Established in 2014, Borrowell operates completely online, with no brick and mortar branches, and offers loans and credit monitoring services to Canadians. Borrowell is based in Toronto, but its online platform allows Canadians across the country to apply for loans up to $35,000.
On top of their lending services, Borrowell also offers credit monitoring, which lets you sign up and see your credit score instantly and monitor it every month. This service is useful if you are considering applying for a loan, and you aren’t sure that your credit score is high enough to qualify for the lowest available rates.
Types of Loans offered by Borrowell
While Borrowell’s scope has increased over the last few years with the addition of their credit monitoring and comparison-shopping tools, their bread and butter is personal loans. Borrowell offers unsecured (meaning you do not need to provide collateral) loans up to $35,000, with interest rates averaging around 11-12% APR. You can choose between three and five years to pay back the following types of personal loans:
If you have several credit cards with high balances, the interest charges you’ll pay on those debts is very high, usually around 19.99%. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your interest payments and paying down your balances, you may consider consolidating your debt into a single, low-interest loan. Using Borrowell for debt consolidation gives you one payment to make each month, and the lower interest rate means you’ll pay less interest overall, provided the rate you get with Borrowell is lower than your existing credit card interest rates.
Owning a home is expensive, and sometimes necessary repairs and improvements can’t wait until you’ve saved the cash for them. In this case, a home improvement loan can provide you with the funds to renovate your home now, and give you the flexibility to pay back the loan over a three or five-year term.
Borrowell also offers car loans for Canadians who would prefer not to take out a loan through dealer financing or from a traditional bank. Unlike most car financing programs, which use your vehicle as collateral, Borrowell’s car loans are considered personal loans, which means you don’t have to use the car as collateral to secure the loan. The downside is the interest rate may be higher than the rate you’d get going through a car dealer.
If you’re starting a small business for the first time, one of the first things you’ll need is start-up capital. A Borrowell loan can be a good source of cash for new business owners or those looking to expand their existing business, but keep in mind that these are personal loans, so you must pay them back regardless of whether your business flourishes or flounders.
Borrowell also stands out among other lending institutions because they:
- Have a detailed blog
- Offer flexible interest rates and repayment plans
- Report to Equifax, so complete payments will improve your credit
- Provide many free services with their membership
- Will not charge you any prepayment penalties for early installments
- Are partnered with several major financial institutions (Scotiabank, BMO, etc.)
What We Like About Borrowell
Borrowell has done an excellent job at establishing a service that is transparent, fast, and easy to use. Their free credit score monitoring tool helps Canadians better understand their credit options, and the application process is quick and easy. Interest rates and associated fees are displayed in the application process, and there is no penalty for repaying a loan early.
- Free credit score monitoring
- Online loan access
- Funds in as little as 48 hours
- User-friendly interface
- A good option to pay off high-interest debt
- Flexible repayment terms
- No penalty for early repayment
Borrower Requirements and Eligibility
You must meet the following requirements to apply for a loan through Borrowell:
- Be a Canadian citizen
- At least the age of majority in your province
- Have a bank account with a Canadian bank
- At least 12 months of credit history
- A credit score of at least 660
- No bankruptcy, consumer proposal, collections or delinquencies on your credit history
- At least $20,000 in annual income
- Have at least two recent pay stubs to verify your income, or two Notices of Assessment to verify your self-employment/business/investment/pension income
How to Apply for a Loan with Borrowell
You’ll need the following info in order to apply for a Borrowell loan:
- An explanation as to what you’ll use the loan for
- Aforementioned documentation to verify your income
- Your monthly rent/mortgage commitments
First, you’ll start your loan application and tell Borrowell what you want to use the loan for (for example, debt consolidation), your income, and your monthly mortgage or rent commitments. You’ll consent to have Borrowell check your credit score and agree to their terms and conditions. Based on this information, Borrowell will pre-approve you for a loan amount. You’ll have the option to choose between two terms, three and five years, and their associated interest rates and your monthly payment are clearly indicated as seen below:
You don’t have to choose a loan option immediately, so you are free to shop around with other lenders before coming back and accepting the loan offer. Once you accept your loan offer, you’ll need to provide information on your employer and upload copies of two recent pay stubs or two Notices of Assessment to verify your income.
Once your bank account has been verified, it will take 1-2 days to finalize your application. Occasionally Borrowell will request additional information via email. You’ll be sent paperwork to sign digitally, and then the money is deposited into your linked account. This account is also the same account that you’ll have payments drawn from each month.
Is Borrowell Secure?
Whenever you are dealing with money online, and especially if you are taking data-sensitive actions like linking your bank account to a third party, you should do your research first to determine whether the company you are linking to is secure or not. Borrowell uses 256-bit encryption, which should make Borrowell as safe to use as any of Canada’s big banks.
Who Should Consider Borrowing from Borrowell?
If you meet any of the criteria below, you might be the type of borrower who will benefit most from a Borrowell loan.
- No collateral – if you are looking for a loan that is not secured with collateral like home equity or a car, Borrowell’s unsecured loans could be a good option.
- Short-term loan requirements – If you can pay your loan back relatively quickly, Borrowell’s repayment terms of either three or five years could be fitting.
- Debt consolidation requirements – If you have several types of high-interest debt that you’d like to consolidate into a single, low-interest loan, Borrowell is a good choice.
Borrowell is an excellent option for Canadians seeking an unsecured, lump-sum loan with a relatively short repayment term. With interest rates as low as 5.6% APR, a loan from Borrowell can be a great way to consolidate and pay off credit card debt, or fund expensive ventures like getting a car or starting a business. Borrowell’s online portal makes the application process easy, and the promise of funding within 48 hours means you won’t have to wait long for your money.
Unfortunately, a scarcity of customer service channels means you’ll communicate with Borrowell entirely through email, and if you have the means to secure a loan with home equity or another asset, Borrowell won’t be your lowest cost option. But overall Borrowell is a digital lender well worth considering for your debt needs.