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Loans for people with a low income

If you're currently earning a low income, you can still apply and get approved for loans from certain lenders.

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Are you a low-income earner looking for a loan? From personal loans to to cash advances to payday loans, there are plenty of low income loans available. However, watch out for high interest rates and compare a range of options to find the loan that’s right for you.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at loans you can get with a low income.

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Compare low income personal loans

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
Spring Financial

Installment Loan

10.8% - 46.99%$500–$35,0006 - 60 monthsMin. income of $2,000/month
Loans Canada

Installment Loan

6.99% - 46.96%$300–$50,0003 - 60 monthsMin. income of $1,000/month
LoanConnect

Installment Loan

8.99% - 46.96%$500–$50,0003 - 120 monthsNo min. income

easyfinancial

Personal Loan

9.99% - 46.96%$500–$100,0009 - 120 monthsMin. income of $1,200/month
SkyCap Financial

Installment Loan

12.99% - 39.99%$500–$10,0009 - 36 monthsMin. income of $1,666.67/month
MDG

Installment Loan

29.78% - 44.80% Up to $1,600Up to 36 monthsNo income requirements
Loans Loans

Installment Loan

28.00% - 32.00% + broker fee$500–$1,0003 monthsMin. income of $1,200/month

Compare low income cash advances

Borrow up to $350 with a cash advance. You pay no interest on these cash loans, but you may pay either an optional or required monthly fee depending on the provider.

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features

Bree

Early Pay

No interest or fees to access cash advance, fee for express funding (varies based on advance)$20 – $350Next pay cycle (61 days max.)No min. income

Credit Line

No interest or fees to access credit line, optional $11.99/month membership to get premium services such as instant funding$30 – $15030 days, extendableNo min. income

KOHO

Cash Advance

subscription fee starting at $2/month$20–$250FlexibleNo min. income

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
High-cost payday loans are unsustainable for borrowing over a continued period of time and are expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing. View payday costs and regulations by province here. If you're experiencing financial hardship call Credit Counselling Canada for free financial counselling (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm at +1 866-398-5999). You may also want to consider payday loan alternatives.

Compare low income payday loans

Payday lenders accept low income. Payday loans are extremely expensive though, so only apply as an absolute last resort.

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
iCash

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5007 - 62 daysMin. income of $800/month

Cash Money

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5005 - 40 daysMin. income of $1,000/month

Maximum borrowing costs of payday loans per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs.
Province Max. cost of borrowing a $100 payday loan Cooling off period to cancel loan Max. penalty for returned cheque or pre-authorized debit
Alberta $15 2 business days $25
British Columbia $15 2 business days $20
Manitoba $17 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
New Brunswick $15 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
Newfoundland and Labrador $14 2 business days $20
Nova Scotia $15 Next business day (2 days for online loans) $40 (default penalty)
Ontario $15 2 business days $25
Prince Edward Island $15 2 business days N/A
Quebec Limit of 35% AIR N/A N/A
Saskatchewan $17 Next business day $25

Learn more about low income personal loans in Canada

1. Spring Financial

Established in 2014, Spring Financial is an online lender that specializes in loans for people with bad credit or no credit history. Same-day approval and funding are available, and Spring Financial provides loans in all provinces and territories.

  • Minimum income: $2,000 monthly
  • Available loans: Unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 10.8% - 46.99%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $35,000
  • Loan terms: 6 - 60 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: High rates for bad credit apply, and you may be offered a credit builder loan instead of a personal loan.
  • Serviced provinces: All of Canada

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2. Loans Canada

Loans Canada is a free online platform that helps match borrowers with lenders who offer loans that suit their needs. Established in 2012, Loans Canada can help you find personal loans for bad credit and low income, and you can fill out an online application form within 10 minutes.

  • Minimum income: $1,000 monthly
  • Available loans: Secured and unsecured personal loans, lines of credit
  • Interest rates: 6.99% - 46.96%
  • Loan amounts: $300 – $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 - 60 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: Loans Canada is not a direct lender but is instead a broker. High rates for bad credit also apply.
  • Serviced provinces: All of Canada

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3. LoanConnect

LoanConnect is an online broker that can help you find a loan through its network of partner lenders. The Ontario-based provider works with all types of borrowers, including those with low income, bad credit and payday loan debt, and it’s easy to compare lenders and apply online.

