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 mission is to help you make better financial decisions by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. We also allow you to conduct your own research and compare data for free – so that you can make informed financial decisions. 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 products that are advertised on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on this site, including such things as the order in which they appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law. Our mortgage, home equity, and other products for home loans. But this compensation does have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews you read on this site. We do not include the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be open to you. SHARE Maskot/Getty Images
3 minutes read. Published 29 April 2022
Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the details of taking out loans to purchase cars. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched and researched information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee
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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has the answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four years. We strive to continuously give our customers the right guidance and the tools necessary to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our information is trustworthy and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content we create by our editorial staff is factual, objective, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re able to bring quality content, competitive rates and useful tools to you by explaining how we earn money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or through you clicking certain hyperlinks on our site. So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order items are listed, except where prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether the product is offered in your area or at your own personal credit score may also influence the manner in which products are featured on this website. We strive to offer a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. Paying your car loan late or not paying it at all will have the same effect, regardless of whether the payment is the first time you make it or your very last. Not being able to make the payments on your car could lead to repossession. But there are options to secure your car and avoid repossession even though it’s the final installment. Options if you can’t afford your final car payment If you’re struggling to make your final loan payment, there are a few options to avoid future credit-related consequences and the associated costs. 1. Request loan modification Requesting a results exactly what it sounds like: an altered loan. This differs from the process of refinancing your loan. Modification of your loan is carried out directly with your current lender to alter the terms of your loan. A typical modification may result in lower interest rates or deferred payments. This could be more difficult long into your loan, reach out to your lender immediately if you can. 2. Trade in your car To your vehicle , you’ll have contact various dealerships to see if they have a more affordable vehicle. This may be simpler when you finance your car through a dealership and have a relationship with said dealership, but it’s possible even if it isn’t. But don’t settle for the first quote you receive look around and determine the worth of your car whenever you are seeking quotations. 3. Sell privately Although it will require more consideration It can ease the strain of your current vehicle and enable you to get a more affordable option. It is particularly popular right in the present, and you’ll likely receive a fair price. But selling your car could require a new car and since the market is hot it can be difficult to find a car that meets your specific needs and budget. 4. Ask family and friends for help The final option is to contact relatives and friends to ask for help. Although this assistance doesn’t have to come from a financial source, it can feel uncomfortable. Consider this as an attempt to get a loan for repossession of your vehicle instead of your first line of defense. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who is interested in buying or selling an affordable vehicle and then proceed from there. The possibility of refinancing your loan isn’t an option.
Unfortunately, if you are at the final payment stage of your loan you are too far to refinance. There are strict rules for lenders regarding refinancing things like age of the vehicle as well as mileage and 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 next loan to ensure that you pay on time. Set aside money for your next car purchase. The best way to avoid 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 consider how your monthly payments fit within your budget while also factoring in any drastic modifications in your bank account. Automate payments. Not all lenders provide the option of making payments automatically, but most do. If you are able to maintain a consistent pay, it is the best way to ensure you make your loan payments on time and in full. It is possible to get discounts on rates, which certain lenders provide when you opt for autopay. Check for loan add-ons If you’re financing with a dealer be sure to read the fine print in your loan agreement to ensure that you don’t spend extra cash each month for . Check for common extras such as extended warranties for tires and wheels, tire and wheel security including rustproofing and GAP insurance. The bottom line Struggling to make your final car payment can result in you losing the car you want if you don’t act fast. But there are options. You could consider loan modification, trading in your vehicle, selling it privately or contacting friends and family before accepting vehicle repossession. Stay up to date on options to ensure that you’re not in this precarious position with the next car you purchase. Find out more
Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched details that cut complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.
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