Unemployed Loans

Loans for the Unemployed

Information verified correct on January 19th, 2017

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 who offer these kinds of loans. Jump forward to who may lend you money >>

Can you get a loan if you're unemployed?

The short answer is yes. Some lenders will consider you for a loan when you are not currently employed, 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. 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.
    This is the main thing lenders will be looking at when considering you for a loan: do you have the means to manage your repayments? If you are only looking to borrow a small amount and your income and expenses mean 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 cannot 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 pensions, parenting payments and the like, you may be able to use these as income (but only a certain percentage). 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 are the requirements for an unemployed loan?

The requirements differ depends on who 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 come 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$100 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

Unemployed loans comparison

Rates last updated January 19th, 2017
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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. 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 a senior writer for finder.com.au specialising in personal finance. She enjoys reading PDSs so you don’t have to.

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245 Responses to Loans for the Unemployed

    Default Gravatar
    duncan | January 9, 2017

    I’m working for myself I’m not working for a person so I need a lan

      Staff
      Anndy | January 9, 2017

      Hi Duncan,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are self-employed and are looking to apply for a loan, please check your options on this page. Please do read the eligibility criteria of the loan product you are interested in before clicking the ‘go to site’ button to submit an application.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    Terry | January 4, 2017

    Hello my name is Terry. I’m trying to find out is there any chance for someone like me to get a short term loan with the following working against me?
    -I’m unemployed(employer stopped paying us employees that’s had a domino affect putting me into a hole.
    -Poor credit
    -My bank account is suspended due to penalty fees and inactivity

    I’m on the brink of a new job with a 2nd interview tomorrow morning. This job as s resident manager for Stor-Mor will give me a place other than my mother’s to live with rent and utilities included. And to start rebuilding.

    One of the many challenges from a series of setbacks paying my bills is my drivers license and registration are both suspended from nonpayment of traffic/parking fines,regular and late registration fees,and inability to maintain my auto insurance policy.

    I’m trying to see if there’s anyone out there that would even consider me as I’m trying to get my life back on track. I just want to work and pay my bills. I need a short term loan to get out of this hole. I’m not real hopeful but I figured other than embarrassment, it can’t hurt to ask?

    Thank you,

    Terry

      Staff
      May | January 5, 2017

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for getting in touch and we’re sorry to hear about your difficult situation right now.

      Please note that finder.com.au is a third party financial comparison website and general information service designed to help consumers make better decisions. We are not a lender nor a product issuer.

      Whilst we are not sure you’ll be approved for a loan or not, you may compare your personal loan options on this page. As the approval could be on a case-by-case basis, I would suggest that before you submit your final application, you review the criteria and contact the lender, discuss your options and chances of approval.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

      Default Gravatar
      Terry | January 6, 2017

      Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I’ll keep plugging away.

    Default Gravatar
    Shan | December 20, 2016

    Just started a new job and need a loan to help me out until I get paid. Are there any options for me?

      Staff
      Anndy | December 20, 2016

      Hi Shan,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally, if you meet the minimum requirements listed on the loan’s review page, you’ll be able to apply for a personal loan. You can compare easy-approval personal loans on this page.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    Gabby | December 19, 2016

    Hi! Can i get a loan if I am unemployed but I have a regular from my husband?

      Staff
      Anndy | December 19, 2016

      Hi Gabby,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you are unemployed, the lenders above may consider you for a loan, subject to other eligibility criteria. As most lenders handle unemployed applicants on a case-to-case basis, it is best if you directly get in touch with the lender you are interested in and enquire about your chance of approval.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    Adorna | December 2, 2016

    Can I get a loan if I’m in SSI disability no bank account no job

      Staff
      May | December 2, 2016

      Hi Adorna,

      Thanks for your question.

      The lenders who may accept your application are listed on this page. Please review the criteria and get in touch with the lender to discuss your loan options.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    Yusra | November 30, 2016

    I am a south African based lady age 29 and an self employed. I receive a monthly allowance from a estate through the executor and I am in need of a loan in order to complete my studies and pay my medical bills… I see that most companies are overseas lenders are there no suitable lenders available on and around Johannesburg … I am desperately in need of 100 000k. Any suggestions would help thanks

      Staff
      Anndy | November 30, 2016

      Hi Yusra,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      While we want to help you find a loan option, unfortunately, the loan products that we feature on our website are only available to Australian residents.

      If you are a student and looking to finance your studies, you may want to enquire from your school if they offer student loans. The local lenders in your area are also worth checking as they may offer loan products for your borrowing needs.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    kysmum | November 23, 2016

    I am wondering if anywhere will lend as a secured loan for people on newstart? Small amount 1000-1500?

      Staff
      Anndy | November 23, 2016

      Hi Kysmum,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Please do check this page for banks or lenders that may consider those on Newstart allowance for a loan.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    NTHABELENG | November 22, 2016

    I WANT TO ASK HOW LONG IT TAKES BEFORE U GET THE MONEY AFTER U APPLY BCS I WANT TO BOOST MY TUCK SHOP TO BE A SUPERMARKET

      Staff
      Anndy | November 23, 2016

      Hi NTHABELENG,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      The turnaround time for loan application depends on the lender you have chosen. If you have submitted all the requirements and are approved for a loan, most lenders will have the funds credited to your nominated account within a day.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    Eddy | November 19, 2016

    Hi

    I currently have an interesting dilemma. After renting for almost a year with 3 changes of real estate discovered loose fill asbestos and have been given an immediate eviction , To add to this recently became unemployed .
    Still holding a brave face is there options amongst lenders to cover bond and moving expenses as clearly asking for a release or transfer of the bond was rejected as quickly as any health concerns I may have cleaned the asbestos filled house to get it back.

    I am thinking I shouldn’t hold my breath
    Still smiling

      Staff
      May | November 25, 2016

      Hi Eddy,

      Thanks for your question.

      Lenders who accept applications from unemployed borrowers are listed above. Whilst we’re not sure you’ll be approved for a loan or not, please review the eligibility requirements and discuss your loan options with a lender outlined above.

      Hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    Dudu | November 13, 2016

    If I,m not employed and I,m in South Africa how can i get the loan to improve my small business

      Staff
      Anndy | November 14, 2016

      Hi Dudu,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information website that helps users make better decisions. We are not a lender. Also, the loan products that we feature on our website are only available to Australian residents.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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