Fairstone Review (March 2023) – Pros, Cons, Features, & Pricing

In this Fairstone review, I will walk you through the fine points of one of Canada’s established lenders. Fairstone is a non-bank lender operating in Canada with almost a century under their belt. 

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Last Updated: Mar 20, 2023


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Fairstone offer personal loans that can either be unsecured or secured against your home for purposes like debt consolidation or home improvements. In addition, you can apply for financing of vehicle and retail purchases from select Canadian dealerships and retailers.

Alternative lenders like Fairstone can come in handy when your credit score doesn’t meet the requirements of traditional banks.

It’s beneficial to know what Fairstone offers and at what cost if you’re looking for a personal loan. This knowledge will help you make the right decision for your needs and avoid an unfavourable financial situation.

Let’s dive right into this Fairstone review.

What Makes Fairstone a Good Option?

Fairstone is a long-standing lender that was founded in 1923. Over 240 Fairstone brick-and-mortar locations span across Canada, giving them the upper hand on online-only banks.

Their suite of services is ideal for those who don’t have excellent credit and, as a result, find it challenging to qualify for a loan.

You can apply for a personal advance that uses your house as collateral. Additionally, you can get an unsecured loan that comes with the benefit of repaying early without incurring a charge.

If you’re interested in one of Fairstone’s loans, you can get a free quote on their website. Getting an estimate won’t impact your credit score.

In my experience, Fairstone staff ensure you end up with a loan that fits your needs. They operate a personalized service that guides you through the entire application process.

Fairstone Review 2 - Comparewise

The Pros & Cons of Fairstone

The following section of our Fairstone review will cover the pros and cons of using their services.

Pros of FairstoneCons of Fairstone
+ Wide range of finance solutions
+ No hard credit check
+ Quick payout
+ Online application
+ Lenient Credit Score Requirements
+ Widespread Physical Branches
– High interest rates
– Hidden fees
Secured Loans are Strictly for Homeowners

The Pros of Fairstone

Here’s what we think is great about Fairstone.

  • Wide range of finance solutions
  • No hard credit check
  • Quick payout
  • Online application
  • Lenient Credit Score Requirements
  • Widespread Physical Branches

Wide range of finance solutions

Fairstone caters to a variety of consumer needs. Whether you have urgent car repairs or want to build credit.

They offer mortgage refinancing, vehicle loans, and online funding. You can finance car and retail purchases through select retailers and dealerships as well.

No Hard Credit Check

Getting a loan quote doesn’t involve a hard pull of your credit history. Instead, they do a soft credit check. This means your credit score won’t be affected, nor will the loan quote create a record on your credit report.

Quick Payout

Fairstone funds online and unsecured loans in as little as 24 hours.

Online Loan Application

You can apply for a loan online and receive your funds without visiting one of their branches.

Lenient Credit Score Requirements

You don’t need to have excellent credit to get a loan from Fairstone. As a minimum, they require applicants to have a fair to good credit score.

Widespread Physical Branches

Fairstone has over 240 branches located across Canada. Therefore, it’s possible to find a branch near you.

The Cons of Fairstone

Fairstone can improve on the following aspects.

  • High interest rates
  • Hidden fees
  • Secured Loans are Strictly for Homeowners

High Interest Rates

Fairstone’s financial products carry high interest rates, which can fall anywhere between 19.99% and 39.99%.

Hidden Fees

During the loan application process, Fairstone doesn’t show the APR. Therefore, you won’t know the exact interest rate they charge.

Secured loans carry additional fees, such as administrative tasks and insurance, which may not be stated beforehand.

Secured Loans are Strictly for Homeowners

To apply for a secured loan, you must use your home as collateral.

Products Offered by Fairstone

In this part of the Fairstone review, we’ll examine the various products offered by this financial service provider.

Fairstone offers a wide range of financing solutions. Whether you plan to buy an RV, renovate your home, or need money for a medical emergency, you can apply for a loan.

Their products are not limited to personal loans. They also finance purchases of retail goods and used vehicles. 

Secured Personal Loans

Fairstone offers secured personal loans for homeowners interested in doing home repairs, consolidating debt, etc.

