The Best Title Loan Companies in the United States
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Traditionally, the most common way people get loans in the United States is by going to a bank or credit union. They will typically offer what is known as a personal installment loan, where you must make monthly repayments on the principal plus interest.
However, personal installment loans are not accessible to everyone. Banks and credit unions pull your credit score to determine your eligibility for an installment loan. If your score is too low, it’s unlikely that any creditor is willing to offer you a loan.
This is where title loans come in. Instead of looking at your credit score, title loan lenders use much more lenient criteria to determine eligibility. Most US citizens with a government issued ID, clear car title, and some form of income are able to become approved for a title loan.
Thus, if you have poor credit but still need cash fast, title loans are one of the most practical options for you. In this post, we’ve handpicked three of the best title loan companies in the country. We’ll also provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about title loans.
The Top 3 Best Title Loan Companies in the United States
The US has a handful of national title loan companies, but few can beat the scale and success of Max Cash, LoanMart, and Loan Center. All of these three companies have unique advantages that put them above their competition.
No matter what state you live in, consider Max Cash first in your search for a title loan. They are the premier option for title loans, having served over 1 million customers since their founding.
Max Cash operates differently from regular title loan companies. Rather than act as a direct lender, they help connect their clients with one of their partner lenders. Thus, they provide a platform that can match you with multiple potential lenders.
This unique model gives Max Cash the clear advantage when it comes to securing a good rate. Because multiple lenders are trying to win your loan, you have more negotiating power than you would with a traditional title loan company.
In addition, among companies that use this model, Max Cash has the largest network of partner lenders out there. It’s easy to see why Max Cash clients see very high approval rates. Best of all, Max Cash’s services are entirely free to use, so there’s no reason not to fill out an application today.
Here is a complete list of the reasons we vouch for Max Cash:
- It’s Free
- Quick and Easy Online Application
- Biggest Network of Title Loan Lenders
- Transparent About Rates and Services
- Fair Evaluation of Car Value
- Ability To Compare Interest Rates and Loan Amounts
- Protects Your Personal Information
- Top-Tier Customer Service
- Bank Account Not Required
For a full overview of Max Cash’s services, read our full review of Max Cash.
LoanMart is another excellent title loan company to consider. Since they started as a single local California pawn shop in 1999, they have expanded their services to over 20 states and 1,300 metropolitan areas.
LoanMart is different from Max Cash in that they are a direct lender. When you fill out a LoanMart application, they are directly responsible for approving or declining you, determining your loan contract, and funding your loan.
The main advantage to this model is that you may get your funds faster than you would with Max Cash. However, you do lose a little bit of flexibility and negotiating power with them.
Still, LoanMart’s dedication to exceptional customer service, focus on financial education, and protecting client information makes them one of the top choices in the country. Their “Three Day Peace of Mind” guarantee also allows any of their clients to back out of any title loan agreement for free within 72 days.
These are all the reasons we like LoanMart:
- Three Day Peace of Mind Guarantee
- Excellent Customer Service Support
- Dedicated to Financial Education
- Protects Your Personal Information
- Competitive Rates
- Secure Funds Quickly
- Multiple Loan Options
Last but not least, Loan Center is another direct title loan lender that’s well-known across the country. Since their founding, this Los Angeles based company has funded title loans worth $5 million in total.
Loan Center operates by their tagline, “Lending Made Easy.” To achieve this, they offer exceptional rates on their title loans, which you can find in-store in 8 states. While this coverage is smaller compared to Max Cash and LoanMart, they also offer ways to complete the title loan process entirely online.
Loan amounts can vary from state to state, but you could get as much as $50,000 if you apply with Loan Center. They accept many types of vehicles as collateral, including cars, motorcycles, and RVs. They also offer title loan refinancing services as well.
Here is a full list of reasons why we like Loan Center:
- Quick and Easy Online Application
- Bad Credit Scores OK
- Competitive Rates
- Car Does Not Need To Be Paid Off
- Secure Funds Quickly
- Multiple Loan Options
Are Title Loans Legal in Every State?
At the time of this writing, title loans are not legal in every state. The federal government defers the responsibility of title loan legislation to the individual states, according to Cpnm.org.
