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

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.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

338 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DeanMay 2, 2018

    Could u please help me find a loan im on single parent payment and family tax benefits please

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 3, 2018Staff

      Hi Dean,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      When you’re earning a single income, trying to get a personal loan can seem like an uphill battle. The eligibility criteria for many banks and lenders can be difficult to meet on a sole income, but you still might need that car, those home repairs, or that money for bond.

      Before you apply for a loan, it’s important to check the following information below to prevent any negative impact in your credit score:
      Check your credit score. Check your credit score for free with finder to find out what kind of borrowing position you’re in. The higher your score, the less of a risk you appear to the lender.
      Get advice. You can get in touch with a free financial counselor who can take you through your financial options. Give the hotline a call on 1800 007 007.
      Consider alternatives. There is a range of alternative loan options that include low- and no-interest loans. These are designed to help people on low incomes pay for necessary expenditures such as car or home repairs.
      Borrow a lower amount. You should only borrow as much as you need and that you can afford. Lenders may reject your loan application if they think you can’t afford the repayments rather than offering you a lower amount.
      Talk to the lender before you apply. Discuss your eligibility with the lender before you apply. Remember that every loan application you make will show up on your credit file, and too many applications in a short space of time may appear irresponsible.

      Please note that we’re a product comparison website and we do not represent any company we feature on our site. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

      You can review lenders on this page. Once you’ve decided, click the GO TO SITE button and it will direct you to the respective website.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to message us anytime should you have further questions.


  2. Default Gravatar
    ScottApril 22, 2018

    I’m on centrelink stable address lease in my name can I apply for small loan thank you

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Scott,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You still may be eligible for a loan if you receive Centrelink payments as part or even all of your income. These include loans from short-term lenders, banks and credit unions. Government and community financial assistance schemes are also available.

      I also suggest that you call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 for further assistance when it comes to applying for a loan. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

      Please click this link to see your options.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  3. Default Gravatar
    FrancesApril 17, 2018

    Do you’s give out loans to people that are on government benefits for instance, centrelink newstart allowance?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Frances,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You still may be eligible for a loan if you receive Centrelink payments as part or even all of your income.

      Please check out this link to learn more on some loan options that are available to you.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    April 13, 2018

    Hello, I have recently been involved with a car smash and need a loan to pay for the damage.

    I have recently started my own business but the problem is as I have only been running it for 6 months my income wont be recognized until I get a tax return.

    I do however have a solid income of $800 a week from my investment property which I can use as an income, but pay $175 per week of that to my mortgage. I am looking to borrow 14k, are there any lenders that could help me?

    • finder Customer Care
      ArnoldApril 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Cz,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      You may want to use your car as an asset to apply for a loan. A secured personal loan and car loan are similar in that they both require an asset to be attached to the loan as a guarantee. However, with a car loan, you are required to use the funds from the loan to purchase a vehicle. With a secured personal loan you need to already own the asset and you can then use the funds for any purpose. Please check your options for a secured personal loan by clicking on this link. Please make sure to fill in the necessary information such as the loan amount and the term desired before hitting the calculate button. The results will you the interest rates, application fee and monthly repayments from different lenders. Once you have chosen one, you may then click the ‘ Go to site ‘ button to proceed with the application. Please note that eligibility requirements may vary between lenders.

      Hope this information helps


  5. Default Gravatar
    April 9, 2018

    Hi guys! I’m after a small loan I am working full time hours.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Adam,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Since you mentioned that you need a small loan, you may want to check out this link for more info about payday loans.

      Now, if you want to learn more about loans that would suit your needs like having a personal loan instead of payday loan, kindly visit this page. It will not just give you info about differences between them but will also give you options to compare.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  6. Default Gravatar
    LisaApril 2, 2018

    I am unemployed and i dont work i am on disability payment, I also have a bad credit rating thanks to my ex. I need a loan to pay for my devorce, can I get a loan

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiApril 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Lisa!

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice on your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      There is hope! You can definitely apply for a loan even if you’re unemployed, as long as you 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.

      On this page, you may compare the lenders that you think fit you best and some more tips on how to proceed with applying for the loan.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks and best regards,


  7. Default Gravatar
    BarbaraMarch 15, 2018

    I own the house I am living in in Qld. I have a holiday house is SA. I have had it on the market for 18 mths.
    I applied to Center link to obtain Newstart. They have rejected me because I am too asset rich.
    I have no money in the bank, unable to pay bills. I need help.

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Barbara!

      Thanks for questions. We understand that it’s quite challenging to liquidate assets at the moment.
      The best thing for you right now is to look for mortgage brokers who can sell your properties faster than usual.

      You can use this link to choose the mortgage broker that suits you best: https://www.finder.com.au/mortgage-brokers

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      Best regards,


  8. Default Gravatar
    DineshMarch 10, 2018

    I need $2000 to purchase Taxi/Cab/Car.
    I will repay in 60 EMIs

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelMarch 13, 2018Staff

      Hi Dinesh,

      Thanks for leaving a comment on finder.

      There are lenders who might offer you a loan given your circumstance. There are lenders who can offer you a loan given your circumstance and it is listed in the table above. Best to review the guide first and eligibility criteria, then contact the lender directly to discuss your options.


  9. Default Gravatar
    CandidaFebruary 21, 2018

    I would like to know if i can get a loan but im unemployed but married.. I get my husbands income and child support. Can you help please

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelMarch 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Candida,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder. Please note that we are a comparison website and we are not affiliated with any of the providers on our page.

      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. Assuming you receive Centrelink payments, you can check out this page.

      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.


  10. Default Gravatar
    AFebruary 14, 2018

    I am on Newstart and been accepted into the NEIS Scheme. Is there a place to go where I could borrow $5000 to $10000 to get things started on my business ?
    I think NEIS are only paying me a normal Newstart with rent assistance every fortnight for the first 15 months and it is barely enough to survive. I have talked to them a few times and they didn’t say whether they are going to give me any funding to get set up.I only get a small pay and I can’t afford to set up anything. I can barely afford to live. I need some financial help to get going and I don’t know if they will give it to me. If that’s the case. It’s going to be really hard to get my business going. So I need a loan or some kindly passing stranger to help me out.

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 8, 2018Staff

      Hi A Smith, thanks for your inquiry.

      Please note that you have reached finder a comparison service. As much as we’d like to give you personal advice to help your situation we are unable to do so. You may like to compare business loans here.



Ask a question
Go to site