Loans for the unemployed

Worried you won't meet the employment requirements to borrow? Find out about unemployed loans.

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loans for unemployed

If you’re not employed in the traditional sense and are in need of finance, you may wonder whether a loan provider will consider you. This guide takes you through your options for borrowing while you’re unemployed; what you need to be aware of and how you can apply. You can also see the ins and outs of eligibility criteria for lenders that offer these loans.

⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans

If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the MoneyTalks helpline operated by FinCap on 0800 345 123. It is open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged.

Alternatives to short-term loans

Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:

  • Use online Government resources. The Commerce Commission New Zealand website explains how loans works and what to be aware of when borrowing from a lender.
  • Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
  • Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you. Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
  • Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.

If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support.

Unemployed? These lenders will still consider you

While it’s important to check the eligibility criteria, these lenders accept applications from those who are unemployed.

Short term loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max Loan Amount Loan Interest Loan Term Establishment Fee Monthly Administration Fee
Teensy Cash Loan
$1,000
$1,400
39.95% p.a.
6-12 months
$95
$15
Eligibility: Must be at least 22; in full time employment or receive a full-time benefit; have a minimum income of $500 per week after tax; be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
Teensy Payday Loan
$400
$900
292% p.a.
6-16 weeks
$0
N/A
Eligibility: Must be at least 22; in full time employment or receive a full-time benefit; have a minimum income of $500 per week after tax; be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
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Personal loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Establishment Fee
Pioneer Finance Personal Loan
11.95% - 27.95%
$1,000
$100,000
Up to 7 years
$12
$270 - $780 depending on size and security
Secured personal loans from $1,000 - $100,000. Eligibility: Be 18+ (may need a guarantor); be a NZ citizen, resident or have a relevant work visa; have a regular source of income
Teensy Personal Loan
22.95% - 29.95%
$1,500
$5,000
6-24 months
$15
$195
Eligibility: Must be at least 22; in full time employment or receive a full-time benefit; have a minimum income of $500 per week after tax; be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
Pioneer Finance Debt Consolidation Loan
11.95% - 27.95%
$1,000
$100,000
Up to 7 years
$12
$270 - $780 depending on size and security
Secured debt consolidation loans from $1,000 - $100,000. Eligibility: Be 18+ (may need a guarantor); be a NZ citizen, resident or have a relevant work visa; have a regular source of income
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Can you get a loan if you’re unemployed?

The short answer is yes, but you still need to be earning a form of income or have suitable income-earning assets to repay the loan, which may involve you receiving Work and Income payments, being self-employed or having a regular deposit into your account from shares. However, the number of lenders that will consider you for a loan is limited

Often, lenders require access to your banking history and financial documents to verify you can repay the loan.

Essential things you need to consider before borrowing

  • You need to be able to repay the loan.
    The leading thing lenders consider when you apply is whether you can manage the repayments. If you are only looking to borrow a small amount and your income and expenses show you can easily handle the repayments, then you may be eligible. If you are asking for a significant amount of money, that makes it hard for you to manage day-to-day, the lender will not approve the loan.
  • You need to meet other requirements.
    You may find it difficult to receive approval if you have any other short-term loan contracts open that you currently repay. Also, many lenders won’t consider you for a loan if you’re presently bankrupt or have a Debt Repayment Plan (Summary Instalment Order). You need to check the other eligibility requirements set by the lender before you apply. Although they may be flexible when it comes to employment, they may have different criteria you need to meet.
  • Do you receive Work and Income payments?
    If you receive specific Work and Income allowances, such as the pension, you may be able to use these as income (although this may only be a certain percentage of your income). Make sure you ask the lender if they accept the benefit you receive as an income.

What eligibility requirements do I need to meet for an unemployed loan?

The requirements differ, depending on which lender you look to apply with and how much you wish to borrow. You need to check the specific criteria before you apply, but the following may be relevant:

  • Earning an income. While you may not need to be employed, you still may need to have a regular income to apply, so if you aren’t employed or are employed casually but earn a sufficient income, you still may be eligible.
  • Receiving Work and Income payments. Some lenders accept Work and Income payments as a form of income, but they may have guidelines around this. Make sure you check the specifics before applying.
  • Your credit rating. With flexible employment criteria often comes flexible credit criteria. Therefore, if a lender is willing to look beyond you not having a job, they may see beyond negative marks on your credit file. Bear in mind, though, that this flexibility may have its limits. For example, you may have a default or two, and it is acceptable, but some lenders will not consider you if you are currently bankrupt.
  • Your assets. If you own a car or a boat outright or have equity in a property, your application may have a higher chance of receiving approval, because the lender may use this as security for the loan.

