Advertiser Disclosure

California Payday Loans: Compare Alternatives First

Feb. 4, 2019
Loans, Payday Loans
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 organizationService providedHow you can use the serviceAmount providedContact information
Catholic Charities of the East Bay (Oakland)AssistanceOne-time emergency for rent, utilitiesVaries510-768-3100
Community Action MarinAssistanceGeneral financial healthVaries415-526-7500
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo CountyAssistanceUtilitiesVaries805-541-4122
Community Development FinanceLoans, check cashingNo restrictions$300510-479-1037
Community Services Agency (Mountain View)AssistanceRent, utilitiesVaries640-968-0836
Community Services and Employment Training (C-SET)AssistanceUtilitiesVaries844-224-1316
Employee Loan Solutions (TrueConnect)LoanNo restrictions$3,000561-270-5981
Family Service Associate of RedlandsAssistanceRentVaries909-793-2673
Hebrew Free Loan AssociationLoanNo restrictionsVaries415-546-9902
Jewish Free Loan AssociationLoanNo restrictionsVaries323-761-8830
Redwood Community Action AgencyAssistanceUtilitiesVaries707-444-3834
Shelter Inc.AssistanceRental deposit and veterans servicesVaries925-338-1038
South Bay Community ServicesAssistanceRentVaries800-640-2933
South County OutreachAssistanceHousingVaries949-380-8144 ext. 215
Spectrum Community ServicesAssistanceUtilitiesVaries510-881-0300
Sunnyvale Community ServicesAssistanceVeterans services, financial emergenciesVaries408-738-4321
United Way Bay AreaAssistanceNo restrictionsVaries2-1-1
West Angeles Community Assistance DepartmentAssistanceUtilities, clothing, rent, food, shelterVaries323-733-8300 ext. 2272 or 2370
West Valley Community ServicesAssistanceEmergenciesVaries408-255-8033

» MORE: Payday alternatives in all 50 states

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

NerdWallet makes managing your finances easy.

Keep track of your spending, credit score, and even find fresh ways to save.