If you need quick access to significant cash and own a car, but your credit isn’t strong, a title loan is an option. This type of secured, short-term borrowing, which uses a vehicle as collateral, is popular in California. ConsumerAffairs researched the best title loan companies in San Diego so you know the qualifications and how to apply.
Both title loans and payday loans are short-term, high-interest types of borrowing meant as temporary financial solutions. But they are not the same; a title loan is secured, authorizing the lender to take possession of the borrower’s vehicle if the loan isn’t repaid. Title loans in San Diego also make it possible to borrow considerably more money.
With a title loan in San Diego, the amount you’re able to borrow depends on the value of the vehicle. The borrower surrenders the title to the car and gets it back once the loan is repaid, including interest and fees.
California caps interest on consumer loans up to $2,500, but 99.99 percent of title loans in the state exceed that threshold, allowing lenders to set their own borrowing costs; in 2013 a majority of title loans in California had annualized interest rates of 70 - 100 percent or higher.
Applying for a title loan in San Diego is done either online, over the phone or in person. The requirements may vary slightly from lender to lender, but in general you must:
Be 18 or older
Have a valid ID
Own a vehicle with a clean title
Have proof of income
Have proof of residency
Have proof of vehicle registration
The title loan company in San Diego may run a credit check, but good credit is not required.
California urges borrowers to exercise caution when considering title loans, not least because you risk losing your vehicle if the loan isn’t repaid on time. Before signing a contract, carefully review the terms of the loan and make sure you understand the interest charges, the annual percentage rate and all fees.
Borrow only what you can afford to repay, and consider cheaper alternatives first. If you do decide a title loan is appropriate, start by looking at the companies on this page.
Speedy Cash is a national company with two locations in the San Diego area. Title loans are available from $2,600 to $25,000. Start your application online and complete it in store, then drive away with cash. Even if you’re still making payments, you can still qualify for up to $6,000. Reviewers include many repeat customers who say Speedy Cash lives up to its name.
TitleMax is one of the largest title lending companies in the U.S, offering cash to borrowers in as little as 30 minutes. This company features quick approvals and accepts applicants of all credit types. Start the process online and bring your car to a San Diego location for a quick appraisal. Reviewers appreciate the professional and friendly service at TitleMax and say the rates are competitive.
Finova Financial, founded in 2015, offers fast and affordable title loans for San Diegans. Good credit isn’t required as long as you own your vehicle. The application process is entirely web-based, and same-day cash is available. Customers get access to a client portal for real-time management of loans. According to reviews, Finova Financial makes the borrowing experience stress-free.