What is a Title Loan?

a car

Auto loans are a type of short-term loan that uses the title of your car as loan collateral.

Explore this Vocabulary Guide:

What is a Title Loan?

Car loans, title loans, auto loans are all loans that use the title of your vehicle as loan collateral. This means that if you cannot pay back the loan, your car can be used to pay back the loan as a last resort.

Loans that have some kind of collateral, like the title to your car, make the loan a secure loan. A secure loan can be easier to get approved and come with lower interest rates.

How Do Title Loans Work

So you’ve decided you want to take out a title loan. Now what do you do?

Title loans are very simple. All you have to do is find a title loan place near you, like Check City, and take in your vehicle. At the title loan place you will fill out an application and they will inspect your vehicle.

After a quick vehicle inspection, you’ll be offered a loan amount based on the value of your car. Once all of that is done and processed you can drive away with the cash you need sometimes in the very same day!

How to Get a Car Title Loan

Getting a title loan is one of the easier loans to get. This is because title loans are secure loans, which makes them less risky for the lender.

If you want to know how to get a title loan, first, find a title loan place, learn their requirements, and bring in your car. At the title loan place, they’ll assess your car’s value and you’ll fill out their application and provide documents like your car’s title and a photo ID.

You also have to completely own your vehicle before you can take out a title loan with it. The title of the vehicle also has to have your name on it in order for you to use it for a title loan.

How to get a title loan without a car:

Can you get a title loan without a car? The short answer is no.

What you can do is you can get a title loan without bringing in your vehicle for an inspection at the title loan place or you could get a personal loan.

Title loans that don’t require a car can sometimes be called a completely online title loans or no inspection title loans. But a borrower still has to own a car in order to receive a title loan.

How to get a title loan without a clear title:

A clear title is a vehicle title that doesn’t have any existing liens or debts on it.

One way you can get a title loan without a clear title is if you already have a title loan. So instead of using the title of your car to take out a loan, you end up refinancing an existing title loan.

Many lenders don’t like to let borrowers take out multiple loans on one car. The more liens you have on a vehicle the riskier your loans become. That’s why lenders generally want the title of your vehicle to be clear of other liens before you can take out a title loan on that car.

You might also be missing your car title. You can get a new one with the DMV.

How to get a title loan without a job:

Many lenders require proof of income for anyone applying for a loan. This is because loans need some kind of security before they can be given out.

But if you don’t have proof of income or proof of employment you can lean on other things like a high credit score or a cosigner. Otherwise, you’ll want to get a secure source of income in your life again before seeking out a title loan so your car doesn’t end up getting repossessed.

How to get out of a title loan:

Defaulting on a title loan might be necessary if you no longer have the ability to repay the loan. If you need to get out of a title loan, the best thing to do is pay off the loan. If this isn’t an option then you can try to sell the car in order to repay the loan.

You might also be able to find another way to repay the loan by selling something else. You could also swap out the car or sell the car in order to get the funds to repay the loan.

Refinancing the loan is another option. Many lenders offer refinancing options for if you need to borrow more or want to make your payments smaller. Making your payments smaller might be what you need to keep from defaulting on your title loan.

What Do I Need for a Title Loan?

There are a few things you’ll need with you when applying for an auto loan. You’ll need to bring the car you want to use as collateral so they can inspect its value, your identification, and the papers for your car. Here are a few things you might need to bring with you when applying for your auto loan:

  • your vehicle and title
  • proof of registration
  • a picture ID of yourself
  • proof of income
  • a credit check
  • vehicle keys
Are title loans Just for cars?

The answer to this question is going to depend a lot on where you go to get a title loan. Some title loan places have tight restrictions on what type of vehicles they accept for their title loans. Other title loan places let you take out title loans on other vehicle types like motorcycles and boats.

If you own any of the following vehicles, there’s a possibility you could use its title to get a title loan:

  • boat title loans
  • RV title loans
  • motorcycle title loans
  • trailer title loans
  • camper title loans
  • dirt bike title loans
  • jet ski title loans

Boat Title Loans

Can I get a loan using my boat title? Yes, you can! The key to any title loan is that you own the vehicle outright, have the title to the vehicle in your name, and don’t have any other current liens on the title. If those three things check out, then you can use the title to your boat for a title loan!

