Payday loans offer Louisiana residents fast access to cash when unexpected expenses arise. While convenient, these short-term, high-interest loans should be used responsibly. This comprehensive guide provides key information on payday loans in Louisiana to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Payday Loans?

Payday loans are small, short-term loans designed to provide cash until the borrower’s next paycheck. Also known as cash advances or check loans, payday loans range from $50 to $350 in Louisiana. They are typically due in full on your next pay date, or within 14-30 days.

To get a payday loan, you provide a postdated check or electronic debit authorization for the full loan amount plus fees. The lender advances cash based on your income and ability to repay. On your due date, the lender cashes your check or withdraws the payment from your bank account.

Payday loans differ from other loans in three key ways:

  • Small dollar amounts – Payday loans range from $50 to $350 in Louisiana.
  • Short terms – Payday loans are due on your next pay date or within 14-30 days.
  • High interest – Payday loan annual percentage rates (APRs) average 400% in Louisiana.

Due to their high cost, payday loans are best reserved for one-time emergencies. Interest and fees accumulate rapidly with payday loans.

Payday Loan Laws in Louisiana

Louisiana regulates payday lending more strictly than other states. Legal payday loans must adhere to the following rules:

  • Maximum loan amount: $350
  • Loan term: 14-30 days
  • Rollovers: Prohibited after one renewal
  • Cooling off period: 45 days after 5th consecutive loan
  • Maximum fees: 16.75% of loan amount (up to $60)
  • Finance charge on 14-day $100 loan: $16.75
  • APR on 14-day $100 loan: 419%

Payday lenders must be licensed by the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions. Lenders who violate Louisiana laws face felony charges.

Cost of Payday Loans in Louisiana

The maximum finance charge for payday loans in Louisiana is 16.75% of the amount advanced. This equates to $16.50 per $100 borrowed over a 14-day period.

Although legal, this results in triple-digit APRs between 210% to 780% APR:

  • $100 loan for 14 days = 419% APR
  • $100 loan for 30 days = 210% APR
  • $350 loan for 30 days = 780% APR

For example, borrowing $100 for two weeks will cost you $16.75 in fees. This is significantly higher than rates on personal loans or credit cards.

Additional fees include:

  • Insufficient funds (NSF) charge: up to $30
  • Collection fees: up to $30

Always confirm the full cost of a payday loan before accepting funds.

Who Uses Payday Loans in Louisiana?

About 10% of Louisiana residents use payday loans annually. Borrowers typically have:

  • Low to moderate income – Payday loan usage highest among those earning $15,000-$50,000/year.
  • Limited savings – Many live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Poor credit – Payday lenders may extend credit despite low credit scores.
  • Need for quick cash – For emergencies or recurring expenses.

Common reasons for payday loans include emergency car repairs, medical bills, or to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities. Often, borrowers lack cheaper alternatives like credit cards or family loans.

Payday loans appeal to those who:

  • Require cash immediately – Even with bad credit
  • Cannot wait for bank loan approvals
  • Have few other borrowing options

However, the convenience comes at a high price. Consider all options before taking a payday loan.

Payday Loan Requirements in Louisiana

Qualifying for a payday loan in Louisiana is relatively easy. You typically need:

  • Louisiana residence – Some lenders require up to 6 months.
  • Steady income – Minimum $1,000/month from job or benefits.
  • Valid photo ID – Driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Active checking account – Account must be open for at least 1 month.
  • Voided check – For lender account access.

Lenders conduct minimal credit checks. Even borrowers with low credit scores below 500 can often qualify.

You must have the ability to repay the loan. However, lenders rarely verify income or debts before approving loans.

How to Apply for Payday Loans in Louisiana

Applying for a payday loan in Louisiana takes about 15-20 minutes. You can apply online or at a retail store:


  • Visit lender website and complete application
  • Submit ID, income, and bank account information
  • E-sign loan agreement
  • Lender deposits approved funds into your bank account

Retail Store

  • Visit payday lender store
  • Provide application information and documents
  • Sign loan agreement and postdated check
  • Receive cash immediately

Lenders process applications rapidly and funds may be available within 1 business day. This makes payday loans appealing for emergencies.

Alternatives to Payday Loans in Louisiana

Due to high costs, payday loans should only be a last resort. First consider these alternatives:

  • Lower interest loans – Personal loans, credit cards, or employer/community agency loans.
  • Government assistance – Emergency relief, food benefits, grants, or subsidized housing.
  • Negotiate payments – Contact service providers to establish flexible payment plan.
  • Non-profit assistance – Churches, charities, food banks, or crisis funds may offer help.
  • Side jobs – Consider freelance work, driving services, or selling items.
  • Credit counseling – Receive budget help and discuss debt consolidation options.
  • Borrow from family/friends – For trustworthy relations, discuss repaying in installments.

