In many cases, you can still get a personal loan even if you don't have a job. This depends on factors such as your credit score, availability of collateral, access to other income sources, and credit history.

Life can feel suffocating without a steady income source. You may feel like you’re running out of options to keep yourself afloat.

Here’s what lenders typically look for when applying for a personal loan, in addition to employment status. If you’re doing well in these areas, then it may increase your chances of getting approved:

Available Collateral

In many cases, you can use collateral—such as a car, laptop, or other personal property—to help “secure” the loan.

Although using collateral can help you qualify, it also means that if you default on your loan, the lender can potentially seize your property to make up for the outstanding balance.

As such, there’s some additional risk involved. But if you’re worried about meeting minimum loan requirements, or you perhaps just want a better rate, you can use some of your existing assets to help you get where you want to be.

Credit Report and Score

In addition to your payment history, most lenders will review your credit report and score, which reflect such factors as outstanding debt, length of credit history, and a few other items.

Not sure what your credit report looks like? You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months here. You might also be able to get a credit report more frequently depending on the state of the pandemic, as credit bureaus seek to help those affected by COVID.

Not everyone who is jobless has bad credit and becoming suddenly unemployed won’t completely tank your credit rating overnight. It’s often better to verify your credit with your own eyes (especially if you can do it for free) rather than just assume you have bad credit.

Other Income Sources

Generally, you need to have money coming in to pay money back.

Fortunately, a full-time job isn’t the only source of personal income that loan companies will consider. Other sources of income that might help you get a personal loan include:
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Social security
  • Retirement funds
  • Public assistance
  • Freelance work income
  • Your partner’s income
It is important to keep in mind that providing information to a lender about income, especially from child support, alimony, or separate maintenance payments, is optional and if you do not wish to disclose this as an income source you are not required to do so.

Payment History

Your chances of getting a personal loan increase if you have a long history of making payments on time. This includes meeting timely obligations for rent, mortgages, credit cards, and other loans.

Your prospective lender will see your payment records during a credit check. This is another reason why keeping up with payments is important; if the bills become too numerous and hard to keep up with, some people will consolidate their debt with a bill consolidation loan rather than suffer the consequences of missed payments.

Can You Get a Personal Loan With a Job Offer Letter?

Generally, a job offer letter won't be of much help in getting a loan--but it doesn't hurt to ask! Many lenders look carefully at your income history rather than your employment status. So a job offer letter might not be impactful. 

Personal Loans for the Unemployed Are Possible. . . Sometimes

When applying for a loan, having a steady job almost always helps. BUT, when time is of the essence, you may not be able to wait until you’re working again to ask for some funds.

If you don’t have a job and are unsure if it’s worth it to apply for a personal loan, try using an online prequalification tool. This method will get you vital information quickly without hurting your credit score.

Compare rates on your personal loan; check out our loan calculator to find your monthly rates!>>>

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