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How to Cope With a Car Payment During COVID-19

If you lost your job or business due to the COVID-19 crisis, and you’re not driving much, the last thing you want to worry about is a car payment. Fortunately, some dealers and lenders are offering car payment relief programs for those affected by the pandemic.

While many automakers are addressing problems on a case-by-case basis, some are offering up to 6 months of payment relief to owners who lose their jobs.

As part of our Tips Tuesday series, we want to help you understand and use the various relief programs available. Our first and most important tip this week is to…

Tip #1: Call Your Dealer or Lender

If you fail to make your car payment without talking to your lender first, you risk harming your credit. On the other hand, if you call and discuss your situation with your lender, they may be understanding and have other solutions they can offer. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the entire world, so chances are, you are not the only person in this predicament.

Tip #2: Know Where to Call (or Click)

When asking for assistance, you don’t want to spend hours on the phone repeating your situation to people who can’t help you. That’s why it’s important to contact the correct department from the start.

Below is a list of resources from some of the most common automakers:

Many automakers are also offering lease extensions. For those with leases, please read Edmunds’ guide on “What to Do If Your Lease Expires During Coronavirus.”

Tip #3: Understand Loan Deferment

Loan deferment is an agreement you make with your lender that extends the length of your car loan and allows you to skip a few months of payments. While the arrangement will not negatively affect your credit, you may ultimately pay more in interest.

Once again, make sure you and your dealer or lender are on the same page before you stop making your car payment. Also, be aware that you may need to provide documentation or proof of your financial circumstances, and the amount of time you can defer your payments will vary.

Please get in touch with your lender using the resources above.

We Hope We Could Help

At Goodman Acker P.C., we hope we can help you through this difficult time.

For tips on all things automotive, tune into other editions of our Tips Tuesday series.

If you need legal help, we are always available at (248) 793-2010 or online

In the meantime, please stay safe, healthy, and informed – you can find the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

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