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Unsecured Loan

There are secured and unsecured financing alternatives available to you if you’re thinking about requesting a loan or line of credit to assist with a significant purchase in Canada. Secured loans and lines of credit have higher borrowing limits and cheaper interest rates because they are backed by your assets. Since security is not required, unsecured loans can be approved more quickly.

Your final decision on whether to choose a secured loan or an unsecured loan depends on your options and whether you can save money overall with one option over the other. Over the course of their lives, many people may obtain credit and take out loans, resulting in both secured and unsecured debt. Knowing which type to utilize in which circumstance is the tricky part.

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How do Secured Loans work?

Consider a typical auto loan to get a sense of how a secured loan functions. Your new car is used as collateral by the lender as security for the funds you need to buy a car. If you don’t pay your loan payments, the lender has the authority to take your car, sell it, and use the proceeds to aid in loan repayment.

Your home serves as the security for mortgages and home equity loans. For secured credit cards and personal loans, down payments in cash are necessary. With title loans, you can borrow money using collateral, which is frequently the value of your car.

All of these loans have one thing in common: if you default on your loan, the lender has the right to seize any valuable assets you’ve pledged.

You might not be able to get a mortgage loan for several hundred thousand dollars without collateral. Interest rates on secured loans are frequently lower than they would be without collateral since they are thought to be less risky. Making an upfront cash deposit for secured credit cards and loans may give you the chance to establish credit if unsecured credit is not an option.

How to Unsecured Loans Work?

Unsecured loans are ones that are approved without utilizing real estate or other assets as security. Personal loans and signature loans are other names for unsecured loans.  The conditions of these loans, such as their acceptance and receipt, are frequently based on the borrower’s credit rating. For unsecured loans to be granted, borrowers frequently need to have excellent credit.

A secured loan differs from an unsecured loan in that the borrower pledges a specific asset as collateral for the loan. The assets that have been pledged raise the lender’s “security” for making the loan. Two instances of secured loans are mortgages and auto loans.

In some cases, lenders will permit loan applicants with insufficient credit to offer a cosigner because unsecured loans have greater credit score requirements than secured loans. If the borrower defaults, the cosigner assumes the liability to repay the debt. When a debtor fails to pay back a loan or debt’s interest and principal, this happens.

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In the event of a secured loan default, the lender has the right to take back the collateral to cover its losses. In contrast, the lender cannot seize any assets if a borrower fails on an unsecured loan. However, the lender has other options as well, including hiring a collection agency to get the money back or taking the borrower to court. The borrower’s salary might be garnished if the lender wins in court.

Additionally, if the borrower has a home, a lien may be put on it, or the borrower may otherwise be required to pay the loan. Borrowers who default may have negative effects like lower credit scores.

Secured vs Unsecured Loans

You are required to offer collateral as a condition of the loan agreement for a secured loan. Collateral examples are your home, automobile, and savings or retirement accounts.

Due to the fact that secured loans are supported by an asset, borrowers with poorer credit ratings could be eligible for a better interest rate or a larger loan amount than they would with an unsecured loan. However, there is a catch: if you default on a secured loan, the lender may confiscate your property.

Although there is no danger involved with an unsecured loan, approval may be more difficult. Lenders take into account your credit score, credit history, income, and outstanding debt when deciding whether or not to accept you.

Types of Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are widely accessible in a range of forms and can be applied for a range of purposes. Borrowers have access to unsecured revolving loans like credit cards and personal lines of credit in addition to traditional term loans like personal loans and student loans. The following are the most prevalent types of unsecured loans:

Unsecured personal loans

The majority of personal loans are unsecured, while some lenders also provide secured options. These unsecured loans can be utilized for a range of personal obligations, including unplanned trips, home improvement projects, and medical costs. Just be sure your planned purpose is legal before applying for a personal loan by checking with your lender.

Personal lines of credit

A line of credit enables you to access money as needed if you have needs that will be spread out over a long period of time, such as house renovations. Additionally, many lenders provide unsecured choices even if other credit lines, like home equity lines of credit, are secured.

Cards with no security

Credit cards are a sort of revolving loan that gives borrowers access to a specific amount of monthly repayment power. There are secured credit cards, however, the majority of consumer cards don’t.