  • Minimum income: No min. income
  • Available loans: Secured and unsecured personal loans, lines of credit
  • Interest rates: 8.99% - 46.96%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $50,000
  • Loan terms: 3 - 120 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: LoanConnect is not a direct lender but is an online broker. Watch out for high rates for bad credit.
  • Serviced provinces: All provinces

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4. easyfinancial

easyfinancial is one of the biggest alternative lenders in Canada, specializing in providing personal loans to borrowers who are underserved by banks.

  • Minimum income: $1,200 annually
  • Available loans: Secured and unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 9.99% - 46.96%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $100,000
  • Loan terms: 9 - 120 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: High rates apply if you have bad credit. It’s worth mentioning that loans through Mogo are powered by third-party lenders Lendful and easyfinancial.
  • Serviced provinces: all provinces

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5. SkyCap Financial

SkyCap Financial is an online lender that specializes in loans for borrowers with fair or bad credit. Launched in 2013, this Ontario-based lender provides a quick and easy online application process that can be completed within minutes.

  • Minimum income: $1,666.67 monthly
  • Available loans: Unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 12.99% - 39.99%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $10,000
  • Loan terms: 9 - 36 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: SkyCap Financial doesn’t offer loans in Nova Scotia or Quebec. You’ll also need to keep an eye out for high rates.
  • Serviced provinces: All provinces and territories except Quebec and Nova Scotia

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6. MDG Financial

MDG Financial offers small cash loans to people with any recurring income. This means your income doesn’t necessarily have to come from full-time employment. MDG can also approve the applications of borrowers with bad credit.

  • Minimum income: no minimun income
  • Available loans: Unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 29.78% - 44.80%
  • Loan amounts: Up to $1,000
  • Loan terms: Up to 36 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: By the next business day
  • What to watch out for: Small loan amounts
  • Serviced provinces: all provinces

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7. LoansLoans

LoansLoans offers online short-term loans to those looking for an alternative to banks. It accepts low income borrowers and people with bad credit, and you don’t need to go through a credit check.

  • Minimum income: $1,200
  • Available loans: Unsecured personal loans
  • Interest rates: 28.00% - 32.00% + broker fee
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $1,000
  • Loan terms: 3 months
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: By the next business day
  • What to watch out for: Broker fee up to $300
  • Serviced provinces: All of Canada (except Manitoba)

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Learn more about cash advances for low income

1. Nyble

Nyble is a new lender in Canada that offers credit lines of up to $150 to help you pay for unexpected bills and avoid overdrafts. It accepts any type of steady income, and you can increase your credit score when you borrow and repay your loan.

  • Minimum income: No min. income
  • Available loans: Unsecured credit line
  • Interest rate: 0%, No interest or fees to access credit line, optional $11.99/month membership to get premium services such as instant funding
  • Loan amounts: $30 – $150
  • Loan terms: 30 days, extendable
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: 1-30 minutes with a paid membership or 1-3 business days with a free membership.
  • What to watch out for: Small loan amounts. $11.99 per month for fast transfers, a full credit report and other premium perks.
  • Serviced provinces: All provinces and territories

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2. Bree

Launched in 2021, Bree offers small loans with no credit check. A small loan is easier to get approved for than a large loan, so you can get one with low income.

  • Minimum income: None
  • Available loans: Early pay
  • Interest rates: 0% interest, No interest or fees to access cash advance, fee for express funding (varies based on advance)
  • Loan amounts: $20 – $350
  • Loan terms: Next pay cycle (61 days max.)
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 8 hours for the express option (fee charged based on advance amount) and up to 3 business days for standard delivery
  • What to watch out for: To get approved, your bank account must have little to no NSF transactions
  • Serviced provinces: All provinces and territories

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3. KOHO

KOHO is a fintech company that offers various financial products, including savings accounts and cash advances. Its cash advance product is known as “KOHO Cover“.

