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

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

Being out of work is tough on your finances so it’s important to manage your money carefully to ensure that you can cover all your regular expenses. However, sometimes no matter how carefully you plan, unexpected expenses can crop up which may mean that you need a little extra cash.

It can be harder to get a cash loan if you’re unemployed, but it is possible.

If you can’t provide proof of income, lenders are less likely to offer you a cash loan. However, even if you don’t have a job, there are options available to you as long as you have an alternative source of income.


The best loan terms and rates are often reserved for customers with a good credit history, and for those in employment. Usually, high street banks refuse to offer loans to people without a steady salary as they are more likely to be late with or miss payments, but you could still get access to cash through doorstep, payday or other short term lenders. However, loans from these types of lenders tend to be more expensive and may not be suitable if you need to borrow more than £1,000.

Getting a cash loan if you’re unemployed

If you decide to apply for a loan from a doorstep or online short term lender you may be asked to complete anaffordability assessment to determine whether you will to be able to pay back the money you’ve applied to borrow.


As part of this assessment you may be asked to provide proof of income. This could include: 

  • Salary payments from an employer
  • Self-employed income
  • Benefits
  • Pensions
  • Other sources of income such as regular payments you may receive from your partner or ex-partner.

However, each lender is different so you will need to check.

Why a cash loan could be refused

Even if you can show that you can afford a cash loan there may be other reasons why you are refused

  • A poor credit history
  • If you’ve previously missed payments for credit, been declared bankrupt or been issued with a County Court Judgement (CCJ), you may struggle to get access to credit with some lenders, but your application won’t be automatically rejected
  • Multiple credit applications

It’s important not to apply for credit from lots of different lenders in a short space of time. Each application could leave a ‘footprint’ on your credit record which can be a concern for lenders. Try and keep it to one application every six months if you can.

How to improve your chances of being accepted for a loan

If you’re unemployed and want to improve your chances of being accepted for a cash loan, there are steps you can take:

Build a good credit history
A lender will feel uncertain offering you money if you have little credit history or have a poor credit record. If you are accepted make sure you repay any loans or credit cards on time and in full without missing a payment. This will show lenders that you are able to manage your money and may help you access credit again in the future.

Register to vote

To build or improve your credit score, start by putting your name on the electoral role. This will help lenders to check you are who you say you are.

Read more about what could help improve your credit score.

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