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The Best Canadian Personal Loans

Who Offers the Best Personal Loans in Canada?

In urgent need of some quick cash? Unless you've got a friend or family member ready to lend a hand, your next stop is likely a financial institution. However, not all lending avenues are the same, and some unscrupulous lenders out there are charging interest rates well beyond 100%.

Fortunately, for those seeking personal loans in Canada, there are lenders that can help you bridge the financial gap without sinking you further into trouble. The online world presents Canadian consumers with a wide variety of options for personal loans. Some directly link you with funding, while others act as intermediaries, connecting you with reputable financial partners to secure your loan.

Monday, April 15th

2024 Canadian Personal Loan Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Loan Connect Review 5 Star Rating

Loan Connect

5 Star Rating
  • Loan referral service accessible to all Canadian residents
  • Loans available in the range of $500 to $50,000 with terms spanning 6-60 months
  • APRs varying from 8% to 46.96%
  • Repayment terms from 3-120 months
  • Inclusive of all credit score ranges
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Loan Connect, functioning as a search engine, plays a crucial role in linking Canadians with potential lenders. As you navigate through the site, your information guides the matching process, aligning you with partner providers willing to extend a loan based on your credit history and how much you want to borrow. Although the loan application is ultimately completed through the selected lender from the Loan Connect results list, the process starts with this user-friendly platform.

No commitment required

The ease of obtaining quotes without creating an account sets Loan Connect apart. By completing a straightforward online form with basic information, you can explore potential loan offers without immediate commitment or divulging your contact details. We appreciate that Loan Connect doesn't require you to grant permission for newsletters, emails, or other somewhat-related contacts: all you have to do is leave the boxes unchecked and then click where it says to just show you the loans.

Open to residents nationwide

An added advantage is that Loan Connect is available to all residents of Canada, distinguishing it from services on our list that are limited to specific provinces. This inclusivity stems from the platform's diverse network of providers, facilitating nationwide borrower matches. When we entered a basic (fake) profile of a woman from Ontario, "she" was given preliminary offers from Spring Financial and Fairstone (who you'll find reviewed separately here), as well as SkyCap Financial.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Lender ultimately makes the call

Of course, these are only initial options based on the information we entered; the actual application process takes place with the selected lender, and that means you might not wind up qualifying for a personal loan once they take a more detailed look at your financial situation.

Fantastic reputation

And, as you probably understand by now, your overall experience will depend more heavily on the lender you choose than on Loan Connect itself. But, it's still a positive thing that Loan Connect has an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Also, we found hundreds of compliments for Loan Connect from Canadians who said that the service was able to successfully match them with a lender who could fund their personal loan: instead of having to spend time and effort looking at options one by one, using this platform made things smooth and easy (and efficient).

#1 service for personal loans in Canada

Of all of the options on our list that match Canadians with personal loan sources, Loan Connect is our favorite. Although you'll still have to do your homework and choose a lender, then take the extra steps to complete an application, this platform can save you a ton of time by eliminating any lenders who don't line up with your credit history, financial profile, or borrowing needs. If you'd like to get an idea of what you could borrow and from whom, before diving in and signing on any lender's dotted line, Loan Connect should be your first visit.

FlexMoney Review 4.5 Star Rating

FlexMoney

4.5 Star Rating
  • Installment loans from $500 to $15,000
  • Interest rates between 18.9%-46.9%
  • Terms range from 6 months to 5 years
  • No origination fees
  • Loans funded via direct deposit within 24 business hours
  • Available to residents of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

FlexMoney is one of the newest Canadian personal loan options on our list: although they say they've been helping people since 2012, it's only been in the last few years that we've seen them pop up on the radar. They like to call themselves "Canada's most innovative digital lender" , with fully-online lending for most residents of the nation.

Pretty easy to qualify

The qualifications for getting an installment loan through FlexMoney are pretty straightforward. You need to be a Canadian citizen, have an active mobile phone and a valid email address, be at least 21 years of age, and have received at least $2,000 in income over the last three months. At the time of this review, borrowers were eligible if they resided in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory.

