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Best Private Lenders for Personal Loans in Canada

By Heidi Unrau | Published on 21 Aug 2023

private lenders personal loans canada

    It’s time to talk about private lenders. Nothing kills your vibe quite like an unexpected expense or a big purchase you can’t avoid. Then you have to apply for a personal loan from your bank and play phone tag for weeks, assuming you have good enough credit to qualify. If you don’t, well, you know how that story goes.

    If you’re tired of the rigamarole only to have the bank say no, private lenders can hook you up with the financing you need when you need it. They get a bad rap for having higher interest rates, but that’s not always the case. Private lenders offer fast service, flexible loan terms, and are bad-credit friendly. If you need to borrow outside the bank, here are the best private lenders for personal loans in Canada.  

    What is a private lender?

     In Canada, a private lender is an individual or company that provides loans and financing options outside the traditional banking system. That’s a big deal because sometimes banks can be real sticklers about who they lend to. But with private lenders, you can get a more customized loan better suited to your individual situation. 

    Why are private lenders important?

    I don’t know who needs to hear this but, bad credit is not a moral failing. The ability to get a loan from your bank with a great interest rate is, quite frankly, a privilege. There a many reasons why a hardworking and honest person might not qualify for traditional lending. And financial trauma can happen to anyone from any walk of life. Credit-challenged people and those in unusual financial circumstances have exceedingly few lending options. 

    That’s why private lenders are so important. They provide access to credit for millions of people who do not fit perfectly inside the eligibility boxes of traditional lenders. For example, without private lenders, it would be almost impossible to repair your credit score. People who are self-employed almost always have a harder time accessing credit, regardless of their credit score.

    Why do private lenders charge such high interest rates? 

    While it might seem predatory, and sometimes downright immoral, they’re not actually trying to bleed you dry out of greed. There are a few specific reasons private lenders might charge very high interest rates, such as: 

    Cost of doing business

    Many private lenders charge high interest rates because they often borrow from the money market themselves to fund their loans. The money market is a financial marketplace where banks, corporations, and other institutions lend and borrow short-term funds.

    Private lenders typically do not have deposit accounts like traditional banks, so they must borrow funds from the money market or other sources in order to have capital available for lending. The interest rates charged by the money market can be quite high, which then gets passed on to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates.

    In addition, private lenders may also need to pay higher fees for loan servicing and other administrative costs compared to larger banks or financial institutions. These costs are factored into the interest rate charged to borrowers.

    Increased risk 

    Most private lenders offer loans to borrowers who may not qualify for bank loans due to poor credit scores, limited financial history, or other factors that make them higher risk for lending. To compensate for this increased risk, private lenders charge higher interest rates and fees.

    Smaller loan volumes

    Private lenders often work with smaller loan volumes than banks or other traditional lending institutions. This means that they cannot spread the costs of administering the loan over a large portfolio of loans like traditional lenders can. As a result, they need to charge higher interest rates in order to cover their operating costs and generate a profit.

    Shorter loan terms

    Private loans tend to have shorter repayment periods than traditional bank loans, which means that private lenders have less time to earn interest on the loan amount. To make up for this loss of potential income, they charge higher interest rates.

    Best private lenders in Canada

    If you need a personal loan, there are many private lenders that offer flexible terms and competitive rates. We’ve compiled a list of the best private lenders for personal loans in Canada. These lenders offer a range of loan amounts, interest rates, and repayment terms to suit your needs. 

    Whether you’re looking to consolidate debt, cover unexpected expenses, or finance a major purchase (like a car), these private lenders can help you get the funds you need with minimal hassle. You can also use our personal loans comparator to help you find the right fit for you.

    goPeer

    Amount: $1,000 – $35,000
    Rate: 8% – 54%
    Term: 1 – 5 years
    Minimum credit score: 600

    goPeer is a direct peer-to-peer lending platform that connects Canadian borrowers with Canadian investors who want to earn interest on their money. Unlike traditional lenders, goPeer does not rely on credit scores alone to determine eligibility.

