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Tribal lending payday loans

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

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Tribal lending payday loans often promise easy approval and money in your bank account as soon as the next business day. But many claim sovereign immunity from US lending laws. This means that they can charge higher rates than other US-based lenders. It also means you aren’t as protected as you might assume. These lenders should be treated as an absolute last resort.

What is a tribal loan?

A tribal loan is a payday or installment loan from a lender that is owned by by a Native American tribe with headquarters based on tribal land. Because tribal lenders are based out of reservations — sovereign territories — they receive certain protections. This means 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. 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 engage in practices that are otherwise illegal in the US.

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. 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 they often do.

They often have a higher acceptance rate than US-based lenders because they aren’t required to check your ability to repay — though as of July 2020, neither do US-based lenders. This might be attractive if you’re struggling to qualify for a loan. But it also makes it easier to get trapped in a cycle of debt.

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 the alternatives before committing to a tribal loan.

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 (formerly Silver Cloud Financial)$1,000 for first time borrowersVaries
Read review
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
Lendgreen$1,500VariesLearn More
Majestic Lake Financial$1,500VariesLearn More
Golden Valley lending$1,000Up to 5 monthsLearn More

What to watch out for with tribal lenders

  • “Rent-a-Tribe” lenders. Tribal lenders sometimes partner with a non-tribal lender to offer payday loans. Often these lenders hide the fact that they’re tribal lenders in the fine print. But both are protected by the tribe’s sovereignty, borrowers who try to sue are often surprised to find they can’t. This practice is often referred to as a “Rent-a-Tribe.”
  • High rates and fees. Some tribal lenders take advantage of the fact that they aren’t subject to state laws and charge rates that would be illegal at a US-based lender.
  • Fewer legal protection from the US. If a tribal lender overcharges you, doesn’t to cancel automatic payments after you’ve paid off the loan or acts in another way that would be illegal in the US, you can’t sue them. Tribal loans are subject to tribal law, which usually favors the lender.

What happens if I default on a tribal loan?

The consequences for defaulting on a payday loan are the same, regardless of whether your lender is based in a tribe 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 necessarily 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 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, 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.

Compare more lenders

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

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 to $2,500
Same business day to 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. Payday Loans
$100 to $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
$100 to $3,000
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to common questions about tribal lending payday loans.

Can tribal lenders garnish my wages?

Tribal lenders can’t garnish your wages unless they have a US court order. In fact, tribal lenders like Lakota Cash and Big Sky Cash were forced to pay close to $1 million to the FTC after illegally garnish borrower’s wages. If a tribal lender attempts to garnish your wages, you have grounds for a lawsuit.

What does sovereign entity mean?

Sovereign entity means that a tribe creates its own laws. This is especially important when you’re dealing with a loan as tribal lenders can charge much higher interest rates than other short-term lenders.

However, if a tribe states that you can’t sue them through the United States Federal Government, it may not be telling the whole truth. Tribes should have arbitration committees — people who deal with disputes between lenders and consumers. If they don’t, you can take them to a court in the United States.

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 tribe that you’re borrowing from.

Do tribal lenders provide loans to all 50 states?

Some do, but not all of them. You can check with the specific lender to find out what is 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?

      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!


    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….

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ArnoldFebruary 15, 2018Staff

      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?

      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.

      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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AnndyJuly 3, 2017Staff

      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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