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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 choices by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing high-quality and impartial content. This allows you to conduct research and compare data for free – so that you can 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 Make Money The deals that are displayed on this site are from companies that pay us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the sequence in which they appear within the listing categories, except where prohibited by law. Our loans, mortgages, and other products for home loans. However, this compensation will have no impact on the content we publish or the reviews you see on this site. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be open to you. SHARE: Maskot/Getty Images

3 min read Published on April 29, 2022.

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in helping readers in navigating the ways and pitfalls 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 late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing concise, well-researched and researched information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate promise

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At Bankrate we are committed to helping you make better financial choices. While we adhere to strict journalistic integrity ,

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We make sure that everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy. The loans reporter and editor focus on the areas that consumers are concerned about the most — various types of loans available, the best rates, the top lenders, how to pay off debt , and more — so you can feel confident when investing your money. Integrity of the editing

Bankrate adheres to a strict code of conduct standard of conduct, which means you can be confident that we put your interests first. Our award-winning editors and journalists produce honest and reliable content that will assist you in making the right financial decisions. Our main principles are that we value your trust. Our aim is to provide readers with truthful and impartial information. We have editorial standards in place to ensure that this happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is correct. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team doesn’t receive any direct payment from our advertisers. Editorial Independence Bankrate’s editorial staff writes in the name of YOU as the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice that will help you make smart financial choices for your own personal finances. We follow strict guidelines in order to make sure that the content we publish isn’t affected by advertisements. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Therefore, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re receiving reliable and reliable information. What we do to earn money

If you have questions about money. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your money for over four decades. We strive to continuously give consumers the professional guidance and the tools necessary to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our content is truthful and precise. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate information to assist you in making the best financial choices. The content we create by our editorial team is objective, factual and is not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates and useful tools for you by explaining how we earn our money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the placement of sponsored products and services, or through you clicking certain links posted on our site. So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home lending products. Other elements, such as our own website rules and whether a product is available in your area or at your personal credit score could also affect the way and place products are listed on this site. We strive to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. Making your car payment late or skipping it altogether will have the same effect, regardless of whether the payment is your first or your last. Inability to pay your vehicle payments can mean repossession. There are alternatives to hold onto your vehicle and avoid repossession even though it’s your final payment. Alternatives if you are unable to make your final car loan payment you’re having difficulty to make your final car loan payment you have a few options to avoid long-term credit impacts and the costs associated with it. 1. Request a loan modification loan modification Requesting a results exactly what it sounds like, the modification of a loan. This differs from refinancing your loan. Modifications to loans are carried out directly with your current lender to modify the terms of your loan. A typical modification may lead to lower rates of interest or deferred payments. Although this could be more of a challenge far into the duration of your loan, reach out to your lender as soon as you are able to. 2. Transfer your car to your vehicle , you’ll have to contact various dealerships to see which ones have a more affordable car available. This process may be easier in the event that you have financed your vehicle through a dealership and work with that dealership, but it’s possible even if you don’t. Don’t accept the first quote you receive take your time and research the value of your car whenever you are seeking estimates. 3. Sell privately While does take an extra look, it can alleviate the stress of your vehicle and let you purchase a lower-cost alternative. This is particularly prevalent now so you will likely be able to get a decent price. But selling your car could require an entirely new vehicle and since the market is hot it could be difficult to find a suitable vehicle that fits your particular requirements and budget. 4. Request help from family and friends. assistance. The last option is to contact your family and friends for assistance. While the assistance you receive doesn’t have to come from a financial source, it might feel uncomfortable. Consider this as an effort to pay for vehicle repossession rather than your first protection. Ask around whether they know anyone interested in purchasing or selling an affordable vehicle and work from there. The possibility of refinancing your loan isn’t an option.

If you’re at the final payment stage of your loan you’re too late to refinance. The lenders have specific restrictions 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, you should take the time to plan the next loan to ensure on-time payments. Plan your next car purchase. The most effective way to avoid future financial hardships comes down to financing only a car that you are able to afford. Before signing off on your next auto loan consider how your monthly payments fit into your budget while also factoring in any major changes on the balance of your bank account. Install automatic payments. Not all lenders have an automatic payment option, but most offer it. If you are able to maintain a consistent payment, it’s an excellent way to make sure you make your loan payments on time and fully. You could also benefit from a rate discount, which some lenders offer when you enroll in autopay. Check for loan add-ons If you’re financing with a dealer be sure to read the fine print of your loan contract and ensure that you don’t spend extra monthly on . Be aware of typical additional services like extended warranties for tires and wheels, tire and wheel security, rustproofing and GAP insurance. The bottom line Struggling to make your final payment could mean you’re without your vehicle in the event that you don’t act quickly. However, there are alternatives. Think about loan modification, trading in your vehicle, selling privately or contacting your family and friends before committing to repossession of your vehicle. Stay up to date on available to ensure you aren’t in this precarious position with your next set of wheels. Learn more


This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers with the details of borrowing money to purchase an automobile. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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