California Payday Loans (Online or in Store Near You)

California offers legal payday loans up to $300, with a maximum repayment term of 31 days. Online lending is on the increase, making the entire process fast and easy.

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How we can help you

Whether you need to borrow cash in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or the state’s capital – Sacramento, our directory of payday loan providers covers all the cities in the pacific coast state where such loans are available.

With changes in technology, you don’t even have to leave your home to apply, with a lot of lenders accepting online applications.

California has been at the forefront of the payday loan industry since the 1990s, aiding individuals, start-ups, and existing businesses to cover their cash flow problems safely and legally under California state lending laws.

Today, storefront payday lending shops and online services work together in a growing market that welcomes all California citizens – even those with bad credit may be accepted for a reasonable amount.

We did some number crunching and found a number of interesting stats about California payday loans.

Top payday loan stats in California

  • There are over 1,600 fully licensed accredited payday lending stores in the state.
  • In one year more than 10 million payday loans are issues, which is about 27,000 every single day.
  • These loans amount to more than three billion dollars in loan value.
  • Around 1.6 million Californians take out payday loans each year, meaning many receive more than one.
  • On average payday lenders borrow $250 and repay within 17 days, though amounts range between $100 and $1,000, with a maximum repayment date of 31 days.
  • The average APR is 376%, though because they are repaid in one lump sum the actual “fee” is quite low.
  • Around 25% of customers wait at least 10 days before paying off their loans.
  • The average income of a payday loan borrower in California is $27,000.
  • A growing area of payday lending is online, representing more than 500,000 transactions a year.
  • These online loans come from 14% of overall payday lenders in the state, though many are catching up.
  • Just 6.2% of borrowers fail to make a repayment, proving payday lending to be much more efficient than the news stories might have you believe.

Local payday loan law in California

Sometimes called a cash advance or deferred deposit transaction, payday loans are well regulated in California and all lenders (including those in our directory) must have a Department of Business Oversight license and legally binding loan contracts between the borrow and lender.

These terms must be made available to the borrower before any contract is signed, and will include the amount borrowed, the charge and fee (and potential charges and fees), what this amounts to as an APR, the repayment date, and other important information.

Learn more about California payday loan law and regulations.

Unlike banks that require lots of paperwork and hoops to jump through, payday lending is a relatively quick process, especially if done online where you can know if you have been approved by a lender in a matter of minutes after their automated system does their checks.

In California, the law limits payday loans to a total of $300, and the added finance charge will never exceed more than 15% per $100 or an APR of 460%.

How to find a direct lender for payday loans in California

Around 62% of those living in California make less than $75,000 per year and around 45% are on less than $50,000. That makes cashflow problems inevitable at some point along the line and borrowing money is an obvious solution.

However, many are too quick to find their nearest solution without putting in the research to find a reputable lender. This is especially true for those that don’t have access to credit cards, savings, or friends that can give a helping hand.

So, if you find yourself needing to cover minor medical costs, get your vehicle fixed, or tide you over for groceries until payday because you’ve gone over budget, a payday loan might be the ideal solution.

But, know where to turn first!

Our site lists only payday lenders that a legally licensed to operate in California, and still, they must pass our personal reputability test before we put them in the directory.

That way you know you’re dealing with a lender that follows the rules and won’t upsell you with misleading marketing jargon along the way.

How to apply for a California payday loan

Applying for a payday loan couldn’t be easier, especially in the smartphone age. You don’t even have to leave the couch to enter your details and potentially connect with a payday lender in California.

That means no stacks of paperwork, no waiting in line, dealing with an annoying clerk at the desk, and then waiting around (or worse) going home and waiting for a call or letter to confirm your creditworthiness.

All you have to do is go to one of the trusted lenders listed on our site or select an amount using our tool that will send you over with some pre-filled info, and you can easily complete their application form in a matter of minutes.

If approved even the signature process is done online, meaning you could see the cash in your account in as fast as one working day.

Top reasons to apply online

  • Easily compare different lenders and offers.
  • No need to leave your home, drive downtown, or to the one storefront lender that suits you.
  • It’s free and easy to apply online and there are no brokers or storefront clerks to talk you into borrowing more than you can afford.
  • There is a high chance of being approved by a lender even if you have bad credit.
  • Although it will still take at least one working day for a lender to deposit your cash, the systems are online 24/7 meaning you can apply when it suits you best.

What to know about bad credit payday loans in California?

There can be a lot of misinformation online about payday loans in California, often from those who are just looking to cash-in themselves.

This usually includes misleading language like ‘no credit check’, ‘instant approval’, or promises of loans for people with bad credit.

The truth is, payday loans are actually a suitable option for people with bad credit and many of the lenders in our directory regularly issue loans to borrowers who have struggled in the past.

The main reason for this is that payday loans are for small amounts of money that most working people can repay when they next get paid. That doesn’t mean approval is guaranteed or there will be no credit check, but if you’ve been turned away by banks and other large lenders and don’t have access to a credit card, a payday loan is the next best option for those with bad credit.

Consider alternatives

Of course, payday loans aren’t for everyone and it’s always wise to consider alternatives, especially if you are already in debt, unemployed, or have a good credit score and can obtain a loan or credit card from the bank.

  • If you need to borrow more than the $300 limit or you need longer to repay the loan, consider an installment loan that is repaid in monthly installments.
  • If you are already in debt because of multiple other loans and cards, consider a debt consolidation loan or debt relief program. Payday loan interest is very high if you fail to make repayment on time.
  • Approach your employer for a true advance on your wages.

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