In an ideal world, you’d never need to borrow money. But we all fall a bit short once in a while. A personal loan can be the safest and least costly way of closing your financial gaps. Smarter Loans is an online portal that gives borrowers an opportunity to compare personal and business loan rates across multiple lenders in Canada.
Personal loans in Canada are made only to individuals, and most banks and lending companies have conditions about what you can use a personal loan for. There are different types of personal loans, including secured, unsecured, and reverse loans (explained below). Personal loans can have terms and interest rates that vary widely, so read our personal loans comparison for the best personal loan rates in Canada.
Best Personal Loan Rates in Canada
Why Get a Personal Loan?
There are many reasons why you might opt to take out a personal loan:
- To make a down payment on a new home
- To consolidate credit card debt
- To pay for a vacation or a wedding
- To cover medical expenses
- To replace expensive household appliances
- To buy a car
- To fund home repairs or improvements
Who Is Eligible for a Personal Loan?
To be eligible for a personal loan in Canada, you must:
- Be over age 18
- Be a resident of Canada
- Be the owner of a bank account
- Have proof of identity, like your driver’s license, photo ID or passport
- Have proof of residence, i.e., a recent utility bill
- Have proof of income, like recent pay stubs
- Have proof of your regular monthly expenditure, such as mortgage or rent payments, utility costs, etc.
- Have some kind of Canadian credit history
Meeting the above requirements makes you eligible for Canadian personal loans in general. But to get the best interest rates and conditions, you’ll need:
- A credit score that is average to excellent – ideally over 650
- A low debt to income ratio, namely the percentage of your income that goes toward paying debt – your debt to income ratio should be below 36%
- No history of bankruptcy
Personal Loan Interest Rates in Canada
When you compare personal loan rates to credit card rates, personal loan rates are almost always lower. Our recommended lenders have personal loan rates that begin at 5.6%. In contrast, average credit card rates begin around 20%. Of course, interest rates for personal loans can vary widely, so it’s important to compare personal loans in Canada.
Types of Personal Loans
These are ‘unsecured’ because you don’t put up anything as collateral to guarantee the loan. If you default on payments, you don’t risk losing your collateral, but you generally need a better credit score and will pay slightly higher interest rates for an unsecured loan.
For a secured loan, you’ll have to put something up as collateral such as your house, your car, or valuable jewelry. Secured loans often have lower interest rates, but you risk losing your collateral if you can’t make the loan payments.
Reverse Loan/Cash Secured Savings Loan
A cash secured savings loan is often called a ‘backwards loan,’ because you deposit the amount that you eventually want to borrow and then can withdraw that amount as a loan later . A reverse loan helps you build your credit score fast while saving a lump sum at the same time.
Compare Personal Loans in Canada
Loan Connect is a lending platform that helps Canadians find a lender that suits their needs. It’s not a direct lender, but rather an access point to dozens of lenders from one application. Loan Connect’s lenders provide short term, unsecured loans, some of which are accessible even for those with a previous bankruptcy or bad credit. The only requirements for getting a loan with Loan Connect are that applicants are Canadian citizens, and that they’ve reached the age of majority in their province. Loan Connect lenders’ rates begin at a competitive 4.8% APR, but some lenders charge very high interest rates (as high as 46.96%) depending on an applicant’s credit history. Check the interest rate you’re being offered before accepting the loan and carefully consider if it’s manageable for you.
Loan Connect’s application process is quite fast compared to other personal loan providers or aggregates. Prospective borrowers can apply online in just a few minutes, get approved for a loan within around 5 minutes, and the funds usually clear into the borrower’s bank account on the same day. You won’t have to pay Loan Connect itself any fees for the service, though some of the direct lenders do charge an origination fee. As with interest rates, before accepting a loan you should check for early or late payment fees as well.
Canadians in need of speedy cash loans will likely encounter Ferratum at some point on their search, with the popular online lender offering approval and funding for personal loans between $2,000 and $10,000 within 24 hours. Ferratum’s application form takes about 10 minutes to complete and does not require special documentation. The lender does, however, have two specific requirements that potential borrowers should be aware of before applying:
- Credit score of at least 550
- Minimum income of $2,000 monthly
Loans can be repaid flexibly without extra fees: just cover the interest and you’re good. APRs are about average (as low as 18.90% with a term from 12 to 60 months), but the advantage of this lender is that you can add payments or pay the loan off entirely at any time, without penalty. Ferratum also offers self-employment loans, moving and renovation loans, travel loans, medical loans and more.
*This product is only available to residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Please note this product is currently not available for residents of Quebec.
Online banking trailblazer motusbank offers personal loans and secured and unsecured lines of credit alongside other great financial products. The motusbank brand is owned and operated by Meridian Credit Union, so all deposits are CDIC insured and accountholders can expect good service despite the absence of any physical bank ranches. Personal loans up to $35,000 come with interest as low as 5.15%, with personal lines of credit as low as 5.65%. If you use your home equity to secure a personal line of credit through motusbank you’ll pay one of the market’s lowest rates on your approved limit: just 3.75%.
The new online bank also provides mortgages to its customers, as well as RRSPs, GICs, TFSAs, chequing accounts and more. Your loan terms and amounts will vary based on your credit and other financial obligations, but terms are generally reasonable, and you can access your funds with the free debit card provided to you by motusbank.
Refresh Financial is a direct lender that offers only cash secured personal loans, also known as reverse loans, with APR rates of 7.26% to 29.95%. Its aim is to help you rebuild your credit and save money along the way so that you can qualify for the very best interest rates on unsecured personal loans, mortgages, or car loans after your Refresh Financial loan ends. You don’t have to have a good credit score or particular income level to qualify and you can set your loan amount of $1,200, $2,300, $3,200, or $5,500 and agree on terms of 36 or 60 months with your loan advisor.
A Refresh Financial reverse loan is not the same as regular unsecured or secured loans. You don’t borrow a lump sum and then pay it back in installments. Instead, you begin by making regular monthly payments. These payments go partly towards a lump sum of savings, and partly to paying off a low level of interest. At the end of the loan period, you have a lump sum of your own money that you saved up, which you can then withdraw without the worry of having to repay it, and you also have an improved credit rating which shows that you made regular, on-time payments for a loan.
Borrowell provides fast unsecured personal loans of up to $35,000 with interest rates starting at just 5.6%. There are no prepayment fees and no loan fees apart from an origination fee, which is between 1-5% of your loan amount.
To take out a loan through Borrowell, you’ll just need to apply for your credit score through the Borrowell platform and share some information. Your chances of a successful approval can be increased significantly by making sure you meet the following requirements prior to application:
- You’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- You’re not a resident of Quebec or Saskatchewan
- You’re at least the age of majority in the province you live in
- You have no record of a bankruptcy or consumer proposal
- You have no active collection or current delinquencies on file
- You have a minimum 12 months of Canadian credit history
- Your credit score is above 660 (Equifax risk score 2.0)
- You have a valid account with a Canadian bank or other financial institution
- You have a valid email address
If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a quote from Borrowell. All you’ll have to do is accept the quote, send proof of income, and verify your bank account – all online. If you’re not eligible, Borrowell sends suggestions of trusted partners who might be able to help you out.
Approved applicants will see the loan amount in their bank accounts as soon as the next business day. If you can any issue then directly connect with smarter.loans for further discussion.