Low Income Credit Card

Credit Cards for low income earners do not require a high salary to apply, and are available to applicants who are unemployed, students, part time workers, receive Centrelink payments, Government benefits or those on a retirement income.

The majority of the credit card providers request a minimum income level as part of the application process, this is designed to ensure that you have the means to repay any credit that is outstanding on your card, at the close of each month. The lowest income level required tends to be around $15,000 per year (about $300 per week) for a standard credit card, increasing to the $30,000 to $40,000 range for credit cards with more features, and possibly the inclusion of a rewards program. The minimum income required for each of the Low Income credit cards below is clearly shown in the 4th column, and it is shown as a gross (before tax) annual salary.

Introductory Offer: 0% p.a on Balance Transfer for 16 months

Offer Conditions: A one off 2% Balance Transfer fee applies, Balance Transfer reverts to the Cash advance rate after 16 months. Apply by 12th November 2017, offer available to new customers only. Not available in conjunction with the Balance Transfer Special offer.

  • Low annual card fee - Just $59 p.a.
  • Up to 55 interest free days on purchases - providing you pay off your balance in full every month
  • 1 Additional Card Holder - Add an additional card holder for $0
  • Card Security - Verified by Visa to protect your online payments.
  • Visa payWave - tap and go quick payments on transactions up to $100.
  • Visa Entertainment - special offers on events and entertainment
  • Balance Transfer limit - 70% of your approved credit limit.

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Selecting the Low Income Credit Card that is right for you

Low income credit cards are designed to provide the convenience of a credit card for low income earners at an affordable cost relative to their current income level

With a clear objective of keeping the credit card costs down the providers have developed low income credit card offers which feature low annual card fees, low interest rates and most recently began to offer the option of a low rate balance transfer.

When making an application for any credit card you will be asked to declare, and in most cases substantiate, through pay or wage slips your annual income. The credit card providers use this value, in conjunction with your declared expenses, to access your ability to repay a monthly credit card balance. Prior to commencing any credit card application it is critical you check that you are eligible to apply for the card, one of the key criteria will be a minimum income level, which if you do not meet will result in your application being declined. All the credit card featured in the comparison table above feature minimum income eligibility levels below $20,000 p.a., with the lowest being $14,000 p.a. which is equivalent to around $270 per week.


5 facts you need to know before applying for a Low Income Credit Card

1. Validating your income

Early in the online application process you will be asked to declare your current income, this figure will be the gross amount (before tax) you earn each month or week. It is important that the value you enter in your application is accurate and true as during the second stage of the application process you will be asked to provide documents such as wage, pay slips or pension payments to validate the value you entered into your application.

2. Eligible to apply - Minimum income criteria

Most low income credit cards include a minimum income level, which you must be able to prove, as one of their eligibility to apply criteria. This income level is usually in the range of $14,000 - $20,000 p.a. The good news is that this income level is often at household level, which means it may be possible to make a joint application with your spouse or partner, and so combine your incomes in the application. Not all providers accept Joint Applications for Low Income Credit Cards so it is wise to include this in your comparison of the available credit cards.

3. Your spending levels - expenses and debts

To enable the card providers to access your ability to repay your credit card bills they are interested in understanding how your monthly spend compares to your monthly income. In simple terms they are looking for a situation where your income is greater than your expenses, as this indicates that you have some free cash each month that would be available to repay your credit card bill. The expenses that you will be asked to provide in your application include details of any loans, mortgages, an estimate of your living expenses and any other debts you have. When you do these calculations and you find that your expenses exceed the value of your income it maybe wise to delay your application and focus your effort and time on re-aligning your income and expenses so you are earning sufficient to cover your expenses or reduce your expenses to a level within your current income level..

4. Credit Report

Once you submit your credit card application the credit card provider will access it in conjunction with the details in your credit report. This credit report is produced by a third party who aggregate data on your credit activity of the last 7 years. The report will feature information on any bad debts you may have or have had, be it missed utility bill payments, defaults on your car loan or mortgage. If you have had bad debts in the passed or been rejected for credit it is wise to request a copy of your current credit report to ensure it is an accurate representation of your current circumstances.

5. Multiple credit card applications are a bad idea

Any credit applications you make are listed on your credit report, with frequent applications within a short time period being interpreted by the card providers as “desperate for credit” signal. This signal will generally lead to immediate rejection of your application, so focus on selecting a single low income credit card which fits your circumstances and needs and then make one application for that chosen card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Income to Debt Ratio mean and how can I improve it?

Your Income to Debt ratio is used by credit card providers as part of the accessment of your application. This ratio considers the relationship between your current expenses/outgoings and your current income. The postion which is most favourable when making an application for a credit card is when your monthly income far exceeds your monthly expenses/outgoings, which would be considered a low debt ratio.

What is the Minimum annual income required to apply for a credit card?

Standard credit cards which have low annual fees and a limited range of features require a minimum income in the range of $14,000 p.a. - $20,000 p.a

How can I improve my chances of getting approved for a low income credit card?

Here are our 5 top tips to help you gain approval on your credit card application:

  1. Assess your current financial situation and action any opportunities to improve your circumstances: When you submit your credit card application the credit card issuer will  examine your finances when you apply for a credit card, paying particular attention to your credit rating and current debt ratio (your total debts: annual income) to see if you can afford to borrow and repay credit. You should also study all your finances, income and expenses to see if there’s anyway you can improve the situation, perhaps trying to pay off some debt before applying. It’s also worth getting an annual credit report and checking there are no mistakes hindering your application.
  2. Make a joint application: If you live with a spouse or partner, it may be possible top make a joint credit card application, combining your total income to meet the bank’s requirements. Obviously, this means that you are both be responsible for repaying the balance on the credit card.
  3. Open a bank account: If you can demonstrate that you can manage a checking or savings account responsibly, you improve your credit rating and the bank is more likely to approve your application.
  4. Earn more money: If you don’t earn enough money to qualify for a credit card it may be the case that you simply need to increase your income. This could be working overtime, trying for a promotion, getting an extra job or even starting a small business outside of your usual work.
  5. Consider a debit card: A debit card is a good option for people on low incomes who are unable to qualify for a credit card, offering all the convenience but without the risk of getting into debt. Debit cards are linked directly to the your bank account so you can only spend money you actually already have rather than borrowing from the bank.