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California cash advances

What you need to know if you’re considering a short-term loan.


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If you have less than perfect credit and find yourself in a financial emergency, you might be looking for an alternative to traditional bank loans. A payday loan, or cash advance, could get you through this rough patch, but understanding how these types of loans work is important. This guide will give you the information you need to make your decision. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a payday loan is a temporary fix, not a long-term solution.

Compare a selection of cash advances and short-term loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
Check Into Cash Payday Loan
1 to 2 business days
Bank account, email address, phone number, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 21+
Plus, get access to check cashing, cell phone top ups, bill pay and more at one of its many storefronts.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
Same business day to 1 business days
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
Possible Finance Mobile Installment Loans
As fast as 1 business day
Checking account with 3+ months of banking history, $750+ monthly income, live in eligible state, ages 18+
Borrow up to $500 with just a few swipes — but only for residents of 5 states.

Compare up to 4 providers

Are cash advances legal in California?

Yes, cash advances, also referred to as payday loans, are legal in California. The California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law sets regulations that govern the functioning of all cash advance providers here. Some of the regulations include:

  • All providers of California cash advances must have valid licenses to operate in this state.
  • The maximum you can borrow through a cash advance in California is $300.
  • The maximum loan term is 31 days.
  • Cash advance providers in California cannot initiate criminal proceedings against borrowers to collect unpaid loans.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan, also known as a cash advance, is a short-term personal loan (typically $500 or less) that usually must be repaid in full within two weeks to a month. The repayment date is determined by your pay schedule. Because payday loans come with steep finance charges, it is not a long-term solution, but a temporary fix to an unexpected financial situation. Rules and regulations for payday loans vary from state to state, and are even not permitted in some states.

Why you might consider taking out a cash advance in California

Here’s why California cash advance loans continue to remain popular:

  • Multiple options. When you’re looking for a cash advance in California you get to choose from a range of options. These come in the form of lenders that have physical locations as well as loan providers that limit their presence to the online world.
  • Bad credit is OK. A low credit score can work against you when it comes to getting a loan from a bank. If you have poor credit, you can consider applying for a cash advance, provided you can demonstrate your ability to repay.
  • Easy application process. Apply online or in person. In both cases, completing the application should take no more than a few minutes.
  • Get money quickly. If you submit your application at a store and are approved, you will get the cash you need as soon as you accept the loan’s contract. With online cash advances in California, some lenders transfer approved funds into borrowers’ bank accounts within one business day. Others may require you to wait longer.

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What fees can I be charged with a cash advance in California?

If you get a cash advance in California, know that state laws have restrictions in place to protect the interest of borrowers. Here’s what you may have to pay in different scenarios:

  • Maximum finance rate and fees. The maximum fee a lender can charge is limited to 15% of a check’s face value. The finance charge for a 14-day $100 loan is limited to $17.65. The maximum APR for a 14-day $100 loan is 459%.
  • Collection fees. A cash advance provider can charge an insufficient funds fee not in excess of $15, and only once. You don’t have to pay any fees for a late payment.
  • Rollover fees. While a lender may allow an extension or a payment plan, it cannot charge any additional fees or charges.

How do I apply for a cash advance in California?

You can apply for a cash advance online or by visiting a store. In both cases, you have to meet some eligibility criteria, which includes:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are an American citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You have a steady source of income

Completing the application successfully requires that you provide this information:

  • Your name and contact details
  • Your Social Security number and details from an acceptable form of ID such as your passport or driver’s license
  • Your employer’s name and contact details
  • Details about your income

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