Loans can be funded within 24 hours

You can borrow between $500 and $15,000, with interest rates starting at 18.9% and going up to 46.9%. Repayment terms span anywhere from 6 months to 5 years, and you won't be charged any origination fees. FlexMoney will fund your loan via direct deposit, typically within 24 business hours of approving your application.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Work directly with the lender

Why is the process here so fast? It has a lot to do with the fact that FlexMoney is a direct lender. Rather than having to check and see if there are partners in a network who are willing to fund your personal loan, FlexMoney makes that decision themselves. And, because they use a fine-tuned algorithm to let computers do some of that deciding, it makes everything go much more quickly.

Limited yet positive reputation

Because FlexMoney is so new, we're not surprised (but still pleased) to see that they had no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau as of the date of this review. And, the BBB evidently had enough reason to think the lender is doing a good job: they gave FlexMoney both accreditation and an "A+" rating. Borrower feedback is also as limited as you might expect, but trending positive. Those with bad credit are especially grateful for FlexMoney, who approves borrowers that might be declined by other institutions. Of course, with bad credit comes higher interest rates, and that's almost certainly going to be the case when you apply here.

Top pick for direct lending

Overall, FlexMoney is a solid option for most Canadians needing personal loans. The company serves a pretty broad swath of the nation, their process is straightforward, and there's nothing we see that's a red flag. While we'd need a little more feedback from borrowers to move FlexMoney up to our highest rating, this is still a lender we feel quite comfortable recommending.

Borrowell Review 4 Star Rating

Borrowell

4 Star Rating
  • Service matches you with 75+ trusted lending partners for your personal loan
  • Create an account to get your free credit score and weekly updates
  • Personal loans available to residents of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, and Saskatchewan
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

Borrowell is "proudly Canadian" and was the first to offer free credit scores nationwide. Their service predominantly focuses on credit education, with free weekly scores and report monitoring, credit improvement tips, and more.

You'll have to create a free account

Before Borrowell will give you any personal loan quotes, you'll have to create an account and access your free credit score report. Your loan possibilities will automatically be filled in, assuming you've used your accurate information and Equifax has confirmed your identity. We tried using a fake profile and, as you might expect, got nowhere because "her" identity wasn't able to be confirmed.

Over 75 lenders in the network

It's worth doing, though: Borrowell has relationships with more than 75 trustworthy lenders, including big banks like BMO and Capital One, plus smaller options like stnce and sympleloans. You'll still have to be a resident of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, or Saskatchewan to qualify for a personal loan recommendation here.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Might have more lending options now

Still, it's hard to give you more details about what Borrowell can do for you, because they're a little more tight-lipped than they used to be. In the past, we were able to tell you what minimum credit score you'd need, how much income you should have, and so on. Now? There's none of that. However, that's very likely a good thing: it may mean that Borrowell's network of lenders includes institutions that don't have a minimum score or income requirement. The only way to find out is to register for a free account and go from there.

Strong reputation

Borrowell still has an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Most people who use the service, either for credit monitoring or to get a personal loan, are very satisfied with the overall experience. Although there are some Canadians who have been the victims of identity theft and Borrowell is one of the places that the fraudsters went to, to take out credit or a loan in the victims' names, their reps responded promptly and appropriately to rectify the situation.

Great all-around service

We've had to move Borrowell down a little in our rankings. There's another loan referral service that makes it a bit easier to get loan quotes quickly, and that doesn't require signing up for free credit monitoring to do so. But, overall, Borrowell is still a smart way to get connected with multiple lenders in one place, and it probably can't hurt to keep an eye on your credit score too.

Fairstone Financial Review 3.5 Star Rating

Fairstone Financial

3.5 Star Rating
  • Available throughout Canada
  • Loan amounts from $500 to $50,000
  • Offers both secured and unsecured loans
  • Interest rates start at 19.99% on secured, 26.99% on unsecured
  • Terms of 6-60 months on unsecured, 36-120 months on secured
  • Over 3.3. million loans approved
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 100 years

Fairstone Financial, a prominent Canadian lender since 1923, helps borrowers across Canada, including those with varying credit histories. With a longstanding commitment to customer satisfaction, Fairstone Financial has been a trusted option for more than 3.3 million individuals seeking accessible and reliable personal loan solutions.

