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7 loans for unemployed borrowers

Need to borrow money between jobs? You may qualify for one of these loans or cash advance apps.

It can be tough to get a loan when you’re unemployed, because most lenders require proof of income. The good news? You can find legitimate lenders who will approve you if you have some type of steady income — such as unemployment benefits, child support or disability benefits.

Our top 7 picks for unemployed borrowers

These six loans for unemployed borrowers could be a match if you need cash quickly.

For an alternative overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe®

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

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If you've received at least $200 in qualifying direct deposits in the last 34 days — including government benefits or gig pay through apps like Uber or DoorDash — you qualify for a cash advance through Chime SpotMe.
Chime SpotMe is different from an unemployment cash advance app: Instead of sending you cash to cover expenses as you wish, the money can only be used to cover overdrafts in your Chime Checking Account. Still, it's free and easy to qualify for.
  • Available in all states
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. Direct deposit: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date. SpotMe: Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.

For gig workers: Cleo

Cleo

4.1
★★★★★

Finder score

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Cleo is an AI-powered budgeting and cash advance app, offering 0% interest cash advances up to $250 per pay period. While its advances are handy, Cleo’s strength lies in its ability to help you budget and save money. Set targets based on your income and spending habits, and its quirky AI assistant will help you stay on track.

And unlike other cash advance apps, you don’t need recurring direct deposits or W-2s to qualify for cash advances with Cleo. With its combination of cash advances, budgeting, round-up saving and credit-building tools – Cleo is ideal for anyone who wants to take greater control of their finances.

  • Available in all states

For starting a new job: SoFi

SoFi personal loans

4.4
★★★★★

Finder score

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If you have a job offer with a start date in the next 90 days, you may qualify for a SoFi loan of $5,000 or more. That said, you may need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify for a SoFi loan. And the large $5,000 minimum means SoFi loans may be best for large expenses — such as relocating for a job — rather than one-off bills.
  • Available in all states
Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 29.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/06/2024 and are subject to change without notice. The average of SoFi Personal Loans funded in 2022 was around $30K. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.
Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-7%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.
Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

For help managing spending: Vola Finance

Vola Finance

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Vola Finance provides an unemployment loan of up to $300 when you connect a bank account that meets three eligibility requirements:
  • At least three months old
  • Average balance of $150
  • Proof of income and activity

The app also features spending analytics and tools to help you better manage your money.
However, how much you'll pay for Vola's subscription fee is anybody's guess. It's anywhere from $1.99 to $28.99 a month, according to its site. But the company doesn't clearly disclose a fee structure before you sign up.

  • Available in all states

For small advances: FloatMe

FloatMe

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FloatMe is an unemployment cash advance app that will “float” you up to $100 when you need it. To qualify, you must have a linked bank account that’s received at least three direct deposits of $200 or more. FloatMe charges a $3.99 monthly fee with the option to expedite turnaround within eight hours for a $4 rush fee.
  • Not available in: Connecticut

For a one-time expense: SoLo funds

SoLo Funds payday loan alternative

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SoLo Funds is a peer-to-peer lender that lets you borrow up to $575 — in interest-free money — from your community. Many Solo Fund users are unemployed and have turned to the platform as a low-cost alternative to payday loans.
You can get funded the same day. And unlike other unemployment cash advance apps, you don’t have to subscribe or pay a monthly fee.
  • Not available in: California

For full banking services: MoneyLion

MoneyLion Instacash advances

4.5
★★★★★

Finder score

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  • Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Types of loans available to unemployed borrowers

There are also four other types of loans you can get if you’re not interested in any of these unemployment loans:

  • Cash advance apps. These are best for people who need to cover a small expense on a regular basis. While cash advance apps require regular income, it doesn’t need to be from a job. And, you may find quite a few cash advance apps with no monthly subscription fee.
  • Personal loans. Options are limited for unemployed borrowers, but there are types of no-income verification loans and some lenders may give you a new employee loan if you have a recent job offer or a steady source of income outside of employment.
  • Payday loans. Although payday lenders may accept you without verifiable income, these loans can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt if you don’t have the means to pay it off in time.
  • Payday alternative loans (PALs). These short-term loan alternatives are great if you need to borrow $1,000 or less. But they have two major limitations: Only a few credit unions offer them and it may take some time to get qualified.

When to consider a loan

If you’re unemployed, you might be wondering if taking out a loan is a good idea. It might make sense if you:

  • Need to cover essential living expenses like food, rent or utilities.
  • Have a medical emergency and need to pay for treatment.
  • Have urgent home or car repairs.
  • Are facing some type of expense that can’t be put off.
  • Have a job offer letter with a start date in the next six months.

Avoid taking out a loan that you aren’t certain you can repay. If you miss payments, you could end up owing multiple times what you borrowed in fees, hurt your credit and even risk facing a lawsuit from your creditor.

