How to get a short-term loan while on welfare | finder.com
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How to get a loan when you’re on welfare

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Find a lender that accepts all types of income.

Being on welfare can limit your options when you need a loan. Especially if it’s your only source of income. However, you might be eligible for short-term loans from CDFIs, credit unions and payday lenders. Just make sure you’re working with a legit lender and read about the drawbacks before you apply.

How do I get a loan on welfare?

You can get through a direct lender or by using a broker service while you’re on welfare. Generally, you’re limited to short-term loans if you rely on welfare.

Contact the lender to make sure they accept government benefits as a source of income before you apply.

Which lenders accept welfare as income?

Provider Generally accepted Conditions
ACE Cash Express ? Full application determines whether it’s acceptable or not.
Advance America ? Full application determines whether it’s acceptable or not.
CashNetUSA Yes Benefits count as an acceptable source of income.
Cash Central Yes Retirement pensions and Social Security benefits count as an acceptable source of income.
Check City ? Varies based on state laws.
Check into Cash ? Varies based on state laws.
LendUp ? Varies based on state laws.
LendYou ? Full application determines whether it’s acceptable or not.
OppLoans Yes Fixed income is accepted, but not preferred.

How to apply

While the application process can vary from person to person, you can typically apply for a loan by following these steps:

1. Go over your monthly income

If welfare is your only source of income, your options are slightly limited. However, you might have more choices if you have other sources like a have a regular paycheck, alimony or child support.

2. Research lender that accept welfare as income

Before comparing, narrow down your options to lenders that accept your source or sources of income. This information often is not not be available online, so you might need to call ahead.

If you don’t have the time to do the research yourself, consider using a broker or connection service. Connection services are typically free. Brokers might charge a fee but can give you more personalized results.

3. Compare your options

Weigh factors like available loan amounts, rates, fees and terms. You might also want to read about out customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau — you might have to do this separately if you use a connection service.

Also make sure you can meet the lender’s other eligibility requirements.

4. Fill out the application

Most lenders that offer loans to welfare recipients offer online and in-person applications. Apply online and you can typically finish in a few minutes get your funds the next day.

Applying in-person might take slightly longer, but you might be able to get your funds in as little as 30 minutes.

5. Review the terms and conditions before signing

Watch out for red flags in your loan agreement — especially if you’re getting a payday or installment loan. These include large blank spaces, or missing information about your loan like rates, fees and terms.

What types of loans can I get on welfare?

You might be eligible for several types of loans, even if you rely on welfare as your main source of income. These include:

  • Short-term loans from a CDFI. Community Financial Development Institutions (CDFIs) are nonprofit lenders that often offer affordable short-term loans to borrowers with all types of income. You can often find a CDFI near you.
  • Payday alternative loans (PALS). These low-interest short-term loans come with APRs capped at 28%. However, they’re only available at some federal credit unions.
  • Payday loans. If speed is your top priority, these high-APR small-dollar loans could be in your hands within 30 minutes if you apply in-person. If they’re legal in your state.
  • Installment loans. These high-interest loans work a lot like with payday loans with slightly longer terms and at higher amounts.
  • Auto title loans. A fast short-term loan based on the value of your car with high rates and fees.

Can I qualify for a loan on welfare?

You might. Whether you can qualify depends on several factors, including the type of loan and how much you want to borrowers. Typically lenders look at the following factors:

  • Amount of income. Even if a lender accepts welfare as income, you need to receive enough each month to afford repayments.
  • Where you live. Many short-term lenders, CDFIs and credit unions are only available in limited locations.
  • Age. The legal age to get a loan is 18 in most states. It’s 19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi.
  • Citizenship or residency status. You generally must be a citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a short-term loan, though there are options for nonresidents.
  • Bank account. While, some lenders don’t require a checking account, most do.

Compare short-term loans

Updated June 17th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround Time Requirements
$35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
$5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
$2,600
1 to 2 business days
Active checking account, regular source of income, email address
Get access to tools to help you plan a career move, make some extra cash or search for a better-paying job.
$15,000
1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
Varies by state
1 business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Sign up for its discount program to get access to coupons and deals on everything from dining out to tax services.
$10,000
As early as 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income after taxes, valid checking account
Explore its online education center to get tips on budgeting, how to prioritize your bills and more.
$250
As soon as the next business day
Checking account with ACH, proof of income, Social Security number, ages 18+
Get rewarded for making on-time repayments with better rates and terms on future loans.
Varies by state
1 business day
Steady source of income, checking or savings account, not currently in bankruptcy, ages 18+
Its satisfaction guarantee means you can return the full loan amount within 72 hours if you change your mind.
$1,000
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated June 17th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround Time Requirements
$5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
$2,600
1 to 2 business days
Active checking account, regular source of income, email address
Get access to tools to help you plan a career move, make some extra cash or search for a better-paying job.
$50,000
1 business day
Must be employed and receive regular income, earn at least $800 a month, have a checking account and be an 18+ years old legal US citizen.
Get a flexible installment loan with fast funding through one easy online application form.
$35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
$15,000
1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
$10,000
As early as 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income after taxes, valid checking account
Explore its online education center to get tips on budgeting, how to prioritize your bills and more.
Varies by state
1 business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Sign up for its discount program to get access to coupons and deals on everything from dining out to tax services.

