Fairstone has been in business in Canada since 1923. They offer alternative lending solutions. Alternative meaning that, they are not a traditional bank, but rather a financial services company. They offer higher interest rates than banks, but lower than payday lenders. With over 240 branches and a wide range of retail and auto partners, Fairstone is a reasonable choice for loans across Canada.
What is Fairstone?
Fairstone is an alternative lender. They have higher interest rates than traditional lenders because they take on more risk. With this in mind, they’re still a reliable lender. If you have a lower credit score, you may be able to qualify for a loan with Fairstone. Since interest rates are higher, if you can qualify for loans with other providers, you should consider them first. However, many people choose to finance with Fairstone because they were turned down by banks and other traditional lenders.
Types of Loans Available
Fairstone offers different types of loans, unsecured and secured loans, as well as mortgage refinancing. You have options with Fairstone. Unsecured personal loans are available for up to $20,000 and secured personal loans are available for up to $35,000. Personal loans are usually processed within a few business days. Mortgage refinancing can take longer to process and limits have not been set.
You can apply online for your loan and Fairstone will estimate how much money you can borrow and what the payments will look like. This is done without a hard credit check. You can review the estimate and the provided details to determine how you will proceed. Below is a summary of the different kinds of loans available with Fairstone.
Unsecured vs secured loans
Unsecured loans are quicker to obtain due to the absence of an asset backing the loan. There is no collateral or security attached to the loan, hence the name unsecured. There is more risk to Fairstone which means that the loan amount will be lower and the interest will be higher. Fairstone allows for early repayment of unsecured loans with no penalty or fees. With an unsecured loan, you do not need to own a home or have some other asset to offer as collateral or security.
Fairstone can give you $500 to $20,000 at an interest rate of 26.99% to 39.99% to be paid over a loan term of 6 to 60 months. Payments would be fixed amounts throughout the loan period. There are also no fees in receiving an unsecured loan from Fairstone and unsecured loans can be processed in less than a day.
Secured loans, on the other hand, are any loan protected by an asset. They take more time to process with Fairstone because of the collateral and security. Normally, an asset is a house or car, but can be anything of significant value. With secured loans, a lender will use your asset as collateral to guarantee repayment of the loan. Keep in mind that the asset can be seized by Fairstone if you default. As a result, secured loans have lower interest rates and give you access to more money than unsecured loans. It is also easier to negotiate repayment terms over a longer period of time. Unlike unsecured loans, Fairstone has fees and penalties for early repayment of secured loans.
Fairstone can give you $5,000 to $50,000 at an interest rate of 19.99% to 23.99% to be paid over a loan term of 36 to 120 months. Payments would be fixed amounts throughout the loan period. There are also potential fees, based on what province you live in, when receiving a secured loan from Fairstone. The application takes more than two days to process.
First mortgage refinancing
This is an excellent option for debt consolidation or home improvements. Although, mortgage refinancing can be used for virtually any purpose. Fairstone’s mortgage refinancing option gives you access to paid off and accumulated equity in your home. How much equity is available in your home will determine the loan amount you’re eligible for. Mortgages depend on home value and are attached to an asset. For this reason, they are a form of secured loans.
Under first mortgage refinancing, Fairstone will give you up to $400,000 at an interest rate starting from 12.99% with mortgage terms of 12 to 60 months. Payments would be fixed amounts, with fees for early repayment. There are fees in receiving first mortgage refinancing from Fairstone and the application takes more than two days to process.
Second mortgage refinancing
Fairstone’s second mortgage refinancing option also gives you access to paid off and accumulated equity in your home. Mortgages depend on home value and are attached to an asset, meaning they are a type of secured loan. Second mortgage refinancing refers to the fact that you’ve already taken out equity based debt in your home, other than a mortgage.
For second mortgage refinancing, Fairstone will give you up $125,000 at an interest rate starting from 15.85% with mortgage terms of 12 to 60 months. Payments would be fixed amounts, with applicable fees for early repayment. There are fees in receiving a second mortgage refinance from Fairstone and the application takes more than two days to process.
I’m ready to apply for a Fairstone loan. How do I apply?
You can apply for a Fairstone loan online or in person at one of their 240 branches across Canada. Applying online is a simple, secure, and fast process, leading to very quick approvals with unsecured loans. Approval times for secured loans will take longer. You will fill out how much you would like to borrow, the purpose of the loan, and provide some personal details during the application, such as:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your address, and if you rent or own
- Your monthly income and expenses
- Your contact information, including phone number and email
Once done, you will have to agree to a soft credit score check, which does not affect your credit score. Your application will take a few minutes to process, and, for unsecured loans, you will receive a loan offer. If applying for a secured loan, Fairstone will provide a quote and additional details to connect you with a lending specialist. Documents you will want to have ready to provide upon request include:
- One piece of valid primary ID, like a driver’s license, passport, citizenship card OR two pieces of secondary ID, like a birth certificate, military ID card, current bank statement
- Current pay stub OR T4/T4A OR Canada Pension Plan (CPP) statement
- Rent verification: current lease agreement OR rent receipt OR typed or hand-written letter showing rent amount and landlord’s signature
- Mortgage verification: latest mortgage statement OR annual mortgage statement
Pros of Financing with Fairstone
- Different loan options
- Approval with lower credit scores
- Quick online application
- Soft credit checks do not lower credit scores
Cons of Financing with Fairstone
- Higher interest rate than traditional lenders
- Big interest ranges, unclear what your final interest rate will be until you apply
- Not the best customer service, as per online reviews
Making the Best Decision for You
Everyone’s financial needs are different. Fairstone is an alternative lender with high interest rates. They do offer a high approval rate for loans meaning that they accept a variety of borrowers. Consider your credit score, assets, and shop around for various loans. Get more information on your situation and see what traditional lenders can do for you. Fairstone is a great and reliable option if mainstream avenues do not work for your situation.