Micro Loans Available Online – What Are Your Options? Monzi Investigates

Micro loans could be the perfect way to inject a little extra cash in your budget and cover essential goods and service. However, you may not need to apply through a traditional lender. Instead, if you are on a low-income, you may qualify for credit through non-profits. Don’t stress – Monzi will explain everything.

Monzi is a lender-finding service. We do not offer financial advice. Consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.

Woman using iPhone to browse for micro loans online

What is a micro loan?

In short, they are small loans issued to consumers by individuals, lenders or charity organisations. Generally, the type of lender offering the loan will determine what expenses these loans can cover.

Micro loans for Centrelink customers

If you receive certain Centrelink benefits, you may be eligible for an advance payment. As the name suggests, you may be able to access part of your Centrelink payments early. Then, repayments will automatically be deducted from your future benefits, interest free.

How much can you borrow from Centrelink?

There is a limit on how much money Centrelink is able to advance you. In addition, this is determined by what kind of Centrelink payment you receive.

Therefore, to find out how much you qualify for, you will need to get in contact with Centrelink directly.

How often can you apply for advance payment?

This is determined by your individual situation. Generally, however, you can be able to apply for one advance payment every 12 months. Again, this is determined by what benefit you receive.

For example, if you receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A, you can apply for one regular advance at a time. In addition, you may also be able to apply for a one-off advance at any time.

How do I qualify for an advance payment?

Centerlink customers can apply for an advance if they have received any of the following payments for at least 3 months:

  • Age pension
  • Carer payment
  • Disability support pension
  • Farm household allowance
  • Newstart allowance
  • Parenting payment
  • Widow allowance
  • Widow B pension
  • Wife pension
  • Youth allowance for job seekers

In addition, you can apply for an advance whenever you like if you receive any of the following:

  • ABSTUDY
  • Austudy
  • Youth Allowance for students
  • Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • Mobility Allowance

For more information on how to apply, head directly to the Department of Human Services.

No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

NILS is an initiative set up by Goodshepherd Microfinance, in partnership with NAB and The Australian Government.

NILS aims to provide low-income individuals and families with fair and affordable credit. Moreover, these loans can only be used to cover essential goods and services. Finally, if you qualify for a NILS loan, you may be able to borrow up to $1,500 interest free.

Do I qualify?

NILS loans are designed to be made available to low-income families and individuals. Therefore, you will need to meet certain criteria to qualify:

  • Have a health care card/pension card or make less than $45,000 a year after tax. If you are making a joint application, or have children, this bumps up to $60,000.
  • Reside in your current address for at least 3 months.
  • Display a willingness and capacity to repay.

How does a NILS loan work?

You can apply for a NILS loan in 4 easy steps:

  • Make an enquiry. You can do this either through the NILS website, or by calling 13 NILS (13 64 57).
  • Interview. You will meet with a NILS representative. You will need to bring all relevant documentation to the interview.
  • Assessment. Your application will be assessed.
  • Outcome. You receive your outcome. If you’re approved and agree to the repayment terms, your loan will be transferred.

Finally, you will make repayments over the agreed-upon period of time. Repayments are generally very fair and can fit comfortably around even a small budget.

With NILS providers located all across Australia, you could find a provider near you.

What can I buy with a NILS loan?

NILS loans cannot be used for everything. After all, they are designed to only cover the cost of essential goods and services. This includes:

  • Whitegoods like fridges, washing machines, stoves, dryers, freezers etc.
  • Household furniture.
  • Some medical and dental services.
  • Education essentials like computers and text books.
  • Other items upon request.

You cannot use your NILS loan for rent, bills or as cash.

StepUp micro loans

Another initiative of Goodsherd Microfinance, StepUp loans are another way for low-income individuals and families to access loans through non-profits. Much like NILS, StepUp loans can be used to cover certain goods and service.

Unlike NILS, consumers will need to pay interest on top of their principal amount. However, these rates are very low.

Consumers can apply to borrow between $800 to $3,000.

Do I qualify for StepUp micro loans?

If you’re thinking about applying for a StepUp loan, you will first need to meet a few criteria:

  • You will need a Health Care Card/Pension Card, or receive Family Tax Benefit A.
  • You will need to have lived in your current address for at least the past 3 months.

There may be additional criteria; this will be discussed by the Microfinance employee when you apply.

How do I apply?

You can begin the StepUp process either through their website or by calling 13 64 57.

Alternatively, you may be able to find a StepUp provider near you.

White goods loan – appliance replacement offer

If you are a New South Wales resident, and are looking for a micro loan to pay for electrical goods, we might have some good news for you.

If you are looking to upgrade an old fridge or television, you may be eligible for the appliance replacement offer. The appliance replacement offer lets you trade in your old appliance, and receive a substantial discount on a replacement.

In short, you may be able to save up to:

  • 40% off the price of a new fridge.
  • 50% off the price of a new television.

How do I qualify for appliance replacement offer?

To be eligible for this offer, you will need to meet certain criteria. More specifically, you will need to:

  • Be a NSW resident.
  • Hold one of the following:
    • Pensioner Concession Card.
    • Health Care Card or Low Income Health Care Card from Centrelink.
    • Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.

You can find out more on the Service NSW website.

Case study: Julia needs a small loan

Julia needs a new bed frame for her daughter. Julia, however, receives Centrelink, and cannot afford to purchase the bed out of her own money. Therefore, she decides to apply for credit. Because she is on a low income, she decides to apply for a micro loan through a charity organisation.

She manages to secure an interview with her local charity credit provider. After her interview, her application is assessed. Finally, she is approved for a no interest loan.

Her repayments are then set up over several months. Furthermore, her repayments are very affordable, and she is able to comfortably fit them around her regular budget.

Micro loans through Monzi’s lender-finder

Outside of charity micro loan initiatives, consumers can apply for credit from an online lender. Furthermore, Monzi’s lender-finder service may be able to make it much easier to find a lender.

In short, with one application, Monzi could potentially match you with a credit provider from our network of lenders. Therefore, you could save yourself the time of searching online and applying with different lenders.

In addition, Monzi’s network of lenders may be able to offer more than small loans. Specifically, lenders potentially offer personal loans of up to $10,000!

So, whether you’re looking for small cash loans Australia, or something a little larger, consider Monzi.

How do you qualify for a micro loan from Monzi’s lender-partners?

Just like people, credit providers are all different. Moreover, the lenders within our network may all vary in terms of their assessment criteria. As a result, we cannot tell you exactly how to qualify with an individual lender.

However, to get started with Monzi’s lender-finding service, you will need to meet a few pretty industry-standard criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold an Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency.
  • Have a mobile number and email contact.
  • Recieved an income for the past 90 days.

If you meet a lender’s criteria, and they are able to offer you a loan, they will get in contact.

Apply in 3, 2, 1

Lodging an application on our website is easy and can be done in minutes. Here’s how you can get started:

Step one

  • Enter your ideal loan amount and repayment terms into the loan slider.
  • If you are happy with your selection, click Apply Now.

Step two

  • Complete the submission form. We only ask for the important stuff, so this shouldn’t take you long at all.
  • Once you have submitted everything, we get to work.

Step three

  • We’ll try and match your application with a potential lender.
  • Lenders assess your application and get in touch if they can make you an offer.
  • Lenders send through a loan contract if you’re approved.
  • Credit providers transfer funds when you accept the contract.

My credit isn’t sparkling. Can you still help?

Yes, absolutely! We’ve had credit scores of all shapes and sizes go through our website.

In short, Monzi does not think a poor credit record should be the be-all and end-all of your application. The best part? Our network of lenders share in this philosophy.

Therefore, lenders will aim to focus on your current financial situation. In other words, lenders will consider your regular income, expenses, and how you’ve been keeping up with your other repayments.

Even if your credit report isn’t shining, you may still be considered for personal loans bad credit.

What about micro loans no credit check?

Because we are a lender-finder service, and not actually lenders, we cannot speak to the assessment procedures of individual entities. In other words, we cannot guarantee if the lender will credit check your application or not.

However, we can guarantee lenders will focus on more than your credit score. As a result, credit providers may still offer a bad credit personal loan, despite the credit check.

What are micro loans used for?

If you secure a loan through one of Monzi’s lender-partners, you can use your funds to cover any personal cost. These loans are, in essence, spent like cash.

Therefore, you could use your loan to cover anything from medical expenses, moving home, or even to cover the cost of your wedding. At the end of the day, it is up to you.

Trust in our success

We’ve already helped hundreds of Aussies be approved for personal loans from our network of trusted lenders. Here are just a few examples of the kind of credit past Monzi customers have been approved for.

Micro loansAmount (AUD)
Micro loans Australia$350
Bad credit micro loans$400
Micro loans for people on Centrelink$700

The above table is for illustrative purposes only. Therefore, the terms and figures presented may not reflect the actual loan you’re offered.

I’m looking for something larger

A micro loan may not always be enough to cover a certain expense. Moreover, there may be times when consumers need something with a little more grunt!

Luckily, consumers find micro loan lenders, and lenders offering something larger, all in one place: Monzi!

Monzi may be able to match you with lenders potentially offering secured personal loans from $2,100 to a whopping $10,000!

These loans may have repayment terms ranging from 13 to 24 months. However, this may vary between lenders.

Difference between secured and unsecured loan

A secured loan is where the borrower pledges to repay their loan according to their contract, but use one of their assets to back their pledge up. In other words, if a borrower defaults on their loan, the credit provider is able to repossess their asset.

On the other hand, an unsecured loan is not backed by any collateral. Therefore, they pose a greater risk to lenders, as they cannot repossess an asset and recoup their losses. As a result, lenders are often willing to offer larger amounts for secured loans, and potentially even better rates and fees.

