Don’t get a loan from Fairstone Financial without reading this!

Considering getting yourself one of Fairstone’s loans? Well, don’t pick one up just yet! There are a few things you should know about the company and their loan products first. We’ll cover all that in this review of personal loans from Fairstone Financial..

Overview of Fairstone Financial Products

While we’re going to focus on loan products in this Fairstone review, the company does offer other financial products. Most of these services can only be obtained in one of their 240 branches scattered across Canada.

 

Their personal loans come in two flavours. First, you have your traditional unsecured loan. but if you want to borrow a bit more cash, then you have secured loans available to you. Both loans are available for those with OK to good credit. They are not designed for people with poor credit scores.

 

The company also offers mortgages, debt reconciliation, car financing, and retail financing. Basically, all of their products revolve around the idea of lending money. Being fairly popular and having lots of branches in the country, Fairstone is an experienced lender — one that you can trust.

Who is Fairstone Financial for?

Fairstone Financial bills itself as a ‘middle of the road’ lender. In fact, their website says that they are somewhere between a payday lender and a traditional bank. You can borrow from them if you have decent but not great credit.

 

This company is also fantastic for those who need to get their hands on cash sooner as opposed to later. With both types of loan available, you should be able to receive cash within a couple of days at most. This means that it is one of the fastest lenders in Canada for those with good credit. 

Fairstone Loans Overview

As we mentioned before; there are two types of loan available with Fairstone Loans. You have both secured and unsecured options. We will look at them together to make it a bit easier for you to compare them.

Who can apply?

For both of these loans, you need to be a Canadian resident. You will also need to be in steady employment for at least a few months. Since Fairstone is quite picky about who can apply for loans with them, you should also try to ensure that your credit report is in check before you apply. You aren’t necessarily going to be turned down if there are a few blips on it, but the fewer you have, the better.

 

If you are applying for a secured loan, then you will need to own property. You cannot secure this type of loan against a vehicle or other item of value. It must be a physical building.

The amount you can borrow

With an unsecured loan, you can borrow between $500 and $20,000. Many people, even with great credit, have found it difficult to get approved beyond $10,000. If you do need more than that, then it may be worth talking to the loan adviser who calls you during the application process. They may be able to give you a bit of advice and they may be able to make something work for you. Although, this might come with an interest rate that is on the higher side of the spectrum.

 

For secured loans, the minimum you can borrow is $5,000 and the maximum is $35,000. We actually find this somewhat on the lower side for a secured loan, especially since it’s still going to be unlikely that you’ll get anywhere close to the maximum if you have mediocre credit. On the flip side, it’s good that you can’t take out massive loans against your property. 

Interest Rates

The interest rate for these loans will be dictated by your credit score and history of repaying loans. The rate will be a little bit on the higher side even if you have a decent rating. This is due to the market that Fairstone is trying to cater to. They aren’t trying to give affordable loans to people who have a stellar credit score. They are trying to give loans to people who need cash, but have a couple of blips on their report.

 

The interest rates on the secured loan will be between 19.99% and 29.99%. Unsecured loans will start at 26.99% and go up to 39.99%. Most people will get approved closer to the lower figure unless they have an awful credit history.

Length of Loan

This is where we feel Fairstone Financial really shines.

 

With the typical unsecured installment loan, the minimum repayment term is six months. The maximum is five years. Once again, we do want to stress that you may find it difficult to get approved for a five-year loan. Most people find that two or three years is the maximum. If you have a good credit rating, you may be able to push this up a little bit, but don’t expect a full five-year loan the second you apply. That would be a massive risk for the company. There are no charges if you want to repay the loan early.

 

For secured loans, the minimum term will be three years. The maximum will be ten, which is about right for this type of loan. It is likely that you are going to be approved somewhere around the five or six-year mark. Yes, there will be charges if you repay your loan early — so bear this in mind. Due to the higher interest rate, however, sometimes it’s still going to be a bit cheaper to pay off your loan as soon as you can. 

The Application Process

The application process has three steps and overall, it tends to be fairly fast. Most people will be able to have their money within a couple of days. Do bear in mind that even though you have to visit a Fairstone Financial branch at some point during the process, they will not pay you in cash. You will still need to wait an additional day for the money to be placed into your account.

 

The initial part of the process will be online. You’ll fill in a couple of forms, then you’ll be given a provisionary quote for a loan. This is not a pre-approval. It is just a quote of what you may be able to get from Fairstone. 

 

The next step will be a call from Fairstone. You will be assigned your own personal loan agent. Their job is to discuss the loan with you and carry out a few more checks. You may be offered a better or worse deal than what the website quoted you. However, bear in mind that Fairstone will always give you a price they think you can afford. They want to be paid back, after all.

 

The final step of the process will be a trip to the nearest Fairstone branch. They will check your documents (payslips, notice of assessment, rent or mortgage details, T4, etc.) and then give you the final approval of your loan. Only when you have received this approval will the money be sent to you.

 

For an unsecured loan, the process could be complete in a day. If you have a secured loan, it will take at least two.

Pros and Cons

Pros

If you want one of the most personal loans possible, then Fairstone Financial may be just right for you. It is a nice ‘personal touch’ having an actual person get in touch with you to discuss the specifics of the loan. It helps to ensure that you’re really getting into something that you can afford.

 

We also love the lower-than-average interest rates. Sure, Fairstone Financial is not the cheapest lender on the market, but they are certainly not one of the most expensive either. The interest rate is fair considering the speed at which you can get your cash and the fact that you only need an average credit rating to apply. 

 

If you run into any issues with your loan (but it is highly unlikely that you will), you probably will enjoy the fact that the company is easy to get in touch with. We have read many Fairstone personal loan reviews, and a lot of people have noted that a quick branch visit will often get problems solved within a couple of minutes. You can’t do that with any of the ‘online only’ lending companies.

Cons

The application process is somewhat on the lengthier side. You have to apply online, then get a phone call, then go to a branch. We can’t help but think that the last step could have been shaved off of the process. Sending them your details via email or some sort of a document uploading service would’ve been more convenient. That being said, the process is still quicker than many other lenders out there, even when you add in the additional stages.

 

Reviews at the Better Business Bureau are rather limited too, so it seems that not many people have issues with their Fairstone loans. 

Conclusion

We can probably sum up this Fairstone financial review by saying that this company is a joy to work with. Obviously, they do not cater to the lower end of the market, but if you have a fairly decent (but not great) credit rating, then this reputable company probably has a loan product ready for you.

Brad Fleischman