• Direct Payday Loan Lending Laws For 2024


    Did you know that some states don’t allow direct payday loans? Or did you know that some states allow installment loans but outright ban most forms of payday lending? There are hundreds of nuances like this throughout the country, and you need to be aware of how your state regulates short term online loans.

    Every state regulates the nation’s direct payday and installment lenders differently. These regulations apply to retail and online payday lenders, but not all lenders feel these rules apply. Be sure you know your state’s rules and regulations before you move forward with any direct payday loan or installment loan.

    Have you checked your state’s regulations regarding direct cash advance lenders and found that you can apply for a payday loan where you live? If so, check out our database of direct payday loan lenders


    State-by-State Payday Lending Laws & Regulations

    Last Updated 03/11/2024

    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 already enacted changes. 

    The CFPB proposed several options that would affect many of the largest direct payday lenders in this space. The biggest change would be that a direct lender must be comfortable knowing that a consumer has 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 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 recently enacted bill would give consumers at least six months to pay off a payday loan.



    The APR can not exceed 15% of the total loan amount. Rollovers for any short term loan are not allowed in Alaska.



    Online payday loans with rates above 36% are prohibited in Arizona. Even with these restrictions, big banks often try to work around them. For example, Wells Fargo offers advances to its customers using direct deposit. Some small lenders offer complicated cash advances or lines of credit that may violate state laws. Many car title loan companies operate 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 “storefront” operations in the state since payday lending was prohibited. They are surrounded by states that allow direct payday lenders while no loans can be issued with an interest rate of more than 17%.



    The largest fee a payday loan company can charge is 36 for loans under $10,000%. Essentially, this brings the APR to 460% if you’re looking at a two-week loan. California is busy regarding new rules and regulations for direct payday lenders. There are rumors in the California State Assembly about further limits on the number of loans that can be outstanding at any given time. These regulations would apply to both car title loans and payday advance loans in CA.



    There is a 30-day waiting period in CO before you can apply for a second payday loan and most lenders have a six month limit for you to repay the loan.



    Payday loans are technically illegal in Connecticut. However, the state has implemented several ways 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. CT makes it challenging to be in the payday lending business.



    Under House Bill 289, consumers can take out no more than five payday loans in a one-year period.



    Florida discourages rollovers on most payday loans. It limits direct cash advance loans to less than 31 days and, interestingly, requires a loan to be in force for at least 7 days.



    Most online payday loans are illegal in Georgia. This applies to any lender charging over 30% for a direct loan. The only way to 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. Companies may charge a processing fee of 15% of the total loan amount.



    The state of Idaho is pretty liberal regarding enforcing cash advances and payday loan companies. They set a high limit of $1,000 on payday loans in Idaho, and you can renew a direct payday loan up to three times. After three renewals, the online payday loan must be paid in full for another round of financing.



    As of 2024, the Illinois Legislative Body decided to strengthen its 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.



    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.



    No lender operating in the state can charge fees more than 15% of the total amount borrowed.



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



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



    There aren’t any definitive rules about direct payday lenders in Maine. A big factor in Maine is that online payday and installment lenders may not charge more than 30% interest.



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



    Massachusetts does not allow most car title loan lenders to operate and the state has an interest rate cap of 23% with $20 limit on monthly administrative fees.



    The longest short-term lending period in Michigan is capped at 31 days. Michigan has strict interest rate rules on a sliding scale for payday loans from a direct lender. For example, 15% can be assessed on the first $100, followed by 14% on the second $100. There’s much to know about these interest rate levels and how they affect cash advance loans.



    Minnesota does not allow payday loans to be extended past 30 days. Regarding interest rates, Minnesota has specific rules for loans issued by direct payday lenders between $50 and $250. Any loans issued over $250 can not charge more than 33% as interest.



    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 on payday loan amounts and fees have been implemented. For example, the loan tenure is anywhere from 28-30 days, with no rollovers. These new regulations were implemented because Mississippi has more retail payday lending per capita than almost every other state!



    If you live in Missouri, you’ll have more luck finding cash advance companies than in most other states. Missouri has many online and physical direct payday loan lenders doing business there. 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.



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



    The State of Nebraska officially recognized and authorized direct payday loan lenders in the early ’90s. This only applies to cash advance lenders with a physical presence in the state.



    Nevada differs from most states regarding the amount you can borrow for a payday loan. A resident can borrow no more than 25% of their monthly income when applying for an online payday loan in NV. This means there is no effective cap on online loans from direct lenders. Interest rates vary, so consumers should carefully consider a direct payday or installment loan.


    New Hampshire

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


    New Jersey

    Payday loans and installment loans are technically not allowed in New Jersey. However, the laws are not as strong as those in other states that forbid direct payday lenders. This means that some lenders are lending in the state using loopholes in the current regulations. Companies that provide online loans in New Jersey claim the “interest rates” are fees instead of actual interest rates.


    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 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 also applies to many personal loans being issued at any given time.


    New York

    New York may be the most challenging state when finding cash advance lenders. Payday Loans are illegal in the state. New York’s financial regulators are tough on anyone considering doing business.


    North Carolina

    Storefront direct payday lenders are outlawed in North Carolina. However, some offshore companies and tribal lenders still operate in the state. These companies are still offering loans in North Carolina. They feel they’re exempt from North Carolina’s ban on storefront direct payday lenders.


    North Dakota

    North Dakota used to be lenient regarding direct payday loan rules and regulations. But that all changed with new legislation by the State legislature. Online lending is illegal in the state, with some restrictions. This takes into consideration the initial deferral and one renewal. There is legislation pending in North Dakota that may outlaw tribal installment loans.


    House Bill 123 has recently passed in Ohio. This new legislation limits fee and interest caps for all licensed lenders. It also eliminates the use of credit access businesses. There are three main rules regarding regulations for direct payday lenders in Ohio. A lender licensed to do business in Ohio can issue a direct payday loan for no longer than 31 days. Interest can not exceed an APR of 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, it must follow a few regulations. For example, a deferred deposit loan(payday loan) can not last more than 45 days and less than 12 days. Also, a payday loan lender can not charge a finance rate or annual percentage rate exceeding $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 for every $100 borrowed.



    Most direct payday loan 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 published in the state. Installment loans seem to be available, but it would be best to consult an attorney or a Pennsylvania state regulator for more information.


    Rhode Island

    Rhode Island allows up to 3 payday loans outstanding at any 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

    Like most other states with generous direct payday loan laws, South Carolina does not allow payday loans with terms 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 more than 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.



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



    There are several different specifications and limits governing direct lenders in Texas. The loan term can be anywhere from 7-31 days. Depending on the loan details, finance charge limits range from 80% to well over 500%.



    There is no set limit for interest rates and payment terms on payday loans in Utah. However, any company offering loans must be registered as a licensed lender in the state.



    Online payday loans are currently prohibited in Vermont. There are some restrictions on what the state terms “small loans,” but that’s it. A “small loan” is restricted to an interest rate of 18%.



    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 nominal loan amount of $700, and the state also says the loan amount can not exceed 30% of the borrower’s gross income. 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’s no limit on the number of loans you can have outstanding in WI, but you are only allowed one rollover on any given direct lender payday loan.



    There is no limit on how much money you can borrow from a direct lender in Wyoming. 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 rollovers.



    Check back monthly for updates to direct payday loan laws and regulations in all 50 states.

    Check with your state finance department or United States representative to get updates on the legality of direct lender loans.