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Payday and installment loans for people on EI

Find out where you can apply online for loans while on employment insurance (EI).

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  • Accepts Employment Insurance
  • APR & loan term vary by province
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If you’re looking for EI loans online, you have options. There are lenders in Canada that offer online payday loans for employment insurance. These tend to have the quickest approval and funding, but since they also come with extremely high interest rates, they should be a last resort. An alternative to payday loans that can also accept EI is installment loans.

Can you get a payday loan with EI?

In Canada, you can take out a payday loan while you’re on employment insurance and it won’t impact your benefits. Receiving EI could help you qualify for a payday loan because there are some lenders who accept EI as a valid source of income. So if you need to take out a loan while on EI, your first step to getting financing is to find a lender who accepts it.

Your employment insurance can be especially helpful if you don’t have any other sources of income coming in. It can show a lender that you have the means to pay back a loan even though you’re between jobs.

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
Payday loans are expensive. If you're experiencing financial hardship call Credit Counselling Canada for free financial counselling (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm at +1 866-398-5999). Consider alternatives instead of a payday loan:
  • Local resources. Government programs and nonprofits offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent.
  • Debt relief companies. There are services to help you reduce your debt payments.
  • Payment extensions. Talk with bill providers about longer payment plans or due-date extensions.
  • Side jobs. Sell unwanted items online, sign up for food delivery and more.

Option 1: EI payday loans

Compare payday loans that accept EI.

Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term Interest Rate Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces
Money Mart Payday Loan
$120 - $1,500
1 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 1 hour after getting approved
AB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK
To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age with a steady source of income and a chequing account. No credit check required.
iCASH Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI
Get up to 20% in cash back once your payday loan is fully repaid. Conditions apply.

To be eligible, you'll need to be at least 19 years of age and have a net income of at least $800/month deposited into your bank account.
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
BC, NL, NS, ON, SK
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 cost (excludes SK applicants).

You'll need to be 18 years of age or older and have a net income of at least $1,000/month. Residents of MB and NB must apply in-store for a loan.
GoDay Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
Up to 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK
To apply, you'll need to be a Canadian resident over the age of 18 with a valid email address, phone number and an open bank account with a Canadian bank or credit union.
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Maximum borrowing costs per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results.
Province Maximum allowable cost of borrowing
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario & Prince Edward Island $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba & Saskatchewan $17 per $100 borrowed
Nova Scotia $19 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $21 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

What should I know about employment insurance payday loans?

Payday lenders look at your income to determine whether you can afford to repay a loan. Many payday lenders accept EI as a valid source of income, but not all, so check a lender’s criteria before applying.

You should also know that payday loans are expensive with short repayment terms. If you’re planning to take out a payday loan, make sure you’ll have enough income left to pay for your other debts once you repay your loan on your due date. Otherwise, you may be compelled to take out another payday loan to cover the shortage.

Finally, each province has its own regulations for payday loans, including borrowing fees, extensions, cancellation period and more. The payday loan space is known to be predatory, so pick a licensed lender that abides by all the regulations.

Features of employment insurance payday loans

  • Borrow between $100 and $1,500. Some EI payday lenders limit first-time borrowers to $300 to $500. Also, some provincial regulations limit the borrower to a percentage of their income (50% in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and 30% in Manitoba and New Brunswick).
  • Loan term. Borrowers usually need to repay their loan by their next payday. The maximum loan term is 62 days across Canada. Payday loans in Alberta have a minimum loan term of 42 days, plus your repayments must be installments, which the other provinces do not have.
  • Borrowing fee. Depending on your province or territory, you’ll pay between $15 and $25 for every $100 borrowed.

Before applying for EI payday loans…

  • Be certain you have the funds to repay it in time, and you’ll have enough income left to pay for other debts.
  • Understand the cost of a payday loan compared to other loans.
  • Research the reputation of the lender.

Option 2: Installment loans for EI

You can apply using your EI as income with the lenders below.

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Link
Money Mart Installment Loan
OFFER
Money Mart Installment Loan
29.90% - 46.90%
$1,000 - $15,000
12 - 60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Go to site
More Info
Get a $100 eGift card when you apply online, connect your bank account using Express and make your first payment.
LoanConnect Installment Loan
LoanConnect Installment Loan
32.00%
$500 - $2,500
3 - 6 months
Requirements: current debt must total less than 60% of income, min. credit score 300
Go to site
More Info
Get approved by different lenders in as little as 60 seconds with any credit score.
Loans Canada Installment Loan
Loans Canada Installment Loan
8.00% to 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Go to site
More Info
A broker with the largest lender network in Canada. Fill out one application and get matched for free with lenders.
Cash Money Installment Loan
Cash Money Installment Loan
46.93%
$500 - $10,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: stable source of income, min. credit score 560
Go to site
More Info
Online installment loans are available in Alberta only. Residents of Manitoba and New Brunswick must apply in-store.
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About installment loans for EI

In this case, installment loans are a type of personal loan offered by online lenders with smaller loan amounts, shorter loan terms and higher interest rates than the average personal loan. They also have more lenient requirements. Loan amounts are usually up to $10,000. Loan terms are between 6 months and 5 years, and interest rates range from 8% to 47%.

