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.
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.
|Cash Converters||$50 to $4,600|
|Ferratum||$500 to $1,900|
|OK Money||$200 to $5,000|
|Wallet Wizard||$100 to $5,000|
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.