Loans for unemployed applicants

Compare loans that are available to people who are unemployed and learn about the income requirements.

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Some Australian lenders will consider unemployed applicants for a loan, as long as the applicant meets the lending requirements and receives an eligible income. This guide covers borrowing options while you're unemployed, the eligibility criteria applicants must meet and alternative loan options.

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⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

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It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

Can you get a loan if you're unemployed?

An unemployed person can apply for a loan but will still need to earn an eligible form of income or have suitable income-earning assets to repay the loan. Acceptable forms of income may include Centrelink payments, self-employed earnings or regular deposits in an account from shares or something similar. However, only some lenders will consider unemployed applicants for a loan and you'll still need to meet the eligibility criteria to receive approval. Applicants may be required to provide bank statements and financial documents to verify whether or not they can repay the loan.

What eligibility requirements must be met for an unemployed loan?

The specific eligibility criteria will vary between loans, but lenders will typically consider the following when someone lodges an application:

  • Ability to repay the loan. When reviewing applicants, lenders will consider whether or not applicants can afford to manage repayments. If an unemployed applicant is looking to borrow a small amount and their income and expenses prove that they can easily manage the ongoing repayments, they may be eligible. However, if they're looking to borrow a large amount of money that will be difficult to repay considering their current situation, they're less likely to be approved.
  • Financial situation and credit history. Lenders consider credit history, credit score and financial situation when assessing an application. For example, people who are repaying other short term loans, currently in bankruptcy or under a Part 9 Debt Agreement may not be approved. Make sure to check the specific lender's eligibility criteria before applying.
  • Eligible income. Some lenders will approve applicants who are receiving eligible government payments. For example, people receiving certain Centrelink allowances, such as a pension or parenting payments, may be able to include this as a percentage of their eligible income. For example, you may only be approved if no more than 50% of your income comes from Centrelink payments. Some payments, such as Newstart or Disability Support Pension (DSP), may not be accepted by some lenders. Again, check the lender's eligibility criteria before applying.
  • Assets. If an applicant owns assets such as a vehicle or has equity in a property, the application may have a greater chance of being approved. This is because the lender may use this as security for the loan.

Find out about borrowing when you receive Centrelink

Which lenders consider unemployed applicants?

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

LenderLoan amountEligibility
Cash Converters$100 to $4,600
  • Over 18
  • Earn at least $300 per week
  • Reside in Australia
Ferratum$500 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

What type of loans are available to unemployed applicants?

If you're unemployed and/or receiving Centrelink payments, there are a few loan options available to you:

  • No Interest Loans scheme (NILs). NILS, provided by Good Shepherd Microfinance, is a loan scheme that offers credit to families and individuals on low incomes. These interest-free loans can be used to pay for essential household items such as refrigerators, or utility bills and car repairs. They can also be used for some medical and dental services. The application process for these loans and the eligibility criteria involved is not stringent, however, applicants must prove that they are in need of these loans in order to be granted them.
  • StepUP Loan. Good Shepherd Microfinance, in partnership with NAB, also offers StepUp Loans that vary between $800 and $3,000 at low rates starting from 5.99% p.a. Eligible borrowers will be required to have a Health Care or Pension card, and/or receive Family Tax Benefit A, as well as having resided in their current premises for more than 3 months.
  • Joint applications, guarantors and cosigners. Unemployed applicants can consider applying with another person, such as a partner, relative or friend, to boost their eligibility. Some lenders accept joint applications and brands such as Buddy Money encourage people to apply with a guarantor. Guarantors are generally required to be home owners with good credit scores, and to take responsibility for the loan if the borrower should default on their repayments.
  • Overdraft. An overdraft is linked to a bank account and allows users to draw up to and including a certain limit, usually if there's an emergency. If you have a good credit history and a positive and/or longstanding relationship with your financial institution, you may qualify for an overdraft, even if you are currently unemployed.

Things to consider when making a loan application while unemployed

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when making a loan application if you are currently unemployed. These include:

  • Repayments. First and foremost, it's important to consider whether or not you can afford to meet your loan repayments. While lenders are subject to responsible lending obligations, these obligations can change over time sometimes making it easier or more difficult to borrow. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can afford to repay any credit that you borrow within the repayment period. If you're unsure as to what you can afford on your current budget, you can use our personal loan calculator to assist you.
  • Credit history. If you have a strong credit history, you may still be eligible for a loan, even if you are unemployed. However, if you have poor credit or a bad credit score, it may be worth either spending some time on improving it, or waiting until you have a form of regular income, before applying for a loan.
  • Being offered a smaller loan amount. Loan providers will generally consider your income as a factor towards your eligibility for a loan. If you don't currently have a regular income, you may be offered a lower loan amount than you actually need, if you're approved. This can defeat the purpose of the loan if you can't borrow enough to pay for what you need to. Avoid signing a loan contract unless you are sure that the loan in question will meet your needs to save you from paying unnecessary fees and interest.
  • Higher interest rates. If you're unemployed, you will most likely be offered a higher interest rate than applicants with regular employment. Borrowers without a consistent income pose a higher risk to lenders, as they are more likely to default on the loan. To mitigate this risk, lenders will charge a higher interest rate.
  • Over applying. Loan applications, and rejections, are recorded on your credit report and affect your score. Therefore, it's unwise to submit multiple loan applications. If you are rejected by a lender, it's a good idea to seek professional financial advice, prior to submitting another application.

