Payday loans may be expensive but can help cover unexpected short-term expenses in between paycheques. Here’s where you can get payday loans in Ontario, how much you can borrow, fees you can expect to pay and how to tell the difference between legitimate payday lenders and scammers.
We’ll also show you alternative loan options and financial assistance programs available in Ontario to help you get some extra cash and stay on top of your finances.
Quick facts about payday loans in Ontario
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Loan term: Usually 5 – 40 days
- Maximum cost: $15 for every $100 borrowed
Popular payday loan providers in Ontario include MyCanadaPayday.com, Cash 4 You, iCash and Cash Money. Check out our reviews of each to learn more about loan options, eligibility requirements, what to watch out for and more.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
Payday 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 these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
- Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors or your electricity, gas, phone or water providers about extending payment due dates or working out a new payment plan.
- Consider a personal loan. A personal loan usually comes with much lower interest rates than a payday loan.
- Pay with credit card. While not a long term solution, paying with credit card can help cover emergency expenses. You’ll need to pay off the balance before it accrues interest.
Cash Money Payday Loan
- Minimum loan amount:
- Maximum loan amount: $1,500
- Interest Rate: Varies by Province
- Fees: Up to $17 per $100 borrowed (rounded to nearest dollar)
- Loan term: 12-14 days. Varies by Province
- Turnaround time: In as little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer® if approved
- Key requirements: Be 18+ years old, provide proof of recurring income
How much do payday loans in Ontario cost?
Payday lenders in Ontario are allowed to charge up to $15 for every $100 borrowed, which is one of the lowest rates in Canada. 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||APR (%)|
|$1,000||$500||$15 per $100||$75||$575||391.07%|
Since many providers 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 how long you borrow a payday loan for.
|Amount borrowed||Cost of loan||Total repayment amount||7 day loan APR||14 day loan APR||30 day loan APR|
Other forms of financing can be much cheaper than a payday loan. The table 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%)|
How do I apply for payday loan?
- Be at least 18 years old
- Prove 3 months of continuous employment
- Give proof of address (e.g., lenders can ask to see a utility bill)
- Have an active chequing account
- Personal details, such as your name, date of birth, Social Insurance Number (SIN) and a valid form of ID
- Contact details, such as your residential address, email address and phone number
- Details about your employment and income
Compare payday loans in Ontario
Check the websites of any lenders you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your province or territory of residence.
Do payday loans require a credit check?
Typically, payday loan providers don’t perform a hard credit check. But they may perform a soft credit check, which pulls up basic information on your history or borrowing and repaying funds and doesn’t hurt your credit score. Often, you’ll be able to qualify for a loan even if your credit score isn’t up to snuff.
Can I get a no-credit-check loan?
No-credit-check loans often come with higher fees and interest rates but can be tempting if you have a bad or poor credit rating.
Long-term loans – which are used to pay for large purchases like a car, home or vacation – usually require a credit check. So, if you come across a lender offering some form of term loans or installment loan, and no credit check is required, this may be a signal that the lender is unlicensed or operating unethically. For your own security, it makes more sense to look for long-term lenders that at least perform a soft pull on your credit.
Are payday loans in Ontario regulated?
Yes. It is legal to get a payday loan in Ontario, however the federal Consumer Financial Protection Action Plan contains regulations that prevent lenders from taking advantage of borrowers. Additionally, every province has its own rules on how much you can borrow with a payday loan and the maximum fees that lenders can charge. In Ontario, these rules are outlined in the Payday Loans Act (2018). Regulations include:
- 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 loan by the due date.
- The maximum amount you can borrow is $1,500.
- You can’t borrow more than 50% of your net income.
- Loans usually must be paid off within 5 – 40 days.
- You can’t get a new loan until you pay off your first one.
- The maximum loan term is 62 days.
- 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 two days to do so without facing a penalty. You also don’t have to provide a reason for cancelling.
- Lenders must offer you an extended payment plan if you take out three loans within a 63-day period.
- Lenders cannot offer or sell you any products or services in connection with the payday loan.
How can I tell if a payday lender in Ontario is legit?
The easiest way to make sure a lender is legit is to check their credentials with Consumer Protection Ontario. Look for the following signs to make sure you’re working with a reputable business.
- The lender displays an Ontario licence number. Always check that a lender is licensed; be aware that there are companies that pose online as payday loan lenders but are actually just collecting your personal information to sell to actual payday lenders.
- It doesn’t allow roll-overs or multiple loans. Ontario law doesn’t allow payday lenders to give out multiple loans. You also cannot roll-over your loan, meaning you can’t add what you owe on one payday loan onto a second payday loan.
- It provides contracts in the language you use to communicate with your lender. This means that if you and your lender communicate in English, your contract must be in English. If you communicate in Spanish, your contract must be in Spanish.
- It follows fee regulations. Stay away from lenders who charge more than $15 in fees per $100 borrowed.
How to spot a payday loan scam
Borrowing online can be a lot more convenient than visiting a payday lender in person. But it also comes with a higher chance of borrowing from an unlicensed lender. Consumer Protection Ontario warns borrowers against the following risks of borrowing from an unlicensed lender:
- Illegally high interest rates or fees. If you aren’t borrowing from a lender that’s working legally, there’s a chance you’ll end up paying more than Ontario allows lenders to charge you.
- Identity theft. Unlicensed lenders sometimes sell personal financial information to third parties, which could potentially lead to identity theft or a hacked bank account.
- Funds taken from your bank account without your permission. Some unlicensed lenders illegally withdraw money from borrower’s bank accounts if they’re unable to make repayments.
Unlicensed lenders can operate out of the province or even outside of Canada, making it difficult to be prosecuted by Ontario authorities. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your lender is licensed to operate in Ontario before you borrow.
Check out sites like Trustpilot, the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Protection Ontario to read customer reviews and find out about complaints and legal actions (if any) against lenders you’re interest in.
How to file a complaint against a lender
If you want to file a complaint against a lender, you can send it a preliminary letter of complaint. If the lender fails to respond, you can contact Consumer Protection Ontario, who will act on your behalf to contact the lender.
If Consumer Protection Ontario 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.
There are 4 ways to file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario: Fill out an online form, email email@example.com, fax 416-326-8665 or send your complaint by mail. Visit this page on the Consumer Protection Ontario website to learn more.
Alternatives to payday loans in Ontario
If you’re not sure you want to take out a payday loan, you have other options. Here are some programs and lenders you might want to check out.
Ontario assistance programs
Ontario has some programs that can help lower the costs of everyday expenses for some residents and newcomers who are struggling to make ends meet.
- Ontario child benefit provides low-income families with financial assistance to cover expenses like medical bills, food, rent and utility bills.
- Ontario Works can provide you with money and help you find a job during temporary financial difficulties.
- Resettlement Assistance Program provides financial assistance to refugees and protected persons for accommodations, essential clothing, household effects and living expenses.
- Income Assistance Program provides funding to First Nation communities to help their eligible members meet basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter.
- Ontario Disability Income Support 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 less expensive small-dollar financing amounts with longer repayment terms. You could also look into credit builder loans, which come in small amounts and can help you improve your credit score by reporting every on-time repayment you make to credit bureaus. You also typically have more time to pay it off.
If you’re struggling with your personal finances, you might want to consider enrolling in a credit counselling program. These programs can help you make a budget and manage your debts for the long-term.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to deal with a short-term financial problem, then a payday loan might be just the ticket. If you don’t think that you can pay back your loan on time, look into other alternatives like borrowing through a line of credit from your local bank or taking out a cash advance from your credit card.