Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to live in the city. You have no idea how hard I tried. But I hated crowded office buildings and I’m terrified of elevators. I’d much rather inhale the scent of evergreen trees than bus fumes. So, I ditched corporate life and moved to the almost-middle-of-nowhere to become a full-time artist.
I even knew how I was going to finance this venture: I was going to find an auto title loan store near me.
I figured it would be a piece of cake – you see the TV commercials all the time. Certainly when I lived in Chicago it seemed like there was a brick-and-mortar store every couple of blocks.
Well, I love my little town of Hobden, but no one would mistake it for a mecca of commerce. So, even though we have convenience stores, an IGA, a community pool, restaurants, gas stations, banks, a credit union, and a town museum, there is no place to get an auto title near me.
So, I went online to find one and it was so easy. A lot of companies and lenders came up when I did my search. But I’m a very thorough person, so I took some time and went onto these different websites to read what each could offer and begin to understand which provider would be the best fit for me.
I had an idea of the kinds of features I was looking for. As I said, I dumped my day job to devote myself full time to making jewelry and hand-painted accessories. Though I had saved some money, I didn’t want to touch it. I was in this for the long haul and wanted all the working capital I could get my hands on.
First and foremost, I wanted a low interest rate – and I mean really low. I wanted this title loan to be an even better deal than my credit card. I had applied for one of those great “introductory rate” cards. But once the promotional period was over, it was only a so-so deal.
I learned that one lender in particular could actually get me single-digit rates. Obviously, those guys went to the top of the list.
Next, I wanted to see how much money I could borrow. My little SUV was still in great shape, since before I mostly took the bus to work. Again, here’s where the details of a situation outweigh your biggest hopes. I found out I could borrow thousands – yep, thousands – of dollars.
The title loan company also advertised that it could get me money the next day. And that’s when I started doubting this whole process. Getting your loan funded within 24 hours? Sure, if you live in a big city. You could practically walk there and pick up your check. I don’t know why but I applied anyway…
How I Almost Applied for an Auto Title Loan Near Me
So, not only did I find an auto title loan near me by going online, I discovered I could also apply online.
The process was simple: First you complete this short little form that asks a few questions about your car. Once I did that I could receive a free quote. That quote gives you the estimated amount you could borrow. I figured, why not? I’m here in Hobden to launch a business and I thought if nothing else, I could just see how much money I’d qualify for.
So, since there weren’t any strings attached, I entered in the year, make and model of my car, along with the estimated mileage (not much). Well, it couldn’t have been even two minutes, and it was hard to believe how much money I could borrow. The amount was huge.
And I’m relieved, because all the while I’m entering in this data, so many expenses are running through my head: beads, hardware, metals and gemstones, fabrics… Business cards, probably some kind of brochure, and a website. I’ll need fees for art shows and to sell at all the local farmers markets…
I had clients from Chicago just through the referrals of friends. Since I wasn’t doing this as my living, I could afford to put those kinds of costs on hold. But now that this was going to be the money to keep a roof over my head, I couldn’t afford not to.
I had to figure out a way to expand my business. While ideas are free, putting them into motion isn’t. The business cards and brochure wouldn’t be that bad – it’s a one-time expense. But, all those exhibits come with more than just an entry fee – there’s the cost of going to the event and lodging, and…
…And a lot of that worry went out the window when I saw that pre-approval. That money would go far… I wouldn’t necessarily need all of it. That’s also one of the things I learned – you don’t have to borrow the maximum amount, if you don’t want.
But after seeing the quote I was sent, I wasn’t sure what exactly how much money I wanted to borrow. And I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – go forward or try another lender. So, I chickened out. Okay, that’s not fair. I took time to sleep on it. I didn’t want to feel rushed, and to tell you the truth; I was still pretty “iffy” on that whole “24 hours or sooner” claim.
A Lesson in Great Customer Service
I spent the night flipping from one TV show to another. And while I didn’t see any commercials for title loans, I saw plenty of others touting helpful customer service, always with a “smiling professional.” Maybe they had a headset on, or the actor was helping a customer in an electronics store or from behind a cosmetics counter.
I hate to confess this, but I have a grumpy side. And one of the things that can set off this ill mood is when I’m skeptical about something. So, as I’m watching these commercials – suddenly they’re more compelling than the TV shows that were on – I just started to think back about trying to find an auto title loan near me.
