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Do you need some quick cash? Unless you happen to have a family member or friend who's in a position to float you a loan, you'll probably need to look to a financial institution to get the money you require. But, not all sources of loans are equal, with some predatory forms of lending charging interest rates of well over 100%! Fortunately, there are lenders offering personal loans that can help you close the gap between what you have and what you need - without plunging you deeper into financial straits.
For Canadian consumers, there are several different options for personal loans online. Some services connect you directly with funding, while others work as a middleman and refer you to trusted financial partners to ultimately close your loan.
Monday, August 2nd
Borrowell is our favorite source of personal loans in Canada. As a service that matches borrowers with 50+ top lenders like Scotiabank, American Express and BMO, the company goes a long way to make the process as straightforward and fast as possible. In business since 2014, Borrowell has connected thousands of Canadian consumers with the funds they need.
Strict eligibility criteria
Are you eligible to get a personal loan through Borrowell? Quite frankly, their criteria are more stringent than some lenders in our review. You'll need a minimum credit score of 660 plus 12 months of credit history, as well as $20,000/year in gross income in order to be considered. Your application will also be rejected if your credit history shows any delinquencies, bankruptcies, items in collections or any consumer proposals.
Very transparent lending platform
We love that Borrowell is transparent with rates and fees on personal loans through their lending partners. The only fee associated with borrowing money through this service is an origination fee. Your charge will be added to your approved loan amount, and will be somewhere between 1 and 5%: 3-year loans have lower fees than 5-year loans, and the better your credit profile, the lower your fee percentage will be as well.
Fantastic interest rates
Borrowell is extremely competitive when looking at interest rates. Where some lenders we reviewed charge over 50% APR, the average rate on loans through this service is much lower. And, for borrowers with a very positive credit history, their rates are extremely aggressive. You'll have a hard time finding a better rate anywhere else in Canada for a personal loan.
Available to residents of most provinces
Speaking of places in Canada, Borrowell operates in most provinces but not all. If you live in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island or Saskatchewan, you're in luck!
Create a free account to access quotes
To find out what specific loan terms Borrowell can offer you, you'll need to create a free account so that they can access your Equifax credit file. You're required to provide your full name, current home address, and your financial goals (e.g. why you want a loan) to get recommendations tailored to your situation. While we would prefer to see sample loan offers without giving them this information, the details Borrowell gives about their loans and fees already (see above) are enough to reassure most prospective clients that this service is an excellent choice.
Positive reviews all around
The Better Business Bureau agrees, giving the company an "A+" rating and accreditation. Customer reviews concur: clients say that the loan application process is quick and painless, and that funds are deposited very quickly.
Best personal loans for most Canadians
For all of these reasons, Borrowell earns our highest recommendation for personal loans in Canada. You'll get some of the best rates and terms in the industry by using this popular platform to shop around for your loan and ultimately be connected with a respected, fully-vetted lending partner.
Loan Connect serves as a search engine to connect Canadians with lenders. That means that when you use the site, your information will be used to match you with partner providers willing to offer you a loan, based on your credit history and desired loan amount. So, while you'll start the process with Loan Connect, ultimately you'll have to complete the loan application process through the lender you select from the Loan Connect results list.
Can get quotes without making an account
If you'd like to get an idea of the types of loans available through Loan Connect, complete their online form with your basic information (e.g. name, address, income, desired loan amount, etc.). We appreciated that the platform allowed us to see possible loan offers without committing to their terms of service (or even entering our actual contact details).
Not always easy to see lending partners
That's helpful because Loan Connect doesn't make it easy to see which lenders are in their network, without going through and requesting loan quotes. When we did a search for a sample profile, requesting a loan amount of $10,000 for debt consolidation, we got initial offers from Fairstone, Lendful, LendDirect, Mogo, Loan Away, and Loans Loans. Terms ranged from 3-120 months, with APRs that ranged from competitive to among the highest we've seen. Clicking on any of those loans took us to the lenders' websites, to finish the application.
Your experience will depend on the lender
It's difficult to evaluate Loan Connect beyond that - because your experience as a borrower from that point depends on the lender you go with to fund your loan. We're encouraged by the fact that Loan Connect enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau: a good indicator that the company is doing a reliable job of selecting reputable lenders to match with prospective clients who use their service.
Available to all residents of Canada
Another plus is that Loan Connect can be used by all residents of Canada - unlike many of their rival services, who only connect borrowers with loans in a handful of provinces. Again, that's because this platform sources funds from a variety of providers, allowing them to be matched with borrowers nationwide.
