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Best personal loans of January 2021*

Compare the best personal loans in Canada to find the right fit for your needs and budget.

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Comparing the best personal loans for your unique financial situation can be an arduous process, especially if you have bad credit. This is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best personal loans in Canada to help you get started. Find out which providers offer personal loans, and learn how you can compare different types of lenders to find the best deal.

Three best personal loans*

Best for low interest rates: LoanConnect Personal Loan

N/A
Min. Credit Score
10%
Starting APR
$50,000
Loan Amount
LoanConnect is an online broker that matches borrowers to lenders offering loans in amounts from $500 to $50,000. Get approved in as little as 60 seconds with any credit score.
Min. Loan Amount $500
Max. Loan Amount $50,000
APR Secured from 1.90%, Unsecured from 10.00%-46.96%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Minimum Loan Term 3 months
Maximum Loan Term 60 months
Pros
  • No application or origination fees
  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Work with all credit scores and variety of income types
  • Secured and unsecured loans available
  • Available to borrowers in all provinces
  • Receive funds within as little as 24 hours
Cons
  • Not a direct lender

Best for no fees: Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)

560
Min. Credit Score
26.99%
Starting APR
$20,000
Loan Amount
Fairstone offers both unsecured and secured personal loans. With a quick application process, you'll get a free online loan quote within minutes.
Min. Loan Amount $500
Max. Loan Amount $20,000
APR 26.99% - 39.99%
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 560
Minimum Loan Term 6 months
Maximum Loan Term 5 years
Pros
  • No early settlement fee
  • Flexible loan amounts
  • No prepayment fees
Cons
  • High starting APR

Best for applying with a co-signer: LendingMate Personal Loan

300
Min. Credit Score
34.9%
Starting APR
$10,000
Loan Amount
LendingMate offers loans to Canadians with poor credit with no credit checks. Co-signer required for application.
Min. Loan Amount $2,000
Max. Loan Amount $10,000
APR 43% (British Columbia and Ontario) and 34.90% (Quebec)
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Minimum Loan Term 12 months
Maximum Loan Term 60 months
Pros
  • Cater to bad/no credit borrowers
  • Less stringent eligibility criteria
  • No fees
Cons
  • High APR
  • Low maximum borrowing amount

How we selected the best personal loans

*We’ve chosen the products on this page based on the providers available through Finder. These loans are not representative of the entire market. When choosing the best personal loans, we considered each lender’s rates, fees, terms, borrowing amounts, funding speed and borrower perks.

No single personal loan will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before applying.

Compare best personal loans in Canada

Name Product Interest Rate Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Fees Min. Credit Score Link
Mogo Personal Loan
9.90% - 47.42%
$35,000
9 months - 5 years
NSF fee - $20 - $50
540
Go to site
More Info
Mogo offers loans up to $35,000 on flexible terms.
Loans Canada Personal Loan
Secured from 2.00%, Unsecured from 8.00% to 46.96%
$50,000
3-60 months
No application or origination fees
300
Go to site
More Info
Loans Canada connects borrowers to lenders offering both secured and unsecured personal loans in amounts from $300 to $50,000. Submit one application to get rates from multiple lenders across Canada.
Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)
26.99% - 39.99%
$20,000
6 months - 5 years
None
560
Go to site
More Info
Fairstone offers unsecured personal loans up to $20,000
LoanConnect Personal Loan
Secured from 1.90%, Unsecured from 10.00%-46.96%
$50,000
3-60 months
No application or origination fees
N/A
Go to site
More Info
LoanConnect is an online broker that matches borrowers to lenders offering loans in amounts from $500 to $50,000. Get approved for multiple loan offers from different lenders in as little as 60 seconds with any credit score.
Magical Credit Personal Loan
19.99% - 46.80%
$20,000
6 months - 5 years
A single administration fee of $194 for $1,500 loans and up
300
Go to site
More Info
Magical Credit offers unsecured personal loans in amounts up to $20,000.
Cash Money Installment Loan
46.93%
$10,000
6 months - 5 years
Vary across provinces/territories
560
Go to site
More Info
Cash Money offers installment loans up to $10,000 for AB, MB and NB residents.
LendDirect Personal Loan
19.99% - 46.93%
$15,000
No end dates
None
560
Go to site
More Info
Borrow up to $15,000, based on your income and credit history, with a personal line of credit from LendDirect.
LendingMate Personal Loan
43% (British Columbia and Ontario) and 34.90% (Quebec)
$10,000
1-5 years
None
300
Go to site
More Info
LendingMate offers loans to Canadians with poor credit with no credit checks. Co-signer required for application.
Fairstone Personal Loan (Secured)
19.99% - 23.99%
$35,000
3-10 years
Varies by province
560
Go to site
More Info
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $35,000.
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How do personal loans work?

