Personal Loans for Indigenous Australians

Find the best personal loan for you by comparing the options on offer from Savvy's diverse lender panel.

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, updated on October 4th, 2023       

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What are personal loans for Indigenous Australians?

There aren’t really any specific personal loan products designed for Aboriginal Australians. Standard personal loans offered to all other Australians are available for Indigenous borrowers, which gives you a greater choice of options to work with.

There are several different types of loans that you may wish to consider when choosing your preferred personal financing deal, which include:

Unsecured personal loans

Unsecured loans are the most common type of personal loan sought after by Australians around the country. They come with no security requirements, meaning you don’t have to put up a valuable asset as collateral for the loan. This makes them faster to process (funds in your account in 24 hours) and gives borrowers a range of $2,000 to $75,000 and terms of one to seven years to work with.

Secured personal loans

Unlike unsecured loans, secured financing does require an asset as collateral for the loan. This can be anything from your car, caravan, motorbike or boat. Adding security gives you access to lower interest rates and an expanded borrowing power of $15,000 to $100,000. It’s important to note that there’s no risk of losing your asset if you can stay on top of your repayments.

You can also decide on the type of interest rate present on your personal loan, which are the following:

Fixed rate personal loans

Fixed interest involves locking in your rate at the beginning of your loan and keeping it in place across your whole term. This brings greater stability to your repayments, enabling for easier budgeting month-to-month, as well as protecting you against rises in your lender’s rate during your term.

Variable rate personal loans

Variable interest keeps your rate open to fluctuation from the start of your loan, with the potential for differing repayments each month. The primary benefit of this type of rate is that it allows you to capitalise on decreases in interest rate, which could save you money overall. These rates often start from a higher base, however.

How should I compare personal loans?

As mentioned, it’s crucial that you compare as many personal loan offers as possible in the lead up to choosing your deal, as it’s the best way to ensure you walk away with the best loan for yourself. You can do that right here with Savvy, as we break down personal loans offered by our lending partners into all the areas that are most important to consider, making it simpler for you. You should consider the following factors for your personal loan:

Interest rates

Interest is one of the most important factors to consider, as interest forms the basis for the cost of your loan. Even a rate difference of 1% p.a. could save you hundreds of dollars, if not over $1,000, on your personal loan. Where possible, you should look for the lowest rates on offer for this reason.

Fees

Similarly, fees can set you back hundreds on your loan if you’re not careful. It should be noted that we’re partnered with lenders who don’t charge some or any fees on their personal loans, so you should look for these to help you save. The main fees include:

  • Establishment fee: $0 to $595
  • Ongoing fees: $0 to $10 per month
  • Late payment fees: $15 to $35

Loan terms

Not all lenders offer the same range of potential loan terms (one to seven years). Some cap their maximum length at five years, while others enforce minimums of up to two to three years. It’s very important that you choose a lender with your preferred term, as you shouldn’t compromise comfort or savings.

Repayment flexibility

An extension of the point on fees is that you should look for loans that afford you the freedom to repay them as quickly as you like. Not enforcing fees on early repayments gives you the ability to pay above the minimum required amount and potentially shave months off your term, saving hundreds in the process.

Eligibility

Of course, you should make sure you’re eligible to apply to your chosen lender before you commence your application by checking the following general criteria:

  • You’re 18 or over
  • You’re employed and earning a stable income of at least $20,000 p.a.
  • You have no history of prior defaults or bankruptcy
  • You can supply all the correct documents

Types of personal loan

Why compare personal loans through Savvy?

Common queries about personal loans from Indigenous Australians

Can I get financial advice as an Indigenous Australian?

Yes – there are several different resources and services able to be accessed by Indigenous Australians that share helpful financial advice. Some of these are:

  • MoneySmart: a government resource that has published videos and podcast that speak about financial issues which relate to First Nations people.
  • Be Smart, Buy Smart: a guide published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) outlining your consumer rights.
  • Mob Strong Debt Help: a free legal service which provides advice about matters such as debt and credit, among other areas.
Does IBA offer personal loans?

No – Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is a service which primarily helps Aboriginal Australians start up, or continue to run, their business. They also offer home loans as part of their model to help First Nations people move into the property ownership market.

Am I able to include Centrelink payments in my total income?

Yes – if you’re earning benefits such as an aged pension, parenting or carer payments, we work with lenders who can allow you to include these in your income as part of your personal loan. JobSeeker payments can be utilised as supplementary to a low income or family tax benefits, but not on its own, while ABSTUDY can’t be included in your overall income.

Can I access a loan with no interest?

Yes – the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) is a program available to low income-earners across Australia to provide them with access to funds for necessary goods and services. These range up to $1,500 in total and can be repaid over 12 to 18 months without interest or fees. These are more restrictive in how they can be used, such as for essential appliances like fridges and furniture but not for cashflow or to cover bills.

Should I apply with my partner?

You can – applying jointly with a partner can be a great way to increase your chances of approval. This is because your overall income servicing the loan is increased and, with another income stream to rely on, the likelihood of defaulting is lower.

Why is my loan’s comparison rate important?

Comparison rates are a combined figure incorporating both your interest rate and the main fees included on your loan (such as establishment and ongoing costs). It’s important to compare these more so than interest alone because it gives you a more accurate indication of the cost of your loan.

What if I’m working casually or I’m self-employed?

You can still be approved for financing if you’re a casual worker or self-employed as long as you meet eligibility criteria around minimum income and overall stability. You’ll be required to serve at least six months in your casual role prior to applying for your loan, while self-employed workers will need to have run their business for two years. Additionally, because you don’t receive payslips, lenders will need to see your last two years of tax returns.

Helpful personal loan guides

Still looking for the right personal loan?

Personal loans come in all shapes and sizes, so read more about the ways you can use them, as well as how they might work for you.