Car title loans are a fast and easy way to borrow money if you own your vehicle. They allow you to use the equity in the vehicle as collateral for a fast loan.
As a result, proving you own the vehicle is required. The easiest way to do this is by providing the title to the lender. This is why one of the main requirements for a title loan is the vehicle title.
So, how do you get a car title loan without the title? This is question that is asked often. The answer depends on the specific reason for not having the title:
- Did you lose you title?
- Is the Title damaged?
- Did you recently pay off another loan?
- Some other reason?
Each of these situations has a slightly different answer. It is possible, in some cases, to get a car title loan without a physical copy of the title in hand. This is, of course, assuming the fact that you do own the vehicle free and clear.
Additionally, it is important to note that car title loans work differently in each state, so getting a title loan without the original title may depend on the specifics of the state you reside in.
Can I get a Title Loan without the Title?
Before we cover the how, first we need to determine if it is possible to get a car title loan without the car title. The obvious answer may seem like it should be no, but that is not always the case. The real answer depends on the reason you don’t have the title.
- Is the title lost?
- Is the title damaged or unreadable?
- Does the lien-holder have the title?
- Did you recently pay off the vehicle and haven’t received the title yet?
These answers will define whether or not you can get a title loan without the car title in hand.
Time is often a key factor for borrowers when getting a car title loan. The ability to wait for a replacement title may not be an option depending on the urgency of the reason for needing the loan.
Title loans are often used to cover emergency or urgent expenses which are very time sensitive. This is one of the main reasons borrowers look into title loans without having the title.
How to Get a Title Loan without the Vehicle Title in Hand
To get a title loan you will usually need to own the vehicle free and clear (with no liens). The easiest way to demonstrate this is with a lien free title. Fortunately there may be other ways to demonstrate this to facilitate getting a title loan without having the title in hand.
If the vehicle has a lien, then you will need to refinance the title loan or get a title loan while still making payments. In these cases, check with the lender to determine if it is possible to move forward without the title.
To get a car title loan without the vehicle title you will need to have proof you own the vehicle and that there are no existing liens on the vehicle.
It is possible to own a vehicle free and clear and simply not have a copy of the title. As mentioned previously, this can be for a number of reasons. You can still get a title loan without the title in some of these cases.
Title Loans without the Title – Use Cases
To provide some detail around how it works to get a title loan when you don’t have the title, let’s look at four use cases that involve trying to get a car title loan without the title:
- Use Case 1 – Lost or Damaged Title
- Use Case 2 – Lienholder has the Title
- Use Case 3 – Have not Received the Title from previous Lienholder
- Use Case 4 – Title is in Multiple Names
In each use case, the lender will need to agree to move forward with the loan without a hard copy of your title. The process may be different in different states, but the concepts are the same.
Use Case 1: You lost or damaged your car title
In this scenario, you had a lien free title to your vehicle at one point and either just can’t find it or it is damaged beyond recognition. This can and does happen often.
You still own the vehicle with no liens but just don’t have a readable title. You have two choices:
- Request a new title from your motor vehicle department and either pick it up or have it mailed. This must be done prior to getting the title loan. If time is a major concern this may not be optimal.
- Have the lender prepare the paperwork for a replacement title and do this at the time of the title loan. This option does not add time to the loan and may be preferable if time is a concern.
The second option is one way to get a car title loan without the title. Because the lender will be filing paperwork with the DMV to record their lien on the title, they may be able to save you time by requesting a replacement title at the time of the loan.
This is not the case in all sates, but is worth asking the lender should you be in a similar situation. Be prepared to provide some other proof that you own the vehicle free and clear.
Use Case 2: Your Lienholder has the Title
In this case you have an existing loan on the vehicle and still want to get a title loan against the equity you do have in the vehicle. Your ability to get a title loan without the title in this case will depend on how much you still owe on the existing loan and how much equity you have in the vehicle.
If you are close to paying the vehicle off then it is very possible to still get a title loan. If, on the other hand, you owe a significant amount on the vehicle, then chances are you will not be able to borrow with this vehicle.
To get a title loan when there is already a lien on the vehicle, you will need to get a title loan while still making payments.
Use Case 3: You recently paid off the vehicle and have not received the Title yet.
When you make a final payment on a car loan the lender is supposed to release the lien and send you a copy of your car title with no liens. Most of the time this happens in a timely fashion. There are some cases, however, where there may be a delay.
Sometimes these delays can be significant. We have seen cases where there was a miscommunication and the title was never sent to the vehicle owner. These cases are caused by a number of factors including general human error.
In these cases you will need to have proof that the lien has been satisfied. This is usually a receipt for your final payment or the loan details showing a balance of zero.
This delay in sending you your lien free title may be unacceptable if you have an emergency expense to cover. In this scenario, you will need to provide the lender with proof that you satisfied your previous loan.
Similar to the first scenario, the lender may be able to file paperwork to receive a replacement title to record their lien on.
This option is not available in all states and not all lenders are willing to follow this procedure. If the lender agrees, this is one way to get a title loan without the car title.
Use Case 4: The Title is in multiple names
In this scenario you don’t have the title because it is in multiple names. Perhaps you and your spouse. Maybe your spouse has the title and you want to get a title loan without the car title.
Unfortunately, in this case you will not be able to get a title loan without the title in most states. You and the other person on the title will need to visit the lender and complete the loan paperwork.
When a title is in multiple names both owners of the vehicle must agree to the title loan.
Title Loans with Liens
Some states require lienholders to participate in the Electronic Lien and Title Program. This allows lienholders to place and release liens electronically, eliminating the need for placing liens on hardcopy paper titles.
This means that if the lender participates in the electronic lien and title program then liens can be released electronically without the need to mail a lien release to the DMV.
Unfortunately, some states do require title lenders to record their liens on the paper copy of the title. However, some states allow electronic liens.
This does complicate things a bit, always make sure when you pay your loan off that you receive confirmation that your lien was released. If it was an electronic lien, get proof that is was electronically released.
Preparation for a Title Loan without the Title in Hand
Regardless of the reason, if you decide to move forward with a title loan without having the title we highly recommend preparing for the loan properly. Preparation provides a number of advantages including:
- Finding the best title loan
- Figuring out vehicle value
- Calculating the title loan
- Gathering all required information
- Planning loan amount and repayment schedule
We detail how to prepare for an online title loan which covers everything you need to know to get ready for applying for a completely online title loan.
You may be able to get a title loan without the car title if you own the vehicle with no liens. The lender can request a replacement title from the DMV at the same time they record their lien on the title, provided your state allows this and the lender is willing to complete this procedure.
As a general rule, it is best to find your title, or order a replacement yourself prior to getting a title loan. If it is an emergency, and you cannot wait for a replacement, contact your lender to go over your options. There may be the option to get the loan and replacement title at the same time.