There are a number of lenders offering personal loans in BC, including big banks, credit unions, private lenders and peer-to-peer services. Learn more about the different types of loans on offer, how much they cost and what you can use the money for. Compare lenders and review our tips for finding the best loan for your personal situation.
Compare personal loans in BC
Where to get personal loans in British Columbia
Learn more about where you can get personal loans in BC by exploring different lenders.
Bank loans are provided by Canada’s Big Five banks and other major financial institutions. These loans typically come with mid-level interest rates but you’ll usually need an excellent credit score (710+) or a high annual income to qualify. You may be able to qualify for lower rates if you secure your loan with an asset or get a cosigner.
- How it works. Apply for a loan with the bank in person or by submitting your personal information online. If approved, money will be deposited into your bank account as a lump sum and you’ll pay the loan back over a set term (usually 5 years).
- How do I qualify? You must be a Canadian citizen or resident and be the age of majority in BC. You’ll also need to meet credit score and revenue/income requirements and have a working bank account.
- Sample lenders. BMO, TD Bank, RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, HSBC, Canadian Western Bank and National Bank.
Credit unions are membership-only financial institutions that typically offer smaller loans than banks. These loans usually come with slightly lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than banks. You may also be able to apply with bad credit if you secure your loan with an asset or get a cosigner.
- How it works. Apply for credit union personal loans in BC by filling out an application in person or online. If approved, money will be deposited into your bank account as a lump sum and you’ll pay the loan back over a set term (usually 5 years).
- How do I qualify? You must be a Canadian citizen or resident and be the age of majority in BC. You’ll also need to meet credit score and revenue/income requirements and have a membership with the credit union you apply with.
- Sample lenders. Coast Capital, Vancity, Coastal Community Credit Union, Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union, Island Savings and Community Savings Credit Union.
Online lenders are companies that offer loans with less strict eligibility criteria. You may be able to apply with bad credit or low income as long as you can prove you’ll be able to make your repayments. You’ll usually get your funds very quickly (sometimes in less than 24 hours) and there’s less administrative work involved in most cases.
- How it works. Apply with an online lender by submitting your personal info online. Upload the required documents and get approved quickly if you qualify. Get your funds deposited into your bank account and make repayments over a set term.
- How do I qualify? You must be a Canadian citizen or resident and be the age of majority in BC. You’ll need to meet credit score and revenue/income requirements and have a working bank account. You’ll also need to be comfortable with applying for and managing your loan online
- Sample lenders. LoanConnect, Spring, Merchant Growth, Loans Canada, Mogo, Fairstone, Loan Away, SkyCap Financial and FlexMoney.
P2P loans are usually offered through an online platform. This platform connects you to other Canadians who want to give you financing and collect interest on the money you borrow. Interest rates for P2Ps are usually lower than bank or private loans. Your rates will be lower if you have a good credit score, but you can still apply with bad credit.
- How it works. You’ll connect directly with investors via the P2P platform. The site usually sets the rates and terms and enables the transactions. You’ll then receive a lump sum and repay your loan in the same way you would with the bank.
- How do I qualify? You must be a Canadian citizen or resident and be the age of majority in BC. You’ll also need to have a decent credit score and a regular source of income as well as a working bank account and be comfortable working entirely online.
- Sample lenders. Providers include goPeer and the r/borrow subreddit (but be aware that r/borrow is not regulated in Canada).
Types of personal loans in BC
You’ll need to choose one loan type out of each of the 2 categories in the table below when you apply for personal loans in British Columbia. For example, you could choose an unsecured fixed rate loan or a secured variable rate loan or any other combination.
|Loan type||Who’s it best for||How it works||Features|
|Unsecured vs secured loans|
|Unsecured personal loans||Best for borrowers with good to excellent credit||Qualify based on your credit score|
Your credit score will go down if you default
|Secured personal loans||Best for borrowers with assets or bad credit who want lower rates||Qualify based on your assets|
Your asset can be sold off if you default
|Fixed vs variable rate loans|
|Fixed rate personal loans||Best for borrowers who want predictable monthly payments.||Interest rates stay the same for your loan term|
|Variable rate personal loans||Best for borrowers that want to benefit if interest rates go lower during their fixed term||Interest rates fluctuate for the duration of your loan term (in line with the Bank of Canada’s prime rate)|
What makes a successful application?
