Car title loans are short-term against the title or ownership of your car. They are designed to offer borrowers quick access to cash without going through a traditional bank loan process. Additionally, most lenders won't require a credit score report. They are different from a car loan, used to buy a car you don’t own. Instead, a car title loan allows you to borrow against your own vehicle.
However, there are downsides to car title loans such as difficult to understand interest rates. Many car title lenders direct your attention away from the annual percentage rate (APR). Instead, they focus on your monthly payment and surface-level interest rates. Borrowers should focus on the APR, which shows the truthful cost of borrowing.
Most lenders have APRs exceeding 30%, which is worse than the 19.99% typically offered by credit cards. This guide will explain car title loans, including the tricks used, requirements, and alternatives. Continue reading to become an expert on using them to get money.
|Lender||Display Rate (No Fees)||Calculated APR (Included Fees)|
|14% to 49% Annually||64.86%|
APR rates are inclusive of fees. They were calculated in December 2022 by applying with a hypothetical 2016 Honda Civic EX registered in Toronto. Assuming 120,000KM and looking for a $5,000 loan. Calculation examples are shown within the application process sub-section.
Car title loans, also known as auto title loans, are a type of secured loan that uses an individual's car as collateral. They provide borrowers with funding in days. In most cases, lenders want the car to be fully paid off and no older than six to eight years.
Since the car is used as collateral, frequently missing payments will result in vehicle seizure. Lenders typically enforce this using a GPS tracker and ignition immobilizer. In theory, this should result in lower interest rates because lenders have less risk. In reality, car title loans have interest rates exceeding some types of unsecured loans.
For example, car title loans have APRs exceeding 30%. While unsecured credit cards have rates around 19.99%. There is no risk of losing a car or asset for unsecured loans because the lender can’t seize anything.
Borrowers are assessed on a case-by-case basis. A multi-point system is used to determine your risk profile. Lenders will generally assess your employment status, debt service ratios, and car. In some cases, they may also require a credit report. Lenders will typically provide you with a loan without checking your credit score. With more income and a higher-value car, you are more creditworthy.
As a result, you can borrow more money at lower interest rates. Borrowers with more creditworthiness can also have longer repayment terms, typically up to five years. This will reduce your monthly payment but results in more lifetime interest paid.
Most lenders offer up to 50% financing on the value of your car. This means a vehicle with a $30,000 market value can be used to borrow up to $15,000. Additionally, most lenders require no existing lien on the car. This means you can't have an outstanding car loan.
After the car is used to secure the loan, borrowers can access their cash within days. Repayment terms usually range from two weeks to five years but can be extended depending on individual situations.
Car title loans offer various benefits. For car owners, it can provide an invaluable lifeline in times of financial hardship. Often the approval process is rapid and requires minimal paperwork. Some advantages include the following;
While there are several advantages of car title loans, there are also a few downsides. In most cases, you can reduce the disadvantages by reading through your car loan contract. Some downsides include the following:
This article was written by talking with many car title lenders. Through conversation, we picked up on some tricks that would mislead the general public. While some lenders offer reasonable interest rates, many have high fees and expensive payments. These are some things to be aware of:
The requirements to get a car title loan differ from lender to lender. You'll typically need to meet the following requirements:
Additionally, some lenders may require a car GPS or immobilizer. This protects their loan if you stop making payments and they need to seize your vehicle. A GPS tracks your car, and an immobilizer will prevent your car from starting. Missing payments will activate the immobilizer, and your lender will seize the vehicle using the GPS. Some lenders may also need to hold a second pair of keys.
When applying for a car title loan, you'll typically need to provide the following documentation:
As mentioned previously, car title loans are collateralized against your car. This means frequently missing payments will result in foreclosure and seizure. The loans are designed to provide fast, short-term financing for car owners.
There is also a higher lender risk due to an easier qualifying process. As a result, the loan characteristics are designed with this in mind. This section will walk you through all car title loan characteristics.
|Car Title Loan Cheat Sheet|
|Fees||20% to 50% of the loan amount|
|Loan-to-Value Ratio||Up to 50% of the car value|
|Term Length||One week to five years|
|Processing Speed||Funding in one to three business days|
The interest rate for a car title loan in Canada typically ranges from 30% to 60%, depending on the lender. This is significantly higher than most other types of secured loans, and it's essential to keep this fact in mind when deciding whether or not to take out a car title loan. In addition to the interest rate, there may also be fees.
