Car Loans Canada | A Comprehensive Review

Posted on April 6, 2021

If you are looking for auto financing in Canada, it is important to be able to compare between the hundreds of different auto loan lenders so that you can find the best deal and the best value for you and your needs.

A bad car loan will saddle you with high-interest rates, unexpected fees, and could even destroy your credit score. That is why it is crucial to be able to choose between trusted lenders in a transparent manner, without any sale pressure tactics. That's where our Car Loans Canada review comes in.

Founded more than a decade ago, Car Loans Canada is one of the most trusted and well-established auto loan comparison platforms in the country, serving nine provinces and close to 2 million Canadian motorists.

Although many competitor companies have sprung up in recent years, Car Loans Canada remains the most popular in the country. If you are looking for auto financing and do not know where to start, read this honest and in-depth Car Loans Canada review to find out everything you need to know about Canada's largest auto loan matching service.

1. About Car Loans Canada

First, it is worth breaking down what Car Loans Canada actually offers, and how it differs from your average lender or comparison site. First, Car Loans Canada does not actually offer loans directly. Rather, it connects customers with the right auto loan product for them, often pieced together by Car Loans Canada via its vast network of partner providers.

When understanding car loans, it is important to note that how much you will pay and the kind of financing you are eligible for depends on a huge number of data points about your financial profile and situation. What Car Loans Canada does is take all of those important data points and refers them to hundreds of different lenders to find the very best loan package for you.

Once you have been matched with a loan, you will be notified whether you have received pre-approval. If this is the case, you can then apply for that auto loan directly through Car Loans Canada. What's more, applying for a loan through Car Loans Canada will not cost you a penny.

Car Loans Canada makes its money through its partner providers and through ads, meaning that you will not be expected to pay anything at all for making use of its services. If you are serious about finding the most affordable auto loan with the most attractive rates and benefits, then Car Loans Canada can help. 

2. Can I Get Pre-Approved for a Loan?

As mentioned, Car Loans Canada works by taking your basic personal information and matching you with a suitable loan product. There are no minimum credit requirements, although it is likely that you will receive better auto loan offers if you have a high credit score.

Based on the information you provide Car Loans Canada with, they will be able to offer you pre-approval for a loan within 24 hours. After this, it is up to you to apply for the loan via the Car Loans Canada online platform. In order to be eligible for pre-approval through Car Loans Canada, you will need to meet a number of requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Although Car Loans Canada aims to make affordable auto financing accessible to everyone, there are some minimum standards you will need to abide by in order to quality for pre-approval. These are: 

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  • A valid driver's license
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or legal Canadian residency
  • Proof of address that matches the address on your license
  • Valid proof of age 
  • A steady source of employment for at least the past three months 
  • A gross income of at least $1700 CAD per month during those past three months 
  • Be at least 21 years of age 
  • Live in one of the following provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador

If you fit all of these requirements, you will most likely receive pre-approval for an auto loan offered by Car Loans Canada. 

What To Do Before Applying

Before you apply, there are a few things you should do beforehand in order to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. First, you should get a clear understanding of your budget and the kind of auto loan you can afford. To do this, you can use Car Loan Canada's Car Loan Calculator.

This service allows you to enter the size of the loan amount you want, the down payment you can make, the province you live in, the length of the loan term, and the car loan rates that you are seeking.

The calculator will then give you a rough estimate of the total cost of the loan and the monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly payments you can expect to pay. There are a few additional steps you can take before applying, such as: 

  • Gather the correct documents, such as your ID, license, pay slips, and proof of address
  • Gather your banking information
  • Decide on the vehicle you want and determine the price
  • Determine the trade-in value of your current vehicle 

3. What Are the Rates?

As Car Loans Canada is not a direct provider of loans, but rather a service that matches you with the best possible loan out of more than 300 Canadian lenders, the rates you can expect to be offered may differ widely depending on your circumstances. The interest rates offered through Car Loans Canada range from as little as 1% all the way up to 29.99%. The average interest rates you can expect to pay will range from around 5.9% to 8%.

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If you have a good credit score, expect to pay lower interest rates. Likewise, if your credit score is poor, you will most likely be saddled with higher fees and rates.

However, Car Loans Canada does not have a minimum credit score requirement, meaning that anyone can apply. While lower-score applicants will be offered higher interest, you are still more likely to find a reasonable auto loan through Car Loans Canada, as the service will trawl through all of the top lenders to find the lowest possible rates for you. 

4. Application Process Walkthrough

One of the key Car Loans Canada benefits is that the application process is simple and straightforward. If you have all of the correct documentation and information to hand, you can expect to complete the application process for loan pre-approval in just a few minutes. Here is what you need to do: 

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  • Click "Get Started" on the Car Loans Canada homepage
  • Enter the type of vehicle you are seeking auto financing for (i.e. car, truck, van, commercial vehicle, or SUV)
  • Confirm your age, address, employment status, income, and contact details
  • Confirm how much you wish to borrow and the size of the down payment you would prefer

After this, a local loan approval center employee will get in touch within 48 hours, offering you a loan based on the information you have provided. From here, you can expect to receive the financing you need to get your dream car the following day. Note that the lender may perform a soft credit check on you to confirm your credit score, which may affect your score slightly. 

5. Summary 

Overall, Car Loans Canada is a free, easy-to-use, and extensive service that does exactly what it says on the tin. By providing just a few basic details, you can find the best and most affordable auto loan for your needs. However, there are pros and cons of the service which are worth keeping in mind, such as: 

Pros 

  • A huge number of vehicle options and loan providers
  • No minimum credit score requirements
  • Long loan terms, with some loans lasting as long as eight years
  • No mandatory down payment
  • Open-ended loans, with no penalties for early pre-payment 
  • Flexible payment options, with monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payments possible
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Cons 

  • There are fees for cancellation and no option for a "cooling off" period or payment holidays
  • A number of additional costs and admin fees, depending on the loan provider
  • No online quotes, meaning you have to speak to someone over the phone to get a quote
  • Limited geographic availability
  • A poor financial situation can lead to unattractive auto financing offers

Despite these cons, Car Loans Canada remains one of the quickest, most efficient, and most extensive providers in the country.

Was This Car Loans Canada Review Helpful?

If you found this Car Loans Canada review helpful, we are here to offer more information and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your auto financing. Make sure to consult our expertly-curated Car Loans guide for insider information on how to get the best loan for your needs. 

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