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.

Financial hardship


If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007. It is open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged. It's important to weigh up all your options before applying for any form of credit.

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

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$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

Are there any alternative loan options?

People who are unemployed and receiving other forms of income can consider other forms of finance beyond short term loans. Examples of other options include:

  • 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. Customers can apply for loans between $300 and $1,500 to use for essential goods and services including household items, some medical and dental services and educational resources. Applicants must meet income requirements, demonstrate the ability to repay the loan and have resided at their current address for more than three months.
  • StepUP Loan. Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB offer StepUp Loans that vary between $800 and $3,000 for a low, fixed interest rate. The loan can be repaid over a set term of up to three years. To be eligible, customers must undergo a credit check and hold a current Health Care Card, Pension Card or receive Family Tax Benefit Part A. Applicants must also have resided at their current address for more than three 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. The guarantor or cosigner shares the responsibility of repaying the loan.

If an applicant can meet the eligibility criteria and demonstrate their ability to make repayments, they may be approved for a loan. However, it's important to consider your financial situation, compare options and consider the lending criteria before applying.

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361 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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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