Loans for Unemployed

At Savvy, we believe there shouldn’t be barriers to borrowing simply because you’re unemployed – here’s how we can help.

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on September 12th, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

$2100
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$500
$50,000


Paid in 60 mins if approved*
Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on September 12th, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Being between jobs doesn’t mean your finances stop. The everyday brings unexpected events and expenses, and life doesn’t play by your cash flow. It’s essential you’re able to access emergency funds when the unplanned occurs, so what options do you have? In this guide to loans for unemployed people, we’ll talk you through what’s available.

Can I borrow from the government when I’m out of work?

Centrelink offers a cash advance between $250 and $500 to people on JobSeeker in certain circumstances. Your eligibility gets assessed based on a few different factors:

  • You’ll need to have been receiving JobSeeker for at least three months
  • You can only apply for a cash advance once in any twelve-month period

You won’t qualify for a JobSeeker cash advance if:

  • You are still repaying an advance received more than a year ago
  • You are in debt to any Australian government department
  • You are unable to repay the advance within six months
  • You are outside Australia when you apply

If you’ve been on Centrelink payments for a while and you find a job, Centrelink also offer the Special Employment Advance. This option provides sums between $50 and $500. It’s intended to help people when their Centrelink payments reduce due to gaining employment. If you get a job for a minimum six-week duration and your income support drops by at least 50%, you can apply. You can also apply for the Special Employment Advance when you find a job, but you can’t afford to buy an item you’ll need to start work. With any Centrelink advance, your regular benefit payments will reduce while you pay back the loan.

Some non-profit organisations offer low or no-interest loans to people receiving Centrelink payments. You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria, which will differ from lender to lender, in order to apply.

Are personal loans available for the unemployed?

When you’re out of work, it can be frustrating. The fact of the matter is, however, that there’s a higher turnover of jobs and employees these days. Employment culture has changed. More of us work on temporary contracts. Many of us likely will find ourselves between jobs at one time or another. Whether your income is in the form of a paycheque or benefits, at times, you’ll need to access loan products.

Many providers offer personal loans for unemployed people. You can apply for sums between $2,050 and $5,000 online, with repayment periods ranging from 16 days to 24 months. Responsible lending guidelines assess your ability to repay – not so much your employment status. That makes smaller personal loans a fast, convenient option when you’re out of work. You will need to prove some form of regular income – which can be Centrelink payments. You’ll also have to be an Australian resident or citizen, at least 18-years of age.

How can I make sure I don’t over-borrow?

When it comes to deciding on a loan amount, it’s essential not to over-borrow. No matter how good a product, every loan costs money. While it often makes sense to spread costs and take on some debt, it pays not to take on too much. Before you apply for any loan, it’s a great idea to sit down and work everything out on paper. Figure out how your loan payments will fit around your regular monthly expenses. Take your day-to-day living and bills during the repayment period into account. Make sure to allow for the change in your cash flow while you pay your loan back.

It’s also important not to under-borrow – it’s not helpful to take out too many loans in any set period. Every time you apply for a loan, lenders check your credit report and leave a visible impression. Loan providers don’t like to see excessive impressions. Responsible lenders also won’t approve too many loans all at once. The best way to avoid the problems connected with too many applications is to plan ahead. While you just can’t predict every expense and purchase, you can cover as many bases as possible. For instance, if you need to repair your car right now, might you have additional cash flow issues in a month or two? If so, borrow enough to cover both. That’s going to save you taking out two loans instead of one.

Fee caps on personal loans below $5,000 mean costs are easy to calculate. You’ll pay a maximum of $400 in set up fees. Then you’ll be charged a maximum of 48% per year in monthly fees. In addition to fee caps, a ‘debt spiral cap’ also protects consumers against excessive default and late payment fees.

Will my lender want to know what the loan is for?

Eligibility for Centrelink cash advances is based on strict criteria. For example, to qualify for the Special Employment advance, you’ll need to prove one of two things. If you’re experiencing real hardship because you’ve started a job, you may be approved. You might also receive funds if you can demonstrate you need equipment or clothing to start your new career.

Some cash loan providers will ask you how you intend to use loan funds, and others will not. Unsecured loans between $2,050 and $5,000 can be used for almost any purpose. All responsible lenders, however, will ensure you won’t be struggling to repay. They’ll also check to make sure you’re not using a loan to cover regular day-to-day expenses. That’s because today’s small loans come with many safeguards for consumers. Good lenders make sure that a loan is affordable before they approve your application.

How do I apply?

You can apply for a Centrelink cash advance via its online portal – however, you’ll need to link your MyGov account to do so. You can also apply for this payment by visiting your local Centrelink office.

Loans for unemployed applicants are incredibly accessible. Most lenders are based online, and the application process is quick and convenient. You’ll need to prove your ID, upload proof of address, and bank statements covering the previous 90 days. Once you’ve filled out the online application form, most decisions are made within hours or minutes. When your application is approved, you’ll often receive your funds the same day. Physical bank statements are not needed to apply for a personal loan.

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Disclaimer:

The information on this website is of general nature and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.

For loans between $2,050 and $5,000, the APR is between 21.24% (minimum) and 48% (maximum) per annum. Comparison rate of 65.4962%. Minimum term is 16 days and maximum term is 24 months. The cost of the loan is a $400 establishment fee and monthly interest charged on the amount borrowed. For example, a loan of $3,000 over 3 months with an APR of 48%, (comparison rate of 65.4962%), will have an establishment fee of $400, monthly repayments of $1,225.20. Total repayments of $3,675.60 and total interest payment of $275.60.

Warning: A comparison rate indicates the true cost of a loan. Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.