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Loans for retirees

Retired but looking to take out a loan? Learn about the financing options available to you.

As you move into your older years, your finances change with your lifestyle. When that happens, you may find that getting a loan isn’t as easy as it was when you were earning an income from employment. However, there are lenders that will consider you for a loan as a retiree. But just be aware of the costs some loans might have and the impact borrowing at a later stage in life could have on your retirement funds.

9 types of loans for retired people in Canada

If you’re hoping to take out a loan as a retired senior, you can look into these 9 options.

1. Personal loans

A personal loan can be either secured or unsecured. Secured means putting up collateral, such as your savings. Unsecured means the loan has no collateral, but it also means higher interest rates than secured loans since the lender is taking on more risk. Some lenders offer up to $50,000, but you may not have access to this large amount if you don’t have the liquid assets to back it up and an excellent credit score.

LoanConnect Personal Loan
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 4.6 / 5 Go to site Read review

Our pick for personal loan: LoanConnect Personal Loan

$100 – $50,000
Loan amount
6.99% – 46.96%
APR
3 - 120 months
Term
LoanConnect is the best loan company in Canada for comparing personal loans because it's a reputable online loan platform that matches you with lenders for free based on your profile.
  • Easy online application that you can complete in a matter of minutes
  • Quick deposits within 24 hours of applying, if you meet all the eligibility criteria
  • High loan amounts of up to $50,000
  • Longer terms of up to 7 years, if needed
  • Lenders can provide bad credit loans
  • Potential for high interest rates of up to 46.96% depending on your financial circumstances
  • Limited providers based on companies LoanConnect works with
  • Online only so you cannot visit LoanConnect in person for assistance
Loan amount $100 – $50,000
APR 6.99% – 46.96%
Term 3 - 120 months
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Fees No application, origination or brokerage fees
Origination Fee 0
Turnaround Time Receive funds within as little as 24 hours.

2. Personal lines of credit

A line of credit is similar to a personal loan. But instead of receiving a lump sum, you’ll be able to draw from your line, up to a pre-determined limit, whenever you need it. Interest will only apply to the amount you borrow. A line of credit can be particularly useful when you aren’t sure how much you need in advance. Learn more about personal lines of credit.

Our pick for line of credit: Loans Canada Line of Credit

$5,000 – $35,000
Loan amount
9.9% – 21.5%
APR
6 months - 5 years
Term
Loans Canada is the best loan company for comparing different loan options (including lines of credit) because it has the largest lender network in Canada.
  • Bad credit doesn't matter because Loans Canada will match you with a lender for your particular situation
  • Easy online application to connect with multiple lenders
  • Quick deposits, with access to your cash within 1-3 business days from the time that you apply
  • High loan amounts of up to $35,000
  • No collateral required to secure your loan
  • Interest rates can reach as high as 21.5%
  • No online quotes provided. Instead you'll have to speak to a customer service representative over the phone
Loan amount $5,000 – $35,000
APR 9.9% – 21.5%
Term 6 months - 5 years
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Fees No application, origination or brokerage fees
Origination Fee 0
Turnaround Time Receive funds within as little as 24 hours.

3. Home equity loans or lines of credit

If you own a home, you can use the equity of your home (the difference between the property value and the mortgage balance) to get a loan. Your home will act as collateral. A home equity loan is a lump sum that you pay back in installments over time. With a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can borrow up to a pre-set limit, and you can borrow as much or as little as you’d like. You can pay back what you owe at any time, but you must pay the interest on the amount you borrow. Because you’re using your home as collateral, home equity loans and HELOCs tend to have lower interest rates than other types of loans.

Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
Finder Rating: ★★★★★ 3.7 / 5 Go to site Read review

Our pick for home equity loan: Fairstone Secured Personal Loan

$5,000 – $50,000
Loan amount
19.99% – 24.49%
APR
36 - 120 months
Term
If you have home equity you're willing to put up for collateral, you can apply for a Fairstone secured loan starting at $5,000 up to $50,000.
  • Borrow as little as $5,000 to start.
  • Terms range from as short as 36 months
  • Fast access to funds to the tune of 1 business day.
  • Flexible repayment options, including weekly, fortnightly or monthly due dates.
  • Potential for a higher starting interest rate.
  • Your home is used as collateral.
  • Expect additional charges for a home valuation, title search and other due diligence steps.
  • In-person applications only
  • however, there are 240 locations across Canada.
Loan amount $5,000 – $50,000
APR 19.99% – 24.49%
Term 36 - 120 months
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 560
Fees Varies by province
Origination Fee Varies by province
Turnaround Time 2+ days

4. Peer-to-peer loans

Peer-to-peer loans are personal loans funded by regular Canadian investors rather than banks or institutional lenders. An online marketplace will anonymously connect you with Canadians who can finance your loan. You can usually get competitive interest rates and favourable loan terms, but you need a good to excellent credit score to qualify.

5. Debt consolidation loans

If you’re looking to combine your debt from multiple places into one single loan with a lower interest rate, some loan options are specifically tailored for the purpose of debt consolidation. A debt consolidation loan can help save you money on interest and fees across multiple loans.