Student loans

Unsecured student loans are not secured by any collateral. However, government-backed lenders have the right to hasten a loan so that payment is due immediately and have the authority to take a borrower’s federal tax refund to cover the remaining loan sum.

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Forms of Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are available in a variety of forms and sizes. Each form has a distinct feature, function, and purpose. Below is a list of the three primary types of unsecured loans.

Loan for Debt Consolidation

People can combine different debts into one loan using this form of borrowing. For instance, you could use a consolidation loan to combine many high-interest credit cards and past-due utility bills. After the outstanding obligations are settled with the loan, the borrower is then responsible for repaying the consolidation loan.

The benefit to the borrower is that they only have to worry about one monthly payment and that the interest rate on a consolidation loan is often lower than the interest rate on other debts.

Revolving Loan

A revolving loan is an adaptable type of finance that gives the borrower access to funds up to a certain limit. The borrower can make payments to get back to their full credit limit and only pays interest on the money they utilize. The most popular way to explain this kind of funding is using a line of credit.

Term Loan

The most conventional type of unsecured borrowing is a term loan. The borrower receives the lump sum of the loan upfront, and after that, the borrower is in charge of making regular, scheduled payments, plus interest, to pay back the debt. This is a well-liked financing arrangement for secured loans as well.

How to Compare Unsecured Loans in Canada

Loan amounts. Many lenders set a $35,000 to $50,000 maximum for their unsecured loans. Nevertheless, certain lenders can permit you to borrow more based on your credit rating, income, and debt-to-asset ratio.

Interest rates

To ensure that you lock in competitive interest rates, compare service providers. To obtain a better understanding of how much your unsecured loan will cost, you might also wish to check the annual percentage rate (APR).

Loan terms

Most loans have terms of one to seven years. Longer durations result in smaller payments but you will pay more in interest over time, whereas shorter terms have greater payments.


Unsecured loans may be subject to application, origination, and ongoing annual or monthly fees. To avoid paying more than required, make sure to carefully review the charge schedule for your loan before signing. Learn more about the charges associated with unsecured loans.

Repayment flexibility

Some lenders impose fees for early loan repayment, while others permit you to make additional installments whenever you like. Wherever possible, it is always preferable to select a lender who will allow you to prepay your loan without incurring any fees.

Eligibility criteria

A lot of lenders will have particular requirements you must satisfy to qualify, such as a minimum income requirement or credit score. Prior to spending the time to apply, make sure you are qualified for the loan you are interested in.

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Mistakes to Avoid

Falsifying your financial need 

Whatever the reason for your loan application is to finance a vacation, pay for company expenses, or consolidate debts, you need to be honest with your lender about it.

Over-extending yourself in debt

If you’re taking out an unsecured loan to consolidate debts, you should be careful not to do so at the price of your ability to make ends meet. Ensure that the interest you pay on your new loan will be less than the total interest you currently pay on all of your obligations.

Verify the lender is properly licensed before accepting a loan

Make sure the lender is authorized whenever you take out a loan. Look at the details at the very bottom of the website to learn more about the lender.

Fees and charges

It is imperative to avoid paying any extra penalties or fees. Making sure you do your homework, look into your options, and compare lenders to get the best offer is one method to achieve this.

Eligibility Criteria for Unsecured Loans

If you want to get approved for an unsecured personal loan, you might need to fulfill the following criteria:

  • You have to be at least the legal age (18 years old) of the majority in your province or territory, whichever is older.
  • You must have two legitimate forms of identification, be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and have a valid Canadian mailing address.
  • By displaying pay stubs, bank account statements, and other pertinent financial records, you must be able to demonstrate that you can repay the loan.
  • To apply for a loan online, you will typically need a bank account.

How to Get Unsecured Credit

In comparison to secured loans, applying for an unsecured loan is simpler, and you may frequently do so online. However, there are a few crucial actions you must take to make sure your lender is giving you the best possible terms. When requesting an unsecured loan, adhere to these five steps.

Verify your credit rating.

To be eligible for a personal loan, a borrower’s credit score must be between 610 and 640, but those with a FICO score of at least 720 will receive the best rates. Before you apply, verify your credit score using a free internet service. Checking your score provides you the chance to raise it before you even submit your loan application, which will not only help you anticipate your chances of approval.

