Short term cash solutions

Make an informed decision when comparing and applying for a short term payday loan.

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When the unexpected happens and you have nowhere else to turn, a payday loan might be the solution. But treat it as a last resort — it’s one of the most expensive types of financing. We’ll help you understand how these loans work, what to consider before borrowing and how regulations vary between provinces and territories. Plus, we’ll provide you with some alternatives to these high cost loans.

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans

Payday loans are expensive. If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call Credit Counselling Canada from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday at +1 866-398-5999.

Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:

  • Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors or your electricity, gas, phone or water providers about extending payment due dates or working out a new payment plan.
  • Consider a personal loan. A personal loan usually comes with much lower interest rates than a payday loan.
  • Pay with credit card. While not a long term solution, paying with credit card can help cover emergency expenses. You’ll need to pay off the balance before it accrues interest.

Compare payday loans

Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province or territory of residence.

Name Product Max. Loan Amount Serviced Provinces/Territories Turnaround Time Loan Term Interest Rate
Cash Money Payday Loan
$1,500
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
In as little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
12-14 days. Varies by Province
Varies by Province
Apply for your first $300 payday loan at a $20 borrowing cost (excludes Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick or Saskatchewan applicants). Residents of Manitoba and New Brunswick cannot apply for a loan online (must apply in-store).
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What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a short term loan of up to $1,500 provided in the form of credit that is advanced to you when you need some money. It’s generally paid back at the same time you receive your paycheque, hence the term “payday loan”. These short term loans can also be referred to as “cash advance loans” and “bad credit loans”. In Canada, payday loans are regulated under individual laws and restrictions in each province –but beware: not all provinces have the same legislation, and none of the territories have legislation surrounding these loans.

How do payday loans actually work?

Promoted

Cash Money Payday Loan

Apply online or in store and get approved for up to $1,500.
  • Minimum loan amount:
  • Maximum loan amount: $1,500
  • Interest Rate: Varies by Province
  • Fees: Up to $17 per $100 borrowed (rounded to nearest dollar)
  • Loan term: 12-14 days. Varies by Province
  • Turnaround time: In as little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
  • Key requirements: Be 18+ years old, provide proof of recurring income
Cash Money Payday Loan
  • Simple application process
  • Fast turnaround time
  • Extended business hours
Go to site More info

How are payday loans different from personal loans?

  • Shorter loan term. Payday loans are designed to be short term solutions to your financial problems. You generally won’t find a loan that extends beyond six months – with the most common length being just 14 days – although terms will differ between providers.
  • Lenders accept poor credit scores. Payday lenders often do not conduct a credit check – although you may need to provide proof that you can repay the loan, say with proof of a steady income or a bank account in good standing.
  • Higher rates and fees. Due to their short term nature and accessibility, payday loans come with much higher annual percentage interest rates (APRs) than other forms of credit. All provinces, with the exception of the three territories, regulate how high these APRs can be, but even with regulation, many are still very steep when compared to other types of credit. Be sure to take into account the full cost before you apply.
  • Smaller loan amounts. Again, how much you can borrow may depend on the province or territory you’re in, but you can usually borrow between $100 up to a maximum of $1,500.

Payday loan legislation in Canada

While all 10 provinces have legislation at the provincial level, the three territories – Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut – are still patiently waiting, and instead have federal regulations.

ProvinceMaximumAdditional Information
British Columbia$15 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Only one loan per borrower at a time is allowed. Cooling off period of two business days. Borrowing limit of 50% of recipient’s paycheque. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended.
Alberta$15 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of two business days. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended.
Saskatchewan$17 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of next business day. Borrowing limit of 50% of recipient’s paycheque. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended.
Manitoba$17 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of 48 hours, excluding Sundays and holidays. Borrowing limit of 30% of recipient’s paycheque. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Loans can be extended or rolled over.
Ontario$15 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Borrowing limit of 50% of recipient’s net income. Cooling off period of two business days. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended. Lender must offer ‘Extended payment plan’ if borrower takes out three loans within a 63 day period.
QuebecLimit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended.
Newfoundland and Labrador$21 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of two business days.
New Brunswick$15 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Cooling off period of 48 hours, excluding Sundays and holidays. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended. The loan amount is limited to 30% of the recipient’s net pay.
Nova Scotia$19 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of next business day. Lender is restricted from accessing the borrower’s bank account or wages. Payday loans cannot be rolled over or extended.
Prince Edward Island$25 per $100Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500. Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Cooling off period of two business days.
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon$60 per $100Term of loan cannot exceed 62 days. Maximum borrowing amount of $1,500.

Looking for a specific amount?

How much will a payday loan cost?

Fees for loans differ between provinces and territories.

Depending on the province where you reside, the fees for your loan will differ. For example, in Ontario you’ll pay $15 in fees for every $100 you borrow, while in PEI you can pay up to $25 per $100 borrowed – one of the highest amounts in Canada.

In the case of Ontario, if you borrow $1,000, you’ll pay $150 in fees provided you repay the payments on time. You must pay the full principal amount and fees, which would amount to a total of $1,150. While in PEI, you’d face $250 in fees.