Because of this, you’ll often find different title loan restrictions and interest rates in different states. For example, someone living in Florida may get a very different title loan compared to someone living in Nevada:
- According to Florida legislature, title loan lenders can charge at max 30% APR on the first $2,000 of the loan.
- According to Nevada legislature, there is no restriction on what interest rate title loan lenders are allowed to charge. However, it is unlawful if your monthly payment ends up being more than 25% of your expected gross monthly income.
In general, the Consumer Federation of America has an excellent summary of where title loans are legal in the US, as well as each state’s specific laws. If you’re wondering whether title loans are legal in your state, this is a great first source to check.
However, because title loan laws change so often, it’s also wise to reach out to an expert such as a Max Cash representative. They can help you provide the most up to date and accurate information.
If you live in one of the following states, check out these articles for specific title loan company recommendations:
When Should I Consider Getting a Title Loan?
Because title loans are usually one of the higher-interest loans out there, they should only be reserved for true financial emergencies. These usually include sudden medical bills, car repair bills, and an upcoming rent or mortgage payment.
At Credit Help Info, we advise against taking out a title loan if you don’t intend on using the money for an emergency expense. You shouldn’t take out a title loan for discretionary expenses, such as a new car, new furniture, or holiday gifts.
In addition, only take out a title loan if you know you can pay it back in full by the time your payment is due. For example, this means making sure that you’ll have your next paycheck by the time your loan contract expires.
What Do I Need to Apply For a Title Loan?
Though requirements vary across different states and title loan companies, you’ll almost always need the following things to apply:
- Government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
- Clear car title.
- Proof of income, such as a recent pay stub or bank statement.
- Proof of residency, such as a recent utility bill (driver’s license also works).
Some companies may also request proof of car insurance. Also, while having your car title is usually a hard requirement, some companies are also willing to offer you a title loan even if you’re still making payments on your car.
For your application itself, you’ll often need to include basic information about yourself and your car. This includes the make, model, and year of your car, as well as the current odometer reading. While you can get pre-approved for a title loan by self-reporting this information, many companies will want to do a full inspection of your car before handing you the money.
Do I Need Good Credit To Get a Title Loan?
No, you do not need good credit to get a title loan. This is one of the major benefits of title loans, as they cater to those who may not be able to get a traditional loan from a bank or credit union due to a low credit score.
While title loans are great as a short-term credit solution, it’s always a good idea to focus on building up your credit score sooner rather than later. Doing so will unlock better loans in the future where you won’t have to pay such high interest rates.
One great way for many Americans to begin fixing their credit score is through credit repair. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as many as one in five people have an error on their credit reports. Credit repair is aimed at fixing these errors, and many people have seen immediate score improvements as a result.
In our Ultimate Review Guide for Credit Saint, we discuss why they are one of the premier options for credit repair in the US. With Credit Saint, many clients are able to see score increases of 30, 60, or even more within just a few months of service. Thus, as you apply for a title loan, we recommend also reaching out to Credit Saint.
Do I Need a Bank Account To Get a Title Loan?
Depending on the company, you may or may not need a bank account to get a title loan. Max Cash is one example of a company that does not require a bank account.
Other companies that do not require a bank account have flexible options when it comes to receiving your funds. For example, they may offer a convenient debit card which contains the full amount of your loan.
Though you won’t always need a bank account to get a title loan, it’s usually a good idea to always have one anyways. If you want a bank account but are getting rejected due to poor banking history, consider second chance banking.
Do I Need Proof of Income To Get a Title Loan?
Yes, you typically need proof of income to get a title loan, as outlined in the list of required documents above. However, this doesn’t always mean that you must be employed to qualify.
If you’re going through a period of unemployment, some companies may still be willing to offer you a title loan if you can prove your income through other means. This can include showing that you receive unemployment benefits, or showing that you receive regular financial support from a friend or family member.
Can I Apply For a Title Loan Online?
Yes, most title loan companies offer ways for you to submit an application directly online. This is true for Max Cash, LoanMart, Loan Center, and many other locally-owned businesses as well.
Applying online is the most convenient way to start the title loan process. Among companies that offer this option, most claim that you can get an approval decision and a quote in as little as 30 minutes after submitting your online application. This is key, because one of the main benefits to title loans is how quickly you can get your funds.