Personal loans are designed to let you borrow a fixed amount of money to cover personal expenses and unexpected costs. With many lenders, you can fill out an application online to request financing. Once you’re approved, you have to agree to make regular payments to pay back the money you borrowed over a set period of time.

Most lenders will give you the loan as cash or deposit the funds into your bank account using direct deposit or Interac e-Transfer. They will also collect your banking information so they can take repayments directly out of your account each month. Your repayment amount will include any money you borrow plus interest and applicable fees.

What’s the best personal loan for me?

There are several types of personal loans for you to choose from, each with its own unique set of features. You can compare loan types below to find the best personal loan for you:

Secured vs unsecured loans

  • Unsecured loans. These loans rely on your credit score to determine if you’re eligible for financing. If you fail to repay them then your credit score will suffer.
  • Secured loans. Secured loans allow you to borrow money by putting up collateral such as your home or vehicle to secure your loan. If you fail to repay them then that collateral can be taken as payment.

Fixed rate vs variable loans

  • Fixed rate loans. These loans include a fixed interest rate and consistent monthly repayment amounts for the lifetime of your loan. This means that the amount you pay back each month never changes so that you can budget ahead.
  • Variable rate loans. Variable rate loans rise and fall with the prime rate that’s set by the Bank of Canada. This causes your monthly payments and interest costs to fluctuate from month to month.

Installment vs payday loans

  • Installment loans. These loans are repaid in monthly installments over a set period of time. They are often for higher amounts and come with medium to high interest rates depending on your credit score.
  • Payday loans. Payday loans are unsecured loans that get repaid by your next payday rather than in regular installments. They tend to be for small amounts and most come with exorbitant interest rates.

Individual vs cosigned loans

  • Individual loans. Individual loans are loans that are secured by your credit score alone. You are individually responsible for their repayment and they damage your credit if you fail to repay them.
  • Cosigned loans. These loans are taken out by you and guaranteed by another individual with a solid credit score. The person who cosigns must accept responsibility for repaying your loan if you default on your payments (and their credit score suffers when repayments aren’t made on time).

Which providers offer the best personal loans in Canada?

Bank loans

Bank loans are provided by Canada’s Big Five Banks and other major financial institutions. They often come with higher interest rates than private personal loans, and have strict repayment requirements. It’s usually very difficult to qualify for these loans if you have bad credit.

Compare the best personal loans from big banks such as BMO, TD Bank, RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, HSBC, Canadian Western Bank and National Bank.

Credit union loans

Credit union loans are personal loans that are a little bit more flexible than big bank loans. You’ll usually need to apply to be a member of the credit union to get a personal loan. These loans typically have more competitive interest rates than big bank loans and some private lenders, and bad credit is often accepted.

Compare the best personal loans from credit unions such as Meridian, Affinity, Servus, Vancity, Connect First, Conexus, First West, Steinbach, Alterna Savings and Coast Capital Savings.

Private loans

Private loans are usually offered by online and alternative providers. These loans tend to come with better interest rates when you deal with a reputable provider. They also offer flexible repayment terms and it’s easier to qualify with bad credit. That said, there are many predatory lenders that operate online so it can be more risky to borrow from private lenders.

Compare the best personal loans from private lenders such as Refresh Financial, Marble, Mogo, LoanConnect, Loans Canada, Fairstone Loans, LendDirect and LendingMate. They can also include digital banks such as Tangerine, EQ Bank and Simplii Financial.

Who can qualify for a personal loan in Canada?

Anyone who has a regular source of income and a bank account in Canada may be able to qualify for a personal loan in Canada. Most lenders will also run a credit check when you apply for a personal loan to assess your creditworthiness.

If you have bad credit, you may still be able to qualify though you might need to secure your loan with collateral or enlist a co-signer to secure your payments. You may also need to pursue a secured or guaranteed loan if you already have a high debt-to-income ratio.

What are the eligibility requirements for a personal loan?

You will usually need to meet the following requirements to apply for a personal loan:

  • Be 18 years old 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 working bank account (this is sometimes not a requirement – it varies between lenders).
  • Have proof of regular income and ongoing employment.
  • Some lenders may have additional criteria that you’ll need to meet in order to apply for a loan.

