Payday loans are loans that are meant to cover unforeseen emergency expenses between paycheques. Consumers need to be careful with payday loans. While they can be convenient and easy to get if you’re in a pinch, these loans are a short-term solution and the least affordable way to get your hands on money.
We’ve designed this guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of cash advance payday loans in BC, so that you have as much information as possible to make an informed decision before signing on the dotted line.
Quick facts about payday loans in BC
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Loan term: up to 62 days
- Maximum cost: $15 for every $100 borrowed
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loansPayday 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.
Compare payday loans in BC
Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province or territory of residence.
Maximum borrowing costs per provinceAlways 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||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Manitoba & Saskatchewan||$17 per $100 borrowed|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$21 per $100 borrowed|
|Prince Edward Island||$25 per $100 borrowed|
|Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon||$60 per $100 borrowed|
|Quebec||Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)|
Can I get a payday loan in British Columbia?
Yes, payday loans are legal in British Columbia. Each province has its own rules that regulate payday loan terms and costs. Payday lenders have been regulated in BC since 2009, protecting borrowers by setting a maximum allowable cost of borrowing and by providing cancellation rights to borrowers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Action Plan helps protect people in British Columbia who take out payday loans.
Here’s a closer look at the rules surrounding payday loans in BC:
- You can’t be charged more than $15 in fees for every $100 borrowed.
- A lender can charge additional fees if you don’t pay your payday loan on time.
- The maximum amount you can borrow is $1,500.
- The maximum term for this type of loan is 62 days.
- You can only take out one payday loan at a time.
- You can’t borrow more than 50% of your paycheque.
- Insurance is optional, and it’s okay to tell the payday lender that you don’t want insurance. A lender is not allowed to sell you insurance for your loan nor can they require it.
- A lender is not allowed to sell you insurance for your loan, nor can they require it.
- Payday loans are always unsecured – you should never pay money upfront to cover a deposit to secure your payday loan.
- Should you change your mind and cancel your payday loan, you’ll have 2 days to do so without facing a penalty. This is called a “cooling off” period to cancel your loan.
- Roll-over loans are not allowed in BC. This means you can’t pay off your payday loan by taking out a second payday loan.
- Payday lenders in BC can’t ask you to sign a form that transfers your wages directly to them.
Overall, payday loans are meant to cover a short-term cash shortage until your next paycheque. If you take out a payday loan, make sure you have adequate funds to repay your loan on time by your next paycheque to avoid extra fees and charges.
How can I apply for a payday loan?
If you’re interested in applying for payday loans in BC, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be at least 19 years old
- Provide proof of 3 months of continuous employment
- Give proof of address (e.g., they can ask to see a utility bill)
- Have an active 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
How much do payday loans in BC cost?
Payday loans are notorious for their high interest charges. British Columbia allows lenders to charge up to $15 for every $100 borrowed, which is one of the lowest rates for payday loans in Canada, but one of the highest annual rates for loans. Payday lenders in BC can’t give you a loan for more than 50% of your paycheque and the loan agreement must list all of the charges, terms and conditions of the loan. While the longest term you can take on a payday loan is 62 days in BC, most lenders will require you to pay back your loan by your next payday.
Example: If your previous paycheque is $1,000, the most you can borrow is $500. If you take out a 14 day payday loan, the chart below shows you the maximum you can be charged.
|Paycheque||Max loan||Max charge||Cost of interest||Repayment Amount||Annual percentage rate (APR)|
|$1,000||$500||$15 per $100||$75||$575||391.07%|
Since most payday lenders in BC require that you borrow a payday loan for at least 7 days, the maximum APR you’ll face (with a 7-day payday loan) is 782.14% – no matter the amount you borrow (up to the maximum of $1,500, of course). Let’s take a look at how the APR can change depending on the term of your payday loan.
|Amount borrowed||Cost of loan||Total repayment amount||7-day loan APR||14-day loan APR||30-day loan APR|
You have 2 business days to cancel a contract for a payday loan without having to pay a fee. If your payday loan isn’t paid on time, you’ll likely be on the hook for additional fees and your loan will accumulate interest, making your financial situation worse.
The table below shows the fees you will pay for a payday loan versus a credit card and a line of credit.
|Loan Amount (over 2 weeks)||Payday loan fee||Credit card fee (23%)||Line of Credit (7% + $5 fee)|
Are there instant payday loans in BC?
Yes, BC lenders provide instant payday loans, which you can get online or in-store. With an instant payday loan, lenders expedite the application process, providing quick approval and instant processing so you can get funding in as little as minutes after loan approval.
For a seamless process, the onus is on you to make sure you’re eligible for the payday loan and that you’ve provided all the documentation required to secure your loan. If you’re missing information, your lender will circle back to ask you for supplemental information, which can delay the application process.
Documents and information you may need to provide include the following:
- Proof of identification, such as a driver’s licence
- Proof of income, such as pay stubs or bank statements
- Contact information, such as your phone number or email address
- Bank account information
Lenders that provide instant payday loans in BC include the following:
- Cash Money (online and in-store)
- iCASH (online only)
- GoDay (online only)
- MyCanadaPayday.com (online only)
Online payday loans in BC
If convenience is important to you, you may prefer to apply for a payday loan from the comfort of your home. The majority of payday lenders provide borrowers with the option to apply for a payday loan online, while a select few add in-person and over-the-phone services. Online payday loans in BC are subject to the same provincial regulations as in-store payday loans.