This one website – the one I really liked, where I got my free quote – went on and on about being available 24/7. And when I read it, I thought, “Sure.” By this time it was 9:00PM and I was tempted to call to see if I’d actually get a person.
Then I though even if they weren’t actually around any time you call, I was still impressed by the loan amount I was quoted. And I really needed them to help me find an auto title loan near me.
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. When I woke up – and it was early – I knew how much money I wanted to borrow (all of it). However, I wasn’t sure could afford it. There were still some pretty important details I didn’t have: I didn’t know what interest rate I could get. And I needed it low, if I was going to borrow so much.
I also wasn’t sure what the lender’s repayment terms were. I mean I knew I could easily cover my expenses for the next several of months just with the client orders I was already working on. But once those requests were filled, then what?
This was going to be tough and while I dialed the number of the title loan company, I was feeling a bit nervous.
I was so caught up in making myself go through with this that I didn’t realize was 6:00AM. And what do you know? I did get a real live person on the other end of the phone.
It took me probably 10 minutes to quit stammering and feel like I could ask my questions with some intelligence. At least I was prepared and had everything written down. I’d never applied for an auto title loan before. I knew about them, but then you want one. Then things got scary because now I really wanted one. I needed one. And I needed that auto title loan to be near me.
But this guy was great. Seriously. He answered every question like he’d never heard it before. He knew I had some trepidation and put me completely at ease.
Then it came time to figure out the actual “dollars” of what my monthly payment would be – and how long I’d be able to take to pay the title loan off in full. That meant interest rate and loan terms.
I don’t ever remember having so many options. I took notes, but he was very knowledgeable about crunching the numbers for me. He confirmed that the monthly payment would always be the same amount. They don’t have “balloon payments” at the end. There’s also no need for me to give them a post-dated check. That’s a different kind of loan altogether.
The only thing I had to leave with them – temporarily, he says – is my car title. The car title secures the loan even though I keep my keys and drive my car the entire time. Which is exactly what I needed – I have to plan for all those art fairs and I don’t intend to get there by taking Greyhound.
Finally, we worked out a loan package that couldn’t have been better: The entire loan amount with a very competitive interest rate. When we figured out what my monthly payment would be on an extended payment plan, I almost laughed out loud.
What could I say? I said, “Yes!”
When I got off the phone I looked at the clock and it wasn’t even 7:00AM yet. That didn’t seem possible… Here I just completed one of the most grown up and financially important things in my entire life and I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t yet eaten breakfast.
I’m still not sure how that was possible.
The Auto Title Loan Near Me Had a “Low Documentation” Policy
While I was on the phone customizing – that’s the word the lender used, “We customize your auto title loan – the terms of this deal, I was also informed of the additional paperwork necessary.
Well, I was sure it was going to be an “Oh boy” moment. So, I got ready to start taking notes again.
He starts talking and I’m writing down: Car title (of course!), my ID, proof of insurance, a couple of references, and source of income.
That’s it. I knew it. I might as well just pack up and head back north.
I calmly told him that I was now self-employed, so I no longer had a traditional paycheck. And I waited for him to say, “Well, I’m sorry but…”
Yet, he didn’t. We talked about my business and he asked about my invoices and the orders that would be bringing in even more money. He explained what I’d need to do and it was so simple, I couldn’t believe it. And I said as much.
This loan expert told me they work with all kinds of income situations – that’s one of the things they specialize in. He went on and on about this one he helped and that one. In a matter of seconds I heard the range of circumstances they work with: Disability, Social Security, Unemployment. And as for credit? Not only don’t they need a credit report, this gut has worked with borrowers that have filed a bankruptcy.
In the End, I Got the Best Auto Title Loan – And It Was Near Me
And even though my new best money-lending friend wouldn’t be the one to finalize the paperwork of my loan, he guaranteed that my approval, the loan terms (especially that great interest rate), and all my information would be ready for when I came to pick up my title loan check.
Of course he even guided me to the title loan location that would be nearest to where I now live. It was a whole lot closer than I thought. Remember that 24 hours or sooner thing? I would have my money the next day.
Look, I love my small town life: Everybody knows everybody, you can actually see the stars at night, and it’s now commonplace for me to wake up and see deer in my front yard. The whole thing is ideal, especially the part when I had to find an auto title loan near me.