Getting a loan while you’re unemployed can seem next to impossible. Mainstream lenders such as banks and credit unions will likely not be available for you, but there are a large amount of specialty loan services that are willing to grant you a loan even if you don’t have a steady income. In this article, we outline the steps for how to get a loan without a job, without a bank account, and even how to get loans if you have neither.
Getting a Loan Without a Job: How Traditional Lenders View Your Situation
Traditional lenders, that is, banks and credit unions, rely on three factors when deciding whether or not to grant you a loan: your debts, income, and credit score. If you have a lot of debts, no current source of income, and a bad credit score, this may be a difficult option. If, however, your problems lie solely with your unemployment, there is still a chance for you to get a loan through a bank or credit union.
For example, even if you don’t have a job, many banks and credit unions will still consider you for a loan if you can prove you have a steady source of income. This could be as simple as a monthly allowance you’re receiving from a relative, child support statements, a trust fund, or anything similar. If you’ve lost a job recently through no fault of your own, you likely qualify for unemployment insurance payment from your state, which many banks consider a source of income.
Another way of getting a loan through a traditional lender is by asking someone to co-sign for you. The bank/credit union will also take the income/credit score/debts of the person signing the loan with you into account when they review your loan. Be careful, though—this also means that if you fail to make payments, the cosigner will be in hot water, too. However, getting a loan from a traditional lender is almost always a better deal than other options, so if you can make this work, you should try. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some very good options for you outside of these lenders—and you’ll see these options below!
Loan Options If You Don’t Have a Job
There are a plethora of scams and fraudulent lending scams, and many of these scams claim to offer loans with no job. All of the options in this article are legitimate lenders with good ratings, reviews, and BBB certification.
- What are they? Micro-lender loans are loans that function as a non-profit, person-to-person loan or, in other words, asking a wealthier individual to sponsor your goals. The loans are usually a small amount, anywhere from $100-$5,000, and are a good option for small business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs. These loans usually require convincing a sponsor to lend you the money until you can pay it back.
- Process: It depends on the site and lender, but in general, you’ll fill out an application or a profile, explain what you wish to do with the money, and wait for a bite. If you’re going through a governmental non-profit organization, the process will likely take longer and have a bit more paperwork.
- How and when will you get the funds? Varies depending on the lender.
- Interest Rate: Varies, depending on the lender.
- Credit rating: Depending on the lender, your credit score may not be checked. However, in micro-lending, you’re competing against other people’s ideas, and if your score is above 600, you’ll have a better chance of catching a sponsor’s eye.
- Where to start: Kiva is a website that specializes in micro-lending and is a great place to start.
Note: Payday loans are not legal in every state. Check to find out the legal status of payday loans in your state.
- What are they? Payday loans are the ATM equivalent of lenders: quick cash and the potential for a lot of extra fees. These loans function as a way for unemployed individuals and other struggling with financial issues to get a fast loan for a small amount of money — usually $100 – $500 but potentially more depending on the lender. The borrower will give the lender either a check written for the total amount of the money borrowed (plus the finance charges) or access to his/her checking account, with the agreement that the loan will be paid in full upon receipt of the next paycheck (although some lenders will give the borrower a set date to repay the amount).
- Process: Many payday loan lenders are now online, though you can still find many physical offices as well. You’ll simply be required to fill out an application form with your personal contact information, bank account information, and your social security number.
- How and when will you get the funds? With a payday loan, the money will be made available to you within 24 hours. Lenders will either deposit the money into your bank account, give you a prepaid debit card, or provide you with cash or a check.
- Interest rate: Payday loans have high interest rates due to how quickly the cash is made available and how lax the standards — payday loan lenders rarely run credit checks, employment checks, etc. The average cost of interest/finance charges is $5-$40 for every $100 borrowed. This means that the APR interest rate will generally be about 400%.
- Credit rating: Payday loans do not require a good credit rating. Even if you have a bad/no credit score (under 600 FICO score), you’ll still be able to qualify for a loan.
- Where to start: See our article: 10+ Places to Get a Payday Loan (Speedy Cash etc Listed)
- What are they? Retraining loans are government loans specifically geared towards offering funds for job/trade school training. These loans vary depending on the country, state, and even municipality you’re located in, but a simple Pell Grant can provide over $5,000, especially if you’re already receiving unemployment benefits and wish to get back into the workplace.
- Process: Start the process on the Federal Student Aid website or by contacting your local legislature to ask about retraining loan options. Fill out the appropriate application, which will vary depending on whether you’re receiving unemployment benefits, and enter your personal contact information, bank account information, and information about the job/program you wish to pursue.
- How and when will you get the funds? The funds will be made available once your retraining begins.
- Interest rate: Varies but typically much lower than other loans.
- Credit rating: Not required, but a good score will, again, boost the odds in your favor.
- Where to start: Start the process on the Federal Student Aid website.
Specialized Personal Loans
- What are they? Personal loans, in general, are any standard unsecured loan offered through a lending company. These almost always require a part-time or full-time job, so if you don’t have a job, you’ll need a specialized loan, which usually has higher interest rates and fees and lower overall amounts than standard personal loans. Specialized personal loans are usually granted for $100-$5,000, though the amount can go up to $35,000 if you have a very good credit score.
- Process: Each lender has its own application, which requires that you provide basic personal, contact, and bank account information, and possibly (though not always) some proof of a source of income or credit history. The lending company will then send you approval and a selection of rates within a few minutes, based off of the information you provided.
- How and when will you get the funds? Most of these specialized lenders are online services, so you’ll need a banking/checking account to receive the funds. After your application has been approved, the funds should be in your account within 24 hours, and likely sooner, as many of these services work on a very quick schedule.
