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Loans for EI: Payday loans, installment loans and more

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

If you’re looking for online loans while on employment insurance, you have options. There are lenders in Canada that offer online payday loans for EI. These tend to have the quickest approval and funding, but since they also come with extremely high interest rates, they’re suitable only as a last resort. Alternatives to payday loans that can also accept EI are installment loans and early pay advances.

Keep reading to find out where you can apply and get approved for a loan fast as an EI recipient.

Can you get a loan while on EI?

You can take out a loan while you’re on employment insurance and it won’t impact your benefits. Your first step to getting financing is to find a lender that accepts EI as a valid source of income, because not all lenders do.

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.

Compare EI loans you can apply for

1. LoanConnect installment loan

LoanConnect Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
Go to site
$500 – $50,000
Loan amount
8.99% – 46.96%
APR
3 - 120 months
Term
Online broker LoanConnect allows you to compare offers of EI installment loans from multiple lenders on one platform. Five-minute pre-approval is available, with the money you borrow available within 24 to 48 hours of applying. Full Review
  • Options for all credit scores
  • Flexible loan amounts available
  • Established in 2016
  • High rates for bad credit
  • Isn't a direct lender
Loan amount $500 – $50,000
APR 8.99% – 46.96%
Term 3 - 120 months
Min. credit score 300
Fees No application, origination or brokerage fees
Turnaround time Receive funds within as little as 24 hours.
Serviced provinces All provinces

2. Loans Canada installment loan

Loans Canada Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
Go to site
$300 – $50,000
Loan amount
6.99% – 46.96%
APR
3 - 60 months
Term
Loans Canada is a broker with the largest lender network in Canada. If you're struggling to find installment loans on EI, you can apply to Loans Canada to get connected to lenders that match your profile. Full Review
  • Fill out a single application
  • Get funded within 1-3 business days
  • Better Business Bureau accredited
  • High rates for bad credit
  • Isn't a direct lender
  • Watch out for scammers impersonating Loans Canada
Loan amount $300 – $50,000
APR 6.99% – 46.96%
Term 3 - 60 months
Min. credit score 300
Fees No application, origination or brokerage fees
Turnaround time Receive funds within as little as 24 hours.
Serviced provinces All of Canada

3. Nyble small credit line

No credit check required

Nyble Credit Line
Not yet rated
Go to site
$30 – $150
Loan amount
Starting at 0%
APR
30 days, extendable
Term
Nyble is another option if you're searching for EI loans with no credit check. All types of valid recurring income are accepted, and it's quick and easy to apply online. Nyble also offers more flexibility with repayments than payday lenders. Full Review
  • No interest charges
  • No late fees
  • Avoid overdraft fees
  • Flexible repayments
  • Small loan amount
  • Monthly fee applies
Loan amount $30 – $150
APR Starting at 0%
Term 30 days, extendable
Fees No interest or fees to access credit line
Turnaround time 1-30 minutes with a paid membership or 1-3 business days with a free membership.
Serviced provinces All provinces and territories

4. Bree early pay

No credit check required

Bree Early Pay
Not yet rated
Go to site
$20 – $250
Loan amount
Starting at 0%
APR
Next pay cycle (61 days max.)
Term
Bree is a pay advance service that lets you access small loans with minimum fuss. It's open to all types of income, including EI, and doesn't do credit checks. There's no interest on what you borrow, and the loan repayment is automatically deducted from your bank account on your next payday. Full Review
  • No credit checks
  • Easy to apply
  • Interest-free loan
  • You'll need to pay a fee if you want money instantly
  • Funding takes up to three business days if you don't pay the fee
  • Small loan amounts
Loan amount $20 – $250
APR Starting at 0%
Term Next pay cycle (61 days max.)
Fees No interest or mandatory fees
Turnaround time Within 3 hours for the express option (small fee) and up to 2 business days for standard delivery
Serviced provinces All provinces and territories.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
High-cost payday loans are unsustainable for borrowing over a continued period of time and are expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing. View payday costs and regulations by province here. 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). You may also want to consider payday loan alternatives.

Compare EI payday loans

Payday loans are another type of loan to explore if your main source of income is EI. Payday loans are easier to get than other loans, but they are also extremely expensive. Only consider them as a last resort.