In Saskatchewan, you’ll be charged $17 in fees for every $100 you borrow. So, if you borrow $5,000, you’ll be required to pay $850 in fees. You must pay the full principal amount and fees, which would amount to a total of $5,850.

What other fees are associated with payday loans?

If you’re late or miss a repayment, you may be charged other fees, which can include:

  • Late payment fees. If you’re late with a repayment and don’t notify your lender beforehand, then you’ll likely be charged a fee.
  • Bounced cheque or failed direct debit. If your payment bounces, you will usually be charged a fee.
  • Arrears fees. You’ll be charged a fee if your account goes into arrears.
  • Collection fees. Any loans which are referred to collections or are defaulted on may incur additional fees.
  • Collection letter send out. If you receive a collection letter because you’ve failed to make a repayment and the lender cannot contact you then you may be charged a fee.
  • Statement fee.If you request an account statement from the lender you may be charged a fee.

How to apply for a payday loan

Although the actual application process will vary based on the lender you choose, these are the typical steps you’ll need to follow to apply for a payday loan.

  1. Click the green “Go to site” button above or visit a lender’s website.
  2. Provide information about yourself, including your contact details and Social Insurance Number.
  3. Fill in your employment details or benefits information if you’re receiving government benefits such as a pension, EI or welfare.
  4. Provide additional information about your income, including how frequently you’re paid and how much.
  5. Enter your bank account details and agree to electronic transfers. Confirm the website is secure before providing this information.

You’ll need to read over a lender’s terms of service and privacy policy before submitting your application. The best payday loan providers will always have a secure online application and outline your loan’s final amount so you know exactly how much it will cost to borrow. Payday lenders are not allowed to charge more than the amount capped by the province or territory.

Eligibility criteria

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid photo ID
  • Have a permanent adress and a working phone number
  • Have an open and active bank account
  • Have a steady source of income

Note: Remember that meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee the approval of your payday loan.

Required documents

  • Valid ID with name and address
  • Valid phone number
  • Proof of income with employer’s name, address and phone number or government benefits or investment income
  • Net and gross income amounts
  • Bank account information (chequing account, routing and institution numbers)

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Are payday loans a bad idea?

Payday loans are not viewed positively as they usually come with excruciatingly high fees. Many customers who desperately need financing turn to payday loans as they are easy to get and provide quick financial relief – but they also throw many people into an endless cycle of debt with their high costs.

You can also be penalized for not sticking to the repayment requirements. If you default on the loan or the loan goes into collections, you’ll receive a negative mark on your credit score that can stay there for up to six years. It’s important to only borrow as much as you’ll be able to repay and to budget your repayments accordingly. If you have any doubts about your ability to meet your repayments, then you may want to consider other credit options.

Must read: A warning about payday loans

Payday loans are heavily regulated in provinces – but not the territories – and for good reason: Payday lending is one of the single most predatory forms of credit available and can easily ruin your finances when you’re already in a pinch.

When APRs can reach well over 400%, it’s glaringly clear that these seemingly quick fix-it loans are anything but. Provincial regulations are put in place in order to protect consumers – but rules and regulations vary dramatically between each province. But ultimately, these protections are put in place to help borrowers avoid a debt spiral that payday lenders set them up for.

Before you dive into a product marketed as a one-stop financial Band-Aid, consider your alternatives. Though they aren’t significantly better, installment loans can come with slightly less egregious terms and more manageable payments. And while it may require a level of humility and openness, asking to borrow money from friends or family could be another possibility.

You can also look into alternatives to borrowing. Services may be available in your area to those in need. Even if you aren’t sure if you qualify, it’s worth researching local assistance programs for food, housing and other necessities. These services may also be able to help you identify and address any structural issues that can keep you in debt, such as a lack of budgeting or overspending.

Though you may not have a lot of extra time, a side gig could also be an option. Ideas include driving with a ride share service like Uber, walking dogs, participating in research studies or even taking online surveys to earn more cash. If you find yourself regularly needing small amounts of money to last you through the week, consider exploring ongoing freelance opportunities in your area of expertise — Upwork and Fiverr are a few websites that connect freelancers and clients.

Payday loans have both a high rate of default and repeat borrowing, which could trap you in a debt cycle and even more financial distress than when you started. By researching your many options, you may be able to avoid getting caught in dangerous lending, while still getting the money you need.

Am I eligible for a payday loan if…

  • I receive a pension?

If you’re retired or physically unable to work, you can still access a line of credit, personal loan or a short term loan. Some lenders consider your pension as income, so you may still be eligible depending on your financial situation and why you need the loan.

  • I receive welfare payments?

Some payday lenders and institutions do consider welfare payments as income, so you may be eligible for a payday loan. It generally depends on how much you earn, what kind of financial situation you’re in and what kind of payments you receive. Contact a lender to find out if you’re eligible.

  • I have bad credit?

While short term lenders offer flexible eligibility criteria that often results in accepting those with less-than-perfect credit, there are some payday lenders out there that won’t check your credit report at all.

  • You can consider a payday loan with no credit check. Having bad credit shouldn’t stop you from getting a loan. Find out which companies will lend you money.
  • Find a personal lender who doesn’t check your credit report. Why should what you earn now be affected by what you did in the past? Find a lender who will assess you on your financial situation as it stands today.

Frequently asked questions

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