by Aidan Kang, CFA
Senior Writer
UPDATED: October 13, 2022

You need cash… fast! The problem is, you’re not employed at the moment so getting that end-of-the-week paycheck is not in the equation. What are you going to do? Where are you going to pull out that cash right now? 

Well, you’re not alone. You’re just one of the 33 million Americans who are unemployed in the first quarter of 2020. Yes, you heard that right…33 million! The number of jobless people in the U.S. is  more than the population of Australia and about three times more than the number of people living in Greece. From a 3.6% rate in January 2020, the U.S. was at a  14.7% unemployment rate in April, worse than the Great Depression. 

One of the first things that usually come to mind when you’re in this situation is to check where you can get an emergency loan. This article is going to help you find different options on how to get a loan with no job as well as how to get alternative sources of funding. 

Online Lenders That Will Loan to People Without a Job

Emergency loans for unemployed people can be challenging to find. If you need to get some cash immediately, check out the list of lenders below that could offer you loans even if you don’t have a job. You can get loans from these lenders online even without leaving your house! 

It is important to note, however, that you still need to show a proof of income as a guarantee that you can repay what you’re borrowing. Most lenders also need you to have an active bank account. 


Even if you don’t have a job or have a bad credit history, you could still qualify for a loan with CashUSA as long as you can show at least $1,000 dollars of monthly income from other sources. This does not need to be an employment paycheck.  The platform will match you with its lender network and it claims that you can get a loan decision in minutes. 

Loan amounts can be from  $500 to $10,000 and can be repaid in installments from 3 to 72 months at 5.99% to 35.99% interest rates. You can also and use the money for any purpose you like.


If you’re looking for a larger loan amount of up to $35,000 dollars then check out this platform. offers loans to unemployed people, you would, however, need to show at least a minimum gross income of $2,000 from other sources. 

The platform also connects you to its large lender network and it’s available in all 50 states. Similar to CashUSA, all credit types are accepted, installments can be from 3 to 72 months and interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99%. It claims fast approval and funding which can be as soon as 1 business day. 


Check ‘n Go payday loans range from $100 to $1,500 while installment loans, on the other hand, range from $200 to $3,000. The application process to get a loan from Check ‘n Go can be done in a matter of minutes and bad credit is not an issue as long as you can show you have the capability to repay the money you’re borrowing. 

It is not available in every state, and the interest is super high especially if you’re getting a payday loan. If you’re in a rush, Check ‘n Go claims it is possible to get the money on the next business day. 

4. LendUp 

LendUp is a good option if you just need a small amount of cash as you can only borrow up to $255 if you’re borrowing for the first time. Maybe you need to repair your car’s windshield or cover a home maintenance issue within the next couple of days? LendUp could be a very quick option. The service is available 24/7 and you can even use your smartphone to process the application and get instant decisions. 

LendUp’s fees are quite high but on its homepage, there is a calculator to immediately see how much your fees are going to be. They also indicated in their website that they welcome unemployed people as long as they can show other sources of income. The downside is that it is only available in seven states. 

But How Can You Show Proof of Income if You Don’t Have a Job? 

Let’s face it. Lenders often prioritize people who are employed. It’s more challenging to get a loan approval if you don’t have a job because you need to prove that you have the ability to repay back the money you will owe. 

The good news is that online lenders consider all other sources of income aside from employment. Other sources of income that could be considered include: 

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Rental payments 
  • Disability benefits 
  • Social Security benefit payments 
  • Regular proceeds from a trust 
  • Dividend payments from investments 
  • Veterans benefits 
  • Public assistance 
  • Retirement benefits / Pension 
  • Government annuity payments 
  • Proof of income from gig jobs or freelance work 

What are Online Personal Loans? Are They Legit? 

With everything online nowadays, it should not be a surprise that you can get a loan just by going online, without even leaving the comforts of your own home. Online personal loans offer a fast and convenient way for people who need quick cash and at the same time, give you the option to pay in monthly installments. 

Because many companies are offering this service, you don’t even have to wait several days because believe it or not, some lending companies promise approval within minutes, same-day, or within the next business day. Some companies don’t even need documentation or paperwork. However, you have to be wary of companies with offers that are just too good to be true. In the end, you might end up paying very high interest. 

In addition to being fast and easy, many online lending companies do not discriminate against people with bad credit. This makes them more attractive to people who usually get turned down by banks and credit unions. As long as you can prove that you can repay the money you’re borrowing, then you can get approval. 

I Need Money Today But I’m Unemployed. Can I Get a Payday Loan? 

Do you know that 40% of Americans cannot cover an emergency of $400? Many people in the United States are living paycheck to paycheck so even a small amount can put someone in a tight spot. This is often the most common reason why people go for short-term payday loans in lower amounts. 

Payday loans are available online and in physical money stores. Unlike loans that you pay in installment, payday loans are short-term loans that you need to pay immediately once you get your next paycheck. Payday loans are often smaller amounts that range from $100 to $1,000. 

Just like online personal loan lenders, most payday loan providers consider other sources of income as proof that you can repay the amount. For example, if you’re expecting money in the next week but you need it this week, a payday loan could be an easy way out of your cash dilemma. 

According to financial experts, payday loans should be the last resort if you need quick cash because of the high interest rates and you need to repay them quickly.  For every $100 borrowed, you typically pay a fee of $10 to $30. The interest rates for payday loans are expressed using APRs or Annual Percentage Rate. With these fees, the APR usually ranges from 300% to 500%. 

