Personal Loans for Temporary Residents

You can still access personal finance as an Australian temporary resident. Explore your options with Savvy.

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on June 27th, 2024       

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Personal loans aren’t just open to Australian citizens and permanent residents. If you’re a temporary visa holder living in Australia and looking for personal financing, there are still options open to you. You might have to jump through a few extra hoops in order to qualify, but approval is still fast and simple compared to other types of finance. Find out how to apply for your personal loan today with Savvy.

Can I get a personal loan as a temporary resident of Australia?

It is possible to get a personal loan as a temporary visa holder, but your options will be limited. The majority of lenders restrict their services to Australian citizens and permanent residents and are generally more hesitant to lend to temporary visa holders as they are seen as higher risk. This is because temporary residents generally do not have a sufficient credit history in Australia and there is also a greater chance of them leaving the country before paying off the loan.

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot get a personal loan if you are living in Australia on a temporary visa. Several lenders offer personal loans to temporary residents on specific visa types. This is usually clearly outlined on the lender’s website, but if you are unsure, you can enquire with them to determine your visa eligibility.

As a general rule, accepted visas include:

  • Skilled work visas
  • Business visas
  • Partner and parent visas

However, other visas generally will not qualify, such as:

  • Working holiday visas
  • Exchange and student visas
  • Bridging visas
  • Visitor visas

You will also be restricted to a loan term starting and ending within your visa window. For example, if your visa has three years remaining, you will not be able to apply for a loan with a longer term. Most lenders will require that the loan term ends at least a month prior to your visa expiry.

It’s important to note that if move abroad, even if you are an Australian citizen, you are not considered an Australian resident for tax purposes as you no longer reside in Australia. As lenders also have residency requirements, if you are living abroad, you will not be able to take out a personal loan as a non-resident.

What are the other eligibility requirements for a personal loan?

Visas aside, the application process for getting a personal loan as a temporary resident is much the same as that for any other personal loan applicant. You'll be required to tick off the following boxes as part of the qualification process:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must meet your lender’s minimum income requirements. While this can start from around $20,000 p.a., lenders that offer loans to temporary residents may have higher minimum income requirements. However, as most visas have a minimum earnings threshold – for example, 482 visa holders must make at least $70,000 annually – this should not be an obstacle when applying for a loan.
  • You must have a consistent income derived from stable sources.
  • You must have an Australian bank account. Some lenders may also require you to use online banking.

You will also need to provide supporting documentation and information, such as photo ID, your visa documents, employment details and proof of income.

Note that because you’re a temporary resident and as such perceived as higher risk, the interest rate that you’re charged on your personal loan will naturally be higher than those of most Australian citizens or permanent residents. You may also find that the amount you can borrow is limited to what you can realistically afford to pay within the confines of your visa period. While many lenders can offer personal loans up to $75,000, you may not be approved for amounts this high.

Where can I get a personal loan as a temporary resident?

Not all lenders are able or willing to lend to temporary visa holders, so before starting the application process you should compare lenders to ensure you choose one that is in a position to lend to you. For the most part, you will be limited to loans from the ‘Big Four’ banks:


Westpac’s personal loans are available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and those on acceptable visas with at least one year left before expiry. Acceptable temporary and permanent visas include:

100 Partner visa

103 Parent visa

186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa

482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa

491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

858 Global Talent visa

887 Skilled Regional visa

890 Business Owner Visa

891 Investor Visa

A full list of accepted visas can be found on the Westpac website. Loans are also available to visa holders through Westpac-owned St. George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne.  


NAB will lend to visa holders who are an Australian resident for tax purposes and are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident or the holder of an acceptable temporary visa. While NAB does not specify on its website which visas are acceptable, it does outline visa categories it does not accept:

  • Visitor visas (except for Special Category Visa – NZ Citizen),
  • Working holiday visas
  • Student visas
  • Exchange/gap year visas
  • Transit/short stay/seasonal visas
  • Bridging visa


Personal loan applicants must hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship, Australian permanent residency or an eligible visa and live in Australia. Like NAB, it specifies ineligible visa types, which include certain:

Working holiday visas

Studying, graduate and research visas

Temporary business visas

 Family and spousal visas

A full list of unaccepted visas is available on the CommBank site. Applicants on a temporary visa must provide their passport details for the visa to be confirmed. Furthermore, the visa expiry date must be at least one month after the end of your loan term.


ANZ accepts applications from individuals in Australia on any temporary working visa – though not working holiday visas – and temporary business visas allowing people to set up a business or invest in Australia. In all cases, you must have at least 12 months remaining on your visa.

You may also be able to get a loan through Beyond Bank. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis based on the type and validity of the visa, though personal loans are not available if you are on a student visa. Similarly, some non-bank lenders like Money3 may accept applications from temporary visa holders, subject to assessment. If you want to get started, you can quickly and easily compare lending options in one place with Savvy.

How to maximise your chances of personal loan approval as a temporary resident

Common personal loan queries for temporary residents

Can I apply for a small personal loan instead of a regular one?

Yes – these are the main alternative to personal loans and are designed for speed, with lenders able to transfer money within the hour. They deal with smaller amounts between $300 and $5,000. Depending on how much you borrow, these can be repaid anywhere from 16 days to two years. Because lenders don’t really factor your credit score into their consideration, they can be much easier to get approval for as a temporary resident. The fees charged on these loans can be substantial, however, so you should always aim to pay these off as soon as is feasible.

Do I need to use any security for my temporary resident personal loan?

No – the most common type of personal loan is unsecured finance, which means you won’t be required to put up a valuable asset of yours, such as a car, to serve as collateral for the loan. This is especially useful for those who have recently moved to Australia without any of their valuable assets from back home.

What will the fees be on my personal loan?

There are a number of fees you may encounter, but the primary ones to compare are the following:

  • Application fee: one-time charge up to $700
  • Ongoing account fee: charged monthly up to $20
  • Late payment fee: up to $50 for each late submission

However, there are many lenders that don’t charge one or both of the former two fees as part of their personal loan package. In some cases, the establishment fee is represented as a percentage of your loan sum, so it’ll vary from person to person.

What can I use my personal loan for?

Personal loans are the most versatile in terms of what they can be used for. This means that you can consolidate debts, purchase a car or other vehicle, fund a holiday or just about anything else. Lenders will typically place some minor restrictions on the use of loan funds; for example, you won’t be able to use your loan to pay off another, similar loan debt. Aside from this, though, the freedom is yours.

Can lenders use my good credit rating from my home country?

No – if you haven’t accessed finance of any type in Australia prior to your application, your lender won’t have a credit history to refer to. This won’t necessarily mean that your application will be denied, as you may comfortably be able to afford it, but your borrowing power will be reduced and your interest will be set at a higher rate than someone who does have an Australian credit score.

Am I able to repay my loan early?

Yes – many lenders in the space enable you to make free additional contributions, or pay above the minimum required amount, which can help you save money overall by reducing the length of your loan term. However, some will charge for early repayments, which will vary in value depending on how long is left to run on the loan and can sometimes cost up to $600 to $900. If you want to maintain the flexibility to pay your loan off early, you should compare lenders who don’t charge you for doing so.

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.