We’ve all been there before.
Whether it’s an unexpected crisis, or finding the means to pay next week’s rent – when you have bad credit – it can feel like a car title loan is your only option.
At ElitePersonalFinance, we highly recommend you avoid them.
Now, before we explain why, what exactly is a car title loan?
As a type of secured loan, lenders require you to put up your car as collateral. If you fail to make the payments, your car can be seized in the process. Their average APR is 300%.
Because of a questionable reputation, car title loans are actually illegal in many states.
When marketing the product, lenders often lure customers by promising fast approval and no credit pull.
However, there is a reason for this.
Lenders know your credit score is low and use this information to profit off those in financial trouble. They specifically target borrowers in desperate financial situations or those with really bad credit.
Without a doubt, car title loans are predatory in nature.
Now, how else do they cause financial harm?
- According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), auto title loans have an average APR of 300%.
- About 20% of car title loan borrowers end up losing their car.
- Many auto title loans have hidden fees and rollover charges.
- People often fall behind on their payments and get stuck paying interest-only; this increases your risk of falling into a vicious debt-cycle.
Hopefully there are alternatives !!!
So with all of this in mind, what are your options?
Well, the first step is knowing.
In 2019 – there are many alternative lending solutions available to those with bad credit. As lending markets continue to evolve, it’s become easier to obtain personal loans from legitimate lenders without risk of losing your property.
And through our team’s diligent research, we found some the best auto title loan alternatives available in the marketplace today.
So sit back, and see if there is a solution that’s right for you.
Best Car Title Loan Alternatives 2019
|Loan Company||Min Credit Score||APR||Amount||Type|
|CashUSA||0||5.99% – 35.99%||$10,000||Secured Personal Loan for Really Bad Credit|
|BadCreditLoans||0||5.99% – 35.99%||$5,000||Personal Loan for Really Bad Credit|
|LendingTree||500||3.99% – 35.99%.||$35,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
|OppLoans||0||99% – 199%||$5,000||Alternative Payday Loan|
|PersonalLoans||580||5.99% – 35.99%||$35,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
|Lendup||0||30% – 1,356%||$1,000||Alternative Payday Loan|
|Upstart||620||8.16% – 35.99%||$50,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
|Upgrade||620||6.99% – 35.97%||$50,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
|Payoff||640||5.99% – 24.99%||$35,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
|LendingPoint||600||15.49% – 34.99%||$25,000||Personal Loan for Bad Credit|
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If you’re considering a car title loan, be sure to check out the quality offers from online lender CashUSA. Designed specifically for those with bad credit, CashUSA offers an extremely high approval rate if you put up your car as collateral.
But wait, isn’t this the same thing as a car title loan?
While car title loans come with APRs that average 300%, CashUSA offers personal loan APRs that range from 5.99% to 35.99%. While those with bad credit can expect an APR at the high-end of the range, CashUSA rates are still much more affordable than a car title loan. As well, if you have fair credit, you can expect a competitive interest rate that meets your needs.
And how much can you borrow?
CashUSA offers loans up to $10,000, but – according to their website – the amount can be increased.
Because of their outstanding reputation in bad credit loan business, we recommend CashUSA as the one of the best auto title loan alternative in the marketplace today.
But what about the risks involved with secured loans?
Like many things in life, there are two sides to every coin. In order to protect themselves, lenders require collateral to cover losses in case a borrower defaults. For you, this allows for increased borrowing capacity and a lower APR.
And the other side?
Well, it opens up the possibility of losing your car. We recommend you be extremely careful with secured loans. Only use them if you’re sure you can repay the debt on-time and in-full.
- Easy approval.
- Those with really bad credit can still be approved.
- The company applies personal loan APRs ranging from 5.99% to 35.99%.
- Borrowing amounts can exceed $10,000, but you have to speak with them directly.
- Secured loans put you at risk of losing your collateral.
- Bad credit means a higher APR; although it’s still much lower than a traditional car title loan.
All-in-all, we definitely think CashUSA is a viable option for those with bad credit. While you’re still required to secure your car, APRs are much lower than traditional car title loans and the company offers flexibility when it comes to the amount you can borrow.
If you’re in need of quick cash and are looking for a reputable lender – CashUSA should be at the top of your list.
Best Secured Personal Loans for Really Bad Credit
As another top-rated online lender, BadCreditLoans provides cash loans to people with extremely bad credit. And like their motto states – we can help where others can’t.
Now, what separates CashUSA from BadCreditLoans?
