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.

Unfortunately, these secured short-term loans aren’t heavily regulated in California, leading to high fees and APRs that can be in the triple digits. However, new laws in the pipeline are designed to cut down on exorbitant fees in the future.

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 December 15th, 2018
    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, TN or OR. 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?

    Few regulations apply to auto title loans in California but include:

    • Caps on interest and fees.
      – Loans of up to $2,500
      interest rates must fall between 12% and 30% a year, and administrative fees are limited to either $50 or 5% of the principal, whichever is less.
      – For loans of $2,500 or more — there’s no cap on how much interest you might pay. Administrative fees can be as high as $75 for loans of $2,500 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.

    Because interest rates aren’t capped for auto loans of $2,500 or more, you’ll won’t find many lenders offering auto title loans under this amount.

    Keep an eye out for new laws.

    In August 2018, California put for a bill to modify the state’s Financial Code Sections 22202 and 22328.5. This change would prevent a lender from charging fees of more than 3% a month on the unpaid principal of a title loan.

    It would also change the definition of title loan. Current law doesn’t state a specific loan amount, whereas the change would consider loans with principals of more than $2,500 title loans.

    Read about the changes on the California Legislative Information website.

    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

    Loan regulations are looser in California than in other states, making many types of loans permitted under the state law. The downside is that title loans in California can be high-cost and risky. The upside is that you have other options for short-term cash.

    You could get an installment loan that comes with similar repayment periods but without the risk of having your car seized. Another option is a payday alternative loan (PAL) from a credit union — these small-dollar loans are designed to give more options to borrowers with lower credit scores. You may also want to look into local resources in California that could provide alternative solutions to 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 or consider a payday loan alternative.

    Frequently asked questions

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    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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