How to apply for a loan while unemployed

To apply now for a personal loan when you are unemployed, you need to visit the lender’s website to fill out an online application form, or call them directly. In order to be eligible, you must be:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident

You will also likely need:

  • Proof of ID
  • Details of and proof of address
  • Information regarding your guarantor
  • Details of loan security (e.g. a vehicle or other asset of value)

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361 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DianaJune 7, 2019

    Unemployed and retired and only getting a pension, would I get an emergency loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Diana,

      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. You may find out lenders where you may apply for an emergency loan on this PAGE. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    tysonApril 9, 2019

    Hello! I am 19 years old not working. I’m trying to find a loan for $3000 for a car and is wondering what’s the best place to get one over a two year pay back.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiApril 10, 2019Staff

      Hi Tyson,

      Thank you for your question.

      There’s a table above that says “Where can I get a loan if I’m unemployed?”. Those are the lenders you can contact as they accepts those who are not employed provided that there are still some things that you may need to meet like having a regular source of income, residency, etc.

      You can click on the lender’s name and you will be redirected to our review about them where you can also read more on their eligibility requirements.

      Hope this helps!

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

    Default Gravatar
    IbadoJanuary 22, 2019

    Hey is it possible to get another loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Ibado,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, it is possible for you to get another loan provided that you meet the eligibility requirements. However, please note that your chance of getting approved for a loan may be lower since most lenders would take into account your past and existing loans. Generally, if they are able to see that you can make the repayments, then they would approve you of your loan.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check with your chosen lender first to get more information and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    JaydnDecember 26, 2018

    I have a new bank account less than 2 weeks old which my Centrelink will be paid into I’ve closed my other bank account and I need a loan of at least $500 will anyone approve me like this?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      CharisseDecember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Jaydn,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Yes, there are lenders who can consider you for a loan if you are receiving Centrelink payments. You can go to this page to see and compare your available options.

      Click on “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the lender’s website where you can start your application or speak with them directly.

      Before applying, please check the lender’s eligibility criteria and read through the loan terms and conditions to see if it best suits your needs.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

    Default Gravatar
    TazDecember 15, 2018

    On DSP disability pension can I access 2000 for a car?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Taz,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a DSP recipient, it is most likely that your options may be limited. So be sure you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      There’s a list of lenders above. It’s a good place to start your search for a lender who might help you.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    BecDecember 15, 2018

    I am the full-time carer of my disabled mother and have been since I was 16 I have no choice but to stay on Centrelink and this means I’ll never be able to get a loan to buy a house or a car because usually, all I can lend is $1000.. is there anywhere that will loan me $8000? I can pay it back because I get $900 a fortnight from Centrelink.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 16, 2018Staff

      Hi Bec,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I know it could be difficult to find lenders who might be able to help you.

      Please note that there are only some lenders who accept Centrelink payments as a form of income. However, the requirements could be strict. In most cases, 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. For this reason, Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      You can start your search for the right lender by checking the list above.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    WendyOctober 28, 2018

    Hi
    I have sold my house and am waiting for settlement. I need a $4000 loan to assist with relocation. I am currently self employed with an income of $400 a week. What are my options? I can pay the loan back in full in six weeks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnOctober 31, 2018Staff

      Hi Wendy,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You may want to check our article on “short personal loans” by clicking this link. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    MENGOctober 23, 2018

    i hope have someone loan finance or someone short therm loan company.can borrow me 2000-3000 dollar…i also can promise pay back in 3-4 month…if have can help. please email for me thank you so much…

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnOctober 23, 2018Staff

      Hi alextan78tan,

      Thank you for your question.

      You may choose the most applicable type of short term loan for you from this page. Once you are on the page, kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    JasonOctober 17, 2018

    For Liam – September 25, 2018

    I receive $507 a fortnight in youth allowance. I have a $4,200 dental bill pending (surgical removal of wisdom teeth). I’ve been rejected by Cash Converters and Ferratum due to low income.

    If you get a loan, go to Thailand cost about $600 for a week holiday plus teeth done.

    Default Gravatar
    LiamSeptember 25, 2018

    I receive $507 a fortnight in youth allowance. I have a $4,200 dental bill pending (surgical removal of wisdom teeth). I’ve been rejected by Cash Converters and Ferratum due to low income. I’m also ineligible for NILS and Step Up Loan Plan due to not being in the same residence for more than 3 months. Not sure if there are any more options? Friends and family avenues have been exhausted, I’ve even set up a GoFundMe page with little success. Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 30, 2018Staff

      Hi Liam,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Given with your financial situation, there might only be a few lenders who are willing to give you money. The bottom line is that as long as you can prove to the lender that you can make the repayment, you should be approved. Before you apply for another loan, you might want to check the main reason you are getting rejected. Try to address that reason so you can increase your eligibility. After that, please check your loan options here. Please review the criteria, details of the loan product, and its conditions, then contact the lender directly to discuss your loan options and eligibility.

      Please note as well that it can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and the interest rates are higher especially if you borrow from non-traditional lenders. Borrowing may not even solve your money problems. Seek wise advice as well before you apply for another loan.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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