Payday loans are small loans subject to state regulation. Traditionally states have capped small loan rates at 24 to 48 percent annual interest and required installment repayment schedules. Many states also have criminal usury laws to protect consumers.
Payday loans at triple-digit rates and due in full on the next payday are legal in states where legislatures either deregulated small loans or exempted payday loans from traditional small loan or usury laws and/or enacted legislation to authorize loans based on holding the borrower’s check or electronic payment from a bank account.
States where payday lending is allowed
The page for each state where payday lending is legal gives the key cost of loan terms under state law. Look for the cost of a payday loan in dollars and annual interest rate for a 14-day $100 loan. Each page lists the maximum number of loans a consumer can have, any limits on loan renewals and requirements for extended repayment plans. Collection limits spell out the fees lenders can charge if the loan is not repaid and whether the lender can use or threaten criminal action if a borrower is unable to make good on the check used to get a loan.
States where payday lending is prohibited
In states that still have small loan rate caps or usury laws, the state page gives the citation for the law that limits rates, and the small loan rate cap.
Contact Information for State Regulators
All state pages list the state payday loan or small loan regulator, contact information and web site. A link to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is provided on each state page.
Some authorizing states somewhat limit debt-trap risks. For example, Washington limits borrowers to eight payday loans per year. Virginia requires loans to be payable in two pay cycles; however, lenders evade protections in Virginia by structuring loans as unregulated open-end lines of credit.
Click on your state to learn if payday loans are legal or prohibited and the state law that applies.
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There are some states that do not have any specific lending statutory provisions pertaining to payday loans. And they do not require that lenders comply with the interest rates offered by: Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Vermont and Pennsylvania. North Carolina and Arizona are allowed preexisting cash loans statues and laws to sunset.