This page talks about your rights if you get a payday loan in Nova Scotia. It gives legal information only, not legal advice.  Payday loans are short-term, high risk and high interest loans. There are other, far less expensive ways to borrow money, so consider your options carefully before borrowing from a payday lender.

You may wish to speak with a credit counsellor about other, lower cost ways to borrow money, such as a loan from a line of credit or a cash advance on your credit card

Consumer Protection Alert: Protect yourself from unlicensed payday lenders! Before you borrow, contact Service Nova Scotia at 1 800-670-4357 or 902-424-5200, or check the Nova Scotia government's online list of licensed payday lenders, to find out whether a particular payday lender is licensed to operate in Nova Scotia. Do not borrow from a payday lender who is not licensed to do business in Nova Scotia.  Be extra careful about online payday lenders.  Many aren't licensed, aren't located in Canada, and don't follow provincial rules that aim to protect borrowers.  The Alberta government has a consumer alert list of some particular online lenders to avoid.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada also has easy to understand information about payday loans, finding a reputable credit counsellor, and a Financial Toolkit to help you manage your finances.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a loan of $1500 or less. The average payday loan in Nova Scotia is for about $487.   The money is borrowed for short periods, from a few days to a few weeks. The loan term cannot be more than 62 days.  Privately-owned companies offer payday loans in stores and online.

To get a payday loan you usually give the lender:

  • a cheque to cover the loan plus fees, postdated to your next payday; or,
  • permission to take the total amount owing out of your bank account on your next payday (this is called pre-authorized debit).

Last reviewed September 2022