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 6 picks for unemployed borrowers
These six loans for unemployed borrowers could be a match if you need cash quickly.
For full banking services: MoneyLion
MoneyLion Instacash advances
With MoneyLion, you can borrow $50 at a time, for a total of up to $500 at once. There are no set income requirements to qualify. You only need a checking account that's at least 60 days old and some type of income or recurring deposits.
You'll pay a membership fee of $19.99 a month, plus a “turbo” rush fee of $0.99 to $7.99 to get funded in minutes. That said, MoneyLion also has checking accounts, credit builder loans, and other financial services that could help justify the cost.
- Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
For small advances: FloatMe
FloatMe is an unemployment cash advance app that will “float” you up to $50 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 $1.99 monthly fee with the option to expedite turnaround within eight hours for a $4 rush fee.
|Loan amount||$10 - $50|
|Turnaround time||Within 2 hours using debit card; 1 to 3 business days normally|
For an alternative overdraft feature: Chime SpotMe
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.
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 help managing spending: Vola Finance
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 $2.99 to $28.99 a month, according to its site. But the company doesn't clearly disclose a fee structure before you sign up.
|Loan amount||Up to $300|
|Turnaround time||As soon as same business day|
For starting a new job: SoFi
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. These loans also come with unemployment protection, which can help give you some breathing room when you’re strapped for cash.
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.
|Min. credit score||680|
|APR||8.99% to 25.81%|
|Loan amount||$5,000 to $100,000|
For a one-time expense: SoLo funds
SoLo Funds payday loan alternative
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
|Loan amount||$50 - $575|
|Turnaround time||As soon as the same day|
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.
- Personal loans. Options are limited for unemployed borrowers, but some lenders will 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.
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.