Car Title Loans are Outright Banned in North Carolina and Some Alternatives:
When you need cash in an emergency, you might want to seek a title loan. But before doing so, make sure you have complete knowledge of the consequences of using a pink slip as collateral for an auto title loan. Most qualified borrowers can get cash for a vehicle that’s paid off and owned outright, but taking out this type of loan can lead to financial problems. Due to various reasons explained below, some states have banned them, including North Carolina. Some alternatives will be listed below.
Why are title loans outright banned in North Carolina?
State governments have had varied reactions to allowing consumers access to collateral from their vehicles. Secured loans are still legal in many states, but there are a few that have banned them, placing this form of borrowing in the category of predatory lending practices. North Carolina was one of the first states to ban title loans in 2001. Some main reasons are mentioned below.
- The interest rate on these and other short term loans is usually very high. The interest rate starts at 25 percent, which amounts to 300 percent annually. For example, if you take a title loan of $1000 and pay it back in a year, you will have to pay $4000. This is three times more than the loan amount. Usually, a simple signature loan can be acquired for as little as 4-5% interest.
- Some lenders aim to keep people in debt by offering very high-interest rates. Very few can afford the APR from car title loans and lack of payment can lead to repossession. The lender can then use the vehicle or sell it and keep all the money. Most borrowers end up defaulting on the loans and losing their vehicles. The high interest rates are also necessary, as the average borrower in a title loan is a high-risk proposition.
- They are marketed to be 30-day loans, but they often take much longer to pay off, resulting in total costs in excess of 200 percent. The lenders also impose hidden terms and conditions which disadvantage the borrower. Some states have established laws to limit either the term of the loan or the number and type of renewals allowed in title loans.
- Some lenders try to acquire your vehicle through illegal means if they see more profit in selling your vehicle than receiving your interest.
Alternative solutions to car title loans in North Carolina
Despite the issues associated with auto title loans, there is still interest in them. Below are some options for residents of North Carolina:
- You can move out of the state and seek a title loan in South Carolina where they are legal. Other nearby states may offer title loans as well. Side note, this is not something you should do.
- You don’t have to leave the state, however. Car title loans are readily available throughout many Southern states and available online as well.
- You can ask for funds from different sources like family, friends, relatives, emergency funds from charities or local churches, or small-scale debtors and lenders.
- You can also seek help from financial organizations, local credit unions, take out a pawnshop secured loan, use a credit card, or try to acquire an advance paycheck. These options are hard to qualify for. But you can expect a lower interest rate than what you would see from typical companies that offer car title loans.