You Can Borrow Money for Living Expenses from the Japanese Government

Those who have lost their income or jobs due to COVID-19 can borrow money from the Japanese government.

People who are suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 can borrow money to cover their living expenses; regardless of the size of your income, you can borrow without interest and without a guarantor. Foreign nationals are also eligible for this service.

There are two types of systems: ① “Temporary Loan Emergency Fund” (緊急小口資金; Kinkyu koguchi shikin) for those who need to borrow money temporarily to maintain their livelihood due to a decrease in income. ② “General Support Fund” (総合支援資金; so-go shien shikin) for those who are having difficulty in their daily lives due to losing their jobs.
UPDATE December 13th: The deadline for new applications is March 31st, 2021. UPDATE May 28th: The deadline for applications has been extended until June 30, 2021.

Temporary Loan Emergency Fund (緊急小口資金; Kinkyu koguchi shikin)

【Eligibility】

People who have experienced a decrease in their wages because of temporary business closures/workload reduction caused by COVID-19, and are in urgent need of money for living expenses.

【Loan Amount】

Up to 200,000 yen.
Though the loan limit was originally 100,000 yen, those who fall under one of the following conditions below are able to receive a loan up to 200,000 yen.
In addition, self-employed workers are also eligible for this 200,000 yen loan if they have experienced a decrease in their income due to COVID-19 infection prevention measures.

  • When there is a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • When there is a household member who requires nursing care.
  • When there are 4 or more members in the household.
  • When a household member needs to take care of the child who has been absent from school due to COVID-19.
  • When a household member needs to take care of a child who attended school who may have been infected with COVID-19 (showing symptoms).
  • Other than above, when loans for living expenses are necessary due to a decrease in their wages because of temporary business closures/workload reduction caused by COVID-19.

【Repayment Term】

You must start repaying your loan within 1 year of receiving it.
The repayment period (the period from when you start repaying the loan to when it is paid off) is 2 years or less.
For example, if you get a loan in May 2020, your repayment period begins by May 2021 and you must pay the loan off completely by May 2023.

【Other Requirements】

There is no interest, and no guarantor is required.
※Your loan may be forgiven if you still would be suffering from a decrease in income during the repayment period.

【Where to Apply】

You can apply for the Temporary Loan Emergency Fund (緊急小口資金) at the Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会; Shakai fukushi kyogikai) near you.
※Previously, Prefectural Labour Banks and post offices also received applications, but these services have closed on September 30th, 2020.
Firstly, please find a Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) in the district you reside in and ask there for details.
Click on this link to check where the nearest Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) is. 

※At some Councils of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) of cities/wards/towns/villages, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, you may be required to consult them by postal mail or make an appointment for a consultation beforehand. Please check the website or call in advance.

【How to Apply】

Please visit any of the venues (Council of Social Welfare) mentioned above UPDATE December 4th: Labour Bank or post offices to apply for the temporary loan. The documents you submit will go through screening by prefectural Councils of Social Welfare, and will consequently receive a loan if those documents pass the screening.

4 documents are required to apply. UPDATE December 4th: You can download the required documents from the official website of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (in Japanese). These documents may also be available at the Councils of Social Welfare, so please call a Council near you or check their website.

  1. Loan Application Form: This is the application form for the Temporary Loan Emergency Fund. Required information includes your (Loan debtor’s) name and home address, the amount you want to borrow and how you will repay it back, bank account information, about your family, etc.
  2. IOU Document: This document is for acknowledging the loan and how you will repay it (promise).
  3. Disclosure Statement Document: A document stating all the terms, conditions, and rules of the loan. Please read it carefully and thoroughly before signing.
  4. Statement of Decrease in Income: This is a document that explains how your income has decreased compared to before due to the coronavirus.

UPDATE December 4th: For non-Japanese speaking residents, the Kawaguchi Council of Welfare (川口市社会福祉協議会) and Tokyo International Communication Committee (東京都国際交流委員会) have published multilingual translations. Though these versions are not eligible for official application, you can refer to them while filling in the actual Japanese forms.

  • For Japanese – English / Korean / Chinese / Vietnamese / Portuguese / Spanish translations, click here
  • For English – Nepali translation, click here (English on the right side and Nepali on the left)

Along with these 4 documents, you must also submit “Certificate of Residence”, “Photocopy of your Bank Book or Cash Card”, “Valid ID (e.g. residence card)”.

“General Support Fund” (総合支援資金; So-go shien shikin)

【Eligibility】

People who have lost their job or experienced a decrease in their wages due to the COVID-19, and are having difficulty making ends meet.

【Loan Amount】

Single-person household: Up to 150,000 yen/month 
Multi-person household : Up to 200,000 yen/month
You can receive a loan of up to 3 months.

【Repayment Term】

Repayment begins within one year of the last time you borrowed.
You must completely pay the loan off within 10 years of starting repayment.
For example, if you receive a 3-month loan in June 2020, you are required to start repaying by September 2021, and completely pay it off within 10 years (by September 2031).

【Other Requirements】

This is a no-interest loan, and you don’t need any guarantor.
※Your loan may get forgiven if you still would be suffering from a decrease in income during the period of repayment.

【Where to Apply】

Please apply for the loan at a Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会; Shakai Fukushi Kyougi-kai) near you; it is the only venue for application of this loan. Firstly, please find a Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) in the district you reside in and ask there for details. Click on this link to check where the nearest Council of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) is. 

※At some Councils of Social Welfare (社会福祉協議会) of cities/wards/towns/villages, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, you may be required to consult them by postal mail or make an appointment for a consultation beforehand. Please check the website or call in advance.

【How to Apply】

Please visit any of the venues (Council of Social Welfare) mentioned above to apply for the General Support Fund loan. You are required to submit an application form along with other necessary documents, such as Certificate of Residence (住民票; Ju-min hyo), to a Council of Social Welfare near you. The Council of Social Welfare will give you more detailed information on how to apply, and what documents you need.
The documents you submit will go through screening by prefectural Councils of Social Welfare, and will consequently receive a loan if those documents pass the screening.

UPDATE December 4th: You can download the required documents from the official website of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (in Japanese). Kawaguchi Council of Welfare (川口市社会福祉協議会) and Tokyo International Communication Committee (東京都国際交流委員会) have also published multilingual translations of the documents for General Support Fund application.

  • For Japanese – English / Korean / Chinese / Vietnamese / Portuguese / Spanish translations, click here
  • For English – Nepali translation, click here (English on the right side and Nepali on the left)

If You Have Any Questions

If you have any further questions on how they (Temporary Loan Emergency Fund & General Support Fund) work, please consult the helpline below.

  • Temporary Loan Emergency Fund/General Support Fund Helpline (For individuals)
    Phone number: 0120-46-1999
    Times of operation: 9:00~21:00 (7 days a week)
    No calling fee applies.

FAX inquiries are also supported. 

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is operating a website (link below) about the loans where you can check FAQs on them. The website is supported in these languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, UPDATE December 4th: Nepali, Burmese and Bengali.

生活福祉資金の特例貸付・住居確保給付金特設ホームページ
新型コロナウイルス感染の影響により収入が減少し生活に困窮する方に必要な生活費用等の貸付や、住居を失うおそれが生じている方々に一定期間家賃相当額を支給します。

UPDATE December 4th: Some local governments offer telephone consultations on administrative procedures in languages other than Japanese. Please check this article for further information: Troubles during the emergency due to the coronavirus: Tips for seeking help in languages other than Japanese.

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