Where can I get a loan if I’m unemployed?

This lender may consider you for a loan if you’re unemployed.

LenderLoan amountEligibility
Teensy$400 to $5000
  • Earn at least $500 a week from a full-time benefit (after tax)
  • Be at least 22 years old
  • A permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand
  • Hold a New Zealand Drivers licence or a valid passport

More about Teensy’s eligibility requirements

Sarah needs a loan

Sarah has been out of work for three months, after completing her degree, and currently receives Work and Income payments. She can get a job as a sales rep but needs a car for them to offer her the role. Sarah has found a cheap car to purchase from a friend for $1,500, so all she needs to do is secure a loan.

Sarah can comfortably repay the full amount using her Work and Income payments, and when she receives pay from her new job, the loan repayments will be even easier to manage. She compares her small, short-term loan options and sees some lenders consider her Work and Income payments as income. After examining what’s available and double-checking the eligibility criteria, Sarah submits an online application and receives approval for the loan amount. Her repayments are structured around her Work an Income payments, and, after purchasing the car, she is offered the job.

Are there any alternative loan options?

There are more than just short-term lenders to consider if you’re in need of finance while unemployed. It’s essential to look at all your options and find the best one for your needs and situation.

  • No Interest Loans scheme (NILs). Provided by Good Shepherd New Zealand, the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILs) offers credit to individuals and families who have lower incomes and hold a Community Services Card. They provide loans of between $300 and $1,500 with loan terms of up to three years and with no fee, charges or interest. For example, if you borrowed $900, you would pay $75 a month for a year or if you wanted to pay back the loan weekly, it would be $17.31. A NILs loan can help people pay for household items, medical and dental services and even educational essentials like computers or tablets. Applicants need to show a strong willingness and ability to repay the loan and to have resided at their current address for over three months.
  • StepUP loan. Another option offered by Good Shepherd New Zealand, this time with a number of partners, including, the Salvation Army, BNZ and the New Zealand government. A loan is available for between $1,500 and $5,000, with an interest rate of 6.99%. For example, if you borrow $2,000 at 6.99%, you will pay $62 a month or $15.50 a week. In total, you will pay back $2,218.05. To be eligible, you need to hold a current Community Services Card, and as with NILS, you need to have been at your current address for more than three months. This loan can be used for household items and medical or dental expenses, as well as to purchase cars, computers or to pay for repairs on your house or car.
  • Joint applications, guarantors and co-signors. If you’re unemployed and in need of a loan, you can consider applying with another person, eg a partner, relative or friend to boost your eligibility. Many lenders offer the option for joint applications so you can access finance. If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria on your own, find out if you can apply with someone who does. Remember, this is a significant responsibility a guarantor or co-signer is taking on, as they are sharing the responsibility for you repaying the loan.
  • Buy now, pay later providers. If you don’t currently have the entire amount to make an essential purchase, but know you can manage smaller weekly or fortnightly payments, you could consider a ‘buy now, pay later’ company, eg Afterpay or Oxipay. With this service, you can buy and obtain the goods immediately but make payments in instalments. However, although these providers do not charge interest, they charge late payment fees and you may pay other charges, like administration and payment processing.

Work and Income may also be able to help if you are in need of monetary assistance. It can offer the following:

  • Advance payment of benefit. If you receive a benefit from Work and Income, they may provide you with an advance if there’s an emergency or you find there are essentials you can’t pay for. For example, this could be for, appliances and furniture, dental treatment or bonds and rent. However, it is dependent on your benefit amount and on the assets or money you and a partner have. Please see the Work and Income website for more information
  • Urgent or unexpected costs. This payment may even be available if you are employed. It can help if you are struggling to meet your daily costs of living, eg, food, home repairs, costs related to bereavement. The assistance you receive depends on whether you receive a benefit or not.
  • Emergency Benefit. If you are unable to support yourself, and either don’t receive or qualify for another benefit, you might qualify for Emergency benefit. To apply, you need to call Work and Income on 0800 559 009.

There are other additional payments available from Work and Income, for example, Emergency Maintenance Allowance (for sole parents) or Temporary Additional Support. These benefits can be dependent on other income, so check out the Work and Income website or phone 0800 559 009 to see if you qualify.

You don’t reach the end of the finance road when you are unemployed. If you can manage the repayments there are lenders who will consider you and loan options available. Remember to compare all the options open to you, to secure the best one for your needs.