  • Minimum income: None
  • Available loans: Cash advance
  • Interest rates: 0%, subscription fee starting at $2/month
  • Loan amounts: $20 – $250
  • Loan terms: Flexible
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Immediately
  • What to watch out for: To get approved, your bank account must have little to no NSF transactions
  • Serviced provinces: All provinces and territories

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Learn more about low income payday loans

1. iCash

iCash is an online payday lender that allows you to apply online and get your funds via Interac e-Transfer 24/7. Bad credit and low income are accepted, and iCash accepts many different types of borrower income.

  • Minimum income: $800 monthly
  • Available loans: Payday loans
  • Interest rates: Varies by province
  • Loan amounts: $100 – $1,500
  • Loan terms: 7 - 62 days
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Instant approval and funding 24/7
  • What to watch out for: Very high APRs and short repayment terms
  • Serviced provinces: BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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2. Cash Money

Cash Money offers payday loans and lines of credit online and through its 90-plus store locations across Canada. The loan application process is fast and convenient, taking less than 10 minutes. Low income as well as non-employment income are accepted.

Payday loans

  • Minimum income: $1,000
  • Interest rates: Varies by province
  • Loan amounts: $100 – $1,500
  • Loan terms: 5 - 40 days
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Instant approval and funding 24/7
  • What to watch out for: Very high APRs and short repayment terms
  • Serviced provinces: BC, MB, SK, ON, NS, NL


Lines of credit

  • Minimum income: No min. income
  • Interest rates: 46.93%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $10,000
  • Loan terms: No end dates
  • Accepts bad credit: Yes
  • Turnaround time: Within 24–48 hours
  • What to watch out for: High interest rate
  • Serviced provinces: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON & SK

What are low income payday loans?

Payday loans are short-term, low-amount loans that offer quick access to cash. If you take out a low income payday loan, expect the following features:

  • Loan amounts of up to $1,500. Payday loans let you borrow from $100 to $1,500. In some provinces such as British Columbia, the maximum amount you can borrow is limited to 50% of your income.
  • Short loan terms. The maximum loan term is 62 days, so you have a very limited time to repay your loan.
  • High APRs. Payday loans are some of the most expensive ways to borrow money, with annual percentage rates (APRs) that are as high as 390% or more. Payday loans are regulated by each province, and you’ll be charged from $14 to $17 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Fast access to cash. Some lenders have storefronts or online automated loan applications that operate 24/7. This means you can apply, get approved and receive your funding in as little as an hour in some cases, with your loan amount sent to your bank account via e-Transfer or available to be collected as cash.
  • Multiple types of income accepted. Payday loans have lenient eligibility criteria. Some payday lenders will accept various types of income, including your pension, Employment Insurance (EI) and other types of government benefits. Learn about payday loans for government benefits.
  • Bad credit accepted. Payday lenders shift the emphasis from your credit score to your ability to repay your loan. As long as you can prove you have a stable income to repay your loan, your chances of approval will increase.

Risks of payday loans

While payday loans do have their benefits, there are a few key risks you need to be aware of before you apply:

  • Very expensive. With APRs of 390% or more, a payday loan is a very expensive way to borrow money. Late payment fees can also add to the cost of borrowing, so check the fine print and consider payday loan alternatives first.
  • Short loan terms. You only have a very short time to pay off your loan, usually by your next payday. Once you’ve paid off your loan, you may not have enough income remaining to cover your living expenses – which could force you to take out another payday loan and trigger a cycle of debt.
  • Sketchy lenders. You’ll also need to watch out for disreputable lenders that target unsuspecting borrowers. Make sure the lender is licensed in your province and that you know how to spot a payday loan scam.

What are low income personal loans?

Low income personal loans allow you to borrow a lump sum to use however you like. Loan amounts start at $500, with most lenders offering repayment terms ranging from 6 to 60 months. There are two options available:

  • Secured loans. With a secured loan, you provide an asset (for example your car) as collateral. This reduces the risk for the lender, which means you can access a larger loan amount and better rate, but you risk losing the asset if you default on the loan.
  • Unsecured loans. Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral to secure the loan. This means you’ll get a higher rate than with a secured loan.

