Where to find emergency money if you are unemployed?

The unemployment rate in the United States is falling at a steady pace. Nevertheless, more Americans are struggling financially. Those with good jobs and a decent credit rating may qualify for a personal loan from traditional financial institutions. But what if you are one of the millions of unemployed? If this seems relevant to you and you need money now, there are immediate options. You have the ability to qualify for certain loans, even with bad credit.

Loan Options for the Unemployed

If nothing works, you still have a few workarounds:

  1. Secured personal loans. The guarantee assures your lender that he can get his money back even if you stop paying your monthly payments. When considering these types of loans, note that if you don’t repay your debt, you will lose collateral.
  2. Home equity loans. If you own real estate, this type of loan helps you borrow money based on the value of your home.
  3. Payday loans. These short-term advances help you get emergency cash with low needs. Most people qualify without encountering any problems. These loans are quick and could help you until you get your next paycheck.
  4. Installment loans. Online lenders also offer loan products for a period of several months. Apart from the term of the loan, the amount available can be up to $5,000.
  5. Cash advances. Credit card holders can get a small cash advance. You should be aware that these loans come with a high interest rate.
  6. Lines of credit. Borrowers who qualify for a personal line of credit can access loans through their credit cards. If you manage to obtain such a loan, your payment will generally fluctuate from month to month.
  7. Pawnbrokers. Another alternative to traditional loans, borrowing from a pawnshop is fast. It involves using an object of value as collateral. The risk here is losing the asset you are using as collateral. Your credit score is irrelevant in this context.

Where the unemployed can apply for a loan

You can apply for a loan from a bank, credit union, or direct lender. The first two options are more traditional, while payday businesses fall under alternative lending. See some typical examples below.

Bank of North Dakota

Loan products: home loans, student loans, business loans, infrastructure loans, grants;

The amounts: vary depending on borrower information;

APR: from 1.59%;

Advantages: repayment terms up to 180 months, wide range of products and services, financial education resources.


Loan products: bad credit payday loans, holiday loans, installment loans, emergency cash loans.

The amounts: from $100 to $5,000;

APR: from 200%;

Advantages: fully online application form, financial education resources, no credit checks, complete one application and get offers from many trusted lenders, 24/7 support.

1st Federal Credit Union Members

Loan products: auto loans, personal loans, mortgages, student loans, home equity loans;

The amounts: from $500 to $20,000 and more;

APR: from 3.48%;

Advantages: loyalty programs, digital banking, financial advice, no prepayment penalties


Loan products: consumer loans, student loan refinancing, private student loans;

The amounts: from $5,000;

APR: from 2.45%;

Advantages: personalized services, comprehensive support, secure customer reports, mobile operations.

Sun Federal CU

Loan products: home equity, credit card loans, car loans, student loans, personal loans, debt consolidation;

The amounts: from $1,000 or less;

APR: from 3.24%;

Advantages: online banking, federal insurance, secure connection, 24/7 support.

The three factors influencing your qualification

When you apply for a payday loan, three main things directly influence your chances of approval:

  1. Your income. A direct lender will carefully examine your source of income and examine your debt-to-income ratio. They will estimate if you can repay them based on your monthly resources. If you don’t have a traditional job, other sources of income may work with some lenders. They include unemployment benefits, alimony or child support, investments, income from your spouse.
  2. Your credit history. A bad credit rating will generally not prevent direct lenders from accepting your application. Also, many financial lenders do not advertise any credit checks. Nevertheless, having a good credit history is to your advantage. First, it indicates that you are a responsible borrower. Second, a fair score can help you get lower interest rates.
  3. Your legal residence. Terms and conditions for emergency loans vary by state. For example, states like Mississippi, Nebraska, and Missouri cap the loan amount at $500. Other states cap the APR or change the typical 30-day term for a cash advance. Therefore, the offer you receive from lenders also depends on state regulations.


Even if you are unemployed, you can still qualify for a loan. Several options are available to you to access an emergency loan. Some lenders, such as payday loan providers and pawnbrokers, won’t pay much attention to your credit score. However, before going into debt, do a quick search and compare your options. Consider your income and state of residence to estimate your chances. Most importantly, repay your loans on time.

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