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Unemployment loans in Canada with fast approvals

Currently unemployed? You can still get a loan as long as you have some sort of income.

If you need a loan while unemployed in Canada, you may be wondering whether a lender will consider your application. The answer is yes, you can still get a loan as long as you have an income, such as government benefits, pension or private disability.

Payday loans are one of the quickest and easiest loans to get approved for, but they are very expensive, so be sure to consider alternatives. Keep reading to find out the different financing options available to you.

Compare unemployment loans in Canada

Below are personal loans you can get without a job, and you don’t need to put up any collateral.

Unemployment loanInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
Loans Canada

Personal Loan

8.00% - 46.96%$500 – $50,0004 - 60 monthsLoan search platform, instant pre-approval, accepts bad creditGo to site
LoanConnect

Personal Loan

8.99% - 46.96% $500 – $2,5009 - 36 monthsInstant pre-approval, accepts bad credit, no credit check loan availableGo to site
MDG

Installment Loan

29.78% - 44.80% Up to $1,600Up to 36 monthsDirect lender, accepts any recurring income such as benefits, fast approvalsGo to site

Magical Credit

Installment Loan

19.99% - 46.80%$1,500 – $20,00012 - 60 monthsApproval in 24 hours, funding in 24 hours, accepts many types of income and bad creditRead review

Compare cash advances for people who are unemployed

Use your non-employment income to qualify for a small cash advance. You pay no interest on these cash loans, but you may pay either an optional or required monthly fee depending on the provider.

Unemployment loanInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features

Credit Line

No interest or fees to access credit line, optional $11.99/month membership to get premium services such as instant funding$30 – $15030 days, extendableOpen to any type of income as long as it’s paid directly into your accountGo to site

Bree

Early Pay

No interest or fees to access cash advance, fee for express funding (varies based on advance)$20 – $350Next pay cycle (61 days max.)Open to any type of income as long as it’s paid directly into your accountGo to site

KOHO

Cash Advance

0%, subscription fee starting at $2/month$20 – $250FlexibleNo source of income requirementsGo to site
⚠️ 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 unemployment payday loans

Payday loans are easy to get, but you’ll pay for the convenience via steep interest rates. These are only suitable as a last resort.

Unemployment loanInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
iCash

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5007 - 62 daysInstant loans 24/7, accepts many forms of benefits and incomeGo to site
Cash Money

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5005 - 40 daysInstant approval and funding, accepts bad credit, accepts many incomesRead Review

Credit Club

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,500Up to 62 daysInstant loans 24/7, no credit check, accepts many benefits and incomeRead Review
PAY2DAY

Payday Loan

Varies by province$300 – $1,500Up to 62 daysInstant loans 24/7, no credit check, accepts non-employment incomeRead Review
Loan Express

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,500Up to 62 daysInstant loans 24/7, no credit check, accepts many incomes but not EIRead Review

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 $15 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

Types of unemployment loans

According to the Credit Counselling Society’s 2024 Consumer Debt Report, the increasing cost of essentials such as housing, food and transportation remains the top financial concern for Canadians. You might be thinking of a getting a loan to cover essential expenses and bills, but before you apply, explore the types of loans available to you so you can decide what’s best for your situation:

Option 1: Payday loans for unemployed on benefits

  • Quick, easy approval. If you need an emergency loan and you’re unemployed on benefits, you can get instant approval with a payday loan and funding within a few minutes after approval via e-transfer.
  • Bad credit is okay. Instead of focusing on your credit score, lenders focus on your unemployment benefits.
  • Borrowing fee. Depending on where you live, you’ll pay between $14 to $17 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Loan amounts. You can borrow between $100 and $1,500. 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 in Canada have a maximum loan term of 62 days. Also, payday loans in Alberta have a minimum loan term of 42 days.
  • Benefits are okay. Many payday lenders can offer payday loans if you’re unemployed on benefits. This includes employment insurance, disability, pension, social assistance and more.

What do I need to get payday loans while unemployed?

To get approved for a payday loan while unemployed using your benefits, you’ll need the following:

  • Be the age of majority in your province or territory (either 18 or 19).
  • Have a recurring income, from benefits or other sources
  • Have a chequing account.

