emergency loans with no job

Financial emergencies are a fact of life for many Americans. And if you don’t currently have a job, it makes it much more difficult when an emergency arises. The unfortunate fact is that many affordable and safe loans will require recurring income

Many people who are in the midst of an emergency may not know where to turn. Emergency medical bills, vehicle or home repairs, or even unexpected children’s school costs can entirely ruin a well-planned budget. When these costs arise, many Americans turn to emergency loans and other quick cash loan options. But is that a safe choice?

Not only are there risky loans out there, but they may be the only option for borrowers that are currently unemployed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.2 million Americans are without a job.1 So, what does an unemployed borrower do in times of need? Well, there are emergency loans out there to help, but you’ll need to do plenty of research to make sure that the unsecured loan and lender are safe and trustworthy. 

Finding Loans For The Unemployed

Finding excellent personal installment loans while you’re unemployed may be a challenge. But some online lenders may accept alternative forms of income. For example, if you have recurring income from any of the following sources, you may still qualify for certain personal loans: 

  • Social Security
  • Long-term disability
  • Child support/alimony
  • Rental property
  • Retirement
  • Trust fund
  • Dividends or interest

If you have any of these sources of income, then there’s a chance, depending on the lender, you could still receive a loan. Having a good credit score can help in many cases, but a low credit score can make your search for a loan much more difficult.

Loans for Unemployed Borrowers With Poor Credit

Most lenders hesitate to offer loans to borrowers with bad credit because a low credit score tells the lender that you struggled to manage your money or make on-time payments in the past.But what exactly is “bad credit”? 

Well, the three major credit bureaus track your financial behavior throughout your life and then give you a three-digit score based on how responsible you are with your money. The most common credit-scoring model is called the FICO score. The FICO score typically ranges from 300 to 850 points. The FICO score breakdown is as follows:

FICO Score Rating Score Range Explanation
Poor 300-579 This type of score is considered poor. Individuals with scores in this range may be denied credit or may be required to pay higher interest rates.
Fair 580-669 Lenders consider a score in this range to be fair. A borrower with a fair credit rating is considered a subprime borrower and may be offered credit at higher interest rates.
Good 670-739 A score higher than 670 points is thought to be good. Consumers with good scores are likely to receive a wide range of credit offers, usually at reasonable interest rates.
Very Good 740-799 A very good score falls within this category. If you have very good credit, you are more likely to get better-than-average interest rates on loans.
Excellent 800-850 A score higher than 800 points is seen as excellent. Individuals with scores in this range generally have no issue getting the best rates from lenders.

*Remember, these ranges can vary slightly among different lenders. They use these scores, along with other information, to make decisions about the terms and conditions they offer.

Unemployment Emergency Loans You May Qualify For

It’s possible to get a loan without a job and a poor credit score. But keep in mind that many of the readily available options will come at a cost. As opposed to unsecured loans, secured loans will require collateral from the borrower. Collateral is a valuable asset that the lender can keep if the borrower fails to repay the loan. 

You may qualify for the following secured and unsecured loans even if you’re unemployed and don’t have good credit:

Car Title Loans

A car title loan is a secured loan that requires the borrower to offer up the title to their vehicle as collateral. Once you offer up your vehicle for a secured loan, the lender inspects it and determines its value. You’ll be offered a loan based on a fraction of the value of the car.

If you fail to repay your title loan, the lender is legally allowed to seize your vehicle and sell it to recoup the money from the loan. You might be able to secure a title loan if you have a car, but is it worth the risk of losing your only mode of transportation?

Pawn Shop Loans

Pawn shop loans are also secured loans, but you can offer any valuable item that the pawn shop is interested in. Everyday items that borrowers use as collateral include jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, and more.

The main difference between pawn shop loans and title loans is the amount of money you can get and the type of collateral you need. Since your collateral likely won’t be worth as much as a vehicle, your pawn shop loan will probably be much smaller. But if you don’t repay your loan on time, the lender will sell your collateral to make their money back.

Payday Loans

Payday loans are unsecured loans, which means you can get one without offering any collateral. Instead, these loans are offered based on the borrower’s promise to repay the loan. Although some payday loan lenders may want to verify your income or check your credit history, you might find some that won’t. 

While this may seem reasonable if you aren’t employed or have low credit, it’s a dangerous practice. Any lender offering a safe and affordable cash advance loan will want to confirm that you’re capable of repaying it. So beware of payday lenders and others that don’t check these things.

You can find payday loans online or at storefront locations. If you qualify, the lender offers you the money, and you usually only have about two weeks to repay it. Unfortunately, this short repayment period, coupled with high-interest rates, makes payday loans challenging to repay on time. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the average interest rate is 391%, but can be higher than 600%.2 Due to these loan terms, many borrowers end up stuck in a cycle of debt. 

The Dangers of Emergency Loans

Emergency loans are usually short-term, small-dollar loans that people need in a hurry. They promise fast approval and fast cash. But just because a lender can give you money fast doesn’t mean you should use them.

Unfortunately, payday loans, title loans, pawn shop loans, and other loans are often predatory. They prey on borrowers with bad credit and trap them in loan agreements with terrible interest rates and terms. One of the ways they do this is through a process called “rollover.”

What Is a Loan Rollover?

A loan rollover is a common practice with many bad credit loans. Rollovers extend the borrower’s loan term, but it often leads to more interest and fees and a cycle of debt that’s difficult to escape.

If a borrower is having difficulty paying off their personal loan, the lender might offer to extend the loan term, which provides more time to repay the debt. But when they do this, they also add more interest and fees to the loan amount. A loan rollover is just one of the reasons why loans for unemployed borrowers end up doing more harm than good. 

FAQs on Emergency Loans With No Job

Can I get a personal loan if I’m unemployed?

Yes, it’s possible for consumers to get a personal loan while unemployed. Even better, a personal loan typically does not require collateral from the borrower. However, personal loan lenders typically prefer to work with individuals that have a reliable income. However, many lenders accept unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or other forms of alternative income.

Are payday loans a good option for borrowers without a job?

Payday loans can provide quick cash, but the lenders of these types of loans confirm employment before releasing funds. As a result, this lending channel is not viable for unemployed individuals.

Can I use a credit card cash advance as an emergency loan?

Yes, credit card cash advances can help borrowers get a small loan amount quickly. However, cash advances often come with extremely high-interest rates and fees. So it’s important to consider the costs before taking out a cash advance.

What do I need to open a bank account if I’m unemployed?

To open a bank account, you’ll typically need some form of identification, a Social Security number, and a residential address. Some banks may require a minimum deposit. Being unemployed doesn’t necessarily prevent you from opening a bank or savings account, but it can make it more challenging to avoid fees or meet minimum balance requirements.

What are the risks of taking out a loan while unemployed?

Taking out a loan while unemployed can be risky. If you’re unable to repay the loan, you could face high fees, damage to your credit score, and in the case of a secured loan, loss of your collateral. It’s important to consider your ability to repay a loan before borrowing.

Final Thoughts from CreditNinja

It’s possible to get a loan without a job. But while there are several unsecured loan options for unemployed individuals that need money for unexpected expenses, it’s essential for consumers to weigh all their options. 

Once you find the best loan option for your current situation, it’s essential to make every loan payment on time. A consistent payment history can help you build a strong credit score over time. High credit scores may help you qualify to get the best home equity loan, personal loan, etc. 

If you’re in search of a bad credit loan or personal loan, check out the CreditNinja blog for more information on these loans and how to improve your bad credit score. 


  1. The Employment Situation│BLS
  2. How Payday Loans Work│Consumer Federation of America
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