What documents are needed for a car title loan?

Due to a family emergency, I’m applying for a car title loan later this afternoon, but I’m not sure where to start. What documents do I need to apply for a car title loan?

Jack Walsh · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Car title loans can be an easy way to get cash quickly and applying is easy. 
Requirements vary by lender, but in general, you should have the following ready:
  • The vehicle’s title
  • The current vehicle registration
  • Any financial documents related to the vehicle
  • Your driver’s license
  • Utility bill or other proof of residency
  • Recent paystubs or proof of income
  • Contact information for at least two references
Remember to look into multiple loan options: Once you have gathered your documents, you should shop around and compare rates and from multiple lenders to ensure you are getting the best offer. 
But consider other options first: Car title loans often come with extremely high interest rates and a short repayment period. Because they come with significant risks, especially if you’re unable to repay the loan by the end of its term, financial experts commonly recommend seeking out car title loans as a last resort.
Here are just a few alternatives you could consider before a car title loan: 
  • Negotiating or establishing a payment plan with the party needing payment, if possible
  • Traditional personal loans
  • Resources from applicable state departments or charities
  • Using a credit card (be wary of the high interest rate here, but it will likely still be less than a car title loan)
The bottom line: Before signing, you should make sure you understand the total amount that needs to be repaid and by when. The last thing you want is to have your vehicle repossessed or become overwhelmed by debt, so understanding the terms of the contract is essential.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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