Car title loans can be a great way to get out of some short-term financial trouble, but it can also lead to future financial trouble – and much more – if you fail to pay back your loan.
That’s because, in order to be approved for any car title loan, you’re going to have to put up your car’s title as collateral. That means that if you fail to pay back your loan, you’re going to have to wave goodbye to your trusted automobile.
That’s quite the price to be willing to pay. If, however, you are able to treat your car title loan responsibly, making sure that you make your payments on time and in full, it can be a great way to get your hands on an easy and fast loan.
How They Work
The basics of a car title loan are really quite simple. Basically, in order to lake out a loan against your car, you need to have equity in your car. For most lenders, they’ll only consider lending to you if you have already paid off your entire car and own it outright. While some don’t require you to own it outright, it is the norm.
Once your ownership over the car has been established, the lending company will decide how much they are willing to lend you depending on the value of your car. Car title loans typically range between $100 and $5,500.
It is true that the amount you can borrow is based on the equity that you have in your car and the value of that car, but do not expect to get a loan that is equal to the actual worth of the car.
Lenders want to make it as likely as possible that they’ll be getting their money back, so they will lend you only what they can get quickly and easily in exchange for your car in the event that you fail to pay back your loan. Most lenders will offer you a loan equal to between 25 percent and 70 percent of your car’s market value.
Speaking of your lender wants to ensure that they can easily get their money back in the event that you fail to repay the loan, it is important to know that some lenders will require you to install a GPS tracking device on your car so that they can easily locate it in the event of a repossession.
If you didn’t think that they were serious about repossessing your car if you fail to pay, or pay on time, be forewarned that they are very serious.
How to Pay Off Car Title Loans
It is important to know that car title loans are almost always very short-term loans. You will be expected to pay back the loan in full, plus interest and any possible fees, typically within 30 days.
While some car title loan repayments include multiple different payments, others include what is called a balloon payment, which is a lump-sum payment at the end of your payment period that includes the loan payback and any interest and fees you incurred.
If you are unable to pay back your loan on time, you will likely have the option to roll over the loan to the next month. That will certainly come with added expenses and interest fees, however, and you have to know what kind of fees to expect before you decide to roll over your loan.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is very important for you to know exactly what your interest rate is. The average interest rate on car title loans is approximately 25 percent. That means that if you take out a title loan of $2,000, you will end up having to pay $500 worth of interest rates alone.
That might not sound too bad, but if you roll over your loan, and 25 percent interest is applied to each rollover, your small loan can turn into a huge financial burden.
If you were to carry the loan for a full year, the APR or annual percentage rate would be 300 percent of your original loan. That’s a serious hole to find yourself in, and it’s even harder to dig yourself out of that hole if you lose your car as a result of not being able to pay back your loan.
That being said, it is not uncommon for title lenders to allow borrowers to pay back their loan early without a prepayment penalty.
That means that if you need your loan in a pinch, but are able to come up with the money before your term is complete, you could save quite a bit of money in interest fees by paying off your loan early.
Losing Your Car
Paying back your loan plus interest is one thing, losing your car is something else entirely. That’s what you have to be prepared to risk if you take out a car title loan.
In the event that you are unable to pay back your loan, or keep up with your payments, your lender can repossess your car and sell it to make up for the money they have lost by lending you money you can’t repay.
If your car is repossessed, your financial situation could quickly go from bad to worse. Without a car, you might have a harder time getting to work or finding work. You could even have a harder time doing simple things like going grocery shopping, taking your kids to school, and more.
Before you take out a car title loan, it is imperative that you take a look at your daily life and decide whether or not you are willing to put your car on the line. You could get some initial financial relief with a car title loan, but it could be relatively short-lived.
Still, if you are in quick need of some easy cash and do not possess the kind of credit score to take out a traditional loan, a car title loan can be a clear way to relief.
Are you thinking about getting a car title loan?