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Tribal lending payday loans

Tribal lending companies might accept bad credit, but you might not be protected by US law.

Tribal lending payday loans often promise easy approval and money in your bank account as soon as the next business day. And many claim sovereign immunity from US lending laws. This means tribal lenders can charge higher rates than other US-based lenders.
It also means you’re less protected than you might think. Only consider a tribal lender as a final option.

What is a tribal loan?

A tribal loan is a payday or installment loan from a lender an Indigenous nation owns with headquarters based in the tribal community. These communities are sovereign territories, meaning lenders operate under tribal rules rather than US regulation. While the two systems share similar rules and regularities, a tribal lender doesn’t necessarily 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 empowers Indigenous nations and communities to offer responsible online loans. Some are also members of US-based trade organizations like the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA), which sets industry standards for payday lending. But those that aren’t could be less up front about their business practices.

Tribal loans vs. payday loans

Tribal lending payday loans and US-based payday loans work similarly. The main difference is that tribal lenders aren’t subject to state restrictions on payday loans.
Many states cap fees and have limits on interest rates for installment loans — and some ban payday loans altogether. Payday lenders have to follow these rules, which is why they don’t operate in every state. But tribal lenders can charge higher interest rates and fees than legally required — and often do.

How safe is it to take out a tribal loan?

Tribal loans are generally safe, but they’re not cheap. Similar to other short-term loans, tribal loans have high fees and quick repayment terms, which makes them more difficult to repay. And because a tribal lender works under a different set of laws, it can charge interest and fees far beyond the legal limit for other lenders.
So while tribal loans are legit options, consider some alternatives.
Not sure your lender is legit? 3 common scams to look out for

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
Uprova$1,000 for first time borrowersVaries
Blue Trust Loans$3,000Up to 9 monthsLearn More
Plain Green Loans$3,000VariesLearn More
Big Picture Loans$3,5004 months to 1.5 yearsLearn More
Loan at Last$1,000Up to 9 monthsLearn More
Golden Valley Lending$1,000Up to 5 months

What to watch out for with tribal lenders

  • “Rent-a-Tribe” lenders. Tribal lenders sometimes partner with a non-Indigenous lender to offer payday loans. Often these lenders hide the fact that they’re tribal lenders in the fine print. But both are protected under Indigenous sovereignty, so if a borrower tries to sue, they’ll find it’s not an option. This practice is sometimes known as “Rent-a-Tribe.”
  • High rates and fees. Some tribal lenders assert their business under Indigenous law and aren’t subject to state laws. It means tribal lenders can charge rates that would be illegal at a US-based lender.
  • Less legal protection from the US. If a tribal lender acts in any way that would be illegal in the US, you can’t sue. Tribal loans fall under tribal law and so does the lender — meaning tribal lenders can’t take you to court, either.

What happens if I default on a tribal loan?

The consequences for defaulting on any payday loan are the same with all lenders — whether your lender is based in a tribal community or the US.
Your loan is first sent to collections and will likely continue to gain late fees. Your lender might even sue you. In the worst of cases, you might be required to file for bankruptcy.
While defaulting on any loan is bad, it’s not worse with a tribal lender. Tribal lenders can’t try you in a tribal court for failing to repay a payday loan. All debt collectors must follow US law, regardless of tribal affiliation, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

How to protect yourself when you have a tribal loan

Due to high interest rates and the possibility of extra fees, have a solid plan to pay back your debt before you apply. Defaulting on your loan could cause more financial stress than you had before approaching a tribal lender.
If you choose to borrow money, 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 check your lender follows the same regulations your state has put in place to keep you safe.

Compare tribal loan alternatives

To see alternative services you might qualify for, select your state from the dropdown list and choose Show me my options.

1 - 0 of 0
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
Chime SpotMe®
Not rated yet
Chime SpotMe®
Up to $200
Same day
Single qualifying $200 direct deposit into Chime checking account in the last 34 days.
Access fee-free overdrafts up to $200 when eligible. Plus get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. See Chime terms and conditions.
Smart Advances
Not rated yet
Smart Advances
$100 to $20,000
As soon as one business day after loan closing
Have a regular income, 18+ years old, be a U.S. citizen with a valid SSN, have an open bank account, meet any additional requirements your lender may have
Smart Advances was designed to help you request the loan you need, for any reason.
Not rated yet
Get up to $100 per day or $750 per pay period.
1 to 2 business days, or in minutes with Lightning Speed.
Direct deposit sent to a checking account, a regular pay schedule, a fixed work location or an online timekeeping system at work
No mandatory fees, no interest, and no credit checks. Subject to EarnIn terms & conditions
Not rated yet
$20 to $250
3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 express fee.
Not stated
Automatically monitor your spending plus access cash advances up to $100 at a time.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
Checking account 2+ months old receiving direct deposit, 2+ months working for the same employer, positive account balance, most recent paycheck was on-time, funds still available in bank account 24 hours after most recent payday.
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert's banking app.
Not rated yet
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instant with a fee of $0.99 to $3.99, or a $9.99/mo. subscription with small fee, or free with $14.99/mo. subscription.
Bank account must have at least 60 days of activity, Balance must be above $0 and have an average minimum balance on pay day
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $9.99 membership fee.
LendYou Short-term Loans
Finder Rating: 2.5 / 5: ★★★★★
LendYou Short-term Loans
Up to $1,000 for payday loans and up to $5,000 for installment loans
1 business day
$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.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $35,000
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.

Frequently asked questions

What does sovereign entity mean?
Sovereign entity means that an Indigenous band or nation is independent under its own laws. This is especially important when you’re taking out a loan as tribal lenders can charge much higher interest rates than other short-term lenders.
However, if a tribal lender states that you can’t sue them through the United States federal government, double-check the claim. Tribal nations typically have arbitration committees — mediators who manage disputes between lenders and consumers. If not, you can take them to a US court.
Where can I find the laws that apply to tribal loan?
You would have to look up the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory codes for the specific tribal nation that you’re borrowing from.
Which tribal lenders provide loans to all 50 states?
Typically tribal lenders are based according to lender-specific territory and lands. Check with a particular lender and find out what different options are offered and where.

Are payday loans available in my state?

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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SophiaNovember 29, 2018

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

      Default Gravatar
      nikkiangcoDecember 5, 2018

      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!


    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:

      *New Hampshire
      *New York
      *Virginia, and
      *West Virginia

      I hope this helps.

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


    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….

      Default Gravatar
      ArnoldFebruary 15, 2018

      Hi Rodney,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      There are some lenders who offer loans on a prepaid debit card and without a bank account. Please sure to read through their terms, conditions, and features before oy start your application.

      Hope this information helps.


    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?

      RenchOctober 23, 2017Finder

      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.

      Generally, you can pay off your loan early however, some lenders will penalize you for doing that. Most lenders that do this use it as a way of making back some of the interest you would have otherwise paid. There are also other lenders that offer personal loans with no prepayment penalties.

      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.


    Default Gravatar
    DavidJuly 3, 2017

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

      AnndyJuly 3, 2017Finder

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      We do have a page that will help you 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.


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