Learn how to get a short-term loan in Alberta.
If you’re facing a financial emergency, you might find yourself in need of some fast cash. Enter payday loans: a quick and easy way to get your hands on emergency money before your next paycheque.
We’ve designed this guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of cash advance payday loans in Alberta, so that you have as much information as possible before you sign on the dotted line.
Can I get a payday loan in Alberta?
Yes. Short-term loans are legal in Alberta. The Payday Loans Regulation and the Act to End Predatory Lending help protect people who take out payday loans.
Each province has its own rules that govern pricing. The most money you can borrow in a payday loan in Alberta is $1,500 and the maximum term of the loan is 62 days.
The maximum fee a payday lender can charge is $15 per $100, which includes all fees and charges related to the loan. A lender can also charge additional fees if the loan isn’t paid on time.
Cash Money Payday Loan
- Minimum loan amount: $50
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Loan term: 12-14 days. Vary by province
- Turnaround time: Within 2 hours with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
- Key requirements: Be 18+ years old, provide proof of recurring income
Four quick facts about payday loans in Alberta
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Minimum loan term: 42 days
- Maximum loan term: 62 days
- Maximum interest: $15 for every $100 that you borrow
Compare payday loans in Alberta
Check the websites of any providers you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province.
What fees will I have to pay?
Although Alberta has laws in place to protect consumers from predatory lending, you’ll still need to pay a maximum of $15 for every $100 that you borrow. You have two business days to cancel a contract for a payday loan without having to pay a fee. The comparison shows the fees you will pay for a payday loan versus a credit card.
|Loan Amount (over 2 weeks)||Payday loan fee||Credit card fee (23%)|
Can I get a no credit check loan in Alberta?
You can with some lenders — but you might not want to. Loans that don’t require a credit check often come with higher rates. Instead, it might make more sense to allow your lender to do a soft credit check if you want to qualify for more competitive rates. This only takes a couple of minutes and many short-term lenders won’t disqualify you based on a bad- or poor-credit rating.
What should I keep in mind before applying?
If you have your heart set on a payday loan, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. That being said, it’s also a good idea to think about short-term loan alternatives. For example, many credit unions have created short-term loans with low interest rates to help customers who need a little pick me up between paychecks.
If you settle on a payday loan provider, it’s important to only borrow as much as you’ll be able to repay and to budget your repayments accordingly. If you end up defaulting on your loan, you’ll end up with a bucket-load of additional fees and a negative mark on your credit score that can stay there for up to six years. Make sure to use a licensed lender to make sure the transaction is above board.
How can I tell if a lender in Alberta is legit?
Look for the following signs to make sure you’re working with a legit lender.
- The lender displays an Alberta licence number. You can check with the Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 or by searching their online database to make sure that your lender is licensed. The lender should also display their licence number.
- It doesn’t allow rollovers or multiple loans. Alberta law doesn’t allow payday lenders to give out multiple loans.
- It provides contracts in the language you use to speak with your lender. This means that if you and your lender communicate in English, your contract must be in English. If it’s French, your contract must also be in French.
- It follows rate and fee regulations. Stay away from lenders who charge more than $15 per $100 loan.
Watch out for unlicensed lenders
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get your hands on some fast cash, you might be tempted to take out a payday loan online. But it’s important to note that this puts you at risk of borrowing from an unlicensed lender. Unlicensed lenders can be problematic for a number of reasons.
- Illegally high interest rates or fees. You may end up paying more than $15 per $100 of your loan, or be faced with hidden charges and fees.
- Identity theft. Unlicensed lenders sometimes sell customers information provided to qualify for the loan to third parties, which could lead to identity theft or a hacked bank account.
- Funds taken from your bank account without your permission. Unlicensed lenders have been known to illegally withdraw money from customer’s bank accounts if they’re unable to make repayments.
Unlicensed lenders can operate out of Alberta or even outside of Canada, making it difficult for the province to prosecute them. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your lender is licensed to operate in Alberta before you borrow.
How to file a complaint against a lender
The Consumer Investigations Unit (CIU) at Service Alberta investigates complaints about consumer transactions where a payday loan business has breached Alberta’s consumer protection laws. You can contact the Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-427-4088 to discuss your options for filing a complaint.
If Service Alberta finds that your lender violated provincial law, it could take legal action against the business. This includes revoking its license, slapping it with a penalty and even filing a civil action to get a settlement for customers if the lender is facing numerous complaints.
Short-term loan alternatives in Alberta
If you’re not sure you want to take out a short-term loan, you have other options. Here are some programs and lenders you might want to check out.
Alberta assistance programs
Alberta has some programs that can help lower the costs of everyday expenses for some residents and newcomers who are struggling to make ends meet.
- Income support provides low-income individuals with financial assistance to cover expenses like food, clothing and rent.
- Alberta Affordable Housing provides subsidized rental housing to low-income families, seniors and individuals who cannot afford other housing options due to circumstance.
- Alberta ALIS may be able to provide you with money and help to find a job during temporary financial difficulties.
- Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) helps people with disabilities who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food and housing.
Local financial institutions
Some credit unions and local banks offer lower fees for processing lower interest short-term loans. You might also want ask about credit builder programs, which offer loans in small amounts that can help build your credit score by reporting every on-time repayment you make to credit bureaus.
If you’re struggling with your personal finances, you might want to also consider enrolling in a credit counselling program. These can help you make a budget and manage or consolidate your debts.
How can I apply for short-term loan?
If you’re interested in applying for a short-term loan in Alberta, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Prove 3 months of continuous employment
- Give proof of address (e.g., they can ask to see a utility bill)
- Have a chequing account
To complete your application successfully, prepare to submit some basic information:
- Personal details, such as your name, date of birth, Social Insurance Number and a valid form of ID
- Contact details, such as your residential address, email address and phone number
- Details about your employment and income
If you’re considering taking out a payday loan, familiarize yourself with the laws of Alberta to make sure you’re getting the best terms for your loan. Be wary of unlicensed lenders and make sure to pay back your loan on time to avoid paying interest.