After getting your quote, companies that offer a 100% online experience will send you a contract electronically for you to sign. After reviewing and accepting the terms, they can wire you your funds within the same or next business day.
Other companies offer ways to begin the application process online, but require you to visit one of their locations in person to finish the process. These can be a little less convenient, but you can still get your funds as soon as you finish the process in store.
If you’re in a pinch and need funds fast, we highly recommend taking advantage of the online application process at top companies such as Max Cash, LoanMart, and Loan Center.
What Is The Typical Interest Rate on a Title Loan?
The typical interest rate on title loans can vary widely across different states. Some states, such as California, have relatively strict laws that prevent high interest rates on title loans. According to the California Financing Law (AB-539), title loan interest rates in the state are capped at 36% APR.
In other states, interest rates are extremely high. For example, according to the Mississippi Title Pledge Act, monthly interest rates in the state are capped at 25%, which translates to an APR of 300%.
Before agreeing to any title loan contract, find out what the maximum interest rate is in your state. Be sure that your loan terms fit within the bounds of the law. Again, the ConsumerFed.org resource is useful here.
If you’re unhappy with your interest rate after you already have a title loan, many companies offer title loan refinance services. Many clients have successfully used a title loan refinance to significantly lower their monthly payments.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay Off My Title Loan?
Remember that you must hand over your car title to the title loan company at the time of the loan. This means that while you still get to drive your car throughout the duration of your title loan, the company technically has the rights to your vehicle. This means that if you are unable to pay off your title loan, the company can take possession of your car.
Some states, such as Tennessee, offer additional protections to consumers when it comes to repossession. According to the TN Title Pledge Act, the lender must hold your vehicle title for at least 20 days after your loan contract expires before being allowed to sell your car.
However, across the nation, repossession remains an unfortunate event that happens to approximately one in five auto title loan borrowers, according to a study done by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The only surefire way to avoid repossession is to ensure that you can pay your title loan off in time.
In addition to repossession, not paying off a title loan can have a serious negative effect on your credit score. If you default on a title loan, this can stay on your credit report for seven years or longer.
Are There Any Alternatives To Title Loans?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to title loans. One of the most popular alternatives is a payday loan, which also usually involves no credit checks and very fast funding. Many companies that offer title loans also offer payday loans as another service.
Other frequently overlooked options include getting a traditional installment loan, and borrowing from a family or friend, as suggested by Consumer.gov.
Are Car Title Loans Worth It?
Here is a list of pros of car title loans:
- They don’t involve a credit check. Most title loan companies won’t run your credit, making them a great option if you have a bad credit score.
- They’re fast. You can often get your funds on the same business day that you apply, which is faster than many other loan types out there. Online title loan applications make this process even more streamlined and convenient.
- You don’t have to give up your collateral immediately. While you do offer your car title as collateral, you still get to keep your car for the duration of the loan.
Here are the main cons of car title loans:
- They’re expensive. There’s no doubt that title loans have some of the highest interest rates out there. In some states, this can reach triple-digit APRs.
- You could face possible vehicle repossession. Not paying off your title loan can have dire consequences, including repossession of your vehicle.
Considering all this, car title loans are definitely worth it, provided that you prioritize paying off the loan in full and on time. If you can do that, then the pros of title loans will greatly outweigh the cons.
Conclusion and Next Steps
It’s true that title loans are expensive. However, few other options are as convenient and efficient in getting your finds as title loans are. If you do decide to take out a title loan, be sure to prioritize paying it off among your other debts.
To help you make the most out of your title loan experience, we took an in-depth look at title loan companies in the United States and recommended our top three. We also answered some of the most frequently asked questions about title loans, including when to consider applying for one, what you need to have before applying, and whether you can apply online.
If you’re set on getting a title loan, we recommend reaching out to Max Cash Title Loans first. Their wide network of partner lenders almost guarantees that you’ll find a great title loan at a great rate. Their services are free and there’s no obligation to commit to a loan, so don’t hesitate to contact them.
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About the Author
Chris Morgan is a credit expert, who has been featured in Addition Financial, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, and many other publications. He has read hundreds of books and resources on finance and the credit industry. Because he did this, you don’t have to. As a school teacher for over 20 years, Chris enjoys taking complicated material and breaking it down into manageable information that’s easy to understand.