• Payday Loan Regulations


    Do you know that some states don’t allow direct lender payday loans? Or did you know that some states allow installment loans but ban online payday loans from being issued? There are hundreds of nuances like this throughout the country and you need to be aware of how your state views the issuing of short-term online loans. Over the past few years many state legislatures have seen little to no action on the federal level when it comes to regulating the payday advance industry. These state legislatures have decided to regulate the payday loan industry on a state level opposed to waiting for long promised federal regulations. Check your state by state rules for restrictions on direct lenders. For better or worse some states have decided to completely outlaw short term lending. The majority of states allow some form of short term lending. But every state is different when it comes to regulating the nation’s direct payday and installment lenders. These regulations apply to both retail and online lenders, but not all lenders feel these rules apply to them. Consult with your attorney or state regulator for more information on what’s allowed in your state. Be sure you know your state’s rules and regulations before you move forward with any type of direct payday loan or installment loan.

    Use this resource to find out your specific state’s rules and regulations about different types of online loans. All states have different laws so be sure your state allows these types of loans before you apply. Please be aware: the information and summaries posted below should be used for informational purposes and not as a legal reference or state specific data source. We are unable to provide legal help or guidance about payday loans to our site visitors.

    Have you checked your state’s regulations regard direct cash advance lenders and found out that you’re able to apply for a payday loan where you live? If so, be sure to check out our Database of Direct Lenders. We only compare companies that offer online loans. Whether you have bad credit or not, you can also use our database of lenders to determine which type loan is best for your situation. We do our best to break down the interest rate charged and details of each company.

    State by State Short Term Lending Regulations

    Last Updated 9/15/2020
    There have been some updates to the short term lending industry regulations since we last updated this page. Some of these updates consist of proposed changes and some of them consist of changes that have already been enacted. As always you’ll want to check your state’s financial affairs website before you apply with a direct payday loan lender. Many of the proposed changes that people are talking about come from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These new regulations have been approved, but we don’t yet know how the implementation will pay out. Essentially the CFPB has proposed rules that would regulate the payday loan industry on a federal level. This is a stark change from where things are at now, with states regulation the short term lending industry. The CFPB proposed a number of options that would affect many of the largest direct payday lenders that operate in this space. The biggest change would be that a direct lender must be comfortable in knowing that a consumer had the financial ability to pay back their loan. The CFPB proposes this could be done by enacting a 60 day cooling off period between loans. The CFPB has also proposed that no consumer would be allowed to be in debt to a direct payday lender for more than 90 days total in any 12 month period. These federal rules are only proposed and it remains to be seen when and how they will be enacted. We will update this page as more information comes out.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    The finance charges can not exceed 17.5% of the total amount advanced. As of last year, Alabama is looking to implement a database of cash advance loans issued to in state residents. Alabama wants to ensure that lenders don’t issue more loans than the amount allowed per state regulations. Update – A bill was recently enacted that would give consumers at least 6 months to pay off a payday loan.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    The finance charge can not exceed 15% of the total amount advanced. As of 2020, rollovers for any type of short term loan are not allowed. However, you can take out as many loans as you want at any specific time.


    Most Direct payday loans have been outright banned in Arizona for years now. This means that any online payday loans offered to consumers in Arizona with rates above 36% are prohibited. Even with these restrictions there are big banks are small lenders that try to “work around” these restrictions. For example, Wells Fargo offers advances to their customers that use direct deposit. Some small lenders offer complicated cash advances or lines of credit that may violate state laws. We also see many car title loan companies operation online and in person at retail locations in large cities like Phoenix and Tucson.


    Direct Payday loans have been illegal in Arkansas since 2008. There have been no “store front” operations in the state since direct payday lenders were prohibited. The state of Arkansas is in a tough situation. They are surrounded by states that allow direct payday lenders while no loans can be issued in state with an interest rate of more than 17%.


    The largest fee a cash advance lender can charge is 15%. Essentially this brings the APR to 460 if you’re looking at a two week loan. California is a busy state when it comes to new rules and regulations for direct payday lenders. We anticipate more changes in how direct payday lenders are regulated as the legislative calendar gets going again in 202. There are rumors in the California State Assembly interest rate limits and further limits on the number of loans that can be outstanding at any given time. These regulations would apply to both short term loans and car title loans.


