Can You Get a Loan at 17 in Australia?

Find out whether there are any loan options open to you as a 17-year-old right here with Savvy.

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Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
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, updated on December 22nd, 2023       

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Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on December 22nd, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

As a 17-year-old, you may feel as though you’re gaining more financial independence as you enter the final 12 months of your life as a child. While you can’t get a loan at that age in Australia, though, it’s important to understand what your options may be when it comes to seeking out quick, emergency cash. You can find out more about what these may be right here with Savvy in our handy guide!

Can I get a small loan at 17 in Australia?

While your yearning for financial independence at 17 is understandable, unfortunately, accessing small loans in Australia is off-limits until you turn 18. This legal restriction exists to protect young people from the potential risks of borrowing, like falling into debt or facing predatory lending practices. This means that you won’t be eligible for a payday loan through any legitimate lenders across the country.

What are my finance options as a 17-year-old?

However, just because you’re under 18 doesn't mean you're entirely out of options. Here are some alternative pathways to consider when it comes to seeking out a small loan as a 17-year-old:

  • Talk to your parents or family: if you’re in a position to do so, discuss your situation and see if they're willing to provide a small loan or under a clear agreement. Remember, responsible borrowing starts with open communication and trust.
  • Seek employment: if you aren’t already employed and/or can work more, you may wish to consider part-time or casual work to earn and save the money you need. This not only helps you achieve your goals but also builds valuable experience and financial responsibility.
  • Negotiate with vendors: don't be afraid to negotiate purchase prices or payment terms. This is especially the case if you’re looking for help with a larger purchase, such as a car, from a private seller.
  • NILS loans: alternatively, you may be eligible to receive and use a loan under the No-Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) which is offered by a range of charities, not-for-profit and private organisations. These loans are designed for essentials such as whitegoods, medical expenses, car rego or repairs and more.

Remember, even though you can't get a traditional loan at 17, these alternative options empower you to be resourceful and proactive in achieving your financial goals.

Will I be able to get a loan when I turn 18 even if I have no credit history?

Yes – many small loan lenders focus more on your income and ability to repay the loan than your lack of credit history. By showing proof of employment and a steady income source to reassure them you can handle repayments, you can potentially be approved even if you have no prior credit.

You can apply for a small cash loan through Savvy today once you reach the age of 18, with our rapid online processes enabling you to receive an instant outcome within 60 seconds and, if conditionally approved, formal approval and funding as soon as the same day you apply.

Frequently asked questions about small loans for 17-year-olds

Can I apply for other types of loans as a 17-year-old?

Outside of family and NILS loans, there are no loans 17-year-olds can legally apply for through a lender in Australia. This isn’t just the case for small loans, but also for other types of finance, such as car, personal and business loans. However, tertiary education loans such as HECS-HELP can begin if you start university as a 17-year-old, although you’ll only start paying it once you’re earning above the required threshold.

What if I’m living out of home as a 17-year-old? Can I still get a loan?

Unfortunately, even if you're living independently at 17, the legal restriction on borrowing still applies. Lenders rely on age verification through official documentation and proving independent living status wouldn't bypass the age requirement for traditional loans. However, the options mentioned previously might be even more relevant in your situation.

What are the eligibility criteria for NILS loans?

The eligibility criteria for loans under the NILS will depend on the specific organisation you’re applying through. However, some of the common requirements include:

  • Aged 17 years or older
  • Hold Australian citizenship, permanent residency or a visa which ends after your final loan payment
  • Receive Centrelink payments and/or hold a Centrelink Health Care Card
  • Must have lived at your current address for at least three months
Is there a maximum age for taking out a small loan?

Typically, there's no upper age limit for accessing small loans in Australia. However, some lenders might have internal age restrictions or policies based on creditworthiness or risk assessment. Remember, regardless of age, responsible borrowing practices remain crucial. Assess your needs and prioritise manageable repayment terms before committing to any loan.

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Disclaimer:

The information on this website is of general nature and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.

For loans between $2,050 and $5,000, the APR is between 21.24% (minimum) and 48% (maximum) per annum. Comparison rate of 65.4962%. Minimum term is 16 days and maximum term is 24 months. The cost of the loan is a $400 establishment fee and monthly interest charged on the amount borrowed. For example, a loan of $3,000 over 3 months with an APR of 48%, (comparison rate of 65.4962%), will have an establishment fee of $400, monthly repayments of $1,225.20. Total repayments of $3,675.60 and total interest payment of $275.60.

Warning: A comparison rate indicates the true cost of a loan. Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.