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E-transfer loans on social assistance in Canada

Find out where you can get payday loans for welfare recipients in Canada or others types of e-transfer loans on social assistance.

If you’re on social assistance and looking to get a payday loan to cover some bills or expenses, you have options. Use this guide to find out where you can apply for payday loans as a welfare recipient in Canada and what you need to know before signing on the dotted line.

Can I get e-transfer loans on social assistance?

Yes, you can. Loans that you can apply for that accept social assistance and often offer e-transfer include payday loans, installment loans and lines of credit. Out of these three options, payday loans are generally the easiest to get but watch out for very high interest rates.

Compare e-transfer loans for social assistance

The Canadian payday lenders below accept welfare as valid income and offer e-transfer for those receiving social assistance.

⚠️ 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.

Cash Money Payday Loan

$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
5 – 40 days
Loan Term
15 minutes
Min. Turnaround Time
Cash Money accepts many types of income. You can get e-transfer loans on social assistance. However, if you live in Manitoba, Cash Money cannot accept social assistance.
  • Complete the application process within 10 minutes
  • Cash Money provides a quick turnaround on the decision of your loan so you should know your application status within the same business day
  • You can have your funds transferred to you via Interac e-Transfer, in cold hard cash at a local store or loaded onto your Opt+ Prepaid Mastercard:Customer service is readily available in person, online or over the phone
  • Special promotions are often on offer, including loan discounts on your first payday loan
  • High interest rates that are common with payday loans
  • Payday loans are only available in BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon
  • Watch out for short loan terms to the tune of up to 14 days (or your next payday, essentially)
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term 5 - 40 days
Min. Turnaround time As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
How to apply Online
In Store
Credit Check Yes

iCASH Payday Loan

$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
7 – 62 days
Loan Term
2 minutes
Min. Turnaround Time
iCash provides instant approval and e-transfer 24/7 on welfare loans, making iCASH one of the fastest lenders.
  • 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
  • Only available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term 7 - 62 days
Min. Turnaround time As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
How to apply Online
In Store
Credit Check Yes

Money Mart Payday Loan

$120 – $1,500
Loan amount
1 – 62 days
Loan Term
60 minutes
Min. Turnaround Time
Money Mart is an online direct lender with flexible income requirements. It offers e-transfer loans for those on social assistance.
  • Accepts many types of income, including welfare
  • 24/7 approval and funding online
  • Some stores are open 24/7
  • Collect your funds in cash, through direct deposit, via Interac e-Transfer or into a prepaid debit card
  • No credit check
  • High interest rates that are common with payday loans
  • Online payday loans are not available in all provinces and territories
Loan amount $120 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term 1 - 62 days
Min. Turnaround time As little as 1 hour after getting approved
How to apply Online
In Store
Credit Check No

Expert Tip: Payday loans can be helpful but use these loans responsibly

Be sure to fully understand the terms and fees associated with the loan and have a plan to repay it on time.

Payday and short-term loans can be helpful in situations where you need to cover unexpected expenses. However, it's important to use them responsibly to avoid falling into a cycle of debt. In general, you should:

  1. Only borrow what you need: Before taking out a payday or short-term loan, determine exactly how much money you need to cover your expenses. Borrowing more than you need can lead to unnecessary fees and interest charges.
  2. Understand the terms and fees: Make sure you fully understand the terms and fees associated with the loan before you sign any agreements. Pay attention to the interest rate, repayment terms, and any other fees that may be charged.
  3. Have a repayment plan: Make sure you have a plan to repay the loan on time. If you don't, you may end up with late fees and additional interest charges, which can quickly add up.
  4. Use the loan for emergencies only: Payday and short-term loans should only be used for emergencies, such as unexpected car repairs or medical bills. They should not be used for everyday expenses or to cover ongoing financial problems.
  5. Consider alternatives: If possible, explore alternative options such as borrowing from friends or family, negotiating payment plans with creditors, or seeking assistance from a nonprofit credit counselling agency.

Remember, payday and short-term loans should only be used as a last resort and with caution. Be sure to fully understand the terms and fees associated with the loan and have a plan to repay it on time.

Other types of online loans that accept social assistance

  • Lines of credit. Some online lenders offer lines of credit to people on welfare. Learn more below.
  • Installment loans. If you receive other types of income along with your welfare income, you could be eligible for an installment loan. Learn more below.

