An auto title loan typically carries an annual percentage rate of 300% and has a very short term, such as 30 days, in which it must be repaid. It differs from another type of short-term, high-rate debt called a payday loan because the borrower signs over the title of his or her vehicle to secure the debt. Payday lenders usually get a postdated check or other form of access to the borrower’s bank account, but no other collateral. Car title loans are allowed in 21 states, while 29 states have no substantive restrictions on payday loans, according to the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, North Carolina.
The first thing to consider with personal loans for veterans is the available loan amount, repayment period as well as the associated interest rates. The amount you are allowed to borrow must be enough for your needs. Some providers may offer you different payment periods and it’s for you to decide what you want. Nevertheless, you must realize that shorter terms come with lower interest rates and higher periodic payments. On the other hand, you will pay lower monthly payments if you choose a longer term but you will also end up paying higher interest rates.
As for federal regulation, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gave the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) specific authority to regulate all payday lenders, regardless of size. Also, the Military Lending Act imposes a 36% rate cap on tax refund loans and certain payday and auto title loans made to active duty armed forces members and their covered dependents, and prohibits certain terms in such loans.
The payday lending industry argues that conventional interest rates for lower dollar amounts and shorter terms would not be profitable. For example, a $100 one-week loan, at a 20% APR (compounded weekly) would generate only 38 cents of interest, which would fail to match loan processing costs. Research shows that, on average, payday loan prices moved upward, and that such moves were "consistent with implicit collusion facilitated by price focal points".
Instead of getting a payday loan, you can apply for a line of credit, a service Speedy Cash offers in select states. A line of credit differs from a payday or installment loan in that you only pay interest on the amount you use, not the total you’re eligible to borrow. Like payday loans, the fees you pay on a line of credit vary from state to state – depending on the regulations in your state, you can end up paying as little as $13 or as much as $22 for every $100 you borrow. An advantage of a line of credit is you only draw the money you need and only pay back what you borrow, which gives you some flexibility.
This reinforces the findings of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) study from 2011 which found black and Hispanic families, recent immigrants, and single parents were more likely to use payday loans. In addition, their reasons for using these products were not as suggested by the payday industry for one time expenses, but to meet normal recurring obligations.
In a profitability analysis by Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, it was determined that the average profit margin from seven publicly traded payday lending companies (including pawn shops) in the U.S. was 7.63%, and for pure payday lenders it was 3.57%. These averages are less than those of other traditional lending institutions such as credit unions and banks.
Getting personal loans for veterans can be a great idea when you need money in an instant. If you borrow from a legitimate provider, chances are high that you will be relatively safe throughout the borrowing period. The good thing is that there is no need to walk into a physical location to submit the application since the entire process can be completed over the internet.
But turning to a payday or auto title lender to bridge an income gap can make things even more complicated. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says short-term, high-rate loans can become debt traps that can snare the unwary. They carry APRs ranging from 391% to 521%, while car title loans average 300% APR, according to the lending center, which advocates for a nationwide cap of 36%. It says many borrowers using title loans can’t keep up with the costly payments and typically roll them over, or extend them, eight times.