Good place to start the search
Loan Connect is our preferred choice for Canadians who want to do some basic comparison shopping before applying for a personal loan. The site is easy to use, and browsing possible quotes is risk- and commitment-free. True, you'll have to take a few extra steps after selecting a lender from Loan Connect's list of results, but using this platform spares you the effort of having to go to individual lender sites and repeat the process over and over again. Loan Connect is a good resource for finding competitive personal loans in Canada.
Started in 2012, Loans Canada was the first loan comparison platform in the nation and is 100% Canadian-owned and operated. The service works as a referral provider, connecting borrowers with loans through their network of lenders. Loans Canada hopes to educate consumers so that they can make good financial decisions, avoid payday loans, and take control of their financial well-being.
Easy to identify lending partners
We liked being able to see some of Loans Canada's lending partners prior to filling out a quote request. Some of the lenders in their network include Marble, Progressa, Mogo, Consumer Capital, and Cashco.
Need to provide details to get quotes
To get started with Loans Canada, enter your desired loan amount and purpose. Select the range in which your credit score falls, income source and amount, and postal code. If you qualify to be matched with a lender, the next screen will ask you to provide contact information.
From there, be prepared to provide quite a bit of detail: about your car, your financial situation (e.g. bankruptcy, debt program or consumer proposal), employer name and income specifics, debt amounts and monthly payments. There are two checkboxes at the bottom of the final page, one to consent to marketing communications from Loans Canada and another authorizing their financial partners to obtain credit reports. You only have to click the second box to proceed with the quote process.
Not many lender matches
For our sample client, we were matched with three providers: Fresh Start Finance, Alpine Credits, and Credit Verify. Loans Canada said that our application had been sent to the first of the companies and we should expect a call back soon, but we had to go directly to the websites of the other two lenders to get more information and complete our request for a loan.
A home equity loan instead?
When we went to the Alpine Credits site, we found out that we would be considered for a home equity loan instead of a personal loan. That wasn't really what we were looking for, but we were glad to see that Loans Canada had matched us with a lender that has been in business for more than 50 years and has a solid reputation with the BBB.
Recommended services we didn't want
On the other hand, Credit Verify didn't offer personal loans at all: just a service for monitoring our credit. Given that this service cost $1 for a 7-day trial and $24.95/month thereafter, we weren't impressed with Loan Canada's connection.
Watch out for scammy Loans Canada imitators
On a side note, consumers should be aware of a scam alert posted on the BBB site: emails claiming to be from Loans Canada have tricked some individuals into revealing banking details in order to secure an approved loan, but instead their accounts are drained. Obviously these emails are fraudulent and not being sent by Loans Canada.
Not the most useful referral service
When it comes to Canadian personal loan referral services, this platform doesn't earn our highest recommendation. We wound up with recommendations for services we didn't need, and in the end we had to take the extra steps of applying with a third-party lender in order to get funding. If you're looking for a way to compare personal loans from a wide range of Canadian financial services, there are platforms with more to offer than Loans Canada.
goPeer is one of the most unique sources of personal loans on the Canadian market today - and one of the newest, debuting in the fall of 2020. This company offers a platform for peer-to-peer investing and borrowing: meaning that everyday investors can choose to fund your loan, as an alternative to putting money into the stock market or other more traditional investments. As you can imagine, this has some big differences from traditional personal loans that you'll need to consider before choosing goPeer as your source of funds.
Live chat available
Since goPeer is so new, we had a lot of questions! We were able to get a company rep on live chat right away, and they were able to answer most of them. (Our initial question got a response immediately, but the chat rep left us hanging after a few exchanges.)
One-stop loan funding everywhere in Canada
Here are some of the most important details we found out, that you should keep in mind when considering goPeer for your personal loan in Canada. First, goPeer is the only source of personal loans we found that is available in all Canadian provinces. Some loan referral platforms can connect you with funds regardless of where you live in Canada, but goPeer offered the only one-stop shopping that we could see (because referral services usually require you to fill out an initial quote request and then a second application when you're matched with the actual lender).
Funds take longer to be deposited
Next, because your personal loan will be funded by individual investors, don't expect to get cash deposited to your bank account within an hour or two. According to our goPeer rep, loans under $10k take approximately 3-5 days to be funded, while loans above that amount take from 6-8 days.
