LoanConnect is a Canadian loan platform offering fast personal loans suited to each users’ needs. It’s intuitive and user-friendly, and can save users hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest charges over the life of their loan.
The last decade in Canada has been characterized by low-interest rates and Canadians making extensive use of credit, but banks are still reluctant to lend money to those who have little or bad credit. People going through hardship or just needing money for an emergency can make some pretty bad decisions. However, plenty of lenders out there are willing to provide the money that banks are not, in many cases, taking advantage of them; this is why some are called “predatory lenders”.
Payday and quick loans may have annual percentage rates (APR) as high as 650% in some Canadian provinces, which can be hundreds of times the APR for regular loans! So, it is of utmost importance for borrowers to be well aware of their personal finances’ actual situation, as well as the conditions of the loans offered, especially the unadvertised fine print that so frequently ends up increasing their problems, rather than helping them solve them.
However, in these cases and many others in which even people with good credit may need quick loans, time is very limited and professional financial advice is usually out of question (although some organizations offer credit counseling at little or no cost, such as the Credit Counselling Society, Credit Counselling Canada and Financial Fitness). So, the internet usually becomes the most important, and frequently the only, source of information in the search for deals that combine quality and effectiveness. Still, the abundance of options can be a real problem and actually hinder good decision-making.
This is where LoanConnect comes in.
LoanConnect. The Business
LoanConnect.ca is a Canadian online “loan shop”. An internet search engine for unsecured personal loans and installment loans through which consumers can find lenders at competitive rates, regardless of credit ratings and help them make an educated choice that suits their needs. LoanConnect was launched in 2016, its offices are in London and Ontario, and it’s accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating. The user-review site TrustSpot gives them an excellent 4.8 score for their customer service.
The company has handled over $500 million in Canadian loan applications and wants to push its platform even further to provide game-changing, on-the-spot financing, whenever and wherever customers need it.
This type of search and information platform is generally either user-paid, in which case they tend to be more focused on the borrower’s end of the deal; or advertising-based, which usually means that they try not to scare away announcers-creditors with warnings or bad reviews even when they deserved it. What makes LoanConnect interesting is that they found a way to offer a good balance between the two approaches.
LoanConnect is a sort of “Trivago of personal loans”. It cooperates with a group of lenders across Canada such as Easy Financial, Lending Arch, Consolidated Credit, and many others, which cater to a range of markets, from small short-term loans, long-term installment loans, and open-ended lines of credit.
These lenders actually compete to be chosen by the applicant, and they pay LoanConnect a flat fee when they refer new borrowers through their online platform. In this manner, the company makes sure the creditors in their platform are reasonable options for people without access to the regular-interest loans they would ideally like to receive.
After launching with prime loans from financial institutions, LoanConnect will offer fully customizable term loans, allowing consumers to finance anything they want wherever they are–be they in an electronics store, a hospital, or at the airport in Singapore.
Loans through LoanConnect
LoanConnect lenders offer loans up to $50K for a period of 6 to 60 months for purposes like home improvement, small purchases, growing a business, or buying a car. These loans have APRs ranging from 4.6% to 46.96%, depending on the applicant’s credit history, financial needs, and personal information. That is far below the higher limits that any Canadian province allows, and from the rates that “predatory lenders” require.
The company’s online process far outpaces lending red-tape in Canada’s big banks. Their internet platform service allows borrowers to save time and money. Borrowers can find and compare a variety of loan options that match their needs, at the best rates, terms, conditions, cost, and in 5 minutes or less. Also, loan payouts can be in as little as 24 hours. For this reason, LoanConnect can be an interesting option, even for those who do have access to loans from mainstream lenders.
In case an applicant doesn’t qualify for a prime loan, LoanConnect also operates a call center with professional service agents. This service, which the company operates at a loss, can help find offers the applicant is eligible for or adjust the options available to the best fit. It also provides advice for credit improvement so the applicant can qualify for lower interest rates in the future.
Who Can Apply?
Unlike many online loan services, LoanConnect doesn’t exclusively deal in subprime loans; it actually serves almost anyone looking for an unsecured loan under $50,000 whether the person has excellent, good, poor or no credit. The goal of the platform is to discover the best financing options for everyone.
Still, LoanConnect’s requirements and conditions are quite accessible:
- Be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- You must be of legal age in your province of residence.