You’ll need to fill out your application correctly and meet certain criteria to successfully apply for most personal loans in BC. Eligible applicants will usually need to meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 19 years old (the age of majority in BC)
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
- Be employed and have a steady income
- Meet credit score and income requirements
- Have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio below 36%
Documents you’ll need to provide
To apply for personal loans in British Columbia, you’ll usually need to provide the following documents:
- Identity documents. Personal identification such as your passport or driver’s licence.
- Proof of income. Pay stubs, employment records, tax records, proof of government benefits (such as EI) or other documents.
- Debt-to-asset ratio. Lists of assets and debts to make sure you can qualify for funding.
- Credit score. Consent for your lender to run a credit check.
How to compare personal loans in BC
Think about the following features when deciding on which personal loan in BC is best for you:
- Interest rates. Rates can be fixed or variable and usually range between 3.7% and 47%. Compare multiple lenders to make sure you get the best deal.
- Loan amounts. Figure out how much you want to borrow before you apply. Some lenders offer up to $50,000 while others will limit you to $25,000 or $15,000.
- Turnaround time. Think about how fast you need the money. For a quick turnaround time, you may want to consider fast personal loans.
- Loan terms. Loan terms often range from 6 months to 60 months. Aim for the shortest term you can afford to keep your interest costs low.
- Fees. Some lenders charge origination fees, late fees and early repayment fees on your loan. Read the fine print to make sure you don’t end up with hidden charges.
Steps to apply for personal loans in BC
Follow these steps for how to apply for a personal loan to qualify for the loan you want.
1. Figure out a budget
Do the math to figure out how much you need to borrow and how much you can afford to pay back each month. Aim for the shortest term possible so that you don’t end up paying significant amounts of interest.
2. Compare lenders
Compare multiple lenders and loan types to get a fuller picture of how much you should pay based on your credit score and other personal factors. You can compare lenders using a personal loan broker or by comparing loans manually.
3. Prequalify when possible
Fill out an application to prequalify for different loans to find out what the actual rates you’ll pay will be (rather than the advertised rate). Getting preapproved for a personal loan can give you an idea of where you might find the best deal.
4. Finish the application
Fill out an application once you’ve decided on the lender that will give you the best rates and conditions for your loan. You’ll usually need to submit contact details and financial information to apply as well as submit to a credit check.
What can I use my personal loan for?
You can use personal loans in BC to pay for the following expenses, depending on what your lender authorizes:
- Debt consolidation. Merge all of your debts into one easy payment with better terms and interest rates with a debt consolidation loan.
- Home improvement. Get that kitchen you’ve always dreamed of or pay for home renovations to increase the resale value of your home.
- Post-secondary education. Use personal loans in BC to help cover the costs of books and tuition if you’re not eligible for government-funded student loans.
- Large one-off purchases. Take out a loan to pay for a large one-off purchase such as a new vehicle, cell phone or all-inclusive vacation.
- Daily expenses. Tap into personal loans to help pay for your everyday bills and expenses or take out a line of credit if you need regular access to funds.
How much are personal loans in British Columbia?
Personal loan interest rates in BC can range from 3.7% to 47%, depending on whether you get a secured or unsecured loan. The rate you get will depend on these factors:
- Credit score. You’ll have a higher chance of getting decent interest rates if you have a credit score above 660. You’ll usually pay higher rates with a lower score.
- DTI ratio. You may get better rates with a low DTI ratio. Many lenders will require a ratio below 36%, but you’ll typically pay less interest if your DTI ratio is 20% or under.
- Collateral. You’ll pay less if you secure your loan with an asset such as your home or vehicle. Just be aware that your assets can be repossessed if you fail to repay your loan.
- Loan term and amount. You’ll pay less interest over time if you take out a smaller loan over a shorter time frame. Larger and longer-term loans will cost more.
- Fees. You may have to pay fees with some lenders that can drive up your overall loan cost. Choose a lender that doesn’t charge fees to save money.
- Type of lender. The type of lender you choose will usually affect your personal loan interest rates in BC (with credit unions and P2P lenders offering the lowest rates).
Interest rates vs APR: What’s the difference?
Interest rates and APR are very similar. The only difference is that interest rates are a standalone percentage that gets added to your loan amount based on factors such as your credit score.
APR is the cost of your interest rates plus the fees you’ll have to pay for your loan. This gives you a better idea of the true cost of your loan. If your loan has no fees, your interest rates and APR should match.
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You may be able to take out personal loans in BC if you have a good credit score and decent income. You can also apply for bad credit personal loans in BC with some lenders if you’re willing to pay higher interest rates. Learn more about how to compare and qualify for personal loans in BC and apply to borrow the money you need today.
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