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34 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JocelynJune 22, 2019

    How can i apply loan and how many day i repay

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaJune 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Jocelyn,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Your eligibility for a loan would depend on the lender’s requirements and discretion. And just a friendly note that most of the lenders that consider unemployed applicants will still look at your capacity to repay a loan. So you may be presenting them a proof of your income, bank statements, and a good credit score. You may refer to the “Where can I get a loan if I’m unemployed?” topic written above to see the list of lenders that offer loan to unemployed. Your terms of repayment will depend on your chosen lender.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  2. Default Gravatar
    BillyjeanMarch 3, 2019

    I like loans of $150.00. How do I get that?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Billyjean,

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

      If you are unemployed, you can read the tips mentioned above. Once you have reviewed our guide, you can then use our table above to compare your options based on loan amount and eligibility. Click on your chosen lender to initiate your loan application or to know more information.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    JeanetteFebruary 18, 2019

    I work part-time my bankruptcy finishes on October 19, 2019. I need to borrow $200.00 for car repairs. I will be picking up more hours in March. Can someone help me, please?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 19, 2019Staff

      Hi Jeanette,

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

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Jeanette. Regarding your question, since you have a job and you are going to borrow a small amount of money, you might want to go to this page.

      On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare a range of small personal loans you could apply for. You can compare based on maximum loan amount, loan term, and turnaround time, to name a few. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

      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
    TerriFebruary 11, 2019

    I have bad credit, am a beneficiary, with no photo ID. I was just wondering if anyone would give me an unsecured personal loan of up to $3000 that I would be able to pay off at no more than $50 per week.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Terri,

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

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. If you need a personal loan and have bad credit, you may want to consider going to this page. On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare loans you may qualify for with bad credit. You can compare based on loan term, loan interest, and turnaround time, to name a few. Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

      Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  5. Default Gravatar
    RobertFebruary 9, 2019

    I need a $5000 loan and have really bad credit. Who can I try?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Robert,

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

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Please go to this page, Robert. On that page, you will see a table that allows you to conveniently compare lenders who might be able to help you. You can compare based on loan term, loan interest, and turnaround time, to name a few Once you found the right one for you, click on the “Go to site” green button to learn more or initiate your application.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  6. Default Gravatar
    EnzedFebruary 9, 2019

    I start a new job next week and desperately need to pay my overdue rent. Would I be eligible for a loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 17, 2019Staff

      Hi Enzed,

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

      Yes, you can still be eligible for a loan, but you would need to be earning a form of income or should have an asset that earns you an income. For this reason, it would be a good idea to review the eligibility requirements, PDS, and terms and conditions of a loan product to ensure that it suits your needs.

      If you think you are eligible for a loan, please check the table above which lists some of your options. Read about the loan amount they lend and their requirements to obtain an overview of what they have to offer.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  7. Default Gravatar
    WaiJanuary 24, 2019

    Who can I get a loan from with income only 266?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJanuary 29, 2019Staff

      Hello Wai,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can be approved for a loan if you meet all the eligibility criteria and requirements set out by the lender. Since you only have a low income, we have gathered the lenders that may consider low-income people for a loan. You may refer to this page. Please read the guide and get tips on how to apply for the loan. Base on the page, Ferratum offers a loan and does not require a minimum income requirement. You may contact Ferratum and see your eligibility.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  8. Default Gravatar
    LungileJanuary 11, 2019

    I like to apply for a loan of 2000 but I am unemployed but I do have another source of income do I have a chance?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Lungile,

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

      Yes, there’s still a chance for you to get a loan. Upon checking, I could see you’re on the right page. As long as you have another stable source of income, lenders might be able to consider your application.

      As of now, we currently don’t have a list of specific lenders who might help you. However, you can do a quick Internet search, ask a friend, or explore your local area to find these lenders.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  9. Default Gravatar
    ArianaDecember 18, 2018

    Hi I need a cash loan of $2000 to purchase a car I am unemployed and on a benefit. Do you know any loan companies that will lend to an unemployed person with no job?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Ariana,

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

      You can still be eligible for a personal loan as long as you meet the eligibility requirements of the lender. These requirements are found above, under the subheading, “What eligibility requirements do I need to meet for an unemployed loan?” if you believe you meet these requirements, then you can try to apply. You can start your search by surfing the Internet or ask a friend if they can refer you to a lender.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  10. Default Gravatar
    YogitaDecember 10, 2018

    I need a loan for $3000 to apply for my work visa once I have a work visa and will start to work I will pay back the loan. Is that possible?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Yogita,

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

      Yes, it is possible, but you still need to be earning a form of income or you should have a stable income-earning asset. Please be aware since you are unemployed, there are other requirements that you should meet first. For this reason, please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision. Moreover, check the eligibility requirements as well and consider whether the product is right for you.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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