PERSONAL FINANCE BLOG

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ATB Financial Personal Loans Review
2 Sep 2018

ATB Financial Personal Loans

Borrowing money can sometimes seem like a risky affair, but it doesn’t have to be. For those who live in Alberta, ATB Financial gives you the option of borrowing money from an established, highly-rated and highly resourceful source.

Borrow from a lender directly owned by the province of Alberta, with all the professionalism and security you’d expect.

You are interested if

You want to take out a loan from one of the most reputable and trustworthy lenders out there, and you also live in Alberta.

 

Key Points

Brief Description ATB Financial offers personal loans of varying size depending on client income, with many additional services and add-ons available for customers who want them.
Limits and Deadlines Loan amounts vary depending on the individual client’s income and ability to repay the loan. Repayment periods stretch from 1 to 5 years, again depending on the client’s needs.
Urgency Because they focus on finding a good fit more than on expediency, you may wait a little longer to receive your money here than you would with a competitor.
APR Range ATB Financial bases their interest rates on the current prime+ rates they regularly publish on their website. Starting from this low rate (usually less than 5% for loans in Canadian dollars), they calculate a personalized APR for each case they serve. They also offer both fixed and variable interest rates and will recommend one or the other as it suits each applicant’s case.
Closing/Origination Fees None.
Early Payment Fees None, and customers are told in advance that they should absolutely pay off their loan early if they are in a position to do so.
How to Contract the Product ATB Financial loans are available through their online shopping portal on their website, requiring only a few quick questions in order to start the application process. They can also be acquired over the phone or with the help of a branch employee in person.
Main requirements Any application requires that you be of age (at least 18 years old), that you have an income of some kind, and that you have a valid bank account open (this does not have to be with ATB Financial). To apply online, you’ll need one piece of government-issued photo ID and one bank document used to prove current Canadian bank activity (such as a used cheque or a bank statement). To apply by phone or in person, you will need to provide your employment information and two pieces of ID – please consult their website for further details there.

About ATB Financial Personal Loans

Main Features

ATB Financial personal loans are a great way to borrow money at reasonable rates and without taking a chance on a vendor you don’t know. Because they are so firmly entrenched in Alberta’s financial landscape, their name alone provides a certain level of comfort. The diversity of their operations means that they don’t have to depend so heavily on the proceeds of their loans, allowing them to potentially offer lower rates than the industry standard. You can view the full text of their default loan agreement right on their website without so much as requesting a quote from them, a gesture of good faith and transparency that lets you know right away that they have nothing to hide. They even sometimes allow applicants who can’t command much of a loan based on their own financial history to enlist the help of a co-borrower, making it easier for them to qualify for more money and lower interest rates. This level of permissiveness is not common in Canada’s personal loan market, but it can greatly benefit the consumer.

ATB Financial also uses their size and influence to make many secondary services available to interested customers. Loan protection is available for an extra fee, and the cost of that additional service will be bundled into the total amount of your loan if you choose to use it. Critical illness insurance used to cover your loan payments should you fall extremely ill, can also be contracted the same way. Taking either of these precautions will result in a higher monthly payment, but they offer added security and peace of mind that some customers might feel is worth the sacrifice. Just like any other part of the decision to take out a loan, the choice is up to you.

This company has also created a set of tools to help outline a variety of options for potential customers who still haven’t decided whether they want to apply for a loan yet or not. Their Personal Loan Finder asks users a short set of questions to help them figure out what kind of loan will be suited for their intended purposes and that they can realistically expect to be approved for given their financial circumstances.

Their Personal Loan Payment calculator, on the other hand, allows users to create a projection of what their loan payments might look like if they agreed to certain parameters. This allows you to determine the cost of multiple different options you might be considered without having to apply for a quote for each one; with this information, you can piece together a viable monthly budget that takes your new loan costs into account before making any kind of commitment.

How Does It Work?

ATB Financial offers many routes to accessing their personal loans. Clients can apply for their loans entirely online by filling out some simple forms, but they also have the option of going to an ATB Financial branch for help or calling their Client Care phone line if either of those methods are preferred. All methods require nearly the same documentation, so it’s up to you to choose which one works best for you.

