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Low doc personal loans (self-employed personal loans) in Australia

One of the most common mistakes I see among people looking for a personal loan is focussing only on the interest rate first. A better question to ask initially is ‘which kind of loan can I actually get?’

If you’re self-employed or have an irregular income, the answer may well be a low doc personal loan, and NOT a standard personal loan.

Here, I’ll explain how low doc personal loans work and who they’re designed for. Then, I’ll explain how to find the best deal you can.

What is a low doc personal loan?

What is a low doc personal loan?

With a low doc personal loan, the ‘low-doc’ simply means ‘low documentation’. With a standard personal loan, the lender will ask for financial documents when you apply.

Like payslips from an employer, bank statements, and recent tax returns.

But low doc personal loan applications don’t require those documents. The lender assesses your eligibility in other ways.

This makes them very popular with people like self-employed workers, new business owners, and seasonal workers.

Low doc personal loan purposes

What can I get a low doc personal loan for?

Like standard personal loans, you usually have flexibility to use a self-employed personal loan for more or less any purpose.

According to data, the most common reason borrowers request a low doc personal loan in 2023 is for debt consolidation and financing a home renovation.

If you’re looking for car finance, you could consider a low doc car loan.

Or if the loan is for a business purpose, there are low doc business loans.

Low doc personal loans and increased risk

Low doc personal loans offer an option to borrowers who otherwise mightn’t be able to get a loan.

But something to keep in mind is that they are generally a bigger risk for the lender, because you aren’t providing the standard proof of your ability to repay the loan.

This means low doc personal loans often have:

  • Higher interest rates
  • Higher fees
  • Lower borrowing amounts

For example, data from in 2023 shows that the average personal loan interest rate borrowers who are casually employed, without a long-term stable income, is 16.15% p.a. That compares to an average of 13.83% p.a. for borrowers who are employed full-time.

Low doc personal loan application

How to reduce risk on your low doc personal loan to get a better deal

Lenders like to minimise risk and uncertainty wherever they can. If you can remove some of the risk for them, you could get a lower interest rate on your low doc personal loan.

Here are some options I often suggest self-employed borrowers consider:

  • If you own an asset (a car, house, shares) the lender may accept this as security for the loan.
  • You can provide a personal guarantee (a written declaration) to the lender about your ability to repay the loan.
  • Do a free credit score check and if you need to, take steps to improve your score before applying.
  • You can ask someone you trust to act as a guarantor for the loan.
  • If you can afford the higher repayments, agree to a shorter loan term so you’re paying off the loan sooner. Be sure to calculate what your personal loan repayments will be over different loan terms.

What you’ll need to get a self-employed loan

Qualifying for a low doc personal loan can be quite simple. The basic eligibility for low-doc applications requires you to be over the age of 18 and an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Then, you’ll need to demonstrate that you can afford the repayments. For low doc personal loans, you could do this by providing:

  • Two years of tax returns and/or notices of tax assessment from the Australian Taxation Office if you have them.
  • Company information if you are a business owner. That includes your ABN and business address (with some lenders you must have held the ABN for a minimum of one or two years).
  • Any recent financial statements that show your business’s profits and losses.
  • Proof of any other income you have — i.e. rental property or investment income.
  • Recent bank statements for both your personal and business accounts.

The more documentation you can provide to prove you can comfortably afford to repay the personal loan, the more likely you’ll get approved.

You may also secure a better interest rate. Having a good credit score will also be an advantage.

Best low doc personal loans interest rate comparison

Low doc loan amountWeekly repayment (7% interest)Weekly repayment (9% interest)Weekly repayment (12% interest)





































Low doc personal loan repayment comparison examples are calculated using weekly repayments with a fixed interest rate on a 5-year term. They do not include any fees that may be charged by a lender in addition to interest.

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Low doc Personal Loans FAQs

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Most lenders offer a personal loan for self-employed low doc borrowers. This includes the major banks, credit unions, online lenders and specialist lenders.

However, to be eligible for a low doc loan with a traditional lender, like a bank or credit union, you’ll generally need to have a good credit score.

If you’re struggling to find a suitable lender, a personal loan broker may be able to help you find one.

It’s generally pretty rare for lenders to offer no doc personal loans in Australia.

When assessing your personal loan application, most lenders will want at least some information about who you are, your business and how you will be able to afford the loan.

Lenders generally ask to see bank statements to verify your expenses and that you're able to afford the loan. But it can be possible to get a low doc loan without bank statements provided you can demonstrate to the lender overall that you are eligible.

Make sure do thorough checks on the vehicle if you're getting a loan to buy through a private sale.

You may be able to get a low doc personal loan if you have bad credit. But you might have a better chance of being approved through a specialist bad credit personal loan provider.

Yes. Low doc loans are sometimes called self-employed loans. To be approved, you will still need to provide a minimum level of documentation, which might include recent tax returns and personal ID.

Yes, it may be possible to get an unsecured personal loan as a low-doc borrower.

But if you can provide security on the loan, it may be easier to get approved and find a better deal.

Generally, low doc personal loans have higher interest rates than standard personal loans. Lenders charge higher rates to cover the increased risk of default.

Low doc personal loans are commonly available for amounts between $2,000 and $50,000, but a few lenders offer as much as $75,000.

Shopping around for the right loan can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

Personal Loans guides and resources

The great thing about personal loans is they can fund almost anything. They are perfect when you need that bit extra to cover expenses, start a project or reset your finances to get back on track.

Written by

Shaun McGowan founder

Loans Expert

Shaun McGowan

Reviewed by

Sean Callery Editor


Sean Callery


*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $10,000 over 3 years. WARNING: 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.


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