    Instead, the company takes into account a range of factors like your income, employment status, and debt-to-income ratio. To apply for a loan with goPeer, you must complete an online application form and provide information about your financial situation. Once the application is submitted, it is reviewed by a lending specialist and assigned a risk rating. This rating determines the interest rate and loan amount that you are eligible for. 

    If approved, your loan request is listed on the goPeer platform where individual investors can review your profile (don’t worry, they can’t see your personal info!) and choose to invest in all or part of your loan. Once enough investors have committed funds to your loan, it is deposited directly into your bank account. You then make regular payments back to goPeer until the loan is fully repaid. 

    Fairstone

    Amount: $500 – $50,000
    Rate: 26.99% – 39.99%
    Term: 6 months – 10 years

    Fairstone is a Canadian private lender that specializes in a variety of credit solutions. The company offers a range of loan products including secured and unsecured personal loans, home equity loans, car loans, debt consolidation loans, and more.

    You can apply for a loan in person at a local branch or on the Fairstone website. The application process involves both completing an online form and speaking with a lending specialist to assess your needs and application. You will need to provide information about your financial situation, employment status, and credit history. If approved, funds are either directly deposited into your account within 24-48 hours, or given to you by cheque, your choice.

    Car Loans Canada

    Amount: Based on Black Book Value
    Rate: 6.99% and up
    Term: 1 – 8 years
    Not available in: QC, NWT, NT, YK

    If you need to buy a car, Car Loans Canada is an online platform that gives you access to multiple financing options in one place. By connecting you with a wide range of lenders and dealerships across the country, you can find competitive rates and loan terms that fit your needs.

    They work with all credit scores, the application process takes 2 minutes, and you can get a pre-approval without hurting your credit score.

    The website also offers educational resources to help you make an informed decision about your car purchase, including guides on budgeting for a new vehicle, understanding interest rates, and navigating the car loan application process.

    Magical Credit

    Amount: $500-$20,000
    Rate:19.99%-46.8%
    Term: 1 to 5 years
    Not available in: QC, SK and MB

    Magical Credit specializes in providing loans to Canadians with poor credit or no credit history. They offer a range of loan products, including personal loans and cash advances. Magical Credit also has a unique qualification process that takes into account government subsidies and other non-traditional sources of income.

    It works by assessing your application based on your overall financial situation, rather than just your credit score. This means people receiving government subsidies or other forms of income support may still be able to qualify.

    To apply for a loan with Magical Credit, you have to complete an online application form and provide information about your income, expenses, and employment status. If approved, funds are typically deposited directly into your bank account within 24 hours.

    LoanConnect

    Amount: $500 – $50,000
    Rate: 6.99% – 46.96%
    Term: 6 months – 5 years

    LoanConnect is a quick and easy loan search engine, a bit like Google for loans. It’s become one of Canada’s go-to digital platforms for matching borrowers with suitable lenders, regardless of your credit score. Here, you can instantly compare loan offers from different private lenders across the country.

    Whether you’re trying to improve your credit, plan a much-needed vacation, or looking to consolidate your credit card debt, LoanConnect offers a flexible solution for everyone. Even if you’ve recently gone through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal, LoanConnect can help you find a lender willing to work with you.

    The application is quick and can be completed in as little as 2 minutes. By authorizing LoanConnect to conduct a soft credit check, you’ll get better matches with lenders more likely to approve you without impacting your credit score.

    Then choose the offer that suits you best. Clicking the link takes you straight to the lender’s site to iron out the remaining details and finalize your application. At this point, most lenders will need to do a hard credit check to proceed with your application. And here’s the best part: once approved, you could have the funds in your bank account in as quick as 12 hours!

    Smarter Loans

    Amount: $500-$100,000
    Rate: 6.99% – 47.72%
    Term: 3 months – 5 years

    Smarter Loans is not a private lender, but an online lending marketplace that connects Canadians with a wide range of personal loan providers. The company offers a comparison service that helps borrowers find the best loan products for their individual needs and financial circumstances.

