Borrowing Money

Before you borrow, know the risks, know your rights, and make an informed decision.

It can be confusing to know which type of loan or financial service might be right for you, as each type of loan can have different features. Knowing about the various products in advance can help you make an informed decision that is right for you. An explanation of the common types is available on the Types of Loans and Other Financial Services page.

Most British Columbians will rely on loans at some point – whether for help with day-to-day costs, a mortgage, a car purchase, or an emergency like a broken stove.

All loans and related financial services come at a cost. This cost is usually called “interest” or “fees, and it means that borrowing money will cost more than just the amount of the loan.

The cost of borrowing money, and the requirements on the borrower, will vary from loan to loan and from service to service. It is important to carefully consider your options, including any alternatives that might be available to you and other things to think about when choosing a loan.

Borrowing money can affect your credit report. A credit report is something lenders use to determine how likely you are to pay back a loan in full and on-time, based on your past loan activity. Your credit rating can affect which loans and repayment terms are open to you in the future.


Types of Loans and Other Financial Services

Short-term loans range from those that are typically expensive to use – for example, payday loans and short-term instalment loans – to those that still have a cost, but it is often lower – for example, a cash advance on a credit card and lines of credit.

Cheque Cashing Services

Many payday lenders offer cheque cashing services. People cash cheques at payday lenders and other cheque cashing businesses for various reasons and circumstances.

Things to Think About when Choosing a Loan or Other Financial Service

If you need to borrow money, here are some questions to consider before deciding which type of loan or other financial service is best for you.

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Loans and Other Financial Services - What are my Rights?

If you borrow money, the lender must give you a written loan agreement that shows all charges and terms of the loan.

Alternatives to More Expensive Loans and Other High-Cost Financial Services

You might decide to get a more expensive loan (payday loan, instalment loan, title loan) because you are worried about qualifying for a less expensive loan. However, even with limited or poor credit history, or a low income, other options might be available for borrowing money.

Less Expensive Loans and Other Financial Services

All loans and financial services come at a cost. Some types of loans and financial services are less expensive than others.


Other services are available to provide information and support on debt and managing money.