How To Estimate Title Loan Total Costs

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title loan cost estimate calculator

How Much Does A Title Loan Really Cost You?

Car title loans are often taken out by those who need emergency cash right away, and often the consumer finance companies who offer them have catchy slogans about getting cash quickly or borrowing a certain amount. Unfortunately what most borrowers don’t find out about until too late is just how much a title loan is going to cost them.
Title loans can have very high finance charges from interest rates to administrative fees, and borrowers who can’t pay them off right away can end up paying back 5x or more what they borrowed. That’s why title loans or payday loans should never be used unless you truly have no other options. But if you are going to use a title loan, you’ll need a title loan calculator like the estimate calculator at to figure out the cost which can be done using a few guidelines.

Know Your State’s Title Loan Laws

Most of the laws on car title loans are dictated by the states, although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the federal level does have a few regulations as well. Many states don’t allow title loans within their borders, and others have tight regulations on them. Others are very loose with how they regulate them, although you can usually find laws on the following things:

  1. Maximum interest rates or finance charges a title loan lender is allowed to charge
  2. Laws on disclosing all the payments a borrower will need to make to pay off the loan
  3. Laws on ensuring the borrower has sufficient enough income to make the payments

Some states also have laws on how long a title loan can last, and how many times it can be rolled over. This too impacts the cost of a title loan.

Make Inquiries About Interest Rates As They Would Appear Annually

You need to make sure you get an accurate read on what a title loan is going to cost you. Before applying with a certain title loan lender, you should inquire with them about the interest you will pay. Make sure they aren’t giving you the monthly rates because those will usually be much lower than what your actual APR will be.

Some states do require the lender to disclose the actual APR, and if they don’t, you may want to report them to your state’s finance regulation office. But just make sure you do not rush to sign any title loan agreement until you know all the charges involved and use a title loan calculator to find out your total cost. Also be aware that your payments can be affected by laws requiring the principal to be amortized.

General Interest Rates That Title Loans Come With

Usually the magic number you hear about title loans is a 300℅ APR, which means if it took you a year to repay a $1,000 title loan it would cost you $3,000 plus lender fees. But they can sometimes have interest rates as high as 1,000℅, so be very careful who you are borrowing from. Instead of using a title loan to get fast cash in minutes, you may be better off seeing if your bank or credit union offers a small dollar emergency loan service, or see if friends or family would loan you money. If you do have to use a title loan, make sure you can repay it as soon as possible.