Editor's choice: Max Cash Title Loans
- No bank account required
- No prepayment penalty
- Bad credit OK
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Securing a loan with your car’s title is one way to get cash fast when you’re out of options. While title loans are typically very expensive, Florida has some limits on how much your lender can charge in interest. But watch out: With no caps on fees or how often you can roll over your loan, repayments can often become unmanageable. And you risk losing your car if you default.
Like in most other states where title loans are legal, you can get started on the application online or in person. In some rare situations, you might be able to complete the process entirely online, though it’s more common for lenders to require you to come in for a vehicle inspection.
While you can find title loan providers across Florida, they’re more concentrated around big cities like Tallahassee in the panhandle and Miami in the lower peninsula. Don’t live in a city? You might have to drive to find a lender — or apply online.
One of the easiest ways to get an auto title loan is to apply online. Many providers offer a quick application that you can fill out in minutes. However, online lenders rely on wire transfers, which can take up to a day to get you your funds. Some also require more information and paperwork than you might need if you applied in person. One Florida title loan company even requires borrowers to submit 15 pictures of their car with their application.
Typically, the fastest way to get an auto title loan is to work with a lender that allows you to get approved online and pick up the funds at a physical location. You won’t have to spend as much time on the application, and you can get your money the same day.
Florida has some restrictions on what title loan companies can and can’t do. And perhaps more importantly, it requires all lenders to be registered. This makes it a lot easier to bring them to court if they violate any of the state’s laws.
Florida title loans are regulated by the Florida Title Loan Act. While interest rates are capped at 30%, depending on how much you’re borrowing, there’s no limit to how much lenders can charge in fees. This can lead to APRs in the triple digits and expensive repayments.
Before applying for a title loan in Florida, make sure your lender abides by these laws:
Keep in mind that some local governments might have additional laws on top of the state law.
If you can’t pay back your loan within 30 days of the date your repayment’s due, your lender can repossess and sell your car. Here’s how it works:
Before repossessing your car, your lender is required to give you an opportunity to drop it off yourself by setting up an appointment. If you don’t make that appointment, your lender can have an agent from the DMV pick up your car from your home. They’re required to give you time to remove any personal belongings before taking it.
Once your car is in the lender’s possession, it’s allowed to sell it to pay off your loan balance. Lenders are required to give you 10 days notice before the sale so that you have one more opportunity to pay off your loan. Under Florida law, you can also buy back your own vehicle’s title in the sale — this might actually be cheaper if you’ve extended your loan several times.
Your lender can only use the funds from the sale to cover your loan balance and any costs associated with repossessing and selling your car. The rest must go to you within 30 days of the sale. If you have to go to court to get that remaining amount, your lender is required to cover your legal fees.
To get a title loan in Florida, you generally must:
Many lenders also have restrictions on the model, make, mileage and year of your car. And while Florida doesn’t specifically require lenders to verify your ability to repay the loan, it’s standard to ask for proof of income — usually a pay stub or recent bank statement.
Although Florida caps the interest rates that lenders can charge for title loans, there isn’t a cap on the fees. Lenders often get around Florida’s state regulation by charging high fees on auto title loans. You may want to consider getting a more affordable type of loan instead. A more affordable option is an installment loan that comes with a long repayment term but has much lower APRs.
A tribal loan could be another alternative. Tribal lenders are currently allowed to offer installment loans in Florida. While these also come with high APRs, they have more affordable repayments and you won’t risk losing your car.
There’s no way around it: Title loans are one of the more expensive types of financing out there. Even with Florida’s limits on interest rates, it doesn’t have caps on fees or rollovers. Extending your loan is particularly dangerous because it can start a cycle of debt. And if your repayments become too much to handle, your lender can repossess your car to recoup the losses.
To learn about your other borrowing options, read our guide to short-term loans.
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