Have you ever found yourself in a tight spot financially, desperately needing some extra cash to cover unexpected expenses? It's a situation that many of us have faced at one point or another. That's where title loans come into the picture, offering a seemingly simple and convenient solution to get quick access to the money you need.
In Illinois, title loans have become increasingly popular, drawing in borrowers who are seeking a way out of their financial predicaments.
What is a title loan?
A title loan is a short-term secured loan that allows a borrower to use a car as collateral, and access funds, regardless of their credit score. The lender holds the car’s title, not the vehicle, until the money is paid back in full.
Car title loans are short-term loans with very high-interest rates. If you’re unable to pay the loan back on time, it could result in a rollover, which adds to the amount of interest you pay, trap you in a cycle of debt, or can end with you losing your car.
Illinois title loan requirements
All you need to apply for a title loan with Sound Financial are:
- An Illinois driver’s license or state-issued ID
- A lien-free vehicle title
- Proof of income
- Proof of residency in Illinois
- A running vehicle
Please note that you must be at least 18 years old to apply. Active-duty service members of the US Military cannot apply for title loans.
The title loan process
Wondering how title loans work in Illinois? It's quite simple. Here are the 6 steps to securing a title loan:
First, you must complete an online form and provide information about yourself and your vehicle. This will let the lender know where you live, how to contact you, and assess whether you’re eligible for a loan.
The lender will then verify your documents, including proof of residence, income, and lien-free car title.
The next step is to inspect the vehicle. The lenders will check your car’s odometer, engine, and exterior to assess how much money you can borrow.
The lender will then ask you to sign a loan agreement. This document should be checked carefully as it will list all the conditions related to your loan, including a payment schedule, late payment fees, and interest rates.
The lender will hand over the funds on the same day if the previous four steps are carried out on time. If not, they will be transferred on the following business day.
Per the conditions stipulated in your agreement, you will be expected to repay the loan by the due date. It’s possible to receive an extension, but since interest rates are so high, you should pay it back sooner rather than later. Once the debt is cleared, you will receive your car’s title back.
How title loans are regulated in Illinois
Title loans in Illinois are currently regulated under the Illinois Consumer Installment Loan Act (CILA).
In Illinois, the maximum title loan amount is capped at $4,000 and interest rates are not to exceed 36% a month.
The maximum loan term in Illinois is 180 days. The state also restricts lenders from demanding balloon payments, which are large sums of money expected to be paid in one go at the end of a loan term. It does so with a rule that states monthly payments must be relatively equal.
Lenders have the right to repossess a vehicle following missed payments or in case of a violation of the terms of the agreement.
The good news is, however, that the lender must inform you in advance before repossessing or selling your vehicle and is bound to return the surplus amount made from the sale of the car to you.
Cost considerations and title loan alternatives
The cost of a title loan in Illinois is dependent on your loan amount and your APR. Here are a few examples to help illustrate the true cost of a title loan.
- Example 1: You borrow $500 at an APR of 300% and pay it back in 30 days.
If you took out a $500 loan and paid it back in 30 days, you would pay a total of $625 back to your lender in 1 payment. In this example, you’re paying $125 in finance charges to borrow $500.
- Example 2: You borrow $500 at an APR of 300% and pay it back in 6 months.
If you borrowed $500 and paid it back in 6 months, you would pay a total of $1,016.46 back to your lender in 6 payments of $169.41. In this example, you’re paying $516.46 in finance charges to borrow $500.
Personal installment loans: A better and more affordable way to borrow money with bad credit
While the government in Illinois offers some protection to the borrower, title loans are best taken only on an emergency basis. Before committing to a title loan, you should consider other alternatives such as bad credit installment loans.
An installment loan is a small loan that isn’t so reliant on credit score but unlike a title loan, allows you to pay back the money you owe in simple and easy-to-manage installments.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we get regarding Illinois title loans.
Can I qualify for a title loan with bad credit?
Yes! Since your vehicle is put up as collateral, lenders don’t care about your credit score.
Can I get a title loan completely online with no credit check and no inspection?
Yes! You can get a title loan completely online without having to check your credit. Unfortunately, a vehicle inspection is an integral part of the process. The terms of your loan heavily depend on the lender’s assessment of the value of your vehicle.
Will I receive the funds from my title loan instantly?
You will receive the funds on the same day if you finish the application process before 2 pm. You will receive it on the following business day if it's after.
Do you offer car title loans near me?
Yes! We offer title loans nearby through direct title loan lenders in many cities in Illinois, including:
- Crystal Lake
- Des Plaines
- Park Ridge
- Rock Island