Origination fees deducted from your loan
Finally, you can expect origination fees from 0.5 - 5% on your loan, depending on your risk assessment score (how likely you are to pay the loan back). That's in addition to your interest rate and, according to the site, those fees will be deducted from your loan itself. For example, if you apply for a loan of $5,000 and your fees are 1%, you're only going to receive $4,950. Keep that in mind: if you're getting a personal loan for a specific purchase, you may want to apply for a slightly higher amount to cover what will be taken in fees.
Too new to rely on?
So, should you get your personal loan using this peer-to-peer lending platform? It's definitely a novel concept (at least in Canada; similar services have been around for years in the US and elsewhere), and if you like being the first of your friends to try new things, you might actually enjoy taking out a loan in this way. On the other hand, under any other circumstance, would you trust your finances to a company that's only been offering loans since the tail end of 2020? Maybe, maybe not.
With over a million users in Canada, fintech company Mogo has undoubtedly come across your radar since getting its start in 2003. While some people use the service strictly for credit monitoring, Mogo also offers several financial products like mortgages, personal loans, and even a bitcoin exchange.
Free account required to get loan quotes
In order to apply for a personal loan through Mogo, you'll have to create a free account and verify your email address. Most of their rivals allow you to see preliminary quotes without this step, putting Mogo lower in our rankings. Once you confirm your email address, your account dashboard will ask for your legal name, residential address, and which Mogo product(s) you're looking for: personal loan offer, free monthly credit score monitoring, free identity fraud protection, bitcoin trading, mortgage preapproval, or MogoCard with carbon offsetting.
Credit monitoring: whether you want it or not
Once you've selected the "personal loan" option, you'll be asked to specify how much you'd like to borrow and for what purpose, and to provide your housing and employment details. There's also a checkbox for free credit score and identity fraud protection; unfortunately, even if you're not interested, you have to check this box in order to proceed with your personal loan application. That was another downside when using Mogo: being required to accept services we didn't necessarily want. And, unless your profile checks out with Equifax, you won't be able to continue with a loan application: no quotes, no sample loans, zero.
100-day satisfaction guarantee
Mogo is the only personal loan provider we found in Canada that offers a 100-day "test drive" . If you don't love everything about your loan experience in the first 100 days, you can pay back the principal you borrowed and get a refund of your interest and fees up to that point. (Of course, it doesn't seem too likely that the average borrower is going to have that principal on hand to pay back, no matter how unhappy they may be, so we wonder if this "guarantee" is more about making Mogo look good.)
Customer complaints about Mogo's personal loans
While we like Mogo for its credit monitoring features, this lending platform comes up short when it comes to personal loans. We found numerous consumer complaints describing what felt like a bait-and-switch with interest rates (i.e. being offered a low APR in the advertising but winding up with a very high APR offer), having approved loans revoked after downloading the app to move on to the next stage of the process, and less-than-impressive interactions with Mogo representatives.
Big differences between Mogo's partners
This could have something to do with Mogo's use of lending partners. We didn't see this information explicitly stated in places other than the fine print at the bottom of the site, but if you get an offer designated as "powered by a Partner Lender" , it means that Mogo is not the one fulfilling the loan. For example, Lendful offers loans to consumers in BC, AB, ON, NB, MB, NL and NS with competitive APRs and from $5,000 to $35,000; on the other hand, MogoLiquid Personal loans "powered by easyfinancial" are offered in BC, AB, MB, ON, NB, PE, NL and NS in amounts ranging from $500 to $15,000 but with interest rates between among the highest we've seen. That's quite a difference!
Better options are out there
For what it's worth, we really wanted to like Mogo. The fact that they give away some pretty robust credit monitoring features is a big plus for this lender. Unfortunately, the one service customers seem to complain about uniformly is Mogo's personal loans. Until the company makes some changes to their processes, we recommend you look to a better-established service if you need to borrow money.
LendingMate is a personal loan company that specializes in guarantor loans in Canada. What does that mean? Essentially, in order to apply to borrow money, you'll need to have a partner (the guarantor) who has good credit and will make loan repayments if you don't. That's a plus for people who have bad credit or are self-employed and can't yet show the history required to qualify for a traditional personal loan. On the other hand, if you don't have someone willing to be your guarantor, this platform isn't for you.
High interest rates, low availability
Straight off the bat, this service failed to impress. Only borrowers from three provinces - Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec - can get personal loans through LendingMate. Also, the amount available to borrow here is much less than with other providers: loans are available from $2,000 to $10,000. Finally, the interest rates charged by LendingMate are significantly higher than most other lenders, which means you'll pay more to borrow that money.
