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 aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and original content. This allows you to conduct research and review information for no cost 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 Make money The products that are advertised on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the sequence in which they appear in 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. However, this compensation will affect the information we provide, or the reviews you read on this site. We do not cover the universe of companies or financial deals that might be available to you. SHARE: Maskot/Getty Images

3 min read Published 29 April 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 ins and outs of securely borrowing money 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 passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-researched and researched information that breaks down complex subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promises

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your money for more than four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate adheres to strict standards standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our information is trustworthy and precise. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors produce honest and reliable content to help you make the right financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial staff is objective, factual and is not influenced from our advertising. We’re transparent about the ways we’re able to bring quality information, 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 promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or through you clicking certain links posted on our site. So, this compensation can influence the manner, place and when products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law. This is the case for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is offered in your area or at your personal credit score could also affect the manner in which products are featured on this site. While we strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include the details of every credit or financial product or service. If you make your car payment late or not paying it at all can have the same consequences regardless of whether that payment is the first time you make it or the last. Not being able to make your payments to your vehicle could result in repossession. But there are options to secure your car and avoid repossession even if it’s the final installment. There are options if you cannot afford your final car loan payment you’re struggling to make your final loan payment, you have several options to stay clear of future credit-related consequences and the associated costs. 1. Request loan modification. This will result exactly what it implies, an altered loan. This is distinct from the process of refinancing your loan. Loan modification is a process done directly with your existing lender in order to change your terms. A typical modification can yield lower interest or deferred payments. While this may be more difficult long into your loan contact your lender immediately if you can. 2. Transfer your car to your vehicle you will have to reach out to various dealerships to see if they have a more affordable car available. This may be simpler if you 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 deal you are offered, shop around and know the value of your vehicle when you ask for quotes. 3. Sell privately Although it will require more consideration It can ease the burden of your current car and allow you to find a cheaper option. This is particularly prevalent in the present, and you’ll likely be able to get a decent price. But selling your car could require the purchase of a new vehicle. And in a market that is booming, it may be challenging to find a car that meets your particular requirements and budget. 4. Ask family and friends for assistance. The last option is to contact your family and friends for assistance. While the assistance you receive doesn’t have to be financial, it can be uncomfortable. Make this an effort to afford vehicle repossession instead of your primary option. Ask those around you if they know anyone looking to purchase or sell an affordable vehicle 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’re too late to refinance. The lenders have specific restrictions regarding refinancing factors like the age of your 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 prepare for that next loan to ensure that you pay on time. Budget for your next vehicle purchase The key to avoiding future financial difficulties is 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 catastrophic adjustments to the balance of your bank account. Set up automatic payments. Not all lenders provide the option of automatic payments however the majority of them offer this feature. And if you have consistent pay, it is the best way to ensure that you pay your loan payments punctually and fully. You could also benefit from discounts on rates, which certain lenders provide when you enroll in autopay. Look for loan additions if you’re financing through a dealer, read the fine print of your loan contract and ensure you’re not spending more cash each month for . Be aware of typical additional services like extended warranties as well as tire and wheel protection, rustproofing and GAP insurance. The bottom line Struggling to pay your final car payment can result in you losing the car you want in the event that you don’t act quickly. There are options. Think about loan modification, trading in your vehicle, selling privately, or reaching out to friends and family before accepting repossession of your vehicle. Be aware of the latest news available to ensure you aren’t in this precarious situation with your next set of wheels. Learn more


Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to buy an automobile. Written 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 the confidence to take control of their finances with precise, well-researched and well-researched details that cut otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.

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