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Want a personal loan but don’t have the documents you need to apply?

Written by

Shaun McGowan

Low-doc personal loans may be an option if you can’t provide:

  • Payslips from an employer
  • Recent tax returns

Low-doc means “low documentation”, and they’re designed so lenders can approve money for people who can’t provide the usual bank statements or income info.

They are also used if your income is inconsistent (e.g. you only work a few months of the year).

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

Below, we’ll cover off everything you need to know about getting one of these loans, and the different types of documentation you’ll need to give a lender.

First off, we’ll look at why these loans are usually more expensive than other loans, and how to make sure you get a decent deal.

Low-Doc personal loans and increased risk

Before we look at how to apply, it’s important to understand how low-doc loans are different from other loans.

Like other loans, approving a loan (and deciding how much you’ll pay) will be based on the risk you present to a lender.

The more proof (i.e. documents) you can give to show you’re able to repay the loan, the lower your risk will be.

This is important, because you’ll often be entirely responsible for assessing whether you can repay, and low-doc loans will usually have:

  • Higher interest rates
  • Higher fees
  • Lower borrowing amounts
How lenders determine interest rates

How can you reduce your risk without extra documents?

Bank statements, payslips, and tax returns will be very helpful in showing your ability to repay the amount you want to borrow.

If you’re applying for a low-doc loan, chances are you won’t have all (or any!) of these.

Thankfully, there are other ways to improve your chances:

  • If you have assets (a car, or a house) these can be used as security on the loan
  • You can provide a personal guarantee - a written declaration - to the lender

Neither of these is a requirement for every lender.

However, both are an option to consider if you’re looking to get a lower rate or a cheaper loan.

So what do you need to qualify and actually get a loan if you’re self-employed?

Lenders will need to review your banking conduct

Find the best deal on Low Doc personal loans


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

Qualifying is pretty simple. Basic eligibility for low-doc applications requires you to be:

  • Over the age of 18; and
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • Employed or have a regular source of income over $25,000 per year

Most people can meet the qualifying criteria, but the tricky part comes in providing other types of documentation instead.

How to qualify for a loan in Australia

This can include:

  • Two years of tax returns and/or notices of tax assessment from the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Any recent financial statements that show your business’s profits and losses.
  • Company Information if you are a business owner. That includes your ABN and business address.
  • Personal ID, such as a passport or Australian driver licence.
  • Proof of any other income you have — i.e. rental property or investment income.
  • Recent bank statements for both your personal and business accounts.

Basically - the more documentation you can provide to your lender as proof that you’re able to repay the loan, the more likely it is you’ll get approved, and the better your repayments will be.

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Here are the most popular questions people are asking about low-doc personal loans

You may be able to get a low-doc personal loan if you have bad credit, however each lender’s credit policy will apply.

Yes. Low-doc loans are sometimes called self-employed loans. You will still have 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 low-doc personal loan. If you can provide security on the loan, it will be easier to get approved and find a better deal.

Generally, low-doc personal loans have higher interest rates than normal 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.

The right personal loan can save you $1,000s


About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.

*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.