Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Dec 17, 2012

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There are several ways that prospective or current payday loan borrowers can find out their state’s laws concerning payday lending. Across the country, different states have different laws and various levels of regulation for payday loans. Surprisingly, some states even prohibit payday lending completely. Prospective customers should review their state’s laws before borrowing payday loans that may not even be legal in the area they reside in.

Borrowers can research payday lending laws by researching bills through their states’ general assembly websites, which list bills and pending legislation. Unfortunately, this is a very long and monotonous process. The average consumer will have great difficulty locating and finding pending legislation and bills. Contacting Attorney Generals’ Offices may or may not get borrowers the answers they need about payday loan law questions. Fortunately, there are other organizations aside from state legislatures that follow payday lending legislation.

Borrowers can save time by just visiting the National Conference of State Legislature’s website. The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that monitors state laws. They feature a section of their website that contains all current payday lending laws and regulations per state. It even lists the states in which they are prohibited. The chart on this section of the NCSL’s website lists the statutory citation of each state law, the maximum loan amount allowed on a state-by-state basis, the maximum loan term permitted, and rules regarding finance charges.

The NCSL also keeps up-to-date on developments in payday lending legislation. They have a section of their site which monitors pending legislation. Pending bills are summarized by the NCSL. Additionally, defeated bills that “died” on the floor of the state legislation are also explained.

Information on state laws can also be found at payday lending trade associations. These groups must abide by state and federal laws in order to remain in operation. The Financial Service Centers of America (FiSCA) publishes a list of state laws governing payday advances. Borrowers can use this information—as well as information found on other trade associations websites—to find out the laws of the state they live in.