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Small loans: From $20, $30 & more

Apply online and get an instant small loan from one of these Canadian lenders.

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Nyble Credit Line

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Need a small loan to help you cover essential expenses and get through to your next paycheque? From personal and payday loans to pay advances and credit card cash advances, there are several options to choose from.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at a variety of small loans in Canada to help you find the option that’s right for you.

Get a small loan via a cash advance app

The providers below allow you to get a small, instant cash advance, whether you need $20, $25, $40 or more. To start borrowing, download their app or go to their website.

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
Nyble

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, extendableInstant funding with a subscription, no credit check

KOHO

Cash Advance

subscription fee starting at $2/month$20–$250FlexibleNo credit check or income requirements, must sign up for a KOHO account

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.)Instant funding for a fee, no credit check

Compare small personal loans

These providers offer small personal loans online from $300. Apply and get your funds as soon as the same day.

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
Spring Financial

Installment Loan

10.8% - 46.99%$500–$35,0006 - 60 monthsFast application, same-day funding
MDG

Installment Loan

29.78% - 44.80% Up to $1,600Up to 36 monthsFast funding, easy application
Loans Loans

Installment Loan

28.00% - 32.00% + broker fee$500–$1,0003 monthsFunding within 24 hours of approval, no credit check
Loans Canada

Installment Loan

6.99% - 46.96%$300–$50,0003 - 60 monthsLoan search platform, largest lender network
LoanConnect

Installment Loan

8.99% - 46.96%$500–$50,0003 - 120 monthsLoan search platform, pre-approval in 5 minutes
SkyCap Financial

Installment Loan

12.99% - 39.99%$500–$10,0009 - 36 monthsExcellent service, fast approvals
Fat Cat Loans

Installment Loan

4.84% - 35.99%$300–$50,0003 - 84 monthsLoan search platform for all credit
⚠️ 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 small payday loans

Payday loans are quick to get because of their easy requirements and seamless online process. However, they are extremely expensive, so only consider them after you’ve exhausted all other options.

Loan providerInterest rateLoan amountLoan termKey features
iCash

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5007 - 62 days24/7 instant approval and e-Transfer, accepts bad credit

GoDay

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,500Up to 62 daysInstant approval, accepts bad credit

Cash Money

Payday Loan

Varies by province$100 – $1,5005 - 40 daysInstant approval, accepts bad credit

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

The types of small loans in Canada

1. Cash advance apps

Pay advance apps let you instantly borrow as little as $20. There’s no credit check required and no interest to pay, and your repayment is automatically deducted from your bank account on your next payday.

While there’s no interest on the money you borrow, you may need to pay a small fee to get instant funding.

Features of pay advance apps

  • Loan amounts: $20 – $350.
  • Loan terms: By your next paycheque but can be extended depending on the provider.
  • Interest rates: No interest, but you may pay a fee for express service.
  • How to get it online: Sign up for an account by providing your personal information and contact details. You’ll also need to provide your bank account details so the pay advance service can verify your income. You also have the option to download the app.
  • How long it takes: It takes up to 3 days or instant for a fee.

Pros and cons of pay advances

  • No credit check required
  • No interest or late penalties
  • Easy application process
  • Instant approval
  • May help build your credit history
  • Very new option in Canada
  • Same-day funding typically only available for a fee
  • Borrow a small amount only

Eligibility requirements

  • At least 18 years old (or the age of majority in your province)
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Have an income
  • Have an active Canadian bank account
Blue phone with dollar sign

Cash advance apps are new in Canada

Pay advance apps – or cash advance apps – are still in their early stages. Canadians were introduced to these services around two years ago, with the launch of Bree and Nyble. Recently, KOHO and Woveo launched their cash advances.

We may see product features change as these apps innovate and evolve.

2. Small personal loans

Are you looking for a small personal loan? If you need more than $2,000 or $3,000, you could apply to banks like the Big Six. But if you need to borrow less, you’ll have more luck with some credit unions and many alternative lenders.

Features of small personal loans

  • Loan amounts: Starts at $100 to $500.
  • Loan terms: Starts at 90 days.
  • Interest rates: From 18%.
  • Where to get it: Mostly alternative lenders
  • How to get it online: Fill out an application form with your personal details, contact information and proof of income. You’ll also need to verify your ID, while many lenders offer online bank account verification to speed up the application process.
  • How long it takes: Same-day funding available.

