What is a car title loan?
Car title loans or auto title loans are usually short-term loans guaranteed by the borrower with the title of the car he owns. The loan borrower must be the owner of the vehicle.
Car title loans with no credit check are short-term usually for no longer than 30 days. In case the borrower can’t repay the loan, the loan provider can repossess the car and sell it, thus recovering the loan amount.
The borrower is also obliged to pay an additional fee to the loan provider. The car title loans are usually very expensive and may cost the borrower his car.
Usual borrowers of car title loans are those with bad credit history and low income. Which is why there are title loans requiring no credit checks or they come with online approval.
These loans come with high interest rates. Borrowers taking out loans from banks or with credit cards are not title loan customers. The online title loan companies are also called predatory lenders. This has to do with their manner of targeting customers in need of money in emergency situations.
All potential title loan borrowers must bear in mind that although the loan providers are legally obliged to state their interest rates, they don’t announce the annualized rate. So an announced rate of 25% actually may go as high as 300% when annualized.
Other names for car title loans include a pink slip loan, title pledge or title pawn. The usual loan amount is from 25% to 50% from the vehicle’s value. The amount may vary from $100 to $5,000 or even $10,000.
What are alternatives to car title loans?
Before you get a car title loan online or at a store, you should consider borrowing from your family or friends, a bank or a credit union or your credit card. You may also try to negotiate for an extended payment period for your debts before you trade your car title for cash.
You may seek advice from a credit counselor. If you still need a loan, you should consider alternative options of the car title loan as car title loans are usually very expensive.
Your first alternative can be small loans provided by banks, credit unions or other small loan lending companies. These loans are also short-term, small and with lower interest rates. It may also be possible to take out a cash advance on a credit card or payday loans online, but keep in mind they come with higher rates.
Always read the terms and conditions and compare them before signing any documents.
You should always shop for credit which means you should always consider all offers and choose the best one. You should check the various APRs, fees, interest rates and additional charges. You should choose the lowest APR.
You should bear in mind the legal protection provided for military members and the legally limited maximum rates for some kinds of loans including title loans. Even so, title loans are always an expensive alternative, especially in the case of a roll-over.
Never take out car title loans just because you are late with your other payments. You should contact your creditors and ask for an extension of your payment period. If you are honest with your creditors, they may be open to working with you by extending your repayment period, but keep in mind that there could be higher rates and additional charges.
You may try to find a non-profit credit counselling service when in need of help with paying your debts. They will help you work out а repayment plan or develop a budget. This help is either free or at a low cost.
Try to plan a realistic budget that includes your monthly and daily expenditures. Avoid all unnecessary purchases because no matter how small they may be, they all add up in the end. You should try to save small amounts by using small bank deposits because when you have saved some money, you won’t be in need of borrowing when an emergency appears.
You should also check if your bank offers overdraft protection on your account. If you often use the money in your bank account and you make a mistake, overdraft protection will prevent additional credit problems. Bear in mind that there are additional fees involved.
What should you do before taking out a car title loan?
You should consider other possibilities. After all, there are lots of different lenders out there. Consider banks and the credit unions, but don’t forget your own savings or ask a close friend before taking up easy car title loans. You could also choose the credit card option or fast online loans.
How to choose the best borrowing option when in need of money?
The most important thing to do is to compare the costs. You should keep in mind the APR, various fees, repayment period and the consequences of no repayment. If you eventually choose the title loan option, you should always borrow an amount you are able to comfortably return in due time.
Is there special protection for military consumers?
The federal law in the USA provides special protection for members of the armed forces when it comes to certain loans. For title loans, protective measures include maximum APR that should be no more than 36%. This rate includes most fees and charges.
Creditors are obliged to give their military clients certain disclosures about their rights and options as loan customers. If the loan is taken in violation of the law, it is void. The customers might be specifically asked to declare their military affiliation. Nevertheless, title loans are usually expensive, so military customers are advised to search for other resources of financing.
After all, there are all kinds of aid and relief organizations for them. They should bear in mind that there are also options like credit unions, banks and credit cards. And they could also borrow money from their friends and family.
How to take out a car title loan?
There are several options for getting a car title loan. You could borrow it at the lender’s office or get the car title loan online. There are completely online title loans which are fast, easy and you don’t need to go to the loan store to apply for it.
You should always have the following documentation: loan application form, car title, and your ID. The loan provider may want a copy of your car keys. Once the car title loan is approved online, your car title remains with the lender and you take the cash.
The loan is usually due after a month. You are obliged to repay its full amount plus a fee. You should be aware of the possibility of additional charges and fees. Sometimes you may be asked to buy a vehicle roadside service plan with a cost connected to the loan amount.
How much does a car title loan cost?
The cost depends on of the fees. They are monthly fees and can reach up to a quarter of the loan amount. This means that the APR may be as high as 300%. If there are other charges, it might even exceed this percentage.
What does APR mean?
APR is the loan’s annual percentage rate. It defines the cost of the loan for one year. Bear in mind that car title loans are always expensive. APR includes the loan amount, interest rate, additional fees and loan period.
How can you repay your car title loan?
There are usually three different options for repayment. You could repay in person, online or use an automated system. The latter means that you should authorize the loan provider to periodically take certain amounts straight from your bank account.
It is impossible for the lender to make these automated repayments unless you personally authorize them to do so. It will be a violation of law if you haven’t been provided with the specific terms of the transaction or a copy of your authorization of the automated repayments. Pre-authorizing of such transactions is also illegal.
What are the consequences of failure to repay in due time?
That depends on the lender. He may start a repossession procedure or he may let you borrow the amount for an additional month. The latter is called a loan roll-over, but it doesn’t come free. You would be expected to pay a monthly fee which is different from the first one. The more frequent the rollovers, the higher the prices. In the end, your debt may become unmanageable.
What does “roll over” mean?
If you are unable to repay the car title loan in one month or whatever the arranged period is, the loan provider may agree to “roll over” the debt into another loan. This, of course, will have additional charges, fees and a new interest rate on the existing debt. There is always the danger that you may be trapped in a circle of repeatedly rolling over your loan. Eventually, you may be obliged to pay an impossible amount and lose your car.
What are the consequences of no repayment at all?
If you are completely unable to repay in due time, the loan lender will start a procedure of repossession of your car. Then he will sell it and keep its proceed. In some states, the lender is obliged to pay you the difference of your debt and the price of the car when the sold price exceeds the debt.
You should bear in mind that cars are a practical means of transport and you wouldn’t want to lose yours. Sometimes the lender would require the installation of a GPS to track the location of the car.
It is also not usual for the loan provider to ask for the installation of a starter interrupt device. With that device, you won’t be able to use your car in case of repossession.