During this process, either ATB Financial’s online interface or a human representative will try to determine what loan parameters will be optimal for your case. You’ll be informed of both the amount you’ll be permitted to borrow and the interest rate you’ll be offered. You can then determine which length of repayment period you’ll need and see the final amount you’ll owe every month until the loan is paid off. If this amount is acceptable to you, you can agree to take on the loan on the outlined terms. Once all questions are answered, the supporting documentation has been looked over by the company and the proper agreements have been signed, you will then receive your funds.

ATB Financial’s publicly available loan agreement makes clear that they will not hesitate to send outstanding debts to a collections agency if they have to, so customers should make sure to stay in good standing with them to avoid this possibility. However, it also states that they will make several attempts to contact you through any channels available to them before they resort to that; you’ll have plenty of warning, and it’s up to you to keep on top of the problem and work with them to address it.

Conclusions

ATB Financial personal loans are versatile financial products available at good rates and with generous repayment terms. All details relevant to the borrower are fully laid out during the application process and the company is committed to working with clients to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that they do not run into trouble with things like overdue payments down the line (within reason, of course). To this end, they make sure that the customer has all the tools they need to plan appropriately for their loan, and even offer supplemental protections to those who choose to be extra cautious.

This company has the luxury of leaning heavily on their status and accumulated wealth during the lending process, giving them a significant leg up over the competition. Customers who already use some of their other services like mortgages, lines of credit or personal bank accounts will probably enjoy the convenience of keeping all their financial affairs under one company, too.

It should be noted that ATB Financial offers a full complement of different types of loans to suit specific needs. If an applicant does need something specific, such as a loan to start a business or go to school, they may be better off applying for one of those more specialized products instead of a generic personal loan. The rates offered will likely be lower and the total amount they are allowed to access may rise as well. Personal loans should be reserved for cases where flexibility is important or where there is unlikely to be any kind of special allowances made for the purchase (in other words, for relatively non-essential things like taking a vacation). ATB Financial particularly recommends them for things like debt consolidation. If you aren’t sure which type of product is right for you, a representative can help you figure it out.

ATB Financial: An Albertan Institution

ATB Financial, also known as Alberta Treasury Branches when not actively doing business, is a banking and financial services company based in Edmonton, Alberta that also happens to be a Crown corporation owned by the province itself. It began as an offshoot of the treasury itself, then gradually morphed into something more as more and more business avenues opened up. Today, it is a full-service bank that offers everything from mortgages and credit cards to investment services and, yes, personal loans. Each offering is just one facet of their overall operations.

The company has a storied history going back more than 75 years to the end of the Great Depression. It is one of Alberta’s largest employers and has over 5,000 people on its staff in total. It has also been named one of the best places to work in all of Canada by several different award organizations, including MediaCorp Canada and Great Place to Work. After such a long time in business, you can be confident they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

What We Think

ATB Financial is an excellent choice for Albertans who want to borrow money from an institution they know they can trust. The cost of your loan will usually be lower than what you would find elsewhere, and there will be great care taken during the process to ensure you can really afford the loan you’re after. ATB Financial has the market clout to attract the top talent to work for them and have the awards to show it, so you know they’ll be able to provide accurate and thorough answers to any of your questions. Their status as a quasi-government entity also grants them an extra level of inherent trustworthiness, as they have an implicit obligation to keep their customers’ best interests at heart. All these things mean that you can feel comfortable and confident when doing business with them.

There are drawbacks associated with this lender – primarily that due to ATB Financial’s insistence on taking things on a case-by-case basis, you won’t know much about the kind of loan you’ll be eligible for until you apply. In most cases, this will work in your favor, allowing you to secure better rates than you would if you opted for a lender that preferred to use flat rates and a blanket approach. Those with very bad credit may prove the exception to that rule, but few potential clients will fall into the category. You also can’t always count on getting your money very quickly, but as long as the loan is something you’ve been planning for rather than something unexpected, this shouldn’t be a problem. Customers facing a true financial emergency may want to choose a more reliably speedy lender.

All told, this lender is quite possibly the very best choice for residents of Alberta looking to borrow money – the only real obstacle one might face is poor credit, but even this can potentially be mitigated by applying with a co-borrower with a more impressive credit history. It can’t hurt to apply, so we definitely recommend approaching them first if you live in the right province.