California Payday Loan Laws and Regulations

Find out if short-term Payday Loans are legal in California and what amounts, interest rates and repayment terms are set by the state's Legislation.

Legal Payday Loans Online for California residentsApply online

California Payday Loans Rates and Terms

Legal Status

Legal Status

The status of a loan type according to the Federal laws and regulations. What concerns Payday Loans some states consider them legal, some – illegal and some restrict them in terms of amounts and interest rates.

Maximum Loan Amount

Maximum Loan Amount

It’s the maximum sum of cash advance allowed to apply for in the state. It usually ranges from $500 to $1000. But it may vary depending on the lender and his requirements.

Maximum Loan Term

Maximum Loan Term

It’s the maximum period of time within which you are to allowed to pay off your loan.

31 day(s)
Maximum APR

Maximum APR

The maximum percentage allowed that actually represents annual cost of your loan. The APR is based on several things, including the amount you borrow, the interest rate and costs you’re being charged, and the length of your loan.

Finance Charges

Finance Charges

All the payments you’re going to be charged for the loan including APR and other fees.

15% of the amount advanced

Make yourself safe by studying the laws, rules, and regulations concerning California Payday Loans and other short-term cash advances. Apply for a Payday Loan Online on a strong note.

Table of Contents:

Are Payday Loans legal in California?

California Payday Loan Terms and Amounts

California Payday Loans online laws

California Payday Loans interest rates, fees and other finance charges

California Payday Loans direct lenders regulations

California Payday Loans consumer information

Legitimate Payday Loans online with NO credit check in California

Does California law allow Payday Loans for bad credit borrowers?

Legit Payday Loans in California collection practices

California Payday Loans news  - latest changes

California Payday Loans historical background

California Payday Loan alternatives

Are Payday Loans legal in California?

Short-term Payday Loans are legal in the state of California and are mostly regulated through The Civil Code 1789.30 et seq. and the Financial Code 23000 et seq.. The Payday Lending legislation covers all the parts of the process concerning:

  • Payday Loan amounts
  • Payday Loan repayment terms
  • Payday Loan online direct lenders
  • Payday Loan stores near you
  • Payday Loan interest rates and other fees
  • Payday Loan collecting practices
  • Payday Loan default penalties
  • The number of outstanding Payday Loans as well as a cooling-off period in-between etc.

The eligibility criteria for Payday Loans in California are:

  • US residence
  • An active bank account.
  • Proof of income.
  • Valid identification.
  • At least 18 years of age.

California Payday Loan Terms and Amounts

California allows maximum $300 Payday Loan amount. It should be repaid within up to 31 days as you get your next paycheck. Earlier payments don’t contemplate any additional fees. You are likely to be charged $17.65 for $100 borrowed for 14 days taking into account the maximum APR of 460.00%. For other details read further to find out how many Payday Loans you can borrow, whether rollovers or extensions are allowed, etc.

California residents who are eligible for a Payday Loan can get $300 cash advance per contract and have no more than 1.00 outstanding loans at a time. The repayment term is capped at a maximum 31 day(s).

However, there are no limits on the purpose of loan usage. Any urgent expenses, unforeseen bills, car repairs, home repairs, etc. may seem a sound reason to apply for a Payday Loan in California.

If $300 is not enough, there are always other options to receive the necessary funds in California:

  • Unsecured Installment Loans,
  • Bad credit Personal Loans,
  • Title Loans,
  • Check Cashing,
  • Pawn Shops, etc.

California Payday Loans online laws

Cash advances (payday loans) from both storefront and online lenders are legal in the state of California pursuant to the  California Department of Corporations, Financial Services Division, 1515 K Street, Suite 200 Sacramento CA 95814, (866) 275-2677 as long as they're licensed in the state. They need to be approved by the Department of Business Oversight in California to be considered legal. Reputable online lenders operating in accordance with all relevant state and federal laws can be applied to and compared on our platform using a simple online application form.

You state the necessary amount, mostly it's $255 Payday Loan, fill in your personal information, and get suitable offers from legit direct lenders. It takes only a few minutes and doesn't affect your credit score. 

In case Payday Loan lenders violate California laws, you can do the following:

  • Contact the Department of Business Oversight at
  • Call at their toll-free number - 1-866-275-2677
  • Report the matter to California State Attorney General

California Payday Loans interest rates, fees, and other finance charges

The main part of the payday loan payment is mostly made up of the interest rate, or APR. The average APR that may be charged for short-term cash advances in California is 460.00%. It means that if you borrow a $100 Payday Loan for 14 days the finance charges will be 15% of the amount advanced.

Besides, the total cost of a Payday Loan includes some additional fees. California lending rules allow charging $15 NSF fee

The law obligates California Payday Loan lenders to provide you with a written disclosure of all the rates and fees in understandable language. You should read them carefully and if you agree acknowledge the notification by signing the contract.

California Payday Loans direct lenders' regulations 

According to California payday loan laws, all direct lenders are obliged to register their companies which will allow issuing payday loans contract. It concerns both Online Payday Loans and Payday Loans Near Me.

