Press release - Glendale, AZ, USA - March 9, 2016
Even though these lenders have been around for a while, signing your car over for a title loan in Glendale, AZ has become a serious financial issue. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of car title loans, allow us to explain. At times, the best of us get strapped for cash; we may have no credit or bad credit (just like they say in the commercials), which keeps us from getting small loans from a bank or some other more traditional means. A title loan offers you cash from the lender, in return you sign over the title of your paid-for car to secure the loan. Typically, these loans are due back in full 30 days later. There's no credit check and only minimal income verification. It sounds pretty straightforward, but borrowing from these places can lead to a repossession of your car and a whole lot of financial trouble.
Fees and interest only payments
In addition to high interest, these car title loans usually include a number of fees that add up quickly. These include processing fees, document fees, late fees, origination fees and lien fees. AOL Autos: Safest cars
Sometimes there is also a roadside assistance program that borrowers can purchase for another small fee. Some lenders have even gone so far as to make the roadside assistance mandatory. The cost of all these fees can be anywhere from $80 to $115, even for a $500 loan. Most of these fees are legal, except one that lenders sometimes charge, the repossession fee. Lenders are not allowed to charge you to repossess your vehicle, but some still do. AOL Autos: Top minivans
As if high interest rates and a mountain of fees weren't enough, lenders also give borrowers the option of interest-only payments for a set period of time. In these cases, the loans are usually set up for a longer period of time (compared to the typical 30 days) and the borrower can pay the interest only on the loan. These types of payments are called "balloon payments" where the borrower pays the interest of the loan each month and at the end of the term they still owe the full amount of the loan. The CFA reported that one woman paid $400 a month for seven months on an interest-only payment term for a $3,000 loan. After paying $2,800 in interest, she still owed the original $3,000 in the eighth month. AOL Autos: Most popular crossover vehicles
Rolling over and repossession
If you think most of the people who take out these loans pay them back in full after one month, think again. Because of the high interest and the fact that these lenders cater to low-income borrowers, many people aren't able to pay back their loans in the 30-day period. This is called "rolling over" the loan. The terms of these loans are crafted to keep borrowers in a cycle of debt and bring customers either to the verge of repossession or to actual repossession. Not being able pay off the initial loan and then renewing it the next month costs borrowers even more money in interest, on top of the original amount they've already borrowed. AOL Autos: Used luxury cars Let's talk about repossession for minute. The CFA reported that, of the people they interviewed in their 2004 study, 75% had to give the title loan lenders a copy of their car keys. Some companies started the cars to see if they worked and took pictures of the vehicle even before a customer filled out the loan application.
A company based in Arizona said they have GPS systems installed on the cars so they can track the cars and shut them off remotely if they don't receive payment on time. That may be an extreme case, but these lenders take a customer's promissory signature very seriously. If you can't pay, they will come looking for you and your car.
The concerns for having your car repossessed are obvious. How do you get to work, drop off the kids at school, pick up groceries or go out on the weekends without a car? As if those scenarios weren't bad enough, owning a car can be some people's biggest financial asset. If the car is taken away, so goes the money it was worth.
Some states have laws that force the lenders to pay you the difference of the loan once a lender has repossessed and sold your car, but some don't. It is possible to default on the loan and not get any money back for your car, even if you only borrowed a few hundred dollars.
This occurs because car title loans are also over-secured. Typically, the maximum amount most lenders will give you is 25 to 50 percent of what your car is actually worth. However, if you can't pay back the loan they may be able to sell your car and keep 100% of the profit. Some lenders won't take possession of a vehicle but instead take the customer to court for the money. They then tack on court costs and finance charges on top of the existing loan amount.