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Payday loans in Alberta

Borrow up to $1,500 with a minimum loan term of 42 days.

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If you’re facing a financial emergency, making use of payday loans in Alberta may be a way to access cash quickly. But while payday loans are convenient, they’re incredibly expensive.

Here’s what you need to know about cash advance payday loans in Alberta to help you make an informed decision before you sign on the dotted line.

Fast 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
⚠️ 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 alternatives instead of a payday loan:
  • Local resources. Government programs and nonprofits offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent.
  • 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.

Lenders that provide payday loans in Alberta

We looked into licensed online payday lenders in Alberta. Here’s what we found.

ProviderFunding optionsAccepts bad credit?Link
Money MartE-transfer 24/7, direct deposit, or in-store.YesGo to site
iCASHE-transfer 24/7, direct deposit, or in-store.YesGo to site
GoDayE-transfer or direct deposit.YesGo to site
310-LOANE-transfer or direct deposit.YesRead review
Mr. PaydayE-transfer.YesRead review
Speedy CashE-transfer, direct deposit or in-store.YesRead review
My Canada PaydayE-transfer.YesRead review
Instant Payday CanadaE-transfer.Yes
Focus FinancialE-transfer.Yes
Maximum borrowing costs 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 & Prince Edward Island $15 per $100 borrowed
Manitoba & Saskatchewan $17 per $100 borrowed
Nova Scotia $19 per $100 borrowed
Newfoundland and Labrador $21 per $100 borrowed
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon $60 per $100 borrowed
Quebec Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)

Yes, payday loans are legal in Alberta. Each province has its own regulations that govern payday loan costs and conditions. In Alberta, the Payday Loans Regulation and the Act to End Predatory Lending help protect people who take out payday loans.

Payday loan regulations in Alberta

Protect yourself as a borrower by knowing your rights when taking out a payday loan in Alberta. Below is a summary of payday loan regulations in this province. Visit the government website for more details.

Borrowing fee

The maximum borrowing fee is $15 for every $100 borrowed.

Loan amount

The maximum amount you can borrow is $1,500.

Loan term

You can take 42 to 62 days to repay your loan.

Cancellations

Should you change your mind and want to cancel your payday loan, you have 2 days to do so without facing a penalty. You don’t have to provide a reason for cancelling.

Repayments

  • You’re required to repay in installments instead of a lump sum, according to Alberta’s Consumer Protection Act. You can repay the loan in installments within 42 to 62 days. If you’re paid weekly or fortnightly, you could, for example, spread your repayments over at least 3 pay periods.
  • You can also repay the full amount early without penalties.

Loan in default

If you’re having trouble with repaying your payday loan as agreed, contact the lender as soon as possible. If you don’t inform them, you could encounter the following:

  • Your lender may charge you a maximum NSF fee of $25 if there isn’t enough money in your bank account when your payment is due. Your financial institution may also charge you an NSF fee.
  • Your lender may charge a 2.5% interest rate per month non-compounding.
  • Your lender is allowed to contact you between 7am and 10pm Alberta time. Your lender is also permitted to contact your spouse, neighbour, friend, employer or acquaintance to confirm your home address, phone number and work phone number.
  • Your lender has the right to sue you for the amount owed plus interest and any related court fees.
  • Your lender may also turn your account over to a collection agency that will try to recoup the costs. This could be included on your credit report.
  • The agency can apply to take money from your paycheques directly (also known as garnishing your wages).
  • If a lender attempts to withdraw from your bank account once and is unsuccessful because of insufficient funds, it can make a second attempt within 30 days. This second attempt must be for the same amount as the first (plus an NSF fee). The lender can’t make further withdrawals without express written consent from you.

Ultimately, your aim should be to avoid any of these things happening, so try to make arrangements with your lender beforehand.

Loan rollovers

Rollover loans are not allowed. This means lenders can’t extend or renew a payday loan with additional fees or provide a new payday loan to pay out the existing one.

What are some other things that payday lenders in Alberta cannot do?

  • When you apply for a payday loan, lenders cannot ask you to sign a form that transfers your wages directly to them.
  • A lender can’t let you take out multiple payday loans.
  • A lender can’t require a payday loan to be due less than one full banking day after you receive your pay or other income.
  • A lender can’t charge any other fees for the loan other than those referred to in the loan agreement.
  • A lender can’t make unauthorized withdrawals from your account.
  • A lender can’t take information from you that would give the lender or a third-party access to your bank account unless it is to be used for pre-authorized repayment of your loan.

What do I need to apply for a payday loan?