Very poor reputation with the BBB
A big warning sign with LendingMate is their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Customer complaints there said that loan guarantors were forced to pay when LendingMate didn't process payments quickly enough, and that charges were made to borrower accounts even after the customers received notification that the loan was paid in full. Plus, several complaints filed with the BBB never got a response from LendingMate.
Numerous customer complaints
That seems to be par for the course with this platform: customer reviews elsewhere tell the same story. Even with an approved loan application, clients have a hard time reaching LendingMate representatives. Loans can go unfunded, and many customers have received threatening texts and emails for late payments even when they're on time. "Scam" , "garbage" , and "terrible" are the words we saw most frequently from people who had experiences with this company.
Better choices available
Canadians have a wide range of trustworthy options to choose from when it comes to personal loans. Unfortunately, LendingMate's rock-bottom rating from the BBB and equally poor reputation with their customers raise several red flags. When you're ready to apply for a personal loan in Canada, we recommend you shop one of our higher rated services first.
One of the newest ways to get a personal loan is through a social lending network, also known as peer-to-peer lending: everyday people choose to invest in funding loans for their fellow Canadians, creating a win-win where they make money on the interest you pay on the loan, and you get the money you need without paying exorbitant interest rates or fees.
Whichever route you choose, it's important that you carefully consider the terms of any personal loan offers you receive. Failure to repay your loan will negatively impact your credit score and history, which can be hard to repair later on down the road. Be sure to determine the interest rate, repayment terms, and any origination fees or prepayment penalties before you sign on the dotted line. While it can be tempting to accept any cash offer you get, take the time to choose wisely and be a well-informed consumer first.
As you look at the various options for personal loans in Canada, how can you determine where to start and, ultimately, which service to use? You may find it useful to keep these factors in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online sources of personal loans in Canada today. We are confident that this information will help you get the money you need quickly, with loan terms you can afford.
Saving money isn't fun. Why put it somewhere when you could spend it now, on that thing you've been wanting for months? Well, there are some easy and simple ways to start saving now, so that if there's an emergency - like a car accident or an unexpected health bill - you can be assured to have money for it. Being prepared isn't the trendiest idea, but in the future you'll thank yourself for saving your behind!
Saving money doesn't have to be all dark and dreary. There are a variety of small changes you can make to your daily routine to start preparing for the future.
The first tip to cut daily costs might just be the hardest for some. Many people spend money every day on coffee, especially from those expensive java bistros. Cue the gasps - but if you're still reading, then listen to this: While many people spend money on coffee every morning, major coffee companies (you know the ones) upcharge drinks to an almost comical degree. The reason these companies get away with this is because they count on the consumer being unwilling to make their own and come to them instead. You don't even have to get up any earlier if you make your own cup of coffee in the morning, since you'll be saving time on your commute. But getting up every morning and making your own coffee is a much more cost efficient alternative to giving a chunk of your paycheck to some other company.
Another simple trick to saving money is to cancel subscriptions you're not using. We can almost hear you shrieking "but what if I need to use it!" The thing is, you won't. If you're spending even $10 a month on something that you're not using, than it's not worth it. It's hard to stop something that used to bring you joy, or even that you're used to. But if you seriously want to start saving money, this is one of the most achievable and easy ways to do it. Go through your spending and look at all the things you're paying for that you didn't use this month. Then, go back and look at the previous month. If that isn't enough to convince you, go back one month further. If you haven't used something in 3 months, then you've spent a quarter of the year paying for nothing and it's time to stop.
A final bit of advice on the best ways to save money is another little thing. Use the 48 hour rule. If you see something and really want it, wait 48 hours. If you still want it after that, than you know it's not an impulse buy. On the other hand, if you've completely forgotten about it, then you just saved yourself some money.
It's especially difficult, the younger you are, to get out of the You Only Live Once mindset. You see something, and you think "hey, I really want that thing! I'll totally use it all the time, even though I've never thought about it before today!" Really - it's not worth it. You have to stop thinking "I need this now because it will make me happy", and instead think of the future. When considering whether you should blow your money on the impulse buy, picture the expensive item and think of how much more you'll enjoy it if you save for it.
These are just a few little things you can do to start saving money. Remember that it's important to save your money now, in order to save yourself future heartache. Soon you'll be on your way to affording that trip to Paris or whatever else you want!
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