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Saturday, October 16th
TitleMax got its start in 1998 in Georgia and has expanded to include more than 1000 locations in 15 states. With respect to car title loans, 14 of those states are eligible and include Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
No surprises in the online application
The online application for a TitleMax loan only takes a few minutes. You'll have to provide information about your car, your income, and how much cash you hope to borrow. Once you're approved for a loan, you'll have to bring your title into a location near you. After that, your funds will either be given to you as a check or as a deposit to a Universe Silver Deposit Account that you can sign up for through TitleMax.
Can't borrow as much money here
Depending on the specifics of your car (age, mileage, make and model, and so forth) and your current income, you could be eligible to borrow up to $10,000. That's a lot lower than many of TitleMax's competitors.
Need more info about fees and interest
And how much will it cost you to borrow that much? We'd sure like to know, because their FAQ only makes this vague statement: "While some title lenders do charge high interest rates, TitleMax charges very competitive interest rates, and will develop a personalized payment plan that's manageable for your lifestyle." When most car title loan providers tell you straight up what you should expect to pay in interest, usually in the fine print at the bottom of the page at a bare minimum, this comes across as much less than forthcoming.
Bad reputation = not a good choice
TitleMax comes in towards the bottom of our rankings among providers of car title loans. This is largely due to their bad reputation, which includes an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. That rating was given for TitleMax's nearly 300 complaints registered with the BBB and government action taken against the business - like the one by the state of California that forbids from originating any new loans there. Not a good look, Title Max. You'll want to choose a higher-rated lender for your car title loan.
If you're considering a car title loan, chances are good that you've come across some unexpected bills. Maybe your car broke down and you need it fixed quickly to keep your job. Or your roof started to leak after a storm and you can't wait on your insurance adjuster to take months to get the claim paid. Many Americans find themselves in trouble and don't have many options for getting money fast. That's where car title loans come in.
How does this type of loan work? If you own a vehicle free and clear, you can use its title as collateral to secure a short-term loan. The good thing is, you don't have to stop using your car: continue to drive it as you usually would, until the loan is repaid in full and you get the title returned to you.
Car title loans are also attractive because they rarely require you to have a great credit history: you're guaranteeing that you'll repay the loan by borrowing against your car's value, so credit isn't really a factor. Of course, that's one of the downsides too: if you don't pay the loan back, you stand to lose your transportation, and you can't borrow more than your car is worth. That's cool if you're driving a Porsche, but if you drive a 20-year-old beater you might not get much out of a title loan.
Another thing to keep in mind is that car title loans usually have really high interest rates: in the triple digits isn't unheard of. You'd be wise to see if other, lower-interest rate personal loans are a possibility before you turn to a car title loan for your cash needs.
So, all that being said, how can you tell which car title loan provider to use? There are a lot of them out there, and some of them are less-than-reputable in the way they treat customers. Here are a couple of factors to check out before you commit to a car title loan:
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