Personal Loans for Temporary Residents

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

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Last updated on April 8th, 2022 at 02:48 pm by Thomas Perrotta

Assess your personal loan options as a temporary resident

Personal loans aren’t just open to citizens and permanent residents. If you’re a temporary resident living in Australia and looking for personal financing, there are still options open to you. It’s important to know that 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.

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Personal loans for temporary residents explained

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

The application process for getting a personal loan as a temporary resident is much the same as that of any other personal loan. The main difference is that the loan itself is likely to come with more restrictions based around your status as a non-permanent resident. First and foremost, it’s important to compare lenders who are able to work with customers living here on a visa, as not all are able to do so. You can find this out by checking your lender’s criteria or submitting an enquiry with them.

You’ll then have to assess whether your visa type is accepted by your lender. Most working visas are generally accepted by lenders, in particular temporary skilled work, but the following won’t qualify you for a personal loan:

  • Working holiday visas
  • Exchange and student visas
  • Bridging visas
  • Most visitor visas

 

As part of the application process, you’ll also need to ensure that your personal loan is completed at least a few months prior to the end of your visa. Lenders want to minimise the potential risk of the personal loan not being fully repaid by the time you leave Australia, so you’ll be required to choose a loan term starting and ending within your visa window. Because most accepted visas last two to four years, this will inform the loan term you can choose.

Who is eligible to apply for a personal loan?

Aside from the qualifications mentioned above, the eligibility criteria remain essentially the same for temporary residents as it does for any other personal loan applicant (with a few further additions). 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 (usually around $20,000 p.a.)
  • You must be deriving your income consistently and from stable sources
  • You must provide proof of employment
  • You must have an Australian bank account, in which you can show developed cash savings

Because you’re a temporary resident, it’s important to know that the interest rate that you’re charged on your personal loan will naturally be higher than those of most Australian citizens or permanent residents. This is because lenders view these applications as riskier due to the nature of residency being less secure than that of a citizen or permanent resident. This is also likely to manifest itself in lower borrowing caps, as your profile will need to be exceptional to qualify for the full $50,000 that’s typically available.

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 who 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.