It’s not uncommon for people to be drawn to the sunny weather and laid back lifestyle of Australia. But once you’re here and you have a job, the next step for most people is to get a car. Australia is a big place, after all, seeing all the sights often requires a car. Not to mention the convenience of driving to and from work every day.
People living and working in Australia on Temporary Work Visas, also known as 457 Visas, are still eligible to for car loans. However, the lenders are likely to be more strict for visa holders than they are for permanent residents.
With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about getting a car loan in Australia on a 457 Visa.
Criteria for Temporary Work Visa holders
Along with all their regular lending criteria, a lender is going to look at the details of your Visa and job, amongst other things. Some of the things they will look at include:
- The length of time you have been in Australia
- The length of time you have been at your job
- The expiry date of your Visa
- Your job title and income
- Your assets and liabilities
- A cash deposit where appropriate
The most important thing that you need to consider is that your loan term must end before the expiry date of your Visa. A lender will not approve a car loan for you if they expect you to leave the country before you have finished paying off the loan.
It’s also worth noting that the lender will only consider the current expiry date of your Visa, even if you plan to renew it. Regardless of your intentions, there is a chance that your application to renew your Visa will be declined, so the current expiry date is the only thing lenders are interested in.
General car loan advice
Just like with any other type of car loan, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of getting approved. These are still relevant to people on 457 Visas.
In fact, these tips can be even more important to 457 Visa holders since lenders may see your position as risky to lend to.
Some tips to improve your chances of being approved are:
- Apply for a smaller loan – You can do this by either choosing to buy a less expensive car or saving up a larger deposit (or both). In either case, a smaller loan means less risk for the lender.
- Novated leases – In some cases, you may be able to get a car loan through your employer. With a novated lease, your employer makes the car loan payments on your behalf out of your pre-tax income. Having your employer’s support could make you appear less risky to the lender.
- Pay down existing debt – Because you may have limited or no credit history in Australia, a lender may view any existing debts or liabilities as risky. Paying down any credit card or other debt or making more than the minimum repayments can help show the lender that you are financially responsible.
Going through a finance broker to get a car loan can be a good way of improving your chances of being approved.
They have access to a wide range of different lenders and are familiar with the policies of each. They will be able to advise you on your loan options and find a lender that suits your needs.
Not only that, but they can advocate to the lender on your behalf, based on the strength of your financial situation. That way, the lender doesn’t just see the risk associated with your temporary work Visa.