ED Magedson – Founder
Title Loan: TitleMax Smart Choice Experience, Predatory Lending that should be OUTLAWED!!! Greenville South Carolina
Predatory lending is any lending practice that imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower. Title loans also known as title pawns fit this definition perfectly.
The following is a perspective based upon personal experience as well as recommendation for a better alternative when money is needed quickly.
My bad experience started with TitleMax. TitleMax’s website displays a $50 bonus for first time clients that apply for a title loan online which I did and selected the closest TitleMax branch as directed. The following day I contacted the TitleMax branch selected and inquired about the $50 bonus. “Sometimes we don’t receive online loans applications, please let me check.” I was told. After a few minutes of being placed on hold, the TitleMax representative returned. “Sorry sir, I don’t see your name so I can’t offer you the bonus. But I can help you with your title loan needs.” Said the gent who stated he was filling in at this particular branch. During the conversation, the TitleMax rep stated that, I order to get the $50 bonus, the title loan must be completed within 24 hours of applying for the loan online. It’s my belief that the $50 bonus is a gimmick to generate business and that very few, if any, actually the $50 bonus. Nowhere on the website is there a time limit indicated. Thankfully, and as I explained to the TitleMax rep that when Home Depot offers a $50 gift card when a customer purchases a new riding mower, Home Depot never says “well you didn’t buy the mower within 24 hours so you don’t get the gift card.” I then realized that TitleMax was not to be trusted and went to Smart Choice Title Loans up the road, where I findly got a title loan.
Once inside the Smart Choice Ttile Loan office, I was seated and offered a bottle of water. Then the long arduous process of getting the title long began. Its starts with a 4 page loan application that resemble a job application to included references, parents name, address and phone number, prior living addresses, job history with wages amounts, detailed driver license information, and oddball questions like ‘how did you hear about us?’ While filling out the marathon application, my SSN card, registration and driver’s license was photocopied, my picture taken and my vehicle inspected. The loan rep said the least that I could borrow was $601 up to a maximum of $2500. The interest is roughly $25 per $100 EACH 30 days (Over 300% APR) and there are late fees if monthly payment arrive late. Smart Choice does have a program where if the minimum amount of $601 is borrowed and paid back within 30 days, the loan is interest free and higher principles are prorated. An hour later I was issued a check, politely excused myself and left completely exhausted from the ordeal promising myself never again. And I do plan to pay off the loan inside 30 days in order to avoid $126.75 interest, and that’s per month! Does this loan qualify as predatory lending? If monthly interest of $127on a $601 loan isn’t abusive, then what is??? I hope you will agree that title loans companies are predators within our community and avoid them. As an alternative, I recommend a pawnshop.
A television, firearm or piece of gold jewelry can be pawned in15 minutes or less. There’s no lengthy loan application, and you only need a valid ID, JUST ONE! Secondly, unlike title loans a borrower can borrow as little as $10 ($2.50 interest) or $100 ($22.50 interest) or more. By borrowing less money, you pay back less interest and rarely are there situations that call for $601 loan. The average loan amount for pawnshops is $60. Lastly, next to a person’s home, personal vehicles are next high value asset usually owned. Placing your title in hands of these unscrupulous predatory lenders is not very wise. They will hunt down and seize vehicles the moment that title loans going into default and sell them for extraordinary profits. Borrowers are much better putting something small and insignificant in pawn and redeeming it inside 30 days to avoid additional interest. And if you lose the item which often happens, it’s much easier to replace.
Bottom line, avoid title loans. If you need money, pawn something personal for the least amount needed and pick it up as soon as possible. Thanks for reading and best wishes.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/24/2014 07:12 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Title-Loan-TitleMax-Smart-Choice/internet/Title-Loan-TitleMax-Smart-Choice-Experience-Predatory-Lending-that-should-be-OUTLAWED-1164604. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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