Payday Loans in Wisconsin

At a Glance
  • Nickname: The Badger State or America’s Dairyland
  • Population: 5.81 million
  • Capital: Madison
  • Website:

Wisconsin: land of cheese, lakes, and rabid football fans. It’s a state with an economy on the rise. In 2015, America’s Dairyland experienced a growth in median household income for the first time in 8 years, and the poverty rate dropped from 12.1% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2017. Wisconsin families make an average of $60,773, and Wisconsin residents also have some of the highest credit scores in the country. According to Realtor Magazine, the average 2017 credit score in the Badger State was 696, putting it at #7 in the top 10 states with the highest average credit score in the nation – a full 21 points higher than the average national score of 675.


Average Credit Card Debt and Median Household Income in Wisconsin vs. the U.S.
Average Credit Card Debt (Q1 2019)
Median Household Income (2018)

Payday Loans in Wisconsin

In 2014, Wisconsin payday lenders loaned more than $37.4 million to consumers, raking in $8.4 million in fees and interest charges. In 2016, Wisconsin payday lenders provided more than 115,000 payday loans (averaging just over $300 each) in the state (according to the Department of Financial Institutions). Even more recent data shows the following figures for 2017:

Payday Loans in Wisconsin (2017)
  • # of payday loans made by all licensees:96,974
  • Average principal amount for all payday loans:$329.85
  • Average interest, fees, and other charges for all payday loans:$74.16
  • Average APR for all payday loans:495.50%
  • # of payday loans paid in full by maturity date:32,792
  • # of payday loans that resulted in repayment plans:1,064
  • # of payday loans that were repaid with proceeds of a subsequent payday loan:20,533
  • # of payday loans that resulted in default:4,458

Source: Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, 2017 Annual Report to the State Legislature: Payday Lending

One study found that the average payday loan borrower in Wisconsin takes out about 12 loans per year and makes less than $19,000 per year in income.

Consumer Protection in Wisconsin

How to Report a Lender in Wisconsin

To file a complaint with the Department of Financial Institutions, visit On the left side, select “File a Complaint.” Choose from the list of complaints to fill out the designated form. If you are unsure which category your complaint fits in, simply select “General Complaint.”

From here you will be taken to the “File a Complaint” page—you can either fill out the online form, email your complaint with attachments, or download the complaint form and mail it to DFI (mailing address below):

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Information

Address: Wisconsin Consumer Act Section P.O. Box 8041 Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 264-7969
Fax: (608) 264-7968
Outside Help for Payday and Title Loans in Wisconsin

Aside from the Department of Financial Institutions, you can find help and guidance with the Legal Action of Wisconsin. Stacia Conneely, a consumer lawyer with Legal Action of Wisconsin, says that there are thousands of high-interest installment loans that are being issued but not reported. Legal Action of Wisconsin provides free legal services to low-income individuals who are dealing with legal issues related to payday lending and consumer protection. Contact Legal Action of Wisconsin if you fit this description, and you might be able to help others avoid falling into the same trap.

Guides to Payday Loans in Wisconsin Cities

Check back soon for these payday loan guides for the following cities in Wisconsin…

Green Bay| Madison| Milwaukee