Editor's choice: Max Cash Title Loans
- No bank account required
- No prepayment penalty
- Bad credit OK
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We reviewed over 130 payday, installment and car title loan providers to help you find financing that’s quick and competitively priced. Browse our marketplace of lenders to compare your options.
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These six steps take you through the process from start to finish.
A title loan is a secured loan that uses your car’s title as collateral. Usually, you repay the loan plus a fee in one lump sum. You can get your cash in as little 30 minutes and lenders have few requirements besides having a car title.
But title loans are one of the most expensive loans out there, charging fees equivalent to a 300% APR or higher. They also come with the risk of losing your car and getting caught in a cycle of debt. For this reason, title loans are illegal in some states.
You can usually borrow between between 25% and 50% of the vehicle’s value, according to the FTC. Most lenders offer between $100 to $5,500, depending on the state of your car and where you live.
When inspecting your car, lenders consider factors like its year, make, model, mileage and general wear and tear. Your income and current debts can also affect how much you can borrow.
Most title loans come with a flat fee of around of 25% of the loan amount, according to the FTC. If you extend the loan, most lenders charge a similar fee per extension. Installment loans often come with interest rates that are similar to fees the single-pay lenders charge.
So, say you get $500 in cash for your car title. If you pay it back within 30 days, your lender might charge you a $125 fee, which works out to a 300% APR. But if you extend it for another 30 months, you’d owe a fee of $250, which is equivalent to a 600% APR. If you extend it more than three times, you’ll owe more in fees than what you originally borrowed.
Single-pay loans — the most common type of car title loan — have a term of 30 days, though it can be short as 15 days in some cases. Some lenders also offer installment title loans, which breaks up your repayments over a term of around 12 months. But these are much less common than the single-pay option.
Some lenders allow you to extend a single-pay loan, though how often varies by state. Many states limit how often you can extend a title loan and some ban it outright. That’s because extending a loan even once doubles the cost of your title loan and makes it even harder to pay it back.
The most common way to get a title loan is in person at a store. While you might be able to apply online, in most cases you still have to bring in your car and title for inspection. This can be a good thing — it’s harder for a brick-and-mortar lender to break the law than an online lender.
In the rare case that you can find a title loan entirely online, you’ll likely need to submit more documents. And it can take at least one business day to get the loan.
Generally, you need to be able to provide the following documents to get a title loan
No, you must have a clear title to get a car title loan. This means that you can’t be using it as collateral for another loan — including your original auto loan. If you don’t have a clear title, you might want to look into auto equity loans instead.
Title loans are expensive and best left for emergencies — if they’re even legal in your state. They might be one of the few options available to you if you don’t have a bank account, have recently filed for bankruptcy or have bad credit.
But you could get caught in a cycle of debt or lose your car if you don’t pay it back. You also run the risk of borrowing from a tribal lender, which isn’t subject to state laws, or a US lender that isn’t acting legally. And many legal providers offer unnecessary add-ons like insurance to bump up the cost of your loan. This puts you at a higher risk of getting trapped in a cycle of debt.
It’s illegal for a lender to give you a title loan if you’re a service member, reservist or a dependent, thanks to the Military Lending Act (MLA). You also might have trouble getting other types of bad credit loans, since the MLA has restrictions on rates and fees that lenders can charge.
Consider looking into your other loan options and financial assistance programs.
A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey found that people who take out a single-payment title loan are at high risk of starting a cycle of debt.
Title loans are meant as a last resort. And even then, they might not be right for you. Instead, here are some other options:
It depends on where you live. If you live in a state that regulates title loans, you might expect your lender to take the following steps:
You can use more than just cars to secure a title loan. Other options include:
Auto title loans are one option if you need money today and don’t have strong personal finances. But they’re expensive and come with a high rate of default, meaning you could lose your car if you can’t afford repayments.
Check out our guide to payday loans to learn about even more options for fast cash when you have bad credit.
Read on for even more answers to common questions about title loans.
Yes, it’s possible to get denied for a title loan if you don’t meet the lender’s basic requirements. If your car isn’t valuable enough to support the loan you’re applying for, your application will probably be denied. You could also be denied if you aren’t a US citizen or permanent resident — or live in a state where title loans are illegal. Make sure you and your vehicle meet your lender’s requirements before you apply.
A title loan buyout works like refinancing: You take out another loan to pay off your title loan, ideally with more favorable rates and terms.
It’s another way to extend your loan without rolling it over. But like rolling over your loan, you could end up paying more in the long run.
Yes. You will need to be the legal owner of the vehicle to cash out on the title. If two people own the car, confirm with the lender whether you’ll need permission from the other person listed on the title or if you’ll need to get a joint car title loan.
It depends on the lender. Some accept any form of income as proof of your ability to repay, while others require you to be employed. And others might not look at your income at all. Learn about more of your options by reading our article on loans you can get while you’re unemployed.
If you’re able to pay off your balance in full right away before the lawsuit is over, you might be able to negotiate a deal with the lender. Otherwise, there’s little you can do once your lender is given a court order to repossess your car.
Just don’t expect to know what rates and terms you might qualify for until after you fill out its online form.
The answer isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.
Use your watercraft as collateral, but watch out for high rates.
Compare six ways to get the funding you need.
Plus other fees you might be on the hook for.
What you need to know before putting your pink slip up as collateral on a short-term loan.
Are you eligible for a short-term loan backed by your vehicle?
How title loans work when you apply completely online and find out if it’s worth it.
Borrow up to $25,000 — but only if you live in one of the 21 states it services.
This lender offers competitive rates for your car, motorcycle or RV title. But watch for negative online complaints.
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