    There have been some recent changes to the Colorado law regarding the amount of time one has to pay off a direct payday loan. As of a few months ago a consumer now has 6 months to pay off their payday loan. There is a 30 day waiting period before you can take out another loan and a lender can only charge an interest rate of up to 45%.


    Payday loans are technically illegal in Connecticut. The state has implemented several ways in order for consumers to get short term cash. For example, the state will allow direct payday lenders to operate if they have a license to deposit checks into a consumer’s account. With that being said, the state makes it difficult to get approved as a lender.


    As of September, the online loan term in Delaware has been set at 60 days. Under House Bill 289, consumers can take out no more five payday loans over a one year period. Also, the state is in the process of creating a database of cash advance loans issued in order to ensure this is enforced.

    District of Columbia

    Payday loans have been illegal in D.C. for quite some time now. No direct payday lenders should be operating within the district. There is a small loan interest cap of 24% that is strictly enforced. D.C. is surrounded by states that offer direct payday loans.


    A consumer can only have one direct loan ongoing at any given time. As of this summer the interest rate will be 10% of the amount. Florida discourages rollovers on most short term loans. They do this by limiting direct cash advance loans to less than 31 days. Interestingly they require a loan to be in force for at least 7 days.


    For the most part, payday loans are illegal in Georgia. This applies to any lender that may charge over 30% for a direct loan. The only way you can legally obtain a payday loan in Georgia is through an out of state bank insured by the FDIC. Of note, car title loans and other long term loan offers are allowed.


    You can have an outstanding loan in Hawaii for up to 32 days. Anything longer than that is technically illegal. Lenders are allowed to charge a fee up to 15% of the total amount borrowed.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $1000

    The state of Idaho is pretty liberal when it comes to enforcing cash advance companies. They have a high limit of $1,000 and you can renew a direct payday loan up to 3 times. After 3 renewals the online payday loan must be paid in full in order to get another round of financing.


    Maximum Amount: $1,000

    As of last year, the Illinois Legislative Body decided to strengthen their payday loan regulations. Lenders can not charge more than 15% of every $100 borrowed. This means the effective APR in the state is up to 400%. A lender can not issue a payday loan if it means you’ll be in debt for more than 45 days.


    The state of Indiana will allow no more than 15% of every $100 borrowed as fees. Interestingly, there’s a sliding scale from 15% down to 13% down to 11% as you borrow more money. Check the state statutes for more information about these loan restrictions.


    Much like most other Midwest states you can not be assessed a fee of more than 15% of every $100 borrowed in Iowa. In order to be a licensed direct payday lender in Iowa you must have a physical presence in the state.


    Kansas has a minimum loan term of 7 days with an online loan term of 30 days. No lender operating in the state can charge as fees more than 15% of the total amount borrowed.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    Kentucky will let you have a direct lender payday loan outstanding for up to 60 days. You can have no more than 2 payday loans outstanding at any given time. Kentucky law allows cash advance lenders to charge up to 15% of the total amount borrowed as fees.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $350

    You can have a cash advance payday loan for no more than 30 days in the state of Louisiana. A lender is allowed to charge fees up to 16% of the total amount borrowed. Louisiana state law also allows a lender to assess a $10 documentation fee each time a loan is taken out.


    There aren’t many definitive rules about direct payday lenders in Maine. A big factor in Maine is that online payday lenders and installment lenders may not charge any more than 30% interest. This applies to any type of online payday loans that are less than $2,000. Anything over 2k and under 4k will assess an interest rate no greater than 24%.


    The State of Maryland effective bans direct payday lenders from operating from offering loans in state by capping interest rates that can be charged. The highest interest rate that can be charged in Maryland by a cash advance or installment lender is 33%.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $6,000

    All direct payday lenders and cash advance companies in Massachusetts that offer payday loans with rates above 12% must register with the state. The state has capped interest rates at 23% and allowed lenders to charge an administrative fee of no more than $20 each time a loan is issued. Massachusetts does not all most car title loan lenders to operate.


    The longest short term lending length in MI is capped at 31 days. Michigan has strict interest rates rules on a sliding scale for payday loans from a direct lender. As an example, 15% can be assessed on the first $100, followed by 14% of the second hundred. Check out the Michigan State Regulations Website for more information. There’s a lot to know about these interest rates levels and how they affect cash advance loans.


