Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
Tribal lending guide — companies and rates
Sovereign immunity lets these lenders get around regulations.
What is tribal lending?
Many tribal lenders are represented by the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA), which advocates and enables tribes to offer responsible online loans.
Many beneficial Native American programs are funded with money from short term/payday loans. These include health care, housing, and various educational and youth programs.
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 a sovereign instrumentality, they cannot be sued.
Where can I get a tribal loan?
Top online tribal lenders
Blue Trust Loans
Hummingbird Funds, LLC is a sovereign enterprise, and wholly-owned and operated by the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally-recognized sovereign American Indian Tribe.
Blue Trust Loans is a member of the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA).
- Max. Loan Amount: $2,500
- Loan Term: Approximately 6 months (longer for returning borrowers)
- Turnaround Time: As soon as next business day
- Maximum APR: Varies
SWIFT Payday Loans
While SWIFT works with many loan providers — including tribal lenders — to help you find a loan you qualify for and works for your needs.
- Max. Loan Amount: $1000 for first time borrowers, $1,200 for return customers (depending on the lender)
- Loan Term: Varies
- Turnaround Time: Same business day to 1 business days
- Maximum APR: Varies by state of residence
Big Picture Loans
Big Picture Loans formerly operated as Castle Payday. It is a completely owned and operated entity of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. This tribally-owned lender is registered with the tribe’s reservation in Watersmeet, Michigan. It carries out all its operations on tribal land within the same region.
- Max. Loan Amount: $1500
- Loan Term: Varies, but the average is 14 days
- Turnaround Time: Same or next business day
- Total Cost of Borrowing $100: $35 for every $100 you borrow
Lendgreen Installment Loans
Lendgreen is a provider of installment loans and operates within the boundaries of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, as a federally-recognized sovereign Indian Tribe.
- Max. Loan Amount: $400 for first time customers, $1000 for return customers
- Loan Term: Up to 18 months
- Turnaround Time
- Maximum APR: 795%
ActionPayday Short Term Loans
FSST Financial Services, LLC, dba Action PDL Services owns and operates ActionPayday.com. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, wholly owns this company. It operates and provides short term loans from within the tribe’s reservation.
- Max. Loan Amount: $1500
- Loan Term: Varies
- Turnaround Time: 1-2 business days
- Total Cost of Borrowing $100: $30 for every $100 for 15 days
Compare more short-term loan options
A selection of tribal loans you can apply for
Here are some loan providers that you can apply with. Note that the max loan amount is based on the lender’s max amount and your state of residence. Check the websites of any providers you’re interested in to confirm they operate where you live.
These services could connect you with a direct lender with one simple application
These lender-connection services don’t actually fund loans. They also don’t make credit decisions. They focus on trying to connect you with a lender that might be able to provide you the funds you seek. Note that the max loan amount is based on the lenders in their network, but it will vary based on your state of residence. If you proceed with one of these services, you can confirm that the lender is reputable by checking with your local government.
Is it safe to take out a tribal loan?
Considering that tribal lenders don’t have to follow any state statutes, a common concern is whether or not they are safe. Yes, they are generally safe, but they’re not cheap. Just like regular payday loans, tribal loans carry extremely high APRs. This is the main reason payday loans are prohibited in many states.
What’s 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), which offers peace of mind to consumers. 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
The ability to self-regulate lending codes has led to a lot of controversy surrounding tribal lenders and their practices, particularly the high APRs. Due to the high interest rates and the possibility of extra fees, it is very important 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.
Frequently asked questions
Are payday loans available in my state?
Compare payday loans in your state
Ask an Expert