The main rules regarding Payday loan lenders in California state that they can:

  • The issue only one loan at a time
  • Charge up to $15 for 1 bounced check fee
  • Give you a contract typed in a language you understand
  • Display license & fee structure at each location

But California Payday Loan lenders are not allowed to:

  • Threaten you for late payments or loan default
  • Approve you for a new loan to repay the current loan
  • Charge extra fees for an extension of the repayment plan
  • Provide another loan when current one is unpaid

Nevertheless, you should be careful not to come across any scams. Some unfair lenders can operate without license or under a different license and offer too expensive ‘payday loans’ under illegal conditions. Always check that the lender you are going to apply to works under California state law.

Compare top legit Payday Lenders in California:

California Payday Loans consumer information

Besides amounts, rates, and fees, consumers must be also well aware of other details of Payday Loans in California. They include the availability and number of rollovers, extensions and repayment plan, a cooling-off period, any default penalties or additional fees, etc. Check out the table below to find the most essential information:

Rollovers or extensionsNot allowed
Cooling-off periodNone
NSF fee$15
Criminal actionsProhibited

Look for more detailed information on the official California state regulator website -

Legitimate Payday Loans Online with NO credit check in California

Looking for a legal Payday Loan with No credit check in California? You must understand the meaning of this phrase correctly at first. No credit check implies that a lender will not inquire about your credit history information from or send your borrowing data to any of the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

If you don’t want to damage your credit history California law allows you to apply for a Payday Loan with No credit check. It's even possible to get such a payday loan within 1 hour. But you should understand that a lender needs to check your creditworthiness at least in some way. He can perform a soft credit check when a lender pre-approves you for a loan and this inquiry will not appear on your credit report. Or there’re other ways to prove you can afford the cash advance. Payday Loan lenders use the tracking system to verify your debts, check your income, etc. And generally, they charge higher interest to lessen the risks.

California Payday loans online with no credit check are one of the easiest options for getting quick cash to cope with emergency financial requirements, especially for people with poor credit.

Does California law allow Payday Loans for bad credit borrowers?

The average credit score in California is 754, placing it in the good range. But it doesn't mean that those who have worse credit can't apply for a Payday Loan in Califonia. 

  • First of all, There're a lot of legit direct lenders in California providing Payday cash advances to borrowers with both good and bad credit scores.
  • Secondly, you can always find a cosigner to increase your chances of being approved for a bad credit Payday Loan.
  • Find out how to improve your credit score and do your best to do it fast. 
  • Or consider taking out a bad credit Installment Loan, or bad credit Personal Loan.

Legit Payday Loans in California collection practices

If you can’t repay the loan amount plus interest on a due date it means you defaulted on the loan. When California direct lender isn’t able to cash your check after the repayment term is over he may charge you an NSF fee. NSF fee means there are non-sufficient funds in your account. The amount charged is determined by the lender and stated in the agreement and may also be limited by the state’s Payday Loan law. In California, it’s $15.

Besides, there are other default penalties in California such as $15 NSF fee.

What concerns collection practices, first of all, you may stay assured that any criminal actions are forbidden in California. The California/Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides all the same provisions as a certain federal law. As with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California’s state version prohibits debt collectors from harassing or misleading a debtor.

If you think that your payday lender violates the California Payday Loans law, you may file a written complaint with  California Department of Corporations, Financial Services Division, 1515 K Street, Suite 200 Sacramento CA 95814, (866) 275-2677. The supervisor from that office interviews witnesses, reviews the payday lender’s business records and documentation, and determines whether to pursue civil or criminal charges

California Payday Loans news  - latest changes

More than 23 million people got a payday loan last year. On Friday, Sep. 13, 2019, California passed legislation that would make short-term loans like Payday cash advance less expensive.

The California State Legislature passed the Fair Access to Credit Act, which caps the interest charged for loans of $2,500 to $10,000 at 36% APR. Previously, there was no interest rate cap on loans over $2,500, and the state’s Department of Business Oversight found over half of these loans carried annual percentage rates of 100% or more.

California Payday Loans' historical background

The history of Payday Loans in California
1990sCheck cashers started offering Payday Loans in Califronia.
1996Payday Loan requirements were established which allowed lenders to charge three-digit interest rates.
2002The California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law was introduced.
since 2000s till nowadaysAll the bills attempting to regulate Payday lending were unsuccessful.
June 2, 2016The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a Payday Loan Rule that hasn’t yet fully come into effect (expected in November 2020).

California Payday Loan alternatives

If you're looking for an instant cash advance in California but not a Payday Loan, consider other alternative ways to get the necessary funds:

  • Apply for California Installment Loans - $1000 - $5000 cash advance repaid over several months or years in equal installments.
  • Take out a Car Title Loan in CA if you own a vehicle to use as collateral.
  • Sell some of your valuable stuff online or at a pawn shop.
  • Consider borrowing from a bank or credit union. In California, there're numerous Federal Credit Unions offering Payday Alternative Loans: SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Mid Cities Credit Union, Technicolor Federal Credit Union, etc.
  • Qualify for one of Federal or California government assistance programs: Community Action Marin, Community Development Finance, Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET), Family Service Associate of Redlands, Shelter Inc., West Angeles Community Assistance Department and many others depending on your needs.