Personal Finance

Loans for people on Centrelink or Newstart

If you are receiving Centrelink or Newstart benefits, getting a personal loan can have its challenges. Most mainstream lenders or banks have very strict lending criteria which can make things difficult for borrowers whom don’t have a full-time job and good credit.

Generally it’s the payday loan operations or similar businesses that will provide loans to individuals with irregular income or bad credit. In certain instances these types of service may benefit the borrower, but in many cases, they end up in a worst position. The charges and fees for these types of loans are generally very high. In addition, if you miss your repayment, expect to be slugged with a very high fee and increased interest rate. Just make sure you read their terms carefully and fully understand what you are signing up to. As mentioned above, these types of services may be beneficial in certain circumstances.

If you are in need of a personal loan and rely solely on Centrelink or Newstart for an income, there are options available to you albeit not as many as if you had a job. Below are a range of options which will help you access funds if welfare is your sole method of income.


Microloans – If you are in desperate need of $100 – $5000 dollars, this may be the option for you. One of the benefits of a microloan is the speed in which you can receive them (generally within 48 hours). If you are in need of cash immediately, this may be an option for you. As mentioned above, make sure you are aware of the terms and all fees that may be involved.

Specialist Lender – If you are having trouble qualifying with the banks, try a specialist lender. These businesses provide different loan options for people on Centrelink, low incomes, bad credit and other circumstances or criteria that may be unfavorable for the banks.

StepUP – Is a program that allows for small personal loans up to $3000. These loans come with a low fixed rate and have no fees or charges attached to them. These loans are typically for everyday living needs, such as a second hand car, household goods (fridge, washer, dryer, etc…), medical treatments, etc…

Centrelink – Current users of Centrelink may be unaware of low income concession cards. This is for a lesser amount than above but can help with certain circumstances. In addition, if you are currently receiving a Centrelink payment, you may be able to receive an advanced payment. An Advanced Payment is a process where you can obtain a part of your normal payment in advance as a lump sum. You can learn more about this service on the Human Services website under “Advanced Payments”.

Community initiatives – In certain states and cities, there are different types of non-profits or community centres that may provide local residence with micro loans to help with different financial troubles. One good place to start is with your local non-profit financial counsellor, they may be able to provide you with more assistance, beyond a loan.
Visit here to find a financial counsellor

Banks/Building Societies – In certain circumstances banks run different initiatives that provide loans for people on Centrelink or on a low income. These programs come and go with the different banks so it is worth asking as they may have a product that suits. Don’t just apply for any random loan that has great rates and favourable terms as you may not qualify based on income source. Make sure that you talk to the banker/lender and discuss your background and ask them about possible products that would work. Do be mindful of your credit score, if you apply for loans to multiple lenders in a short period of time, this may have a impact on your credit score in a negative way.

Alternative Cash flow – There are alternative methods beyond loans for people on Centrelink to create savings or increase disposable income. Look at addressing your current bills and family budget. A reduction in monthly costs across your home and living services can go along way. Avoiding taking out a loan by creating savings through budgeting!

Finding loans for people on Centrelink can be difficult, however there are other ways beyond a loan to access money. In addition to the options above, think about selling unwanted items on eBay or having a garage sale. If you don’t want to sell items, perhaps use a pawn broker. These options are great as you are obtaining money without a loan, potentially keeping you out of further debt.
Picking up part-time work is another great option opposed to applying for a Centrelink loan.

If you know of any additional loan options for people on a low income or collecting benefits, please provide details in our comments section. As general options are limited any help in giving readers more choice is welcomed and encouraged.

Below are other non loan options for people on Centrelink or in financial hardship and need government assistance.

Whilst the Australian government provides numerous financial services for those experiencing money problems, many Australians are unsure of what these services are. Recently the government updated their websites and introduced some new finance related sites to help Australians manage their money better. These changes are excellent in letting Aussies know what services are available and how to qualify. If you are currently on Centrelink, and the before mentioned concession card or advanced payments are of no use, look into the income management service. It’s essentially budgeting assistance and rearranges how you receive your current payments to make sure you are on top of your bills.

