It can be hard to obtain a loan if you are unemployed because many creditors want applicants to be employed and to have a good credit history. However, unemployed workers may still be able to acquire a loan though the criteria to qualify can be challenging and the interest rate may be high.
There are several different types of loans that can be attained as if you were employed, as long as you have some kind of regular income such as unemployment, disability or alimony payments. Unemployment does count as income with some lenders.
Loan Options for Unemployed Workers
Some of the cheapest and fastest ways to find quick cash include using credit cards to get a cash advance, or asking friends or family for loans. Other options include:
Borrowing Against your Home or Life Insurance
- A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a type of loan that resembles having a credit card with a revolving balance. If you have a decent amount of equity in real estate, and some form of income (unemployment, alimony, etc) this could be an option.
- Contacting your life insurance company regarding your policy may produce a small sum of money. Talk to your local bank or credit union for advice.
- Once the loan is repaid, the credit will re-up itself for the next time you need it.
- These loans are usually stretched for a long time and are quite flexible as borrowers can schedule installments for 5 - 25 years.
Loan With a Co-Signers
If possible, a friend or family member with better credit may be willing to co-sign a loan, giving you a better chance of securing a loan and a potentially larger loan. You will still need to prove a source of income, and would benefit from a signed document to assure the lender that a co-signer is available.
Many credit cards offer cash advances. It's a quick way to get cash, but be aware that the interest rate is usually high.
Car Title Loans
If your car is already paid for, or has enough down on it so that it's worth more than you owe, a car title loan is an option for quick cash. This is a discreet change-of-hands accounting where the car title loan company holds the title until the loan on the car is repaid. Like many of the other options, car title loan companies require regular income, but most will accept any checks as proof. Many applications are available online and then ask for you to bring in the car to be inspected in person, and some can even do it all at once. It's free to apply, but there is a fee on top of interest if you accept the loan. The rates are high but not as high as payday loans, and the terms of the loan usually last longer.
Debt Consolidation Loans
Debt consolidation loans are a way to reduce monthly payments and pay off debt more easily, especially when there is no incoming cash. Research debt management firms to find out about loans for the unemployed. With a debt consolidation loan, you may be able to avoid creditors, get lower interest rates, and end late fees.
Loans for Retraining
The US government offers some loans for the unemployed so that they may be retained with new work skills.
Pawnbrokers are another loan source for the unemployed. They are different than title loan companies because you do not have to give up the item until you pay the loan back. If you have no income whatsoever, this may be the best option for you. Whatever you choose to bring in will be appraised, usually for a lot less than it's really worth. They will offer you a loan for half of it, give or take, depending on individual pawn shops. If you do not pay back the loan plus interest, or seek continuation of that loan, they will keep the item to pay it off. Your credit will not be affected if you have to default on the loan.
Short-term Installment / Payday Loans
Many payday loan locations will accept proof of unemployment, disability or alimony (or other source of regular income) instead of paychecks. They are only concerned with proof of some sort of money going into an account in preparation for the day loan payment is due. Payday loans are short term and are expensive, but are an option when money is tight and needed immediately.
Some lenders will offer loans to the unemployed without a lot of documentation or proof of regular income if you can put a substantial amount of money down (25% or more). Talk to various lenders (public and private) about using current sums as a payment for a potential loan.