Generally, Monzi’s network of lenders can accept a car, motorbike or caravan as security. However, you must be the registered owner of the vehicle you wish to use as security.

What happens if I can’t pay my secured loan?

If you continually fail to make repayments on your loan, and do not come to a resolution with your lender, your asset may be repossessed. This is, however, the final resort for credit providers. Repossession is only considered if every other option has failed.

Credit providers issue a written statement after the sale, including:

  • The details of the proceeds of the sale.
  • Any cost the lender incurred in the repossession and sale process.
  • Whether or not there is still an outstanding balance.

Keep in mind, credit providers will only begin the repossession process if:

  • They have provided you with a default notice, allowing 30 days to pay the overdue amount.
  • The consumer does not pay the overdue amount, negotiate a resolution, or ask to postpone the repossession process within the 30 day period.

How long does it take to see my cash?

It’s no secret we live in an on-demand society. After all, it feels like everything is at our fingertips! In short, today’s consumers want things to move quickly. Accessing your credit is no different.

Generally, credit providers will begin transferring loans after the consumer has approved their loan contract. As a result, the transfer times can vary between individuals.

For example, lenders will not process your loan until the next business day if you approve your contract outside of normal hours. In addition, transfer times can vary between different banks.

However, consumers can usually expect to see their cash within 24 hours of approving their contract. Keep in mind, no transfers occur over the weekend.

How much will I need to repay?

Repayments will vary between lenders and loan products. As a result, we are unable to give a definitive answer to what you can expect to repay.

Are there any micro loans I can get with guaranteed approval?

You may find lenders online offering guaranteed approval. However, you should be very wary of these lenders. In short, there is a chance these lenders may be slightly dodgy, or even an outright scam.

This is because all credit providers are required by Australian law to confirm a loan product is suitable for a consumer. Therefore, any lender offering approval no matter what is obviously not making any sort of critical assessment.

Specifically, credit providers are required to confirm a loan product is suitable for you. What do we mean by suitable? A loan product is suitable for a consumer when:

  • The borrower’s needs and objectives are met.
  • The borrower is able to afford their contractual repayments without significant hardship.

What to do with dodgy lenders

If you are concerned you are dealing with a less-than-reputable credit provider, stop all contact with them immediately.

The first thing you could do is check ASIC’s list of companies you should not deal with.

In addition, look out for tell-tale signs of a loan scam. These include:

  • If the so-called lender asks you to make upfront payments before you get the loan. They may mask this as covering insurance, tax or the initial repayments.
  • Asking you to deposit your upfront payment into a bank account, cryptocurrency wallet or through buying a gift card for the scammer.
  • Approval for a loan amount much higher than you require.
  • Offering a very low interest rate.

If you genuinely believe you are dealing with a scammer, get in contact with ASIC immediately. Consult ASIC’s advice on what to do in the event of a scam.

Need a hand?

If you have any questions regarding your application with Monzi’s lender-finder service, get in contact. We have a customer service team ready to answer whatever questions you may have. Find us at hello@monzi.com.au.

Alternatively, if you need financial advice, you will need to get in contact with a financial advisor. The Department of Human Services offer free financial information over the phone or in person. Start by calling 13 23 00 or visiting their website. Monzi cannot give you financial advice.

Keen to apply for micro loans?

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How customers rate Monzi

Micro Loans Available Online - What Are Your Options? Monzi Investigates Overall rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 10 reviews.

Factor In

Costs

Two credit cards
Two credit cards

You won't use a penny to apply for our lender-finding service, but here's some costs you could expect from a lender

Loan amount

$300 - $2,000

Terms

12 months

Costs

20% upfront establishment fee

+ 4% monthly fee

Example

Loan Amount of $1,000 over 6 months repayable weekly (25 weekly repayments). $1,000 (Principal Amount) + $200 (20% Establishment Fee) + $240 (fees based on 4% per month over 25 weeks) = $1,440 total repayable in 25 weekly installments of $57.60.

Under the current legislation, most small personal loan providers don’t charge an annual interest rate (you’ll know this as an APR) %. The maximum you will be charged is a flat 20% Establishment Fee and a flat 4% Monthly Fee. The maximum comparison rate on loans between $300 and $2000 is 199.43%. This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate

Loan amount

$2,001 - $4,600

Terms

13 months

24 months

Costs

48% annual percantage rate

67.41% comparison rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $3,000 over 18 months repayable weekly (78 weekly repayments). $3,000 (Principle Amount) + $400 (Establishment Fee) + $1,379.06 (reducing interest) = $4,779.06 total repayable over 18 months with weekly installments of $61.27.

This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan.

Loan amount

$5,000 - $10,000

Terms

13 months

24 months

Costs

21.24% annual percantage rate

48% comparison rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $10,000 over 24 months repayable weekly (104 weekly repayments). $10,000 (Principle Amount) + $5,577.12 (Interest) = $15,577.12 total repayable over 24 months with weekly installments of $149.78.

This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan.