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Payday loans, a type of short-term loan, can help you in an emergency if you're low on cash. Read on to get a better picture about what short-term lending is like in Florida.
Yes, short-term loans are legal in Florida. Florida requires all payday lenders to be licensed with the state and follow regulations.
You can find the main regulations in Florida Statutes Chapter 560.402 et seq.
Florida doesn't just regulate how much you can borrow and how long you can take to pay it back. It also has rules about how much your lender can charge you for a short-term loan.
Ready to start comparing short-term lenders? Check out how these three payday loan providers work in Florida.
CashNetUSA offers payday loans to Florida residents. These are traditional payday loans, meaning that you get your funds in one lump sum and pay it back in full within the next month, usually on your next payday. You can apply online and get approved within minutes, getting your money as soon as the next business day. If you get your salary in the form of a paper check, CashNetUSA gives you a one-day grace period to let it clear.
Check Into Cash has both online and in-store options for Florida residents who need a payday loan. Applying typically takes around five minutes and you can get your funds as soon as the next business day. But watch out young borrowers: Even though the age of majority on Florida is 18, this lender is only open to borrowers 21 and above.
Go to Check into Cash's site
Having difficulty finding a lender that works for you? Don't have time to apply for multiple offers from different lenders. BadCreditLoans.com is a connection service that can help you get multiple offers from short-term lenders in Florida.
You can get connected with lenders in just a few minutes by filling out a quick online application. Many of its partners offer funding in as little as 24 hours. Loan amounts, fees and turnaround time varies by lender.
Go to Badcreditloans.com's site
Florida only lets borrowers take out one payday loan at a time. You also can't rollover or renew your payday loan if you can't afford to pay it off when your due date comes up. In fact, you aren't allowed to take out another payday loan until 24 hours after you paid off your previous loan.
So what can you do if you can't pay up when the due date rolls around? Go to your lender before your payment is due and explain in person that you won't be able to afford it. If you tell your lender ahead of time and in person, it's required to give you a 60-day grace period. You'll be required to make an appointment at a credit counseling agency within the next seven days, however.
Florida law technically regulates deferred presentment providers, not payday lenders. What's the difference? For the borrower, they're basically the same thing.
Deferred presentment providers work the same way as other payday lenders. They're required to be licensed in order to service loans. You'll need to provide either a check or access to a checking account, and the lender will cash either the check or debit the account on the date the loan is due.
You'll need to be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident and have a regular source of income in order to meet the minimum eligibility requirements set by most payday lenders.
During your application, you'll need to be prepared to submit personal details, such as you Social Security number, details from your ID and access to your checking account.
Ask yourself these questions when you're looking at a lender:
Many lenders display their state licenses on their websites, but it's not always obvious where. You can verify that a lender is licensed in Florida by filling out a quick form on the Florida OFR's website or calling (850) 487-9687.
Think you're a victim of a payday lender that didn't follow the rules? You have a few options when it comes to filing a complaint against it, namely the Florida OFR and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Since the OFR directly regulates Florida short-term loans, you might want to make it your first stop. You can fill out a complaint form on its website in just a few minutes. To file a compliant, you need to first create an account with a username and password and provide the following information:
On top of complaining to the OFR, you might also want to file a complaint with the CFPB. It can help you try and resolve the complaint with the business and also helps influence national regulations on payday lenders. You can file a complaint by filling out an online form. Similar to the OFR, you'll need to include:
In March 2018, Florida's house and senate passed a bill changing payday loan regulations that's set to take effect on July 1, 2019. In short, this law makes it possible for borrowers to seek installment loans for their short-term needs but doesn't eliminate smaller payday loans. Any loan you pay back in one payment follows the old rules. Larger short-term loans that you pay off with one repayment will need to meet the following requirements:
It'll also be illegal for any lender to charge prepayment penalties.
While payday loans can be a good way to get ahead of your bills, they can be extremely expensive for people without a budget. You loan will always come with a contract that states the total cost — the principal, interest and other charges —that come with borrowing. Because Florida law has a maximum loan term of 31 days, you may struggle to meet the payment deadline.
Borrowing responsibly is your best bet against going further into debt. In addition, applying for assistance programs can also help you avoid further debt. The Florida Food Assistance Program is one of the ways you can get help paying for your everyday expenses while still saving money to also pay for your debt.
Sometimes it can feel like a short-term loan is your only option. But there are alternatives out there you might want to explore before you visit your local payday lender. Here are a few of your options.
Could cutting down on food costs help you make your monthly bills? Formerly known as the food stamp program, Florida Food Assistance helps low-income families get access to affordable, nutritious food. You'll need to meet some requirements to qualify — including being a Florida resident and have a certain household income that varies by number of people.
If you haven't asked your friends and family to help you out of a pinch, you might want to. Even if none of them can afford to cover the whole cost, crowdsourcing funds can help you avoid taking out an expensive loan — or getting caught up in a cycle of debt.
There are several quick temporary gigs that you can take up to cover expenses when things get tight. Even spending a few hours filling out taking online surveys and participating in marketing research can potentially help you cover your short-term expenses.
If you find yourself needing extra funds regularly, you might want to consider signing up for credit counseling. A credit counseling agency can help you come up with a plan to manage your personal finances and get you back on your feet. You can find a list of government-approved credit counseling agencies on the Department of Justice's website.
As the federal government determines how to regulate the payday loan industry nationally because of the high cost to consumers, it's important to remember that a payday loan can be helpful — if you use it right. Because Florida already has helpful regulations in place, the rate of default is lower than the national average. This is due to Florida's 60-day repayment plan and the credit counseling that comes with it.
Creating a budget for yourself or your family is one of the best ways to combat debt. Until banks and credit unions offer similar services to people with bad credit who need payday loans, government officials in Florida intend on keeping the laws in place. Many consider this the only way out of an emergency, even if it costs more in the long run.
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