California auto title loans | finder.com
SR-22 in California

Compare California auto title loans

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Explore state regulations for these short-term loans and find a reputable lender.

When you have poor credit, traditional financing may not be able to help you cover an unexpected expense. An auto title loan is an alternative that can get you money quickly.

California recently passed a law tightening regulations on its auto title loans, but these can still get expensive or lead to a cycle of debt if you aren’t careful.

Max Cash Title Loans

Our top pick: Max Cash Title Loans

With a quick online application, Max Cash could help connect you with a lender, finding you options in minutes.

  • Max. Loan Amount: $50,000
  • Loan Term: Varies by lender
  • Turnaround Time: As little as 1 business day
  • No bank account requirement.
  • Not available in 10 states: CO, HI, MD, MT, NE, NY, OH, SD, WA or WV.

    Compare auto title loan options in California

    Rates last updated February 19th, 2019
    Unfortunately, none of the short term loan providers currently offer loans in your state. Learn more about short term loans in your state to find an alternative.
    Name Product Product Description Max. Loan Amount Turnaround Time Requirements
    Max Cash Title Loans
    With a quick online application, Max Cash could help connect you with a lender, finding you options in minutes.
    $50,000
    As little as 1 business day
    Must be a US citizen or permanent resident, 18 or older with a regular source of income.
    AutoTitleLoans.com Car Title Loans
    Quickly find a lender and potentially borrow up to $10,000 by using this auto title loan connection service.
    $10,000
    Varies by lender
    Have a regular source of income, not be involved in any bankruptcy proceedings, be a US citizen or permanent residence, be at least 18 years old (varies by state).
    LoanMart Car Title Loans
    A LoanMart auto title loan allows you to borrow money against your car, even if you have bad credit.
    $50,000
    1 business day
    Must live in AL, AZ, IL, MO, NM, SC or UT. Must have verifiable income, car value of at least $1,500 and a vehicle that is paid-off or close to being paid-off.
    Finova Financial Auto Equity Loans
    Short-term loans secured by your car title. Repayments accepted through MoneyGram if you don't have a bank account.
    $5,000
    as little as one business day
    Must live in AZ, CA, FL, NM, SC or TN. Must own your car outright, have a valid car insurance policy and be a US citizen or permanent resident.
    TitleMax Auto Title Loans
    Auto title loans on cars and motorcycles to people in 16 states across the US.
    $10,000
    as little as 30 minutes
    Must have a lien-free vehicle title, government-issued ID, and be age of majority in your state.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Where can I get an auto title loan in California?

    Auto title loans are available at stores across California, from major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to smaller towns scattered throughout the state. Many lenders allow you for applying and preapproval online, which speeds up the process and keeps you from wasting time on a loan you might not qualify for.

    Still, because lenders use your car as collateral to secure the loan, you’re ultimately required to visit a physical storefront to have your car inspected for its value in case you default. You’ll also sign off on the loan with an in-office rep.

    Title loan locations in California

    Online auto title loans in California

    Many lenders offer online preapproval forms you fill out to see how much you might be able to borrow based on your income, vehicle and other personal information.

    Applications vary by provider, but you can expect to follow general steps when applying online:

    1. Read over your options and compare lenders.
    2. Click Go to Site to start an application.
    3. Complete the application with your personal and financial information.
    4. Wait for preapproved for an auto title loan.
    5. Set an appointment for the lender to inspect your car.
    6. Visit the nearest storefront to have your car inspected and complete your application.

    When you apply online, check the lender’s page for a secure “https” URL and notification that it abides by California state law.

    What are the auto title loan laws in California?

    California updated its title loan regulations on January 1, 2019:

    • Caps on interest rates. Interest rates must be no more than 3% of the loan balance per month — about 36% per year.
    • Caps on fees. Administrative fees can be as high as $75 for loans up to $4,999, with no fee caps for loans of $5,000 or more.
    • Late fees. If you’re late on a payment, lenders can charge a fee of $10 for the first 10 days and $15 for each day after.
    • Repossession. Your lender can repossess your vehicle if you’re late on a payment by just one day or there’s a breach in your contract. Carefully read the terms of your loan to ensure you know exactly what’s expected of you.

    Auto title loan requirements in California

    California law doesn’t outline specific borrower or vehicle requirements for its auto title loans. However, you’ll need to meet basic eligibility criteria that includes:

    • Ownership of a lien-free car title.
    • Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
    • At least 18 years old.

    Lenders may also require other factors to qualify, like proof of a minimum income.

    Alternatives to consider before taking out a title loan

    Even with the new law, California title loans can be high-cost and risky. The upside is that you have other options for short-term cash.

    • Installment loans. An installment loan is an unnsecured short-term loan, meaning that you’ll get higher rates but won’t risk having your car seized.
    • Payday Alternative loans (PALs). PALs from a credit union are small-dollar loans are designed to give more options to borrowers with lower credit scores.
    • Local resources. You may also want to look into local financial programs in California that could provide long-term solutions to recurring short-term loans.

    Bottom line

    An auto title loan can be useful if you have bad credit and need to pay unexpected bills. However, because of California’s lax regulations, they can quickly become more expensive than you can afford. Read the terms of your loan carefully, and borrow only what you need.

    To learn more, read our guide to auto title loans.

    Frequently asked questions

    Image source: Shutterstock

    Kellye Guinan

    Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with finder.com and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

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