California Payday Loans: Compare Alternatives First

There are alternatives to payday loans. Find organizations in California that offer assistance with necessities.

NerdWalletFebruary 5, 2019
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A payday loan isn’t your only option when you need fast cash. California residents can access local and regional resources, including financial assistance and small loans, to help cover emergency expenses from utilities to medical bills.

Here are alternatives to online and storefront payday loans in California. NerdWallet recommends contacting the organizations listed below to see if you qualify for assistance.

Name of organization

Service provided

How you can use the service

Amount provided

Contact information

Assistance

One-time emergency for rent, utilities

Varies

510-768-3100

Assistance

General financial health

Varies

415-526-7500

Assistance

Utilities

Varies

805-541-4122

Loans, check cashing

No restrictions

$300

510-479-1037

Assistance

Rent, utilities

Varies

640-968-0836

Assistance

Utilities

Varies

844-224-1316

Loan

No restrictions

$3,000

561-270-5981

Assistance

Rent

Varies

909-793-2673

Loan

No restrictions

Varies

415-546-9902

Loan

No restrictions

Varies

323-761-8830

Assistance

Utilities

Varies

707-444-3834

Assistance

Rental deposit and veterans services

Varies

925-338-1038

Assistance

Rent

Varies

800-640-2933

Assistance

Housing

Varies

949-380-8144 ext. 215

Assistance

Utilities

Varies

510-881-0300

Assistance

Veterans services, financial emergencies

Varies

408-738-4321

Assistance

No restrictions

Varies

2-1-1

Assistance

Utilities, clothing, rent, food, shelter

Varies

323-733-8300 ext. 2272 or 2370

Assistance

Emergencies

Varies

408-255-8033

Additional options to consider

If local resources aren't available to you, there are other options when you need money. Take our quiz to explore these alternatives:

What to know about payday loans in California

If you've weighed alternatives and still want a payday loan, here are things to know:

  • A payday lender doing business in California must be licensed by the Department of Business Oversight. You can verify a lender’s license by contacting the DBO.

  • The maximum amount you can borrow from a payday lender in California is $300.

  • The maximum fee a lender can charge is $45, or 15% of the amount borrowed. A 15% fee is equivalent to an annual percentage rate of 460% for a two-week loan.

  • Payday lenders in California cannot give you a new loan if you already have a loan outstanding with that lender.

More on payday loans and alternatives

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