A payday loan is a loan that you have to pay back out of your next paycheque. The companies that offer these loans require you to prove that you have a steady source of income, usually a job, although some lenders also accept proof that you are receiving government benefits or have another type of income.

Lenders usually let you borrow up to an amount that equals a certain percentage of your next paycheque, generally somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. In return, you have to give the lender either a cheque for the amount of the loan and all of the associated fees (postdated to your next payday) or permission to withdraw the total amount from your bank account on your next payday.

Payday loans usually cost much more than any other type of loan, so before deciding to get one, think about whether you have cheaper options. Alternatives include obtaining another kind of loan, such as a credit card advance or a line of credit from a bank or credit union, asking friends or family for help, or finding some way to delay your expenses until you get paid.

Payday loans should be your last resort. Because of the high cost, and because you must pay any loan off in full on your next payday, you may find yourself with even deeper money troubles when that time rolls around. After all, once the loan and the fees are paid off, the amount you have to live on for the next pay period will be significantly reduced. This can lead to a cycle in which you once again have to resort to a payday loan.

If you do decide to get a payday loan, read the loan agreement carefully and make sure you understand the true cost of the loan. Lenders often break down the cost into categories such as “interest” and “administration fees”, among others. Regardless of what all of the fees are called, the key is to understand the total amount that the loan will cost you.

Before signing the agreement make sure you understand it and remember to take a copy with you.

Several provinces have passed new legislation to regulate the interest rates of payday loans. Check with your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office to find out whether there are any rules payday lenders have to follow where you live.

For other information on payday loans, you can also visit the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and consult their publication Payday Loans: An expensive way to borrow.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

6th Floor
427 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B9

Telephone: 613-996-5454
Toll Free: 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
Toll Free 2: 1-866-914-6097
Phone (TTY): 613-947-7771
Fax: 613-941-1436

Email
Websitewww.fcac-acfc.gc.ca

Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices

Alberta

Service Alberta, Consumer Contact Centre
3rd Floor Commerce Place
10155-102 Street

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Telephone: 780-427-4088
Toll Free: 1-877-427-4088

Email
Websitewww.servicealberta.ca

British Columbia

Consumer Protection BC
#307-3450 Uptown Blvd
PO Box 9244

Victoria, British Columbia  V8W 9J2

Telephone: 604-320-1667
Toll Free: 1-888-564-9963
Fax: 250-920-7181

Email
Websitewww.consumerprotectionbc.ca

Manitoba

Consumer Protection Office, Manitoba Justice
302-258 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 0B6

Telephone: 204-945-3800
Toll Free: 1-800-782-0067
Fax: 204-945-0728

Email
Websitewww.manitoba.ca/consumerinfo

New Brunswick

Financial and Consumer Services Commission
225 King Street, Suite 200

Fredericton, New Brunswick  E3B 1E1

Toll Free: 1-866-933-2222
Fax: 506-444-4494

Email

Newfoundland and Labrador

Service NL
PO Box 8700

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  A1B 4J6

Telephone: 709-729-2600
Toll Free: 1-877-968-2600
Fax: 709-729-6998

Email

Northwest Territories

Consumer Affairs, Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
5201-50th Avenue, Suite 600
PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories  X1A 2L9

Telephone: 867-767-9161 ext 21022
Fax: 867-873-0309

Email
Websitewww.maca.gov.nt.ca/en/services/consumer-affairs

Nova Scotia

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Public Enquiries
Mail Room, 8 South
Maritime Centre
1505 Barrington Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3K5

Telephone: 902-424-5200
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
Fax: 902-424-0720

Email
Websitenovascotia.ca/sns/access/individuals/consumer-awareness.asp

Nunavut

Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services
3090 – 9th Street
P.O. Box 440

Baker Lake, Nunavut  X0C 0A0

Telephone: 867-793-3303
Toll Free: 1-866-223-8139
Fax: 867-793-3321

Email
Websitewww.gov.nu.ca/

Ontario

Consumer Protection Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Box 450
1201 Wilson Ave, Station A

Toronto, Ontario  M3M 1J8

Telephone: 416-326-8800
Toll Free: 1-800-889-9768
Phone (TTY): 416-229-6086
Phone (TTY) 2: 1-877-666-6545
Fax: 416-326-8665

Email
Websitewww.ontario.ca/consumerprotection

Prince Edward Island

Consumer Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety
Shaw Building, 4th Floor
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  C1A 7N8

Telephone: 902-368-4580
Telephone: 902-368-4550
Toll Free: 1-800-658-1799
Fax: 902-368-5283

Websitehttps://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/consumer-services

Quebec

Office de la protection du consommateur
400 Jean-Lesage Boulevard, Suite 450

Québec, Quebec  G1K 8W4

Telephone: 418-643-1484
Toll Free: 1-888-672-2556
Fax: 418-528-0976

Websitewww.opc.gouv.qc.ca

Yukon

Consumer Services, Department of Community Services
307 Black Street

Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2N1

Telephone: 867-667-5111
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5111
Fax: 867-667-3609

Email
Websitewww.community.gov.yk.ca/consumer/index.html

Saskatchewan

Consumer Protection Division, Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan
Suite 500 – 1919 Saskatchewan Drive

Regina, Saskatchewan  S4P 4H2

Telephone: 1 877 880-5550
Telephone: 306 787-5550
Fax: 306 787-9779

Email
Websitewww.fcaa.gov.sk.ca

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