Compare up to 4 providers

What to watch out for

Some of the faster options available to welfare recipients come with risks. These include:

  • High rates. Payday loans cam come with APRs as high as 700%. Installment and title loans are often similarly expensive.
  • Hidden fees. Some short-term lenders bury extra fees in the fine print of your loan documents.
  • Renewing a loan. The real risk of payday and title loans is that most borrowers renew them at least once. This increases the cost and can make it more difficult to pay off the loan.
  • Predatory lenders. Some predatory short-term lenders target low-income borrowers with misleading terms designed to get them to pay even more fees and interest.
  • Cycle of debt. Even legit short-term loans come with a high risk of getting stuck with a loan you can’t afford to pay off if you renew it more than once.

How does income affect my ability to get a loan?

How much money you have coming in each month and where it comes from can affect your ability to get a loan in a two ways.

  • How much you can borrow. In most states, lenders are required to ask for proof of income when you apply for a loan. Many also consider your monthly debt obligations.
  • If you can qualify. Some lenders only accept income from a full-time job, while others are happy to work with you as long as you have proof of money coming in regularly.

How does proof of income work on welfare?

Typically lenders ask to see the past three months of pay stubs when you apply for a loan. But that doesn’t work when you’re on welfare.

Typically, lenders ask to see bank statements as proof of alternative income. Some might also ask for a letter from the agency stating how much you’re set to receive and when you receive it.

Does being on welfare affect my credit?

Being on welfare doesn’t affect your credit. Credit bureaus are not notified when you apply for welfare, and by law they’re not allowed to include welfare benefits when calculating your credit score.

As with any loan, you’ll have a better chance of receiving one if you have good credit. There are still loan options if you have poor credit, but the terms will not be as favorable — you will receive higher interest rates, for example.

If your credit currently is not where you want it to be, consider rebuilding it with a secured credit card.

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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    HelenMay 30, 2019

    How can i get a loan im on welfare and have no bank account in california

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaMay 31, 2019Staff

      Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      There are some lenders that will consider you for a loan based on your level of income and credit score. The lenders above may see you eligible for a loan if you’re on welfare. You can apply for any lenders listed here by clicking on the Go to site button. This will securely transfer you to the relevant financial institution’s website. There is no fee for applying from this page. Please make sure to meet the eligibility criteria before submitting an application. If you don’t have an actual bank account it would be best to coordinate with the lender directly to check the available options for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  2. Default Gravatar
    WilliamOctober 25, 2018

    Do you have the answers to the question asked at the American embassy?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloOctober 26, 2018

      Hi William,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Unfortunately, one person’s experience when interviewing with the US Consulate will differ from the next person’s. But you can increase your chances of success by preparing thoroughly and anticipating how to satisfy any concerns your interview officer may have about your forms or situation. We have a guide on how to prepare for your US visa interview if you click HERE.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    TeresaJune 18, 2018

    Ok. Im looking for a loan but I’m on welfare plus I do have a job taking care of this lady. Her daughter is who pays me for caring for her and she pays me cash. Do I put her daughter’s name down as employment even though I’m getting paid cash?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJune 19, 2018Staff

      Hi Teresa,

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

      Most lenders would determine your ability to make a repayment. Your welfare and the money you get from taking care of the lady can be considered as an income. If you can come up with the necessary documents proving your eligibility, there’s a higher chance that your loan would be approved.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  4. Default Gravatar
    CheriseSeptember 6, 2017

    Hello i was wondering if i can possibly qualify for a loan i am gonna be receiving welfare in a week or 2 it is still pending, will that affect my chances of being approved?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 8, 2017Staff

      Hi Charisse,

      Thank you for your comment.

      There are some lenders that will consider you for a loan based on your level of income and credit score. The lenders above may see you eligible for a loan if you’re on welfare. You can apply for any lenders listed here by clicking on the Go to site button. This will securely transfer you to the relevant financial institution’s website. There is no fee for applying from this page. Please make sure to meet the eligibility criteria before submitting an application.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  5. Default Gravatar
    AprilJune 2, 2017

    If approved for a loan and you receive welfare but have only that card account how do u receive loan without an actual bank account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldJune 19, 2017Staff

      Hi April,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Typically, You should receive the loan in your bank account within one or two business days. If you don’t have an actual bank account it would be nice to coordinate with the lender directly to check the available options for you.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  6. Default Gravatar
    GladysMay 1, 2017

    I’m on ssi and have bad credit what will be the best loan in my case

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AnndyJune 15, 2017Staff

      Hi Gladys,

      Thanks for your question.

      The lenders on this page may consider you for a loan.

      You may want to get in touch with the lender you are interested in, to discuss your eligibility given that you are on SSI.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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