The best installment loans in Canada don’t necessarily come from a bank or credit union. For those who can’t be bothered with all the fuss of applying through a traditional lender that route isn’t a great option. Equally, many people try to get an installment loan through the main financial institution, only to get a resounding “no”, even though they’re a loyal customer.
The best installment loans are those that suit you and your lifestyle. Luckily, you have many options beyond brick-and-mortar lenders. If you’ve been turned down, take heart. You still have many additional options.
Identifying the Best Installment Loans
When you start searching online, you’ll quickly discover dozens on lenders. Each one is eager to lend you money, but not all of them offer great products. So, how do you separate the bad from the good, and the good from the best installment loans? Here’s what sets the best installment loans above the competition.
Less Emphasis on Credit
Most lenders place a heavy emphasis on your credit score and credit file. If you don’t have a long credit history or you have a small issue on your credit report, they won’t grant you a loan.
Many also have a minimum credit score requirement. A credit score is used to quickly assess your “credit worthiness”. The scale ranges between 300 and 900 points, with scores above 660 considered good, then very good, and ultimately excellent.
Unfortunately, according to Equifax, one of two credit bureaus in Canada, “Lenders generally see those with credit scores 660 and up as acceptable borrowers”. Anything below that is considered a poor or fair risk. They either won’t lend to you or they won’t offer you decent terms.
However, the best installment loans in Canada use artificial intelligence to get a better idea of your personal circumstances. They don’t make a snap decision based on your credit score alone.
Easy Application Process
The best installment loans in Canada don’t involve lengthy application forms, proof of income, or office visits. You should be able to fill out your application online in about 15 minutes, providing you have your banking information at hand.
You shouldn’t need a landline or a note from your mother either. The lender should accept your email address and cellphone number for identity confirmation.
Application Doesn’t Impact Your Credit File
This is an important consideration. Many lenders conduct a “hard inquiry” when they check your credit file. This stays on your credit file, whether you’re approved or not.
Even if you’re approved, you may not like the terms the lender offers. If you try to apply through another company, they will look at your credit file again and may think you were turned down. If they use a hard inquiry, you’ll have two showing on your credit file and they could turn you down too.
The best installment loans in Canada offer pre-approval with a “soft inquiry”. This does not appear on your credit file. Only when you are pre-approved, agree to the terms, and sign the loan documents does the loan appear on your credit history.
Less Emphasis on Stability
Have you changed jobs or banks or moved within the past few years? That’s not unusual in a competitive job market and fast-paced world.
However, traditional lenders usually consider these negative factors. They want to see a long work history with the same employer, a long banking history with the same financial institution, and a long rental or mortgage history at the same address.
Luckily, the best installment loans in Canada are more concerned with what’s happening now. They will want to see reasonable stability, but they won’t turn you down if you’re earning a decent income and an active bank account.
Wide Range of Borrowing & Repayment Options
You should have an exact figure in mind when you shop for the best installment loans in Canada. This will help you eliminate many lenders right away.
Some won’t lend to you unless you borrow thousands of dollars. This can lead to you incurring more debt than necessary and paying interest on it. Others only lend up to $3,000 or $5,000.
Consider the repayment options too. If you want to pay your loan off as quickly as possible, you should be able to make weekly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly payments over a short term. If you want reasonable payments, they should offer longer terms such as five years and the option of monthly payments.
The lender should also offer a payment calculator so that you can find the best balance for you. Many people don’t realize how much small differences in their repayment schedule can impact their life.
The best installment loans in Canada don’t include unnecessary fees. Some lenders charge an origination fee just for setting up your loan. This can cost you between 0.5 – 8% of your total loan cost.
Also check the fine print. Can you make extra payments without penalty? Will they penalize you if you want to pay off the entire loan in-full? Many lenders charge early prepayment fees to make up for the interest they would have earned if you’d paid regular payments.
Competitive Interest Rates
When shopping for the best installment loans in Canada, you might be tempted to use a comparison website. However, these websites often receive compensation for recommending these companies through referral links.
First, these aren’t the only lenders available and second, they aren’t necessarily offering the best installment loans. The lowest interest rate charged by some lenders is 34.9%, and the highest can legally be as much as 60%.
Don’t be swayed by the incredibly low interest rate offered on some comparison sites either. These are reserved for those that meet traditional lending criteria such as excellent credit and a long employment history. It just makes their interest rate range look more enticing.
The starting interest rate of the best installment loans in Canada shouldn’t be more than a regular credit card, which is 19.99%. Otherwise, it isn’t a viable option.
Fortunately, pre-approval allows you to see the interest rate, payment amount and schedule, as well as when your personal loan will be fully repaid. If you don’t like what you see you can shop elsewhere with zero impact on your credit file.
Transparent & Responsive
Look at the lender’s website. Is everything written in simple language? Do they provide easy steps to walk you through the application process? Do they have a help section with answers to frequently asked questions? How about multiple ways to contact them if you need help, including a 1-800 number so you can talk to a real person?
Lenders that offer the best installment loans in Canada make it easy for you to communicate with them. They want glowing reviews and repeat customers. Less reputable companies hide behind their websites and are slow to answer questions. Test out the lender’s responsiveness before you commit.
Little Time Until Money Released
Forget the bold claims. Almost all lenders will tell you they offer fast or quick funds release, but how long is that – exactly.
Some will take days and others weeks. However, the best installment loans in Canada will state they can have money in your bank account within 24 hours.
The FlexMoney Advantage
Life is busy, so why waste time scouring the internet for the best installment loans in Canada? Here’s a short list of what we require if you want to apply and what sets up above the competition:
We Need You to Be…
- A Canadian citizen who is at least 20 years old
- Working with the same employer for at least the last 3 months
- Earning at least $2,000 per month for at least the last three months
- Equipped with a mobile phone, email address, and active Canadian bank account with at least three months of transaction and banking history.
- Fast online process from application to signing loan documents
- Artificial intelligence assessment
- Pre-approval using a soft inquiry
- Weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly payment options
- Loans between $500 and $15,000
- Terms between 6 months and 5 years
- No origination or prepayment fees
- Interest rates starting at 18.99%
- Funds release within 24 hours
- Telephone, email, and online customer service options.
Sorry, We Can’t Help If…
- You are currently enrolled in an active bankruptcy, consumer proposal, or credit counselling program.
- Your income is based on Employment Insurance, the Disability Tax Credit, and government benefits related to COVID-19.
- You supply false information in your application.
FlexMoney lends throughout Canada. Visit our website for more information or to start the application process now.