What should I know about social assistance payday loans?

Canadian lenders look at income to check whether you can afford a loan. Not many lenders, including payday lenders, recognize welfare or social assistance as a valid form of income, so if you’re looking for a payday loan on social assistance, your first step is to find a payday lender that accepts this income, like the ones listed above.

Payday loans are one of the easiest ways to borrow money, but they’re also one of the most expensive ways. They are only suitable as a last resort.

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)

Features of payday loans for welfare recipients

  • Turnaround time. It’s common for payday loan providers to offer e-transfer loans on social assistance. If you choose e-transfer, you can receive your money within minutes of being approved.
  • Loan amount. It is typically between $100 to $1,500, but some provinces limit the amount to a percentage of your income (50% in Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and 30% in Manitoba and New Brunswick).
  • Loan term. Payday loans are typically repaid by your next payday, up to 62 days later.
  • Borrowing fee. Depending on where you live, you’ll pay anywhere from $14 to $25 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Bad credit is OK. Having poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be denied a payday loan. Social assistance payday loans have more flexible eligibility requirements than other loans.
  • Non-employment income is OK. Some payday lenders accept non-employment income, and that includes social assistance.

How to apply for payday loans as a welfare recipient

While it varies among lenders, you will usually need to supply the following information to get a payday loan on social assistance:

  • Valid ID with your name and address.
  • Valid phone number.
  • Pay cycle frequency (i.e. monthly).
  • Proof of social assistance income (you can get this by logging into your CRA MyAccount)
  • Bank account information where your funds will be transferred (chequing account, routing and institution numbers).

How can I get social assistance payday loan funds?

Payday lenders offer various ways to get your money:

  • E-transfer. Once you’re approved, the payday lender will send the money to your email address, which you then deposit into your bank account. This is the fastest way to get your payday loan online. Before getting e-transfer loans on social assistance, make sure your bank account is registered for e-transfer.
  • Direct deposit. With this method, you give your banking information or void cheque to your lender, who will then deposit the funds directly into your bank account.
  • Cash in-store. You can visit a physical store, get approved on the spot and walk out with your money. Lenders can give you cash, load it into a prepaid debit card or send an e-transfer.

How to compare payday loans that accept social assistance in Canada

When comparing payday loans as a welfare recipient, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the reputation of the lender? Check third-party reviews to see what other people have to say about the lender. You can also search through our list and read our review of payday loan lenders in Canada here.
  • Does the lender follow provincial regulations? Each province has its own regulations for payday loans, such as maximum borrowing cost, loan terms, loan extensions and more.
  • Is the lender transparent about fees? The provinces also have rules about how lenders should disclose fees. Your lender should be upfront about how much it’s charging you.
  • Does the lender assess your ability to repay? Lenders must make a reasonable judgment on a welfare recipient’s ability to repay the loan. They do so by looking at factors such as your income and debts. They might also do a credit check. Avoid lenders that guarantee you’ll get approved no matter what.

Compare payday loans for welfare recipients

What to watch out for with payday loans for welfare recipients

While they’re convenient when you’re in a financial bind, here are some things to keep in mind about e-transfer loans on social assistance:

  • Cycle of debt. The super high rates, short repayment terms and late payment fees of payday loans can cause a cycle of debt. If you think you might have problems repaying the loan or having enough income left for other expenses once you repay, avoid getting the payday loan in the first place.
  • Scams. There are lenders who prey on people who need money urgently. Be careful when selecting a lender and do research to find one who is reputable and trustworthy. Read our guide to legit payday loan lenders in Canada to learn more.

Lines of credit for welfare recipients in Canada

The online lenders below can consider welfare as income as long as you meet the minimum income.

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements
LoanConnect Line of Credit
19.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 120 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Loans Canada Line of Credit
9.90% - 21.50%
$5,000 - $35,000
6 months - 5 years
Requirements: min. credit score 300
Cash Money Line of Credit
$500 - $10,000
No end dates
Requirements: min. credit score 560
MogoMini Line of Credit
$1,000 - $3,500
No end dates
Requirements: min. income $13,000/year, min. credit score 500

Features of online lines of credit

  • Open term. Unlike a payday loan, you can pay off your balance partially or in full any time. A flexible term allows you to repay the balance when you’re in a better financial position.
  • Borrow up to your limit. You can borrow as much or as little you want up to a predetermined limit.
  • Potentially cheaper than a payday loan. For example, Mogo says its MogoMini line of credit is 88% cheaper than a payday loan if you pay off the balance in time.
  • High interest rate. Even though an online line of credit is potentially cheaper than a payday loan, it still comes with a very high interest rate.