- Be able to provide a credit score: Users don’t have to apply for one through regular channels (a “hard inquiry”, which would affect their credit), LoanConnect’s application contains a link to a tool to estimate the score.
- Debt payments must not total over 60% of the applicant’s income
If you’re interested to know and monitor your credit score without affecting it, you can read our post on Credit Verify, an online tool that lets you do soft inquiries on your credit score whenever you want. You can also read our Borrowell review, where we explain how you can use Toronto-based Borrowell to get a free credit report with your credit score every single month.
Types of Loan for You
When looking for information about loans, among the many, many types of loans it’s worth knowing the following:
Allows flexible use, short- to moderate-term repayment options and relatively quick funding.
This is actually a classification of the low interest-rate loans offered to borrowers who have high credit scores, low default risks. Financial institutions consider them high-quality assets.
They are offered at a rate above prime to individuals who do not qualify for prime-rate loans due to low credit ratings and relatively high risk of defaulting on the debt repayment. They can vary among lenders, so it’s a good idea to shop around before choosing one.
Secured – Unsecured Loans
A secured loan is backed by collateral (a home, car or other financial assets). This means that the lender can take this collateral if the borrower doesn’t back the loan. The prospect of losing the asset should be a powerful motivator to pay back the loan and avoid repossession or foreclosure.
Secured loans are a common option for borrowers with bad credit. Unsecured loans don’t require collateral.
The LoanConnect platform handles your application process with different lenders, which can save a ton of time you would have to spend applying for each one of them individually.
The platform requires three brief inputs:
- Financial information
- The purpose of the loan
The output is a list of loans that qualified alternative lending platforms offer, as well as their varying interest rates and terms. LoanConnect’s security measures and its partners’ credit-check procedures protect consumer credit scores and personal information.
Here’s the step-by-step procedure:
Step 1: Register and login
You’ll need an e-mail address.
Step 2: Fill out the application
Provide your personal information and answer a few simple questions. LoanConnect requires:
- A Government-issued ID. You’ll have to show proof of ID like your driver’s license or passport.
- Proof of income, which could include documents like pay stubs and letters of employment to verify how much money you make.
- Credit score: can be a “soft inquiry” credit score.
- Other financial documents. LoanConnect may ask you to submit other documents like bank statements or tax forms to give a full picture of your financial health.
Step 3: Pre-approved application
The automated platform allows you to have some feedback just 60 seconds after completing the loan application. It will tell you what lenders and products you qualify for.
Step 4: Choose the loan best suited to your needs
Pick one of the options you qualify for. Note that filling out the LoanConnect application form doesn’t obligate you to actually select a loan.
Step 5: Receive cash
At least 24 hours after applying for a loan, customers can receive their cash.
Is LoanConnect a good deal?
LoanConnect is a free service. Lenders that offer loans on the site pay for everything. Free is often good and can be excellent when the quality of the information offered is good.
Also, since LoanConnect doesn’t require collateral and the eligibility requirements are few, users may qualify for some loans even if they have bad credit, a low income or no credit history. The amounts of the loans can actually be relatively high. So, you can obtain money through LoanConnect at a minimal cost.
Another advantage of applying for a loan through LoanConnect is its transparent terms: you’ll see the rates and conditions that apply to each loan. So, you can really figure out what the cost of the loan will be and make plans based on that. No fine print.
This first disadvantage is quite obvious. Since the service is internet-based, users must be capable of navigating the online application and document upload process. In this context, it is worth noting that all of the applicant’s sensitive personal data will be forwarded to the lenders.
Another important disadvantage, at least for the moment, is the limited number of providers. This will certainly improve as time passes and the business model consolidates, but since applicants are only able to see the loans on offer from companies that are partnered with LoanConnect (25), some of the most competitive rates could be missing from their list of options. On that note, surprisingly, there are not that many options for bad credit.
Finally, despite all the good intentions, the payout for some of the loans offered may take some time, up to 5 or 7 days, depending on the lender.
The Bottom Line
LoanConnect is a first-in-market information service. They provide a service that is unique, useful and fast. Users praise their response times, courteous staff and the provision of useful resources.
The fact that it is an online platform actually targeted at all kinds of borrowers, and not just the subprime (little or bad credit) loans market, make its offer even more interesting. It clearly is a very necessary tool for people with bad credit who need a loan, but it is also a good alternative for people with high credit scores, who may find several options offered by the platform to be very convenient when they require quick money.