Secured and unsecured personal loans offered

Unlike lots of personal loan sources in Canada, Fairstone offers both secured and unsecured formats. What's the difference? Secured loans use your home or vehicle as collateral (and thus you get lower interest rates, because the loan is less risky for the bank), while unsecured loans aren't backed by anything you own (with higher interest rates and less risk for you).

Watch out for details in the fine print

There are a lot of ins-and-outs in the details of your Fairstone personal loan that you absolutely must pay attention to. For example, in the FAQs, we discovered that there's no prepayment penalty on their unsecured personal loans, but there are when you pay off a secured personal loan earlier than the term. Ouch.

Higher-than-average interest rates

You'll also want to be very clear on your interest rate. Most of Fairstone's rivals will tell you (albeit in very small print) at the bottom of their website what they charge as a minimum and maximum; here, we were only able to spot that interest rates start at 19.99% on secured loans, 26.99% on unsecured loans. That's a much higher beginning point than pretty much every other Canadian lender we evaluated.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

"A+" from the BBB, as expected

We're not quite sure what to make of Fairstone's reputation. Of course, being in business for over 100 years should put to rest any worries that it's not a legitimate source of personal loans in Canada. The company has the "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau that you'd expect from a lender that's been around that long.

A few too many 1-star reviews

But, when we jump to other places like Trustpilot, we see a lot of mixed feelings: in fact, among the 300+ ratings left there, 60% gave Fairstone a 1-star score (and only 35% were 5-star reviews). Yes, Fairstone reps responded to those negative reviews, but it felt like some of their take was "we're so sorry you didn't read the terms closely" . When hundreds of people are having trouble understanding the terms of their personal loan to the point that they feel swindled during the course of the loan, that might be an indication that Fairstone could be doing a better job during the application and funding process.

Long history, but pay attention to the terms of your personal loan

Fairstone has a long history in the Canadian financial world, and multiple types of personal loans to choose from. For most people, this will be an option to get the funding they want. Still, we would advise borrowers to pay very close attention to the terms of their loan before they commit, maybe even having a trusted friend or advisor go over them as an extra set of eyes. There are quite a few Canadians who have felt taken advantage of by Fairstone Financial's personal loans, and that keeps us from giving the lender a higher rating.

Spring Financial Review 3.5 Star Rating

Spring Financial

3.5 Star Rating
  • Direct lender available to residents of all provinces and territories
  • Loan amounts from $500 to $35,000
  • Interest rates ranging from 9.99% to 46.99%
  • Terms range from 6 months to 5 years
  • No origination fees
  • Same-day funding on loans with e-Transfer
  • All repayments are reported to the credit bureaus, to build your credit

For the millions of Canadians who find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of high-interest payday loans, Spring Financial wants to offer a way out. All of their products are structured in a way that any Canadian can get the credit they need through an easy, all-mobile process, regardless of the details of their credit history.

Live chat is responsive

It impressed us that we were able to reach a live agent right away on Spring Financial's live chat. The rep was able to answer all of our questions and confirm that yes, they lend to residents of all provinces and territories in Canada, and no, they do not charge any fees on their personal loans.

Works with all credit histories

What else do you need to know? First, you can borrow anywhere from $500 to $35,000 here, with interest rates between 9.99% and 46.99%. Naturally, the highest loan amounts and lowest rates are for borrowers with the best credit, but Spring Financial works with clients of all types. Your personal loan will have a repayment term between six months and five years, depending on how much you borrow and, again, your overall borrower profile.

A few extra steps to help you get loan approval

Also, while the process for applying for a personal loan with Spring Financial is similar to what you'll find elsewhere, there are a few steps that other lenders may not require. Why? It's all part of how this company tries to get you to a "yes" when rival financial institutions say "absolutely not" . For example, you'll be asked to provide references during the application process; however, they're typically not contacted when you apply and are just kept in your file. You'll also have to submit bank statements through Spring Financial's secure online bank verification tool: not only is that how they clarify your income details, but it's also how they get the details to deposit your loan funds (often same-day once your loan is approved).