6. Cosigned loans

If you’re having trouble getting approved for a loan on your own, consider asking a family member with a higher income and solid credit score to cosign for you on the loan. A cosigner can also help you get more favourable loan terms or qualify for a higher loan amount. But keep in mind that a cosigner is tied to your loan, so if you default on your loan, your cosigner’s credit score will also take a hit and they will be required to cover your payments.

7. Car loans

If you’re looking to purchase a new or used vehicle, you can get a car loan. These types of loans offer competitive interest rates because the vehicle you purchase is used as collateral.

Our pick for car loan: CarsFast Car Loans

$500 – $75,000
Loan amount
4.9% – 29.9%
APR
12 - 96 months
Term
Browse thousands of vehicles from dealers across Canada with CarsFast and get matched with financing that meets your needs, and purchase a new or used vehicle and get it delivered to your door.
  • Easy application
  • Multiple lenders
  • Quick financing
  • No collateral required
  • Long terms
  • Bad credit doesn't matter
  • Available across Canada
  • No posted interest rates
  • High interest rates for bad credit
Loan amount $500 – $75,000
APR 4.9% – 29.9%
Term 12 - 96 months
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 300
Fees Varies by lender, loan type and province
Origination Fee N/A
Turnaround Time Get pre-approved in less than 60 seconds.

8. Reverse mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a loan where you borrow money using your home equity. Instead of a traditional mortgage where you make payments to the lender, the lender makes payments to you based on a percentage of your home’s value. Over time your debt increases as the lender buys more of your home’s value. You continue to own the home, but the moment you move out, sell it, default on the loan or pass away, the loan needs to be repaid. The lender sells the home to get back the money that was paid to you, and whatever is left goes to you or your heirs.

Two financial institutions offer reverse mortgages in Canada: HomeEquity Bank and Equitable Bank. To be eligible, you must be a homeowner and at least 55 years old.

9. Payday loans

A payday loan is a small amount of money you borrow (up to $1,500) that needs to be repaid by your next “payday”. Payday loans, whether you are retired or not, are extremely expensive and should only be a last resort. They also have different regulations depending on which province you live in. Learn more about payday loans.

Our pick for payday loan: GoDay Payday Loan

$100 – $1,500
Loan amount
1 – 62 days
Loan Term
2 minutes
Min. Turnaround Time
GoDay is an online direct lender. As of July 2022, GoDay has an excellent rating on Trustpilot, with 4.4 out of 5 stars from 1,930+ reviews, and with 75% of reviews falling into the excellent category, with another 13% rating the online lender as great.
  • Easy online application process
  • Fast approvals
  • Choose between direct deposit or Interac e-Transfer
  • Approves consumers with bad credit or no credit
  • Available in AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK
  • High interest rates
  • Small amounts available to first-time borrowers, starting at only $100
  • Short repayment terms
Loan amount $100 – $1,500
APR Varies by province
Term Up to 62 days
Min. Turnaround time As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
How to apply Online
In Store
Credit Check Yes

What types of retirement situations do lenders look at?

When you borrow money as a retiree, having a form of income is necessary since you have to be able to prove that you can pay back the loan. Lenders want to see that you can comfortably pay back your loan and still pay for necessities in life such as food, housing and utilities.

  • Self-funded retirees. If you earn income from investments, such as rental properties or a private pension, you’re a self-funded retiree. When applying for a loan, make sure you have as much proof of your assets and income as possible to prove to the lender you’ll be able to manage the loan repayments.
  • Retirees receiving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS). Be sure to check the eligibility criteria of the lender – not all consider CPP and OAS as a form of income. Having a private pension on top of CPP and OAS will help prove that you can manage repayments.
  • Retirees who work part-time. If you have steady employment – even if it’s only part-time – this income will be considered by lenders. Remember minimum income criteria may apply, so check this before submitting your application.

Questions to ask yourself before applying for a loan

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How to apply for a loan as a retiree

Once you’ve compared lenders that accept pension, OAS and/or investment income as forms of acceptable income, you’ll need to make sure you meet the other eligibility criteria. You’ll also need to gather documents and then apply online.

Can I get a loan as a senior with bad credit?

If you’re a retiree with poor credit, it’s still possible to get a personal loan. Some lenders will only offer loans to those with bad credit up to a maximum amount, like $5,000, while others will offer more. Keep in mind you will often pay high interest rates with bad credit loans since you’d be considered a riskier borrower. Compare personal loans for bad credit.

How to increase your chances of approval as a retiree with bad credit

  • Review the eligibility criteria. Before you apply for a loan, check if you meet the eligibility criteria. See whether the lender accepts the type of income you have, and look for things like minimum income and credit score.
  • Consider a joint application or cosigner. If you don’t meet the credit score requirements, consider applying with a cosigner or another applicant.
  • Submit all necessary documents. Check what documents are needed and make sure you’re able to submit everything that is required, such as your CPP or OAS statements.

Bottom line

Even if you’re no longer in the workforce, you can still apply for a loan as a retiree. Many lenders accept investment income, OAS, CPP and private pensions as forms of acceptable income, which means if you’re able to make your loan repayments and you meet the other basic eligibility requirements, you could be approved for the funds.

Want to learn more about loans? Head to our personal loans guide here.

Frequently asked questions about getting loans for retired seniors

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