Georgia Payday Loans

Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-17-1 et seq.
Status: Prohibited

Payday loans are prohibited in the state of Georgia, pursuant to Ga. Code Ann. ยงยง 16-17-1 et seq.

Payday Loan Lending Laws in Georgia

Payday lending has been illegal in Georgia since 2004, although the laws requiring lenders doing business in the state to be licensed and registered went into effect in 1955. The Georgia Industrial Loan Act of 1955 imposed strict usury limits on small loans. Then in 2004, the Georgia General Assembly increased the fines and criminal penalties for lenders making small loans at what was dubbed illegal rates of interest. Referred to as the Payday Lending Act of 2004, this law authorized misdemeanor charges against violators and fines of up to $5,000 per violation and a possible one-year jail sentence.

The state has also been meticulous about online lending. In February 2017, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that South Dakota-based Western Sky Financial LLC and its related business entities had agreed to a settlement of $40 million in consumer restitution, including ending collections and forgiving all outstanding loans, after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled out-of-state internet lenders were still subject to Georgia's Payday Lending Act.

What is a payday loan?

Typically described as short-term financial loans between $100 to $500, payday loans are so known due to the relatively short repayment period. Compared to a more traditional loan, such as a home mortgage or vehicle loan that gets repaid over a long period, payday loans usually have to be paid back within a two-week period.

The draw of such loans rests with the easy application process and the lack of requirements prior to applying. Unlike traditional loans through banks and creditors, a potential borrower does not need to produce collateral or have a good credit rating to apply for a cash advance loan. The application process itself usually doesn't take more than a few minutes and approval can take only a few minutes longer.  Additionally, these loans do not specify how the funds should be spent, allowing a borrower to use them for any purpose.

To a responsible borrower, a cash advance loan can provide great relief for short-term financial emergencies.  If a borrower needs to pay the water bill before their next paycheck, for example, a payday loan can help them cover the bill and repay the lender in the next pay cycle. As with any loan, however, the borrower should take care to understand the loan terms and have a plan to pay the funds back before agreeing to the lender's terms.

Loan Options

While short term loan centers cannot operate physically in the state of Georgia, residents in need of a loan do have other options.  Internet loan applications are common in other states that don't allow payday lending. In these cases, potential borrowers can look for lending companies operating in other states and apply for loans electronically. This is generally allowed for the same reasons credit card companies can operate a home office in one state and do business throughout the country.

However, the October 2016 by the Georgia Supreme Court seems to cut off that option for state residents. In the ruling, the court stated that out-of-state lenders were still subject to Georgia's Payday Lending Act, prohibiting lenders from making loans of $3,000 or less without being licensed to lend in the state. Based on that, Georgia residents are currently limited to traditional lending practices.

Lending Rules*

Lenders in the state of Georgia are legally required to comply by the following limitations according to Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-17-1 et seq.:

Small Loan Rate Cap:
16% per year (10% per year discounted plus fees); 60% per year criminal usury cap
*The information displayed may not be current. For the most recent information, please visit http://www.paydayloaninfo.org/state-information/18.

Regulatory Information

If you have a complaint against a Georgia Cash Advance location you can contact your state regulator below:

Regulator:
Georgia Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
Address:
Industrial Loan Division, Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive West Tower, Suite 704 Atlanta GA 30334
Phone:
(404) 656-2070
Fax:
(404) 657-8542
Website:


Georgia Check Cashers

Below you can find Georgia check cashers in the following cities:

Georgia Statistics**

The following information is key demographic data for the state of Georgia from the Census bureau.

Total Population:
10,310,371
Median Household Income:
$49,620
Poverty Rate:
17.0%
Median Gross Rent:
$879
High School Graduate or Higher:
85.4%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher:
28.8%
**The information displayed may not be current. For the most recent information, please visit http://www.census.gov/quickfacts.

Borrow Responsibly

As stated above, the responsible use of payday loans can provide some short-term financial relief. However, misusing the funds and not having a plan to repay the money back quickly can lead to a borrower being stuck in a debt cycle where they must take out new loans to pay back the old ones. Short-term loans should never be used for long-term financial planning or anything other than an emergency situation. Any loan should be researched prior to application, and the responsible borrower should pay back the loan quickly.

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