When to consider alternatives

Likewise, taking out a loan while you’re unemployed may not be the right option if one of these situations applies to you:

  • The thought of adding one more monthly payment to your plate stresses you out.
  • You don’t have regular income to show lenders.
  • You could sell something you own to come up with the cash instead.
  • The item you need to pay for is a “want” or impulse purchase rather than a need.

Bottom line

Getting an unemployment loan can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Consider these six options if taking out a loan makes sense for you. Otherwise, explore these 11 payday loan alternatives — they may be just what you’re looking for.

Cassidy Horton's headshot
Written by

Writer

Cassidy Horton is a freelance personal finance copywriter and past contributing writer for Finder. Her writing and banking expertise have been featured in Forbes Advisor, Money, The Balance, Money Under 30, Insure.com, and other top digital publishers. She holds a BS in public relations and an MBA from Georgia Southern University. See full bio

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92 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    PeterOctober 7, 2018

    Hi I am unemployed and have a great need for financial assistance can you advise me on what to do with my situation to get a loan for small business?

      AvatarFinder
      johnbasanesOctober 8, 2018Finder

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      You are on the right page to make a comparison as well as check on available lenders in your state that could offer you a loan. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you.You may also reach out to your local government and check on hardship loans that may be available in your state. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    Bell1day84September 22, 2018

    Are there lenders for those that receive unemployment checks?

      AvatarFinder
      JoshuaSeptember 24, 2018Finder

      Hi Bell1day84,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Generally, unemployment checks are considered to be a form of income. For this reason, lenders may still consider your loan application.

      To check your options, please consider reviewing the table above. Your options are conveniently gathered together in the table for easy comparison. Click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more. Please review the criteria, details of the loan product and contact the lender directly to discuss your loan options and eligibility.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    StephanieSeptember 5, 2018

    I am a server, can I get a loan without payslip? I get my pay daily in cash.

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynSeptember 6, 2018Finder

      Hello Stephanie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      There are still some lenders that have minimum employment requirements to qualify you for a loan. It states that as long as you can prove your cash payment, you may be considered for a loan. It’s important that they can see you as someone who is capable to repay a loan. Find more about on how to maximize the chances of approval in a personal loan.

      You can try BBVA lender as they typically requires pay stubs from the previous 30 days to verify income. Please click the Go to Site button to apply. Ensure that you have met the eligibility criteria. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chatbox on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    SandraAugust 6, 2018

    I’m currently unemployed but I’m to get my first SS check at the end of this month and I’m trying to pay my electric bill before it’s turned off. I just need 450 to pay the electric and a couple more bills until I get my SS check

      Default Gravatar
      AshAugust 7, 2018

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      You may want to check loans designed for pensioners since you mentioned you are receiving Social Security benefits. You may need to provide your credit score to see which lender is available in California.

      Kindly ensure that you meet the Lender’s eligibility criteria before submitting your application. Then you may click the green “Go to site” button to be redirected to the Lender’s page and hand in your application.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that I may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    TruJune 25, 2018

    I’m in between jobs and I’m about to be employed again soon. I have an active bank account. I own a house own a car paid it off. I also receive settlement funds. Is it at all possible I could get a small loan the meantime?

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoJune 25, 2018

      Hi Tru,

      Thanks for reaching out to us.

      The most important thing in getting a loan is to check if you have all the eligibility requirements that the bank requires as any application, approved or not, will impact your credit score.

      Important things to consider before borrowing:

      1. You need to be able to repay the loan. This is the main thing lenders look for when considering you for a loan. If you only want to borrow a small amount and your income and expenses demonstrate you can easily manage the ongoing repayments, then you may be eligible. If you want to borrow a large amount of money that will make it hard for you to manage day-to-day, then the lender probably won’t consider your application.
      2. Other requirements will need to be met. You’ll need to check the other eligibility requirements set by the lender before you apply. Just because they have flexible criteria when it comes to your employment doesn’t mean they’ll be flexible about everything else.
      3. Do you receive welfare payments? This is often what allows lenders to consider you for a loan when you aren’t currently unemployed. If you receive welfare payments as all or a portion of your income, lenders will consider this when evaluating your ability to repay the loan.
      4. Quick repayment plans. Like all short term loans, you must repay the principal and interest by your next payday. This is why lenders want you to be employed, but if you aren’t, an alternate source of income might be enough.
      5. High APR. Short term loans are known to have a high APR, meaning you have to pay much more in fees and charges than you would with a traditional loan from a bank.
      6. Automatic payments. While lenders like to list debiting directly from your bank account as a positive, if you don’t have the money to pay back your loan, it could lead to overdrawing–that means more fees.

      Hope this helps!

      Regards,
      Nikki

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