Payday loans in Nova Scotia
You'll pay a maximum of $19 in fees for every $100 you borrow.
If you need some fast cash to tide you over until your next paycheque, you might be thinking about getting a payday loan. While it’s one of the most expensive ways to borrow money, payday loans are easy to get and convenient.
We’ve designed this guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of cash advance payday loans in Nova Scotia, so that you have as much information as possible to make an informed decision before applying.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loansPayday 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 alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
- Local resources. Government agencies, nonprofits and local charities often offer free financial services and help with food, utilities and rent for those in need.
- Payment extensions. Talk with your bill providers about a longer payment plan or extension on your due date if you're behind on payments.
- Side jobs. Today's digital marketplace offers the ability to more easily sell unwanted items, sign up for food delivery or drive for rideshare services.
Can I get a payday loan in Nova Scotia?
Yes, payday loans are legal in Nova Scotia. Each province has its own rules that regulate payday loans. In Nova Scotia, the Consumer Protection Act and Payday Lenders Regulations help protect those who take out payday loans.
Here are the rules surrounding payday loans in Nova Scotia:
- You can’t be charged more than $19 in fees for every $100 borrowed.
- The maximum charge for a late payment is $40, or up to 60% interest if you pay late.
- The maximum amount you can borrow is $1,500.
- Loans usually must be paid off within 62 days.
- You can’t get a new loan until you pay off your first one.
- Lenders cannot ask you to sign a form that transfers your wages directly to them.
- Roll-over loans are not allowed. This means you can’t roll over what you owe into a second payday loan.
- Should you change your mind and want to cancel your payday loan, you have until the next business day to do so without facing a penalty. You also don’t have to provide a reason for cancelling.
Four quick facts about payday loans in Nova Scotia
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Minimum loan term: 1 – 2 weeks
- Maximum loan term: 62 days
- Maximum interest: $19 for every $100 that you borrow
Compare payday loans in Nova Scotia
Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province or territory of residence.
Maximum borrowing costsYou should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts and costs as they may vary from our results. The table below shows the maximum allowable cost of borrowing under a payday loan for each province:
|Province||Maximum allowable cost of borrowing|
|Alberta||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|British Columbia||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Manitoba||$17 per $100 borrowed|
|New Brunswick||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$21 per $100 borrowed|
|Northwest Territories, Nunavut & the Yukon||$60 per $100 borrowed|
|Nova Scotia||$19 per $100 borrowed|
|Ontario||$15 per $100 borrowed|
|Prince Edward Island||$25 per $100 borrowed|
|Quebec||Limit of 35% annual interest rate (AIR)|
|Saskatchewan||$17 per $100 borrowed|
What fees will I have to pay?
Nova Scotia allows lenders to charge up to $19 for every $100 borrowed, which is higher than the national average for Canada – most provinces charging between $15 – $17.
The comparison below 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 Nova Scotia?
Most lenders won’t do a credit check when issuing a payday loan. Instead, they’ll be more interested in you having:
- An active chequing account
- A permanent address (and proof of it)
- Three months of continuous employment (and proof of it)
This lenient criteria can be easy to meet – with the added bonus of not having to prove you’re a responsible borrower. However, some lenders who don’t do credit checks might be more likely to be predatory and illegitimate. This is why it’s important to do your research and use a reputable lender – whether they do a credit check or not.
What should I keep in mind before applying?
Sine payday loans are excruciatingly expensive, only take one out if you’ll be able to pay it back in full by the due date. Otherwise, consider alternative short-term financing options such as personal loans or credit builder loans.
If you do decide to take out a payday loan, it’s important to borrow only as much as you’ll be able to repay and to budget your repayments accordingly. If you default on your loan or the loan goes into collections, you’ll receive a negative mark on your credit report that can stay there for up to six years. Make sure to budget for the amount of money you plan to take out, and use a licensed lender.
How can I tell if a lender in Nova Scotia is legit?
The best way to make sure a lender is legit is to check their credentials with Service Nova Scotia. Look for the following signs to make sure you’re working with a reputable business.
- The lender displays a Nova Scotia licence number. A licence is required to be displayed in-shop by the lender. You can also contact Service Nova Scotia at 1-800-670-4357 to check if a lender is licensed.
- The lender displays fees. Payday loan lenders must have posters showing the rates they charge. Signs must be posted in both official languages and must be visible to borrowers.
- It doesn’t allow roll-overs or multiple loans. Nova Scotia law doesn’t allow payday lenders to give out multiple loans, or allow borrowers to use a second payday loan to pay off the first one.
- It provides contracts in the language you use to communicate with your lender. Your lender can’t provide a contract in a language you don’t speak or aren’t comfortable conversing in. For example, if you communicate in French, the contract will need to be in French.
- It follows rate and fee regulations. Stay away from lenders who charge more than $19 per $100 borrowed.
Watch out for unlicensed lenders
Online lenders can be a fast and convenient way to deal with short-term financial difficulties – but they come with their own share of risk, since they’re often not regulated by the province of Nova Scotia. When applying online for a payday loan, watch out for the following:
- Illegally high interest rates or fees. Some lenders will charge fees above $19 per every $100 borrowed, which means you’ll pay higher than the legal maximum to get your hands on fast cash.
- Identity theft. Online lenders might misuse your personal information, putting you at risk of 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 to help cover the cost of loan repayment.
Online lenders often operate outside of the province or even the country, making it difficult to track their movements or prosecute them if they do something illegal. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your lender is licensed to operate in Nova Scotia before you borrow money.
How to file a complaint against a lender
You can contact Service Nova Scotia at 1-800-670-4357 to discuss your options for filing a complaint. They will typically conduct an investigation if they believe that a payday loan company has breached Nova Scotia’s consumer protection laws.
Payday loan alternatives in Nova Scotia
Payday loans are short-term, high interest rate loans which are often the most expensive way to get your hands on emergency money. Consider your options carefully before borrowing from a payday lender. Here are some alternatives to payday loans:
Nova Scotia assistance programs
Nova Scotia has a number of programs that can provide some much-needed relief for residents and newcomers who are struggling to make ends meet.
- Income assistance program helps people in financial need with basic necessities such as food, rent, utilities and clothing.
- Affordable Housing program provides subsidized rental housing to low-income families, seniors and individuals who cannot afford other housing options.
- Employment Support Services (ESS) offers career counselling advice and assistance to people who are struggling to find or maintain employment.
- Disability Support Program (DSP) gives support to individuals with intellectual/physical disabilities or long term mental illness.
Local financial institutions
Many credit unions and local banks have developed low-interest short-term loan programs with more flexible repayment options for those who need a bit of quick financial help. Some institutions even offer credit builder programs which provide smaller loans that can help build up your credit score and ultimately help you get better rates on personal loans.
If you have an overwhelming amount of debt and aren’t sure how to reign in your finances, you might like to register for Service Nova Scotia’s Debt Assistance Program or another credit counselling program. These programs can help you with budgeting and consolidating your debts.
How can I apply for a payday loan?
If you’re interested in applying for a payday loan in Nova Scotia, 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., 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
If you need some fast cash in the short-term, consider your alternatives before taking out a payday loan. If you don’t have another viable option, be sure to shop around for a payday loan with competitive terms that abide by the laws of Nova Scotia. Be wary of unlicensed lenders and pay back your loan on time to avoid paying additional fees or interest.