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|
|Catholic Charities of the East Bay (Oakland)||Assistance||One-time emergency for rent, utilities||Varies||510-768-3100|
|Community Action Marin||Assistance||General financial health||Varies||415-526-7500|
|Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County||Assistance||Utilities||Varies||805-541-4122|
|Community Development Finance||Loans, check cashing||No restrictions||$300||510-479-1037|
|Community Services Agency (Mountain View)||Assistance||Rent, utilities||Varies||640-968-0836|
|Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET)||Assistance||Utilities||Varies||844-224-1316|
|Employee Loan Solutions (TrueConnect)||Loan||No restrictions||$3,000||561-270-5981|
|Family Service Associate of Redlands||Assistance||Rent||Varies||909-793-2673|
|Hebrew Free Loan Association||Loan||No restrictions||Varies||415-546-9902|
|Jewish Free Loan Association||Loan||No restrictions||Varies||323-761-8830|
|Redwood Community Action Agency||Assistance||Utilities||Varies||707-444-3834|
|Shelter Inc.||Assistance||Rental deposit and veterans services||Varies||925-338-1038|
|South Bay Community Services||Assistance||Rent||Varies||800-640-2933|
|South County Outreach||Assistance||Housing||Varies||949-380-8144 ext. 215|
|Spectrum Community Services||Assistance||Utilities||Varies||510-881-0300|
|Sunnyvale Community Services||Assistance||Veterans services, financial emergencies||Varies||408-738-4321|
|United Way Bay Area||Assistance||No restrictions||Varies||2-1-1|
|West Angeles Community Assistance Department||Assistance||Utilities, clothing, rent, food, shelter||Varies||323-733-8300 ext. 2272 or 2370|
|West Valley Community Services||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.