How do car title loans work in California?

I recently moved to California, and I’m working on some home improvement projects and in the process of finding furniture. Neither of these is a cheap endeavor, and I’ve been contemplating getting a car title loan to help. How do car title loans work in California?

Jack Walsh · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Moving can be expensive and quite a hassle, but I hope you enjoy living in The Golden State! Title loans in California work similarly to title loans in other states although California has stricter laws to protect the consumer.
In general, car title loans work by providing a loan amount of 25% to 50% of the vehicle’s value and using your vehicle as collateral. Because they are secured loans, the lender can repossess the car if you fail to meet the terms of the loan.
California has a few consumer protections not offered in other states, but the general process is the same. Some of these protections include:
  • Title loans cannot be less than $2,510.
  • Requiring lenders to inform you of all fees and interest before signing an agreement.
  • Interest rates cannot exceed 30%.
  • If you’re late with a payment, lenders can charge an extra $10 for the first ten days and $15 after that.
  • If the vehicle is repossessed, the lender must inform you of their intent to sell within 15 days to allow renegotiation.
  • If the car is sold for more than you owe, the lender must return the extra money within 45 days. If they sell it for less, you are required to pay the remainder of the loan.
Application requirements vary, but at the very minimum, you need:
  • The vehicle and its title and registration
  • Your driver’s license
If you’re looking for other ways to help cover moving costs, review other expenses like your
car insurance
. Then, use the
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