Do payday loans call your references?

Quick Answer Yes, payday loan companies may contact the references provided on your loan application to verify your personal information and gather additional details. However, they should maintain confidentiality and not disclose the purpose of the call or your financial situation without your permission.

Tobi Opeyemi Amure profile picture
Tobi Opeyemi Amure Answer updated on Sep 24, 2023

Fact checked by Dwayne Dumesle

Yes, payday loan companies might give your references a call to check your details.

However, they're not allowed to divulge any personal or sensitive information concerning the reason for their call or the state of your finances. So, in that regard, you can set your mind at ease.

Learn: Can I get a payday loan with no credit?

Now, let's talk about what a lender will likely say or ask when contacting your references and why some lender's require them. 📞💬🤔

When you're applying for a payday loan, lenders often ask for personal references (e.g., friends, family, or your employer) to:

  1. Cross-check your personal info.
  2. Confirm your identity.
  3. Assess your character (in some cases).
  4. Provide another avenue to reach you if you fail to repay and they're unable to get in touch with you.

So, when your lender gets your references on the line, they'll usually be looking to confirm things like your:

  • Full Name: Just to double-check it matches what you put on your application.
  • Current Address: They want to know you've given them the right home base.
  • Phone Number: Again, they're confirming the details match what they have on file.
  • Employment Status: They might want to know if you're still at your job and can pay back that loan.
  • Relationship to the Reference: They might ask how the reference knows you (to better understand the context of the info they're getting) and learn more about you.

Your privacy is a point of concern with this, I'm sure. The good news is, payday loan lenders are required by law to maintain strict confidentiality when conducting reference calls and handling your personal information.

Learn: Can I get a payday loan online?

There are privacy laws and regulations that restrict payday lenders from being loose lipped with your sensitive information. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), in particular, requires financial institutions (including payday loan lenders) to take conscious steps toward safeguarding their customer’s privacy.

Therefore, anything concerning your finances or the nature of your business with them should not be disclosed to your references.[1]

So, no need to be nervous about this step of the loan verification process—it is standard, your privacy is protected, and chances of your lender actually calling your references (if you repay your loan according schedule, that is) are slim.


  1. Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information ↩︎

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