Monday, November 21, 2011

Cash For Titles ©2011 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     In late June of this year I realized I was going to have to go and get another night job to compliment the daytime job I already had or I was going to be broke as hell. I scored another gig in July. I didn't get any tips from anywhere for the entire week of training. I was counting on a couple of hundred dollars for the training but I didn't get a training check. Someone in the office had fucked up and all my hourly wages were withheld to the IRS. This here paragraph pretty much sums up what happened. If you're fascinated and can't get enough, I urge you to (re-)read the most recent previous episode of These American Servers™, "THIS IS NOT A CHECK." But wait, there's more.
     I know I was cutting it close but the training check for about $200 would've made it so that I'd have enough to pay August's rent. Not getting it meant I wouldn't have enough. I had to think of something. What I came up with was pretty unsavory.
     First, I went to a neighborhood storefront called 24/7 Financial™, or something like that. I don't really know how their business model works, I just went there because it's near my crib. It's one of those legal-in-some-states establishments that prey on poor people. I don't really consider myself poor but right then I guess I was.
     They didn't seem to have anything palatable to offer me so I went to one of those cash for titles places where they loan you money in exchange for you letting them hold your vehicle's title. I'd used the services of one of these places before, an off-brand one that time, way back in the mid-90's. I know I borrowed $500 and got done with them in about two months or so. Other than that I don't remember too much about it.
     I knew where a TitleMax® location was, just a few miles down the road, and I went there. I wanted to know what I'd need to bring with me should I decide to make the deal with them, which I was pretty sure I would. I talked to a very nice, cute young woman named Monique. She told me that my title looked good and what else I'd need to make the deal; a recent light bill, evidence of car insurance, shit like that. I told her I'd probably be back soon.
     A couple of days later I returned, with everything Monique had said I'd need. She was off that day so I dealt with someone else. No problem, but I like Monique a lot better. I was approved for up to a couple of thousand dollars but only asked for $175. I was informed that the loan had to be in one hundred dollar increments so I got $200, $30 of which I gave back immediately as my first payment.
     I went back about two weeks later and made another payment. Monique was there this time. A couple of weeks after that, through a lot of good fortune and a little hustle on my part, I had enough to pay off the whole thing. I went to see Monique one last time. We closed everything out, she thanked me and invited me to return. I told her she'd been great and thanked her for making an unpleasant ordeal a little more bearable, but that I hoped I'd never have a reason to return. I'd gotten my title back from TitleMax.
     I could have worked more during the first half of this year. If I had, I wouldn't have needed TitleMax. If work hadn't of screwed up my withholding, I'd have been OK. I felt kind of scummy and ghetto going to a cash for titles place until I thought of how many of my friends and co-workers (a lot), some of whom I hold in high regard, patronize these kinds of places regularly and who the fuck do I think I am anyway?
     I got a loan of, really, less than $200. I paid it back in a little over a month. With the interest, TitleMax made about a $70 profit and my wallet feels like it's spent some quality time in a Georgia bathroom with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And you know how they drive your whip around the block to make sure it runs OK? The fatass store manager knocked the moulding on the door a little loose when he drove my car. Oh, well. Nobody forced me to go there but I still don't have to like it.

     If you have any thoughts about the cash for titles industry and related services, be they good or bad, I'd love it if you'd share them with me and These American Servers™. In fact, I'd be downright thankful! Have a good one everybody.


  1. I appreciate why these places exist [the word "prey" is quite apropo] and I am glad you did it responsibly - but I would be so freaked about handing over the title to my car for cash - even if I had to have it. We always have paid off cars [I hate car payments!] and I would be so afraid I would screw up or they would mess with me and I would lose my car. Glad Monique was so cool.

    Did they ever fix the check and pay you? They overpaid their taxes, so there should be somehow to make it right on their [and the IRS's] books.

    Good luck!

  2. Yeah, I didn't want to do it, but there ya go. I guess I'll just keep letting them do that now that the crisis is passed and just get a fat-ass tax refund next year, but if they ever want me to do anything other than serve, I won't, 'cause it all gets withheld!

  3. Instead of handing over your title there is a hassle free place such as ace cash express or advance america that do payday loans online. They charge 25 for every 100.00. You do not need to fax anything, just have direct deposit and put your bank info and they deposit the money the very next business day. They then deduct the money on your next payday unless you do an extension which is the same amount of the fee(25.00 for every 100.00). I used this once when I rented a car with my debit card and they held 300.00 and I was about 100.00 short on fun money so I did it and it was very easy. Seems a little less stressful than handing over your car title

  4. So many people find themselves short a few hundred dollars for whatever reason, and most do not want to go to a bank because it isn't a big amount or do not want to borrow from friends because while it isn't a big amount, it is more than 'hey can you lend me a twenty.' Here in Texas, there is the Texas OCCC ( which monitors companies that give finance loans to people in your position. At these places, you make monthly payments and they report to the credit bureau. So long as you make your payments on time, it can even help your credit. For example, on $100 you would would end up paying $38 a month for 3 months. So you would only pay back $114. Most places just require an ID, most recent paycheck stub, and a bill or lease to prove residency. Since you are a server, some might as for your most recent tax return or even the past two years. (Please forgive me if I ramble, but I could talk about this stuff all day). What makes it great is that most reputable places allow you to pay it off earlier with no penalty or fee, and you end up paying less because there is less time for that interest to accrue. If your credit is poor and you need several thousand dollars, then a TitleMax might work, but the interest is outrageous, and it will not help your credit. No matter where you go, be sure to look at reviews online and also with the Better Business Bureau. If they are licensed by the state, then make sure their license is displayed and current. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Hope this helps.

  5. Hi, thx 4 reading and commenting AND the helpful 411! Yea, the more you need 2 borrow the less a good deal TileMax is, and it isn't ever a real good deal. I'm kind of shy of doing ANYTHING financial on the internet tho'...
    Happy Thanksgiving