What to do if you can’t make your final car loan payment Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make better financial choices by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing high-quality and impartial content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free and help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are displayed on this site come from companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on the site, such as such things as the order in which they may appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity, and other products for home loans. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews you see on this site. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial offers that may be accessible to you. SHARE Maskot/Getty Images
3 min read Published on April 29, 2022.
Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in helping readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to purchase cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances by providing concise, well-researched and researched information that breaks down complex subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promise
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You have money questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your money for more than four years. We are constantly striving to give consumers the professional advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our information is trustworthy and reliable. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content that will help you make the best financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual and uninfluenced by our advertisers. We’re open about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality information, competitive rates and useful tools to you , by describing how we make money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our website. This compensation could affect the way, location and when products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. Other elements, such as our own website rules and whether or not a product is available within your region or within your self-selected credit score range may also influence how and where products appear on this website. While we strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. Making your car payment late or not paying it at all has the same consequences, regardless of whether that car payment is your first or your very last. Not being able to make your payments to your vehicle could result in repossession. There are alternatives to keep your car and avoid repossession, even if it’s the final installment. There are options if you cannot afford your final car payment If you’re having difficulty to make your final loan payment you have several options to avoid negative effects on your credit in the long term and the associated costs. 1. Request loan modification. This will result exactly what it sounds like: a modified loan. This is different from refinancing your loan. Modification of your loan is that is done in conjunction with your current lender to alter the terms of your loan. A typical modification could result in lower interest rates, or deferred payments. Although this could be more of a challenge in the middle of the duration of your loan contact your lender immediately if you are able to. 2. Trade in your car To your car, you’ll need to reach out to different dealerships to determine which ones have a more affordable vehicle available. This is possible if you financed your vehicle through a dealership and have a relationship with that dealership, but it’s possible even if it isn’t. Do not settle for the first deal you are offered look around and determine the value of your vehicle whenever you are seeking estimates. 3. Sell privately While does take some extra consideration, it can alleviate the strain of your vehicle and let you get a more affordable option. It is particularly popular right in the present, and you’ll likely be able to get a decent price. However, selling your car will result in the need for an entirely new vehicle and since the market is hot, it may be challenging to find a suitable vehicle that fits your specific requirements and budget. 4. Ask family and friends for help The final option is to ask your family and friends for assistance. While this help doesn’t need to be financial, it might feel uncomfortable. Use this as a final attempt to get a loan for repossession of your vehicle rather than your first protection. Ask your friends and family whether they know anyone who is interested in buying or selling the vehicle at a lower cost, and then work from there. Refinancing your loan isn’t an option.
Unfortunately, if you are in the final stage of payment of your loan you are too far to refinance. The lenders have specific restrictions when refinancing based on things like age of the vehicle or mileage, as well as the loan amount. [/su_editorial-insight How to avoid car loan payment issues in the future Not making your final car payment can be discouraging, but one financial misstep does not need to result in a lifetime of headaches. Instead, take some time to plan your coming loan to ensure that you pay on time. Budget for your next vehicle purchase The key to avoiding the possibility of financial problems in the future comes down to financing only a car that you are able to afford. Before you sign off on the next auto loan, how the monthly payments are incorporated within your budget and also incorporating any catastrophic modifications to your bank account. Install automatic payments. Not all lenders provide the option of making payments automatically however the majority of them offer it. If you are able to maintain a consistent payments, it’s an excellent way to make sure that you are able to make your loan payments punctually and in full. It is possible to get the rate discount that certain lenders provide when you opt for autopay. Check for loan add-ons If you’re financing with a dealer and you’re not sure of the terms, take a look at the fine print in your loan agreement and be sure that you don’t spend extra monthly on . Look out for typical add-ons like extended warranties, tire and wheel protection including rustproofing and GAP insurance. The bottom line Trying to make your final car payment could mean you’re without your vehicle If you don’t take action quickly. There are options. You could consider loan modification, selling your vehicle, selling it privately or reaching out to relatives and friends prior to accepting vehicle repossession. Keep up-to-date with the latest information the latest information to make sure you don’t end up in this precarious situation with the next car you purchase. Find out more
Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched facts that break down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.
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