- Interest rate: As with any non-traditional lender, the rates are going to be higher because the loaner is taking on a bigger risk by providing funds to someone without a job.
- Credit rating: Specialized loaners will not require you to have a good credit score but most will ask you for your score regardless. If you have a FICO score from 300-640, you should still be in the clear. Anything above 640 will help you to get the best rates possible from the service.
- Where to start: Upstart (paid partner link) is a BBB-accredited lender that requires some form of income but not specifically a job. Aside from Upstart, Emergency Loans Inc., Realistic Loans, and 24/7 Lending Group are all options. However, these three groups are not BBB accredited, though they do have good ratings, reviews, and reputations. Make sure to review all the facts and fees before committing.
- What are they? Student loans are loans specifically geared towards students looking to pay tuition and/or living costs while in school. These normally range from $5,000-$20,000 but can go much higher depending on the institution’s costs.
- Process: Most student loans are provided by the federal government or traditional lenders – local or community banks or credit unions, national banks, etc. To get a student loan through the government, you’ll have to prove your enrollment in a higher education institution and fill out a FAFSA form detailing the school’s tuition, you/your parent’s annual earnings, dependents, personal contact info. Through a private lender, you’ll need to have an account, and the institution will likely require a credit check (although since many students have no credit, this isn’t necessarily a deciding factor) before approving the loans.
- How and when will you get the funds? Depending on whether the loan is for the institution or for the costs of living, the loan will either go directly to you (through your bank account), or pay the institution directly.
- Interest rate: Student loans have some of the lowest annual interest rates, often around 4%. Most federal loans offer a grace period, meaning the loans don’t need to be repaid until usually three to nine months after graduation. Private loans usually require you to begin repayment while still in school.
- Credit rating: Not required for the FAFSA but a good credit score will boost the interest rate in your favor at private lenders. However, credit scores are not very influential for student loans.
- Where to start: Start with either the FAFSA or a local financial institution. All national banks, such as Wells Fargo, US Bank, and Chase Banks, offer student loans as well. In addition, LendKey (paid partner link) and SimpleTuition are accredited sites that compare student loans through a network of banks and credit unions.
- What are they? Title and collateral loans are personal loans that use a form of your property in order to ensure the loan. The most common form of this loan is using your car as collateral and proving ownership through the car title (hence the “title loan”), but these loans are not specifically limited to cars and can even include real estate and collected life insurance. The amount of the loan directly corresponds to the amount of money that can be gained from the property you’re using as collateral; typically, you’ll receive about one-fourth the sum of the value of your car/property. If you fail to make your payments, the collateral then belongs to the lender, so be careful before taking the plunge with title/collateral loans.
- Process: To make this simpler, we’ll use a title loan specifically as an example. For this process, you’ll tell the lender (or fill out an application) your basic information, give them assurance that you can pay back the loan (this does not necessarily require a job, but it does require evidence of some form of income, whether in the present or the future), and information about the make and model of your car. Then, once the loan has been finalized, you’ll give the lender the title to your car and a copy of the keys for them to keep, though you’ll be able to keep your car. Once the loan has been paid back, the lender will return the title and extra set of keys to you, or, if the loan is not being back in time, the lender is free to seize and sell the car to pay back the loans.
- How and when will you get the funds? Normally, the loaner will give you cash in exchange for the title.
- Interest rate: Title/collateral loans tend to have higher interest rates due to the companies giving loans to those without jobs or with poor credit scores. Though not as bad as payday loans, a typical APR (annual percentage rate) would be 300% for a title or collateral loan.
- Credit rating: Most title loans do not even require a credit check. However, if the lender does, poor credit scores would not necessarily influence the decision.
- Where to start: See our articles: Collateral Loans & Hard Money Loans for Bad Credit: List of Providers and Collateral Loans on Vehicles: How to Get One
Loan Options if You Don’t Have a Job or Bank Account
- What are they? Pawnbroker loans are granted by local pawn shops and provide cash for items of worth that you bring in for evaluation – this can include everything from jewelry to power tools. The loans will be smaller in amount and most likely a fraction of the total worth of the item you’ve brought in for evaluation, but you’ll still receive a significant amount.
- Process: Bring in the item of your choice to your local pawnshop, and the staff there will appraise its value for you and give you a loan offer. If you accept the offer, the pawn shop will give you a time-frame to repay the loan, give you the loan in cash, and store the item until the loan is repaid or the loan’s due date passes (typically 30-120 days after the initial transaction). They’ll also give you a pawn ticket with the terms and fees and the item’s description on it — don’t lose this pawn ticket. If the due date passes without repayment, the item will become the property of the pawn shop to resale.
- How and when will you get the funds? The pawnbroker will give you cash in exchange for your item when you agree to their terms.
- Interest rate: As pawnbroker loans are through local and community shops, the interest rate will differ significantly based on each shop’s preferences and the state’s regulations where they are located. In general, finance charges vary from 5% to 35% per month.
- Credit rating: Not required.
- Where to start: Start with your local pawn shop! Don’t be intimidated or nervous; pawn shops are highly regulated and a common source of loans for many people.
Related Article: How to Ask Rich People for Money Online: PayPal? Crowdfunding? etc
As you can see, loans without a job it possible, but it takes a little more skill in finding a good one. If you’re looking to start a new business venture or job, go back to school or just need to make ends meet until the next payday, there are loans available to you. If none of those work or if you don’t have a bank account, you can always turn to a pawn shop, which will offer you a loan without even running a credit check.