If you currently are not on Centrelink and are in serious financial hardship, look into the special benefits service. This is for those who are unable to earn a income to provide for their family or themselves do to circumstances outside their control.

For more government services, visit or for information on managing money visit


1. Why do so many payday loan businesses target people on Centrelink?
Many banks and mainstream lenders tend to view borrowers on welfare as a risk. This generally has to to with their financial situations and ability to make repayments although there are other factors considered as well. Payday lenders have lending criteria that may be a bit more flexible making it easier to qualify. However the cost associated with these loans are typically high and if the borrower is unable to make the repayments, fees can quickly get out of hand. Because of the high costs associated with these types of loans, they have received a decent amount of negative press in the past.

2. Does applying for a loan when on Centrelink affect credit?
Yes it can, if you are applying for multiple loans in a short period of time this can have a negative impact on your credit rating. Watch out for lenders that state they can approve anyone, make sure you do your due diligence on them. In the end they may be just giving you false hope. If you are desperate for money, please look at some of the options listed above which are provided by the government or non-profits.

3. How can I improve my chances for getting approved for a loan whilst on Centrelink?
There are a few things that a person can do. Try having a co-signer who has a stable job and good employment history apply for a loan with you. There are possible secure loan options where by you use some sort of asset as collateral (like a car, boat, home, etc). One of the best things you can do is talk to the potential lender and give them your complete background and ask them if based on your situation if its work applying. As mentioned above, applying to multiple lenders can have a negative impact on your credit rating.

4. Why are my small loan applications getting denied, I have good credit?
If you your sole income is from Centrelink, most providers will not approve your loan request as they generally require some form of employment in addition to the welfare benefits. If you have a mixed income and the majority of it is from Centrelink, a good rule of thumb is that the repayments on the loans should not exceed 20% of your total income. Do note that this is just one aspect of lenders approval criteria and does not guarantee a successful outcome.

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  1. Terrance
    July 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm — Reply

    I appreciate this article on loan options for people on centrelink. Most options on google are just the high interest dodgy businesses. Being a senior on centrelink is tough and the stepup program sounds fantastic. Thanks

  2. laurens
    July 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    If your on centrelink or a low income earner, I would avoid any payday loan places too. Like this article says, they charge ridiculous fees for such a small loan. I found out the hard way. I’ve found it very hard to get loans as a single mother on centrelink. I wonder if there are any banks that will provide a loan with reasonable rates.

  3. July 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm — Reply

    I was researching loans for Newstart/ Centrelink income earners and there seems to be alot more available to us then there was a few years ago. Google “Progress Loans, Microfinance Loans, Step UP Loans etc” …Most StepUP loans are for financially disadvantaged but NAB offer it for personal, domestic or household purposes.

    You would need to be able to make a face 2 face meeting. My closest meeting office is 4hrs drive away.

  4. StacyP
    July 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the information on getting a loan here. I have been on Centrelink for 2 years now because of an accident and haven’t been able to get a credit card or loan. I also don’t like the quick cash, bad credit loan businesses. Their fees and terms are ridiculous. Like why would I pay a company $100 to borrow $300? Again, thanks for this post with other options!

  5. zara
    July 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm — Reply

    Why is it so hard to get a loan when your on centrelink? I have good credit but can’t seem to get a loan. I’ll try one of the other choices you have mentioned.


  6. James
    July 24, 2012 at 10:49 am — Reply

    I’m on centrelink and its very hard for me to get a loan, regardless if its a home loan or a personal loan.

    This puts me in a rut that I can’t get out of.

    • kstanford6
      October 5, 2012 at 11:55 pm — Reply

      hey james im on centrelink too and just got approved for a loan through fairloans..they are specially made for pensioners..please try these guys..they are pretty good..

      • sguirt
        March 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm — Reply

        thank u for giving out the idea about fairloan,s im going to email them now as im very desperate for a car

      • Janine
        April 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm — Reply

        How do n you contact fairloans i have been searching for their site as i was told about them but cannot find them. Would appreciate any help in doing so

  7. jamil
    July 30, 2012 at 10:02 am — Reply

    Its hard finding loans for people on centrelink. Thanks for the article, there are at least some good options here.

