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Key takeaways

  • You can get a loan without a job. Possibilities include demonstrating alternative income sources, leveraging assets as collateral, or using cash advances.
  • A strong credit history, adding a co-signer, or asking for a lower amount can enhance your loan application and approval odds, even in the absence of a job.
  • Explore non-traditional lenders who have more lenient requirements. Pawnshops, online lenders, and credit unions all offer more flexible loan options.

Get a loan without a job right now with our help. If you’re unemployed and need funds to cover an emergency expense it can be hard to qualify for a personal loan. Most lenders want proof of income to ensure that you can pay them back. But not all.

There are personal loans that don’t require a traditional job.

Let’s dive into how to get a loan without a job so you know what options you have and potential alternatives so you can get the money you need.

What Are Personal Loans With No Income Verification?

When you need to get a loan with no job your options are limited, but you’re not cut off entirely. There are four main ways to secure funding without employment verification.

loan application

Secured Loans

Secured loans are another viable option but these require collateral. You will have to put up an asset like a vehicle, property, or savings account to be approved for the loan. If you don’t keep up with payments, the lender can sell the collateral. Lenders are more likely to approve a secured loan if you’re unemployed since it significantly reduces their risk. The downside? If you fail to make payments, you risk losing your asset.

Pawnshop Loans

Pawnshop loans are another way to quickly get cash without an employment verification. Simply bring an item of value that you can live without to a pawnshop, and you could leave with cash equivalent to the item’s worth. If the loan is not repaid in time, the pawnshop will sell your property to recoup their loss.

Pawnshops are highly regulated. Some states set caps on the loan amount and/or the interest rate. Check with your state since if there’s no cap the interest payments on pawnshop loans could be very expensive.

Cash Advance

A credit card cash advance can give you access to immediate funds without any application at all. Instead, you use your credit card at an ATM (or go to the bank) and withdraw cash as you would with a debit card. It’s fast and easy but expensive. Credit card cash advances come with steep fees and do not have grace periods like regular credit card purchases do. You are charged interest at a higher rate from the moment you withdraw the money. Be careful with cash advances since they can lead to a cycle of debt if not managed carefully.

Family and Friends Loans

The least expensive personal loan option is borrowing money from family and friends. They most likely will not charge interest or fees. If it’s available to you, it can be the best route to take. Get a loan agreement in writing that lays out when and how the money will be repaid to avoid hard feelings.

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How Lenders Determine If You Qualify for a Loan

Lenders typically consider several key factors to assess your financial health and determine if you qualify for a personal loan. Here’s a breakdown of these factors.

Credit Score

Your credit history is the main way lenders assess how likely you are to repay an unsecured loan. The higher your score, the better chance you have of being approved with a low interest rate and flexible repayment schedule. The best rates are given to borrowers with scores of 670 or higher.

You can still secure funding if you don’t have the best credit. Many lenders specialize in loans for borrowers with low credit scores, but you will be charged a higher interest rate and additional fees.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is another critical factor for lenders. It represents the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying debts. Lenders calculate your DTI by dividing your monthly minimum debt payments by your gross monthly income and multiplying that by 100. For instance, if you pay $400 a month towards debts and earn $2,000 before taxes, your DTI is 20%. That’s good. Most lenders want a DTI below 35%, the lower the better. A low DTI ratio indicates that you have a good balance between debt and income, making you an attractive candidate.

More about debt.

Payment History

Your payment history indicates how likely you are to repay the loan. The fewer missed or late payments on your credit report, the better your chance of qualifying. Late payments, defaults, and bankruptcies are red flags marking you as an unreliable borrower.


Income is certainly a factor that lenders consider. Some lenders have stated minimum income requirements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a traditional job. The key here is that money is coming in and you will be able to pay them back. Alternative sources of income include alimony, child support, or government benefits. Lender’s income requirements vary, but in general, you can get a personal loan without a job if you have alternative sources.

Checking Online Lenders

A lot of personal loan lenders have moved online. Check online platforms as many offer more flexible lending criteria compared to traditional banks, making them a viable option when you need money desperately, but have no job.

Always try to prequalify before you apply. Prequalifying will let you compare loan amounts, rates, fees, and repayment schedules without hurting your credit score. This way you can be sure to get the best deal possible.

Be careful with the lenders you choose. There are less than reputable lenders online that will offer funding without proof of income but charge very high APRs and additional fees. These are considered predatory loans (like a payday loan.) Avoid these at all costs as they can easily land you in a cycle of debt.

Risks When Taking Out a Personal Loan While Unemployed

Getting a loan without a job can provide temporary financial relief, but it also carries risks that should be carefully considered.

Increased Financial Burden: You have cash in hand but the monthly payments can be a significant stressor without a steady income.

Missed Payments: If you remain unemployed, you are likely to miss payments. Late or missed payments come with fees and leave negative marks on your credit report, making it harder to secure a loan in the future.

Loss of Collateral: For secured loans, you risk losing your collateral (home, vehicle, savings account). If you default, the lender has the right to seize the asset, leaving you in a potentially worse situation than before.

High Costs: The personal loans you’ll be offered when you’re unemployed will come with high APRs and additional fees making them very expensive. Payday loans and auto title loans both come with APRs in the triple digits.