Documents you’ll need to provide

While requirements for payday loans while unemployed vary among lenders in Canada, you generally need the following:

  • A copy of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport
  • Proof of income, such as bank statements
  • Voided cheque or pre-authorized debit form

How to get your funds

If you apply online, you can get your payday loan via e-transfer or direct deposit. If you apply in-store, you can get your loan via cash or e-transfer. If you have an emergency and need funds fast, especially if it’s outside business hours, the fastest way get your funds online is through lenders that e-transfer payday loans 24/7.

Before you sign up for a payday loan

  • Check for a licence. Make sure the lender is licensed in your province and follows all government regulations.
  • Have a concrete repayment plan. Check you’ll have money in your bank account to repay the loan. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a late fee and NSF fee. Also make sure you’ll have enough benefits left over to pay for other debts or expenses after you repay your loan. If you don’t have enough benefits left, you might be inclined to get another unemployment 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.

Option 2: Installment loans for the unemployed in Canada

  • Benefits are a valid source of income. Lenders can consider your application as long as your benefits income is steady.
  • Loan amounts. You can typically borrow between $500 and $10,000.
  • Loan terms. Term lengths often last between 3 months and 5 years.
  • Payment schedule. You can make your payments monthly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or weekly, depending on the lender.
  • No prepayment penalties. Most lenders allow you to pay off your loan early without any penalties, so make sure you pick one that allows this.
  • Bad credit is considered. It’s possible to get an installment loan if you’re unemployed with benefits and have a credit score below 560.

Before you sign up for an installment loan

  • Know how much you’ll pay in interest and fees. This type of unemployment loan in Canada has high interest rates up to 47%.
  • Examine the payment schedule. Know how much of your payments will go towards paying the interest vs. reducing the principal.
  • Check the lender’s reputation. Visit consumer review sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau to make sure the lender hasn’t received a strong pattern of customer complaints.

Option 3: Lines of credit for the unemployed

  • Open term. You don’t have to pay off the loan by a certain date, but you do have to make a minimum payment each month. A flexible term allows you to repay the loan when you’re in a better financial position.
  • Borrow up to your limit. This type of unemployment loan allows you to 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.
  • Benefits are okay. Not all line of credit lenders accept benefits as a valid source of income, but there are a few that do.

Before you sign up for an online line of credit

  • Check how much you’ll pay in interest and fees. Online lines of credit have high interest rates up to 47.42%.
  • Analyze the payment schedule. Just like with installment loans, know how much of your payments will go towards paying the interest vs. reducing the principal.
  • Check the lender’s reputation. See if the lender has received any customer complaints, and what those complaints are about.
  • Have a concrete plan for repaying the full balance. With an open term, it can be tempting to make just the minimum payment and hold off on repaying the whole unemployment loan. But if you wait too long, you could end up paying more interest than a payday loan or installment loan. It’s best to pay off what you borrow as soon as possible.
  • Watch out for overspending. With easy access to funds, it can be tempting to borrow more than you need.

Option 4: Car title loans for the unemployed in Canada

  • Your car is the collateral. You must own the car, but you can keep and continue to use it. If you default on your loan, the lender can repossess your car to recoup its losses.
  • Loan term. The loan term ranges between 3 and 60 months.
  • Loan amount. Borrow up to 50% of the value of your car.
  • Bad credit is okay. This loan is available to borrowers with poor credit.
  • Other vehicles are okay. Motorcycles, boats, RVs, trailers and heavy-duty equipment may be used as collateral.

Before you get a car title loan

  • Know how much you’ll pay in interest and fees. Like other unemployment loans in Canada, watch out for high interest rates up to 49%.
  • Watch out for extra fees. Watch out for lenders advertising a low interest rate but you’ll need to pay other fees like a vehicle evaluation fee, title search fee and registration fee to get the loan, which will significantly drive up the cost of your loan.
  • Watch out for no credit checks. Lenders conduct credit checks to evaluate a borrower’s ability to manage a loan. If a lender doesn’t do credit checks, there’s a chance you’ll get approved for a car title loan you can’t afford, which can then cause you to lose your car.
  • Have a concrete repayment plan. Make sure you can manage the repayments, because as mentioned before, there’s a risk of losing your car.

How to get an unemployment loan in Canada

  • Check the eligibility criteria before applying. Before filling out an application, make sure you’re eligible for the loan you’re applying for. Lenders often list their requirements, such as minimum income and minimum credit score.
  • Order a copy of your credit report. Check your credit report for free with one of Canada’s credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion) so you have a good read of how your application will look to lenders.
  • Compare options before applying. While you may think your options are limited, you should still comparison shop before deciding on the best loan for you. You may find varying interest rates or disparities in charges and fees between bad credit lenders.
  • Have documentation ready. No matter which unemployment loan you apply for, you’ll need to provide proof of your benefits income and government-issued ID.

How to compare loans for the unemployed in Canada

With several options available to you, how do you choose which unemployment loan is best for you? Ask yourself the following questions when weighing your options:

  • Which loan can I afford? Can you afford to repay a payday loan within a few days or a few weeks, and when you do, will you have enough income left over to pay for other debts? If you get an installment loan, how much of a monthly repayment can you manage? Can you repay money borrowed from a line of credit before it gets too expensive?
  • Are there extra charges? Check whether there are costs in addition to the interest rate, such as origination fees (a processing fee) and prepayment penalties.
  • What is the reputation of the lender? Read reviews from people who have taken out a loan from the lender. If you see any consistent complaints, you might want to go with another lender.
  • How fast do I need the loan? If you’re looking for an emergency loan, then you might prefer payday loans. Payday loans have rapid turnaround times because of their flexible eligibility requirements and simple application processes.

Are there guaranteed loans for the unemployed in Canada?

There are no guaranteed loans for the unemployed in Canada. Legitimate lenders do not guarantee approval and will first evaluate your financial situation, such as your income and debts, before approving. Steer clear of lenders guaranteeing loans for the unemployed because it could be a scam, predatory or have fine print that actually doesn’t make them guaranteed. This can put your personal information and/or finances at risk.

If you need a loan with lenient eligibility requirements, learn about easy loans in Canada.

Can you get instant online loans while unemployed in Canada?

Yes, you can get instant online loans from several payday loan providers in Canada who accept unemployed benefits as income. These online lenders are often able to assess your application, give approval and e-transfer your loan money directly into your bank account in as little as 2 minutes. Some example payday loan lenders that can provide these types of instant online loans for the unemployed are iCash and Cash Money.

How to increase your chances of approval for unemployment loans in Canada

If you’re unemployed and need a loan in Canada, you might consider applying with a guarantor or cosigner — like a partner, relative or friend — in order to boost your chances of approval. Many lenders offer the option for joint applications, and some lenders even encourage you to apply with a guarantor in order for you to be eligible for a larger loan amount. However, this is a large responsibility for the guarantor or cosigner who is essentially signing up to share the responsibility of repaying the loan.

Are there free online loans for the unemployed?

There are no free online loans for the unemployed. Most loans come with an interest rate that serves as the cost to take out a loan with a lender. There is such a thing as 0% financing if you’re making a specific purchase like a car, electronic or furniture, but this is subject to approval based on your financial situation.

How do I know a payday loan is legit?

There are several ways to determine if a payday lender is legit.

  • Check that the lender is provincially licensed to operate.
  • See if the lender is transparent about fees.
  • Check that the lender abides by the provincial regulations for payday loans.
  • Read reviews about the lender.

Bottom line

There are many loans for the unemployed on benefits in Canada. Before taking out an unemployment loan, whether that’s a payday loan, installment loan, vehicle title loan or line of credit, understand the costs of the loan and have a concrete strategy to repay it.

Frequently asked questions

Written by

Leanne Escobal

Leanne Escobal is a publisher for Finder. She has spent over 11 years working on financial products and services, specializing in content and marketing. Leanne has completed the Canadian securities course (CSC®) as well as the personal lending and mortgages course by the Canadian Securities Institute. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English literature and creative writing from Western University. See full profile

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