Income Bank

Helps you keep more of your Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payment if you’re a student or Australian Apprentice doing paid work.

What it does

The Income Bank takes into consideration how much you earn from paid work over the duration of your student payment.

It means that in some fortnights you may earn more than in others before your payment reduces.

You need to tell us how much you and your partner earn from paid work each fortnight so you're paid the right amount.

Who has one

You have an Income Bank if you get:

How it works

When you start your student payment, your Income Bank balance is 0.

Personal income test

If you get one of the payments listed above, you can earn up to $437 a fortnight under the personal income test before we reduce your payment.

Building up your balance

If you earn less than $437 a fortnight, we’ll add the difference between $437 and your income to your Income Bank.

For example, if you earn $350 in a fortnight, you’ll gain 87 credits in your Income Bank. That is, 437 – 350 = 87.

Reducing your balance

If you earn $437 or more in a fortnight and have a positive Income Bank balance, we’ll reduce your Income Bank before we reduce your payment.

For example, if you have 87 credits in your Income Bank you can earn $524 in a fortnight before we reduce your payment.

Your partner’s income

The Income Bank is only available for your income and not your partner’s income.

Even though the Income Bank isn’t available for your partner’s income, their income can still impact your payment amount. This is the partner income test for Austudy and Youth Allowance, or ABSTUDY.

For example, if your partner earns over a certain amount, even if you have a positive Income Bank balance, your payment will reduce.


The most credits you can have in your Income Bank are:

  • 10,900 if you’re a student, or
  • 1,000 if you’re an Australian Apprentice


Your Income Bank balance may transfer to Working Credits if you stop studying or training and move to a different payment. For example, Youth Allowance as a job seeker or Newstart Allowance.

The number of Income Bank credits you can transfer depends on the payment you’re moving to.

You can transfer up to 1,000 Income Bank credits to Working Credits for most payments.

You can transfer up to 3,500 credits if you’re moving to Youth Allowance as a job seeker.

If you have a positive Income Bank balance and stop getting payments from us altogether you can’t cash out your credits.

Check your balance

You can check your balance in your Centrelink online account through myGov. Select My Profile.

Manage your money

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Related payments and services

Page last updated: 29 November 2017