Consider Your Budget

Take some time to assess your existing income and expenses after examining your credit score. Any additional debt payments must fit inside your budget because late payments will still affect your credit score even if you won’t have any collateral at stake with an unsecured loan.

Additionally, while examining a borrower’s loan application, the majority of lenders take their debt-to-income ratio (DTI) into account. This statistic shows the proportion of a borrower’s monthly income that must go toward paying off her debts. To be eligible for a new unsecured loan, you should ideally have a DTI of no more than 36%; however, the DTI threshold varies per lender.

Locate lenders and get prequalified

When your funds are in order, begin looking for lenders who provide the most affordable APRs and adaptable payback periods. Thankfully, a lot of lenders provide quick and simple online prequalification procedures for potential customers. This enables potential borrowers to determine what APRs and loan terms they could be eligible for before submitting their application.

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Acquire evidence

If you’ve discovered a reliable lender and are prepared to move forward, learn about their application procedure. Although it is not required, gathering any required paperwork, such as tax returns or W-2s, before you apply helps hasten the application, approval, and funding processes.

Make a Formal Application

Complete a loan application, either in person or online, before submitting it. Additionally to quick approval periods and same- or next-day cash, several lenders now provide an entirely online application process.

To be sure, each lender has a different application procedure, so you might need to call or visit them in person to talk about your loan.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Unsecured Loans

Before deciding whether to move forward, it’s vital to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, as with other financial products. Explore the advantages and disadvantages below.


Financing Is Possible Without Priceless Assets

Finding secured finance may be difficult because many people do not have assets of considerable worth. Unsecured financing is an excellent substitute for these people.

The process of applying is simple

Application procedures at traditional lending institutions are far more complicated than those that can be completed online. Additionally, you will learn in less than a day whether you were authorized or not.

Personal property is secure

The borrower will not be required to forfeit personal assets if they are unable to repay the loan on time. The borrower’s assets are safe because there are no requirements for collateral.

 You might be good enough to qualify for more money because the amount you can borrow with an unsecured loan won’t depend on the worth of your assets.

Good credit makes it simple to qualify

If your credit score is between strong and excellent, you should be able to apply right away.

It can be used for whatever you want

There is no requirement that you tell your lender what you intend to do with the money you borrow.


Small loan amount

Lenders typically give less money than secured finance. As a result, there is a lesser chance of the borrower defaulting.

There is a legal and lending problem

The lending institution may continue to pursue you if you miss a payment. The lender can attempt a judicial case against you. If the lender prevails, they might be able to seize our personal property or garnish our earnings to collect the debt.

Higher Interest

Lenders charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans to compensate for the greater risk. As a result, both the total cost of borrowing and your monthly payments will be higher.

Qualification Challenge

Good credits are the primary criteria for unsecured loans. If you lack good credit, a lengthy payment history, or both, you could not be qualified.

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How to Qualify for an Unsecured Loan

Even though it can be difficult to be approved for an unsecured loan, it may be simpler to prepare if you are aware of what is required of you. Lenders primarily take creditworthiness into account, but there are other factors as well. These are typical factors that lenders take into account when approving unsecured financing.

Credit Rating

A credit score of 650 or above is frequently necessary to be eligible for an unsecured loan. If your credit score is less than 650, try to raise it before applying to increase your chances of being accepted.

Income Source

Although your credit is crucial, lenders will also want to know that you have the financial resources to make payments. This usually refers to consistent and reliable revenue.

Payment history

Lenders will undoubtedly take your past payment history into account. One of the best ways to predict how someone will handle debt in the future is to look at how they have handled debt in the past.


Although it is not the standard procedure for unsecured financing providers, having a co-signer on the loan can be beneficial. When a co-signer guarantees repayment in the event that the principal borrower defaults, the lender may feel more at ease about granting credit.

Application Process for an Unsecured Loan

If an unsecured loan is the best option for you, applying involves just a few easy steps:

Calculate how much you’ll need

Even if the lender gives you permission to borrow more than you need, never exceed that amount.