1. iCash payday loan

$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
7 - 62 days
Term
iCash provides instant approval and 24/7 funding, making it one of the fastest and most convenient lenders of EI payday loans. Apply in less than 10 minutes using your employment insurance as income. Full Review
  • Easy online application process with instant approval
  • Flexible repayment options to pay back your loan in 1, 2 or 3 easy installments (certain restrictions apply)
  • Mobile app banking so you can make payments and track your repayment progress on the go
  • Available to consumers with bad credit or no credit
  • No fees for early repayments
  • Generous cashback program with 20% of the fees you pay returned back to you as soon as you pay off your loan
  • High interest rates that are common with payday loans
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term 7 - 62 days
Turnaround Time As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer®

2. Cash Money payday loan

Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
5 - 40 days
Term
Cash Money is another lender that offers EI payday loans. You can get an instant decision and funding in as little as 15 minutes after approval. Full Review
  • Complete the application process within 10 minutes
  • Get your funds transferred to you via Interac e-Transfer or in cold hard cash at a local store
  • Customer service readily available in person, online or over the phone
  • High interest rates that are common with payday loans
  • Watch out for short loan terms
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term 5 - 40 days
Min. Credit Score 525
Turnaround Time As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer®

4. Focus Cash Loans payday loan

No credit check required

Focus Cash Loans
$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
Up to 62 days
Term
Focus Cash Loans is another lender of EI payday loans in Canada. It can give instant approval without any need for a credit check. Full Review
  • Accepts many types of income
  • 24/7 approval and funding online
  • No credit check
  • High interest rates
  • No 24/7 customer support
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term Up to 62 days
Turnaround Time Approval within 30 mins. during business hours, e-Transfer within 30 mins. after approval

5. Credit Club payday loan

No credit check required

Credit Club Payday Loans
$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
Up to 62 days
Term
Credit Club offers payday loans for EI in ON, BC and NS. It also provides instant approval and funding 24/7. Full Review
  • Accepts many types of income
  • No credit check
  • High rates
  • Customer support is not 24/7
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term Up to 62 days
Turnaround Time 30 minutes

6. Speedy Cash payday loan

No credit check required

Speedy Cash Payday Loan
$250 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
Up to 62 days
Term
Speedy Cash is another lender that accepts employment insurance as valid income. Based in BC, it provides fast approval and funding with no credit check. Full Review
  • Accepts various types of income
  • No credit check
  • High rates
  • Customer support is not 24/7
Loan amount $250 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term Up to 62 days
Turnaround Time 24-hour application process with funding on the spot for in-person payday loan approvals, and up to 1 business day to e-Transfer for online applications

7. My Canada Payday payday loan

No credit check required

My Canada Payday Payday Loan
$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
Varies by province
APR
Up to 62 days
Term
My Canada Payday offers EI payday loans with no credit check. It also provides instant approval and funding 24/7. Full Review
  • Accepts many types of income
  • No credit check
  • High rates
  • No 24/7 customer support
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term Up to 62 days
Turnaround Time Funds will be sent in as little as 15 minutes via Interac e-Transfer
Maximum borrowing costs of payday loans per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs.
Province Max. cost of borrowing a $100 payday loan Cooling off period to cancel loan Max. penalty for returned cheque or pre-authorized debit
Alberta $15 2 business days $25
British Columbia $15 2 business days $20
Manitoba $17 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
New Brunswick $15 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
Newfoundland and Labrador $14 2 business days $20
Nova Scotia $17 Next business day (2 days for online loans) $40 (default penalty)
Ontario $15 2 business days $25
Prince Edward Island $15 2 business days N/A
Quebec Limit of 35% AIR N/A N/A
Saskatchewan $17 Next business day $25

How much would a $500 or $1,500 EI payday loan cost?

Because payday loans are regulated at the provincial level, the cost of a $500 EI payday loan will fall between $570 – $585, while a $1,500 payday loan will cost between $1,710 and $1,755, depending on where you live.

$500 payday loan total cost$1,500 payday loan total cost
AB, BC, NB, ON, PEI$575$1,725
MB, SK, NS$585$1,755
NL$570$1,710

Should you get a personal loan or payday loan while on EI?

It’s worth exploring your personal loan options first before payday loans. Payday loans are only suitable for those facing a financial emergency and have exhausted all their other options.

We go through the differences in the sections below.

Features of payday loans that accept EI

  • Borrow between $100 and $1,500. Some EI payday lenders limit first-time borrowers to $300 to $500. Also, some provinces 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. You usually need to repay your EI payday loan by your next payday. Payday loans in Alberta, however, have a minimum loan term of 42 days, and repayments must be made in at least 2 installments.
  • Borrowing fee. Depending on your province, you’ll pay between $14 to $17 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Fast and convenient. Payday loans are easy to get because lenders automate the process as much as possible and have lenient requirements. You can get a payday loan in as little as 1 hour.
  • Funding options. If you apply online, you can get your money via Interac e-Transfer or direct deposit. If you visit a store, you can get your loan as cash or via e-Transfer.