Your house is used as collateral to support your loan. This security will allow you to get more funds than you can with an unsecured loan.

You can borrow any amount of money from $5000 to $50,000. The loan term can be anywhere between 36 and 120 months. And the interest rate on a secured advance can range from 19.99% to 29.99%, varying by province.

It takes over three days to receive your funds, depending on your location.

Fairstone will charge a fee for early repayment of a secured personal loan.

Fairstone Review 4 - Comparewise

Unsecured Personal Loans

If using a house as collateral isn’t an option for you, Fairstone offers unsecured personal loans. You can get this type of loan for debt consolidation or unforeseen emergencies as well.

The amount you can borrow ranges from $500 to $25,000. The loan term can be from 6 to 60 months.

The benefit of this type of loan is that there is no penalty for paying it off early. In addition, you can get your money in as little as one business day (or less).

Bear in mind, you will receive a higher interest rate compared to that on a secured loan. This is usually because there is no collateral attached to your loan, meaning Fairstone assumes more risk.

The interest rate associated with an unsecured personal loan ranges from 26.99% to 39.99%.

Other Loans

If you’re looking for quick funding without having to visit one of Fairstone’s branches, you can get an online loan.

You can borrow any amount between $500 and $25,000. The loan term is 6 to 60 months. And there is no requirement of homeownership and no prepayment penalties.

Fairstone offers mortgage refinancing as well.

With first mortgage refinancing, you can borrow a maximum of $400,000. The amortization period can be up to 25 years and the term anywhere between 1 to 5 years. Interest rates start from 12.49%, varying by province.

Second mortgage refinancing allows you to borrow up to $125,000. The maximum amortization period is 20 years, and you can choose a term between 1 and 5 years. Interest rates start from 15.85%, varying by province.

Fairstone can lend you up to $25,000 for a car or auto loan. The interest rates aren’t available beforehand, so you will have to get a loan quote to determine the rate. You can pay off this loan early and incur no prepayment penalties.

Retail Point-of-Sale Financing

Fairstone offers finance for consumer purchases at retailers like Best Buy. Therefore, you can buy goods now and pay for them later.

This financing is made available for various industries, including building supplies and hardware, dental, and veterinary.

Automobile Financing

Fund the purchase of a used vehicle or a power sports car that is brand new or pre-owned. Fairstone has a network of over 450 car dealerships across Canada that they work with.

How Legitimate is Fairstone?

Dealing with any financial institution can be stressful. It’s essential to know that you can trust the provider you’re using. And that is why we’ve included this section in our Fairstone review.

Fairstone has been in business for almost 100 years. Their headquarters are in Montreal, and they have over 240 branches across Canada.

The Fairstone customer base exceeds one million. And they partner with Canadian businesses to offer retail and vehicle financing solutions to customers.

Fairstone Customer Service and Support

Another important aspect we wanted to cover in this Fairstone review

There are a few ways to contact Fairstone. You can reach a customer service rep online via live chat or by phone.

Alternatively, visit one of their branches for an in-person conversation. According to customer reviews, Fairstone has some of the most helpful staff.

Before I committed to any of their products, I read some of the blog posts on their website. They offer practical information and guidance that can be useful if you are unsure about their products.

Fairstone Promotions

When writing this Fairstone review, they have an upcoming promotion where customers will be exempt from making payments until 2022. This offer applies if you take out a loan between the 17th and 30th of November 2021.

You can find promotions on Fairstone’s website under the ‘about Fairstone’ tab.

How to Apply for a Loan with Fairstone

You can apply for funding by either submitting your application online or in person at one of Fairstone’s branches.

If you choose to visit one of their branches, you’ll work with a lending specialist to get a loan fitting your needs. Personally, I opted for an online application via the Fairstone website.

