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Accessing Money While on Government Benefits

This is a guest post by Paul Russo.

unemployment line

Qualifying for a loan can be difficult without a full-time job, strong work history and good credit rating. This makes it very difficult for individuals with irregular incomes, impaired credit or on government benefits (financial assistance) to qualify for loans.

As with most things that have a qualification component, getting approved is case by case. A person who relies on Centrelink as their sole method of income may find it harder to get approved than a person who works part-time and also collects Centrelink payments. There are so many different factors to getting qualified for a loan. It really comes down to how risky funders view borrowers.

In addition, even if you do qualify for a loan, make sure that it is under reasonable terms as it may not be beneficial and could put you in a worst off situation.

Below are some options and ideas on how to access money from different sources.

  • Non-profits: There are numerous community based initiatives where different non-profits may secure funding from private entities or even partner with banks to provide microloans. These are small loans that range from a couple hundred dollars up to a couple of thousand. They generally come with a very low interest rate and in some cases may have zero interest.
  • Payday Loans: These types of loans generally have high interest rates and fees associated with them, but do provide instant cash for emergencies. In the past there has been a lot of negative publicity surrounding these types of loans due to the high costs they command.
  • Pawnshops: These are the original loans specialist from back in the medieval days. Different than normal lending practices as there is no real qualification criteria. Here you will need to have some type of collateral to negotiate with.
  • Family/friends: This isn’t always an option for some people as they may not want others to know about their financial issues or just don’t feel comfortable asking. At any rate, asking family or friends can be a great way to access cash quickly and without any high interest rates or fees.


Above are just some examples on how to access funds while being on government assistance. Read about other options on loans for people on Centrelink at Simple Living Australia, a finance and lifestyle blog that share tips and information on debt, savings, investing and more. There are numerous articles on how to spend less and save more.

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