    The state of Minnesota will not allow a payday loan to be extended past 30 days. When it comes to interest rates they have specific rules for  loans that are issued by direct payday lenders of between $50-$250. Any loans issued for more than $250 can not charge any more than 33% as interest.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    Mississippi is rather strict when it comes to regulating direct payday lenders. For a while payday lenders ran rampant in the state. Since then new limits have been put in place. For example, the loan tenure is anywhere from 28-30 days and there are no rollovers. These new regulations were put in place because Mississippi has more retail payday lenders per capita than almost every other state!


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    If you live in Missouri you’re going to have much more luck finding cash advance lenders versus most other states. Missouri has many online and physical direct payday loan lenders doing business in the state. There is a max loan term of 31 days and no consumer shall be forced to pay back more than 75% of the starting loan amount in fees in interest. They have different laws that only apply to car title loan companies. Check the Missouri Legislature website for more information on the latest updates.


    Montana’s online payday loan laws are middle of the road when compared to other states. For example the smallest loan allowed is $50 with the max being $300. The state effective caps interest rates on payday loans at 36%. This does not include any fees assessed because of NSF charges.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    The State of Nebraska officially recognized and authorized direct payday loan lenders in the early 90’s. This only applies to cash advance lenders that have a physical presence in the state. These lenders must have a bond amount of $50,000 and cash on hand of $25,000. No lender can charge more than 15% of the total amount borrowed.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    Nevada is different from most states when it comes to the amount you can borrow for a payday loan. A Nevada resident can borrow no more than 25% of their total monthly income when applying for a short term loan. This means there is no effective cap on online loans from direct lenders. Interest rates can vary, so consumers should be careful if they’re considering a direct payday or installment loan.

    New Hampshire

    The personal loan rules in New Hampshire are middle of the road when compared to other states. Cash advance lenders can not issue a loan or a combination of loans for more than $500 at any given time. Also state regulations say a direct payday loan must be set for at least 7 days but can’t last any longer than 30 days.

    New Jersey

    Payday loans are technically not allowed in New Jersey. However, the laws are not as strong as other states that forbid direct payday lenders. This means that some lenders are lending in the state by using loopholes in the current regulations. Companies who provide online loans in New Jersey are claiming the “interest rates” are fees opposed to actual interest rates. There are a few groups trying to change these loopholes and we’ll see what occurs next year.

    New Mexico

    New laws were enacted in New Mexico that outline what types of fees can be charged for direct payday loans. No direct lender can have a loan maturity date that’s longer than 35 days. Also, New Mexico law states that no lender can issue a payday loan if that loan exceeds more than 25% of that person’s gross monthly income. This applies to many personal loans being issued at any given time as well.

    New York

    New York may be the toughest state to live in when it comes to trying to find cash advance lenders. Payday Loans are illegal in the state. New York’s financial regulators are tough on anyone who even thinks of doing business. In fact the NY government website even has a phone number for you to call if you’re an NY resident and you were offered a payday loan!

    North Carolina

    Storefront direct payday lenders are outlawed in North Carolina. However, online lenders and tribal lenders are still doing business in the state. These lenders are still offering loans in North Carolina. They feel they’re exempt from North Carolina’s ban on storefront direct payday lenders. Like other states, I’m sure this issue will come up again in North Carolina next year.

    North Dakota

    Maximum Loan Amount: $600

    North Dakota used to be lenient when it came to direct payday loan rules and regulations. But that all changed with new legislation put in place by the State legislature. Online lending is illegal in the state with some restrictions. For example, no payday lender can issue a loan if a consumer has more than $600 already outstanding to that lender or to any other lender. Also, a cash advance must be issued for at least 15 days but it can not exceed 60 days. This takes into consideration the initial deferral and one renewal. There is legislation pending in North Dakota that may outlaw tribal and short term loans. We will have an update on this towards the end of the year.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    House Bill 123 has recently passed in Ohio. This new legislation limits fees and interest caps for all short term lenders. It also eliminates the use of credit access businesses. There are three main rules when it comes to regulations for direct payday lenders in Ohio. A lender that licensed to do business in Ohio can issue a direct payday loan for no longer than 31 days. Interest can not exceed an APR any more than 28%. A borrower can not take out a payday loan for more than $500. This restriction also applies to multiple concurrent loans.