How to qualify for EI payday loans

To get a payday loan while on employment insurance, you’ll need to meet the following basic criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a recurring EI income.
  • Have a bank account.

Before you apply

EI payday loans come with significant drawbacks, so before you apply, consider taking the following steps:

  • Check your budget. Make sure you can repay your loan in time, because missing a payment could result in NSF and late fees. Also check that you’ll have enough income left to pay for other debts and expenses once you repay your loan. If you don’t have enough, you may find yourself needing another loan.
  • Know the cost of payday loans. They’re one of the most expensive ways to borrow money, with annual percentage rates (APRs) in the triple digits.
  • Look for a licence. Check that the payday lender is licensed and follows the payday loan regulations of your province.

Can you get EI payday loans with no credit check?

Yes, some lenders in Canada do offer EI payday loans with no credit check. Rather than checking your credit score, they’ll focus on your ability to repay the loan. You’ll need to show them your bank statements to get approved.

Features of installment loans for EI in Canada

  • Borrow larger amounts than payday loans on EI. Installment loan amounts are typically between $$500 and $10,000. But if your only income is EI, you may be approved for smaller amounts.
  • Loan term. Loan terms are typically between 3 - 60 months, but for EI installment loans, your loan term may be on the shorter end.
  • APR. Rates for EI installment loans range between 18% and 47%.
  • Turnaround time. You can get an installment loan in one to two business days.
  • Funding options. You can get your installment loan via direct deposit or e-Transfer.

How to qualify for EI installment loans

To qualify for installment loans while on EI, you’ll need the following:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident
  • Be at least 18 or 19 years old.
  • Have a steady EI income.
  • Meet the credit score requirement.

Installment loan lenders have stricter requirements than payday lenders. You’ll need to have a certain credit score and income amount to get approved, and not many installment loan lenders accept EI as a valid source of income.

Before you apply

Installment loans also come with risks, so consider taking the following steps before you apply:

  • Check your budget. Make sure you can afford the monthly payments of your EI loan, and see whether your unemployment benefits will be enough to cover the loan term.
  • Know the cost. Know how much interest and fees you’ll pay overall. Watch out for any extra charges that could drive up the cost of your EI loan, such as NSF fees, broker fees and surety fees.
  • Check the lender’s reputation. Apply to legitimate lenders only, and avoid those who pressure or rush you into signing.

How to compare EI loans

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

  • APR. Keep an eye on the APR. This shows you the annual cost of a loan and helps you compare different types of credit. Payday loans are much more expensive than installment loans, credit cards and credit card cash advances.
  • Loan terms. Payday loans have extremely short loan terms, while installment loans allow for longer loan terms.
  • Turnaround times. If you speed is important to you, payday loans are faster to get than installment loans.
  • Legitimate 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 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 three months, which he receives every two 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 on EI 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. Thinking 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

  1. Check your credit score. The first thing you could do is check your credit score. If your credit score is under 660, be prepared to encounter higher interest rates.
  2. Compare lenders. Compare at least three to four lenders to find the most competitive rates and terms.
  3. 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.
  4. Fill out your application. Once you find the right 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.
  5. Get a decision. Lenders that offer EI loans usually give an instant decision.
  6. Get verified. If you wish to proceed, your lender may ask for documents to verify your income and identity, such as bank statements and government-issued ID.
  7. Review and sign your contract. Become familiar with your repayment schedule, the total cost of your loan and any extra charges you may encounter.

Alternatives to online installment loans and payday loans for EI

Here are other options to consider:

  • Cash advance apps. These loans let you access a small portion of your unemployment benefits in advance. You won’t pay interest, but you may pay a subscription fee.
  • 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.
  • 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, but this perk comes with risks.
  • Debt relief services. If you’re facing legitimate financial hardship, debt relief services are an option. Debt relief companies like Debt.ca offer different types of services, such as debt management, debt settlement, debt consolidation and credit counselling.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for EI loans online, you can sign up for a payday loan, installment loan or early pay advance. Payday loans have the most options, and you can even get one without a credit check, but they’re also extremely expensive and have very short repayment terms.

Frequently asked questions about EI loans

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