Pros and cons of small personal loans

  • Quick and easy to apply online
  • Fast loan approval
  • Bad credit options available
  • Low minimum loan amounts available
  • The lower the amount, the less selection you have in lenders
  • Watch out for high rates
  • Watch out for broker or surety fees from some alternative lenders

Eligibility requirements

  • 18 years old or older (or the age of majority in your province)
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Have a regular source of income
  • Meet any credit score requirements
  • Meet any minimum income requirements

3. Payday loans

Payday loans are short-term loans of up to $1,500. You can apply online or in-store and get instant approval, but high APRs mean this is an extremely expensive way to borrow.

Features of payday loans

  • Loan amounts: Starts at $100.
  • Loan terms: Up to 62 days.
  • Interest rates: $14 to $17 for every $100 borrowed.
  • Where to get it: Licensed payday lenders in your province.
  • How to get it online: Fill out an application form with your name and contact details. You’ll need to provide proof of ID and income, and many lenders offer instant bank verification online.
  • How long it takes: In as little as 30 minutes.

Pros and cons of payday loans

  • Easy to apply
  • Fast access to funds
  • Bad credit accepted
  • Instant approval
  • 24/7 funding available
  • Exorbitant rates
  • Short repayment terms
  • Easy to get into a cycle of debt
  • Watch out for sketchy lenders

Eligibility requirements

  • 18 years old (or the age of majority in your province) or older
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Meet minimum income requirements
  • Have an active Canadian bank account
Blue spyglass

Looking ahead: More payday lenders in 2024

In 2024, the maximum personal loan rate in Canada may drop from 47% APR to 35% APR. Experts in non-prime lending say that a drop in the maximum rate will cause lenders to be more selective with their approvals, which means fewer Canadians with low credit scores will be able to get a personal loan. Without access to personal loans, they could be forced to turn to payday loans. We will see more payday lenders entering the space as a result.

Currently, there are discussions about further lowering the maximum interest rate for personal loans.

4. Small credit card cash advances

With a credit card cash advance, you can access funds from your card balance. It’s a quick and convenient option that allows you to get your cash from your bank or an ATM, but a cash advance fee applies. Make sure you only borrow a small amount because interest accrues the moment you withdraw and the interest rate is high.

Features of credit card cash advances

  • Loan amounts: No minimum.
  • Loan terms: No due date, but interest accrues daily.
  • Interest rates: Around 23% plus fee.
  • Where to get it: Credit card providers.
  • How to get it: Use your existing credit card or apply for a new card by providing your name and contact details and then completing a credit check.
  • How long it takes: If you already have a credit card, you can access your money straight away.

Pros and cons of credit card cash advances

  • Easy and convenient
  • Fast access to funds
  • No minimum amount limit
  • Cash advance fee applies
  • High interest rates and cash advances aren’t eligible for interest-free days
  • Daily, weekly and monthly limits may apply

Eligibility requirements

The cash advance amount must be smaller than the remaining credit limit on your card. The card provider may also impose daily, weekly and monthly cash advance limits, so check your card’s terms and conditions.

5. Overdraft protection

The next option is to choose overdraft protection on your chequing account. This allows you to cover the cost of small purchases even if there are insufficient funds in your account, which means you can avoid NSF fees, but keep in mind that overdraft fees and interest apply.

Features of small overdrafts

  • Loan amounts: No minimum.
  • Loan terms: You must bring your account into a positive balance every 90 days.
  • Interest rates: Around 21% plus a $5 monthly fee or 21% plus a $5 fee per use.
  • Where to get it: Banks and credit unions.
  • How to get it online: Fill out an application form to get overdraft protection on your account. You’ll need to provide details of your income and expenses and submit to a credit check.
  • How long it takes: Automatically applies to eligible transactions.

