CONSUMER CAUTION CORNER
This week, the Office of the Attorney General’s “Consumer Caution Corner” outlines the Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on car title loans.
A car title loan is a short-term loan (usually 30 days) for a small amount of money. This type of loan can be very expensive. If you cannot pay back the lender, you might lose your car.
What should I do before I get a car title loan?
Before you get a car title loan, consider other choices:
• Can I get a loan from a bank or credit union?
• Can I get more time to pay my bills by talking with creditors or a credit counselor?
• Do I have any money saved that I can use?
• Can I borrow money from family or friends?
• Can I use a credit card instead?
How do I choose which way to borrow money?
Compare the costs, if you have more than one option. For each choice, find out:
• What is the APR?
• What are the fees?
• How soon must I repay the money?
• What happens if I cannot repay?
Write the answers to these questions. Decide which choice is best for you.
I decided to get a car title loan. What should I do?
• Ask the lender to tell you how much it will cost in dollars.
• Ask the lender to tell you the APR.
• Borrow only what you can repay by the date the loan is due.
Each week, the OAG’s Consumer Protection Education Program (a.k.a. “The Consumer Caution Corner”) shares FTC and/or Federal Communications Commission publications that provide consumers and businesses with the “know-how” to identify and protect themselves from unfair trade practices and marketplace schemes.
If you would like to file a consumer complaint, please pick up a form at the OAG (on Capital Hill) or request one by email from email@example.com. After completing the consumer complaint, please submit it by email or in-person.
We cannot act as your private attorney. If you need legal assistance, we will recommend that you contact a private attorney or legal aid organization. We cannot give legal advice or act as your private attorney. (Michael J. Cyganek, Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Michael J. Cyganek is consumer counsel at the Office of the Attorney General.