You’ll need to satisfy minimum monthly income requirements to qualify for a low income personal loan. These requirements vary from one lender to the next, so check the terms and conditions before you apply.

Some personal loan lenders will also require you to meet minimum credit score requirements. But if your credit history is less than perfect, there are some lenders that specialize in loans for people with bad credit.

Can I get a low income loan with bad credit?

Yes, you can. However, you won’t be able to get a loan from your bank. Instead, you’ll need to compare loans from online and payday lenders.

Rather than focusing on your credit score, these lenders will assess your ability to repay the loan. They look for borrowers who have a steady source of income and will also assess how much existing debt you have.

However, interest rates are higher for people with bad credit, so keep this in mind before applying for a loan.

What will help me get approved for the best low income loan?

There are several simple things you can do to maximize your chances of getting approved for a low income loan in Canada:

  • Get your debt-to-income ratio under 40%. Many lenders will only consider approving your application if you have a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio under 40%, so paying down your existing debt first can improve your chances of getting a loan. However, online brokers like LoanConnect can help you find a lender that accepts borrowers with DTIs of up to 60%.
  • Earn income from stable employment. Employment income is better in the eyes of a lender than non-employment income as it helps make you seem like a lower-risk borrower. You’ll need to have been employed in the same job for a minimum of three months, but the longer your employment period, the better. Lenders want to see stability and that you can rely on a steady income before they approve your loan.
  • Apply for a small amount. You’re much more likely to be approved if you apply for a small loan rather than a loan for several thousand dollars. The smaller the loan amount, the more comfortable a lender will be that you’ll be able to pay it off with your current income.
  • Provide collateral. Offering an asset as security decreases the risk for lenders as they can repossess and sell your asset if you default on the loan. Providing collateral can also help you access a larger loan amount and a better rate.
  • Get a cosigner. Applying for a personal loan with a cosigner can help you get approved and also access a better rate. If your cosigner has excellent credit, you’ll be seen as a much less risky prospect by the lender. Just be aware that your cosigner will have to pay back the loan if you can’t.
  • Improve your credit. You’ll qualify for low income personal loans from a wider range of lenders if you have a good credit score. But if you have bad credit and you also have NSF transactions in your payment history, wait 60–90 days before you apply. During this period, pay down your existing debts and pay all your bills on time to build a better credit history.

Debt-to-income ratio: What is it and why is it important?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio measures how much you owe compared to your income. It’s calculated by working out how much of your monthly income goes toward paying off your existing debts.

For example, if you have a monthly income of $2,000 and monthly debt payments of $500, your DTI ratio is 25%.

Lenders use your DTI ratio to assess your ability to repay a loan. If your ratio is low, that’s a good sign that you’ll be able to keep pace with monthly payments. But if a big percentage of your income goes towards paying off debts each month, and you also have essential living expenses to cover, you might not be able to afford a new loan.

As a general guide, you’ll need to keep your DTI ratio below 40% to qualify for a loan with traditional lenders. For alternative lenders, it’s below 50–60%.

Alternatives to high-interest loans when you have low income

Rather than taking on high-interest debt with a new loan, you may want to consider these alternative options:

  • Visit 211.ca. 211.ca is a confidential and free service that connects you to government or community-based support.
  • Consider debt relief. If you’re struggling to keep up with your debts, it may be time to consider debt relief. When you have a consultation with a counsellor, they can assess your existing financial situation and put together a plan to help you get out of debt faster. Learn more about debt relief companies.
  • Reach out to friends and family. You could also consider asking a family member or friend to give you a small loan to get out of a financial bind. This can be a humbling step to take, and you’ll need to carefully manage the loan to make sure you don’t place any personal relationships under too much strain.

Frequently asked questions

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Written by

Tim Falk

Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, he has reported on a wide range of personal finance topics. Whether you're investing in stocks and ETFs, comparing savings accounts or choosing a credit card, Tim wants to make it easier for you to understand. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors. See full profile

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