Best Canadian Personal Loans

BBB report is moving in the right direction

Let's look at Spring Financial's reputation. On the one hand, the company has a "C-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. As of May 2022, the BBB had an alert regarding a pattern of complaints: these revolved around poor customer service, billing and collection issues, and customers feeling pressured to accept loans before they had a full understanding. On a positive note, the BBB affirmed that Spring Financial had responded to their invitation to implement changes, and confirmed that the number of complaints was declining drastically (only 40 over the last year).

More than 11,000 five-star reviews from happy clients

And, on the other hand, client feedback on Trustpilot is overwhelmingly positive. Over 11,000 people took the time to leave a five-star rating for Spring Financial, averaging 4.8 stars overall across 13,000+ reviews. Happy clients named specific reps for their helpfulness, praised the speed at which they got the money they needed, and overall expressed gratitude for the lender's willingness to work with them regardless of their credit.

Above average option for personal loans

We're glad to see that Canadians are getting the money they need here, and that the lender has taken steps to address the problems identified by the Better Business Bureau. And yet, the fact that those were an issue to begin with keeps Spring Financial from earning anything better than a "just above average" ranking from us right now. Given just a bit more time, we think Spring Financial could easily move up to a higher rating.

goPeer Review 3 Star Rating

goPeer

3 Star Rating
  • Canada's first consumer peer-to-peer lending platform
  • "A+" rating from the BBB
  • Origination fees (ranging from 0.5% to 5%), contingent on your loan risk assessment, deducted directly from the loan proceeds
  • Loans varying from $1,000 to $35,000, with APRs spanning from 8.99% to 34.99%, depending on your credit profile
  • Minimum FICO score of 600 and DTI of <35% required

Meet goPeer, one of the freshest faces in the Canadian personal loan scene, making its debut in the fall of 2020. This company takes a unique approach, offering a peer-to-peer lending platform where everyday investors can opt to fund your loan instead of traditional investments like the stock market. The differences from standard personal loans are quite significant, so make sure you understand what you're doing before diving into goPeer for your funding needs.

Not for Canadians with truly bad credit

Be aware that this isn't a source of personal loans for Canadians with bad credit. goPeer requires borrowers to have a minimum FICO score of 600 and a debt-to-income ratio of less than 35%. Even then, we found comments from consumers who had applied and been declined despite having credit scores in the 700s, making it even less likely that the average person will get a loan here.

Loan funds can take several days or longer to be deposited

Another big area of difference is in how quickly you can get your money after you apply. This is no "within 24 hours of applying" kind of service: loans under $10,000 take approximately 3-5 days, while those exceeding this amount extend to 6-8 days.

Origination fees deducted from loan proceeds

Be mindful of origination fees ranging from 0.5% to 5%, contingent on your risk assessment score. These fees, in addition to your interest rate, are deducted directly from the loan amount. For instance, if your loan is $10,000 with a 1% fee, you'll only receive $9,900. It's a detail worth considering, especially if you're aiming for a specific loan amount.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Live chat replaced by AI bot

In the past, we were able to use the live chat feature on the goPeer site to get answers to our questions. That feature is still there"sort of. It's now a bot (hello, AI world), and it didn't do too well on giving us basic information like "what provinces do you serve?" Instead, we were asked to provide an email address so that an agent could respond within a business day. This was during regular weekday business hours, so it was disappointing not to be connected to an actual person when we tried.

BBB improving but feedback is still limited overall

goPeer now has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, a half-grade improvement since our previous evaluation. There was only one complaint filed with the BBB in the last three years. But we still have a hard time finding comments from borrowers, positive or negative. Even on Trustpilot there were only six comments (with a middle-of-the-road rating of about 3 stars), and some of those came from goPeer investors.

Intriguing option, but may be a little risky

Should you entrust your finances to this peer-to-peer lending platform? The concept is undoubtedly intriguing, particularly in the Canadian landscape. If you love being a trendsetter, goPeer might offer an interesting borrowing experience. However, the novelty factor is balanced by the company's "youth" and overall lack of feedback from borrowers, and it raises the question of whether or not you're ready to put your proverbial eggs in the basket of a relatively new player.

