Unemployed Loans

Loans for the Unemployed

Worried you won't meet the employment requirements to borrow? Find out about unemployed loans.

If you're not employed in the traditional sense and are in need of finance, you may be wondering whether any lender will consider you for a loan. This guide will take you through your options for borrowing while you're unemployed, what you need to be aware of, and how you can apply. You can also see the ins and outs of eligibility criteria for lenders that offer these kinds of loans. Jump forward to lenders that may lend you money >>

Can you get a loan if you're unemployed?

The short answer is yes, but you will need to be earning some form of income or have suitable income-earning assets to repay the loan. This may involve you receiving some kind of Centrelink payments, being self-employed, or you receiving a regular deposit into your account from shares or something similar. And only some lenders will consider you for a loan.

Often, lenders will require access to your banking history and financial documents in order to verify that you will be able to repay your loan.

Important things you'll need to consider before borrowing

  • You need to be able to repay the loan.
    The main thing lenders will consider when you apply is whether you have the means to manage your repayments. If you are only looking to borrow a small amount and your income and expenses show you can easily manage the ongoing repayments, then you may be eligible. If you are looking at borrowing a large amount of money that will make it hard for you to manage day-to-day, then the lender cannot approve you.
  • Other requirements will need to be met.
    You may find it hard to be approved if you have any other short-term loan contracts open that you're currently repaying, and many lenders will not consider you for a loan if you're currently bankrupt or under a Part 9 Debt Agreement. You'll need to check the other eligibility requirements set by the lender before you apply. Just because they have flexible criteria when it comes to your employment does not mean they will be flexible about everything.
  • Do you receive Centrelink payments?
    This is often what allows lenders to consider you for a loan when you aren't currently employed. If you receive certain Centrelink allowances, such as a pension or parenting payments, you may be able to use these as income (but only a certain percentage of your income). Some payments, such as Newstart or Disability Support Pension (DSP), may not be accepted by some lenders, so be sure to check before you apply.

Find out about borrowing when you receive Centrelink

Ferratum Cash Loans

Ferratum Cash Loans

  • No credit checks
  • Borrow up to $1,900
  • Bad credit borrowers OK
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100% confidential application

Ferratum Cash Loans

Ferratum offers no credit check short term loans with a fast and easy online application. Apply today to get approved.

  • Loan amount: $1,900
  • Loan term: up to 6 months
  • Turnaround time: Same Day if approved
  • Fees: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
  • Bad credit borrowers OK
  • Quick and easy Approval
Go to site
Rates last updated December 13th, 2017
Name Product Max. Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Costs Fortnightly Repayment $1,500 Product Description
Ferratum Cash Loans
up to 6 months
Same Day if approved
20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
A small loan from Ferratum lets you borrow up to $1,900 without a credit check

Compare up to 4 providers

What eligibility requirements will I need to meet for an unemployed loan?

The requirements differ depends on which lender you're looking at applying with and how much you're looking to borrow. You'll need to check the specific criteria before you submit an application, but any of the following might apply:

  • Earning a specific income. While you may not need to be employed, you still may need to earn a regular income to apply. This is a common criterion you'll find with personal loans, so if you aren't employed or are employed casually but earn a sufficient income, you still may be eligible to apply.
  • Receiving Centrelink payments. Some lenders will accept Centrelink payments as a form of income, but, as outlined above, they will have guidelines surrounding this. The requirements may be that no more than 50% of your income comes from Centrelink payments or that you do not receive Newstart Allowance or DSP. Check the specifics before applying.
  • Your credit rating. With flexible employment criteria often comes flexible credit criteria. That is, if a lender is willing to look beyond your not being in a job, they are often able to look beyond negative marks on your credit file. Keep in mind, though, that this flexibility has limits. For instance, you may be able to have a default or two and still be accepted, but many lenders will not consider you if you are currently bankrupt.
  • Your assets. If you own a car or a boat outright or have some equity in a property, your application may have a greater chance of being approved. This is because the lender may use this as security for the loan.

Where can I get a loan if I'm unemployed?

There is a number of different loan options for those who are unemployed, between jobs or receiving benefits.

