California Payday Loans Main Regulations

Borrowers from California can get payday loans up to $300 for a maximum of 31 days. The finance rate and fees don’t exceed 15% of the payday check. You may apply also for installment loans ($1,000 – $5,000) or personal loans ($1,000 – $35,000). There’s no cooling-off period, and only one simultaneous loan is allowed at a time. Rollovers are prohibited and the repayment plan is set personally by a borrower.

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California Residents can get payday loans up to $300 for a maximum of 31 days. It’s regulated by the Civil Code 1789.301 and the Financial Code 230002. The maximum APR is 459%. Also, lending services may charge $17.65 for a 14-day $100 loan. The finance rate and fees don’t exceed 15% of the payday check. You may apply also for installment loans ($1,000 – $5,000) or personal loans ($1,000 – $35,000). There’s no cooling-off period, and only one simultaneous loan is allowed at a time. Rollovers are prohibited and the repayment plan is set personally by a borrower. No additional fees are charged. If you can’t repay the loan, there’s a $15 NSF fee. Consumers with bad credit are free to take payday, installment, and personal loans in California.

Payday Loan Restrictions in CA

Terms Payday Loans Installment Loans Personal Loans
Law Status legal legal legal
Citation FINANCE CODE    
MIN amount $100 $1,000 $1,000
MAX amount $1,000 $5,000 $35,000
MIN term 14 days 90 days 90 days
MAX term 180 days 36 month 60 month
min APR Varies by lender 6.63% 4.99%
max APR 410%    
Extra fees 10% of the loan    
NSF fees $30    
Guarantor None, unsecured None, unsecured None, unsecured
Collection fees 1    
cooling-off period None    
Rollover Not allowed    
Extension/repayment plan Voluntary repayment plan    
Credit Score A for Bad Credit A for Bad Credit A for Bad Credit
Criminal action Not stated Prohibited Prohibited

California Finance History

Payday loans in California are called “deferred deposit transactions“. Despite quite restrictive regulations, the industry consists of 2,119 payday lender storefronts and about 12.3 million payday loans taken out in 2015.

Alternatives for short-term payday loans in California

Before taking a payday loan, you should consider the following alternative solutions. There are:

  1. Installment Loans and Personal Loans online (from $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, $3,000, $5,000 installment loans with a maximum 36-months term and up to $35,000 personal loans with a maximum 60-months term)
  2. Credit Cards, Debt Consolidation Loans, Credit Builder Loans
  3. Local assistance programs & Social Services
  4. Additional part-time jobs or some side gigs and freelance opportunities to earn extra cash
  5. Recycling for money
  6. Help from your family, friends, employer, or creditors
  7. Credit unions or traditional banks.

You have to be very careful and responsible when applying for payday cash advances. We recommend you avoid rollovers, renewals, or extensions as much as possible. So, you’ll be able to repay your loan fast and easily.

California Payday loans History

California’s payday lending regulatory structure is considered one of the most unfavorable when it comes to consumer protection. Pretty much the same laws govern payday loans in California for years.

1990’s – Payday lending started as an industry in California as an extension of the check cashing industry. At that time there wasn’t any special state law that explicitly authorized or prohibited check cashers from offering high-interest payday loans and they were not specifically regulated by the California Finance Lenders Law. Thus, they worked freely.

1996 – “SB 1959 (C. Calderon, Statutes of 1996) authorized and established requirements for payday loans in California law”. The bill exempted check cashers from the California Finance Lenders Law, which officially allowed payday lenders to charge excessive interest rates. The loan terms set by this law haven’t changed much for almost 20 years: 15% limit on fees, ~400% APR, $300 max loan amount.

2002 – The California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law was introduced. It is now considered as one of the most ambiguous laws that do not take into account the consumers’ interests. It “established both licensure and regulation of persons making deferred deposit transactions” by imposing licensing obligations and disclosure of all the lending terms among other things. Loan terms, however, didn’t become more restrictive.

2000s – nowadays – All the bills that came before the Legislature to regulate the payday lending industry in the state, unfortunately, died.

Oct 5, 2017 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the Final Payday Loan Rule that hasn’t yet fully come into effect.

The only federal changes to California payday lending law include the Military Lending Act (2006), the law regarding advertising reporting: “On or before March 15 of each year, beginning March 2006, each licensee shall file an annual report with the commissioner pursuant to procedures that the commissioner shall establish.” (AB 2156, 2003-2004 Leg. Sess. (Cal. 2004); Cal. Fin. Code § 23057.), and the law that exempts auto dealers from coverage (AB 634, 2007-2008 Leg. Sess. (Cal. 2008); Cal. Fin. Code § 23001.).

How do online Payday Loans work in California?

Payday Loans both online and in-store, are available for California residents. But, nowadays, online payday lending is becoming more and more popular among borrowers as it has a lot of benefits:

  1. An opportunity to compare a lot of different offers at once;
  2. Avoid driving, doing paperwork, and waiting in infinite lines;
  3. Free and simple application process;
  4. High rates of approval even with a bad credit history;
  5. A trusted network of lenders that perform no hard credit check;
  6. 24 / 7 availability.

The online application process is fast and simple:

  • First step: compare the lenders and choose the one with the suitable rates and fees;
  • Second step:fill in the application form with the necessary information;
  • Third step:get the money into your account on the next business day;
  • Fourth step:repay the loan with your next paycheck.

Payday Loan Requirements in California

Alternative lending services, like direct lenders, may have special requirements that a borrower should meet, but typical minimum requirements include:

  1. California (US) residence;
  2. Regular income (minimum $1,000 per month);
  3. Valid checking or savings bank account with direct deposit;
  4. Active phone number and email address;
  5. If you’re a veteran or military, you should have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR you have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR you have six years of service in the National Guard or Reserves;
  6. If applying Online, you must provide a valid Social Security Number;
  7. If applying at the Lending Store, you must bring a valid government-issued photo ID. A Social Security Number might not be required;
  8. If applying in-store, you must bring proof of income and evidence of a bank checking account.

California Rates and Terms for Payday Loans

When you get approved for a payday loan with a direct lender, they deposit your funds directly into your checking account. On the due date, the amount you need to repay is automatically deducted from your account. The process only works with your prior approval. That way, you avoid any delays in payment. In case there are not enough funds in your account on the due date, the lender is authorized to charge you an additional fee. The state of California doesn’t allow loan refinancing, which is why you need to pay your debt on time. Your loan agreement is regulated by California state laws.

APR Example and Fee Schedule for Payday Loans in California

A 14-day payday loan of $255.00 has an APR of 459.88% and a finance charge of $44.98.

Loan principal Fee Amount to repay Term APR
$100 $17.64 $117.64 30 days 214.61%
$250 $44.12 $294.12 14 days 459.88%
$400 $18 $472 31 days 211.94%

Regulator: Complaints & Information

California Department of Business Oversight

Address: The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), 1515 K St #200, Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-327-7585 or 866-275-2677 (toll free)


File a Complaint:

Why Choose a State-Licensed Direct Lender?

By choosing to work with a lender who has a license for California, you make sure that you will not fall victim to scammers. A licensed lender will not offer you a loan higher than $300. If anyone promises you larger amounts, they spread misleading information. California has capped payday cash advance amounts to $300. Another advantage to working with a licensed direct lender is that one person usually handles your case from beginning to end. Thus, you protect your personal information from any third parties. On top of that, if there are any issues with your loan, it’s easier to report a state-licensed direct lender so that responsible state entities protect you.

Payday loans in California for Unemployed People

In California, payday loans are available for people on SSI (Supplemental Security Income), unemployed residents, those who have child alimony, single mothers, disabled borrowers, and other job-related minorities. But the main rule is that they must have a minimum (unofficial) income of $1,000. If you’re one of them, find out that you have the chance to get approval, too.