Pros and cons of small overdrafts

  • Convenient option
  • Lets you avoid applying for a loan from another provider
  • Your transaction goes through as per normal
  • Overdraft fees apply (and may apply even if your account isn’t overdrawn)
  • High interest rate applies to the overdraft amount
  • Can lure you into the trap of over-spending

Eligibility requirements

  • 18 years old or older (or the age of majority in your province)
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
  • Meet minimum income requirements and have your income deposited directly into your account
  • Have a good credit rating
  • Have an eligible account with the bank (or be eligible to open one)

Can you get a small loan with no credit check?

Yes, some pay advance apps and payday lenders offer small loans with no credit check. Instead of looking at your credit history, they assess your income to work out whether you’ll be able to afford loan repayments.

However, be very wary of any lender that promises guaranteed loan approval. A reputable lender will always examine your ability to repay a loan before providing approval, so keep this in mind when comparing your options.

Can you get a small loan with bad credit?

Yes, you can. Many online lenders are willing to provide small loans to borrowers with bad credit. In fact, lenders are actually more likely to approve you for a small loan amount than a large one, so you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Rather than focusing on your credit score, these lenders will consider your income and your ability to repay what you borrow. However, be aware that you’ll be offered higher interest rates than borrowers who have good to excellent credit.

What is the quickest way to get a small loan online?

The fastest way to get instant small loans in Canada is to apply for a payday loan. Some online lenders offer 24/7 applications and approvals, and with the funds deposited into your account via Interac e-Transfer, it’s possible to get cash within minutes. Alternatively, you can apply through a storefront lender and collect cash in person.

However, payday loans are a very expensive borrowing option and commonly have APRs of 300% or more. So if you need an instant small loan and you’re looking for something more affordable, a fast personal loan from an online lender could be the answer. With fast approvals and e-Transfers available, it’s possible to access your loan amount within 24 hours.

What to consider before getting a small loan

Thinking of applying for a small loan? Consider the following factors first:

Is it essential?

First and foremost, ask yourself whether you really need to take out a loan. Is the expense you need to cover absolutely essential? Are there any other options you could consider before applying for credit?

Compare a range of options

Don’t fall into the trap of choosing the quickest or most convenient option available to you. Remember to compare a variety of options to find the loan that is the best fit for your financial situation.

Consider the APR and any extra fees

Don’t just look at the interest rate when comparing your small loan options. Check out the annual percentage rate, which combines the interest rate and loan fees to show you the true cost of borrowing. Also, don’t forget to check the fine print for any other fees that may apply, such as late payment fees or NSF fees.

Watch out for disreputable lenders

Do your research to make sure you only deal with legitimate and properly licensed lenders. If a lender makes promises that sound too good to be true or there are other red flags that could indicate a personal loan scam, look elsewhere.

Read the loan contract carefully

Make sure you thoroughly review the loan’s terms and conditions before accepting the loan and signing the contract. This will ensure that you understand the full cost of the loan and help you avoid any nasty surprises.

Other ways to borrow a small amount of money

There are a few other options to consider if you need fast access to a small loan:

  • Get a line of credit. A line of credit provides access to funds you can use when you need. You only pay interest on the money you use, not the full credit limit, and line of credit rates are often better than credit card interest rates.
  • Reach out to friends and family. Another option is to ask a close friend or family member for a short-term loan. Doing so can be awkward and can put a strain on your relationship, but it can offer a simple way to get your finances back on track without taking on an interest-accruing debt. Make sure to repay your loan on the agreed-upon deadline to avoid damaging your relationship.
  • Ask your employer for an advance. You could also consider asking your employer for an advance on your next paycheque. If you’re a long-term employee with a reputation for reliability, they may help you out.

Alternatives to taking on more debt

If you’re stuck in a financial bind, there are a host of other options you might like to consider before getting deeper into debt:

  • Sell unwanted items. Got a few items lying around the house that you no longer use, such as your old TV or maybe that treadmill you bought during lockdown? List them for sale on popular sites like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace to get some cash in your pocket.
  • Negotiate with your creditor. If you haven’t done so yet, talk to your creditor first. They may be willing to offer you an extension or partial payment plan.
  • Credit counselling. Some credit counselling agencies offer free counselling services to help you get out of debt. A counsellor can take the time to assess your situation and help you come up with a plan to get your finances back on track.
  • Visit 211.ca. This free and completely confidential service connects you to government or community-based support for your financial needs.

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