If you have good to bad credit and you’re looking for quick approval, direct private lenders of personal loans are a solid option. These lenders have more lenient eligibility criteria, but be prepared to pay more in interest.
What are direct private lenders for personal loans in Canada?
Direct private lenders for personal loans approve and fund loans themselves. They mostly operate online and aren’t affiliated with a major financial institution, such as a bank or credit union.
Applying online to a direct private lender is a good option if any of the following applies to you:
- Banks or credit unions cannot approve you.
- You need rapid approval and funding.
- You’d prefer not to apply to a broker to avoid sharing your details to multiple third-party lenders.
The differences between bank loans and private loans in Canada
How much do private lenders charge for personal loans?
The annual percentage rate (APR) for private lender loans typically fall between 6.99% and 46.96%. The rate you’ll get depends on factors like your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.
Low interest loans will be offered to applicants with good to excellent credit (660+) and a DTI under 40%.
Other costs that may come with private personal loans in Canada include origination fees (administrative payment for setting up the loan), late payment fees and NSF fees. Direct private lenders differ in what fees they charge, so check the terms of any loan before applying so you know what to expect.
Pros and cons of private lenders of personal loans
- More options. Private online lenders are competing for your business in a space once dominated by Big Banks. Compare many lenders to find one that works for you.
- Higher approval rate. Banks tend to have stricter approval criteria than private lenders, some of which even offer loans for people with poor credit.
- Fast and easy to apply. You can usually apply online for private loans in Canada. If approved, you’ll typically get funds in 24-48 hours.
- Flexible repayments. You can typically repay private loans in Canada online from any bank account, and you may even be able to choose between weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly repayments.
What to watch out for
- High rates (depending on your credit). You may be stuck with a high interest rate, especially if you have bad credit.
- Stay away from loan sharks. Some lenders use aggressive sales tactics to prey on borrowers who can’t get approved anywhere else. Never let anyone pressure you into getting a loan.
- Other options may be better. A personal loan will increase your debt and saddle you with payments. Consider other ways to reduce costs and manage debt like debt consolidation loans, credit card balance transfers and credit counselling.
Calculate your personal loan monthly paymentCalculate your expected monthly payment
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Based on your loan terms
Example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan
Below is an example of how much a $5,000 loan from a direct private lender may cost in monthly payments.
|Total loan cost
$5,272.16 ($272.16 total interest)
|$5,799.65 ($799.65 total interest)
$5,472.00 ($472.00 total interest)
$6,416.60 ($1,416.60 total interest)
Eligibility requirements of private loans
Exact requirements will vary between direct private lenders, but generally you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least the age of majority in your province or territory (18 or 19 years old)
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
- Have a valid Canadian address
- Have a steady income
- Meet credit score and income requirements
To apply for private lender loans, you’ll usually need to provide the following documents:
- Valid government-issued ID. Driver’s licence, passport or permanent resident card.
- Proof of income. Pay stubs, bank statements or your most recent Notice of Assessment.
- Proof of residency. Utility bill, bank statement or credit card statement with your name and address.
Keep in mind, if the direct lender offers instant bank verification, you’ll send little to no documents.
How to compare private lenders in Canada
With many options online, how do you narrow down your choices? Consider the following features:
Check the lender’s minimum and maximum lending amounts. Some private lenders in Canada offer loans as high as $50,000 or as low as $500, while others don’t go over $15,000 or under $1,000.
These vary among lenders. Minimum repayment terms can fall anywhere from around 6 months to 2 years. Maximum repayment terms can go as high as 5 years or more. A longer term may mean lower payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan.
Keep an eye on the annual percentage rate (APR), which reflects the annual cost of the loan. Most private lenders offer fixed APRs that stay the same throughout the loan term. Learn more about personal loan rates.
Like banks, private loan providers have minimum credit score and income requirements, while others are more flexible, evaluating applicants on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind that lenient eligibility requirements tend to come with high interest rates.
Private loan providers might offer a grace period. For example, a Mogo personal loan allows borrowers to “test drive” the loan for 100 days. If you’re not satisfied, you can pay back the principal, and Mogo will refund your fees and interest. With a goPeer personal loan, you have a 15-day grace period following your payment due date during which you can make your payment with no penalties or impact to your credit score.
You may be able to choose between weekly, biweekly or monthly repayments, although some lenders don’t offer a choice. You may also be able to change the payment schedule, while others may be more restrictive.
NSF fees are common among direct private lenders, while origination fees (administrative fee to process your loan) and early repayment fees are less common. Before signing, make sure you understand the total cost of your loan, not just the interest rate.
Reputation and customer service
Check out real customer reviews before deciding on a private lender. Steer clear of private lenders that pressure you into signing, avoid clearly explaining the terms of your loan or that push you to get loan insurance. Loan insurance adds to the cost of your loan and should be optional.
Some direct private lenders of personal loans give approval and funding on the same day or the next morning at the latest, while others may take longer. If your need is urgent, learn more about emergency loans in Canada.
Can I get a private personal loan with bad credit?
There are private bad credit personal loans in Canada, but be prepared to pay a high interest rate. Bad credit borrowers are charged higher rates to offset the risk that they’ll default on the loan. The following tips may help you get approved if you have poor credit:
- Get a secured personal loan. A secured personal loan requires collateral like your car or home to reduce the lender’s risk. Make sure you can afford repayments. If not, the lender can seize your asset.
- Get pre-approved. Some direct private lenders like Mogo and Fairstone offer loan preapproval and a quote within minutes — without impacting your credit score. A full credit pull is typically required afterwards to complete your application.
- Rebuild your credit before applying. Pay your bills on time and try to reduce your debt before applying for a loan. Doing this will boost your credit score and show lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.
Summary: Who should get private personal loans in Canada?
Consider getting a private lender loan if:
- You’re struggling to get approved. Private lenders often have more lenient eligibility criteria than banks and credit unions, so you might get approved more easily.
- You need fast, flexible funds. Private loans in Canada are typically disbursed in 24-48 hours and often come with a variety of repayment terms.
- You have a low credit score. Some private lenders offer loans for people with less-than-perfect credit, although you may get a high interest rate.
- You can manage the repayments. If you can’t afford your repayments, steer clear of private loans even if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Private loans in Canada are a good alternative to bank loans, especially if you have a hard time getting approval, need funds fast or want flexible repayment terms. But make sure you understand all the costs and features of your loan and compare lenders to find the best option for you.
Frequently asked questions about private lender loans
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