Financial obligations don’t always come up at the most convenient times, and when the bills pile up, it can be difficult to find the time to do necessary things — like compare your loan options. A broker or a loan-connection service may be able to simplify the process for you, even if you have poor credit.
These services allow you to compare several different loan offers at once with one convenient application. In our guide, we explore how brokers work, compare them to direct lenders and show you how to find a legitimate one.
How do payday loan-connection services or brokers work?
A loan-connection service works to pair borrowers like you with a suitable lender. They don’t provide loans, instead, they compare your application against a network of lenders to find a loan for you that best suits your financial needs and current situation.
Most loan-matching services don’t charge a fee for their services. Their money comes from generating leads or referring you to direct lenders, similar to a commission. Some loan-matching services also function as a lender subscription service. Lenders pay the referral service to be a part of its network, and the referral service then chooses one or more of its options to show you based on what criteria you meet.
Instead of doing your own research and comparing a variety of different loans and services in order to get the best deal, you can instead allow a loan-matching service to do the work for you. You are only required to submit one application and the matching service may potentially match you with more than one loan provider.
Using a loan-connection service could cut down on comparison time and save you the frustration of sorting through different lenders that you may not qualify for.
Payday loan connection services or brokers vs. direct lenders
Loan connection services/brokers
Ease of application. You’ll only have one application to fill out that can potentially match you with several different lenders. The total time to apply is about 10 minutes.
Fees. There is usually no fee for working with a loan broker.
Eligibility requirements. Brokers do have some minimal eligibility criteria to screen applicants, but they tend to accept people with a wide range of circumstances to see if they might be fit for any lenders in the network. This includes people with excellent to poor credit scores.
Ease of application. You’ll have to fill out one application per lender. The total time to apply for each application is about 10 minutes.
Fees. Every lender will charge a financing fee and interest based on the laws of your province or territory of residence.
Safety. Legitimate lenders have secure websites and typically don’t share your information with third parties.
Eligibility requirements. It varies by lender, but you typically must be a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, be 18 years old or the age of majority in your province or territory and have proof of a steady income.
Quick snapshot of how these two options differ
Ease of application
One application for several lenders; total time to apply is approx. 10 minutes.
One application for each lender; total time to apply is approx. 10 minutes per lender.
Varies by lender, usually no additional fee charged by the broker.
Varies by lender, usually a financing fee of around 2% of the borrowed amount.
Legitimate lenders have secure websites and usually don’t share your information with third-parties.
Brokers have minimal eligibility criteria to screen applicants, but accept people with a wide range of circumstances and see if they could be a good fit for any lenders in the partner network.
Varies by lender, but you must show proof of regular income, be 18 years of age or the age of majority in your province and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Why should I consider before submitting my information?
A payday loan-matching service may be a good solution for you if you’re short on time and need a little help with comparing your offers. By submitting just one application, you’re able to compare a variety of different loans and lenders without going through the process yourself.
Peter's trip deposit is due
Peter is in his last year at the University of Toronto. He and his friends are planning to visit Norway this winter, but Peter doesn’t have time to take extra hours at his job to save up enough money to pay the trip deposit that is due at the end of the week.
He goes online and finds a reputable matching service who can help him get a loan for young people with little to no credit history. It takes a few days, but he doesn’t need to submit multiple applications or visit a store in person. The matching service shows him his options from various lenders, and Peter selects one that will pay for his trip deposit, which is about $350. The loan he receives has a relatively low annual percentage rate of interest (APR), and since the loan terms give him 30 days to pay it back, Peter knows he can earn this money in the next month and will be able to pay the loan back without harming his credit or paying additional fees.
How do I find a legitimate matching service or broker?
To avoid scams, consider the following when looking for a broker with a good reputation:
Look for contact information. If you can’t find contact information anywhere on the website, that may be a red flag. You should be able to easily consult with a broker agent at any point in the process.
Check the Better Business Bureau. A BBB rating is a good indicator of a broker’s trustworthiness. Look for a B+ or higher.
Avoid approval guarantees. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed loan, so you’ll want to avoid brokers that guarantee they’ll match you with a lender. You need to meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for a loan, even if it’s as simple as being 18 years old and having a working bank account.
What to watch out for
Since payday loans can be an easy market to prey on people in need of quick money, you may find disreputable and untrustworthy companies.
Avoiding matching services that don’t publish their contact information, security policy or privacy policies. Ensuring that they have this information published can help you avoid a scam.
Without transparency on privacy policies, brokers can hide their practices. For instance, some brokers allow lenders in their network to distribute your contact information to marketers or other third parties.
Before you fill out an application, confirm that the broker you have chosen is legitimate and trustworthy.
In addition, never sign a contract with a lender that you don’t think you can trust.
It’s better to be safe and overly cautious than to find yourself caught up in a scam.
A loan-connection service could save you time and frustration when you need access to some fast cash.
Brokers can help you find a payday loan that suits your financial needs, but they also come with risks that are important to evaluate. As with any loan, be sure to confirm and understand all of the terms and conditions before you sign a contract.
You’re not obligated to accept it, whether it’s through a broker or from a direct lender. You can contact a customer service representative or explore other payday loan options until you feel comfortable with an offer.
Are payday loans available in my province?
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, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have legislation regulating payday loans at the provincial or territorial level. Payday loans are regulated in these provinces and territories at the federal level only.
To repay your loan if you have used a broker, you’ll typically set up a repayment plan directly with the lender that you get connected with and pay them directly. Less common, you may be able to set up the plan with the lender and pay through the broker you worked with.
Requirements can vary between lenders, but a few eligibility requirements are standard for most loans. For example, you must be at least 18 years old or the age of majority in your province or territory, be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have proof of a steady income that will ensure you can pay your loan back.
A loan broker is a separate company that has a network of lenders it works with in order to provide the best options for you and the lender. This avoids the arduous task of sorting through lenders and helps you get a loan that works for you. A loan officer from the lending company will be appointed to you once you are approved. This is the person who will work with you to determine payment schedules and other important factors.
No. Payday loan brokers are there to connect you with lenders despite your credit history. You don’t have to worry about having bad credit because the broker will connect you with a lender that can work with you. As long as you have a steady source of income and meet other basic eligibility criteria, you will still qualify for a loan.
Aliyyah Camp is a publisher helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. Prior to joining Finder, she ran her own personal finance blog and wrote for numerous finance sites. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She regularly attends industry conferences to stay in the know about market changes that can affect consumers. When she's not helping people with their personal finances, you can find her at the movies or going for a run outdoors.
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