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 $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

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 $1,500 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.

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357 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    January 22, 2019

    Hey is it possible to get another loan?

    • finder 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

  2. 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?

    • finder 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

  3. Default Gravatar
    TazDecember 15, 2018

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

    • finder 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

  4. 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.

    • finder 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

  5. Default Gravatar
    October 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

    • finder 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

  6. 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…

    • finder 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    • finder 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

  9. Default Gravatar
    EleoraSeptember 24, 2018

    I receive Centrelink youth allowance $298 a fortnight and I wanted to get a 5,000 loan, how could I go about that?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynSeptember 24, 2018Staff

      Hello Eleora,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Some lenders and institutions do consider Centrelink payments as income, so you may be eligible for a loan. It generally depends on how much you earn, what kind of financial situation you’re in and what kind of payments you receive. To find out if you are eligible, read our comprehensive guide to getting a loan on Centrelink payments.

      The page does show the lenders that accept Centrelink benefits as an income, which means that they may consider you for a loan. Please read the guide and compare the lenders, once decided, please click the Go to Site button. It is important to ensure your eligibility before submitting an application for the loan.

      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.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  10. Default Gravatar
    TerrySeptember 4, 2018

    Hi! I just wanted to know whether I can get a car loan. I have been in overseas for the last 7 years and I am planning to go back to Australia soon. So I don’t have an employment history in Australia. Please help me whether I can find a place to get a car loan.

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynSeptember 5, 2018Staff

      Hello Terry,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you do not have an employment history in Australia, you may want to check how unsecured car loan works. This type of car loan does not need any guarantee however the interest may be higher because it is a risk for the lender. The lender will assess how much you can afford for the repayment.

      The eligibility criteria will typically include a minimum age requirement, minimum income, credit history requirements and employment requirements. You may contact the lender directly to see if you’re eligible to apply for the loan.

      Our unsecured car loan page has a list of lenders that may consider you. To apply, click the Go to Site button. 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.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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