Loans Canada Review 2.5 Star Rating

Loans Canada

2.5 Star Rating
  • Loan referral service available in all provinces
  • Loan amounts ranging from $500 to $50,000
  • APRs from 6.99% to 46.96%
  • Terms ranging from 4-60+ months
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2012

Established in 2012, Loans Canada proudly stands as the nation's inaugural loan comparison platform for residents of all provinces, operating with 100% Canadian ownership. Functioning as a referral provider, the service links borrowers with loans through its extensive network of lenders, aspiring to equip consumers with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions, steer clear of payday loans, and take command of their financial well-being.

Lender Database is a fantastic free resource

Unlike some loan referral services we're familiar with, Loans Canada doesn't hide who their lending partners are. In fact, they display all of them right in their Lender Database, so that you can do your research and make comparisons before you even apply. You'll find many of the lenders on our list included in that database, like Mogo, Fairstone, and Spring Financial, as well as quite a few more. You can also look up lenders by province, if that's helpful.

Your results will naturally vary

Generally speaking, Loans Canada can connect you with loan amounts between $500 to $50,000, APRs ranging from 6.99% to 46.96%, and repayment terms between 4-60 months or longer. However, your range of offers naturally depends on your credit profile and the lenders with whom you are matched.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

No surprises in the questions asked

To kickstart your borrowing process with Loans Canada, input your desired loan amount and purpose, and provide details such as your credit score range, income source and amount, and postal code. If you meet the criteria for a lender match, the subsequent steps involve providing contact information and delving into specifics about your car, financial situation, employer details, and debt-related information.

No more opting out of calls/SMS

Unfortunately, while in the past Loans Canada allowed prospective clients to opt out of phone/SMS communications from lending partners, now you're automatically opted in when you hit the "next" button after entering your phone number. On the other hand, you aren't required to create an account as part of the quote process (though Loans Canada encourages it, so that you can get a free Equifax credit score, increase your chances of qualifying for a personal loan, and track your application history).

Glitchy website experience

If you don't create an account, prepare yourself to be frustrated. We opted not to, and on the last stage of the quote process we were referred to at least one lender. However, before we could even look at the names of our options, the Loans Canada took us right to one of the lender websites (even though we clicked on nothing). And, when we hit the back button, we went right back to the start of the quote process (which took us about five minutes to begin with).

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Not much feedback from borrowers

With respect to reputation, Loans Canada doesn't do too badly. They've got an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with zero complaints filed against them in the last three years. Feedback in other places is a bit slim: the Loans Canada site references a 4.4-star rating average on Google Reviews, but we couldn't find them through Google itself. Even going into the lender database to see what Loans Canada users had to say, most of the ones profiled only had a handful of customer reviews: 11 for Mogo, 1 for Spring Financial, and so on.

Can't compete with other personal loan referral platforms

It isn't that we're concerned that Loans Canada is doing anything shady with their referral platform, although the BBB wants people to be aware of fraudulent companies using that brand name to try and scam consumers. However, every time we've evaluated this service, we've been left disappointed for one reason or another. It makes us wonder if the reason why Loans Canada has so few reviews is because hardly anyone actually makes it to the point of taking out a personal loan. There are other referral services you can use to comparison shop among lenders in Canada, and we recommend you check those out instead of this one.

Mogo Review 2 Star Rating

Mogo

2 Star Rating
  • Line of credit up to $3,500
  • Funds available via direct deposit or Interac e-Transfer
  • Available to residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI or Newfoundland
  • $15.99 to $16.99 per month for MogoMini Service Bundle
  • 100-day satisfaction guarantee
  • In business since 2003
  • "A-" rated by the BBB
  • Over 1.8 million Canadian members

Mogo is a Canadian financial technology company that offers a range of digital services. Known for its innovative approach to personal finance, Mogo provides features such as free credit score monitoring, identity fraud protection, and a digital spending account. Additionally, Mogo stands out for its cryptocurrency offerings, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin through its platform. Since 2008, the company has aimed to empower individuals to take control of their financial health.

