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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).


Cash Money Payday Loan

Cash Money Payday Loan logo
  • Accepts EI
  • Borrow from $100 - $1,500
  • APR varies by province
Go to site

If you’re looking for loans on Employment Insurance online, 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 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?

You can take out a loan while you’re on Employment Insurance and it won’t impact your benefits. But your first step to getting financing is to find a lender that accepts EI as a valid source of income. In Canada, there are some installment and payday loan lenders that allow you to qualify with EI income.

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 payday loan alternatives:
  • Visit A free and confidential service that connects you to organizations that can help with finances, food, housing and more.
  • 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: Payday loans for EI recipients

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term Interest Rate Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces Offer Table description
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 cost (excludes SK applicants).
Instant decision and e-Transfer funding. Income of at least $1,000/month required.
iCASH Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
Get up to 20% in cash back once your payday loan is fully repaid. Conditions apply.
24/7 instant approval and e-Transfer funding. Income of at least $800/month required.
Maximum borrowing costs of payday loans 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 & PEI $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Nova Scotia $17 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $14 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon Up to $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

Which payday loan lenders do not accept EI?

Not all lenders are willing to accept Employment Insurance, and instead prefer other more steady sources of income. Here is a list of some popular payday loan providers in Canada who do not accept EI:

Features of payday loans for EI recipients

  • 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 or territory, you’ll pay between $14 to $25 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Fast and convenient. Payday loans for EI are easy to get because lenders automate the process as much as possible and have lenient requirements. You can get a payday loan while on EI in as little as 1 hour.
  • Funding options. If you apply online, you can get your money via e-transfer or direct deposit. If you visit a store, you can get your loan as cash or via e-transfer.
  • Eligibility requirements. To get an payday loan on EI, you’ll need to be at least 18 or 19 years old, have recurring EI income and have an active bank account.

Before you apply for payday loans while on EI

EI payday loans come with 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 will 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 EI payday 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, has a good reputation and follows the payday loan regulations of your province.

Where can I get payday loans for EI?

There are a number of lenders across Canada that offer payday loans of up to $1,500 to people receiving EI. Many of those lenders also offer convenient online applications and e-transfer, so you can receive your approved loan funds within minutes. Some popular lenders offering payday loans for EI include iCASH, Cash Money, My Canada Payday and Speedy Cash.

Can I get payday loans on EI with no credit check?

Yes, some lenders in Canada offer payday loans for EI with no credit check, however, it’s common for lenders in Canada to check your credit before approving your application. An example of a lender that offers payday loans while on EI with no credit check is Money Mart. Keep in mind that even if a payday loan lender checks your credit, they’ll generally be more concerned about your ability to repay the loan, which you can often prove using income like EI.

How much do payday loans for EI cost?

Payday loans for EI can cost anywhere from $14 to $25 for every $100 borrowed, depending on the province or territory where you live. Here’s a breakdown of the costs for a few sample payday loans for EI.

$500 EI payday loan total cost$1,500 EI payday loan total cost
AB, BC, NB, ON, PE$575$1,725
MB, SK, NS$585$1,755
NT, NU, YTUp to $800Up to $2,400

Option 2: Installment loans for EI

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

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements
Loans Canada Installment Loan
8.00% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
4 - 60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
LoanConnect Installment Loan
$500 - $2,500
3 - 6 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300

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 6 - 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 46.96%.
  • Turnaround time. You can get an installment loan in 1 to 2 business days.
  • Funding options. You can get your EI installment loan via direct deposit or e-transfer.
  • Eligibility requirements. 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. Compare EI installment loans you can apply for.

Before you apply for EI installment loans

EI 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 EI payments 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 prepayment penalties (not common), NSF fees (common), late fees (common) and loan insurance (optional add-on).
  • 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 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:

  • APR. Keep an eye on the APR when searching for EI loans. This shows you the annual cost of a loan and helps you compare different types of credit. Payday loans for EI 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 on EI 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 EI loans.

Should I get a installment loan or payday loan using my EI?

When comparing these 2 types of loans on Employment Insurance, installment loans are generally better than payday loans for EI. Both are expensive options, but installment loans’ longer loan terms allow you to spread out your payments and give your finances time to recover.

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.

Payday loan on EIEI 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 below 660, be prepared to encounter higher interest rates.
  2. Compare lenders. Compare at least 3 to 4 lenders to find the most competitive rates and terms for EI loans. You’ll typically have to choose between installment loans or payday loans on EI.
  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 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.
  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

Since both installment and payday loans on EI are relatively expensive, it’s worth considering other options before locking yourself into a costly loan contract.

  • 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.
  • 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 like offer different types of services, such as debt management, debt settlement, debt consolidation and credit counselling.

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 (at least 420) 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. That typically narrows down your options to lenders who offer installment or payday loans for EI recipients. Before applying, contact the lender to confirm that they offer loans on Employment Insurance and compare different lenders to find the best rates and terms available to you.

Frequently asked questions about EI loans

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