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Fairstone Financial Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Canadian Personal Loan Reviews

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.

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.

The Best Canadian Personal Loans Compare Canadian Personal Loans Compare Canadian Personal Loan Reviews What are the best Canadian Personal Loans Best Canadian Personal Loan Reviews

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.
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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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