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Legitimate payday loans

Here's how to find legit payday loans online in Canada.

Payday loans can give you fast access to money when you need it, but it’s important to always deal with legitimate lenders online. Unfortunately, it’s easy for predatory lenders to enter the payday loan space with too-good-to-be-true loan offers. This guide lists some popular legit payday loan lenders in Canada to help you narrow down your options from lenders you can trust.

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
Payday loans are expensive. If you're experiencing financial hardship call Credit Counselling Canada for free financial counselling (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm at +1 866-398-5999). Consider payday loan alternatives:
  • Visit A free and confidential service that connects you to organizations that can help with finances, food, housing and more.
  • Debt relief companies. There are services to help you reduce your debt payments.
  • Payment extensions. Talk with bill providers about longer payment plans or due-date extensions.
  • Side jobs. Sell unwanted items online, sign up for food delivery and more.

Legitimate payday loans online

Below are some legit online payday loan companies that are provincially licensed. Some are also BBB-accredited and/or members of the Canadian Consumer Finance Association. Before applying for a payday loan, make sure you understand your loan conditions, such as the interest rate and loan term.

Legit online payday loansServiced provincesMax. loan amountTurnaround time
Money Mart Payday LoanAB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK$1,500As little as 1 hour after getting approved

Cash Money
BC, NL, NS, ON, SK$1,500As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer.
iCASH Payday LoanAB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI$1,500As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
GoDay Payday LoanAB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK$1,500As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer.
Cash 4 You Payday Loan*Ontario$1,500In 60 minutes with funds deposited via INTERAC e-Transfer.
My Canada Payday Payday Loan*AB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK

$1,500Funds will be sent in as little as 15 minutes via Interac e-Transfer

*Please note: All information about Cash 4 You and My Canada Payday has been collected independently by Finder and these loans are not available through this site.

What is a “legit” payday loan?

A “legit” payday loan is one that’s offered to you legally, meaning the lender abides by all the governmental regulations for features like maximum annual percentage interest rates (APRs), fees charged, borrowing limits and terms. Whether you apply for a payday loan online or in person at an outlet, they all fall under the same regulations.

Payday loan lenders typically have much more relaxed eligibility criteria than traditional lenders, like banks and credit unions. Even if you have bad credit, are on a lower income or receive government benefits, you’ll be able to apply for a payday loan. However, this relaxed service comes with much higher interest rates and fees than other types of loans.

7 ways to tell if a payday loan is legit

With so many online payday loan providers on the market, it can be hard to know which lenders are legit and which are predatory. Look for these 7 characteristics of legit payday loan lenders.

1. Better Business Bureau accreditation

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is more than a century-old non-profit organization that helps identify trustworthy businesses across Canada, America and Mexico. Different payday lenders across the country have BBB accreditation, and dealing with these businesses provides extra peace of mind.

2. Upfront contact details

If you’re looking online for legit payday loans, take some time to find a lender’s contact details. If a lender provides no more than a contact form or an email address, see how responsive they are before you apply. A reputable payday lender should not shy away from providing a physical address, phone support or live chat.

3. Fees

Direct lenders of legit payday loans are upfront about the fees you have to pay during the loan term, and they adhere to all given maximum limits. The loan contract should clearly set out all applicable fees, so be sure to read it thoroughly in order to understand exactly how much you will have to pay.

4. Abides by provincial/territorial regulations

With legit payday loans, you don’t have to worry about lenders charging you more than the maximum limits set by your province or territory.

5. Use money for any reason

Reputable payday lenders don’t place any stipulations on how you can use loan funds as long as you’re using the money for a legal reason. If your lender tries to dictate how you can use your loan funds, it might not be legit.

6. Doesn’t require money upfront

One of the biggest red flags when researching a lender is if it requests money upfront. Origination fees are paid out of your loan amount, and you shouldn’t have to pay anything before you borrow.

