Payday Loans in California: Compare the Alternatives First

A payday loan is not your only option when you need quick cash. California residents can access local and regional resources, including financial aid and small loans, to help cover emergency expenses, from utilities to medical bills.

Here are alternatives to online and in-store payday loans in California. NerdWallet recommends contacting the organizations listed below to see if you are eligible for assistance.

Additional options to consider

If local resources aren’t available to you, there are other options when you need the cash. Take our quiz to explore these alternatives:

What to Know About Payday Loans in California

If you’ve weighed alternatives and still want a payday loan, here are the things to know:

  • A payday lender doing business in California must be licensed by the Department of Business Supervision. You can verify a lender’s license by contacting the DBO.

  • The maximum amount you can borrow from a payday lender in California is $ 300.

  • The maximum fee a lender can charge is $ 45, or 15% of the amount borrowed. A 15% fee equals an annual percentage of 460% for a two week loan.

  • Payday lenders in California cannot give you a new loan if you already have an outstanding loan with that lender.

Learn more about payday loans and alternatives

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