Payday loans in Québec are a lot of people’s first stop when they need fast cash. However, the Québec government has put some strict restrictions on payday loans to where it has become largely unprofitable for payday loan companies to operate in the province like they do in the rest of Canada.
But don’t worry, there are still many options for people with all types of credit scores who need money in a hurry. This guide breaks down regulations for payday loans in Québec, and explores loan options to help you stay afloat between paycheques.
Can you get a payday loan in Québec?
Yes, it is possible to get payday loans in Québec, although your options will be limited. The Québec government has set the maximum annual interest rate (AIR) on payday loans to 35%, which has resulted in payday lenders being effectively banned from the province.
For example, if you take out a 2 month loan of $1,000 with an annual interest rate of 35%, the interest that you will pay will amount to $43.96. This makes payday loans a largely unprofitable service for lenders.
Here are the rules surrounding payday loans in Québec:
In Québec, the Consumer Protection Act protects those who take out payday loans. Québec has tight laws governing financial services – and these laws are especially tight when it comes to payday loans.
- You can’t be charged more than 35% annual interest rate (AIR).
- High risk loans have a 10-day cooling-off period in Québec.
- Lenders cannot ask you to sign a form that transfers your wages directly to them.
- Lenders cannot offer or sell you any products or services in connection with the payday loan.
⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loansHigh-cost payday loans are unsustainable for borrowing over a continued period of time and are expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing. View payday costs and regulations by province here. 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). You may also want to consider payday loan alternatives.
Can I get payday loans in Québec with no credit check?
Yes, it’s possible to get payday loans in Québec with no credit check from a selection of lenders who operate in the province. Instead of focusing on your credit score, these lenders will want to determine if you meet other basic eligibility requirements, like having a minimum income from a stable source.
Can I get no refusal payday loans in Québec?
While you may find some lenders in Québec who offer no refusal payday loans, you should be careful of any such lender. Any legitimate lender will want to thoroughly assess your finances to ensure you can afford repayments before offering you a loan. If a payday loan provider advertises no refusal loans, it might be a scam. It’s always a good idea to research the legitimacy of any lender you’re considering before signing up for a loan.
How can I apply for a payday loan in Québec?
If you’re interested in applying for payday loans in Québec, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Provide proof of 3 months of continuous employment
- Show 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 Québec cost?
Lenders in Québec are only allowed to charge a 35% annual interest rate on payday loans, which is comparable to the rate you might pay for a cash advance on your credit card.
Although the interest rate might be capped, it’s still important to watch our for other fees that can rapidly increase the overall cost. These fees can include a weekly membership fee, guarantee fee or brokerage fee, and can cost hundreds of dollars on top of the interest charge depending on how much you borrow.
Instead of looking at the annual interest rate (AIR) when comparing loan offers, it’s better to compare the annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account both the interest rate and all other fees that contribute to the cost of getting your loan.
Even if a lender offers a lower interest rate than another, it could still have a higher APR once you take into account all of the added fees.
Types of payday loan alternatives available in Québec
Since payday loans in Québec have been so highly restricted by the government, other viable loan options have emerged for people looking for fast, bad credit personal financing in Quebec, including installment loans and bad credit personal loans.
The amounts you can borrow for both installment and bad credit personal loans in Quebec will vary based on the lender, but can typically start as low as $500. You’ll have to repay your loan over a set term.
Lenders operating in Québec who offer these types of loans tend to have more lenient eligibility requirements when it comes to factors like your credit score and income.
Compare bad credit loans in Québec
How can I tell if a lender in Québec is legit?
Québec has strict regulations for lenders, with a maximum allowable annual interest rate of 35%on payday loans. Look for the following signs to make sure you’re working with a legitimate lender.
- The lender follows rate and fee regulations. Stay away from lenders that don’t follow the 35% annual interest rate maximum.
- It doesn’t allow roll-overs or multiple loans. Québec law doesn’t allow payday lenders to give out multiple loans, or to allow borrowers to use a second payday loan to pay off the current one.
- 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 in French, the contract must be in French.
Watch out for unlicensed lenders
The capped annual interest rate has put the majority of brick-and-mortar payday loan lenders in the province out of business. That being said, unlicensed and online lenders still operate in Québec, often charging higher than allowable rates. Since online sources are much harder to regulate, it’s difficult for the government to get these websites shut down.
This is why it’s essential that you know the regulations surrounding payday loans in Québec so that you can avoid online scammers.
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. You’ll need to watch out for the following:
- 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 Québec allows lenders to charge.
- 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 for Québec to prosecute them. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your lender is licensed to operate in Québec before you borrow.
How to file a complaint against a lender
If you want to file a complaint against a lender, you can contact Consumer Protection Québec at 1 888 672-2556, who will act on your behalf to contact the lender. If they find that your lender violated provincial law, they 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.
Other options to consider instead of payday loans in Québec
Since Québec payday loans are hard to come by in this province, you have other loan options. Here are some programs and lenders you might want to check out.
Québec assistance programs
Québec has some programs that can help lower the costs of everyday expenses for some residents and newcomers who are struggling to make ends meet.
- Social Assistance provides last-resort financial assistance to individuals who do not have a severely limited capacity for employment and who are unable to provide for their basic needs because of their financial situation.
- Child assistance payment provides low-income families with financial assistance to cover expenses like medical bills, food, rent and utility bills.
- Resettlement Assistance Program provides financial assistance to refugees and protected persons for accommodations, essential clothing, household effects and living expenses.
- Disability Income Support helps those with disabilities who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food and housing.
Local financial institutions
There are a number of credit unions and local banks that may offer short-term financing for a fraction of the cost of regular payday loans. Some financial institutions also offer 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. Once you build up your credit score, you’ll be eligible for much more competitive and affordable financial products.
If you’re struggling with your personal finances, you might want to also consider enrolling in a credit counselling program. These can help you make a budget and manage your debts. Explore debt consolidation loans in Québec with our full guide.
If you find yourself in need of a payday loan, consider other options before applying. Since payday loans are hard to come by in Québec due to strict regulations, you’re likely better off applying for am installment loan, personal loan, using your credit card or borrowing money from friends and family to make ends meet between paycheques.
If you do decide to take out a Québec payday loan online, make sure you know the risks and look for the best deal on rates and fees. Be wary of unlicensed lenders and pay back your loan on time and in full to avoid paying additional fees.
Frequently asked questions about payday loans in Québec?
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