Understanding Title Loan Repossession

Vehicle repossession can be a complex and challenging aspect of the title loan process. If you are facing the unfortunate situation of dealing with a repossession, you may have a lot of questions and concerns. You may even be searching for title loan relief assistance or a way to refinance your loan. 

Before we can understand title loan repossession, we need to understand car title loans as a whole. When you take out a title loan, you pledge your vehicle’s title as collateral for the loan. The lender will place a lien on your car’s title after the loan is funded, but you can maintain access to your vehicle while paying off your loan. However, if you fail to make payments on your title loan, your title loan lender then has the legal right to repossess your vehicle. Before taking out a title loan, it is important to understand this potential consequence and ensure that you borrow responsibly, meaning that you only take out a loan that you can realistically afford to repay. 

Many title lenders prefer to avoid seizing your vehicle, and in some cases, they will work with you to find an alternative solution if you are willing to communicate with them. If you are struggling with your current loan terms and want to avoid title loan repossession, you may want to consider refinancing your title loan with your existing lender or a new title lender. 

If you are already in a situation where you have failed to keep up with your payments and defaulted on your loan, you are likely curious about how the vehicle repossession process works. Defaulting on a title loan simply means the borrower has failed to meet their repayment obligations as outlined in the loan agreement. 

Not having a vehicle can impact your ability to travel to work, take care of your family, and even go grocery shopping. On top of this disruption to your daily life, vehicle repossession can also negatively affect your credit score. When you have a significant drop in your credit score, this can make it difficult to secure new credit or housing in the future. 

Keep reading to discover title loan repossession laws, how to avoid repossession, and how to cope with the consequences of vehicle repossession.

What are the Steps to Recover a Repossessed Car?

title loan repossession

Before you sign a loan contract, you should know more about the car title loan repossession laws in your state. Repossession laws that dictate how vehicle repossessions are handled by lenders can vary from state to state. This may include how long you have before a repossession occurs and how to obtain your personal items that were left in the vehicle when it was repossessed. It is incredibly important to research both title loan laws and vehicle repossession laws in your specific state so that you are fully prepared before you apply for a title loan.1 

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where your vehicle has been repossessed, it is important that you act quickly. The good news is that you may have options! Follow the below steps to work to recover your repossessed vehicle: 

  1. Reach Out Immediately: The first step in the recovery process is to contact your lender or loan servicer immediately. Open communication with your lender can help you explore potential solutions, understand your outstanding balance, and negotiate a way to get your car back.
  2. Pay in Full: In some cases, the lender will be willing to work with you, and you may have an opportunity to catch up on missed payments if you reach out as soon as possible. Essentially, that means you will need to pay what you owe outright and take care of the outstanding balance of the loan. If you plan to pay your loan in full, that means you must pay off the entire amount plus any additional fees, such as late fees, repossession fees, or storage fees if your car was repossessed and relocated to a storage lot. 

Repossessions can be incredibly stressful. If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle has been repossessed, it is important that you act quickly and know that you have options!

Alternatives to Recovering Your Car

If you fear that you may face title loan repossession, there are alternative options you can explore to avoid having to recover your car. Consider the following proactive steps: 

  1. Refinance: If you are struggling to keep up with your current loan terms, it may be time to consider refinancing your title loan in order to avoid loan default. If you are able to refinance your title loan, you will essentially get a new loan with different terms. That could make it easier for you to keep up with your loan payments!
  2. Explore Other Options: If you have a cosigner on your title loan, ask them to help you with your payments so you can avoid loan default. If you do not have a cosigner and you are unable to repay your loan on your own, then you may want to consider asking your close friends or family members for help.

It is important to note that all of these alternative options involve proactive communication on your end. Make sure that you stay on top of your finances, and act quickly and proactively if you feel as though you may miss a payment.

How Can I Prevent Title Loan Repossession?

title loan repossession laws

There are quite a few things you can do to potentially prevent a title loan repossession, including the following:

  • Talk to Your Lender About Financial Hardship ASAP
    One of the simplest ways to prevent a title loan repossession is to talk to your lender about your financial situation if it changes during the repayment process. Whether you lost your job or are faced with another financial hardship, they may be willing to work with you.
  • Get a Loan That You Can Realistically Afford
    Before you sign your loan agreement, it is important to set up an airtight budget plan and see what you can realistically afford to pay each month.
  • Make Your Loan Payment a Priority
    If you have not done so already, now is the time to learn how to effectively manage your finances and budget for your loan payment. It is easier to avoid loan default if you are dedicating a portion of your income each month to your loan payment. There are many different kinds of budgeting apps that can help you figure out how to prioritize your bills and manage your spending habits!

If you have any questions about title loan repossession or repossession laws, don’t hesitate to call a ChoiceCash title loan agent at 855-422-7402 today.

What are the Impacts of Title Loan Repossession?

Title loan repossession can have severe negative impacts. Aside from the stress that it places on you emotionally, it can also have negative consequences on other areas of your life. 

Effects on Your Credit Score

If you default on your title loan and your vehicle is repossessed, your title lender may report the vehicle repossession to the major credit bureaus. Vehicle repossession can stay on your credit report for up to seven years and cause your credit score to drop significantly.

Long-Term Financial Implications

The loss of your vehicle can make it difficult to maintain a job since you don’t have a reliable form of transportation. Additionally, if your credit score drops, that can also make it difficult for you to obtain new credit in the future. If you have a bad credit score, your car insurance will be more expensive, applying for new housing will be challenging, and you may even struggle to get a new job if your employer checks your credit history.

Be a smart consumer! There are proactive steps you can take to avoid title loan repossession and make informed decisions as a borrower. If you are currently facing vehicle repossession, know that there are options to help you get your car back and potentially avoid this negative experience in the future.

Jessica R.
Jessica R.
In 2013, Jessica R. graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both French and English. In her ten years as an educator and content writer, she has gained a great deal of experience and expertise. As a valued member of the ChoiceCash content team, Jessica is responsible for creating educational and engaging financial content that tackles various topics, including budgeting, secured loans, and more.