You are here:   

Licensed Financial Services Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Collection Agency

Loan Companies

Sales Finance Companies

Payday Lenders



Answers to General Questions

How can I obtain the forms I’ll need to apply for a license issued by the Licensed Financial Services Section of the Division of Banking?

The quickest means of obtaining an application form is to download the form from the forms page, or you may obtain forms by contacting the Division.


What are the fees associated with various licenses?

Please see the fees page. All investigation fees are non-refundable.


After the application is received, how long will it take to receive a license?

If all the required information is submitted and acceptable, you should receive your license within approximately three weeks. When it is necessary to contact you because some information is missing or not acceptable, it often takes more than three weeks.


Where can I obtain the surety bonds required for loan companies, sellers of checks, sales finance companies, adjustment service companies, collection agencies, or community currency exchanges?

Bonds must be obtained from a surety (insurance company) authorized to conduct surety business in Wisconsin. Bond forms are provided to applicants along with necessary licensing forms. No other bond form may be used.


Top of Page

Collection Agency


Is a non-resident required to obtain a collection agency license?

A non-resident is not required to obtain a collection agency license if that person conducts collection business with state residents solely by means of interstate telecommunications or interstate mail. If a non-resident physically enters Wisconsin to solicit accounts from creditors or to collect accounts, that person is required to obtain a Wisconsin collection agency license and have a Wisconsin office.


What collection practices are prohibited in Wisconsin?

Prohibited collection practices for Wisconsin collection agencies are set forth in Wisconsin Administrative Code Bkg 74.14. Also, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets forth specific prohibited debt collection practices. For more information about the FDCPA, please contact the regional office of the Federal Trade Commission.


Can a collection agency take legal action against a debtor in Wisconsin?

The creditor rather than the collection agency takes legal action against the debtor.


Top of Page

Loan Companies

How do I obtain a license?

Submit a completed, signed application to this Department along with the appropriate fees and the other information requested on the "Loan Company License Application Instructions" included with the application.


Where should I send the completed application?

Mailing Address:

PO Box 7876
Madison, WI 53707-7876

Courier Address:

201 W Washington Ave, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703

What is the licensing year?

The licensing year is from January 1 to December 31.


Do I need an office within the state of Wisconsin to qualify for a license?

No, however, all loans must be consummated at the licensed location. If loans are transacted by mail, the proceeds check must be mailed to the customer from the licensed location.


What reports need to be filed by a licensed loan company?

The annual report is due by March 15 of each year. The report form is provided by this Department. Companies that originate consumer transactions may need to file a Registration under the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Annual registrations are due in our Department by February 28 of each year.


What is the maximum interest rate that can be assessed on a consumer credit transaction?

There is no maximum interest rate.


What other state statutes and rules, besides Section 138.09, should be reviewed?

Chapters 421-427, Wisconsin Statutes (Wisconsin Consumer Act); Chapter DFI-WCA 1 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; Rule DFI-Bkg 75.03(3) of the Administrative Code, Section 138.14; Chapter DFI-Bkg 77 of the Administrative Code, Pawnbrokers; Chapter 766, Wisconsin Statutes (Marital Property Act); Section 138.052, Wisconsin Statutes; Section 138.056, Wisconsin Statutes; and Chapter 428, Wisconsin Statutes.


Is there a source for these statutes on the Internet?

Yes, go to www.legis.state.wi.us and select the Statutes and Administrative Code.


Top of Page

Sales Finance Companies

How do I obtain a license?

Submit a completed, signed application to this Department along with the appropriate fees and the other information requested on the "Sales Finance Company License Application Instructions" included with the application.

Where should I send the completed application?

Mailing Address:

PO Box 7876
Madison, WI 53707-7876

Courier Address:

201 W Washington Ave, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703

What is the licensing year?

The licensing year is from January 1 to December 31.

Do I need an office within the state of Wisconsin to qualify for a license?

No.

What reports need to be filed by a licensed sales finance company?

Companies that purchase consumer transactions may need to file a registration statement. The registration statement is due in our Department by February 28 of each year.

What is the maximum interest rate that can be assessed on a motor vehicle purchase contract?

There is no maximum interest rate on closed end transactions.

Do the provisions of Section 218.0101 to 218.0163 apply to commercial as well as consumer transactions?

Yes, with the exception of commercial leases.

What other state statutes and rules, besides 218.0101 to 218.0163, should be reviewed?

Chapter Bkg 76 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; Chapter 429, Wisconsin Statutes; Chapters 421 - 427, Wisconsin Statutes (Wisconsin Consumer Act); Chapter DFI-WCA 1 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; and Chapter 766, Wisconsin Statutes (Marital Property Act).

Is there a source for these statutes and rules on the Internet?


Yes, go to www.legis.state.wi.us and select the Statutes and Administrative Codes.


Top of Page

Payday Lenders

How do I obtain a license?

Submit a completed, signed application to this Department along with the appropriate fees and the other information requested in the "Payday Lender License Application Instructions" included with the application.

Where should I send the completed application?

Mailing Address
PO Box 7876
Madison, WI 53707-7876

Courier Address:
201 W Washington Ave, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703

What is the licensing year?

The licensing year is from January 1 to December 31.

Do I need an office within the state of Wisconsin to qualify for a license?

No.

What reports need to be filed by a licensed payday lender?

An annual report is due by March 15 of each year. The report form is provided by this Department. Companies that originate consumer transactions may also need to file a Registration under the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Annual registrations are due in our Department by February 28 of each year.

What is the maximum interest rate that can be assessed on a payday loan?

There is no maximum interest rate during the loan term, but interest assessed after the maturity date of the loan is limited to 2.75% per month.

What other state statutes and rules, besides Section 138.14, should be reviewed?

Chapter DFI-Bkg 75 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; Chapters 421-427, Wisconsin Statutes (Wisconsin Consumer Act); Chapter DFI-WCA 1 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; and Chapter 766, Wisconsin Statutes (Marital Property Act).

Is there a source for these statutes on the Internet?

Yes, go to www.legis.state.wi.us and select the Statutes and Administrative Code.


Top of Page