Don’t panic — there are several options if you’re having trouble making ends meet.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends talking to your auto lender as soon as possible if you’re having trouble paying your auto loan, or think you may have trouble doing so.
Even if your lender is offering COVID-19 relief— or agrees to your request for help — you may need to supply proof that you’ve been affected, such as unemployment insurance documentation or possibly medical bills.
Defer a car payment
Also called a car payment extension, a deferral is when you push payments back until a later date. You are not skipping payments — you will make them, just at a later date, with interest. According to Experian, one of the three main credit bureaus, doing this will not affect your credit score, although it will be noted in your credit history.
Change your car payment due date
Changing the date on which you make your car payment could give you more time to comfortably come up with the money.
Request a penalty fee waiver
Ask your lender to waive late fees and other penalties for late or missed payments in this time.
Make a payment plan
A payment plan is typically for when you’ve already missed your scheduled payments. It’s a new payment calendar that aims to help you catch up and repay your missed payments in manageable portions while you make the current payments that are due on time.