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A Complete Guide to Payday Loan Consolidation in Florida
Payday loans are one of the most dangerous ways consumers can borrow money. Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans typically due after 14 days or when the borrower receives their next paycheck. This type of lending is illegal in some states due to their predatory tactics. For those living in the Sunshine State, there’s a solution if you find yourself struggling with payday loans: payday loan consolidation.
Payday loan laws in Florida
Payday loans, or “deferred presentment transactions” are legal in Florida with a few restrictions in place. For a single payment, Florida has a $500 limit on payday loans. Loan terms last a minimum of seven days and a maximum of 31 days for this type of loan.
For installment loans, the maximum loan amount is $1000 in the state. The loan period lasts between 60-90 days. Additional finance fees are capped at 10% for every $100, plus a maximum $5 verification fee.
The average APR on a payday loan is 304% in Florida with no definitive cap on how high this interest rate can go. Other limitations include that borrowers cannot take out more than one loan at a time, and there is a 24 hour “cool down” period between back-to-back loans. There are also no rollovers allowed in Florida, meaning that loans need to be paid on time.
Lenders are required to record each payday loan they hand out in a database before the agreement can be finalized.
What will happen if you can’t repay a payday loan in Florida
If worse comes to worst and you are unable to pay your payday loan, Florida laws dictate that lenders cannot take any nefarious actions against a borrower who is unable to pay back their loan. You cannot face criminal charges for being unable to repay a payday loan in Florida. However, if a lender sues you or you are ordered to court and you ignore it, a judge may issue a warrant for your arrest.
The lender will likely contact you through a variety of methods in an attempt to retrieve the loan amount back. This could take the form of phone calls, texts, and letters from lawyers.
Eligible borrowers include those who live in Florida as well as those who plan to move there. As of July 2020, lenders are not required to verify a borrower's ability to repay. You enter into an agreement at your own risk. That said, lenders must be licensed in order to legally operate in the state. To make sure the lender you plan to borrow from is licensed, visit this site.
Borrowers have a 60-day grace period in Florida if they are unable to repay on time. Payday loans are regulated by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation where you can file a complaint if you run into illegal payday lender actions in the state.
What is the statute of limitations on payday loans in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations on payday loans is five years. This means that if you are unable to pay back your loan, the lender has five years to try and collect the debt via the court system.
How to consolidate your payday loans in Florida
Fortunately for borrowers, if you're trapped in a cycle of debt you have a few options. Payday loan consolidation, also sometimes known as credit consolidation or payday loan relief, is one strategy. When you hire a third-party payday loan consolidation company, the company will work with you so that you pay one fixed monthly payment. The company will usually pay off your current loans and negotiate with lenders to reduce any outstanding debts. In exchange, instead of making multiple payments per month to creditors, borrowers pay the debt consolidation company one fixed amount going forward.
Another option is fairly simple, but requires good credit — take out a bigger loan, and use it to pay off all of your other loans. It can be a big boost for your monthly financing and budgeting to have one fixed monthly payment with a lower interest rate. Just beware: If you miss a payment, you'll have to pay late fees and other penalties. However, like most loans, they are subject to late fees and penalties.
Check your credit scores. If your credit is reasonably good you might qualify for a credit card with an introductory low balance transfer offer. These allow you to pay off your other loans with the credit card — there will be a transfer fee, so read the fine print — and then make one monthly credit card payment. This works best if you can pay off the entire debt by the end of the introductory rate period, which is usually 12 to 18 months, and you'll need to be able to make more than the minimum payment each month. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest during the introductory term.
A debt management plan (DMP)is similar to payday loan consolidation, but it is usually set up by nonprofit credit counseling services. A DMP allows you to lump everything together into one loan with one fixed monthly payment, but the difference is that you’re still paying back your original loan amount. The nonprofit doesn't negotiate with lenders on your behalf to see if it can get your debts reduced. In exchange, the fees will be lower. You'll generally pay between $25 to $55 a month for a debt management plan.
By the numbers: Payday lenders in Florida
Here’s what you can expect from a typical payday loan taken out in Florida:
- Max loan term: 31 days for single payment and 90 days for installment loans
- Average loan amount: $500
- Maximum loan amount: $500 for single payment and $1,000 for installment loans
- APR Cap: None, average of 304%
- Number of payday lenders in Florida: 862 (as of 2020)
- Average 14-day payday loan APR: 304%
- Collection fees: 10% for every $100 plus a $5 verification fee
- The poverty rate in Florida: 12.7%
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How can I get help paying my payday loan in Florida
If you find yourself in need of assistance with your Florida payday loan, contact the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. If you need help verifying the lender for a payday loan you want to take out, visit this site to avoid potential scammers. Payday loan debt can be stressful. If you're struggling to chip away at what you owe, getting some form of payday loan relief is essential. Whichever debt consolidation method you decide on, it can be the first step back toward financial stability.
400 N Congress Ave #310
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone number: (561)-837-5203
Other state resources you can utilize: