Once you become a credit user, a world of possibilities can open up to you, such as the ability to mortgage a home. That said, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to end up with bad credit, which can wreck your finances and prevent you from getting approved for any credit products, including loans.
What is Bad Credit?
Bad credit can be difficult to understand, especially if you’ve just started using credit products. Here’s an example of how credit works:
- When you use your first credit card, your provider will begin reporting your payment activity to Equifax and/or TransUnion, Canada’s credit bureaus.
- Each bureau will create a slightly different credit report in your name. This document contains all your credit-related actions over the past few years.
- You will also be assigned a 3-digit credit score ranging from 300 to 900, which summarizes how healthy your credit is.
- If you apply for another credit product, such as a loan, many lenders will check your credit to know how risky you would be as a potential client.
What Happens When You Have Good Credit?
If your score is in the “good” range of 660 – 900, it’s generally because you’re a responsible borrower. As such, lenders will assume you’re more likely to pay your debts on time, so it will be easier for you to get approved for a large amount of credit, a low interest rate, and an appealing payment plan.
What Happens When You Have Bad Credit?
If you haven’t been paying your previous debts responsibly, your credit score can quickly fall into the “bad” range of 300 – 600. By checking your credit history, lenders can also see every payment you’ve missed over the past few years. As a result, they will consider you more of a liability, so you may only qualify for a small amount of credit, a high interest rate, and a restrictive payment plan.
Unfortunately, while late or missed payments are the fastest ways to decrease your credit score, there are a few other events that can lead to bad credit, such as:
- Uncorrected errors on your credit report (wrong name, address, etc.)
- Having your identity, credit card, or banking information stolen
- Moving without informing your lender(s) of your new address
- Having too much revolving debt on your credit card or line of credit
- Applying for credit too often (every time a lender checks your credit, a hard inquiry will appear on your report and decrease your score slightly)
Best Bad Credit Loans in Canada 2021
|Type of Loan|
|Up to $35,000||26.99% - 39.99%||6 - 60||Secured & unsecured||More Info|
|Up to $15,000||29.99% - 46.96%||9 - 60||Personal loan||More Info|
|$5,000 - $35,000||5.9% - 45.9%||12 - 60||Personal loan||More Info|
|$1,000 -$35,000||5.99% - 29.19%||36 - 60||Persona loan||More Info|
|Up to $5,000||19.9% - 45.9%||3 - 36||Personal loan||More Info|
|Up to $10,000||43%||36 - 60||Guarantor loan||More Info|
|Up to $3,000||22% - 35%||3 - 4||Installment loan||More Info|
|$1,600 - $25,000||9.47% - 20.07%||36 - 60||Secured Savings Loan||More Info|
|Up to $20,000||19.44% - 31.90%||36 - 84||Consumer Proposal Exit Loan||More Info|
How Do Bad Credit Loans Help You?
Essentially, a bad credit loan is a lump sum of money that you can borrow from various lenders in Canada. That sum is normally deposited directly into your bank account and you would repay it through divided installments. Unlike some traditional credit products, a bad credit loan can help you:
- Get approved for credit with few requirements, even with weaker finances
- Cover your expenses during unemployment or other financial emergencies
- Gradually build good credit when you make full payments on time
Despite all these benefits, you should always research and compare a few lenders in your area before applying for a bad credit loan. That’s because every lender offers different loan amounts, interest rates, payment plans, and approval requirements.
Check out why a payday loan is considered a bad credit loan.
Bad Credit Loans vs. Bank Loans
That leads us to our next subject; how bad credit loans differ from traditional loans that you would acquire from a bank. Actually, most banks don’t even offer bad credit loans because their lending policies are more restrictive, often preventing them from approving people who don’t have good credit or a decent income.
So, you’ll most likely have to apply with an alternative lender or a subprime lender that specifically advertises as bad-credit-friendly. These bad credit lending sources can be more appealing than banks and other prime lenders because:
- You can create an account, apply, and make payments 100% online
- Applications are simpler and loan funds can be deposited faster
- They have easier loan requirements and better approval rates
- They focus on your income and other factors, rather than just your credit
- Many of them don’t even check credit prior to approval
However, bad credit loans may not be as appealing as bank loans because:
- Interest rates and fees are usually higher
- Loan amounts may be smaller and payment plans more restrictive
- Private lending companies are harder to regulate, leading to a higher possibility of scamming, fraud, and illegal rates
Check out the difference between getting a personal loan and a payday loan.