What to watch out for with lines of credit on social assistance

  • Waiting too long to repay your loan. With an open term, it can be tempting to only pay the interest and hold off on repaying the whole balance. But if you wait too long, especially with such a high interest rate, you could end up paying more interest than a payday loan.
  • Overspending. With easy access to funds, it can be tempting to borrow more than you need.

Go back to e-transfer payday loans on social assistance

Installment loans for social assistance

Installment loans are another option for social assistance loans online. They have smaller loan amounts, shorter terms and higher rates than the average personal loan.

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

  • Unsecured. You don’t need to put up any collateral.
  • Fixed loan terms. Loan terms are usually anywhere from 6 - 60 months.
  • Fixed loan amounts. Loan amounts are typically between $$500 and $10,000.

What to watch out for with installment loans for welfare recipients

Installment loans are a convenient way to get the funding that you need, but they come with drawbacks. They include:

  • High interest rates. If you have bad credit or your income does not come from employment, lenders will charge higher rates.
  • Potential fees. See if the lender charges extra fees, such as prepayment fees, late payment fees, NSF fees and origination fees (processing fee deducted from the loan amount).

Tips to get e-transfer loans on social assistance

  • Do not rush. Do not rush into signing a contract without knowing the terms of your loan, including the cost, loan term and repayment schedule. Avoid lenders that do not clarify the terms of your loan.
  • Avoid lenders that require loan insurance. Loan insurance should be completely optional, never required.
  • Avoid lenders that ask for payment up front. Legitimate lenders do not ask for payment up front. If you encounter someone asking for this, it could be a scam.

Other financing options for people receiving social assistance

Here are other possible loan options for people on welfare:

  • Credit card cash advances. This may be an option if you already have a credit card and haven’t borrowed up to your credit limit. Credit card cash advances have lower rates than payday loans, with APRs usually around 20-23%.
  • Car title loans. With an auto title loan, you put your vehicle up as collateral. If you fail to pay back your loan, the lender can repossess your car, boat, RV or motorcycle. For these types of loans, you’ll have to outright own your vehicle.
  • Home equity loans. Are you a homeowner? You may be able to borrow against your home’s equity through a home equity loan or line of credit. This is a secured loan – meaning you use your house as collateral – but it often comes with more lax eligibility criteria than an unsecured personal loan.

Installment loan vs payday loan: Which is better for those on welfare?

Let’s say a recipient of Ontario Works is looking to take out a loan.

Payday loanInstallment loan
Loan amount needed$500.00$500.00
Cost of loan$15 per $100 borrowed ($75.00 total). This is an APR of 391.07%33% APR
Loan term14 days6 months
Payment amount One full payment of $575.00$91.54 monthly for 6 months
Total loan cost$575.00$549.24

In this case, it’s cheaper to get an installment loan. The fees and interest rate are lower, resulting in an total savings of $25.76.

*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.

What is social assistance in Canada?

Social assistance is financial support from the government to help people in need pay for housing and food. Examples include ODSP and Ontario Works in Ontario, Income Support in Alberta, Income Assistance in BC and Nova Scotia, and Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) in Manitoba.

Can I get a loan on welfare in Ontario?

Yes. Although fewer Ontarian lenders accept welfare as a legitimate source of income, you can still get a loan on welfare in Ontario from certain payday loan, line of credit or installment loan lenders, like the ones listed above. These Ontarian lenders tend to have more lenient eligibility requirements, which often includes accepting a wider variety of income as long as you can prove that you’ll be able to pay back what you borrow.

Bottom line

Look for lenders that accept welfare as a valid source of income, because not all do. Carefully compare rates and fees, and take the time to understand the terms and conditions of any loan you’re interested in getting. If approved, many lenders can e-transfer your social assistance loan to you within minutes if you apply online.

Frequently asked questions about loans that accept social assistance

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