Unemployed Loans

Loans for the Unemployed

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

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

Comparison of brands that consider unemployed borrowers

Ferratum Cash Loans

Borrow up to $1000 with bad credit

Ferratum offer no credit check loans with a fast and easy online application. Apply today to get approved.

  • Loan Amount: $1,900
  • Loan Term: Up to 6 mths
  • No credit checks
  • Turnaround Time: Same Day if approved
  • Total Cost of Borrowing $100: 20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
  • Must be 18+
  • 50% of your income must not be Centrelink
  • Confidential and secure!

    Unemployed loans comparison

    Rates last updated December 10th, 2016
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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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    236 Responses to Loans for the Unemployed

    1. 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.


    2. 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.


    3. 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.


    4. Default Gravatar
      NTHABELENG | November 22, 2016


      • 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.


    5. Default Gravatar
      Eddy | November 19, 2016


      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.


    6. 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.


    7. Default Gravatar
      Ted | November 11, 2016

      Wanting to buy a car for my daughter, will be needing a loan of $5000. Im on newstart unemployment benefits, with zero other debt apart from a mobile phone ac, and I own my own home. What or who do you recommend?

      • Staff
        May | November 11, 2016

        Hi Ted,

        Thanks for your question.

        On this page, you will be able to find a list of lenders that offer loans to people who receive Centrelink benefits. You may discuss your loan options and chances of approval with a lender featured on that page.

        Hope this has helped.


    8. Default Gravatar
      Anelisa | November 9, 2016

      May I get a loan to start my small business while I’m unemployed?
      if yes I can, can I get it where and how?

      • Staff
        Harold | November 9, 2016

        Hello Anelisa,

        On the above page, we have listed the lenders who offer personal loans for unemployed applicants. However, in order for you to get a loan you need to meet the criteria for eligibility.

        For more information on a particular loan, simply click on its name so you’ll be redirected to its review page.

        I hope that helps.


    9. Default Gravatar
      tina | November 5, 2016

      How can I get help to buy my text book?

      • Staff
        Jason | November 6, 2016

        Hi Tina,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        Are you a student and in need of funds to buy your needed text books? Please click this link and check if you meet the eligibility to apply for a payday loan for students. You can also click this link and check if maybe applying for a credit card for students can help you out.


    10. Default Gravatar
      Raymond | November 5, 2016

      I am unemployed but i need a loan for vacation on xstream travel agent because i have successfully in there exam only thing iwant to do now with the loan it is to register at the Scotiabank to pay my 19200 to get the visa debit card that all i am 20yrs old thank you..

      • Staff
        Anndy | November 8, 2016

        Hi Raymond,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        On the above page, we have listed some of the lenders that offer personal loans to unemployed applicants. However, you must also meet other eligibility criteria.

        For more information on a particular loan, simply click on its name so you’ll be redirected to its review page.


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