📅 Last Updated: February 15, 2023
✏️ Written By Bryan Daly
🕵️ Fact-Checked by Caitlin Wood
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Can You Get A Payday Loan In Alberta?

Yes, while there are many provincial regulations around payday loans, they are still readily available all over Alberta. A payday loan is typically a small emergency loan of $100 to $1,500. These loans are easy to qualify for but they have a short payment term and a high-interest rate of at least 300% APR.

Features Of A Payday Loan In Alberta  

Here are the general rules for payday loans and lenders in Alberta:

  • Maximum Loan Amount = $1,500
  • Minimum Payment Term = 42 days
  • Maximum Payment Term = 62 days
  • Maximum Interest Rate = $15 for every $100 borrowed

Can I Get A Payday Loan Online In Alberta?

Alberta has many physical payday loan businesses, especially in its largest cities, like Edmonton and Calgary. However, many payday lenders are available online. They offer borrowers an easy and fast way to apply and get a loan without having to leave their homes. Moreover, many online payday lenders offer same-day funding by e-Transfer.

Payday Loan Laws In Alberta

Before you apply for a payday loan in Canada, don’t forget to learn the regulations of your province or territory. For instance, here are the payday loan laws in Alberta: 

Payday Loan Amount Alberta payday lenders can’t offer loans of more than $1,500.
Loan TermYou should be given at least 42 – 62 days to repay your loan.
InterestThe maximum interest rate for a payday loan in Alberta is $15 per $100 you borrow. 
Default Consequences A lender can charge a maximum non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee of $25, but financial institutions can charge NSF fees too.

If your lender can’t withdraw a payment from your account due to non-sufficient funds, they can try a second withdrawal of the same amount (plus the NSF fee) within 30 days. After that, they can’t make further withdrawn attempts without your written consent. 

What Are The Requirements For A Payday Loan In Alberta?

To be eligible for a payday loan in Alberta, you must be a Canadian resident or citizen and past the age of majority (18+). During the application process, you’ll also usually have to provide:

  • One or more pieces of government photo ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.)  
  • A payslip or other proof that you’ve had a job for a minimum of 3 months
  • A utility bill or other document that displays your permanent Canadian address
  • A bank statement or other proof that you have an active chequing account

Can You Get A Payday Loan With Bad Credit?

Unlike a personal loan, payday lenders do not require credit checks. That means you can qualify for a payday loan with bad credit. That said, it’s best to build your credit as it can impact your ability to qualify for other credit products. Moreover, it can affect the interest rate you qualify for, which can have a major impact on the cost of your loan. 

You can keep tabs on your credit using a number of different credit score platforms for free, including Compare Hub

An You Get A Payday Loan In Alberta On EI?

Employment Insurance is a federal program that gives Canadians temporary income following unemployment (without fault). When that happens, some banks will deny your credit applications because approving a client without a traditional full-time job is risky. 

However, payday lenders simply want to know that you can pay back your loan on time, no matter what happens, so many will approve you while you’re collecting EI. Just make sure to provide proof of your EI payments when you apply for a payday loan in Alberta.  

How To Apply For A Payday Loan In Alberta?

Whether you apply for a payday loan in-person or online, you’ll need to complete an application and provide certain documents. To complete your application for a payday loan in Alberta, you’ll have to give the lender your personal, contact, and income details, including but not limited to your:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Home Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number(s)
  • Employer and salary information
  • Other forms of income, if you aren’t employed (government benefits, etc.)

How To Calculate The Cost Of A Payday Loan In Alberta?

Generally speaking, payday loan amounts range from $100 – $1,500. While these are relatively small sums compared to other kinds of loans, the real expensive nature of payday loans doesn’t start to show until interest rates and other such fees are involved.

Thankfully, interest rates in Alberta are the lowest of most provinces where payday loan businesses are legal. Payday lenders can charge $15 for every $100 borrowed.

