Applying for a car title loan is one easy way to get emergency cash when you need it the most. Florida laws have placed some limits concerning how much interest a lender can charge on a title loan; however, you must watch out for other issues that could leave you in a cycle of debt. This includes the number of times you can extend, or rollover, your loan. Many lenders do not have to adhere to caps when it comes to their fees, either. If you default on your loan, then you risk losing your vehicle if you can’t pay the extra fees to rollover the loan.
Florida Title Loans
Florida Auto Title Loans
Finding a Title Loan Company in Florida
Title loans are a legal option in Florida. Plus, you can apply online or find a brick-and-mortar store near you and apply in person. While some lenders may allow you to do the whole process online, you will likely have to allow the lending company to inspect your vehicle before you receive the loan. They will want to see exactly what you are driving to make the determination.
You’ll find title loan providers all over the state. However, there are always more options around the larger cities, such as Tallahassee and Miami. If you do not live in or near a big city, then you will have to branch out to find the right lender for you. If you are lucky, you’ll find a lender who will let you complete the whole process online.
Florida Online Title Loans
Applying for title loans online can make it much easier than leaving your home to apply in person. Most lenders will have you fill out an application that takes just minutes. However, you must remember that in order to get your money through an online lender you will have to wait for a wire transfer. In some cases, this can take up to one day or even longer. You may even need to supply more paperwork and information when you apply online. There is one particular Florida title loan business that requires their borrowers to provide 15 photos of their vehicle along with the application.
The best way to get your money as fast as possible is to apply online with a lender that will approve you remotely but lets you pick up your cash at a local business. The application process will be much simpler, and you will not have to wait long to get the cash you need.
Florida Title Loan Laws
There are restrictions when it comes to title loan companies and what they are permitted to do. Plus, every Florida title loan lender must be registered with the state. If they do violate any Florida lending laws, then it is much easier for them to be brought to court.
The Florida Title Loan Act regulates all title loan companies in the state. Interest rates are all capped at 30%. However, the lender does not have to adhere to how much they charge in fees. This means that some APRs are in the triple digits, making repayment charges extremely expensive.
If you are about to apply for a car title loan in Florida, first be sure that the lender you choose abides by the following laws:
- They should be licensed in the state of Florida
- No maximum fees or loan amounts
- The maximum loan term is 30 days
- Maximum interest for the first $2,000 borrowers is 30%
- Maximum interest is 24% for any amount between $2,000 and $3,000
- Maximum interest is 18% for any amount over $3,000
- They should provide unlimited extension every 30 days
You may also find that there are additional laws set forth by the local government.
Lenders are not permitted to require or sell car insurance when they provide a title loan to a customer. They have to take partial payments and cannot charge a fee for early payment. Lenders cannot advertise “no-finance charge loans” or “interest-free loans”. They are not permitted to sell vehicles, new or used, as part of their business practice. Finally, they aren’t allowed to lend money to anyone who is visibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Defaulting on the Loan
You will typically have 30 days to repay your car title loan. If you don’t pay it off in time, the lender can legally repossess, offer companies that will buy out your vehicle title loan and then sell it to recoup any losses. Here is what will happen:
Your Florida lender will be legally required to give you the chance to bring your car in yourself after you set up an appointment. If you do not make that appointment, they can have a DMV agent come to your home to repossess the vehicle. They are required to give you enough time to get any of your personal belongings out of the vehicle before they take it.
Selling Your Vehicle
Once the lender has possession of your vehicle, they are then permitted to sell it in order to pay off the balance of the loan. They are legally obligated to provide you with a 10-day-notice before the sale occurs to give you another chance to pay the loan off. Under Florida title loan laws, you are also permitted to buy the vehicle’s title back in the sale. If you have extended your loan a number of times, this could be the least expensive option.
The lender is only allowed to use the money from the sale to cover your past loan balance and other costs associated with having to repossess and sell your car. If there is any money left over after these costs are paid, it must be given to you within 30 days of the original sale. If you must take the lender to court to recoup this amount, the lending company will be required to pay all of your legal fees.
Requirements for a Title Loan in Florida
In order to be approved for a Florida title loan, you will need to be 18-years-old or older. You will also need:
- The title of the vehicle in your name
- A valid government-issued ID
Lenders do not have to verify whether or not you have the ability to repay the loan as part of the application process even if you are trying to do a title loan refinance. However, many will ask for some proof of income, such as a recent bank statement or a current bank stub. Lenders may also place restrictions on the make, model, year, and mileage of the vehicles they accept.
Before You Take Out a Title Loan
Even though the state caps the interest rates on Florida title loans, there aren’t any legal caps concerning the fees. Lenders can then charge high fees on their car title loans. Because of this, you may wish to look into other types of loans before settling for a car title loan. For example, an installment loan may have a longer repayment plan with a lower APR.
Tribal loans are another consideration when you need money. You can get an installment loan from a tribal lender in Florida. They do come with higher APRs; however, their repayment plan is more affordable.
Florida also provides government assistance for low-income families that need help.
Consider Other Options First
Auto title loans, cash advance loans, title loan refinance and installments loans will all charge you high fees and interest rates. You can easily become trapped in a cycle of having to take out another loan to repay the first one, especially if you are already struggling with your finances. Many borrowers find themselves on their third or fourth loan after being unable to repay the first one.
There are title loan alternatives to consider before you opt for a short-term loan. Think about the following:
Side jobs– Quickly sell your unwanted items on social media marketplace apps, drive for a rideshare service, find local pet-sitting jobs, or sign up for the many food delivery services that have become popular. Look for plasma centers near you who will pay for your plasma donation, or search for local companies who need temporary or weekend help.
Local resources– Churches, local charities, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies often provide help with food needs and utility bills. If you are in need of food assistance, check for local food banks around your area.
Extensions– If you are behind on a utility payment, don’t ignore the phone calls and letters. Many bill providers will help you come up with a payment plan when you are overdue on your car registration loans, or they will give you an extension to help you come up with the payment you need. It never hurts to ask.
Title loans can be an expensive way to get the cash you need. Yes, you may need cash fast, but consider other types of loans and ideas first. There are no caps on fees and rollovers on Florida title loans, and extending your loan could get you into serious trouble. Plus, the lender can take possession of your car if you default on your loan. You could be left with less than you had before taking out the loan. Consider this option carefully before moving on with the application process.