What You Can Do to Qualify For a Bad Credit Loan
Besides researching your lender properly, there are a few things you can do to get approved for the best bad credit loan in 2021, such as:
- Have a full-time job for at least a few months
- Increase your income and save up as much as possible
- Consolidate your current debts to lower your debt-to-income ratio
- Offer an asset (vehicle, real estate, etc.) as collateral for a secured loan
- Find a stronger borrower to cosign your application
While requirements may vary from lender to lender, you’ll have an easier time qualifying for a larger bad credit loan, with a more affordable interest rate and repayment plan when you have the ability to pay your debts on schedule. The less risky your lender considers you, the better the result.
Costs to Consider When Taking Out a Bad Credit Loan
Before you apply for a bad credit loan, it’s also extremely important to think about and budget for the associated costs, such as:
- Interest – What your lender charges to borrow from them. The lower your interest rate is, the cheaper your loan will be. However, bad credit lenders often charge higher rates because they are taking on riskier clients.
- Fees – All too often, borrowers don’t think about the fees their lender could charge, whether they are for each payment or a one-time cost. These fees can include loan origination, preparation of documents, and other administrative services.
- Penalties – If you pay your loan installments on time, then you shouldn’t have to worry about penalties. Unfortunately, every late, incomplete, or missed payment will lead to a penalty fee, as well as added interest.
- Term – The length of your loan term, as well as the size and frequency of your payments, are also important. While smaller payments and longer terms can be more affordable, larger payments and shorter terms can lead to less overall debt.
Risking Your Assets or Cosigner
It’s also essential to think about what it could cost you to apply for a secured or guarantor bad credit loan. While offering collateral or having someone cosign your application can lead to better rates and loan conditions, there are also two major risks that come with these options:
- Secured Loans – When you offer an asset as collateral, your lender will temporarily own it until your loan is fully paid. So, if you default on too many payments and don’t negotiate the situation, they will have the right to seize your asset and sell it to cover your debt.
- Guarantor Loans – By co-signing your application, your guarantor is agreeing to cover your payment(s) if you can’t afford to. If they end up responsible for your payments but also cannot afford them, they could be subject to the same penalties and credit damage as you would if they were still your responsibility.
Pros and Cons of Bad Credit Loans
Bad credit loans can be beneficial when you’re in need. That said, there are also many drawbacks associated with them that you must consider. Check out these pros and cons of bad credit loans before you give away any information:
- Easier approval requirements
- Faster application and depositing times than banks
- Applying can often be done online
- A credit check may not be necessary when applying
- Responsible payments can gradually improve your credit
- Helpful when covering daily costs and emergency expenses
- Higher interest rates, fees, and penalties
- Smaller loan amounts and more restrictive payment terms
- More chance of scamming, fraud, and predatory rates
- Defaulting can result in penalties, extra interest, and loss of collateral
- Every late, short, or missed payment damages your credit
- If your cosigner defaults, both of your financial profiles could be at risk
Interested In Improving Your Bad Credit?
If the conditions of most bad credit loans seem unappealing, don’t worry, because there are a few techniques that can slowly improve your credit, including but not limited to:
- Create a budget and reduce non-essential costs
- Consolidate your existing unpaid debts
- Check your credit report periodically for errors, fraud, and identity theft
- Pay all your utility, cell phone, and internet bills on time
- Use a secured credit card to make responsible payments
- Avoid applying for too many credit products within the same year
- Increase your credit limit and don’t carry too much revolving debt
- Avoid minimum or partial payments (this helps reduce interest)
- Add variety to your credit accounts (but use them responsibly)
Can I still get a bad credit loan if I have a consumer proposal on my credit report?
Should I get a secured or unsecured bad credit loan?
Do bad credit loans get reported to the credit bureaus?
Searching For the Best Bad Credit Loan in 2021?
If so, Loans Canada can show you the way by connecting you with the best loans, lenders, and interest rates in your area. Submit a request today and get matched with a lender that meets your needs.
Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.
Largest Lender Network In Canada
Save time and money with Loans Canada. Research and compare lenders before you apply. Share your experiences with Canada's top lenders.
goPeer — Helping Consumers Achieve Financial Freedom by Connecting Canadians Looking For Financing With Canadians Looking to Invest
goPeer is Canada's first consumer peer to peer lending platform and connects creditworthy Canadians looking for a loan with everyday Canadians looking...