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5 minutes read. Published on 19 October, 2022.

Writer: David McMillin Written by Contributing writer David McMillin is a contributing writer for Bankrate and covers topics like mortgages, credit cards and credit cards tax, banking, and travel. David’s aim is to help readers discover ways to save money and also stress less.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promises

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We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and services, or when you click on certain hyperlinks on our site. So, this compensation can impact how, where and when products appear in listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This is the case for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other elements, like our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is available in the area you reside in or is within your self-selected credit score range could also affect how and where products appear on this site. Although we try to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit item or product. Every loans have risks in the event that they’re not paid promptly. But a title loan comes with a particular risky outcome if you fail pay your obligations on time: The lender may take your vehicle. Before you consider getting an auto title loan it is essential to be aware of the possible disadvantages of using your car as collateral to borrow money. How do you define car title loans? A car title loan also known as a “pink slip loan,” allows you to borrow anywhere from 25 percent to 50 % of the value of your vehicle in exchange for giving to the lender their title of your car as collateral. These short-term loans generally start at $100 with repayment periods of between 15 and 30 days. Title car loans are designed for those with past credit challenges who require cash fast. Many lenders have minimal to no credit requirementsand some don’t have any . The process of applying for a loan is generally straightforward, and, if it is approved, you can anticipate receiving funds in as little as 24 hours later, often, even earlier. The ease of access means these loan products come with steep interest rates. Certain states limit the amount of the interest rates lenders can charge, but others do not have any restrictions. And in some states, lenders are prohibited from offering the car title loans to consumers. If you are in a state in which car title loans are allowed, then you are likely to need get a loan. Some lenders provide these loans when your car is almost paid off, however this is less common. What is the way that titles loans operate? Title loans come in a couple of different varieties. Certain are single-payment loans which means that the borrower is required to pay for the total amount of the loan and the interest fee within a month or as. They are repaid in 3 or 6 months, depending of the lender. While the term “car” may be in the title of the product but the loans also can be offered for boats, motorcycles and other recreational vehicles. You can apply either online or in person but you’ll need a physical location to show your car before the lender. Also, prepare to provide the lender with an unbroken title and a photo ID , when applying for a title car loan. The lender may also require keys. The vehicle remains in your possession throughout the loan period, unless you are in default of the loan. To illustrate how these loans work, assume you own a vehicle worth $5,000 and you find yourself in an emergency and require $1000. A title loan lets you take out a loan against your car so that you can receive the $1000 quickly. Similar to a mortgage that makes use of your house as collateral while a title loan utilizes your car as collateral. In order to get the title of your vehicle back, the loan is to be paid in entirety, not including the high charges the lender charges to provide the cash. The fees usually include an average monthly fee for finance of 25 percent, which translates to an APR at 300 percent. For a $1,000 loan it will cost you the additional amount of $250 for interest, even when the loan is paid back in only 30 days. If you’re in default with your payments and late penalties for late payments are applied then your loan could cost you a significant sum. Some lenders also charge processing, origination and document costs, which can drive the cost of borrowing more. It is also possible that you will be required to purchase and pay for an emergency roadside assistance plan for your vehicle. Downsides to title loans While getting an auto title loan may be easy, the convenience comes with serious costs and risks as per Graciela Aponte Diaz, director of federal campaigns for the Center for Responsible Lending. “If you don’t repay the loan when it’s due, it’s rolled over into another cycle, which incurs more costs,” says Bruce McClary the senior vice president of communication at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “It results in a very stressful circumstance for those already struggling to pay back. It is the specific definition of the cycle of debt.” The most significant drawback however, is the possibility of losing your vehicle. If you can’t repay the loan, the lender can take your vehicle and sell it to recoup their money. It’s not all that unusual. A study from the found that 20 percent of the people who take out title loans have their vehicles seized. In addition, “some car title lenders install an GPS device, also known as”kill switch”which could stop the borrower’s car from starting and use this as a means of collecting a debt or making it easier to take the vehicle,” Aponte-Diaz adds. Given the very real risk of losing your main means to travel, it’s easy to see how the process of getting a title loan can be stressful. Solutions to the title loans With such serious downsides, McClary recommends reaching out to traditional banks and credit unions to identify less costly loan options. Also, you could utilize a credit card when you have one available for your immediate cash needs. Even even if you don’t have an account with a bank account, have a low credit score, or have struggled with poor financial decisions previously, you should consider all your alternatives. “It’s amazing how flexible these traditional lenders are,” McClary says. “There are many credit unions who are willing to work with non-banked customers.” You can apply for personal loan Although qualifying for a personal loan could be difficult when you have bad credit, you may have options. Some online lenders you could be eligible to apply for. If you’re a member of a credit union You can also try communicating your situation to an official at a bank. They might approve you for an loan based on the strength of your connection and your financial history. Or you can ask a friend or relative who has a stable source of income as well as a good credit score to make an application with to increase your approval odds. Seek a payday alternative loan Payday alternative loans are another less costly option to look into. They’re offered through certain credit unions, however you must be a member of the institution to avail these loan product. Loan amounts range from $200 to $2,000, which can be paid over a period of one to twelve months. The cost of application is set at $20, and you’ll only pay 28 percent of interest. This means that payday alternative loans less expensive than car title loans and also bad credit personal loans. Use a credit card You can also use credit card in the event that you’re facing a serious financial crisis. You can also draw funds out of your card through the use of a . Be aware that the interest rate for cash advances can be much higher than you’ll pay for purchases, up to 30 percent variable. Plus, there’s no grace period and interest starts accruing as soon as you make the purchase. Be prepared that you’ll have to cover an ATM fee to withdraw funds. McClary rarely advises adding to credit card debt, but she believes it’s a better choice as opposed to an auto title loan, as you’re likely to pay far lower interest rates than you would for an auto title loan. The bottom line is that car title loans are a great solution to access cash quickly. But, the price is usually far from the danger involved, and you could end up in a worse position than you were before taking out the loan. Think about alternatives that are more affordable such as credit cards, personal loan as well as a payday alternative loan before you settle on a car title loan. However, if you’ve exhausted your options and must use a car title loan make sure you review the fine terms. Title lenders need to present you with loan conditions in writing prior to signing, and federal law requires that they are honest and upfront about the cost of the loan.


Written by Contributing writer David McMillin is a contributing writer for Bankrate and writes about topics such as mortgages, credit cards and credit cards, banking, taxes and travel. David’s aim is to help readers understand how to save money and also stress less.

Edited by Rhys Subitch The edit was done by Auto loans Editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with precise, well-researched and well-documented information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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