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How to borrow money fast
Four ways to get a loan fast when you're in urgent need of funds.
Do you need money urgently to pay a bill or an unexpected expense? Our guide for how to borrow money fast covers the different ways you can borrow money online so that you don’t have to worry about running out of cash between paycheques.
How to borrow money fast
|Type of financing||Turnaround time||Interest rates||Fees||Loan amounts||Repayment period|
|Credit card cash advance||Instant if withdrawing from an ATM||23.99%||Varies||Usually a percentage of your credit limit||Varies|
|Online personal loans||Usually within 24 hours||2% to 47% (depends on credit score and other factors)||Varies||Often between $500 and $50,000||Between 3 months and 5 years||Compare personal loans|
|Bank or credit union loans||A few days to a few weeks||6% to 36% (depends on credit score and other factors)||Varies||Often between $1,000 and $50,000, sometimes more||Between 1 and 10 years|
|Payday loans||Usually less than 60 minutes after approval||Fees may work out to an annual interest rate of 300% or more||$15 – $25 for every $100 borrowed||Up to $1,500||Usually by next paycheque||Compare payday loans|
1. Credit card cash advances
Credit card cash advances let you borrow money fast using your credit card at a bank or ATM. These transactions come with relatively steep interest rates (around 23.99%), but may be a good solution if you need money urgently and don’t want to take out a loan. The total amount you can borrow from a credit card advance is usually a percentage of your credit limit.
- Turnaround time. Instant if withdrawing cash from an ATM.
- Interest rates. 23.99%.
- Fees. You could pay a small fee to withdraw money (usually as a percentage of your transaction.
- Loan amount. Usually a percentage of your credit limit.
- Repayment period. Varies based on how much you borrow, and whether or not you’re making more than the minimum monthly payment.
2. Online personal loans
You may be able to get a loan fast when you borrow money online with a private lender. You just need to search for personal loans online and compare lenders to find the best deal. These lenders tend to make it easier for you to get a loan fast because they often have less strict eligibility criteria. You may even be able to borrow money online with a bad credit loan or a no credit check loan if your credit score is in rough shape.
- Turnaround time. Usually within 24 hours.
- Interest rates. 2% to 47% (depends on credit score and other factors).
- Fees. Varies by online lender.
- Loan amount. Often between $500 and $50,000.
- Repayment period. Between 3 months and 5 years.
Compare personal loans
3. Banks or credit union loans
You may be able to get a loan fast from banks or credit unions if you’ve been a long-time customer. Eligibility criteria is typically more stringent for getting these types of loans, which means this may not be a suitable option if you have a low credit score or you’re currently unemployed. Just be aware that you may not be able to get a same-day loan with this option.
- Turnaround time. A few days to a few weeks.
- Interest rates. 6% to 36% (depends on credit score and other factors).
- Fees. Varies by bank or credit union.
- Loan amount. Often between $1,000 and $50,000, sometimes more.
- Repayment period. Between 1 and 10 years.
4. Payday loans
Payday loans let you borrow up to $1,500 over the course of two weeks (or one pay period). These loans come with extremely high interest rates and should be avoided wherever other options to get a loan fast exist. You can usually access these loans without a credit check and you should only borrow what you absolutely need. Borrowing a smaller amount of money and paying it back quickly will help you avoid getting stuck in a vicious cycle of debt.
- Turnaround time. Usually less than 60 minutes after approval.
- Interest rates. Fees may work out to an annual interest rate of 300% or more.
- Fees. $15 – $25 for every $100 borrowed.
- Loan amount. Up to $1,500.
- Repayment period. Usually by your next paycheque.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loansPayday loans are expensive. If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call Credit Counselling Canada from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday at +1 866-398-5999. Consider alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
- Local resources. Government agencies, nonprofits and local charities may offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent for those in need.
- Debt relief companies. These services can help you find a solution to reduce your debt payments and work toward becoming debt-free.
- Payment extensions. Talk with your bill providers about a longer payment plan or extension on your due date if you're behind on payments.
- Side jobs. Today's digital marketplace offers the ability to more easily sell unwanted items, sign up for food delivery or drive for rideshare services.