Comparing lenders to find the best personal loan

If you’ve looked at the criteria and think you’re ready to compare the best personal loans for your unique financial situation, you should look at a couple of factors to find the best fit:

  • Interest rates. Interest rates are the most important factor to consider when taking out a personal loan. Your best bet is to look for the shortest term with the lowest rates to save money in the long run.
  • Fees. Fees can add unnecessary costs to your loan. You should aim to watch out for hidden fees and charges in your contract so that you’ll know what extras you’ll need to pay for before you sign up.
  • Term. The term on your loan defines how long it will last for (or how long you’ll be required to make repayments). It helps to look for the shortest loan possible with payments that you can still afford.
  • Repayment conditions. Your repayment conditions determine how you’ll repay your loan. Aim for a lender that will work with you to renegotiate repayment if your financial situation takes a turn for the worse.
  • Customer service. The lender you go with can give you either a good or bad experience with taking out a personal loan. Find a lender that has good customer ratings and a solid reputation for dealing with customer complaints to get the best results.

How to apply for the best personal loan

You can follow these steps for apply for the best personal loan for your unique situation:

  1. Compare personal loans. Compare loans from a number of providers to find the best personal loan for your unique set of needs and budget.
  2. Contact lenders directly. You may want to contact the provider you’re interested in to get more information about loan terms and interest rates.
  3. Apply for the loan of your choice. You can apply for the best personal loan for you by visiting the main application site for the provider you’re interested in.
  4. Fill out application details. Fill out personal details such as your full name, address, email and phone number to start your application.
  5. Provide financial details. Input details about your income, debts, assets and other necessary financial information.
  6. Submit relevant documents. You could be required to show bank statements, employment letters, tax assessments and other documents to support your application.
  7. Submit to a credit check. You’ll usually have to submit to a personal credit check (or search for a bad credit loan if your credit score isn’t in the best shape).
  8. Review final details. Read the fine print of your personal loan and make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into before you hand in your application.
  9. Click submit. Once you’re ready to apply, click submit on your application or call in to your personal loan provider directly to apply over the phone.

Benefits of personal loans

There are many benefits to consider before choosing the best personal loan for your budget and lifestyle. The following features set personal loans above other forms of financing:

  • Quick financing. Get the funds you need to cover your daily or unexpected expenses in an emergency.
  • Affordable payments. Pay less in interest than you might have to with a credit card or short-term loan (unless you have bad credit).
  • Large amounts. Qualify for larger amounts of credit than you might be able to with a credit card, payday loan or line of credit.
  • Longer terms. Pay your loan off with consistent repayments over a longer term to make sure you stay within your allotted budget.
  • Multiple lenders. Compare personal loans from a number of different lenders to find the best terms and rates for your unique personal situation.
  • Bad credit can qualify. You may still be able to qualify with bad credit if you’re willing to accept higher interest rates, secure your loan with assets or enlist a co-signer.

What to watch out for with personal loans

There are also a couple of drawbacks to consider before you sign up for a personal loan, as it may not be the best fit for you:

  • High interest rates. You may end up paying high interest rates on your personal loan if you have bad credit or you borrow from a predatory lender.
  • Origination fees. Private lenders may charge an administrative fee to process your loan, which can sit anywhere between 1% and 5% of the total amount you borrow.
  • Prepayment penalties. You could be required to pay a fee if you pay your loan off early when you borrow from certain lenders.
  • Large debt load. You may end up not being able to pay back the money you owe if you lose your job or run into unexpected costs that derail your budget.
  • Damage to credit score. If you don’t make payments on time, your credit score will take a big hit – which could affect your ability to borrow in the future.

Other borrowing options

If you’re struggling to qualify for a personal loan, you may want to consider other suitable forms of credit. These include the following:

  • Peer-to-peer loans. Peer-to-peer loans offer lower rates, more flexibility, quicker turnaround and fewer fees than many traditional banks.
  • Business loans. Business loans can be a good low-interest option if you’re taking out money to fund business expenses.
  • Line of credit. If you need ongoing access to credit that you can pay back on your own terms then you may want to consider a line of credit.
  • Credit card. You may want to think about taking out a credit card to pay for small purchases since this will let you earn rewards and enjoy special card privileges.
  • Borrowing from friends or family. If you can pay your loan back quickly, you could ask your family or friends to give you an interest-free loan.

Bottom line

Personal loans are a quick and affordable way to get access to financing, especially if you have good credit. There are many different types of loans and the best personal loan for you will depend on various factors. These can include how much you want to borrow, the interest rates you’re willing to pay and how long you want to take to pay back your loan.

Frequently asked questions

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