If you prefer to apply for a payday loan completely online, simply check on the lender of your choice’s website and navigate to the application page. Most lenders have quick, easy-to-follow applications that can be completed and submitted within 5 to 10 minutes. Compare online payday loans in BC.
Are there online payday loans in BC with no credit check?
This really depends on the lender. In many cases, online payday lenders run a credit check, while others don’t. A credit check is a key step for a lender to determine whether you can manage your loan repayments.
How are payday loans in BC paid out?
You can receive the funds from your payday loan in BC in various ways, depending on your individual preferences and which payday lender you opt to go with. Payday lenders can provide these options:
- Interac e-Transfer. Across the board, e-transfer payday loans in BC are the most common. In this case, once your lender approves your payday loan, it will issue your funds via an Interac e-Transfer so you can receive the cash directly from your bank account.
- Cash. If your lender has a physical location close to you, you can head over to a local branch and apply for and receive your payday loan funding in cold hard cash. This is another way to access payday loan funding immediately upon approval.
- Loaded onto a prepaid card. A few payday lenders transfer funds directly onto a prepaid card tied to your payday loan account, handing the card to you in person or mailing it to your home so you can spend as needed. Read more about getting a payday loan on a prepaid card.
How can I tell if a lender in British Columbia is legit?
The best way to make sure a lender of payday loans in BC is legit is to check their credentials with Consumer Protection BC. Look for the following signs to make sure you’re working with a reputable business:
- The lender displays a British Columbia licence number. Contact Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963 to check if a lender is licensed in the province. They should also display their license number online and at all physical locations. Some, such as Cash Money, even include their licence number prominently on their website or at some point during the online application process.
- The lender displays costs. Payday loan lenders must display posters showing the rates they charge.
- It doesn’t allow roll-overs or multiple loans. British Columbia law doesn’t allow payday lenders to give out multiple loans.
- It provides same-language contracts. Your lender only provides contracts in a language you can speak comfortably. This means that if you and your lender communicate in English, your contract must be in English. If you communicate in French, your contract must be in French.
- It follows consumer protection laws. Stay away from lenders who charge more than $15 per $100 borrowed in BC.
Watch out for unlicensed lenders
The Internet has made it easier than ever to get access to payday loans. Some lenders may be across the country or even across the world – which means they’re illegally distributing loans in BC. If you’re thinking about taking out an online payday loan in BC, make sure that you’re dealing with a licensed business and be aware of potential risks.
- Illegally high interest rates or fees. Some lenders will charge more than $15 per $100 borrowed, which means you might end up paying much more for your loan that you would if you chose a legitimate lender.
- Identity theft. Online lenders might sell your personal information to third-parties, putting you at risk of identity theft or a hacked bank account.
- Funds taken from your bank account without your permission. Some online or unlicensed lenders have been known to resort to illegal ways to seek repayment from borrowers, including withdrawing money from their bank accounts or garnishing their wages.
Check that online lenders are licensed, to be sure they’re following BC laws and not charging excessive interest rates. Read the fine print to make an informed decision about your loan and watch out for red flags to avoid running into further financial difficulties along the way.
How to file a complaint against a lender
You can contact Consumer Protection BC to discuss your options for filing a complaint. You can start a complaint by filling out an online form or by touching base with a customer service agent. The organization will typically conduct an investigation if they believe that a payday loans company has breached British Columbia’s consumer protection laws.
Loan alternatives in British Columbia
Before taking out a payday loan, try the following alternatives. They can help solve your immediate money shortage, while keeping you out of long-term debt.
British Columbia assistance programs
British Columbia has a number of programs that can provide some much-needed relief to residents and newcomers who are struggling to make ends meet financially.
- BC Employment and Assistance Program helps people in financial need with monetary support and employment assistance. For more, visit the BCEA website.
- Affordable Housing Program offers a range of housing support programs, as well as affordable and subsidized housing for low-income families and seniors.
- Disability Assistance gives financial support to individuals who are designated as Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in the province.
Local financial institutions
Many credit unions and local banks have developed short-term loan programs to counteract payday loan lenders. These programs offer lower costs and processing fees to eligible candidates. Some institutions even offer credit builder programs which provide small loans that can help build your credit score and provide short-term financial relief with longer repayment terms.
If you’re struggling under the weight of unpaid bills, then you might like to consider a credit counselling program. These programs provide free debt and credit help. Credit Counselling Society of BC is one option that can help you with budgeting and consolidating your debts.
If you need to get your hands on emergency money, consider the risks and know your rights before you sign on for a payday loan. Familiarize yourself with payday loan regulations in British Columbia to make sure you’re aware of the maximum amount of fees you can be charged, as well as other lending rules. Be wary of unlicensed lenders and pay back your loan on time to avoid paying additional fees or interest.
Frequently asked questions about payday loans in BC
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