    Smarter Loans partners with a variety of lenders like traditional banks, credit unions, and alternative lenders to offer a range of loan options for all types of borrowers.

    To find the right lender for you, visit the Smarter Loans website and complete an online application form. It will ask for basic information about your financial situation and the type of loan you’re looking for. Once submitted, the application is reviewed by the Smarter Loans team who then match you with the most suitable lender from their network. 

    You can compare rates, terms and features of different loans before making any decision on which lender to borrow from. If approved by the lender you’ve chosen, funds are typically disbursed within a few business days.

    Mogo

    Amount: up to $35,000
    Rate: 9.90% – 45.9%
    Term: 9 months – 5 years
    Not available in: NT, NU, QC, SK, YT

    Mogo is a Canadian financial technology (fintech) company that offers a range of financial products and services including personal loans, wealth management, mortgages, and even a stock trading platform. Mogo’s mission is to help Canadians achieve financial wellness by providing simple and transparent solutions to their financial needs.

    Mogo loans work by giving you access to unsecured personal loans with a fixed interest rate depending on your credit profile and the province of residence, flexible repayment terms, and the ability to pay your loan off anytime without penalty. 

    The loan application process can be completed entirely online in as little as 3 minutes. Mogo offers a no-obligation pre-approval that allows you to see what loan options are available to you without committing to anything. Plus, they also offer a unique 100-day test drive on most of their loans. If you’re not completely satisfied with your loan experience within the first 100 days, you can simply pay back the principal and Mogo will refund any fees or interest that you’ve already paid. 

    SkyCap Financial

    Amount: $500 – $10,000
    Rate: 12.99% – 39.99%
    Term: 9 months – 3 years
    Not available in: NS, QC

    SkyCap Financial is a Canadian private lender that specializes in short-term personal loans for people who may have difficulty obtaining traditional bank loans due to poor credit or other financial challenges. With its fast application process, flexible repayment terms, and fixed interest rates, a SkyCap Financial personal loan can provide you with the financial support you need to achieve your goals.

    SkyCap’s loan application process is simple and straightforward. Applicants can complete an online application form in just a few minutes, with no collateral required. If approved, funds are deposited directly into your bank account within 24 hours. Payments are then setup to automatically withdraw from your account on a regular, scheduled basis. 

    SkyCap Financial offers a unique incentive for its clients – access to SkyCap University, a free online course designed to teach you about money and finances. As a SkyCap borrower, you’ll receive a login to this course as a reward for your business. Completing the course can qualify you for a lower interest rate on your loan, potentially saving you money in the long run. 

    Easyfinancial 

    Amount: $500 – $100,000
    Rate: 9.99% – 46.96%
    Term: 9 months – 20 years

    Easyfinancial is a Canadian private lender that provides personal loans and other credit solutions to people who may have difficulty getting approved with traditional lenders. The company offers a range of loan products such as unsecured personal loans, secured personal loans, home equity loans, and more.

    You can apply in person at a local branch or online through the Easyfinancial website. The application process involves completing an online form and speaking with a lending specialist over the phone. You will be required to provide information about your financial situation, employment status, and other details to be considered for a loan. If approved, funds are typically disbursed within 24-48 hours by direct deposit. 

    Spring Financial

    Amount: $500 – $35,000
    Rate: 9.99% – 46.96%
    Term: 6 months – 5 years
    Not available in: SK, QC, NB

    Spring Financial specializes in providing personal loans to build or rebuild your credit history.  The company offers a range of borrowing options like unsecured personal loans, secured personal loans, car loans, mortgages, and more. 

    Spring has a unique credit-building program, called The Foundation, that is available to everyone, no matter your credit score or financial situation. It’s a type of savings loan where you commit to a set monthly payment for 12 months and each payment is reported to the credit bureaus. At the end of the term, you get $750 that was saved up for you, and a guaranteed loan offer of $1,500 at 18.99% interest, called the Evergreen Loan. 