Be sure that anti-discrimination rules are applied for these types of borrowers. If you’re unemployed but have unofficial incomes, direct lenders may offer payday cash advances to cover your unexpected expenses.

There are some common requirements for people with disabilities or those who live from benefit payments. They should show the disability policy or benefits statement from the benefits payer (typically, it is an insurance company or former employer).

Some lenders may require an Award Letter from Social Security Administrators or proof of current receipt concerning people on SSI. It is a frequent requirement from lending companies that should meet borrowers with disabilities.

It is important to know that direct lenders make maximum efforts to provide payday loans for unemployed and/or disabled people.

Reasons to Choose Us

Among many online cash advance lenders and platforms, our vision of lending is different. We work with a trusted network of direct payday lenders.

Find out other benefits when choosing us:

  1. You get immediate access to competitive loan offers with no third party, with no hidden fees.
  2. You can use payday loans in California as you wish. Lenders don’t set restrictions for spending your money.
  3. Our lenders don’t perform hard credit checks for payday cash advances in CA. They just run a general review of your financial situation.
  4. The online application process is quick and easy, especially for short-term loans in California.
  5. No paperwork and faxing! Just an online application form available 24/7.


Yes, consumers with all types of credit rates are welcome to apply for payday loans in California. There is a high rate of approval for people with poor credit history.

There are only soft credit checks. These kinds of assessments aren’t provided through those three traditional credit bureaus but only by alternative companies. Also, this check won’t affect your actual credit score.

No, you can get only an instant approval decision. You’ll receive it as a notification at your email address. Commonly, it takes 5 – 10 minutes to get a decision from your lender.

No, you can get a guaranteed approval decision from the direct lender for your payday loan in California. But there is a high rate of approvals, so don’t worry about getting the money you need.

Yes, you may get 1-hour payday cash advances in California. If qualified, 1-hour payday loan may be approved in less than 60 minutes. But you should know that by providing 1-hour payday loans, lenders give you access to funds on the next business day or even sooner. Pay attention to the cut-off times of lenders.

It depends on the cut-off times. If you apply for payday loans in CA before noon, your cash advances may be approved faster, and you’ll receive the money in your bank account the same day. But if applied in the afternoon, you’ll get them on the next business day.

The number of simultaneous loans is limited in California. Here you can have only one payday loan at a time.

The easiest way to get payday loans in California is to apply on online platforms that help you to connect with direct lenders. You have to fill in the single application form, and the partners will send it to dozens of direct lenders who will decide to get you a loan.

Payday loans in California have many advantages for borrowers with bad credit. Also, the fact that you can borrow the maximum amount of $300 won’t allow you to get into large debt. Besides, the online application process is fast and simple.

If you need more money for your emergencies, direct lenders also provide installment loans ($1,000 – $5,000) and personal loans ($5,000 – $35,000). The minimum term for these loans is 90 days, and the maximum is 36 months and 60 months.

To qualify for California payday loans, you need to be a California (US) citizen, be at least 18 years old, have a steady income, and have a valid phone number, email address, and active bank account.

To apply for payday cash advances in California, you need to access the Internet from a PC, Laptop, or even smartphone. Also, you need to provide valid information about yourself while filling in the application form.

Our company works exclusively with licensed direct lenders. Each company undergoes a rigorous verification process before starting their cooperation with us.

You don’t need to use a fax machine when you apply online. Direct lenders accept document copies that you can scan with your smartphone.

All States

You can get suitable payday loans in the US online with a quick and easy application form. Just fill it in and wait 5 – 10 minutes for a loan decision.

US residents can apply for online payday loans even with poor credit. Most direct lenders guarantee instant decision and Payday Loans with soft or no credit checks. Get the necessary emergencies as soon as the next business day if you borrow online or even the same day if you apply in-store.

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