Personal Emergency Loans

Personal Emergency Loans

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated October 5, 2022

Facing an unexpected personal emergency all alone with no help, financial or otherwise can be extremely stressful and difficult to handle. If you’re going through a rough financial patch and your emergency fund doesn’t quite cover the cost of your emergency, then you should consider an emergency loan. A small personal emergency loan could be exactly what you need to cover your unexpected financial costs and keep you from plummeting into high-interest debt.

Where Can You Get Emergency Loans In Canada

Loan AmountInterest RateTermProvince Availability
Spring-FinancialUp to $15,00029.99% - 46.96%9 - 60 monthsBC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB, NS, PEI, NLLearn More
Magical CreditUp to $20,00019.99% - 46.8%12 - 60 monthsBC, AB, ON, NB, NS, PEI, NLLearn More
Lend DirectUp to $15,000Started at 19.99%Open-endBC, AB, SK, ON, NS, PEI, NLLearn More
iCashUp to $1,500Varies by province*Max 62 daysBC, AB, MB, ON, NB, NS, PEILearn More
Money Mart$120 -  $1,500Varies by province*Max 62 daysBC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NSLearn More
Captain Cash$500 - $750Varies by province*90 to 120 daysBC, AB, ON, PEILearn More
Cash MoneyUp to $1,500Varies by province*Up to 62 daysBC, AB, ON Learn More
My Canada Payday$50 - $1,500Varies by province*14 daysBC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NSLearn More
Pay2Day logo$50 - $1,500Varies by province*Up to 31 daysBC, ON, NSLearn More
Speedy Cash$200 - $1,500Varies by province*Next paydayBC, AB, SK, NS, YT, NT, NULearn More
Cash4YouUp to $1,500Varies by province*Next paydayBC, ONLearn More
Loan ExpressUp to $1,500Varies by province*Max 62 daysBC, AB, SK, MN, ON, NB, NS, NL, YT, NT, NULearn More
*The maximum borrowing cost for a payday loan varies by province, learn more here.

Can You Get Emergency Cash Immediately?

Loan approval and deposit times vary from lender to lender. However, there are several ways you can get an emergency loan in Canada within a few minutes or hours of applying, such as:

Use A Payday Lender In Person

If you need emergency cash but don’t have a great credit score or income, a payday loan is a small loan of $100 – $1,500, with a 14-day term and easy approval requirements. Depending on the lender, these lenders can provide you with small loans in as little as 15 minutes after approval. 

Unfortunately, these loans are highly restricted in Canada because they come with super high-interest rates and fees, which can lead to predatory lending, scamming and serious debt.

Apply For A Personal Loan Online Or In-Person

Most banks, credit unions and alternative lenders offer some form of personal loan on their website or at their place of business. Each lender has different loan requirements, costs and conditions but it’s usually easier to qualify for a large loan with a low-interest rate if you apply with a good credit score, monthly income and debt-to-income ratio.     

Generally, you can get a fast cash with an online lender than a bank due to their flexible lending standards and automated underwriting process. Some online personal loan lenders offer funding within 24-48 hours of applying. 

Get A Credit Card Cash Advance

You can also use a credit card to withdraw cash immediately from your credit limit at an ATM or authorized service point. However, do note, while convenient and quick, cash advances often come with tons of fees and interest rates that are higher than the average credit card purchase rate. Plus, interest will be added to the borrowed amount right away and will continue accumulating until the advance is repaid. 

Can You Get A Personal Emergency Loan With Bad Credit?

Yes, there are many online and alternative lenders out there who exclusively cater to borrowers with low or bad credit. These lenders look at other aspects of your financial profile to determine your creditworthiness like your income, debt-to-income ratio, and more. 

Despite the fast and easy approval process many of these lenders have, interest rates are usually much higher than the rates you’d get with good credit. However, it beats taking out a payday loan or covering your expense with a credit card as you are able to spread your cost into more affordable monthly payments.

Types Of Lenders You Can Get An Emergency Personal Loan

Types Of LendersDefinitionApproximate  Interest RatesLender Examples
BanksMajor financial institutions like Canada’s Big Five banks offer personal loans. They generally offer the best rates but have strict requirements. 0.5% - 15%- TD
- BMO
- RBC
- CIBC
- Scotiabank 
- Laurentian Bank of Canada
Credit UnionsCredit unions are non-profit organizations that are owned by their members. They offer smaller loans than banks but rates are still affordable. Requirements are also more flexible than banks, but you must be a member (of the credit union) to get a loan. 3% or more - Fusion Credit Union
- First West Credit Union
- PACE Credit Union
- DUCA Credit Union
- Meridian Credit Union
- Vancity Credit Union
- Ganaraska Financial Credit Union
Private LendersPrivate lenders are easier to qualify for than banks due to their flexible lending standards. Even those with poor credit may qualify, however, they often charge much higher rates than banks, making them a more expensive option. 8% - 46%- Loanz
- Spring Financial
- LendDirect
- LoanMeNow 
- Consumer Capital Canada
- Mogo

Are You Eligible For A Personal Emergency Loan?

To be eligible for an emergency personal loan, you’ll also need to be:

  • A permanent resident or citizen of Canada
  • At least the age of majority in your province or territory to apply for a loan (18 or 19+). 

How to Apply For A Personal Emergency Loan In Canada

In order to apply for a personal emergency loan in Canada, you’ll need to meet certain requirements and provide pertinent documents. Here are three steps you can take to apply for a personal emergency loan. 

Step 1. Gather Your Documents

While every lender sets their own specific approval requirements, there are certain documents and pieces of information that you must submit to apply for most loans in Canada. For instance, you’ll normally have to include these details on your application:

  • Your full name, date of birth, home address and email
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and employment information
  • Information about your other debts and liabilities (mortgage, car payments, etc.) 
  • How much cash you wish to borrow
  • Permission for the lender to check your credit report and payment history.  

Documents Required For A Personal Emergency Loan

When applying for a personal emergency loan, you’ll usually need to provide the following documents: 

  • At least one piece of government photo ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.)
  • Your bank statements from that past 60 days
  • A recent pay stub or letter from your employer as proof of income
  • A pre-authorized debit form or VOID cheque 

Step 2. Apply For Loan

Once you have the necessary documents ready, you can start applying for your loan. You can choose to do this online or in-person if the lender has a physical office. To secure the best rates and terms, be sure to compare loan offers by first getting pre-approved. 

Once you’ve settled on a lender, you can complete your loan application and provide all the necessary documents. 

Step 3. Get Funded

If your information checks out, your lender will send you a notice of approval. Then, all you need to do is sign and submit your loan agreement. Depending on where and when you apply, you should receive your funds by direct deposit or e-transfer within 1 or 2 business days. As mentioned, some lenders will even deposit their loans within a few minutes or hours. 

What Can An Emergency Loan Help With?

Personal emergency loans are for everyone in any kind of situation, whether you’ve had an unfortunate medical emergency, your car broke down or the plumbing in your house has sprung a leak. The great thing about emergency loans is that once you’re approved you get to decide what to do with the money; you can cover whatever costs you need to cover. A personal emergency loan will:

  • Cover the initial costs of the emergency
  • Cover any additional costs
  • Cover living expenses if you need to take time off
  • Help you get back on your feet
  • Prevent you from racking up high-interest credit card debt

So if you’re on the fence about getting a personal loan to help out with an emergency, consider how it will help you not only with the initial costs it can and will help you get back on your feet.

How To Choose An Emergency Loan Lender?

One of the best things you can do to make sure your experience is as beneficial to you as possible is to choose the right lender. Having the best possible lender on your side will allow you to deal with your emergency in a timely and efficient manner and give you the peace of mind that you’ve made the right decision.

You’ll need to do a bit of research before you make your final decision. Emergency loans are often time-sensitive so here are a few tips to help you quickly choose a great lender and get the money you need as soon as possible.

  • Don’t trust any lenders that promise you the world, there are always criteria that need to be met and procedures to follow.
  • Legitimate loan companies will never ask you to make a payment upfront
  • Do a quick Google search for reviews
  • Make sure you can afford the monthly payments
  • Make sure you understand the total cost of the loan once it’s fully paid off

Our number one piece of advice is to follow your gut feeling and if the term a lender is offering you seem too good to be true then they probably are.

Working with a private lender will not only allow you to cover the cost of your emergency in a timely manner it will help you escape the high-interest credit card trap or the payday loan cycle of debt and provide you with the time you need to make monthly payments and get back on track.

Personal Emergency Loans FAQs

Can I get approved for a personal emergency loan with bad credit?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to acquire an emergency loan if you apply with a bad credit score (anywhere under 600 normally qualifies as ‘bad’). That said, you’ll probably have to apply with an alternative or private lender since most banks and credit unions will only approve applicants who have good-to-excellent credit scores (roughly 650 – 900).   Just keep in mind that lenders who accept bad credit (or no credit) often charge higher interest rates and fees for smaller, less flexible loans.

Will I have to give the lender my credit score to qualify for a loan?

Checking your credit is one of the easiest ways for a lender to determine whether you’ll make your payments on time. Most traditional lenders will perform a standard credit check when you apply for a loan. On the other hand, there are plenty of alternative lenders in Canada that won’t check your credit, as long as you meet all their other personal and financial requirements.

How quickly can I get my personal emergency loan?

This depends on the exact circumstances of the loan you’re applying for, but most lenders will deposit your funds within the first 24 to 48 hours of approval if you submit your application during business hours. If you apply on a weekend or holiday, you might not receive your emergency loan until the next business day.

Experiencing A Financial Emergency?

If you’re looking to apply for an emergency loan, the most important step you can take is to make sure you can handle all the costs and conditions of the loan before you apply. Remember, a loan is a serious responsibility, no matter how much you borrow.  


Rating of 4/5 based on 4 votes.

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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