California Promissory Note Templates

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The California promissory note templates are documents designed to add security and structure to agreements involving the lending of money between two parties. Included in the documents are sections that address late fees, interest rates, details on both parties, and other sections involving pertinent information. Once the agreement has been completed and both parties sign the agreement the lender can start the collection of money from the borrower.

Usury Rate – Rate may not exceed 10% per year on loans for personal, family, or household purposes. For other loans for other purposes, the maximum is the higher of 10% or 5% over the amount charged by Fed. Res. Bank of San Francisco at the time loan was made.

LawsCal. Const. Article XV, § 1

Types (2)

Secured Promissory Note – Provides a greater amount of security for the lender, as the borrower is required to layout an item or items that the lender receives in the case of a default.

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Unsecured Promissory Note – Preferred by close friends or family because of the lack of security, this unsecured promissory note should only be used when the borrower can be trusted to the highest degree.

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Usury Rate

Article XV, Section 1 of the California Constitution states, “The rate of interest upon the loan or forbearance of any money, goods, or things in action, or on accounts after demand, shall be 7 percent per annum…”. CA CIVIL CODE, Section 1916-1 states, “The rate of interest upon the loan or forbearance of any money, goods or things in action or on accounts after demand or judgments rendered in any court of this state, shall be seven dollars upon the one hundred dollars for one year and at that rate for a greater or less sum or for a longer or a shorter time; but it shall be competent for parties to contract for the payment and receipt of a rate of interest not exceeding twelve dollars on the one hundred dollars for one year and not exceeding that rate for a greater or less sum or for a longer or shorter time, in which case such rate exceeding seven dollars on one hundred dollars shall be clearly expressed in writing.”

(Video) What is a California Promissory Note?

How to Write

Step 1 – Download the document – Submit:

  • Document start date (dd/m/yy format)
  • Borrower’s name
  • Mailing address
  • AND
  • Lender’s name
  • Mailing address
  • AND
  • Principal amount of the note (enter into the line provided)
  • Enter the annual percentage

Step 2 – Payments – Submit the balance of the note including late fees ( – to include late fees (mm/dd/yyyy format)

Installments – Check the box that indicates the method of note repayment

  • Provide the applicable amount
  • If using the installment method for payments check the applicable box
  • Submit the amount of late fees owed

Step 3 –  Security – Provide the information as follows:

  • Check the box that would state what level of security is being used
  • Provided the note will  be “secured,” enter information pertaining to the property used as security
  • The borrower must review the remainder of the section

Step 4 – Titled Sections – Review the following:

  • Interest Due in the Event of Default
  • Allocation of Payments
  • Prepayment
  • Acceleration (and 6A. – Security)
  • Attorney’s Fees and Costs
  • Waiver of Presentments
  • Non-Waiver
  • Severability
  • Integration
  • Conflicting Terms
  • Notice
  • Co-Signer – Check the box that applies – When a co-signer is required check the box. Provide the name of the co-signer
  • Execution
  • Governing Law – Enter the name of the state

Step 5 – Signatures – A witness must be present – Provide the following:

  • Lender signature
  • Signature date in mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Printed name
  • AND
  • Borrower’s signature
  • Date of signature – mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Borrower’s printed name
  • AND
  • If there is a Co-signer they must provide their signature
  • Date of co-signer’s signature in mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Submit the Co-signer’s printed name
  • AND
  • Witness’ signature
  • Date of witness’ signature (mm/dd/yyyy format)
  • Witness’ printed name