Line of credit, not a term loan

Mogo has drastically changed their personal loan offering since our last review. It's called MogoMoney, and what you get now is a line of credit up to $3,500, rather than a term loan. That means that if you only make the minimum payments each month, you'll never pay down your principal balance, only the interest.

Understand the eligibility requirements

To qualify, you'll need to be a resident of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI or Newfoundland. Successful applicants typically have a minimum annual net income of $13,000, steady income of at least 30 days, and verification information like a copy of your ID and your bank details.

You'll have to create an account

It takes around three minutes to create a MogoAccount and see if you've been pre-approved for MogoMoney. There's no impact on your credit score until you decide you want to complete the formal application. Just follow the instructions on your account to finish the process. If approved, you can receive your funds via direct deposit or Interac e-Transfer.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Fee-based services to complement your line of credit

There are a couple of add-on features you may want to consider with your MogoMoney line of credit. First, there's the MogoMini Service Bundle priced at $15.99 to $16.99 per month. The benefits include the following:

  • Free Moka account: helps you save and invest automatically, with as little as $5/week
  • Skip a payment twice a year
  • Free email money transfer funding ($19.99 value)
  • Waiver of waiting period when line of credit is paid in full and you want to borrow again
  • Waiver of NSF fee
  • Remain in good standing with one missed payment
  • Priority status on line of credit advances

Some accounts can use Level Up feature

Another benefit offered by Mogo is Level Up. After at least three months, if your payments have been made on time, you may be eligible for an increase on your credit limit. However, while we initially thought this was a feature available to all MogoMoney clients, the FAQ made it sound like it's only offered to those subscribing to the MogoMini Service Bundle described above.

100-day "free trial"

If you opt for MogoMoney, you've got a 100-day trial period to decide if the line of credit meets your needs. If not, you can return all of the principal and get a refund of any interest and fees you've paid in that 3+ month period. But, given that most people aren't going to have that cash still on hand (after all, they borrowed it to USE it), this feels more like an effort to look good rather than provide a benefit that clients will use.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Solid rating from the BBB

How does Mogo do in terms of reputation? Their grade from the Better Business Bureau has dropped a little since our last review, but it's still a respectable "A-" . There were 59 complaints filed over the most recent three-year period: not bad considering nearly 2 million Canadians are part of the Mogo community.

Loan customers aren't happy

However, when looking at the feedback strictly for loans, there are a lot of unhappy Mogo clients. It seems that Mogo structures its MogoMoney as a payday loan, which has affected the way that it's reported to the credit bureaus: one borrower complained that his or her payments were only going to TransUnion and not to Equifax. Others didn't understand that they were getting a line of credit and not a term loan (which is understandable, given that most people read "personal loans" and don't think "line of credit" ); when they were making minimum payments, they didn't realize it was never going to pay down the principal. Is that Mogo's fault? Not necessarily, but it makes us wonder if they could be doing a little more to make absolutely sure that their borrowers are 100% clear on what they're getting here. That might make it less likely that Mogo will continue getting 1-star ratings from angry clients: on Trustpilot, 78% of reviews are that low, with only 12% giving the company a perfect score.

Best left as a last resort

MogoMoney could be an option if you can't get a traditional personal loan somewhere else. But, you should be absolutely clear on what it is and what it is not: if you only make the minimum payments, you will only be paying interest, and you may be in for a nasty surprise when you think you've paid in full. We definitely recommend checking out the other options on our list for personal loans in Canada before you sign up for Mogo's services.

Loan Away Review 1.5 Star Rating

Loan Away

1.5 Star Rating
  • Personal term loans available in Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia
  • Borrow from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Loan terms between 6-36 months
  • APRs between 19.9% and 45.9%
  • Funds direct deposited within a day in most cases
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Loan Away is a strictly-online, Canadian owned-and-operated lender who approves over 80% of personal loan applications they receive. If you're approved, your loan proceeds may be deposited into your bank account within one business day, and sometimes as quickly as one hour.

Limited loan amounts and service area

Here's the scoop on the usual details. First, you can borrow from $1,000 to $5,000 here in increments of $1,000. You'll have to be a resident of Loan Away's service area: Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia. Repayment terms range from 6-36 months, and interest rates are between 19.9%-45.9% APR.

