Arizona state map
A Guide to Payday and Title Loans in

Mesa, AZ

Payday and Title Lending in Mesa

Mesa has a lot going on. While perhaps overshadowed by Phoenix, as the third largest city in the Copper State, Mesa offers everything that Phoenix does, except maybe a Cardinals football game or a Suns basketball game.

Mesa is surrounded by beautiful landscapes dotted with saguaro cactus. The city’s mild winters attract snowbirds from all over the world, and, perhaps most importantly, Mesa is home to some of the best chimichangas in the country.

But things in Mesa are not sunny for everyone. The poverty rate in Mesa is 16.2%, slightly better than the Arizona poverty rate of 17.7%. However, both of those are much higher than the national average of 12.7%, and a lot of people in Mesa are struggling.

Poverty Rate in Mesa vs. Arizona
Poverty Rate

Payday and Title Loans in Mesa

Being in debt can feel like choking in a dust storm, and it can be hard to see clearly when you’re desperate for cash. When you have nowhere else to turn, it’s tempting to take short-term lenders on their word, in the hopes that their promises of catch-free quick cash are true. But predatory lenders treat borrowers in the same way a coyote treats a rabbit: you’re the prey.

The most common kind of predatory loan is a payday loan. The borrower writes a post-dated check for the loan amount plus fees, which will be cashed on that date if the borrower fails to repay their loan in full before then. Payday loans in Arizona were outlawed in 2010 thanks to a 2008 ballot initiative. However, title loans have more than taken their place. A title loan is similar to a payday loan, except instead of using a post-dated check as collateral, when you take out a title loan, you use your car as collateral. If you fail to repay the loan, the title lender legally owns your car.

The problem with short-term loans like title loans is that even when borrowers get access to short-term capital, their everyday expenses continue to add up. This can leave them without the money to fully repay the loan back before it’s due, which is how a quick loan can lead into a cycle of debt.


Local Resources to Help Mesa Residents Avoid Predatory Lenders

With a poverty rate significantly higher than the national average, far too many people in Mesa find themselves needing cash at some point in their lives. They may be need money for groceries or be a little short on rent for the month. The situation may be even worse if they are dealing with a medical emergency or need to help someone who is. There is no shame in needing money, and all of these everyday struggles add up and can be hard to deal with. But a predatory loan is not a good solution. There are much better options out there. Here are some resources that may help you avoid borrowing money at all.

Consumer Spending in Mesa vs. Arizona vs. U.S.


Total per Household

Apparel & Services

Dining Out

Food Consumed at Home


Health Care


Life and Other Insurance

Pensions and Social Security

























United States











Food Assistance Resources in Mesa

The Association of Arizona Food Banks has a list of local resources to pick up food, including food to take home and places to eat a hot meal. There is also a website called Food Pantries that lists places around the city to get food.

The national Food Stamp program has been replaced with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. In Arizona, SNAP is handled by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. You can learn how to apply on their website.

You can also find a list of food banks (provided by the Association of Arizona Food Banks) here.

Medical Debt in Maricopa County vs. Arizona
Maricopa County
% Uninsured
% with Medical Debt in Collections
Median $ Medical Debt in Collections

Healthcare Resources in Mesa

If you need healthcare and have a low income, then you might be eligible for Medicaid, which is handled by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. You can find more information on their website, including eligibility requirements. If you are ready to apply, visit Health-e-Arizona Plus. Even if you are not eligible for Medicaid, your children might be.

Rent Assistance in Mesa

If you are unable to pay your rent, Mesa’s Housing and Community Development Division may be able to help. There is also some help available from MesaCAN (Community Action Network). If you live in Maricopa County but outside of the Mesa city limits, then checkout the resources on the County website.

Once you find yourself in a more stable financial position, you may want to own your own home. If so, Mesa’s Housing and Community Development Division may help with your down payment.

Monthly Housing Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in Mesa
  • Less than $20,000:14.6%
  • $20,000 to $34,999:17.3%
  • $35,000 to $49,999:15.0%
  • $50,000 to $74,999:19.3%
  • $75,000 or more:31.1%
Mesa vs. Arizona Median Housing Values and Monthly Costs


Median Housing Value

% of Housing Units with a Mortgage

Median Monthly Cost (w/ mortgage)

Median Monthly Cost (w/o mortgage)

Median Rent













Works Cited