Each lender charges different fees in addition to the interest rate. These fees are typically not included in the interest rate, so comparing loans using their APR instead of the posted rate is essential.
It's common to see fees around 20% to 50% of the loan amount. This is because many lenders charge lower interest rates to draw customers and reveal the higher fees later in the application process. For example, a $4,000 loan could have $2,000 in fees.
This wouldn't be shown in the interest rate. Using an APR calculator will help you compare the truthful cost of borrowing. The following shows the common fees, each item is expected to cost a couple hundred dollars.
It's essential to be aware of all potential fees when taking out a car title loan, and it's also essential to ask about them directly before signing any documentation. By reading through your contract carefully and asking your lender questions, you can reduce the risks associated with car title loans and ensure that you make a wise financial decision.
Most car title loans require a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 50%. You can't borrow more than 50% of your car value. For example, if your vehicle's market value is $20,000, you can borrow up to $10,000.
Note that this varies on the lender and your type of vehicle. You can think of loan-to-value (LTV) as your lender's safety cushion. If they need to seize your car and sell it, a lower LTV makes it easier for them to get their money back.
As a result, you can expect higher LTVs on cars that retain their value and are easy to sell. For example, cars with lower mileage and more recent models.
The most common term lengths range from one month to five years. However, this varies by lender; some may offer up to six years for more creditworthy borrowers. Longer terms typically have lower monthly payments since you spread costs over a longer time. However, this results in more lifetime interest paid and lenders charging a higher interest rate.
If you only need a small amount of money for a short period, then opt for a shorter length to keep your total interest as low as possible. However, if you need a more significant sum, a longer term may be better to decrease the monthly payment.
Maintaining car payments is essential to ensure your vehicle is not seized. As with standard mortgages, each payment will include principal and interest. In most cases, the lender will deduct payments from your bank account through pre-authorized debits.
Not having sufficient funds will result in non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees from your bank and lender. Some lenders will delay your payment a few days if you contact them at least three business days in advance. This gives you time to ensure having money in your bank account. Additionally, you'll want to ask your lender if the loan is open vs. closed.
As a result, an open loan is better if you expect to improve your financial situation shortly. This is because you can refinance into a lower-interest-rate loan.
Generally, lenders can process your request within 24 hours. However, some may take up to 72 hours, depending on the complexity of your application. For example, you may be required to provide additional information or documentation if the lender needs to verify your income and creditworthiness before approving a loan amount.
After gathering all the documents and meeting the requirements, you can apply for a car loan. You can apply in person at a local car title loan company, or you can complete the application process online.
The application process for a car title loan is straightforward. You will typically need to provide your personal information and details about the vehicle you use as collateral.
Once you have submitted your application, a representative from the lender will typically review it and contact you to confirm that all of your documents are in order. They may also arrange to conduct a vehicle inspection or appraisal to verify the condition and value of your car.
Lenders will typically provide an offer that shows the monthly payment without any mention of your APR. You should also ask about the term length, fees, and interest rate. With this information, you can calculate your APR, showing your true borrowing cost. If you find the rate is too high, you can use an alternative listed below.
Overall, a car title loan is a type of secured loan. You should expect an APR of around 30% to 60%. Avoid lenders charging more unless you don’t have better alternatives. Additionally, you can borrow up to 50% of your car's value as a lump sum. The main advantage of auto title loans is that you can expect to receive funding in a few business days.
Secured loans generally have lower interest rates because there is less lender risk. The safer your secured asset, the lower the interest rate your lender will charge and the higher LTV you can expect. The remainder of this section compares the top alternatives to car title loans.
Homeowners can secure their home equity for interest rates beginning at 6%. Depending on your credit score and the value of your home, you can borrow up to 90% LTV. This means that on a $500,000 home, you can have up to $450,000 borrowed against your home. This includes your outstanding mortgage balance.
Home equity loans take longer to process. Expect up to two weeks for approval and funding. There are many different home equity loans;
Personal loans, such as a line of credit, allow you to borrow with interest rates of around 8%. These are offered by banks and credit unions in Canada but there is a tougher application process. Additionally, you may need proof of income, such as your tax return or recent pay stubs, to qualify for a personal loan.
Canadian credit cards have interest rates of around 19.99%. You can also withdraw cash using a cash advance. If your auto loan exceeds this rate, you’ll save money on your monthly payment by using a credit card. The main downside is that your credit limit may not be as high as a car title loan. There are various types of credit cards to meet all kinds of demands.