You'll have to wait for an email

When you start the process of getting a quote, you'll be asked to create an account right away. Everything you're asked to disclose is on that same page, so at least you know exactly what you'll have to tell Loan Away before you click "submit" . We weren't thrilled that, when we did that, we were told that our application was submitted successfully and we "should receive an email within 4 business hours" . Not exactly an instantaneous process, is it? For reasons you'll understand as you continue reading, we submitted a fake profile here, so we're not sure how long it would have taken to get that actual loan offer they promised.

Interesting link revealed by the BBB

Reputation? The Better Business Bureau gives Loan Away an "A+" rating, with only 10 complaints filed against them in the last year (though none of those were available to view on the BBB site, for what it's worth). An interesting tidbit: according to the BBB, the director and president of Loan Away is also the director of Ontario Energy Group. We're not sure how the two are related, but it seemed like a somewhat unusual combination.

Best Canadian Personal Loans

Lots of negative reviews

We're also wondering how the BBB thinks so highly of this Canadian company, when what people have to say on Trustpilot and in other places is scathing at best. More than 50 1-star reviews paint a picture of incompetent support representatives, payments that go missing (and then borrowers are penalized), and threatening emails and phone calls despite borrowers' repeated attempts to show documentation that loan repayments had been made.

Website and socials are way out of date

And, just to point out other reasons you should avoid Loan Away, we noticed that their site copyright was almost eight years old, the main loan page offered a not-so-helpful article about Personal Loans in 2019, and the links to their socials were all either dead accounts or ones that hadn't been updated in years. At least the toll-free number was still operational when we called.

Don't bother applying for a personal loan here

Loan Away doesn't earn our trust. They're definitely not keeping their website up to date, and their personal loans aren't anything to write home about. In fact, the only thing keeping this lender off the bottom of the barrel ranking-wise is their top-notch grade from the Better Business Bureau. Other than that, Loan Away doesn't even come close to measuring up to what we expect from a Canadian lender. Loan Away? More like "stay away" .

LendingMate Review 1 Star Rating

LendingMate

1 Star Rating
  • Loans only for residents of Ontario and British Columbia
  • Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000
  • Terms span from 12 to 60 months
  • No origination fees or hidden costs
  • Interest rates are set at 34.9% or 43% per annum
  • Approval involves a phone call with you and your guarantor

If you've been looking for a personal loan in Canada, you might have stumbled upon LendingMate, a company that specializes in guarantor loans. To borrow money, you'll need a partner with good credit who is willing to make repayments if you can't. This unconventional method is designed to assist those with bad credit or self-employed individuals lacking the necessary credit history for a traditional loan.

Expect a call to you and your guarantor

LendingMate doesn't make its decisions based on an impersonal algorithm. Instead, they'll have a phone call with you and your guarantor, making their final decision based on "simple common sense" . If you have someone that trusts you enough to commit to making your personal loan repayments if you don't, LendingMate will likely approve your application: 95% of borrowers are.

No origination fees

We also can get behind lenders who don't charge any origination fees or hide other costs during the loan process. In that regard, LendingMate seems like a solid option for personal loans.

Only available in two provinces

However, you might find LendingMate limiting. It only caters to borrowers from two provinces (namely, ON and BC; Quebec has dropped off their list since our last review) and offers a borrowing range of $2,000 to $10,000. If you were hoping for more flexibility, this isn't the platform for you. Add to that the fact that interest rates here go as high as 43% per annum, and you'll see why we're a little skeptical about LendingMate's "thousands of loans funded each year" .

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Borrowers are really unhappy

Also, customer reviews paint a grim picture of the LendingMate experience. Approved loan applications don't guarantee smooth sailing; clients report difficulties reaching LendingMate representatives, unfunded loans, and intimidating communication regarding timely payments. "Scam," "beware," and "horrible" are words we saw more than once in customer feedback.

"F" grade from the Better Business Bureau

Perhaps the most concerning aspect is LendingMate's "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Customer complaints there reflect what we described earlier. To make matters worse, several complaints submitted to the BBB received no response from LendingMate.

