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How your job could affect your personal loan eligibility

What you do for a living can make or break your application.


While your credit history plays an important role in getting approved for a personal loan, it’s not the only aspect lenders consider. In fact, many online providers are moving away from looking at your credit in favour of other factors, such as education and employment. With some lenders, your occupation and your work history can potentially disqualify you.

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Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)


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Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)

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  • APR: 26.99% - 39.99%
  • Fees: None
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6 job-related factors lenders consider

While not all lenders look at every single one of these factors, many consider at least one of them, especially income.

1. How much you earn

Your income is one of the most important factors in any loan application — even payday loans. It’s standard practice for lenders to ask for proof of income when you apply in order to verify your ability to pay when you take out a loan.

How much you earn actually affects 2 parts of your application: your monthly pretax income and your debt-to-income ratio. Generally, you must have a high enough income to afford the monthly cost of the loan you apply for. But even if you meet your lender’s minimum income requirements, you could be disqualified if your recurring monthly bills add up to more than 43% of your income.

2. How many hours you work

Some lenders require you to work a certain number of hours to qualify for a loan — typically around 30. Others might only offer funding to borrowers with full-time jobs. Generally, the more hours you work, the more likely you are to get approved for a personal loan.

3. Who you work for

Being your own boss has many benefits. But it can be difficult to qualify for a personal loan if you’re self-employed. Some lenders flat-out won’t work with self-employed borrowers.

Others have a difficult time evaluating your income, especially if you don’t have pay stubs. If you receive pay in an unconventional manner, it might take a little bit longer for lenders to process your application — especially if they rely on an algorithm. You also might have to submit additional documents, such as recent bank statements and tax returns.

4. Your employment history

How long you’ve been in the work force is another factor that can affect your application — as well as the types of jobs you’ve had in the past. Some might require you to be at your current job for at least a year or 2. Others might only work with applicants who have worked in the same industry for a certain amount of time.

Often, these lenders will ask you to provide information about your work history in the application. For example, you may be asked to provide information about the employers you’ve had for the past 5 years.

5. Your occupation

While it’s uncommon for lenders to list certain industries as ineligible for a personal loan, what you do for a living can affect your eligibility. That’s because some occupations have a higher rate of default than others. Low-paying jobs and jobs with a high turnover rate often fall into this category.

6. Prospective jobs

Some lenders also count a job on the horizon in your favor when you apply for a loan. Typically, you need to sign the contract and have a start date before you can put it on your application. Others might require you to start within a certain time frame such as 90 days.

Ready to apply? Compare personal loan options

Name Product Interest Rate Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Fees Min. Credit Score Link
Mogo Personal Loan
9.90% - 47.42%
9 months - 5 years
NSF fee - $20 - $50
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Mogo offers loans up to $35,000 on flexible terms.
Loans Canada Personal Loan
Secured from 2.00%, Unsecured from 8.00% to 46.96%
3-60 months
No application or origination fees
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More Info
Loans Canada connects borrowers to lenders offering both secured and unsecured personal loans in amounts from $300 to $50,000. Submit one application to get rates from multiple lenders across Canada.
LoanConnect Personal Loan
6-60 months
No application or origination fees
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LoanConnect is an online broker that matches borrowers to lenders offering loans in amounts from $500 to $50,000. Get approved for multiple loan offers from different lenders in as little as 60 seconds with any credit score.
Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)
26.99% - 39.99%
6 months - 5 years
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Fairstone offers unsecured personal loans up to $20,000
Cash Money Installment Loan
6 months - 5 years
Vary across provinces/territories
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More Info
Cash Money offers installment loans up to $10,000 for AB, MB and NB residents.
LendDirect Personal Loan
19.99% - 46.93%
No end dates
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More Info
Borrow up to $15,000, based on your income and credit history, with a personal line of credit from LendDirect.
LendingMate Personal Loan
43% (British Columbia and Ontario) and 34.90% (Quebec)
1-5 years
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More Info
LendingMate offers loans to Canadians with poor credit with no credit checks. Guarantor required for application.
Fairstone Personal Loan (Secured)
19.99% - 23.99%
3-10 years
Varies by province
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More Info
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $35,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

Can I get a personal loan if I’m unemployed?

You might be able to get a personal loan if you’re unemployed, though it can be hard finding a lender willing to work with you. If you don’t have any form of income, you likely won’t be able to qualify anywhere. However, you could be eligible in some of the following circumstances:

  • You live off a pension. If you’re retired, some lenders count your pension as income and will offer a loan.
  • You depend on your spouse. Lenders will sometimes consider household income rather than personal income when you apply for a loan.
  • You receive government assistance. Some lenders are willing to consider disability or other types of government benefits as income if you apply for a loan — especially short-term loan providers.
  • You get alimony or child support. If you receive enough from a former partner to afford your repayments, you could qualify for a loan based on this income alone.

6 more factors lenders consider

While work and income are two important aspects lenders consider when you apply for a loan, they aren’t the only ones. Here are some other factors that could affect your application:

  1. Credit score and history. Most lenders have a minimum credit score — even if they don’t advertise it. Others might require you to have a credit history of at least 3 years to qualify.
  2. Monthly expenses. Having high income might not be enough if your monthly bills clock in at over 43% of what you bring home.
  3. Age. The legal age to borrow is either 18 or 19 across Canadian provinces and territories. It’s 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, P.E.I., Quebec and Saskatchewan. However, it’s 19 in BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunuvut.
  4. Legal status. Most loans are only available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  5. Where you live. Some providers aren’t licensed to lend across the country, since many provinces have their own rules for lending.
  6. Housing. It’s common for lenders to ask if you rent or own and how much you pay for housing each month.

Surprising factors lenders take into account

Bottom line

Your job might have more of an impact on your personal loan application than you think. From your monthly income to your time in the workforce, what you do to support yourself plays a major role in how lenders view your application. You can learn more about how it all works by reading our guide to personal loans.

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