  8. Laura
    August 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    loans for centrelink dependent people are very hard to find and the constant rejections from lenders is depressing. Thanks for providing some real options!

    Great blog

  9. Erica
    August 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    Great post on loans for centrelink people. It’s hard to find good info and lenders

  10. TheParkers
    August 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Do you know where people on centrelink can go for a car loan?

    • pullthrough
      July 30, 2014 at 11:32 am — Reply

      I’m on new start and family tax benefits part A&B. And I have $3280 in debt that I’m having trouble in paying these at the same time. Is there anyone who wild give me a loan so I can then just have to pay one loan instead of struggling with three . Pls respond to let me know. Michelle

  11. Alicia
    September 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    Centerlink loans are hard to find. Thanks for sharing some options. I wish the banks would be more flexible with personal loans for people on centrelink.

  12. mcafee
    September 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    I think that banks should provide small loans for their customers, especially if you have been with them for years. They are happy to take our hard earned money but when we need help they charge us through the nose or deny us.

    i had to go on Centrelink due to illness and my bank would not help me. I’m glad I found this article and some options beyond the banks. I cant wait to get back on my feet, I’ll be taking my business to a building society or something.

  13. Big Ed
    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am — Reply

    Are there any home loan options for centrelink recipients? I’ve contacted a few lenders and have been knocked back. I don’t have bad credit and am unable to work but get my benefits ongoing.

    The options show here are great for people who want a small loan but do you know about getting home loans?


  14. Macca
    September 22, 2012 at 7:33 am — Reply

    Will these types of loans work for people who are not on Centerlink but have a low income? If any one can provide info on where I can get $7000 for a car that would be great.

  15. dazza
    October 3, 2012 at 8:46 am — Reply

    I’ve noticed that these microloans are becoming very popular for centrelink and low income earners as a loan option. Are there any other options for loans of a higher amount, like over $10k? I’m currently on Centrelink but also work part-time but am a permanent employee. I’d really appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction.


  16. hardtimes
    October 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm — Reply

    I found this article from the essential baby forum. Great information on centrelink loan opportunities. I will defo pass this blog on to my friends.

    Is there also information on finances for teens available?

  17. moneysaver
    October 12, 2012 at 6:59 am — Reply

    Good piece on some funding options for low income earners. In addition, I say if your on welfare that taking out a loan might not be a good idea if you can help it. Looking for some money saving cutbacks in your budget could go a long way. In addition, selling unwanted items is a great way to get cash without borrowing. That being said, if you can get a low or now interest loan, that can be a good situation.

  18. McGarret
    October 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm — Reply

    As there are some options for smaller personal loans, are there any good choices to get decent larger loans? I’ve found it hard to get loans or credit cards above $8000. Receiving welfare benefits really does make things hard. The only lender that I have spoken to for receiving a big loan wanted security. They asked me to take out a home equity loan as I own my house from my parents, they also said I could refinance my car. I would prefer not to do either of these things and find a lender who will work with me. I don’t have bad credit and have assets. Are there any unsecure loan options for low income earners larger than $5000?


    • hardtimes
      October 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm — Reply

      I’ve looked everywhere and haven’t found and loans for people on centrelink over $5000. It looks like a secure loan might be the only way you can go. But, maybe like this article mentions, try a building society, especially if you have good credit and assets.

      good luck

  19. Sissy77
    November 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm — Reply

    Great loan info for people on centrelink, ive looked all over the place and only found stepup info. Its good to see other choices out there.


  20. Mack
    November 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm — Reply

    I have to agree with a lot of the comments above. I moved here from Canada a while ago and recently had some financial issues. I didn’t understand that Centrelink is the name of the welfare system here. Needless to say i have been searching all over Google for information on wefare loans but didnt find anything relevant. Once I looked for Centrelink loans I found this article and it has provide me with some great options for financial help.

    Thanks a lot this is a great blog!

    Big Mack

  21. essexuctota
    November 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    Because private loans are made by private institutions such as a bank or other private lending institution, your ability to get a loan will be based on merit, specifically good credit, essentially, a high enough credit score. Cash advance online shortens the processing time immensely, especially when compared to banks or other traditional lenders. These loans act as a boon in cases of emergency and so are largely favored by people.

