How to Get a Loan When You're Unemployed

How to Get a Loan When You're Unemployed

Although unemployment rates have been stable, the COVID-19 pandemic has created instability in the job market in recent years.

If you are struggling to pay your bills and need to take out a loan, finding funding can be difficult. Add bad credit to that, and it becomes nearly impossible.

Thankfully, there are options. Whether you are unemployed or unemployed with bad credit, there is something for you.

Consider Your Other Options First

Before you apply for a personal loan, consider your other options first. While there are personal loans available for unemployed consumers, they can come with unfavorable terms. There is even a strong possibility you may not qualify for a personal loan. In this case, you should look at some alternate methods of receiving funds.

  • Credit card cash advance: If you have a credit card, you can use it to get a cash advance. Cash advances have a limit and come with high fees and interest, but there are a handful of cards that offer low fees for cash advances.
  • Line of credit: A personal line of credit is similar to a credit card because it allows you to draw the funds you need and pay it back as long as you are using the account. Like a credit card, you make a monthly payment that may include interest and fees.
  • Ask for help from friends or family: Ask a trusted family member or friend to assist you during your financial hardship. This is risky because you are putting your personal relationships on the line, but if you know you can pay the loan back in full, it would be the least expensive alternative.
  • Car title loan: If you have enough equity in your vehicle, you can use it to secure a car title loan. These loans are short-term loans with extremely high interest rates. In some cases, missed payments can lead to the repossession of your car (or whatever asset you used as collateral).
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC): If you have equity in your home and some form of income, you can use a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a revolving loan account. This is a secured line of credit, which means you risk losing your collateral—your home—if you default on the loan.
  • Home equity loan: A home equity loan is similar to a home equity line of credit in the sense that the funds you can borrow are based on the equity in your home. You can pay back these loans like a mortgage with a fixed term and fixed payment.
  • Refinancing Loan: You may be able to refinance a loan to use the equity in your vehicle or home.
  • Secured loan: If you don't qualify for an unsecured personal loan, you can use collateral to assist you in taking one out. Like unsecured loans, you will have interest rates and fees, but you also risk losing your asset if you default on your loan.
  • Pawn shop loan: Pawnbrokers can appraise your items for cash, but what they give you is much less than the actual worth. If you don't pay back the loan and added interest to get your item back, they will keep the item to pay it off.
  • Loan with a co-signer: Consider asking a trusted family member or friend to cosign a loan to give you a higher chance of acquiring one, especially if they have better credit. However, taking out a cosigned loan is risky because your cosigner agrees to make any payments that you miss, and it can damage a close relationship.
  • Debt Consolidation Loan: A debt consolidation loan is one method in which you can reduce monthly payments and lower interest rates to pay off your debt more easily.
  • Payday alternative loan: A payday loan alternative, or PAL, allows members of specific federal credit unions to borrow small amounts of cash at a lower cost than typical payday loans.
  • Look for alternate forms of income: Look for other forms of income such as savings, unemployment insurance and/or benefits, welfare benefits, Social Security, pension funds, disability, investments, child support, alimony, VA benefit income, spousal income, or a side job.

How To Get A Personal Loan While Unemployed

Personal loans exist for nearly any purpose, which is ideal when you are unemployed and have bills to pay; but if you're struggling with unemployment, it can be difficult to qualify for a loan and end up with low interest rates and good repayment terms.

If you are unemployed and struggling with bad credit, your best option may be a short-term installment loan or payday loan. However, these loans come with short repayment terms and high interest rates.

Most payday lenders accept other forms of income (if you are unemployed) and look for the following criteria before lending:

  • An active bank account (checking and/or savings)
  • Some form of income—whether it is your spouse's income or income from a side gig, unemployment, alimony, child support, retirement benefits such as Social Security or 401(k) withdrawal if you are retired
  • Valid identification

Even if you have some form of income, there is a serious risk that you may miss a payment or default on a loan, which can damage your credit due to the late payments and the possibility of landing in collections.

Applying For A Loan

To apply for a loan from an online lender or marketplace, you need to visit their website and fill out a free prequalification form. Interested lenders will then contact you and have you fill out a full application.

During this time, you may have to provide the necessary documentation. You will most likely have to provide proof of income; the exception is a secured loan, in which your collateral is put up to take out a loan.

If you qualify and choose to accept the loan offer, you can finish the process.

Our Top Loans For Unemployed Consumers With Bad Credit



5KFunds is a free and fast online lender comparison service that allows you to find the best loans for bad credit.

It's free to use the 5KFunds marketplace to help you find a lender for fast funding with reasonable interest rates.

5KFunds has an extensive partner network of over 100 lenders that compete for your business with their competitive interest rates and quick funding that is directly deposited to your bank account.

bad-credit-loans-logo provides a free marketplace for comparing personal loan offers for bad credit. It's not a direct lender but instead sends your information to a network of trusted online lenders who contact you with loan offers.

Because only offers personal loans to those with very low credit scores, the maximum loan amount is usually less than $10,000.

Can I get a loan if I am unemployed?

Yes, you can qualify for a loan if you have an alternate form of income and can prove that you can make monthly payments.

Can I get a loan if I am unemployed and have bad credit?

Yes, there are lenders that cater to borrowers with bad credit.

About The Author

Author Avatar

Andy Chang

Founder of TheCreditReview

Andy Chang is the founder of TheCreditReview, a review site started in 2017 that is dedicated to helping consumers find the best companies in financial services. Andy is passionate about financial education and wellness, and helping others reach financial freedom. He consistently writes about topics ranging from credit to banking and lending.

Articles Related to Personal Loans