Loan Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a loan with Fairstone, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident
  • Be the age of majority in your province or territory (Typically 18 years old)
  • Have a personal use for a loan
  • Have an established credit history
  • Have the means to repay your loan in monthly installments

Online Loan Application Process

Phase 1

The first stage begins with getting a loan quote. Complete a simple questionnaire that involves these four steps:

  1. Choose how much you want to borrow (between $500 and $35,000).
  2. Select a reason for your loan application from the options.
  3. Fill in your personal information, such as your full name, physical address (and whether you own or rent), monthly income and expenses and contact information.
  4. Allow Fairstone to perform a credit check.

The last step doesn’t require a hard pull, so the loan quote won’t appear on your credit report.

Your application will be processed for a few minutes, then you will arrive at an approval page.

I enjoyed the fact that it took me less than 10 minutes to complete. And that there’s no obligation to take out the loan they approve.

However, Fairstone didn’t provide the interest rate explicitly. Therefore, I used an online interest rate calculator to find the APR. I advise you to do this, so you know how much interest they will charge before completing the application process.

A lending specialist from Fairstone will then get in touch with you via a phone call. You will discuss the information on your loan quote, and they may offer you a different interest rate.

Phase 2

The last step involves a visit to a Fairstone branch. You will have to provide specific documents. These include personal identification records, proof of income and housing information.

Once you provide these documents, they will finalize your application. You can receive your money on the same day or in a couple of days.

Fairstone Review 3 - Comparewise

Alternatives to Fairstone

In this Fairstone review, we’ve covered several of the institution’s features and benefits. But, there are other non-bank lenders you could consider if you cannot take out a loan with Fairstone.

Mogo provides online personal loans to anyone, whether you have excellent or poor credit. They lend up to $35,000, and the loan term can range from 6 to 60 months. Interest rates start from 9.90%.

LendingMate loans funds to residents of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. It’s possible to borrow an amount anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 as long as you have a co-signer.

The term can be anywhere between 12 and 60 months. The APR is fixed; therefore, for those living in British Columbia and Ontario, you will get a rate of 43% and in Quebec, 34.90%

Borrowell matches Canadians with personal lenders. Their credit requirement is much stricter than other lenders. Therefore, you will need a good credit score to apply for funding from them. As with Fairstone, you can borrow up to $35,000. The loan term can be three or five years, and interest rates range from 5.6% to 29.9%.

Fairstone Review Conclusion

Fairstone has some significant benefits, such as its lenient credit score requirements and hands-on application process.

But their APRs can be a downside.

Their loans are expensive compared to others, significantly if your financial situation will not improve by taking on such high debt.

In this case, and if it’s possible, look into alternatives. Consider asking someone you can rely on for a loan. Also, check with your bank to see if you qualify for financing. You could sell existing assets or use a credit card to cover an expense as well.

To conclude this Fairstone review, I will give them my stamp of approval and share one piece of advice: do your due diligence.

Before signing any documents, make sure you read the fine print and understand what you’re setting yourself up for.

Our Fairstone review covers the personal loans & financing they offer. Read about the pros & cons of their service, interest rates, & more. Thanks for reading our Fairstone review.

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FAQs about Fairstone

What is the interest rate for Fairstone?

Fairstone's secured personal loan starts from 19.99% while unsecured personal loan starts from 26.99%. If you're looking at home loan, the interest rate for mortgage loans starts from 12.49%.

Will Fairstone affect my credit rating?

No, as Fairstone will only start with a "soft" credit check for a loan quote. If you proceed with a loan application, Fairstone can proceed with a "hard" credit check.

Can I find out how much money I can borrow before applying?

The first step starts with getting a loan quote by completing their questionnaire. From there, all you need to do is complete the loan quote online with no impact on your credit rating and choose how much you want to borrow (between $500 and $35 000).

How do I apply for a loan?

You can follow Fairstone's 3 simple steps: 1. Begin with an online quote so you can have an overview of how much money you can borrow and what your payment might look like. 2. If you decide to go through the loan, you can speak to a Lending Specialist over the phone. 3. Once you finalise everything, collect all the documents relevant to your loan application and a Lending Specialist or one of the branches across Canada will go through them with you.

Where can I use Fairstone?

You can use Fairstone with your registered retailer and its Canadian affiliates or in locations that provide Fairstone financing.

September 4, 2022
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