Maximum Cost Of A $100 Payday Loan By Province

ProvinceMax cost per $100 borrowed Max Penalty for Returned ChequeCooling Off PeriodLoan Rollover or Extension
Ontario$15n/a2 business daysNot allowed
British Columbia$15$202 business daysNot allowed
Alberta$15$252 business daysNot allowed
New Brunswick$15$2048 hours (not including Sundays and holidays)Not allowed
Manitoba$17$2048 hours (not including Sundays and holidays)Allowed
Saskatchewan$17$25Next business dayNot allowed
Nova Scotia$17$40 (default penalty)Next business day (or 2 days for online payday lenders)Not allowed
Newfoundland and Labrador$14$202 business daysAllowed
Prince Edward Island$15n/a2 business daysAllowed
Quebec35% AIRn/a10 daysNot allowed

Alternatives To Payday Loans In Alberta

A payday loan is a viable option if you need fast cash but can’t qualify with a traditional lender in Alberta. Then again, payday loans come with risks, like sky-high interest rates and the chance of scamming. So, it may be safer to look into one of these alternatives:

Installment Loan

While they can have slightly harder requirements, installment loans are paid back in increments over time. This is unlike payday loans, which usually need to be paid back all at once. They can also have better rates and conditions.   

Credit Card Cash Advance 

This tool lets you withdraw cash from your credit card limit at a bank or ATM. Although rates can be around 20% – 25% APR and interest begins to accrue right away, it’s still cheaper than most payday loans.    

Bank Overdraft

Some banks offer small personal loans or overdraft protection to good clients. Overdraft is an extension of credit that lets you borrow past your account balance and repay the bank, plus fees and interest, at your next deposit.  

Home Equity

If you have enough equity in your home, you might be eligible for a Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Watch out, since this means the lender can seize your home when you default on your payments.

Financial Assistance In Alberta

You may also be eligible for financial assistance through the Government of Alberta:

  • Alberta Social Assistance – Low income earners can get basic funding to cover costs like rent, food, and clothing. Alberta Alis may also offer you money and help finding a job during times of temporary financial hardship.    
  • Alberta Affordable Housing – This other provincial program is meant to help low-income seniors, individuals and families find subsidized housing.   
  • AISH – Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) is a similar program that offers financial assistance to Alberta residents who are disabled and need help paying their necessary living costs, like groceries and housing.   

How Do Borrowers Get Stuck In A Payday Loan Cycle?

If you are already stuck in a payday loan debt cycle, it can be very hard to get out. Typically, the payday loan cycle starts like this: 

  • You start by applying for a small loan
  • High-interest rates and additional fees get tacked on for the service provided
  • With your other general expenses, you’re suddenly not able to cover the cost of the loan with your next paycheck
  • The 14 day grace period passes and your lender charges you a penalty
  • You’re then forced to pay off your debt using another loan
  • That debt grows larger over time, keeping you trapped

Is It Cheaper To Miss A Payment Or Take Out A Payday Loan?

Depending on what you need the money for, a payday loan might sound like a convenient, quick alternative to missing a rent payment or any other payment for that matter. Then again, since payday loans can be extremely expensive and risky, it might be better to either negotiate with your landlord or lender in Alberta or just take a penalty charge and learn from your negative experience.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been struggling with the decision to take out a payday loan or are looking for some much-needed debt relief, Loans Canada is here to help. We can connect you with the best sources for loans, other credit products, and debt relief in Alberta.

Payday Loans In Alberta

Do payday loans have a special interest rate?

Yes. In Alberta, payday lenders can charge $15 per $100 borrowed. In a typical two-week period, this actually translates to an annual percentage rate of almost 400%. This is much higher than the maximum annual percentage rate (APR) on loans of 60%. However, payday lenders are exempt from this and have different limits depending on the province.

I don’t have a bank account. Can I still get a payday loan?

It is possible, but it depends on the provider. Some payday lenders will fund you the loans onto a prepaid debit card. You can then use this card to make typical transactions as you would with any credit card. Another option would be to apply in-person to receive the loan in cash.

Does taking out a payday loan hurt my credit?

There are many payday loan providers that do not check credit or report to the credit bureaus directly. Typically, they will just validate your identity and employment or alternative source of income. Applying for or taking out a payday won’t necessarily hurt your credit. However, if you don’t repay your payday loan, it will go to a collections agency and show up on your credit report. Having an item in collections in your file can hurt your credit.

Can I get a payday loan via e-Transfer?

As mentioned, Interac e-Transfer is one of the most common ways that online payday lenders will deposit your loan and withdraw your payments in Alberta. Many can even transfer your funds within a few minutes or hours of approving you. On the other hand, physical payday loan stores may offer you a cheque, direct deposit or cash amount.

What happens if you default on a payday loan in Alberta?

If you owe enough, a lender is legally allowed to sue you for that amount, plus interest and related court fees. They may also hire a collection agency, who can garnish your wages.   Lenders can charge 2.5% non-compounding interest a month and call you from 7 AM to 10 PM Alberta time. They may also speak with your contacts to verify your address and phone number(s).

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