Examine the best lenders

Unsecured loans are available through regional and local banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

Compare the terms of unsecured loans

Before you apply, you may check your prequalification status with some lenders to see which loans you might be eligible for. Examine the interest rates, costs, loan periods, amounts, and unique features of each lender.

Send in your application

Complete an official loan application after reviewing preliminary offers and choosing your chosen lender. Most lenders allow customers to do this online or in person.

Publish your proof

Provide any additional documentation promptly if the lender requests it. If your credit is weak, for instance, this might arise.

Accept the loan money

The lender will explain how you will receive the loan funds if you are accepted. With an installment loan, you’ll receive the money all at once. The lender will give you a credit card for revolving loans like a credit card so you can withdraw money from the account as needed.

Alternatives to an Unsecured Loan

Unsecured loans might provide financial relief to some borrowers, but this is not a generalized solution. If you’re unsure whether taking out an unsecured loan is the best course of action financially, you might want to consider a few different options.

A personal line of credit

An example of a revolving credit account is a personal line of credit, which allows you to borrow money up to a particular amount and repay it over time. Unlike with a loan, you don’t have to withdraw the entire lump sum at once. At any one time, you can decide how much money you want to borrow; only that amount will be subject to interest charges.

0% intro APR credit cards

When using a credit card and not making a complete payment by the due date, interest is usually applied. To assist borrowers, certain businesses provide 0% introductory credit card promos. Customers can avoid paying interest on their purchases using this strategy, even after the payment due date has passed. The duration of the 0% APR, however, can range from 12 to 21 months and is typically limited in time.

Home equity line of credit

A home equity line of credit, sometimes known as a HELOC, is a type of revolving credit account. The distinction is that a HELOC is reliant on the borrower’s equity in their property. As you pay down your home loan, you will eventually increase your equity. With a HELOC, you can borrow against that equity up to a set amount.

A HELOC usually has variable interest rates, just like a personal line of credit. Rather, they frequently change along with the financial market.

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September 18, 2022
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FAQs about Unsecured Loans

How much can I get if I take out an unsecured loan in Canada?

If you are a Canadian and you are considering how much you can take out an unsecured loan, you need to know that there isn't a set maximum; lenders have different maximum borrowing limits. Many institutions, however, limit their unsecured loan amounts to between $1,000 and $10,000 and rarely give more than $50,000.

Which is preferable, secured loans or unsecured loans?

Collateral is primarily what distinguishes a secured loan from an unsecured one. Loans that are secured have collateral; loans that are unsecured do not. The two options are equal in value. Your specific financial situation and goals will determine which choice is best for you. Generally speaking, secured loans are preferable if you have a valuable asset because they allow you to secure a lower interest rate and reduce your concern over consequences in the event of default. Conversely, unsecured loans are constantly available if you don't have a valuable asset to serve as collateral. Again, these are just fundamental guidelines. Your circumstances and aspirations will determine which choice is best for you.

What will happen if I miss a payment of my unsecured loan?

In the event that you miss a loan payment, try to maintain composure and move swiftly. Initiate contact with the lender as soon as possible. To negotiate an extended due date or a repayment plan, consider outlining your situation to the lender. Your chances of the lender escalating the problem increase the longer you wait to engage with them. It's best to get in touch with your lender as soon as possible if you believe you won't be able to make your payment on time.

Are unsecured loans safe?

When they are obtained from reliable lenders, unsecured loans are secure. A lender should verify your capacity to repay the loan, be open and honest about the whole cost of the loan, and assist you in establishing credit.

Do unsecured loans have an impact on my credit?

Your credit will be impacted in two ways if you take out an unsecured loan. The lender will run a hard credit investigation when you formally apply for the loan, as opposed to pre-qualifying, which temporarily lowers your credit score. The lender will also notify the credit agencies of your monthly payments, which might help you establish credit by making payments on time.

How can I become eligible for a personal unsecured loan?

Different lenders have different criteria for borrowers. In most cases, you can submit an application with a respectable credit rating above 689 FICO, a reasonable debt-to-income ratio, and a credit history that spans at least a few years. You may have possibilities even with less-than-ideal credit because some lenders specifically design their loans for borrowers with terrible and fair credit. You can pre-qualify to find out what interest rates and loan terms you might be qualified for.

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