Wisconsin Payday Loans

Wis. Stat. 138.14
Status: Legal

Payday loans are legal in the state of Wisconsin, pursuant to Wis. Stat. 138.14.  There are currently 510 companies offering payday loans in Wisconsin.  The state has the distinction of very few regulations addressing payday loan practices, particularly in reference to how much a lender can charge in fees.

Payday Loan Lending Laws in Wisconsin

Payday lending regulation in Wisconsin is substantially less rigid compared with other states.  There are currently no regulations on interest rates, repayment terms, loan amounts, or loan lengths.  The state also does not have regulations limiting the number of loans a borrower can take out, with the single condition of a 24-hour cooling-off period after paying renewed loans.  Loan amounts are calculated by either the lesser of $1,500 or 35% of a borrower’s gross monthly income.  A single rollover renewal is allowed, and a repayment plan can be invoked once during a 12-month period.  If a payday loan is not paid in full on or before the maturity date, a lender can also charge interest at a rate not exceeding 2.75 percent per month.

Despite the lack of current regulation, the state has made use of educational outreach attempts regarding the information provided to people who apply for payday loans in Wisconsin, such as recommending lenders to remind potential borrowers that cash advance loans cannot provide long-term financial stability. Lenders are also encouraged to supply information on the dangers of not paying back the loans, listing the fines and fees that could be assessed prominently in lending offices and websites, and to disclose that failure to repay the loan in the due period can lead to long-term hardship.

Even if a payday lender follows through on these suggestions, the lack of regulation on Wisconsin payday loans should encourage any potential borrower to heavily research a loan before applying for one.  The only current prohibitions on a lender are the inability for a lender to press criminal charges against a delinquent borrower or assess a customer any fee or charge for database access or usage.  Given these realities, the possibility of falling into a debt cycle by abusing payday lending practices can create a great burden for a borrower if they do not respect the rules and requirements of payday lending within Wisconsin.


To apply for a payday loan in Wisconsin, a potential borrower must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be employed for at least one month.
  • Have an active checking account
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Lending Rules*

Lenders in the state of Wisconsin are legally required to comply by the following limitations according to Wis. Stat. 138.14:

Small Loan Rate Cap:
Lesser of $1,500 including fees or 35% gross monthly income
Maximum Length of Loan:
90 days
Maximum Finance Rate & Fees:
No Limit
Finance Charge for 14-day $100 Loan:
No Limit
APR for 14-day $100 Loan:
No Limit
Max # Outstanding Loans at One Time:
No Limit
Rollovers Permitted:
Yes, one renewal
Repayment Plan:
Yes, 4 equal installments, no additional cost. Limit one payment plan offer per 12 months.
Collection Fees:
$15 NSF fee, check presented once
Criminal Action:
Prohibited (per Wisconsin worthless check law, a check given to secure a loan isn't "worthless")
*The information displayed may not be current. For the most recent information, please visit http://www.paydayloaninfo.org/state-information/57.

Regulatory Information

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

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Wisconsin Consumer Act Section, P.O. Box 8041 Madison WI 53708
(608) 264-7969
(608) 264-7968

Wisconsin Lenders

Below you can find Wisconsin payday loan lenders in the following cities:

Wisconsin Statistics**

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

Total Population:
Median Household Income:
Poverty Rate:
Median Gross Rent:
High School Graduate or Higher:
Bachelor's Degree or Higher:
**The information displayed may not be current. For the most recent information, please visit http://www.census.gov/quickfacts.

Borrow Responsibly

The lack of regulation regarding fees and time between loans should make any potential borrower particularly cautious when considering payday loans in Wisconsin.  But potential borrowers should not take the current state of regulations as discouragement; rather, the laws and practices should embolden a borrower to learn as much as they can about the payday loan laws and the business offering these services.  And while borrowers should contact the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions with any concerns or questions, the responsibility of understanding the loan terms and repaying the loan rests with the borrower.

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