A Comprehensive Guide To The Different Types Of Loans Available In Canada

Canada is a heaven of endless possibilities. With the value of loans to the banks of the private sector in Canada reaching an approximate of 1.8 trillion Canadian dollars by 2020, this makes us clear that loans play a significant role in the Canadian economy. But do we know how exactly these loans work? So come let’s dive into the content.

Understanding the Basics of Loans

We know that a loan is money that we borrow from a lender like a bank or credit union. We must be paying it back over time and that too usually with interest. We receive a lump of money and we agree to make regular payments until the amount we borrowed and also the interest in full payment. These loans in Canada allow people and businesses to access a larger amount of money and then they can also save up on their own. Loans will also help us in smooth incomes when money is needed for our unexpected expenses.

How Loans Work in Canada

When you take a loan from a Canadian lender, you will be signing an agreement detailing the loan amount, interest rate, payment schedule, and other terms and conditions. This contract delegates us to agree upon the payments until the loan is fully paid. The lender will deposit us the approved loan amount into our bank account, usually within a few days after we sign the agreement.

Then we will start making payments of the principal amount and interest. Missed or late payments lead to a negative impact on our credit score. Principal mount payments can be set time in frames of months or years, like lines of credit whereas interest rates are usually a fixed amount for the full loan term.

Loans can be segregated into two types: Secured and unsecured based on their characteristics.

  • Secured

This kind of loan requires an asset like property for the bank to be used as collateral. Which the lender can seize if you fail to pay the default. Common examples of this type of loan include mortgages, car loans, and home equity lines of credit. This collateral provides us security, allows larger amounts of loans, and lower interest rates. However, if we fail to repay, it puts our assets at risk.

  •  Unsecured Loans

This type of loan has no collateral ties up to them. Instead, the lenders will assess the creditworthiness and income to determine the approval and interest rates for our loans. Personal loans and student loans come under this category. Interest rates are to be higher due to the increased risk of lenders. But in this kind of loan, your assets are safe if you delay making the payments.

While loans provide fixed lump amounts, lines of credit provide flexible revolving access to funds. Here’s a comparative look at how they are compared



Lines of Credit

The fixed amount is received. Revolving credit up to a set limit
This must be repaid in regular installments Pay interest only on what you use
The interest rate will remain the same Variable interest rates may fluctuate
Good for predictable one-time borrowing needs More flexibility but less predictability
Can be secured or unsecured Often secured by home equity.

Four Different Types of Loans

Till now that we have seen the basics of loans and lines of credit, let’s move on to the specified one. So we will start with a type of loan that the majority of Canadian people are likely to have at some point.

  1. Student Loans

The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program grants loans to full-time and part-time students. This is to help the students to pay for their secondary education. But how much do you think a student in Canada can receive a student loan, and what are the factors that are influencing this?

Understanding Student Loans

This program offers the amount they are in need but the repayment begins in 6 months after leaving school and then flexible plans based on income.

Key features include:

  • Maximum $350 per study week
  • Loans and non-repayable grants are available
  • The rate of interest is capped and non-dischargeable through bankruptcy
  • No collateral is required

Students should minimize the borrowing limit after graduation and the thing is they have to use it wisely, student loans open the door to career opportunities.

2. Mortgages

For most Canadians, a mortgage loan is essential to achieving the dream of homeownership. Let’s look at how these secured loans work.

How Mortgages Work

Mortgages are long-term loans used to finance real estate purchases. The home acts as collateral, allowing large loan amounts spanning decades. Payments consist of principal and interest until the balance is fully paid off.

In Canada, mortgages often cover 65-80% of the purchase price. A down payment of at least 20% is required to avoid extra mortgage loan insurance. Amortization periods usually range from 10-25 years. Shorter terms have higher payments but build equity faster.

The interest rates can be variable or fixed. Fixed rates provide predictable payments but variables offer lower initial rates. Most mortgages are open and allow prepayment.

3. Personal Loans

Sometimes life throws us unexpected expenses that exceed our savings. In these cases, personal loans can provide funds for pressing needs or consolidate higher-interest debt.

Unsecured Personal Loans

These loans have no collateral, so lenders assess your credit score and income to determine approval and interest rates. Loan amounts usually range from $1,000-$50,000 with terms of 1-7 years.

Advantages include quick access to cash and fixed rates. The downsides are high interest and steep penalties for late or missed payments. Use personal loans cautiously for necessities you can repay quickly.

Secured Personal Loans

Also called home equity loans/lines of credit, these leverage home equity as collateral. You can access larger amounts with lower rates compared to unsecured loans. But your home is at risk if you default.

Only borrow what you can comfortably handle. Using equity loans for non-essentials or overspending can lead to losing your most valuable asset.

4. Business Loans

As startups seek capital to exit their businesses looking to expand, loans are the popular financing source. Come let’s examine some possibilities.

SBA Loans

The SBA stands for Small Business Administration. This partners with lenders to provide the lower interest loans with no longer repaying as a conventional option. The amount ranges from 500$ to 5$ million.

Equipment Financing

These loans offer us to purchase the assets we are in need like machinery items, vehicles, and computers. Here the payments are calculated by the equipment’s use and lifespan.

Invoice Factoring

This kind of lender advances us the money against the customer invoices. The business receives funding quickly rather than waiting for the customer to make payments.

Merchant Cash Advances

The lender provides a lump sum in exchange for a particular percentage of future credit card sales. This is the easy way to qualify but is expensive. But if we were planning it carefully and borrowing only for a need, the business loans can enable us to grow elsewhere while we avoid excessive debt.

Some of the key factors that influence the loan terms and conditions include:

  • Loan amount requisition is the main factor that affects the loans.
  • Collateral plays a major role in the loan.
  • Amount credit transactions.
  • Level of our income.
  • Debit and the income ratio.
  • Relationship with the lender.

Choosing the Right Loan

While having these types of loans available, you might be confused about what to do. Here are key factors to consider for you to choose what’s best for your situation.

  • Interest Rates and Fees

If the rate and fees are low, the less you will pay overall. Compared to this option it is better to find a more cost-effective loan.

  • Loan Amount

Make sure that you borrow only what amount you need. A huge amount of loan may be easier to buy but increases the costs.

  • Repayment Term

If the term is longer, then the monthly payment is lower. But if it is more than the total interest paid over time then you find the right balance for your budget.

  • Credit Score/History

Good credit means where we have better loan approvals and we also get lower rates. If your credit reaches the limit, then consider a secured loan.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the resulting advantages while  having a collateral
  • Larger loan amounts
  • Lower interest rates
  • Longer repayment terms
  1. What are the common examples of secured loans?

This includes mortgages, car loans, and home equity lines of credit. However, failure to repay puts your assets at risk of seizure.

  1. What do unsecured loans tend to do?

As they have no collateral tied to them. These lenders will assess your creditworthiness and income to determine approval and interest rates. Without collateral, lenders take a higher risk. So as a result, unsecured loans tend to have:

  • Lower maximum loan amount
  • Higher interest rates
  • Shorter repayment terms

Personal loans and student loans fall under the unsecured category. While interest rates are typically higher, your assets remain safe if you can’t make payments.


As we have covered a wide range of loans available in Canada, from mortgages and student loans to personal and business financing. The key is here where you can find your needs and identify the best loan which matches your situation in terms of affordability, interest rates, and repayment terms. With this knowledge from this guide, you can be able to make borrowing decisions and choose loans strategically and confidently.