Compare payday loans
Maximum borrowing costsYou should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results. The table below shows the maximum allowable cost of borrowing under a payday loan for each province:
|Province||Maximum allowable cost of borrowing|
|Alberta||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|British Columbia||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Manitoba||$17 per $100 borrowed|
|New Brunswick||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$21 per $100 borrowed|
|Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon||$60 per $100 borrowed|
|Nova Scotia||$19 per $100 borrowed|
|Ontario||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Prince Edward Island||$25 per $100 borrowed|
|Quebec||Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)|
|Saskatchewan||$17 per $100 borrowed|
Steps to borrow money fast
Follow these steps to borrow money as fast as possible online – without paying big later.
- Check your bank or credit union. Look on your bank’s website to see if it offers fast personal loans that you can qualify for. You can also speak to a bank representative to find out how long it might take to get approved.
- Check your credit score. Find out your credit score before you start applying for loans. This will help you determine which ones you might be eligible for so you don’t waste your time with unnecessary applications.
- Compare all options available to you. Look into all options available to people with your credit score and income. You may want to use a broker to compare multiple loan providers at one time.
- Get your documents ready. Have PDFs of bank statements, pay stubs and other important documents ready to go before you apply. This will speed up the process and make it easier for you to prove that you meet eligibility requirements.
- Apply. Apply online or in-person by filling in your personal details and information about your income, debts and personal finances. This information will be used to determine your eligibility and interest rates.
- Review and sign the contract. Make sure you understand the cost of your loan and when your payments are due. Also look out for any information about late or prepayment penalties.
While it may vary between different lenders, you’ll usually need to meet the following requirements to get a loan fast.
- Be 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
- Have a bank account
- Meet any credit score requirements
- Meet any income requirements and have proof of income
You will usually need to provide the following to borrow money online:
- Your personal details. This includes your full name, date of birth, address, email address, phone number and Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- Your employment details. You may need to provide your employer’s name and contact information.
- Proof of income. You could be required to submit pay stubs or bank statements to provide proof of your income.
- Your banking details. You will need to provide the name of your bank, the branch address and transit number, and your own personal bank account number.
Benefits and drawbacks when you borrow money fast
- Less paperwork required. You’ll fill out less paperwork when you borrow money fast since there’s a shorter window to get you approved. This is especially true if you borrow money online.
- Faster turnaround time. Fast financing options often process on the same-day that you apply. This can save you time and is especially helpful in an emergency when you need cash in hand as soon as possible.
- Many options. There are several options that you can choose from when you need money urgently. These range from from credit card advances and payday loans to personal loans and payday apps.
- Very high fees. You’ll often pay very high interest rates when you get a loan fast. This is because you may need to resort to options such as credit card cash advances and payday loans (which can cost you double or triple what you would pay for other types of financing).
- Untrustworthy lenders. You may encounter predatory lenders when you borrow money online. This is because these lenders often target customers who need money urgently since they are less likely to check reviews and make sure a lender is legitimate before applying.
- Short repayment terms. Most lenders that allow you to borrow money fast will usually expect you to repay it in a short time frame. If you don’t have the money to repay your loan on time, you could end up getting trapped in a cycle of debt that’s very difficult to get out of.
Alternatives to borrowing from a lender
You can look into the following options if you want to borrow money fast but you don’t want to apply for financing.
|Alternative||What you can do|
|Ask for more time||If you have a bill that you know you’re just not going to be able to pay on time, give the company a call and ask for an extension. You would be surprised how many companies will work with you to come up with a new repayment time frame. You may also be able to ask it to waive late fees if it’s not a regular occurrence.|
|Ask your family or a friend||Ask your family or a good friend to lend you some money. They may be willing to offer you a cash loan with no interest. Just make sure you agree to repayment terms in advance to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings in the future.|
|Ask your employer||Some employers may give you an advance on your wages and you may even be able to tap into an employee loan assistance program. You can also speak to your manager about working some overtime or taking on a special project to make ends meet.|
|Sell something||Perhaps you have some things in your house that you no longer need and could sell. Some examples are: baseball cards, stamps, rare coins, an old cell phone or an old stereo or tv. Look around your house and try and to find something you don’t use but has value. You could quickly put it on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or a local reselling app to get some quick cash.|
|Do some side gigs||Check online for some quick cash jobs. Sites like Craigslist and Kijiji have jobs sections which generally include part time gigs like writing, manual labour, event coordination, creative or design work, database work, pet sitting or even housesitting. You can also look for jobs through online freelancer sites such as Upwork.|
There are many different types of financing that let you borrow money fast. You’ll want to make sure you compare multiple options to find the one that best suits your needs and budget. Learn more about how you can borrow money online, through an app or with your bank when you need money urgently.
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