LenderLoan amountEligibility
Cash Converters$50 to $2,000
  • Over 18
  • Earn at least $300 per week
  • Reside in Australia
Ferratum$100 to $1,900
  • Over 18
  • Earn a regular income
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
OK Money$200 to $5,000
  • Over 18
  • Earn a regular income
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Apply in-store
Wallet Wizard$100 to $5,000
  • Over 18
  • Are able to afford the loan

Sarah needs a loan

Sarah has been out of work for three months after completing her degree and currently receives Centrelink payments. She can get a job as a sales rep, trouble is, she needs a car in order for them to offer her the role. She has found a cheap car to purchase from a friend – $1,500 – all she needs to do is secure a loan.

She'll be able to comfortably repay the full amount using her Centrelink payments, and when she first gets paid from her new job the loan repayments will be even easier to manage. She has credit card debt and so has been refused a loan by StepUP and The No Interest Loans Scheme can't help her with a car purchase. She considered a Centrelink Cash Advance, but Centrelink can't get it to her in time to secure the role.

She compares her small, short-term loan options and sees that there are lenders who will consider her Centrelink payments as income. After comparing what's available and double-checking the eligibility criteria, she submits an online application and is approved for the loan amount. Her repayments are structured around her Centrelink payments, and, after purchasing the car, she is offered the role.

Are there any alternative loan options?

There's more than just short-term lenders to consider if you're in need of finance while you're unemployed. It's important to consider all of your options and find the best one for your needs and situation.

  • No Interest Loans scheme (NILs). Provided by Good Shepherd Microfinance, the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILs) offers credit to individuals and families who have lower incomes and who hold a Health Care Card or Pension Card. Loans of between $300 and $1,200 are provided for no fees, no charges and no interest to help people pay for household items, medical and dental services and even educational essentials. Applicants need to show a strong willingness to repay the loan and need to have resided at their current address for over three months.
  • StepUP Loan. Another option offered by Good Shepperd Microfinance, this time partnering with NAB, this loan is available for between $800 and $3,000 for a very low rate. To be eligible, you need to hold a current Centrelink Concession Card or receive Family Tax Benefit Part A. As with NILS, you need to have been at your current address for more than three months. This loan can be used for household items and medical or dental expenses, as well as to purchase cars, computers or to pay for repairs on your house or car.
  • Joint applications, guarantors and co-signors. If you're unemployed and in need of a loan, you can consider applying with another person – a partner, relative or friend – in order to boost your eligibility. Many lenders offer the option for joint applications, and some brands such as Buddy Money encourage you to apply with a guarantor in order for you to be able to access finance. So, if you don't meet the eligibility criteria, find out if you can apply with someone who does. Remember that this is a large responsibility the guarantor or co-signer is taking on as they are sharing the responsibility for you repaying the loan.

So, you don't reach the end of the financing road when you are unemployed. If you are able to manage your repayments there are lenders who will consider you and loan options available to you. Remember to compare all options that are open to you to secure the best one for your needs.

Elizabeth Barry

Elizabeth is an editor for finder.com.au specialising in personal finance and fintech. She enjoys reading PDSs so you don’t have to.

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312 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SaraDecember 10, 2017

    Im looking to take out a small personal loan. I recently started talking with a recruiter at a CDL school and i need to have a little bit of money upfront to be able to uptain my cdl. the class is 3 weeks long, i will start with a company and getting paid as soon as i finish school.

    • Staff
      MayDecember 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Sara,

      Thank you for your inquiry. There are actually lenders who might offer you a loan given your circumstance. These lenders are listed above. Best to review the guide first and eligibility criteria, then contact the lender directly to discuss your options.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Default Gravatar
    AyandaDecember 9, 2017

    Hi i earn about R2000 a month so can i qualify for R4000. But after a month i will earn more money.i am sure i will repay this money.

    • Staff
      MayDecember 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Ayanda,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Looks like your location is from outside Australia, as determined by the currency you mentioned. Just to confirm though that the loans featured on our site are only available to people in Australia. You’d be best to contact a lender or bank in your country instead.

