Washington, DC Payday Loan Laws and Regulations

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

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District Columbia 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.

Available (with some restrictions)
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.


Though you must have heard that traditional Payday Loans are restricted in the District of Columbia, you may find other options to get instant cash advance permitted by DC laws. Study the state's rules and regulations concerning short-term loans in Washington, DC. Find available alternatives.

Table of Contents:

Are Payday Loans legal in Washington, DC?

Why are Payday Loans illegal in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC Payday Loans Laws

Washington, DC Payday Loans online laws

Does Washington, DC law allow Payday Loans for bad credit borrowers?

Washington, DC Payday Loans news  - latest changes

Washington, DC Payday Loans historical background

Washington, DC Payday Loan alternatives

Are Payday Loans Legal in the District of Columbia?

Short-term Payday Loans in Washington, DC are available but with certain restrictions imposed by  D.C. Code Ann.28-3301(a). 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 main Payday Loan eligibility criteria that the residents of  D.C. Code Ann.28-3301(a) must meet are:

  • US residence
  • Minimum regular income of $1,000 per month
  • Valid checking or savings account with direct deposit
  • Phone number and e-mail address 

 D.C. Code Ann.28-3301(a) caps all short-term loans under 24% APR. 

For other details and information on Payday Loans in Washington, DC contact The D. C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, 1050 First Street, NE, 801, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: (202) 727-8000, TTY: 711, Email: disb@dc.gov.

Why are Payday Loans illegal in Washington, DC? 

The Government considers Payday Loans too expensive and often associated with lenders' predatory practices. That's why in Washington, DC Payday Loans are restricted by a 24% APR cap since 2007. It caused most lenders to stop issuing short-term small-dollar loans as it became not profitable. Still, there still exist some banks and online companies offering similar types of cash advances suitable to cover any unexpected emergencies.

Wahington, DC Payday Loan laws 

Washington, DC residents who would like to apply for a Payday Loan online as well as in-store must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • US residence
  • Minimum regular income of $1,000 per month
  • Valid checking or savings account with direct deposit
  • Phone number and e-mail address 

Besides, it's necessary to keep in mind that even if you qualify for a loan it doesn't mean you get one. Don't forget about the restrictions on short-term loans in the District of Columbia. 

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

If you haven't succeeded in finding the necessary cash advance, there are always other options to receive the necessary funds in Washington, DC: unsecured Installment Loans, bad credit Personal Loans, Title Loans, Check Cashing, Pawn Shops, etc.

Washington, DC Payday Loans online laws 

Cash advances (payday loans) from both storefront and online lenders are capped at 24% APR by  D.C. Code Ann.28-3301(a). It also concerns online lenders which must operate in accordance with all relevant state and federal laws. Otherwise, they may be liable to The D. C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, 1050 First Street, NE, 801, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: (202) 727-8000, TTY: 711, Email: disb@dc.gov for law violations. 

The law obligates Washington, DC 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.

Does Washington, DC law allow Payday Loans for bad credit borrowers? 

The average credit score in Washington, DC is 670, placing it in the good range. But it doesn't mean that those who have a worse credit can't apply for the necessary cash advance in Washington, DC. 

  • First of all, there're some companies in Washington, DC providing similar to Payday loans services 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.

Compare top legit Payday Lenders in DC:

Washington, DC Payday Loans news  - latest changes

D.C. Payday Loans have been restricted since 2007 when the Payday Loan Consumer Protection Act of 2007 was passed. This has driven short-term loan lenders outside the state. That's why many Washington, DC residents started to apply for emergency cash advance in the neighboring Virginia state.

Title Loans, as well as Payday Loans, are also under strict regulations and there are a lot of cases when the D.C. Attorney General issues a lawsuit against lenders.

So, maybe you'd better consider other Payday Alternative loans to get quick funding.

Washington, DC Payday Loans historical background 

The history of Payday Loans in District og Columbia
1998The Check Cashing Act banned post-dated checks in D.C.
2007Payday Loans were banned and interest rates were capped at 24%.

Washington, DC Payday Loan alternatives 

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

  • Apply for a DC Installment Loan - $1000 - $5000 cash advance repaid over several months or years in equal installments.
  • Take out a Car Title Loan if you own a vehicle to use as collateral.
  • Sell some of your valuable stuff online or at a pawn-shop.
  • Apply for Washington, DC Tribal loans. Tribal lenders can avoid the state's caps and limits as they operate outside the state regulations. 
  • Consider a free debt management plan or credit counselor assistance.
  • Qualify for one of Federal or District of Columbia government assistance programs: Capital Area Food Bank Hunger Lifeline, The Utility Discount Programs and the Low Income Home Energy Program.