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Loans for retirees

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

Looking for a personal loan? Compare lenders
Looking for a payday loan? Compare lenders

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 late stage 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. 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.

Compare home equity loans and HELOCs

Click on the tabs to see your options.

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Credit Score Link
Fairstone Personal Loan (Secured)
19.99% - 23.99%
$5,000 - $50,000
60 - 120 months
Must be a homeowner
Min. credit score: 560
Go to site
More Info
Use your home equity to get a secured loan up to $50,000 with flexible repayment options and a long loan term. Get a quote without impacting your credit score.
Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan
10.00% - 22.99%
$10,000 - $500,000
Up to 60 months
Must be a homeowner
Min. credit score: 300
Check eligibility
More Info
Alpine Credits offer home equity loans in amounts from $10,000 to $500,000. Must be a homeowner to qualify. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.
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Name Product Interest Rate (APR) Min. credit score Provincial availability Other loans offered
Tangerine Home Equity Line of Credit
2.35%
Prime -10
620+
All of Canada
First mortgage, HELOC, Refinancing
Withdraw funds from your HELOC, make payments and pay off your balance in full at any time.
Breezeful Home Equity Line of Credit
Varies
600
All of Canada
First mortgage, Second mortgage, HELOC, Reverse mortgage, Rent to own
Breezeful is a 100% online mortgage broker that connects borrowers to competitive rate offers from over 30+ banks and mortgage lenders.
Homewise Home Equity Line of Credit
Varies
600
Not available in Quebec
First mortgage, Second mortgage, HELOC, Bridge mortgage
Homewise's personal advisors can get you HELOC rates from over 30 banks and lenders.
intelliMortgage Home Equity Line of Credit
Varies
680
AB, BC, NL, ON, PE
First mortgage, HELOC
intelliMortgage is an online mortgage broker that works with over 100+ banks and mortgage lenders across Canada.
Loans Canada Home Equity Line of Credit
3.45% - 10.99%
400
All of Canada
First mortgage, Second mortgage, HELOC, Refinancing, Bridge mortgage
Loans Canada connects borrowers with a broker in their area. Bad credit, EI and CERB applicants are considered.
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2. 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.

3. 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.

Compare personal loans and lines of credit for retirees

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Credit Score Link
Fairstone Personal Loan (Unsecured)
26.99% - 39.99%
$500 - $25,000
6 - 60 months
Able to make monthly repayments on your loan
Min. credit score: 560
Go to site
More Info
An online lender with a team dedicated to professional service. Get a quote for an unsecured loan without impacting your credit score. Receive funds within as little as 24 hours. No prepayment fees.
Cash Money Line of Credit
46.93%
$100 (in store), $500 (online) - $10,000
No end dates
No min. income or employment requirements
Min. credit score: 560
Go to site
More Info
Cash Money offers line of credit loans up to $10,000 for AB, BC, NS, ON and SK residents. (Residents of MB or NB can apply in-store only.)
LendDirect Line of Credit
19.99% - 46.93%
$100 - $15,000
No end dates
Min. income of $1,500 /month
Min. credit score: 560
Go to site
More Info
Borrow up to $15,000, based on your income and credit history, with a line of credit from LendDirect.
Cash Money Installment Loan
46.93%
$500 - $10,000
6 - 60 months
Stable source of income
Min. credit score: 560
Go to site
More Info
Cash Money offers installment loans up to $10,000 for Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick residents. Online installment loans are available in Alberta only. Residents of Manitoba and New Brunswick must apply in-store.
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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.

Get a peer-to-peer loan

Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Credit Score Link
goPeer Personal Loan
8.00% - 31.00%
$1,000 - $25,000
36 - 60 months
Recommended income of $40,000 /year
Min. credit score: 600
Go to site
More Info
Canada's first regulated consumer peer-to-peer lending platform offering unsecured loans. Connects creditworthy Canadians looking for a loan with Canadians looking to invest. goPeer strives to offer the most competitive interest rates. Apply in minutes and get a response within 24 hours.
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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.

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 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.

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
Payday loans are expensive. 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). Consider alternatives instead of a payday loan:
  • Local resources. Government programs and nonprofits offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent.
  • Debt relief companies. There are services to help you reduce your debt payments.
  • Payment extensions. Talk with bill providers about longer payment plans or due-date extensions.
  • Side jobs. Sell unwanted items online, sign up for food delivery and more.

Compare payday loans

Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term Interest Rate Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
BC, NS, ON, SK
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 cost (excludes SK applicants).

You'll need to be 18 years of age or older and have a net income of at least $1,000/month. Residents of MB and NB must apply in-store for a loan.
iCASH Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI
Get up to 20% in cash back once your payday loan is fully repaid. Conditions apply.

To be eligible, you'll need to be at least 19 years of age and have a net income of at least $800/month deposited into your bank account.
GoDay Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
Up to 62 days
Varies by Province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK
To apply, you'll need to be a Canadian resident over the age of 18 with a valid email address, phone number and an open bank account with a Canadian bank or credit union.
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Maximum borrowing costs per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results.
Province Maximum allowable cost of borrowing
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario & Prince Edward Island $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba & Saskatchewan $17 per $100 borrowed
Nova Scotia $19 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $21 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

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 as 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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