Motorcycle Title Loans

Can I get a title loan on my motorcycle? Yes! If you own your vehicle completely, meaning the motorbike is completely paid for and owned by you, then you can also use your motorcycle to get a title loan. Cash loans for motorcycle titles are relatively easy to get too if your motorcycle title loan is a small loan.

Trailer Title Loans

Can you get a title loan on a trailer? Believe it or not, yes! You can get a title loan on a trailer. Trailers might not move on their own but they still come with a title. This means you can get a title loan on your trailer if you want.

Camper Title Loans

To find camper title loans near me all you need to do is find title loans near me. Then, give the title loan place a call and ask if they offer title loans for campers. If they say yes, then you’re good to go!

How to Find Title Loans Near Me

Since title loans often involve bringing in your vehicle for inspections, you probably want to find title loan places nearby. You can use our How-to-Find Guide to learn all the ways you can find title loans near you. This article will also go over search engine tips to help you get the best results online.

The best way to find title loans near you is to search on google maps and explore what pops up in your local area. The next best tactic for finding title loans near me is to ask your neighbors! Get local recommendations by getting on social media and asking your friends and family where they’ve gone for title loans before.

How to Get a Title Loan Online

For the most part, title loans can’t be done completely online because they require a car inspection. The car inspection is part of what determines how much you can get in a loan. The amount you can borrow is usually a percentage of how much your car is currently worth.

But some places, like the Check City Title Loan, will let you start the title loan application online.

Auto Loan Calculator

How do you calculate an auto loan? How much can you get for your car? How much will your monthly loan payments be? All of these questions will have specific answers depending on where you go to get your car loan.

The best you can do without talking to a loan representative is make an estimate based on the value of your car. You can figure out the current value of your car by going onto sites like Kelly Blue Book, or the NADA guide. On Kelly Bluebook you can search “My Car’s Value” to see how much your car is worth right now.

Some places can offer 100% of the value of your vehicle while other places can only offer a certain percentage of your vehicle’s total value. Ask your lender beforehand how much they can typically offer for a vehicle to get an estimate of how much you can receive for your car loan.

Auto Loan Calculator Example:

For example, say I have a vehicle that I look up on Kelly Blue Book to find it’s worth $2,000. I can then call my local title loan place and ask them what percentage of my car’s value I can get in a title loan. If my title loan place can offer me 50% of my car’s current value, then I can get a title loan of $1,000.

Total Title Loan Amount = Current Vehicle Value x Percentage in Decimal Form


$1,000 = $2,000 x 0.50

Just remember that when paying back any loan, you will most likely have to pay back a certain percentage in APRs and interest rates. You might borrow $1,000 for your title loan, but end up paying more than that back to the lender in interest rates.

Interest rates are like the collateral on your car. They add an extra layer of financial protection for the lender letting you borrow money.

Car Loans For Bad Credit

Car loans are a great loan option for anyone with bad credit. This is because car loans depend more on the value of your car then the value of your credit score. Some title loans might still do a credit check. But title loans weigh their lending risk against your car title more than your credit score.

When you have bad credit, it can be really hard to get approved for the loans you need. Small loans can also help you build up your credit score. Title loans are a great option for anyone with bad credit because you are more likely to get approved and a small title loan that you repay on time each month can help build your credit score back up.

The Benefits of Title Loans

The primary benefit of a title loan is that if you don’t have a more traditional way to secure a loan, like a high credit score, then you can use the value of your car to secure a loan. Title loans are also usually fast and easy to get approved because the security on the loan is so straight forward.

So if you need fast, straightforward loan then a title loan might be the perfect answer for you.


Investopedia.”Personal Loans vs. Car Loans: What’s the Difference?” by Christina Majaski.

The Balance.”How to Get Out of a Title Loan: 6 Ways to Legally Break Free of Monthly Debt Against Your” by Justin Pritchard.


written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

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