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Tribal lending guide — companies and rates

Sovereign immunity lets these lenders get around regulations.

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A tribal loan may be an easy fix to a setback in your budget, but high costs can make it difficult for most borrowers to pay their loans back.

What is a tribal loan?

A tribal lender is a lending institution based on tribal land and operated by a Native American community. Tribal lenders offer many of the same products as traditional lenders, but because they are based out of reservations, they are protected sovereign territories and don’t have to adhere to the same restrictions as state-based lenders.

Many tribal lenders are represented by the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), which advocates and enables tribes to offer responsible online loans.

Tribal lenders can lend money to tribal and non-tribal borrowers, and they can even lend money to customers in states where payday lending is normally illegal. While many are legitimate and fair lenders, keep in mind that because they are sovereign, they may charge higher rates than other lenders and cannot be sued.

Where can I get a tribal loan?

While this isn’t a definitive list, here are some of the legit tribal lenders we review:

LenderMax loan amountLoan term
Silver Cloud Financial$1,000 for first time borrowersVariesLearn More
Blue Trust Loans $2,500 Up to 9 months Learn More
Plain Green Loans$3,000VariesLearn More
Big Picture Loans$1,500VariesLearn More
Loan at Last$1,000Up to 9 monthsLearn More
Lendgreen$1,500VariesLearn More

Compare more short-term loan options

To see tribal lenders you might qualify for, select your state from the dropdown list and click Show me my options.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Max. Loan Amount Turnaround time Requirements
LendYou Short-term Loans
$15,000
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.
Silver Cloud Financial Tribal Loans
$1,500
As soon as the next business day
At least 18 years old and live in a serviced state
CashAdvance.com Payday Loans
$1,000
1 to 2 business days
Employed, $1,000+ monthly income after taxes, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Use its repayment calculator to see how the loan term and amount you borrow affects the overall cost.
Blue Trust Loans Installment Loans
$2,500
As soon as next business day
Must be at least 18 years old and have a verifiable source of income with direct deposit into your checking account.
Get an installment loan from an online tribal lender. Perks for returning borrowers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Is it safe to take out a tribal loan?

Tribal loans are generally safe, but they’re not cheap. Just like other short-term loans, tribal loans have high fees and quick repayment terms, which makes them notoriously difficult to repay. And because a tribal lender doesn’t have to obey state laws, it can charge interest and fees far beyond the legal limit for other lenders. So while there are legit options, you should carefully consider your alternatives before committing to a tribal loan.

Not sure your lender is legit? 3 common scams to look out for

What is the controversy about?

Many American Indian tribes have the financial resources to be able to fund their lending business and are members of the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA). Unfortunately, some less self-sufficient tribes are engaging in illegal and irresponsible lending practices in order to gain revenue.

Tribal lenders will partner with a 3rd party, non-tribal lender to provide short term loans to consumers. The tribe operates as the official owner and collects a percentage of the APR. Both the tribal lender and the 3rd party lender are protected by the tribes immunity. This practice is often referred to as a “Rent-a-Tribe.”

Tips for taking out a loan from a tribal lender

Due to the high interest rates and the possibility of extra fees, you need to have a solid plan to pay back your debt. Defaulting on your loan could cause more financial stress than you had when you initially applied for the tribal loan.

If you choose to borrow money, it’s very important to read all the fine print and get a clear breakdown of the interest, fees and loan terms. You may also want to compare state-based payday loans to ensure your lender has to follow the regulations your state has put in place to keep you safe.

Frequently asked questions

Are payday loans available in my state?

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SophiaNovember 29, 2018

    Is Cash Plus Inc a tribal lender operating out of FL?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 5, 2018Staff

      Hi Sophia,

      Thanks for getting in touch! As I’ve checked our page and the website, cash Plus is not a tribal lender.
      Hope this helps and let me know if you have questions, I’m glad to help!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    MichelleMay 14, 2018

    Is inbox loans legal in Flordia ?

    • Default Gravatar
      AshMay 15, 2018

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for visiting finder.

      InboxLoan is a Tribal Lender run by the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria abide their tribal laws rather than the state regulations. InboxLoan is indeed available in Florida though here is the list of states wherein it is not offered:

      *Alaska
      *Georgia
      *Montana
      *New Hampshire
      *New York
      *Utah
      *Vermont
      *Virginia, and
      *West Virginia

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  3. Default Gravatar
    RodneyFebruary 9, 2018

    I’m trying to get a payday loan or short term loan and I do not have a bank account. I have several prepaid cards and I’m wondering if that is considered the same as a bank account. Thank you for your time….

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ArnoldFebruary 15, 2018Staff

      Hi Rodney,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Some lenders offer loans to applicants on a prepaid debit card and without a bank account. Please click this link to see your possible options.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  4. Default Gravatar
    CharlieOctober 23, 2017

    Can I borrow $200,000 and pay a big note each month say for a year then pay it off early?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchOctober 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Some lenders will penalize you for paying off your loan early. Most that do this use it as a way of making back some of the interest you would have otherwise paid.

      Contacting your lender’s customer service may be the best option for finding out what, if any, prepayment penalties exist. If repaying your loan early will end up costing more than finishing out your regular payments, it may not be worth it.

      However, many lenders offer loans with no prepayment penalties.

      You can also have a look on this page for further information and compare your options.

      Cheers,
      Rench

  5. Default Gravatar
    DavidJuly 3, 2017

    Can I get a loan without a bank account and bad credit

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AnndyJuly 3, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      You may check this page to compare bad credit short term loans. Some of the lenders on the page will allow you to borrow and have the funds deposited to a prepaid debit card.

      Kindly review the eligibility criteria and the relevant terms and conditions of the loan before submitting your application to know if it is the right option for you.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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