Editor's choice: Finova Financial Auto Equity Loans
- No bank account required
- Fast turnaround
- More time to repay
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Title loans are a quick way to cash in on the value of your car if you need money fast and more than a payday or installment loan can offer. These loans use your car’s title as collateral so you generally need one to qualify — and it often can’t be used as collateral for another loan. But you do have some options if you don’t have a clear title on hand.
No, you can’t get a title loan if you don’t have a car title. Without using your car’s title as collateral, you’d have an unsecured installment loan instead and likely would only qualify for a smaller loan. Lenders typically ask you to bring in a copy of your title when you apply.
However, it’s possible to get a loan backed by your car if you’re already using your title as collateral or you simply can’t find it.
You generally can’t get a title loan unless you have a clear title — meaning it isn’t being used for collateral for another loan. However, you might be able to get an auto equity loan.
Like home equity loans, auto equity loans allow you to borrow against the value you currently own in your car. Say you’ve only paid off 70% of your loan and want to use it as collateral. An auto equity loan allows you to borrow against that 70% that you own.
While there’s a difference between auto equity and auto title loans, don’t count out auto title lenders right away. Some lenders use the terms interchangeably.
When you don’t have your title or title information, you need to get a duplicate copy from your local DMV. How this works depends on your state. In some states like New York, you can fill out an online form and have it mailed within two or three business days. In others like California and Texas, you might need to download and mail in a form to the DMV or apply in person.
Typically, you need to include the following when you apply:
In addition to having a car title, you typically need to meet the following requirements to get a title loan:
If you don’t have a car title, there are other ways to get cash fast when you don’t have the best credit:
Ultimately, having your title will make it easier to get financing on your car. After you make your last car payment, you should receive the title in the mail. If you’ve lost your title document or want other information on the DMV’s procedures, read our guide on how car titles work.
You need your car’s title to get a title loan. But it’s still possible to use that title as collateral even if it’s currently being used as collateral for another loan or you’ve lost it. You can still get an auto equity loan or send in for a new copy from your local DMV.
Check out our guide to title loans to learn more about how this type of short-term financing works.
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