If these are unavailable, payday loans can provide necessary cash before payday. But carefully consider your budget and only borrow what you need.

Payday Loan Repayment in Louisiana

The loan principal and finance fees are typically due 14 days after receiving funds. Some lenders allow installments over 3-6 months for an additional fee.

You repay the lender by:

  • Postdated check – It is cashed on the due date.
  • Electronic debit – The agreed payment amount is withdrawn from your bank.
  • In person – Repay at the store with cash or money order.

If you cannot fully repay, some options include:

  • Rollover – Renew loan for another 14 days (only once allowed in Louisiana).
  • Payment plan – Partial payments help eventually repay in full.
  • Extensions – Some lenders provide 1-2 week grace periods for an additional fee.
  • Partial payment – Repay part before due date and remainder later (some lenders allow).

The best option is to avoid renewals and pay back on time. Rollovers lead to more interest fees.

Consequences of Not Repaying Payday Loans in Louisiana

If you fail to repay the loan on time, lenders can:

  • Withdraw anyway – If authorized, they can continue withdrawing the agreed repayment amount. This includes fees.
  • Send to collections – Unpaid debts are referred to collection agencies after 60 days. This severely damages credit scores.
  • Sue borrower – The lender can file a lawsuit to recoup losses. This leads to court judgments on your civil record.
  • Garnish wages – The court can order employers to garnish a portion of wages to collect on debts.
  • Close accounts – Banks may close accounts with repeated insufficient fund attempts by lenders.

Always prioritize paying back payday loans on time to avoid these consequences. Consider all options, like borrowing money, before defaulting.

Tips for Responsible Payday Loan Use in Louisiana

Payday loans provide fast cash but should be used cautiously. Consider these tips:

  • Borrow only emergencies – Avoid using for regular expenses or luxury purchases.
  • Borrow only required amounts – Don’t take the maximum $350 if you only need $150.
  • Have a repayment plan – Know where the money will come from before borrowing.
  • Read agreement carefully – Understand the full cost, terms, and lender rights.
  • Check alternatives first – Exhaust other options for lower interest.
  • Avoid rollovers – These double fees, increasing debt.
  • Pay on time – Set reminders and make repayment priority. Late fees add up quickly.
  • Watch for red flags – Lenders who break Louisiana laws may have predatory terms.
  • Report violations – File complaints with Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions.

Used prudently as a rare bridge between paychecks, payday loans can assist during emergencies if alternatives are unavailable. With proper budgeting and by avoiding rollovers, payday loans can be repaid on time before high costs spiral.

Payday Loan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How many payday loans can I have at once in Louisiana?

A: There is no set limit. However, you should avoid taking multiple loans unless absolutely necessary as this increases overall costs and repayment risk.

Q: Can I get a payday loan the same day?

A: Most online lenders deposit approved funds within 1 business day. In-store payday loans allow you to walk out with cash immediately.

Q: Do payday lenders check credit?

A: Many lenders only require proof of income. They may do a soft credit check but bad credit usually does not disqualify you.

Q: What if I can’t repay my payday loan?

A: Avoid renewals and contact the lender immediately if you foresee issues repaying. Discuss options like extended payment plans or partial payments. With early notice, you may avoid extra fees or negative consequences.

Q: Can the lender garnish my wages if I default?

A: Yes, if they receive a court judgment after suing for non-repayment. Wage garnishment allows them to collect owed amounts directly from your employer. This should be avoided at all costs.

Key Takeaways

  • Payday loans provide fast cash for emergencies but carry higher interest and fees.
  • Borrow only what is absolutely needed and repay on time to avoid spiraling costs.
  • Exhaust lower-interest alternatives first before considering payday loans.
  • Responsible, limited use can make payday loans a viable last resort during temporary cash crunches.
  • Avoid renewals and understand the full terms and lender rights under Louisiana laws.
  • Report any illegal or harassing collection practices to state regulators.


Payday loans offer a way for Louisiana residents to access vital funds in a bind between paydays. However, it is imperative to approach them cautiously and use them sparingly when facing unanticipated expenses. By borrowing modest amounts, having a solid repayment plan, and avoiding rollovers, consumers can utilize payday loans constructively on rare occasions. However, their high costs make them unsuitable as regular sources of financing. With adequate precautions and protections under state laws, Louisiana payday loans can serve as short-term bridges during financial emergencies when absolutely needed.