Payday loan regulations in Canada

Learn whether your province or territory has regulations surrounding payday loans – and find out how much it might cost you to borrow one.

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Regulations for payday loans vary between provinces and territories. The rules in your specific location have a huge effect on what lenders can charge, as well as how much you can borrow and whether you can borrow more than one payday loan at a time. As a borrower, it’s important for you to be aware of the regulations in your province or territory so you can make sure your loan has the right terms and fees as dictated by the government. Read on to learn about the legislation that applies to each province.

⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans

If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the Credit Counselling Canada on 1800 007 007. It is open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged.

Alternatives to short-term loans

Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:

  • Use online Government resources. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website demonstrates how small amount loans work – and suggests alternative options that may help you.
  • Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
  • Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you. Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
  • Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.
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Are payday loans available in your province or territory?

Payday loans are available in all provinces and territories across Canada. You should be aware that payday loans are regulated by individual provinces, meaning costs and terms can vary. Ensure that any lender you choose abides by the regulations of your province of residence.

While all provinces have unique legislation at the provincial level, the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not have territorial legislation regulating payday loans, and are instead overseen by the federal government.

Find payday loans in your province

Check the website of any lender you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province of residence.

Name Product Max. Loan Amount Serviced Provinces/Territories Turnaround Time Term of Loan Interest Rate
Cash Money Payday Loan
$1,500
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Within 2 hours with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
12-14 days. Varies by Province
Varies by Province
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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.

What are lenders allowed to charge you?

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or the fee that you’ll pay to borrow money is one of the main costs you will need to consider with a payday loan. In all provinces, regulations restrict the maximum fee a lender is allowed to charge – and the fee is typically shown as both an APR as well as a dollar amount per $100 borrowed (ex. $15 fee per $100 borrowed). In the three territories, there is no legislation which means payday loans are regulated at the federal level. The federal level sets the maximum charge at $60 in fees per $100 borrowed.

Make sure you know the total cost of a loan before you borrow the money based on your province or territory of residence. While fees are capped per $100 borrowed, you could incur more interest charges or fees if you fail to pay your loan back on time and in full.

Learn the ins and outs of payday lending

How much you can borrow and how long you have to repay

The maximum borrowing amount for a payday loan is $1,500. Some provinces also impose additional limits on how much you can borrow. These limits are generally affected by how much money you bring home a month from your job, with maximum limits sitting between 30-50% of your monthly salary.

Payday loans are meant to last until your next payday. This means that a typical loan term will be two to four weeks. Loan terms are usually capped at a maximum of 62 days. Make sure the amount you’re borrowing and the payment plan aligns with your budget and your pay schedule, as well as the local provincial or territorial regulations.

Frequently asked questions

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