    If a lender wants to operate in Oklahoma there are a few regulations they must follow. For example, a deferred deposit loan(payday loan) can not last for any more than 45 days and any less than 12 days. Also, a payday loan lender can not charge a finance rate that exceeds any more than $15 for every $100 borrowed.


    Compared to other states Oregon allows very high payday loan amounts in their state. The rest of their regulations are more or less in line with other states. No payday loans can be issued whereas more than 36% interest is charged. No direct lender can charge an initiation fee that exceeds $10 per every $100 borrowed.


    Most direct payday lenders do not operate in Pennsylvania. State law says that check cashiers can not make or issue payday loans. This bars retail and online loans from being issued in the state. It seems that installment loans are available but it would be best to consult an attorney or a Pennsylvania state regulator to get more info.

    Rhode Island

    The state of Rhode Island allows you to have up to 3 payday loans outstanding at any given time. There is no specific loan term in this state. You can extend cash advance loans for as long as needed as you pay the finance charges. The minimum loan term in Rhode Island is 13 days.

    South Carolina

    Largest Loan Amount: $550

    Like most other states that have generous direct payday loan laws, South Carolina will not allow a payday loan to have a term that’s longer than 31 days. There appears to be no minimum term for short term financing offered in the state. No licensed direct payday lender can charge a fee that’s in excess of 15% of the total amount borrowed.

    South Dakota

    South Dakota is a bit vague about the general rules or regulations of payday loans offered in their state. For example there is no set amount of time for how a loan can be issued for. Also, the state doesn’t specify whether there’s a limit on how many loans you can have outstanding at any given time. One of the few rules is that you can only rollover a cash advance four times.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $500

    The State of Tennessee will let you have up to 3 loans outstanding at any given time and the longest term you can have a loan outstanding is 31 days. You are allowed no rollovers and the finance charge on direct payday loans is 15% of the total amount borrowed.


    Maximum Loan Amount: $600

    There are quite a few different specifications and limits governing direct lenders in the State of Texas. For example the loan term can be anywhere from 7-31 days. Limits on finance charges range anywhere from 80% to well over 500% depending on the loan details. It would be best to contact an attorney or the Texas state government for more information. Most large cities like Dallas, Austin and Houston have their own regulations. Please reference the Texas State Legislature site for the most recent information.


    There is no limit in the State of Utah for a loan amount. Furthermore, a direct payday loan can not last more than 10 weeks and there is no limit on the amount of loans you can have outstanding at any given time. It’s safe to say that Utah is very lenient when it comes to payday loan regulations.


    Online Loans are currently prohibited in Vermont. There are some restrictions on what the state terms “small loans” but that’s about it. A “small loan” is restricted to having an interest rate no greater than 18%. We expect to see additional regulations put in place as we move through the upcoming legislative year in 2020.


    Virginia will allow fees and finance charges of up to 36% APR. They also allow a $5 processing for all direct payday loans issued. You can only have one outstanding at any given time in Virginia. There are no rollovers allowed on any payday advances that have been offered in state.


    Washington views the loan cap rule differently than most other states. They have a normal $700 loan amount the state also says the loan amount can not exceed 30% of the gross income of the borrower. They’ll go by whichever is lower. They allow no rollovers and have a max loan tenure of 45 days. Finance charges are capped at 15% of the first $500 borrowed.

    West Virginia

    West Virginia does not allow direct payday lenders or installment loans. There are some types of loans allowed where rates are capped at 31% but it’s unclear what type of loans that applies to. If you live in West Virginia it would be best to consult an attorney or state regulator for more information.


    Wisconsin is a good state to be in if you need a short term loan. They allow direct payday lenders to provide funding of up to $1500, Borrowers can ask for a loan tenure of no more than 90 days. There’s no limit on the number of loans you can have outstanding but you are only allowed one rollover on any given direct lender payday loans.


    Maximum Loan Amount: No Limit

    There is currently no limit on the amount you can borrow in Wyoming from a direct payday lender. They allow a max loan amount of up to one month with interest rates up to 20%. There is no limit on the number of loans outstanding and on rollovers.

    Check with your state finance department on the legality of online lending