Credit Access Businesses, more commonly known as payday and auto title lenders, operating within the City of Austin must follow certain requirements in how they structure their loans. The City of Austin Credit Access Business (CAB) Ordinance places restrictions on extensions of consumer credit by credit access businesses in addition to other restrictions to reduce predatory lending practices within City limits.  

Auto title loans and payday loans are covered by the CAB ordinance.  A title loan is secured using a clear vehicle title. A payday loan is a cash advance that may be made in exchange for a personal check or authorization to debit a deposit account and the amount of the check or authorized debt, equal the amount of the advance plus a fee. 

Lender Requirements

  • City of Austin Certificate of Registration must be publicly displayed
  • Upon request, a copy of any document the consumer is required to sign must be provided
  • Payday loans can’t exceed 20% of the consumer’s gross monthly income
  • Auto title loans can’t exceed 3% of the consumer’s annual income or 70% of the retail value of the motor vehicle, whichever is less
  • A paycheck, bank statement, IRS Form W-2, tax return, a signed letter from an employer, or other similar documentation must be used to establish income. Installment repayment loans must be payable in no more than four equal installments. Installment loans may not be refinanced or renewed
  • Single lump sum repayment loans cannot be refinanced or renewed more than three times. The minimum payment due to refinance or renew a lump sum loan must reduce the total amount of the transaction by at least 25%
  • The total amount owed for installment or lump sum loans must include the principal, fees, interest and any other charges

City of Austin Credit Business Ordinance (Municode Library Chapter 4-12)

If you are a lender who wants to learn more about how to maintain compliance, visit the Credit Access Business Compliance page.

File a complaint

If you took out a loan from a payday or auto title lender and you believe it violates the Credit Access Business (CAB) ordinance you can call 3-1-1 to make a complaint, or you can submit a complaint online.

The City of Austin will investigate complaints and will determine if a violation has occurred. If a business violates the ordinance the business may be given an opportunity to correct the noncompliance or the business may be required to pay a fine by Municipal Court. Violations of the ordinance constitute a Class C Misdemeanor violation.

Borrower Complaint Form (PDF)

Submit a complaint online