Everyone needs quick access to cash at some point in their life. Whether you need to consolidate debt, pay off a payday loan, or have just had some unexpected expenses, online loans can help.
Many online lenders offer loans for all sorts of purposes, making it easy to compare interest rates, terms, and other features on your computer or phone.
Applying online is usually fast and easy, and most companies will give you an answer within minutes.
This article will take an in-depth look at how to find an online loan, what to look for in a lender, and how to increase your chances of getting approved.
How to find the right online loan for you
Almost everyone will need to borrow money from time to time. Whether you are looking for an installment loan like a mortgage or just need a quick personal loan to get out of a jam, you need to know how to find the right loan for your situation.
Here’s a quick look at the steps you can take to find the right loan for you.
Do your research
A quick Google search will help you find hundreds of firms offering many different types of loans, including payday loans, installment loans, bad credit loans, etc. These lenders work in every part of Canada, from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island.
To start, make a quick list of lenders who offer products that fit your financial goals and begin to compare the options they provide.
Check the company’s reputation
Look at reviews of the company online. Do they provide funds to your bank account in a reasonable time? Do they have negative reviews? What are their collection practices? Look at each piece of information you can find on the company to ensure you won’t pay more money than you need to.
Reach out and ask questions
Do you still have outstanding questions about a particular company? Are you curious about their qualification requirements or whether they offer direct deposit? Reach out to them via the contact form or toll-free number on their website. If they are a suitable lender to work with, then they should quickly be able to answer any question you have.
How to compare online loans
Once you have narrowed down the field of companies offering the type of loans you are looking for, it’s time to look for the perfect loan.
To do that, you will want to evaluate several factors:
The interest rate that they offer is the first thing to look at. Obviously, the lower the rate, the better for borrowing money. This means that the total payback amount for the loan will be lower, making both you and your bank account happy.
Terms and fees
Interest rates aren’t the only thing to look for when evaluating loan products. Many companies that offer loans have provisions in their contracts that you need to be aware of. This includes things like the payment schedule, fees, and other items that add to the total cost of the loan. Make sure you understand what you are getting into.
Another critical factor is the amount of money they will be willing to provide. This will depend on the type of loan, your credit rating (or credit history), and whether or not the loan is secured with collateral. If you can’t find the amount of money you need, check with other lenders to see their available options.
One crucial part of the loan process is making payments. You will be expected to make regular payments on the principal amount borrowed to keep the loan from going into default. Understanding their rules will help ensure you don’t make a mistake when it comes time to pay back the debt.
Other features or benefits
Some companies offer special incentives to borrowers to help find new clients. This could be anything from an optional loan protection plan to guaranteeing a quick approval to lower interest rates. They may even offer special geographic deals (i.e., special terms for Saskatchewan residents). Check out any special deals on offer to see if you can get favorable terms on your loan.
What documentation is required for an online loan application
Once you have found the right personal loan, it’s time to apply. Regardless of the loan amount, lending companies will need certain information from you to process the loan.
This is how financial institutions validate who you are. Typically they would look for multiple pieces of identification that will be the basis for their entire loan process. The documents they may ask for include your:
- Driver’s license
- Social Insurance Number
After the company has confirmed your identity, the next step is to provide them with information that will help them understand your ability to repay the loan. This information, combined with your ID, will help the company run a credit check before agreeing to the loan and transferring funds.
These can include:
- Your current payslip (assuming you are employed)
- Three most recent bank statements (for both history and direct deposit)
- Letter of employment or offer letter
Finally, there are certain situations where the lending company may want more information before processing your loan. This can happen if you have special terms in your loan agreement, a high-cost loan, or a credit profile that doesn’t match perfectly with their risk model.
Extra documentation can include:
- Your tax returns for the past two years
- Proof of any other income
- List of debts and assets
How to apply for an online loan
Once you have compiled all of the information you need to apply for your loan, it’s time to actually make the application.
At this point, navigate over to the loan application page on their website and start the process. This usually involves an online form that is quick and easy to fill out. If you run into trouble, you can always reach out to their customer service line to ask questions or receive guidance.
Shameless plug: If you need a quick loan, you can find a link to our application page in the sidebar of this post.
How to get the best interest rate on an online loan
Getting the best interest rate on a loan isn’t always about shopping around for the loan company offering the best deal. Like other traditional financial institutions, they can often have special rates that are lower than their posted rates. Here are some tips for getting a better deal:
Check your credit score
Online loan companies will check both your credit report and credit score before deciding on issuing a loan. This is especially true for high-cost loans.
Keeping your credit score in good standing can help ensure you are offered better rates when taking out personal loans.
If you want to check your credit report, you can do so free from either TransUnion or Equifax. You can use the links below to get the process started.
Shop around and compare interest rates
Sometimes it is as simple as just looking around for a better deal. With so much competition for online loans, there are bound to be providers who can provide you with a better deal. Shopping around will be critical for ensuring your personal loan application goes to the company that will benefit you most in the long run.
Check for promotional interest rates
Occasionally, online loan companies will offer special promotions to get you to sign on the dotted line. This can undoubtedly be good for your overall cash flow but isn’t always the best deal. Make sure you read the fine print before signing up to ensure that the rate won’t reset to something much higher after the promotional period ends.
Negotiate for a lower interest rate
This is where you channel your inner hostage negotiator. If you deal with a lender that seems promising, there’s no harm in calling on a competitor and asking them to beat the other rate. Use the competition in the market to your advantage, and you may score a great deal. This is especially true if you already have good credit.
Sometimes, it can pay to just be polite and ask. It doesn’t always work, but it may help you get a better rate than what’s posted on the website.
What to do if you are denied an online loan
Sometimes, getting a loan just doesn’t work out. Rejection often comes with very little information, but it’s essential to know the reason so you can take steps to solve the issue in the future.
If you’ve been rejected for a loan, here are a few steps you can take:
Re-check your credit score
When companies offer loans, they lean heavily on your credit score. If you have high levels of credit card debt or overdue payday loans, this can be a drag on your credit report. Do what you can to improve your credit rating, and it should increase the likelihood of loan approvals.
Ask why you were declined
Sometimes it’s unclear precisely what the cause was. Was it the loan amount? Your credit rating? Or something else? If you need to know more, call them and ask. They may not be willing to tell you on the phone, but it’s worth a shot in the name of fixing your credit.
Appeal the decision
Not every loan company will allow you to appeal the decision, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for reconsideration. Make sure you know your personal situation and dispute any inaccurate information if it exists. They will not likely change their minds, but it’s worth trying.
How to find a co-signer for an online loan
So you were declined for a loan. What’s should you do next?
One option is to find a co-signer. This is someone who will act as a guarantor on the loan, agreeing to pay it back if you default.
The following is a list of the most common co-signers
A spouse or partner
This is an easy one. If you have a spouse or partner with good credit, you can ask them to cosign with you. This helps increase the odds of getting approved. This is a person you already have a deep, connected relationship with and will likely stick by your side.
A close family member, such as a parent or sibling
Family is another option for cosigning loans. As with a spouse or partner, your family is often willing to help out other family members. But remember, defaulting on a cosigned loan can cause rifts between family members. Proceed with caution.
A friend or colleague
The last resort for co-signers would be a friend or colleague. It would have to be a very good friend to want to do this, but it does happen. Just be aware of the relationship risk if you fail to pay back your loan.
Now that you know where to find online loans and how to apply, it’s time to get started. Remember, always do your research before applying for a loan. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, the interest rate, and any fees.
And most importantly, make sure you can afford the monthly payments.
Want to get started quickly? Use our application form to get started today!