  22. Melie
    November 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    I find that a lot of loans for Centrelink customers require you having a passport or drivers license, I have neither 🙁 so I can’t get a loan from anywhere.

  23. November 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    hi i am a mum to a 4year old and another on the way and just wondering if anyone knows any places that finance cars? i went bankrupt 3years ago due to debts left by my ex thanks 🙂

    • loan help
      November 26, 2012 at 9:47 am — Reply

      Have you tried any of the recommendation in the article?

      If you have with no success, I’d suggest contacting a financial counsellor through the link that was provided.

  24. dez
    December 2, 2012 at 8:22 am — Reply

    One thing I’d suggest is to try and get by without a loan. Taking up extra work or selling things that you don’t need is a better alternative to borrowing.

  25. ella
    January 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    Finding loans for people on centrelink is difficult…thanks for the great article!

    Can you explain why it is hard for people with good credit to get a centrelink loan? I have a good credit score and work parttime in addition to my centrelink payments. I still get knocked back when trying to get a loan from the banks.

  26. robo
    January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    Why dont the banks provide small loans for people on Centerlink? I don’t want to apply for a loan with some company I never heard of.

    Can you provide some options from a big bank?

  27. Ineedaloan
    February 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm — Reply

    Great loan information here, the banks are such a headache. Do these loans work for people who also have bad credit? I don’t want to waste my time applying if they are just going to knock me back.

  28. TR
    February 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm — Reply

    You can get a loan (advanced payment) of up to 1030.00
    On newstart, they just take money off your fortnight payment over a year.

  29. ??
    March 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    does anyone know anywhere that offers up to $10,000???

  30. eloise
    March 20, 2013 at 9:41 am — Reply

    Its refreshing to find information on getting loans for people who are in need of a loan while on Centrelink benefits. Most of the options I have found are payday loans and this is the type of loan that has got me in trouble with my credit score and finances. Thanks for the read and I’ll be contacting the free financial counselors.

  31. meli
    April 7, 2013 at 10:54 am — Reply

    I can’t get a loan because I don’t have a license and I’m on centrelink. It sucks. Maybe I need a suga daddy ha ha.

  32. jimbo
    April 15, 2013 at 8:38 am — Reply

    Thanks for providing some information on loans for centrelink people. All the options i’ve found so far have been payday lenders. they keep telling me that i will qualify and then when i dont they just ignore me and dont give me a reason why i didnt get a loan. i will never apply to these type of places again. plus since ive been looking around it hink its better that i dont. many people seem to have bad experiences with these companies.

  33. Leslie_r89
    May 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm — Reply

    Excellent information on centrelink loans, i’ve looked around and like other comments have only found payday lenders which i despise! Thanks for the great article and info.

  34. kk77
    August 17, 2013 at 9:54 am — Reply

    are there any banks that give personal loans to people on centre link? i dont want to get a GE or payday loan

  35. timo
    October 6, 2013 at 11:39 am — Reply

    payday loans should not be advertised as centrelink loans and there should be some law or regulation that does not allow payday lenders to target people who are collecting centrelink benefits. Its the biggest rot ever – screw payday loans and the debt trap they create whilst ruining low income earners credit!

  36. Brooke
    October 19, 2013 at 2:56 am — Reply

    On centrelink and need a loan to pay all my bills on track

  37. erickb
    December 12, 2013 at 8:05 am — Reply

    I’ve just heard that I’ll be out of work soon, can I still get a loan to consolidate my debt before that happens. I may or may not be on centrelink but want to know my options.

  38. robbie
    January 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm — Reply

    I need to apply
    for a small loan

  39. Rosco
    March 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm — Reply

    Thankyou to everyone for all your comments and advise I am going to give these places a shot I have got onto so many places to try and get a loan and got knocked back by all of them cause of being on centrelink I want to start my own busniess and need the help doing makes me feel like loan lenders treat centrelink people like 3rd class or scum and rather people living on the street etc or get nowhere in life really makes me angry.