Installment loans are unsecured, so you don’t need to put up any collateral. When looking for an installment loan, make sure the lender accepts EI as income because some lenders of installments loans do, while others do not. Compare EI installment loans you can apply for.

When comparing the 2 types of EI loans, installment loans are generally better than payday loans. Longer loan terms allow you to spread out your payments more and give your finances time to recover.

Before applying for an EI installment loan…

  • Check that you can afford the monthly payments.
  • Know whether your EI payments will be enough to cover the loan term.
  • Check that the lender accepts EI income.

How to find EI loans online

If you’re on EI, your options may be more limited, but you do have options for EI loans. So how do you choose which one is the best fit for you? Consider the following features:

  • Interest rates. Keep a close eye on interest rates when searching for EI loans. Payday loans are the most expensive with APRs in the triple digits. APR, or annual percentage rate, is the interest rate and other fees expressed as an annual cost.
  • Loan terms. Payday loans have extremely short loan terms. Installment loans allow for longer loan terms. If you want to choose a short loan term, make sure you have the funds to repay your loan.
  • Prepayment penalties. If you think you can pay back a loan early, look for loans that don’t have prepayment penalties. There are lenders of installment loans that don’t charge you for paying your loan early.
  • Reputable lender. Be careful when applying for EI loans online, since it’s easier to fall prey to a fraudulent lender when you’re not dealing with them face to face. Make sure the company you want to work with is legitimate and has a good working relationship with its customers. You can also check out common personal loan scams and payday loan scams to find out how to protect yourself when searching for EI loans.

Representative example: John, a resident of BC, needs $700 fast

John, a resident of BC, is looking to borrow $700 fast. His credit score is 556 due to missed bill payments. John has been on EI for the past 3 months, which he receives every 2 weeks. His next EI payment is in 11 days.

Based on these factors, he narrows down his choices to payday loans and installment loans. The fee for a payday loan in BC is $15 for every $100 borrowed. John must repay it by his next payday.

EI payday loanEI installment loan
Loan amount$700$700
Cost of loan$15 per $100 borrowed = $105 (497.73% APR)46.93% APR
Loan term11 days6 months
Payment amount One full payment of $805$133.15 monthly for 6 months ($98.88 in total interest)
Total loan cost$805$798.88

The installment loan is nearly as expensive as the payday loan when comparing the dollar amounts. But John doesn’t think he’ll have $805 available in 11 days to repay the payday loan, and if he doesn’t repay it, he’ll face more fees. Believing that 6 monthly payments of $133.15 are more manageable, he chooses the installment loan.

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

How to apply for EI loans online

  • Check your credit score. The first thing you should do is check your credit score. If your credit score is under 660, expect to encounter higher interest rates.
  • Compare lenders. Compare at least 3 to 4 lenders to find the most competitive rates and terms for EI loans.
  • Find out if you’re eligible. Check the eligibility criteria before applying. Do you need to have a certain credit score? Are there any minimum income requirements? Is EI even an acceptable form of income? Only apply for loans you know you can qualify for – and if you’re not sure, contact a lender and ask.
  • Submit your application. Once you find the right EI loan for you, fill in an application to get the ball rolling. You can also click the green “Go to site” button in the table above to be redirected to a lender’s application page.

Alternatives to online payday loans and installment loans

  • Car title loan. With a car title loan, you put up a car you own as collateral. You can continue to use your car in your daily life, but if you fail to make the loan repayments, the lender can repossess your car. Learn more about car title loans.
  • Personal line of credit. Some online lenders, such as Mogo and Cash Money, accept non-employment income to approve a line of credit. With a line of credit, you can pay off the loan anytime. Learn more about personal lines of credit.
  • Credit counselling. Credit Counselling Canada is a nationwide organization that partners with not-for-profit credit counselling services to offer Canadians a range of free financial services, including debt management and general financial education.
  • Debt relief services. If you’re facing legitimate financial hardship, debt relief services are an option. Debt relief companies offer different types of services, such as debt management, debt settlement, debt consolidation and credit counselling. Learn more about debt relief companies.

What is the Employment Insurance program?

Canada’s Employment Insurance program is run by the federal government. It was put in place to support Canadians who get laid off from their jobs due to a shortage of work or the closure of a business.

So how does it work? You’ve probably noticed that your employer takes an EI premium off every paycheque (which they also match on their end). This money sits in a fund that gets paid out to you if you lose your job.

How to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits

The most important factor to qualify is that you get laid off from your job and aren’t fired for good reason. From there, you’ll need to have worked a required number of hours (from 420-700) in the last calendar year. You’ll also need to have made contributions to EI through your paycheques. If you meet these criteria, you should be eligible to receive around 55% of your previous income through the program.

Bottom line

If you find a lender that considers Employment Insurance (EI) as an acceptable form of income and you meet their other eligibility criteria, you could potentially be approved for an EI loan. Before applying, contact the lender you’re interested in to confirm that they offer loans on EI and compare different lenders to find the best rates and terms available to you.

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