How Car Title Loans Work in California

What You Need to Know

If you’ve spent any amount of time talking to small business owners or watching any type of business-related films, then you’re most likely familiar with the phrase, “It takes money to make money.” This phrase rings true in almost any situation in life. Without the necessary capital or funds, it’s hard to accomplish much.

In California, auto title loans are also known as pink-slip loans, car collateral loans, and auto equity loans.

Whether you need a cash injection for your small business, or you need to pay for an emergency, obtaining a California title loan is one of the easiest ways to get the cash you need without having to undergo an in-depth credit check and wait weeks for approval.

How Do I Apply for a California Title Loan?

If it’s your first time applying for a title loan, then it’s very important to do your research. You need to understand what you’re getting into before you jump in and make the wrong decision. To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve put together a small but helpful guide that should cover most of the basics.

Online California Title Loans

Applying online is arguably the easiest way to apply for a title loan. Doing a quick Google search will yield you dozens of services that offer online title loans. You’ll also find sites that will allow you to compare rates from different lenders.

Online title loans come in handy if you live in a rural area without a local title loan agency or if you don’t have the time or desire to drive around town trying to find the right lender. The only thing that you’ll have to deal with is a little bit of spam and advertisements.

When looking for a reputable lender online, be sure to verify the business on the state’s registry.

Most online applications will require you to upload digital copies of a few documents. The required documents include your vehicle title, proof of insurance, driver’s license, paystubs, and social security card. These precautions are taken to verify your identity and to prove that you’ve met the lender’s requirements.

Applying In-Store

Applying in-store is definitely a little bit simpler than online, though it does require you to get out and about. Just be sure to have all of your personal documents and vehicle information/title ready when you go in.

The lenders will perform a quick assessment of your vehicle on-the-spot, give you an amount that you can borrow, place a lien on your car, and then discuss the terms of repayment. The main advantage of applying in-store is that all the questions you may have can be answered face-to-face.

Auto Title Loans California

How Much Money Can I Get?

Title loans are given out based on the total value of your vehicle. When you go to apply for a loan, the lender will take a look at the cosmetic condition of your car as well as the total mileage, year, model, and make. Based on the Kelly Blue Book value, they’ll offer to give you a loan up to that amount.

Keep in mind that you can always take out less than that amount, though. Often, lenders will try to get you to take out more than you need so that they can get more interest money from you. Part of being a responsible borrower is to never borrow more than you absolutely need. However, the minimum loan amount for most lenders in California is $2,600.

Lender Requirements

To ensure that loans go to the right people, lenders usually have a few basic requirements of their borrowers. Each lender may have their own particular rules, but in general the following is what you’ll need to provide proof of:

  • California driver’s license
  • Lien-free car title
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of income
  • References

California Title Loan Laws

Every state has their own particular laws regarding title loans and laws for borrowers and lenders alike. In California, the interest rate on car title loans is capped at 30% for loans of $2,500 or less. There is no interest cap for higher value loans. Lenders can’t compound interest on loans less than $5,000. For loans $2,500 or less, lenders can charge a 5% processing fee or ($50). Lenders may charge $10/day for delinquency and up to $15/day after the first week of delinquent payment.

Best Car Title Loans in California

  • TitleMax – (323) 466-0941
    5600 Santa Monica Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90038
  • Check into Cash – (626) 332-5007
    517 N Azusa Ave
    Covina, CA 91722
  • CTL – (844) 242-7467
    2636 Fulton Ave
    Sacramento, CA 95821
  • Anaheim
  • Bakersfield
  • Chula Vista
  • Concord
  • Corona
  • Elk Grove
  • Escondido
  • Fontana
  • Fremont
  • Fresno
  • Fullerton
  • Garden Grove
  • Glendale
  • Hayward
  • Huntington Beach
  • Irvine
  • Lancaster
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Modesto
  • Moreno Valley
  • Oakland
  • Oceanside
  • Ontario
  • Orange
  • Oxnard
  • Palmdale
  • Pasadena
  • Pomona
  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • Riverside
  • Roseville
  • Sacramento
  • Salinas
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Clarita
  • Santa Rosa
  • Simi Valley
  • Stockton
  • Sunnyvale
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Torrance
  • Victorville
  • Visalia
  • Alameda
  • Alpine
  • Amador
  • Butte
  • Calaveras
  • Colusa
  • Contra Costa
  • Del Norte
  • El Dorado
  • Fresno
  • Glenn
  • Humboldt
  • Imperial
  • Inyo
  • Kern
  • Kings
  • Lake
  • Lassen
  • Los Angeles
  • Madera
  • Marin
  • Mariposa
  • Mendocino
  • Merced
  • Modoc
  • Mono
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Placer
  • Plumas
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Benito
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Joaquin
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shasta
  • Sierra
  • Siskiyou
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Stanislaus
  • Sutter
  • Tehama
  • Trinity
  • Tulare
  • Tuolumne
  • Ventura
  • Yolo
  • Yuba

To save you some time, here are the top 3 lenders in the California area. They all have a decent reputation and will work with you to get you the best deals.


TitleMax is one of the biggest title loan agencies in America. The advantage of using them is that you can find one almost anywhere you go, and they’re very easy to work with. Because they have such a large network, making payments is easy and loans are usually given the same day. Their one downside is that they usually tend to charge higher interest rates than your local mom and pops lending agencies.

Check Into Cash

Check Into Cash is another large national lender. They have 176 locations in California, so there’s guaranteed to be one in your area. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, so you don’t have to worry about any shady dealing.


If you’re looking to obtain an online title loan, California Title Loans is a great place to check out. Since the application process is online, you’ll need to provide detailed pictures of your vehicle inside and out. You’ll also need scanned images of all personal documentation. From reviews, the staff is friendly and they’ll work with you to get you approved as quickly as possible.


“Automobile Title Loan Consumer Advisory”, Department of Business Oversight California, 2018,