Avoid these personal loans

Considering the multitude of trustworthy options available for personal loans in Canada, LendingMate doesn't even come close to comparing. With a dismal BBB rating and an equally poor reputation among customers, this service should be one of the last on your list.

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Continued from above...

A relatively new player gaining traction is the social lending network, or peer-to-peer lending, where everyday individuals invest in funding loans for their Canadian neighbors. This arrangement creates a win-win, with investors earning on the interest you pay and you getting the funds you need without sky-high rates or fees.

Regardless of the path you choose, it's crucial to understand the terms of any personal loan offers you receive. Not repaying a loan (on time or at all) can have a detrimental impact on your credit score, a setback that can be challenging to set right down the road.

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you're clear on the interest rate, repayment terms, and any potential origination fees or prepayment penalties. While the allure of accepting the first cash offer you receive may be strong, take your time and be a discerning consumer.

As you navigate the array of personal loan options in Canada, you'll need to figure out where to start and which service to trust. Consider these factors:

  • Direct funding or referral platform. Will the provider directly fund your loan, or will they connect you with various lenders for comparison? If it's a referral service, who are their lending partners, and can they be relied upon?
  • Transparency. Does the service disclose upfront the average interest rates paid by borrowers? How hard is it to find out how much you can borrow? Are any fees clearly outlined?
  • Reputation. What do other borrowers say about the lender or referral platform? Are they rated and/or accredited by the BBB? Is the provider established and trustworthy?
  • Timeframe for receiving funds. How long will it take to get your loan funded? Some lenders can transfer money within an hour of your loan's approval, while others may have you waiting for a week or longer. Choose accordingly if you're trying to get money quickly.

For an in-depth review of the best online sources for personal loans in Canada, look no further than our list here at Top Consumer Reviews. We're confident that our insights will assist you in quickly getting the funds you need with terms you can manage. Be a well-informed borrower on your financial journey!

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Canadian Personal Loan FAQ

Sometimes referred to as "instalment loans" or "consumer loans" , personal loans involve borrowing a set amount of money and agreeing to pay it back in regular payments. These loans may be for a specific purchase, like a home renovation or car, or used to pay off debts with higher interest rates.
Yes, usually. During the quote and application process, you may be asked to specify the purpose of your personal loan - but that's not a binding commitment. That information is often used to give you alternative types of financing, like debt consolidation or an auto loan.
In Canada, most providers of personal loans offer amounts that range from $500 to $50,000. Your loan offers will depend on several factors, such as your credit history, your current income, your debt-to-income ratio and your employment history.
It helps. The higher your credit score, the less you'll probably pay in interest and fees, and the bigger the amount of the loan you'll qualify for. But, if you're not quite there yet, there are some lenders who specialize in personal loans for people with less-than-stellar credit.
Most of the time, yes, without penalty. That's good to know if you're applying for a loan with a lender that only offers longer-term funding (e.g. 3 or 5 years): as long as there's no prepayment penalty, you can pay it back as quickly as you like. Read the terms of your loan offer carefully before you sign, to determine if there will be any fees if you pay it back ahead of the loan period.
Beyond the interest charged on your loan, you might have an origination fee as well. The origination fee is often a percentage of your total loan amount, and may either be added to the total of your loan or subtracted from it before you receive the payout. For example, if your origination fee is 1% of a $1000 loan, that $10 may either give you a total borrowed amount of $1010, or you may only receive a payout of $990.
That depends on how quickly you can gather any required documents for the application and on the lender you select. Once your personal loan has been approved, some providers can have the funds in your account in as little as an hour, while others may take up to a week or more to get the money to you.
Absolutely. Most of the financial services you already know and trust make their loan application process easy to complete online. Plus, doing your research on the internet helps you find the personal loan with the best rate and terms for your situation, instead of just taking whatever your local bank may have to offer. As with all online transactions, however, be sure to choose a loan provider with a proven track record: a positive rating from the BBB and numerous customer reviews are two good signs that you can trust a given lender online.

Easy Ways to Start Saving Money

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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