7. Lender is provincially licensed

For example, in Ontario, you can search the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services database. Another thing you can look for is if the lender is a member of the Canadian Consumer Finance Association (CCFA). CCFA works with governments at all levels to achieve regulations that balance consumer protection with maintaining access to safe credit for Canadians across the country. It is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Legitimate payday loans for people with bad credit

Payday loans are offered to people who cannot qualify for other types of loans, so by nature, borrowers with bad credit can get approved by payday lenders. Many online payday lenders mention on their websites that they won’t necessarily decline applicants with bad credit because they also look at other factors. As long as you have income, whether that’s employment or non-employment income, payday loans are accessible to borrowers with bad credit.

That said, make sure you know what you’re in for. Only get a payday loan after you’ve exhausted all alternatives and only if you’re certain you can repay it by your next payday. Also, be sure to check the legitimacy of online payday lenders by reading third-party reviews, checking business licences and seeing how transparent they are with their fees. Compare legitimate payday loans for bad credit.

Important: The “ability to repay” rule

Lenders must make a reasonable judgment on an applicant’s ability to repay the loan. The lender should assess factors such as income, living expenses and existing debt in order to determine if the applicant can reasonably repay the loan.

If a lender doesn’t ask you for any of that information or doesn’t attempt to evaluate if you can afford the loan, the lender probably isn’t legitimate.

Benefits of a legit payday loan

Legit payday loans will come with the following benefits:

  • Abiding by provincial regulations. With legit payday loans, you don’t have to worry about lenders charging you more than the maximum limits allowed.
  • Multiple options. You can get in touch directly with lenders of legitimate payday loans, or you can go through a loan-matching service.
  • Bad credit is OK. Many lenders provide legit payday loans to people with bad credit, and while they may run a credit check, they focus more on your ability to pay the loan back instead.
  • Quick access to funds. If you apply in person at a store, you can get the cash almost as soon as a lender approves your application. When you apply online, the money is transferred into your bank account after you accept the loan contract, usually by the next business day.
  • Use the money for any reason. Legitimate payday lenders don’t place any stipulations on how you can use your loan, as long as you’re using the money for legitimate reasons.

Drawbacks of payday loans

Keep in mind that anytime you take out a payday loan, there are risks, including the following:

  • You can enter a cycle of debt. Payday loans make it easier than ever to get into a cycle of debt. Avoid taking on more debt than you can handle and exercise caution throughout the loan process.
  • Payday loans can be expensive. A short repayment period and high fees will mean you have to make much higher repayments. Alternatively, paying your loan off over a longer period will be more expensive for you.
  • It’s easy to pay more than necessary. You can avoid high interest rates by comparing multiple lenders. Remember to consider all costs, including financing fees if applicable.

Compare legit payday loans and apply securely

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Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term Interest Rate Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces Offer Table description
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 cost (excludes SK applicants).
Instant decision and e-Transfer funding. Income of at least $1,000/month required.
iCASH Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer
Get up to 20% in cash back once your payday loan is fully repaid. Conditions apply.
24/7 instant approval and e-Transfer funding. Income of at least $800/month required.
Maximum borrowing costs of payday loans per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results.
Province Maximum allowable cost of borrowing
Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario & PEI $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Nova Scotia $17 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $14 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon Up to $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

Example: Don has a costly vet bill

Don has heard the horror stories with payday loans – those scams run by con artists online. However, when he finds a stray puppy and takes it to the local vet for shots, he spends more than he thought he would, leaving him strapped for cash for the rest of his monthly expenses.

Don has bad credit from when he was younger and hasn't paid off his credit card bills fully in the last few months, so he doesn't have a large line of credit available. Traditional banks don't lend small amounts of money, so Don isn't sure where to turn.

Instead of giving up, Don heads online and looks up how to tell if a lender is reputable. He compares different types of payday loans and finds one that abides by the regulations for his province and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

He takes out a $200 payday loan with this reputable payday loan lender and works the costs into his next month's budget.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

Other considerations before applying for legit payday loans

You’ll have to pay additional fees if you make a late payment or miss one entirely, and your lender may report your late repayments to one of the credit bureaus – Equifax or TransUnion. Reconsider applying if you think you may have trouble repaying your loan.

Take some time to go through the loan’s terms and conditions, as this document tells you how much you may have to pay in different circumstances, such as rollovers or late payments. Some provinces also don’t allow you to take out more than one payday loan within a given period. If your lender says you can, they may not be trustworthy.

Frequently asked questions about legit payday loans

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