    To get a Spring loan you need to apply online. If approved, you can receive the funds same day by eTransfer, or within 2-3 days by direct deposit to your account. 

    Consumer Capital 

    Amount: $500 – $12,500 
    Rate: 19.99% – 34.99%
    Term: 1 – 5 years
    Not available in: NT, NU, QC, YK

    Consumer Capital Canada is a financial technology (fintech) company that provides easy, fast, and flexible personal loans. You can apply online in as little as 5 minutes and get the money deposited directly into your account within 24 to 48 hours. At the time of writing, Consumer Capital Canada only offers one type of personal loan. 

    Loan Away

    Amount: $1,000 – $5,000
    Rate: 19.90% – 45.90%
    Term: 6 months – 3 years
    Not available in: MB, NT, NU, PE, QC, SK, YT

    Loan Away is an online private lender that provides personal loans to people with a range of credit scores. The company specializes in bad credit loans and personal loans to suit almost any need. According to their website, 90% of applications are approved, making them a great alternative to a payday lender

    Applications are accepted and processed every day of the week to ensure fast-as-possible service. Loan Away focuses more on your ability to repay the loan rather than your credit score. To get a loan from Loan Away, you must apply online.  If approved, funds are directly deposited into your bank account within 24 hours. 

    Loans Canada

    Amount: $500 – $35,000
    Rate: 2.99% – 46.96%
    Term: 4 months – 5 years (or more)

    Loans Canada is not a private lender, but an online lending platform that connects borrowers with private lenders across Canada. The company provides access to a range of loan products, including personal loans, business loans, debt consolidation loans, and mortgages.

    To use Loans Canada, borrowers can visit the website and fill out an online application form. Once submitted, the application is reviewed to determine your eligibility and assign an interest rate based on your creditworthiness.

    Loans Canada works with a network of reputable private lenders across Canada to provide borrowers with competitive rates and flexible repayment terms. Borrowers are matched with lenders based on their specific needs and can choose from a variety of loan options to find the one that best suits their financial situation.

    Loanz

    Amount: $1,000 – $15,000
    Rate: 29.90% to 46.90%
    Term: 1 – 5 years
    Not available in: QC

    Loanz is an online private lender that helps people get the money they need when traditional lenders say no. Their goal is to help as many Canadians as possible access credit when they need it with a fast and easy application process. However, if you have any items in collections or are in the process of bankruptcy, you won’t qualify for lending. 

    To get a loan, apply online in under 3 minutes using their simple application form. Indicate the amount you want to borrow and how you plan to use the money. Connect your bank details for faster funding so Loanz can verify your income and eligibility in real time. This process is called the “rapid app.” 

    If you prefer not to connect your banking information, an agent will review your documents manually. This option may delay the time it takes for you to receive your funds. Once they have all of your information, Loanz will present a loan offer for you to review before accepting. 

    Once approved, select how you would like to receive your funds – some options allow for disbursement as quickly as 15 minutes.

    LoanMeNow

    Amount: $500 – $1,000
    Rate: 28% – 32%
    Term: 84- 90 days

    LoanMeNow isn’t a private lender, but an online lending platform that provides fast and easy access to personal loans by matching you with a private lender based on your needs, credit profile, and financial situation. They specialize in very short-term loans of approximately 3 months.

    The company operates entirely online, offering a convenient and streamlined application process when you need quick access to cash. 

    Unfortunately, you will not qualify for a loan if you are self-employed, in a credit counselling program or bankruptcy, or are planning to file for bankruptcy. You must be traditionally employed and receive your income by direct deposit into your bank account. 

    On a positive note, they lend to people no matter their credit score. LoanMeNow does not do credit checks on applicants. Instead, your eligibility is based on your employment, income, and banking information. This gives you a hassle-free lending experience, without the need for extensive paperwork, lengthy approval processes, or the risk of being denied based on your credit score. 

    Sympleloans

    Amount: $5,000 – $50,000
    Rate: 6.99% – 32%
    Term: 1 to 7 years
    Not available in: SK, QC, NS

    Sympleloans is a Toronto-based online private lender that offers personal loans with competitive rates and flexible terms. Whether you need funds for home renovations, debt consolidation, or unexpected expenses, Sympleloans provides a quick and easy way to get the cash you need.

    One of the key features of Sympleloans is its user-friendly online application process. The application can be completed in under 2 minutes from anywhere, making it a convenient option for busy individuals who don’t have the time to visit a physical lender.  You’ll get an instant response and, if approved, you’ll receive funds the next business day. 

    Sympleloans offers personalized loan quotes without affecting your credit score, so you can get an idea of what you qualify for before submitting an application. However, you are not eligible for lending if you have any past bankruptcies on your credit report.  

    FAQs about private lenders in Canada

    How do private lenders work?

    Private lenders in Canada are individuals or companies that offer loans to borrowers who may not qualify for traditional bank loans. Private lenders typically have more flexible lending criteria and can offer quicker loan processing times compared to traditional banks.

    The terms and conditions of private loans can vary widely depending on the lender, province, and your borrower’s agreement. Interest rates are typically higher than those offered by traditional banks, but this is because private lenders take on more risk when lending money to borrowers who may have poor credit scores or limited financial history.

    Overall, private lenders provide an alternative source of funding for individuals and businesses who may not qualify for traditional bank loans. It’s important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of any private loan before accepting it, as these loans can come with higher interest rates and fees than traditional bank loans.

    Are private lenders better than banks?

    Whether a private lender or a bank is better depends on individual circumstances such as financial history, credit score, loan amount required, repayment terms needed, etc. 

    Banks almost always offer lower interest rates, fewer fees, and a wider range of financial products and services compared to private lenders. But banks also typically have stricter lending criteria and longer loan processing times.

    Private lenders, on the other hand, can offer more flexible lending criteria and quicker loan processing times compared to traditional banks. They can also provide loans to people and businesses who may not qualify for bank loans due to poor credit scores or limited financial history. However, private loans often come with significantly higher interest rates and fees than traditional bank loans.

    It’s important for you to carefully compare your options before deciding which lender is best for your needs.

    Are private lenders safe?

    Private lenders can be safe, but as with any financial transaction, there are risks involved. It’s important for you to carefully research and vet potential private lenders before agreeing to any loan terms.

    To avoid scam and fraud-related risks, you should only work with reputable and licensed private lenders who have a proven track record of successful lending. It’s also important to thoroughly review all loan documents and seek advice from financial experts such as accountants or financial advisors before signing any agreements.

    To avoid damaging your credit, you need to carefully consider your ability to repay the loan on time and in full before accepting any loan offers from private lenders.

    Can a private lender report to credit bureaus in Canada?

    Yes, private lenders in Canada can report to credit bureaus, and most of them do. However, there may be some private lenders that don’t, but it’s rare. While most banks and credit unions typically report to credit bureaus, some private lenders may choose to do so on a case-by-case basis. When working with a private lender, it’s a good idea to clarify their reporting policy if you’re planning to use the loan to help build or repair your credit score.

    Are private lenders the same as alternative lenders?

    Private lenders and alternative lenders are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t always the same. Private lenders usually refer to individuals or businesses that provide loans using their own funds. On the other hand, alternative lenders are a broader category that includes any non-traditional lending source, which can include private lenders, online lending platforms, and peer-to-peer lenders. So, all private lenders can be considered alternative lenders, but not all alternative lenders are private lenders.

    Can an online lending company sue you?

    Yes, online lending companies, just like any other lender in Canada, can legally sue you if you default on your loan. That’s why it’s crucial to fully understand the terms and conditions before signing any loan agreement. If you’re unable to meet the repayment terms, the lender could take legal action to recover their money, which could lead to additional costs for you and damage to your credit score.

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    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.