How to compare the best* short term loans
How can you find "the best" short term loan for your needs?
There are times in life when you might need access to money quickly. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re considering a short term loan, you may be wondering how you can compare your loan options to find the best one for you.
Our guide covers what to look for when applying for a loan, as well as tips on how to choose a loan that is going to positively impact your financial future.
⚠️ 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.
Cash Money Payday Loan
- Minimum loan amount:
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Interest Rate: Varies by Province
- Fees: Up to $17 per $100 borrowed (rounded to nearest dollar)
- Loan term: 12-14 days. Varies by Province
- Turnaround time: Within 2 hours with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
- Key requirements: Be 18+ years old, provide proof of recurring income
Compare short term cash solutions for 2020
Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province of residence.
What features make a short term loan the best fit for you?
Here are some simple questions you should ask yourself while searching for a short term loan:
- Do you prefer a secured loan? Finding a short term loan that doesn’t require any form of collateral, like your car, shouldn’t be difficult. However, some short term loan providers might want you to provide collateral.
- Is there a store network and online presence? Any lender that calls itself the best short term loan company should offer you convenience when it comes to borrowing. This may mean they have a wide network of stores across the country or that they let you apply for and manage your loan online.
- How long does it take to process the loan? Some of the best short term loans ensure that you have access to your funds by the following business day. A limited number of lenders provide prepaid debit card loans which can give you access to funds quickly after you’ve been approved, by transferring the amount to your eligible card. You can then use the money anytime and anywhere, including at stores and some ATMs.
- Are you aware of all of the fees? While some of the best short term loans provide quick access to funds, take the time to find out just how much you’ll have to pay in the form of fees. The best short term loan company in this regard is the one that charges you the lowest fees. Remember how much you borrow will affect how much you have to pay in interest.
- Does the lender accept bad credit applications? If you’re looking for the best bad credit short term loan, take into account that most lenders accept applications from individuals who don’t have a good credit history. If the lender you’re looking at requires good credit history and you aren’t eligible, simply move on to the next.
What are some factors I should take into account?
When you’re comparing the best loans, it’s often hard to know exactly what you should be on the lookout for. You should keep the following factors in mind, since they vary between lenders:
- Minimum and maximum borrowing amounts
- Length of loan
- Types of loans available
- Fees and charges
What are the pros and cons of short term loans?
- You can get your money quickly. When you’re applying for a short term loan, you can get your money immediately after approval if you apply in-store, and most online lenders will transfer approved funds to your bank account the next business day.
- Freedom to use the money as you like. As long as you use the money for legitimate and legal purposes, you are free to do whatever you would like with the loan.
- Bad credit is OK. Short term loan providers will accept applications from people with poor credit histories, but make sure you compare other aspects when looking for the best bad credit short term loan.
- Higher than normal fees. Even the best short term loan companies will charge fees for providing loans. These types of loans tend to attract higher fees in comparison to conventional loans. A general rule of thumb is that the more money you borrow, the more you will pay in the form of fees.
- Disreputable lenders. If a short term lender sounds great and is offering rates that sound too good to be true, they probably are. Ensure the lender complies with all relevant provincial regulations and that they are operating legally.
Before you apply, ensure that you won’t have any problems repaying the loan. If you think you might have trouble, don’t take out the loan. Late or missed payments come with increased fees, charges and interest rates, as well as negatively impacting your credit score. Always work the repayment schedule into your budget, and the best loans will remain the best.
Know that even the best short term loans can end up costing much more than you originally anticipated, especially if you don’t repay your loan on time.
Keep in mind that while the best short term loans will give you quick access to the money you need, you should take some time to research all of your options before applying.
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, which means costs and fees can vary. Ensure that any lender you choose abides by the laws of the place you live.
At the time of writing in January 2019, the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have legislation regulating payday loans at the territorial level. Payday loans are regulated in these territories at the federal level only.
Frequently asked questions
We understand that you may be cautious when applying for a short term loan. We have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.