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Payday loans for students

Going to school and need extra cash? Find out about payday loans for students.

Payday loans for college and university students are designed to provide extra cash to help you temporarily cover your urgent financial commitments. However, they’re extremely expensive and are only suitable as a last resort.

Read this guide to learn more about student payday loans and alternatives.

⚠️ Warning: Be cautious with payday loans
High-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.

Compare payday loans for students

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Loan Amount Loan Term APR Turnaround Time Serviced Provinces Offer Table description
iCash Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
7 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 2 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer®
24/7 instant approval and e-Transfer funding.
Same day cash up to $1,500 for car payments, rent, mortgage, home & appliance repair, and more. Income of at least $800/month required.
Money Mart Payday Loan
$120 - $1,500
1 - 62 days
Varies by province
As little as 1 hour after getting approved
To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age with a steady source of income and a chequing account. No credit check required.
Cash Money Payday Loan
$100 - $1,500
5 - 40 days
Varies by province
As little as 15 minutes with INTERAC e-Transfer®
Instant decision and e-Transfer funding. Income of at least $1,000/month required.
Maximum borrowing costs of payday loans per province
Always refer to your contract for exact repayment amounts and costs.
Province Max. cost of borrowing a $100 payday loan Cooling off period to cancel loan Max. penalty for returned cheque or pre-authorized debit
Alberta $15 2 business days $25
British Columbia $15 2 business days $20
Manitoba $17 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
New Brunswick $15 48 hours excluding Sundays and holidays $20
Newfoundland and Labrador $14 2 business days $20
Nova Scotia $15 Next business day (2 days for online loans) $40 (default penalty)
Ontario $15 2 business days $25
Prince Edward Island $15 2 business days N/A
Quebec Limit of 35% AIR N/A N/A
Saskatchewan $17 Next business day $25

How much is a payday loan for students?

The table below shows the fees and APRs for a student payday loan in Ontario versus a credit card cash advance. As you can see, a credit card cash advance is the cheaper option.

Amount borrowed (over 14 days)Cost of a payday loanCost of a credit card cash advance (23% APR + 5% fee)
$300$45 (391% APR)$2.65 + $15 = $17.65
$600$90 (391% APR)$5.29 + $30 = $35.29
$900$135 (391% APR)$7.94 + $45 = $52.94

Are you eligible for payday loans as a student?

You are eligible for a student payday loan as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • You’re at least 18 or 19, depending on your province.
  • You’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You have a steady source of income (even if it’s part time).
  • You have an active bank account.

Benefits of student payday loans

  • Fast. Get your money in one hour or less via e-transfer payday loans.
  • Easy to qualify. Payday loans are easier to get approved for compared to many other types of loans.

Risks of getting a payday loan as a student

  • Cycle of debt. Payday loans have excruciatingly high fees ($14 to $17 for every $100 borrowed) and short repayment terms. Before getting a payday loan, make sure you’ll have enough money to repay the loan by your next payday, and you’ll have enough money left in your bank account to pay for other debts and expenses. Otherwise, you might find yourself needing another payday loan.
  • Negative impact on your credit score. If you don’t make your repayments on time, a lender may report you to the credit bureau, which means your credit score will take a negative hit. Not all lenders will report you for late payments; this is at the discretion of the lender.
  • Disreputable lenders. Only apply to legitimate payday lender that is licensed and follows the payday loan regulations of your province.

What are some alternatives to payday loans for students?

If you’re strapped for cash, consider these payday loan alternatives first, as payday loans should be an absolute last resort:

  • Student aid. Reach out to your school’s financial aid office to ask about student loans or aid that you could apply for.
  • Financial assistance from non-profits. Non-profits near you might have grants available for people in need of emergency funding. Visit to get connected to the right support.
  • Friends or family. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but consider turning to your loved ones for help. Give them a detailed plan of how exactly you will repay them.
  • Credit counselling. If you’re struggling with debts, non-profits can give you free or low-cost advice on how to tackle them.
  • Student credit card. If you haven’t gotten one yet, a student credit card has much lower interest rates than payday loans.
  • Negotiate with your creditors. For example, you can ask your landlord whether you can make a partial payment for the next month.
  • Credit card cash advance. This is an expensive option, but it’s cheaper than getting a payday loan. With a credit card cash advance, you withdraw cash from an ATM using your credit card. Interest accrues the moment you withdraw, and it’s around 23% + a fee.
  • Installment loan. Installment loans are high-interest loans, but they have the benefit of breaking up your payments over several months. This gives you some breathing room in your monthly budget. Learn about the best installment loans.

How to get a payday loan as a student

If you believe a payday loan is right for you, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out an application. You’ll need to provide your name, address, employment, banking and housing information. Some payday lenders also require one or two references, such as friends, family or your employer.
  2. Get a decision. Find out within minutes whether you’re approved.
  3. Review your contract. Review the repayment schedule, loan amount and overall borrowing cost.
  4. Get funded. You’ll get your money via e-transfer or direct deposit.

      Bottom line

      While you may be able to qualify for a payday loan as a student, it’s important to realize that payday loans are a very expensive way to borrow. Make sure you can afford repayments, and consider other less expensive options like first talking with your school’s financial aid department or getting a credit cash advance.

      Frequently asked questions about student payday loans

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