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Can You Get a Cash Advance With No Job?

Written by
Alex Huntsberger
Alex Huntsberger is a personal finance writer who covered online lending, credit scores, and employment for OppU. His work has been cited by, Business Insider, and The Motley Fool.
Read time: 5 min
Updated on November 8, 2023
young man in white t-shirt wondering can you get a cash advance with no job?
The answer to this question entirely depends on what type of cash advance you're talking about.

If you’ve ever applied for a loan from a bank, they’ve likely asked you to put your income or even your job title on the application. This is required, because a source of income would be essential in order to make their loan repayments.

But what if you don’t have a job or an emergency fund and you need some quick cash? In such cases, you may not be able to get a personal loan from a bank or a traditional lender. However, you may still have options, like a cash advance.

Be careful though, the kinds of bad credit loans and credit lines you can secure when you don’t have a job may come with significant financial risks. It is essential to understand the terms and conditions before you take out such a loan even if you are desperate for cash.

What is a cash advance? The answer is complicated.

The annoying thing about the term “cash advance” is that it can refer to two entirely different types of lending products. We will review both because whether you have a job or not may affect your eligibility for one kind of cash advance far more than the other (for a detailed explanation of cash advances, check out the OppU article What is a Cash Advance?).

The principal type of cash advance is a feature associated with most credit cards. While your standard credit card transaction involves using the card to make a purchase and adding that amount directly to your balance, credit card cash advances work a little differently.

With a credit card cash advance, you use your card to take out cash, usually from an ATM, and the dollar amount you withdraw is then added to your balance. Cash advances are often assessed an additional fee, either a flat fee or a percentage of the case advance amount.

It is important to note that cash advances almost always come with a higher interest rate than traditional transactions. If you take a look at your credit card statement, most will state the difference between them. For instance, your standard APR might be 16% for regular purchases but the APR for cash advances could be as high as 24%.

Another distinction is that traditional credit card transactions come with a 30-day grace period before interest starts to accrue. Cash advances, on the other hand, have no such grace period. Interest starts to accrue immediately once the money is added to your balance.

The other type of cash advance is basically a payday loan.

The name “payday loan” comes from the idea that these short-term, small-dollar loans are only meant to tide the borrower over until their next payday. Similarly, some short-term no credit check loans will refer to themselves as “cash advances” since all they’re really doing is giving you an "advance" on your next paycheck.

The terms that you receive on these cash advance loans will vary depending based on your location, as these types of financial products are regulated at the state level. The average length of a payday cash advance is approximately two weeks, and the average annual percentage rate is over 400%.

In the long term, payday cash advances are much more expensive than cash advances from a credit card. Moreover, in the short term, you might have a hard time paying off that payday cash advance on time.

Payday cash advances are designed to be paid back all at once. Combining that lump sum repayment with their short repayment terms may make these loans quite difficult for some people to pay back. In many states, lenders will give these borrowers the option of rolling over their loan or immediately borrowing a new loan once the original loan is repaid.

This is how costs quickly add up and folks may find themselves constantly paying money at the interest on their cash advance loan without getting closer to repaying off the loan itself. This is what’s commonly referred to as a “cycle of debt,” and it can spell financial ruin.

So do you need a job to get a cash advance? 

You don’t necessarily need a job to take out a cash advance on your credit card. Most credit cards have a limit on how much cash you can withdraw.

With credit card cash advances, there isn’t any application process where a lack of a job might disqualify you. As long as your unemployment doesn’t lead to your card being deactivated off for nonpayment, you should be able to access the funds.

However, with payday cash advances, not having a job might become a bit of an issue. It’s hard to make big generalizations about payday loans because terms may vary wildly from state to state and from lender to lender (with online loans, the terms will depend on your state of residence). While payday lenders certainly have lower lending standards than traditional lenders—most won’t even run a soft check on your credit score—many payday lenders will still require that you have a job before they lend to you.

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