The main difference is they offer unsecured loans. Instead of using your car as collateral, BadCreditLoans offers unsecured loans which gives you extra peace of mind. If you’re stuck and in need of fast cash – BadCreditLoans can be a reliable resource.
So what else separates CashUSA from BadCreditLoans?
Well, because loans are unsecured, the amount you can borrow is much less. While they offer loans up to $5,000, those with really bad credit shouldn’t expect that much. Usually the lender will provide up to $1,500 if your credit is extremely poor, while those with higher credit scores can get the full amount of $5,000.
- Easy and fast approval.
- Those with really bad credit still get approved.
- APRs in the personal loan range which means less than 35.99%.
- For those with really bad credit, expect high APRs ranging from 20% to 35.99%; however, this is still much less than a car title loan which has an average APR of 300%.
- Not all loans get approved.
Like CashUSA, BadCreditLoans is an extremely viable option for those in need of fast cash. What makes it even better is the company does not require collateral to obtain a loan. While we recommend you never take out a secured loan if you aren’t sure you can repay the debt – BadCreditLoans allow you to borrow risk-free.
So if you’re in the market for a short-term loan, make sure to check out all BadCreditLoans has to offer.
Best Personal Loan for Really Bad Credit
As another great online option for those with really bad credit, LendingTree has both the scale and reputation of a market leader. With over 10 billion in loans provided, LendingTree is one of the largest short-term lenders in the marketplace today.
What separates LendingTree from other major players – like Prosper and LendingClub – is the company opens its doors to those with really bad credit. LendingTree provides loan options to people with credit scores as low as 500. Conversely, some of its 10 largest competitors often require minimum credit scores in the 600-700 range – which makes it much more difficult to obtain a loan.
With APRs ranging from 3.99% to 35.99%, LendingTree offers unsecured loans up to $35,000.
But will you really receive that much?
In all honesty, it’s unlikely.
If you have really bad credit, the amount you can expect will be much lower and your APR will most likely fall 20% to 35.99%. However, considering loans are unsecured – like BadCreditloans – you never have to worry about losing any collateral. As well, you can discuss your situation directly with them and see what terms are appropriate for you.
- As one of the largest online loan companies, LendingTree is a name you can trust.
- APRs range from 3.99% to 35.99%.
- Low credit score requirements (500 minimum).
- 1-day approval process.
- Some people with extremely bad credit won’t be approved.
- A loan origination fee of 0-3% can apply.
When it comes to a name you know and trust, LendingTree has you covered from all angles. With loan APRs ranging from 3.99% to 35.99%, the company offers lending solutions that rival those we mentioned above.
If you’re in need of a quick loan, LendingTree can provide great solutions when you need it most.
Best Online Personal Loan for Bad Credit
As a relatively new player in the lending space, we categorize Opploans as an alternative lender. Their APR is: 99% to 199%.
For more detail on what separates them from the other options above, check out our detailed guide on best payday loan alternatives.
To break it down in brief, the main thing you should know is Opploans does not provide personal loans. The reason is their APRs exceed 35.99%; and while it’s quite expensive, they still provide a cheaper option than traditional payday or car title loans.
So if that’s the case, why do we recommend them?
Well, despite the obvious downsides, we want to provide options to help people avoid payday loans. If you have other options, it’s best to avoid Opploans. However if you’re torn between Opploans or a payday loan, you’ll definitely save money by choosing the former.
- Very easy approval.
- Those with very bad credit can still get approved.
- They don’t check your credit but will access your financial transaction history.
- A much cheaper alternative compared to traditional payday and auto title loans.
- Very expensive, with APRs ranging from 99% to 199%.
- High APRs put you at risk of falling into a debt cycle.
OppLoans Currently Offers Installment Loans in:
OppLoans Currently Offers Line of Credit Product in:
Loans Originated and Funded by FinWise Bank:
District of Columbia
On a relative basis, Opploans can provide a reliable alternative to payday and car title loans. While APRs are still extremely high, the out-of-pocket costs are still less than what you pay with the other two. Our recommendation is to use it as a last resort. However, in the case of emergencies, it’s good to know the lender is there.
What’s the Difference Between Secured Personal Loans and Auto Title Loans?
On the surface, both products look very similar. You borrow a sum money and use collateral to back the loan. However, when you look a little closer, you can see there are significant differences.
To understand the difference better, let’s start with a quick definition of personal loans and payday loans.
Personal loans come with APRs that range from 5.99% to 35.99% and allow borrowing amounts that range from $1,000 to $100,000. As well, they are usually repaid in installments ranging from 1-year to 10-years.
Conversely, payday loans come with an average APR of 400% and borrowing amounts that typically top-out at $1,000. As well, payday loans are repaid from your next paycheck.
When you collateralize a personal loan – using your car or another asset – it becomes a secured personal loan. The collateral increases your chance of getting approved by the lender.
Conversely, when you collateralize a payday loan, it becomes similar to a car title loan. Adding collateral to a payday loan allows you to increase the borrowing amount, but it will only lower the APR to roughly 300%.
As such, payday loans are much more comparable to auto title loans.
If I Have Bad Credit, Can I Still Get a Personal Loan?
In a word – yes.
As the lending market continues to grow, companies are more willing to provide personal loans to those with bad credit.
Check out our article that breaks down the flexibility of the lending market. It covers all the details.
What are the Best Auto Title Loans?
Because of the financial harm they cause, we decided to not list for auto title loans. As mentioned above, they are predatory – so our advice is to use them only as a last resort.
However, if an auto title loan is your only option, we have some helpful tips to ensure it goes smoothly:
- First, conduct extensive research on personal loans; don’t get an auto title loan unless you’re sure you can’t get a personal loan; as well, if you can wait a few months, focus on increasing your credit score – this will open doors to much better offers.
- If you decide an auto title loan is right for you, make sure the lender is licensed in your state.
- Only take out an auto title loan if you’re absolutely sure you can repay the debt on time; if not, you risk losing your collateral.
- Make sure to read the fine print: many auto title loans have hidden fees so ask questions about anything you don’t understand and be sure all details are clearly laid out; at their offices, many lenders try and complete the process as quickly as possible so take your time to avoid any misunderstandings; as well, many lenders list their interest rates instead of the APR; find clarity on how rates will be applied.
- Ask about flexibility: what will happen if I can’t pay on time? Is there a grace period? Is there a late payment fee? Often times – with late payments – you can be stuck paying interest-only, which increases your chances of falling into a vicious debt cycle; even worse, they can reposes your car; make sure you know all of the facts before your sign on the dotted line.
- Before agreeing, ask if you can get an installment loan: many auto title lenders offer installment loans, however we still don’t recommend them; even though they offer a slight improvement over car title loans, they are still extremely expensive.
- Ask what they do with your personal information: many auto title lenders share or sell your data to third-party companies; make sure you clarify what practices the company employs.
What are Other Companies That Offer Secured Loans?
Before settling for a car title loan, try some of these alternatives instead. There are many companies that offer secured loans with APRs much lower than a car title loan.
With APRs ranging from 16.05% to 35.99%, OneMain Financial offers interest rates similar to what you find with personal loans. You can also can expect for loans ranging from $1,500 to $30,000. Although they don’t have a minimum credit score requirement, the average credit score for most customers ranges from 600 to 650.
With APR of 30%, Finova Financial offers products similar to car title loans. While you still use your car as collateral, the company charges rates that are 50% less than the current national average. As well, you can get loans ranging from $750 to $5,000.
Loan term are 12-months, repayment length of 12-months and you can pay off the loan any time without a prepayment penalty. However, the company charges a $75 DMV lien fee and a variable document stamp tax; both charges are rolled into the total loan proceeds.
With APRs ranging from 7.49% to 24.49%, Wells Fargo offers loans secured against your savings or certificate of deposit (CD) balance. Borrowing amounts range from $3,000 to $100,000 and loan duration can extend up to 120 months; as well there is as $75 origination fee due upfront.
Can I get a Loan from a Credit Union?
When banks are unwilling to provide financing to those with bad credit, credit unions can be a viable alternative. Unfortunately, these lenders tend to avoid borrowers with really bad credit, but do offer payday loan alternatives to those who meet their minimum requirements. Their payday cash alternatives tend to come with APRs of about 28%.
What are Some Other Ways to Avoid Car Title Loans?
- Become a Lyft or Uber Driver
You already have a car, so instead of putting it up as collateral for a loan, join Lyft or Uber and make a few extra dollars in your spare time. As a supplement to your current earnings, ridesharing can be a great way to avoid the burden of high-interest debt.
- Take Paid Surveys
Since companies salivate over customer data, they often pay a decent chunk of change to fill out low-maintenance surveys. Many pay between $0.50 to $1.25 per survey and take less than five minutes to complete. Over the course of a few days, this can add-up pretty quickly.
- Deliver Food with Uber Eats
As more and more restaurants branch out into food delivery, again, you can use your car to earn extra income. With flexibility in mind, its app allows you to sign in and out on your own schedule and deliver food at times that work best for you.