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


    • Default Gravatar
      AyandaDecember 10, 2017

      Oh no sorry i thought you are also here in South Africa. I am an African. Thank you for your response may.

  3. Default Gravatar
    darrenNovember 29, 2017

    im unemployed at present waiting for project to start but i need 7000 urgently and have a boat worth $20000 as security.Is there a lender out there who could help.

    • Staff
      AsiaNovember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Darren,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, you are actually on the right page. There are particular lenders would consider your asset as a security for the loan. Lenders will have requirements for the guaranteed asset to be evaluated if a certain asset met its criteria to make it as a security. Please note, the amount that you want to borrow is based on the lender’s decision towards your means of repayments. On the page you’re in, you may reach out a particular lender to discuss your eligibility by clicking the go to site which will direct you to the lender’s web site. Aside from that, we also have a page for Secured Personal loan that you may compare your options with on this page.

      I hope this information helped.


  4. Default Gravatar
    MargNovember 24, 2017

    I am on centre link and I need a small loan I have tried sunshine wizards and pronto but I really need a loan to get s transfer fee

    • Staff
      ArnoldNovember 25, 2017Staff

      Hi Marg,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Yes, there are lenders that will allow you to apply for a loan depending on the kind of Centrelink benefit you are in. Please click here to See what personal loan options are available for you.

      Hope this information helps


  5. Default Gravatar
    GiovanniNovember 12, 2017

    I’m on disability support pension, I want a loan, I would like to the full amount of loan, I am 50yrs, I can afford a loan being taylord repayment to my income, thank you;

  6. Default Gravatar
    nackermanOctober 21, 2017

    Hi. I am currently unemployed and I would like to become self employed by working for uber, however I need a car loan to be eligible, and because I am unemployed I cannot get the vehicle, Im in one of those vicious circles. I also do not receive benefits and I do not have a cosigner. any recommendations? or know of any loan that could help me out?

    • Staff
      JhezelynOctober 21, 2017Staff

      Hi Nackerman,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Usually, most of the lenders will look at your employment status and income as a way to determine risk. They will have to check your capacity to repay a loan. You may check different loan options found above. You must check the lender’s website or call their customer service line before applying to confirm if the lender accepts applications from people who are unemployed.

      For driving Uber without a car, please check our guide here.

      Hoping for the best.


  7. Default Gravatar
    GregOctober 19, 2017

    I need a car a pre proven car loan for about 10,000 over about 7yrs. The problem we have is myself and partner are on disabled pensions. We could affordable pay a maximum off about $100 fortnight. We could stretch a little more if we had to. We are clearing about 1400 fortnight. Can you find someone that could help us.
    Thank You , Greg

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 20, 2017

      Hello Greg,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You may still apply for a car loan even if you and your partner are on disability pensions.
      Information on this page may be useful.
      There is also a list of lenders there that you can choose from.

      Hope it helps.


  8. Default Gravatar
    MounaOctober 12, 2017

    How do I apply for a loan please up to 4 thousand dollars

    • Staff
      HaroldOctober 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Mouna,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Generally, the main thing lenders will consider when you apply is whether you have the means to manage your repayments. If you are only looking to borrow a small amount and your income and expenses show you can easily manage the ongoing repayments, then you may be eligible. If you are looking at borrowing a large amount of money that will make it hard for you to manage day-to-day, then the lender cannot approve you. To apply, check the following lenders listed above and click the link or “go to site” button. As lenders may have different requirements you need to review their offers as well as the terms and conditions.

      I hope this information has helped.


  9. Default Gravatar
    LoraineOctober 11, 2017

    I am in need of a loan around $1,500 to finish pay for my mums headstone.

    • Staff
      RenchOctober 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Loraine,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      If you are unemployed and in need of a loan, you’re actually on the correct page on where you can compare lenders that may consider your situation.

      Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

      Best regards,

  10. Default Gravatar
    maryOctober 8, 2017

    I have money I owe from past years but need a loan urgently dye to emergencyfamily issues my children what can I do

    • Staff
      DanielleOctober 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You may refer to this page for options that may suit your needs. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.


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