unsecured loan, try looking into peer to peer lending, they generally have lower rates than the banks and are a much better alternative to short-term lenders like payday loans.

      Regards,

  29. hi im looking to buy a house 120k and i only have 100k cash on me . still need 20k ?? but i have 2004 mobilehome worth 50k for sale when its sold i can pay back .. im in centrelink newstart . what can u suggest ???

    1. Hi Maria,

      Possibly speak to a mortgage broker or a non-bank lender to secure the remaining funds you need to purchase your new home.

      Regards

  30. Hi I’m 30 on center link payment and I need 10,000 to pay off a school fee as it keeps getting higher I’m lost with this and I don’t know what or where to go

  31. Hi I’m in need of quick cash as I need emergency tooth extraction and need to buy a car in the $2000 mark any assistance greatly appreciated first things first tooth ache please

  32. Hi I’m Tamara and I am 18 in 3 months, I live in nsw and am currently moving out of my boyfriends mums house, I am a TAFE student and receive youth allowance, can I get a loan to buy house hold necessary items?

  33. Hi ! I’m a full-time student and on Centrelink. I need a loan to purchase a new laptop because my old one has recently died. Would that be appropriate ? I must have a laptop to not only study, but for everything else.

  34. Hi, my boyfriend is on centerlink and wants to apply for a security course at the casino in perth. He needs $1000 for it. Is there a Centerlink loan that will help him apply for the course.

    Shari

  35. Hi, I just move to Queensland with my 3 kids three weeks ago I got a house but I don’t have funiture I was wondering if centrelink can borrow me 5000.

  36. hey
    just wondering if im able to get a loan to fix my vehicle it needs a good overhaul tires,muffler,bearings,fan belts etc.im a single parent with seven children its our only means of transport. ive had assistance with my power bill of 720 so i could get the alternator and rego but cant afford the tires muffler and the rest.roughly gonna cost just over 2500 just for the parts.
    if you can help me in anyway or point me in the right direction would be much appreciated thanks

  37. Hi
    I’m looking for loan of $15000 for buying a truck and start up my own business
    I’ve been Au for 16 monthes only as a refugee , and I’ve worked here as removalest for 4 monthes , could you please help me so

  38. Hi I’m on newstart allowance and desperately need a car loan for $3,500 for the car I want,plus be very appreciated because centrelink a trying to get me a job.thanking you.

  39. I live in Collie with my wife whos on disability, have been on payments for about 18months and work casual hours. Recently our vehicle engine packed it in and we have been unable to make any of her appointments in Perth. The costs were quoted around $3,500 and we have no idea where we are going to get that sort of money from at short notice. Any ideas would be helpful as we need the vehicle for general running around and hospital appointments in Bunbury and Perth.

  40. Hi I was wondering if I could borrow 30,000 To up date kitchen an bath room
    not sure how much I can borrow thanks

  41. Hi,

    I am unemployed and receiving Newstart Allowance from Centrelink, I need to borrow some money to pay my debts.
    Thank you .

  42. Hi, I’ve recently lost my job and have fallen way behind in my bills. I was behind in rent but am finally up to date. I am left with $170 a fortnight after I pay my rent. It seems near impossible to live and pay my bills at the same time. I have already received my advance payment from centerlink. Does the NILS help with bill payments? Or are there other options that you may have please?

  43. Hello I have recently lost my job and was behind on my bills I am left $ 150 fortnight I cannot receive a centrelink loan as I owe money to Austudy

    as I tried to go to University things went from bad to worse. I have beautiful daughter who will be 9 years of age coming September. I have regular access to her through my mother where I have to walk up 25 kilometres either there or back.

    I would like to know what my options are ? thankyou

  44. Hello i have recently found out the my car needs to be fixed and im on centerlink and was wondering if they do loans as it will cost be $700 to fix my car . Im only workin casul but have had no hours so i have not that sort of money sitting around .

  45. Hi I’m wanting to get a NILS loan of $1200 for a laptop for school and other things I need for school like uniform etc, how do I go about applying?

  46. Hi, I’m in need of a $4000 loan currently for study purposes and I am currently only receiving income from Centrelink, I was wondering how to go about that ?

  47. Hi

    Can I get a loan of 1825$ for exam fees ?

    I am an overseas pharmacist and I need a license to practice pharmacy here in Australia. The 1825$ is for the equivalency exam and I am currently on Centrelink (Newstart allowance)

    thanks

  48. I am currently on youth allowance and heading off to do rural work experience on a farm but will not get paid during training. Am i eligible to get a loan to buy a car as it will be needed (4wd).

    Thanks.

  49. Hi:
    My Name is Sara , I am currently on Centrelink regular payment which is new start allowens
    In fact I am facing hard financial condition because I need to move for another home , I’ve got some money just for the bond but I still need to borrow some money between $1500 -$2000 to cover the required payment for moving and the 2 weeks in advance payment and other expenses
    What is the appropriate loan for me and how can I apply for it

  50. I’m a single mum with 2 young children I need a car and I have found one for $10,000 is there anyone out there that can help

  51. Hi,
    I was wondering if you give loans for people on Disability Support Pension to study. Ive been wanting to study Make-Up Artistry for years but none of the courses are government funded and most require the full fee paid before the first class begins. Im wondering if you have education loans (need approx $3000) available? I do not work though as I am studying full-time and my only source of Income is my Disability Support Pension.

  52. i have just been approved for new start and will be receiving my first payment on the 12th of december but i want to go for a loan for $2000 because im planing on going to canada so it will be used for flights, public transport and such. before being on new start i was on youth allowance is there anyway for me to be able to go for a loan due to the fact that even though i need a bank statement im worried i wont get approved because of this

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