If you’re interested in applying for a payday loan in Alberta, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Provide proof of 3 months of continuous employment.
  • Give proof of address (e.g. you may need to show a utility bill).
  • Have an active chequing account.

To complete your application successfully, prepare to submit the following 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.

Interac e-Transfer payday loans in Alberta

Interac e-Transfers are a common way to fund online payday loans in Alberta. They’re convenient because they can be sent and received 24/7, even if your bank is closed or it’s outside of business hours. If you opt for an Interac e-Transfer payday loan, your lender will issue your funding via a money transfer link that’s sent to your email address. From there, you can select which bank you have an account with and log in to deposit your funds.

While bank direct deposit transfers can take up to a full business day for the funds to appear in your account, e-Transfers can end up in your account immediately.

What do I need to get a payday loan via Interac e-Transfer?

Beyond the basic requirements of a payday loan, you simply need online or mobile banking that supports Interac e-Transfer. This should be available if your account is with a major bank, but check that you’re registered for Interac e-Transfer first. You can do so by signing into your bank account online and entering your personal details.

What to consider before applying for a payday loan

Payday loans come with high fees and tight repayments terms. Because of the high costs, there’s always a risk that taking out a payday loan may ignite an endless cycle of debt.

Before applying for a payday loan, consider the following:

  • Are you eligible for any lower cost loans? You may be able to qualify for a cheaper source of financing, such as an installment loan, line of credit or personal loan.
  • Will the repayments be manageable by you? Most lenders outline the APR that will be charged before you apply for a loan. Work out if this will be manageable with your current budget before proceeding.
  • What are you using the loan for? Payday loans are a Band-Aid solution and aren’t designed to fix long-term financial problems. If you have substantial financial problems, consider credit counselling.
  • Is the lender legit? Make sure the lender you’re choosing to work with is appropriately accredited with a payday lending licence in your province and follows provincial regulations.

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. While your lender should display its licence number, you can cross-check with the Service Alberta Consumer Contact Centre by calling 1-877-427-4088 or search its online database to make sure that your lender is licensed.
  • It doesn’t allow roll-overs 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 borrowed.

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.

  • Charging illegally high interest rates or fees. You may end up paying more than $15 per $100 borrowed or be faced with hidden charges and fees.
  • Identity theft. Unlicensed lenders sometimes sell customer information 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 customers’ bank accounts if they’re unable to make repayments.

Unlicensed lenders can operate outside 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 money.

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 licence, slapping it with a penalty and even filing a civil action to get a settlement for customers if the lender is facing numerous complaints.

Payday loan alternatives

If you’re not sure you want to take out a payday loan, you have other options when it comes to financial assistance and other forms of credit.

Financial assistance

  • Income support for low-income individuals to cover expenses like food, clothing and rent.
  • Alberta Affordable Housing provides subsidized rental housing to low-income families, seniors and individuals.
  • Alberta alis may be able to provide you with money and help to find a job during temporary financial difficulties.
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) helps people with disabilities who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food and housing.

Other forms of credit

  • Credit card cash advances. You can use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or bank instead of relying on a payday loan. These cash advances come with higher interest rates than conventional purchasing, and you’ll start accumulating interest from the moment you withdraw the funds.
  • Bank overdraft. If your bank account is in good standing, you may be eligible for a small personal loan or overdraft. Contact your current bank to discuss your eligibility.
  • Installment loans. These types of loans are for small amounts of money. You pay back your repayments over time in installments.
  • Credit union loans. Credit unions and other small banks sometimes offer small loans to their existing customers. Salary advances can be applied for and repaid on your next payday, often for more reasonable rates.
  • Line of credit. A line of credit can provide you with an ongoing and convenient way to withdraw funds whenever you need to up to a predetermined limit. You only pay interest on what you borrow and not on the entire credit limit.

Alternatives to a payday loan

Payday loans in Alberta vs credit card cash advance

The table below shows the fees and APRs for a payday loan versus a credit card cash advance.

Amount borrowed (over 42 days)Payday loanCredit card cash advance (23% APR + 5% fee)
$300$45 (130.36% APR)$7.94 + $15 = $22.94
$600$90 (130.36% APR)$15.88 + $30 = $45.88
$900$135 (130.36% APR)$23.82 + $45 = $68.82

Bottom line

If you’re considering taking out a payday loan, familiarize yourself with the laws in Alberta. Be wary of unlicensed lenders and make sure to pay back your loan on time to avoid paying interest and fees. Remember that there are better short-term financing alternatives than a payday loan, so compare your options before signing on the dotted line.

Frequently asked questions

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