What To Do If You’re Not Approved

If your loan application is denied, don’t lose hope. There are steps you can take to improve your chances in the future.

Firstly, review your credit reports from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to identify any inaccuracies or areas for improvement. Correcting errors on your credit reports can boost your score. Next, consider raising your score further through Brigit’s credit builder loan or Current’s Build Card. The higher your score, the better your chances of getting a loan.

Talk to the lender to find out how you might qualify in the future. Lenders are obligated to tell you why they denied your loan application. Take this information and work to improve your odds next time around. It could be you need to raise your credit score or maybe try applying for a smaller amount.

Consider seeking advice from a financial counselor. Non-profit credit counseling organizations can offer guidance on managing debt, budgeting, and improving your financial health, setting you on a path to eventually secure loans under better terms.

Additional Finance Help For The Unemployed

When you need money today but do not have a job the pressure can feel overwhelming and it can be tempting to borrow. However, there are many nonprofits, charities, and government assistance programs to help unemployed and low-income people out in tough times. These resources include food assistance, utility bill subsidies, and emergency grants.

TrueConnect is a mobile network operator that provides premium low-cost wireless services to low-income Americans. Eligible customers can even get a free phone.

A few favorite loan and grant providers are:

Patient Access Network is a nonprofit organization that helps uninsured Americans pay for medical expenses and hospital bills. They have provided millions of dollars in financial assistance to low-income individuals.

Hebrew Free Loan Society provides interest-free loans to individuals in the local Jewish community for different reasons, such as education, healthcare, small business development, and emergencies.

Modest Needs is a nonprofit organization that provides small emergency grants to low-income individuals. Grants can be used to cover various needs including emergency expenses, medical care, or legal fees.

Call 2-1-1 (a free resource) to find more organizations and programs in your area. 211 connects you with trained professionals who can help you find the appropriate agency.

Other Ways To Qualify For a Personal Loan While Unemployed

There are other ways to qualify for a loan when you lack traditional employment income. Take a look and see if any of these strategies apply to you.

Document your income

Understanding how to get a loan with bad credit and no job begins with recognizing the importance of alternative income sources to reassure lenders.

Alternative income sources include:

Social Security

Unemployment benefits

Disability benefits

Alimony or child support

Spousal income

Pension or retirement income

Recurring interest or dividends from savings or stocks

Foster care and adoption subsidies

Pending job offer

Rental income

Royalties from music, books, or movies

Compile a list of all your income streams to show that you can afford to make monthly payments. You may have to provide proof of payments or show that the income will continue. If you include your spouse’s income, you may have to list them as a co-borrower, and not all lenders accept co-borrowers.

Lenders are primarily concerned with your ability to repay the loan, so showing that you have regular income coming in from other sources can be persuasive.

Find a Co-signer

If you’re exploring how to get approved for a loan with no job, consider asking someone with a steady job and a good credit score to be a co-signer. A co-signer is obliged to repay the loan if you are unable to make payments so this is a big favor to ask.

A co-signer can significantly increase your chances of approval as the lender has assurance that the loan will be repaid on time. It’s important to have a clear agreement with your co-signer regarding the repayment plan to avoid any strain on your relationship.

Credit Union Emergency Loans

Credit unions may be able to help you get a loan without a job. A lot offer emergency loans for low-income borrowers and have more lenient requirements. Join your local credit union and see if they can help.

Apply for Lower Amounts

Applying for a smaller loan amount can improve your chances of approval. Lenders are more likely to approve a lower amount since it’s less risky.

Frequently Asked Questions

A personal loan that does not require proof of income is usually a secured loan. Certain online lending platforms and some credit unions offer unsecured loans based on alternative criteria, such as your credit history, assets, or a co-signer’s financial stability.

Learning how to get a loan without a job involves understanding which loans don’t require proof of employment and what qualifies as income. Lenders typically want to know that you can repay the loan. You can prove this by including other income sources or by adding a co-signer with a stable income. You can also look into secured loans or pawnshop loans as these lenders are less interested in how much you make.

Yes, there are unemployment benefits for people who have been let go from their jobs through no fault of their own. Each state sets its own eligibility guidelines, but generally, you must be unemployed due to a lack of available work and meet work and wage requirements. You get paid a percentage of your former salary for approximately 26 weeks. Apply for unemployment right away so you can get the assistance you need.

Bottom Line

There are ways to get a personal loan even if you do not have a job. Explore alternative income sources, leverage a good credit score, or find lenders that prioritize other criteria. Options do exist.

While you can get a personal loan with no job it is not advisable. It’s best to avoid taking on debt when you’re unemployed. Look into government assistance and community support. There may be alternative funding to help you out.

If you’re in a tight spot financially and nothing else is working, then a personal loan might be the right choice. Talk to a certified credit counselor to see if it’s a good idea. They may be able to offer you more options. Before you sign a loan agreement, understand the total cost and have an idea of how you’ll repay it.

About the author

Rachel Alulis

Rachel Alulis has been the lead editor for Moneyfor’s credit cards team since 2015 and for the financial rewards team since 2023. Before joining Moneyfor, Rachel worked at USA Today and the Des Moines Register. She then established a successful freelance writing and editing business specializing in personal finance. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA.