If you’re looking to apply for an online cash advance loan, you will simply need to submit an application online. If the lender approves your application, you can receive the money in your bank account or via a cheque in the mail as soon as the next business day.
Even if you have fair to poor credit, you can still apply for a cash advance. However, remember you’ll still need to meet the eligibility requirements set by the specific lender and the laws in the province or territory where you live.
⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans
If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call Credit Counselling Canada on 1800 007 007. It's open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short-term loans, ensure you take into consideration all fees, charges and interest to understand how much your loan might cost in total.
Alternatives to short-term loans
Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
Use online Government resources. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website demonstrates how small amount loans work – and suggests alternative options that may help you.
Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you.
Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.
Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province of residence.
How do you take out a cash advance online?
Applying for a cash advance online requires you to choose a lender and submit your application. This process should only take a few minutes, as long as you have all of the required information on hand, including your personal and financial information. Most lenders will inform you of the application’s status shortly after you apply.
If you’re looking for a same day cash advance, you should be aware that your options are quite limited. Not all lenders accept online applications and allow you to collect approved funds in-store. Typically, online cash advance loans give you access to money the following business day when the money is transferred into your bank account.
What cash advance options are available?
If you’re looking to apply for a cash advance, the following products may be options to consider:
Cash advance loans. These loans are short term loans that you apply for in-store or online. While the APR and fees vary between provinces and territories, they are all generally quite high. Think carefully about whether you can afford your cash advance loan before you apply.
Credit card cash advance. If you have an existing credit card, you can use it to get a cash advance. Remember the cash advance fee, which can be either a flat fee or a percentage of the amount you withdraw from your card, can be high.
What features are offered when I get a cash advance online?
Go through online reviews to find a cash advance that works for you, then compare your results with these features to choose your best option:
A simple online process. A good cash advance provider will have a user-friendly online cash advance application that should only take about 5 to 10 minutes. Many lenders also accept digital signatures on their loan contracts, further simplifying the process, which means you don’t have to print, mail or fax anything. Once approved, your funds could be available as soon as the next business day.
Your choice of various store locations. If you’re looking for a same day cash advance, find lenders who allow in-store pick-ups. Certain cash advance lenders have extensive store networks across most provinces in Canada, meaning you can apply online and receive your funds in cash.
Province and territory specific fees. Provincial/territorial laws and the amount you borrow affect the fees you end up paying, and lenders can also charge loan fees differently. Choose a lender who has fees you can easily pay back.
Lenders who accept bad credit. While receiving a conventional loan with bad credit isn’t easy, most online cash advance lenders have less strict criteria when compared to traditional loans given by banks and credit unions.
Robert's late hydro bill
Robert works as a mechanic near a local cash advance store. His wife has recently lost her job, and the hydro bill is due today. Because of the short wait time between applying and being approved, Robert decides to take out a payday loan.
During his lunch break, he stops in at the loans office. Robert finds out that they do in-store cash pick-ups and he completes the online application immediately. He’s approved within minutes and picks up his loan from the store at the end of the business day. Robert makes a note to adjust his budget for the next month to account for the extra $150, which allows him to pay the loan principle and the extra fees associated with the loan.
Benefits and drawbacks of getting a cash advance online
What are the benefits?
Apply from anywhere. You can apply for a cash advance online from just about anywhere if you have an Internet connection.
Quick access to money. Depending on the lender you apply with and the time of day that you apply, you could see the approved loan amount in your account as soon as the next business day.
Use the funds for any purpose. Lenders of online cash advances give you the freedom to do what you want with the approved funds, as long as it’s legitimate.
What are the drawbacks?
High fees. Fees charged by cash advance providers are high, especially when compared to standard loans. It’s best to only use these for short-term financial solutions or when there are no other options available.
Untrustworthy lenders. While many loan providers follow the laws, there are some online cash advance lenders who do not. Before you take out a loan, be sure to confirm that the lender you’re dealing with is practising legally and is a reputable provider.
What you should try to avoid
Avoid a loan you can’t repay. If you think you’ll have trouble repaying your loan, don’t take it out. Late or missed payments will lead to extra charges, costing you more money, and ultimately throwing you into the vicious cycle of debt.
Skimming your loan offer document, instead of studying it. Before you accept the loan, take time to go through the terms and conditions carefully. This should give you a clear picture of the fees and charges you might have to pay under various circumstances.
Avoid bad terms. If you have a loan offer that is extremely costly and full of fees, you’re under no obligation to accept the terms. There are lender-matching services that can help you find a better loan.
Are payday loans available in my province or territory?
Payday loans are available in all provinces and territories across Canada. You should be aware that payday loans are regulated by individual provinces, meaning costs and fees can vary between. Ensure that any lender you choose abides by the laws of the place you live.
At the time of writing in June 2018, the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have legislation regulating payday loans.
Still need more information? We answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
The laws of your province or territory and the lender’s policies will determine how much you can borrow through a cash advance.
You will need to be the age of majority in your province or territory, which is generally 18 years old, be a permanent resident or citizen of Canada and have a regular source of income. You will also likely need to have a bank account.
When you apply for a cash advance online, the lender will transfer the approved funds into your bank account. On the due date, the lender will then request funds from the same account.
Yes, you can, and in certain instances, you can even look forward to a refund of partial or complete loan fees. Some lenders will charge you prepayment fees, so keep this in mind when you’re signing a contract and looking to pay early.
This varies from lender to lender. It’s important to read your loan contract to find out what fees and charges there are. Always read the terms and conditions and don’t simply skim over them.
Elizabeth Barry is Finder's global fintech editor. She has written about finance for over five years and has been featured in a range of publications and media including Seven News, the ABC, Mamamia, Dynamic Business and Financy. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Communications and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Technology Sydney. In 2017, she received the Highly Commended award for Best New Journalist at The Lizzies. Elizabeth has found writing about innovations in financial services to be her passion (which has surprised no one more than herself).
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