  40. NeedAJobNelly
    June 13, 2014 at 9:04 am — Reply

    Great advice from the article and more awesome advice from the comments. Thanks for posting & keep posting comments. Great website. Thankyou. X

  41. January 31, 2016 at 7:09 am — Reply

    I am 59,and desperate for someone to help me get a loan for $1,800 for bills that have gone to debt collectors.I am also bankrupt due to my career of twenty years walked out and left me with these bills,I didn’t know I had. I have tried all over the place to get help,but get knocked back.I am honest with them about my problem but still no go.Is there anyone I can turn to for help.I just want to clear my name. Please help.

    • February 8, 2016 at 11:02 am — Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      Try reaching out to GoodShepardMicroFinance as a starting point. It may also be worth while speaking to a free financial counselor who can provide additional financial assistance.

  42. April 4, 2016 at 5:31 am — Reply

    I wanted to enquire about how to apply for a loan

  43. May 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm — Reply

    How to you apply ?

  44. November 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    Needs a loan asap

  45. Kon
    November 22, 2016 at 4:24 am — Reply

    Need a loan asap

  46. Patricia
    January 9, 2017 at 9:42 am — Reply

    I am on a disability pension and have been on it since 1998 with AAA credit rating own my own house, cars x 2, caravan, boat and all house contents but the minute you tell them you are on disability pension they dont want to know you anyone got any ideas???? Only need to borrow $3000

  47. Teresa Palejs
    January 15, 2017 at 4:14 am — Reply

    Hi my name is Teresa and I’m on carers pension and at the moment I’m short on cash as I had unexpected car repairs and I was wondering can you help me I applied for so many loans and because I’m a carer none wants to know you can you help

  48. Linda Mcintosh
    March 26, 2017 at 12:50 am — Reply

    Hi iam Linda I was just wondering if u could help me out until next pay I am on centerlink and only get paid fortnight and I have applied for a few lones but been nocked back as I do have bad credit as its me and my 8 kids and just need help until next pay

  49. Troy jacobs
    May 12, 2017 at 12:35 am — Reply


  50. Karen bennett
    July 6, 2017 at 1:56 am — Reply

    I am a single mum in need of a car i am on newstart payment with family payment including

  51. Chris cruzado
    October 11, 2017 at 2:09 am — Reply

    I’m on cetrelink all the stuff I went threw to get declined at the end the gov owes me not out to rort them only wat I’m untitled to is wat I’m after

  52. Chris cruzado
    October 11, 2017 at 2:21 am — Reply

    Australia is the best and between me and u the only thing I was guilty of is keeping quiet but when I talk about the cards I’ve been delt I’ll like to see the reaction on the face on if 2 wrongs make it right well don’t tell me I’m wrong would be allright

  53. Sue mcnellee
    May 4, 2018 at 4:42 am — Reply

    Great info but can someone explain how n where you can apply for a setup loan please ?

  54. Juliane piper
    August 10, 2018 at 3:15 am — Reply

    Hi can you please help me with a loan I’m on new start & also single Mum with 4 kids needing a loan for help moving in our new home

  55. Jacinta Kickett
    August 13, 2018 at 6:06 am — Reply

    Can I try for loan

  56. Jeaneth
    September 14, 2018 at 11:41 pm — Reply

    Im jeaneth tan been applying a loan im only a centrelink payment really need a money to fix our house even $35000 will do to$50000 i need we dont owe anyone we can secure our property if we need to get a loan our property is not mortgage so we canmake our prooerty as collateral toget a loan hope i can get a loan that suits for me.centrelink payment and having a husband as self employed.hope there is a loan suits for me. Thank you.


  57. Kathleen Miller
    September 20, 2018 at 6:32 am — Reply

    I am looking for a small loan to get a car as my current one is falling apart as I need one for medical appointments and I am on Newstart and I have tried alot and kept getting declined. How are we meant to try when nobody is willing to help

  58. Michelle Backhouse
    October 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm — Reply

    My children ate coming back into my care and I want to set up a room for them!

  59. tina millbank
    January 10, 2022 at 12:44 pm — Reply

    how do I go about getting a loan please..were do I go to apply.couldnt zoom in on my fone so had trouble reading sorry

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