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Personal Loan FAQs

  1. How easy is it to get a loan?
  2. I always avoided taking out a loan -- I guess I felt they were for people with financial trouble. Are there other reasons I might want a loan?
  3. Do different types of loans come with different terms and rates, or are they all much the same?
  4. Isn't it expensive to take out a loan?
  5. How is the interest calculated on my loan?
  6. How are my payments structured?
  7. I'm a student and I have heard that there are special types of loans that I might qualify for. What are they?
  8. How do I go about applying for a loan?
  9. What happens once I apply for a loan?
  10. I've heard people talk about the importance of having a good credit rating. What does that mean, and how do I get one?
  11. What is a co-signor? Who can co-sign a loan?
  12. People say that having "collateral" is important in getting a loan. What is collateral, and how much do I need?
  13. How long will I have to wait for the money?
  14. It seems as though everyone offers different interest rates. How can I ensure that the rate I'm getting is the best?
  15. Can I pay out my loan early, or are there charges I need to watch out for?
  16. What happens if I miss a payment?
  17. Job security is always an issue, especially these days. What would happen if I was laid off?

1. How easy is it to get a loan?
The process is really very simple. The information you'll need to provide is:

  • The purpose of the loan
  • Your name, address, birth date and social insurance number
  • Employment and income details
  • Your assets, such as car, bank accounts, investments, house etc.
  • Your liabilities, including any loans, credit card balances, mortgages etc., and the total of your monthly payments.
Then a credit assessment will be made based on your ability to repay, your credit history and your residence and employment stability. And you'll probably have your answer within 24 hours!
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2. I always avoided taking out a loan -- I guess I felt they were for people with financial trouble. Are there other reasons I might want a loan?
These days loans can be powerful financial tools. You can use them to acquire assets like a car, a computer or a boat. You can take out a loan to improve your home, or to contribute to an RRSP or some other valuable investment.
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3. Do different types of loans come with different terms and rates, or are they all the same?
Generally, terms of 1 to 5 years are available on most loans, and the rate may vary with the term of the loan. RRSP loans are available at a lower rate, and special rates may also be available on other types of loans from time to time. With a line of credit, once you have qualified, you are provided with a credit limit and are free to access the funds at any time and for any purpose. Interest rates on lines of credit vary, but they usually compare favourably with loan rates, and are generally much lower than credit card rates.
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4. Isn't it expensive to take out a loan?
Borrowing costs depend on the interest rate you're being charged, and on the amount of the loan and its term. The total cost of your loan is detailed on the "Statement of Disclosure" given to all loan customers at the time they take out the loan.
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5. How is the interest calculated on my loan?
Interest is calculated daily on the outstanding principal balance and payable monthly.
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6. How are my payments structured?
For fixed terms loans, each monthly payment consists of a portion of interest and a portion of principal. The proportion of interest is higher in the first payment, and it reduces as the principal is repaid. For lines of credit, there are various repayment options, including interest only.
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7. I'm a student and I have heard that there are special types of loans that I might qualify for. What are they?
We are happy to assist students in obtaining financing for post-secondary studies. With the increasing costs of pursuing a post-secondary education,we strive to help students financially as best we can. With us, students receive a low interest rate on their loans - come talk to us for more details.
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8. How do I go about applying for a loan?
Visit your credit union branch to speak with a loans officer. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the application process.
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9. What happens once I apply for a loan?
Your credit union will consider your request, based on your personal information, and a credit assessment will be made. Usually you'll receive an answer within 24 hours.
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10. I've heard people talk about the importance of having a good credit rating. What does that mean, and how do I get one?
A good credit rating means that you have repaid past debts in a timely manner. If you make your payments as agreed, on time and in full, you will automatically have a good credit rating.
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11. What is a co-signor? Who can co-sign a loan?
The co-signor is a person who becomes equally responsible for repaying the loan as you are. If you, the primary borrower, stop making payments on the loan, the co-signor would be responsible for the payments. Anyone of age of majority can offer to co-sign for you.
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12. People say that having "collateral" is important in getting a loan. What is collateral, and how much do I need?
Collateral is security for a loan. If you fail to repay the loan, the financial institution can take the collateral. Collateral isn't required on all loans. Contact your credit union for more information.
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13. How long will I have to wait for the money?
Once your loan is approved, which usually takes about one day, the loan amount can be advanced to your account or issued as a draft. Depending on the purpose, the draft might be issued directly to a third party, such as a car dealer.
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14. It seems as though everyone offers different interest rates. How can I ensure that the rate I'm getting is the best?
The interest rates charged by financial institutions fluctuate because rates are set competitively and move to reflect the latest market conditions. Credit Unions are well known for offering lower interest rates than many other financial institutions. By asking for the best rate and comparing rates between institutions, you will be in a better position to know whether the rate quoted is competitive or not. Keep in mind that consolidating your financial business at one institution can help you obtain even better rates and that customer service and convenience are also important factors.
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15. Can I pay out my loan early, or are there charges I need to watch out for?
You can pay off your loan any time you like, usually with no early repayment penalties. Mortgage loans however are different. If they are paid-out early you will be responsible for paying a penalty fee. Back to Top

16. What happens if I miss a payment?
Missing a loan payment puts your loan in arrears. If this happens, you should immediately contact your lender in order to explain the situation, and to make repayment arrangements.
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17. Job security is always an issue, especially these days. What would happen if I was laid off?
In the unfortunate event of a job loss, you would continue to be responsible for repaying your debts in a timely manner. We will be glad to help you determine the best way to allocate your income to meet expenses, including your loan payments.
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