The sad truth, however, is that if you have bad or no credit history and you’re unemployed, an online payday loan with extremely high interest might be the easiest option. This is the case for at least 12 million Americans who depend on payday loans. 

Will Banks Lend Me Money if I’m Unemployed? 

Many years back, the only option to get a personal loan is through a bank. Banks can offer people larger loan amounts with competitive rates. 

However, here’s the catch: 

You have to have an excellent credit score and an impeccable relationship with the bank to be considered for an approval. 

So, unless your credit score is near perfect or you can prove other sources of revenue (like maybe an incoming inheritance or sale of a property) or you’ve been a loyal bank customer for years, then the chances are pretty slim. 

Banks also typically take several days or even weeks to process your application so this option might not really work if you’re looking to get emergency cash immediately. 

What is a Credit Union? Can I Get a Loan from a Credit Union Without a Job?

Credit unions are financial institutions that are just like banks but they are non-profit. They also offer personal loans to members and even if you are a new member, you can immediately avail of one of their loans.

Credit unions offer low interest rates and installment plans, which can be helpful so you won’t go into a downward debt spiral. People with bad credit history are not immediately disqualified. 

However, just like banks, it might be more difficult to get approval from credit unions if you are unemployed. It can also take several days depending on the credit union you are with. 

How to Get Your Loan Approved if You’re Unemployed? 

Even if you don’t have a job, many online lending companies will approve your loans as long as you meet the minimum requirements. While the requirements vary, common things required by online lending companies  are: 

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen 
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have an active bank account 
  • Can show proof of income (if unemployed, other sources are accepted) 

You can also increase the chances of getting your loan approved by: 

1. Asking Someone to Cosign a Loan With You.

A cosigner is someone who will sign the loan with you and guarantee repayment in case you default on the loan. If you have a cosigner with a steady job and source of income, you instantly increase your chance of getting approved. 

2. Put Up a Collateral. 

A Collateral is another form of guarantee that you offer to the lender in order to get approval.  If you own a house, this can serve as your collateral and you may be able to qualify for a HELOC or Home Equity Line of Credit. Other properties that can be used as collateral are cars, savings accounts, stocks, and other valuable assets. You should be cautious about putting collateral because you risk losing your property in case you’re not able to pay. 

Explore Your Options Before Getting a Loan 

Many people who are jobless and who need money right away still look for emergency loans because they think that this is their only option. 

The reality is this: 

There are other options aside from a loan depending on what you need the money for. 

Alternatives to Getting a Loan

Before we discuss different loans for unemployed people, the first thing you need to do is to exhaust these following options. 

1. Apply for Unemployment Benefits 

If you recently lost your job, the first thing you need to do is to apply for unemployment benefits. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new federal law has expanded the coverage of unemployment benefits, which means that workers who were not previously covered may now be eligible to claim benefits. 

You may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits if any of the following conditions are true:

  • If you were temporarily or permanently laid off due to coronavirus measures
  • If your work hours were reduced due to coronavirus measures 
  • If you’re self-employed and have lost income due to coronavirus measures 
  • If you’re quarantined and can’t work due to coronavirus measures 
  • If you’re not able to work because of a risk of exposure to coronavirus 
  • If you can’t work because you’re caring for a family member with coronavirus

Why Apply for Unemployment Benefits Now?

People who get this benefit usually receive half of their weekly salaries. The amount ranges from $200 to $400 depending on where you live and the number of your dependents but the new law is adding an additional $600 per week on top of this amount until July 31, 2020. 

This amount may just be what you need to get you through a difficult time. Plus, having unemployment benefits can help you in applying for emergency loans down the line.

 How? We’ll explain that further later on. 

You can apply for unemployment benefits by going to your selecting your state in the Unemployment Benefits Finder and following the detailed instructions. 

2. Reach Out to Financial Institutions, Debt Providers, and Utility Companies 

If you need the money to pay your bills like your electricity bills, student loans, mortgage, or credit card, contact your creditors  to check whether they can help you with your payments. 

Because of the pandemic, many banks are offering relief to their customers impacted by the crisis. This means you can be allowed to skip payments without getting expensive penalties. 

For energy bills, you can contact your utility company and check with them regarding available government bill assistance programs that can help you out right now. 

3. Check Community Programs for Food Assistance

Sometimes, you need the money for the most basic of necessities like putting food on the table. If you don’t have friends and family to borrow money from, you can turn to community programs. 

Don’t be reluctant to take advantage of the food assistance programs provided by the government. There are also several non-profit organizations, charities, and religious sectors offering food programs to those in need. 

4. Sell Your Stuff or Pawn Them

This is the time to get through all your belongings and check what you can sell for quick cash. These times, you can sell almost anything online like used clothes, books, electronics, furniture, collectibles, and many more. Popular sites to use for selling are Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Etsy.  If your only belongings of value are dear to you like heirlooms or antiques, you can opt for pawning these items so you can have the option of getting them back. 

5. Apply for a Gig Job 

If you’re only short of a small amount like, say below $500, consider getting a gig job. A gig job is a temporary job that you can get hired for.

Some options include delivery workers, maintenance workers, virtual assistants, online tutors, and more. Having a gig job does not disqualify you from unemployment benefits. 

The Bottomline 

Getting an emergency loan with no job is not easy but it’s not impossible. The availability of many online options can help you get through these through difficult times. Before getting a loan, make sure to explore different options and only get a loan for the amount you need.