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4 minutes read. Published April 19 2022.

Authored by Dan Miller Written by Points and Miles Expert Contributor Dan Miller is a former contributing writer for Bankrate. Dan wrote about loans as well as home equity and managing debt in his work. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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We are compensated for the promotion of sponsored goods or services, or by you clicking on certain hyperlinks on our website. So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order products appear in listing categories, except where prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. Other factors, like our own proprietary website rules and whether the product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your own personal credit score can also impact the manner in which products appear on this website. While we strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include information about each financial or credit item or service. A crucial aspect of an effective budget is incorporating every single expense within your budget. As part of your ongoing review of your budget, you could encounter a situation in which you feel you’re unable to pay for the car payment. If this is the case there are a variety of alternatives to help you get your finances back. Each of these options comes with its particular pros and cons, and you’ll want to review them carefully to decide which might be right for you. Contact the dealership and request trade. One of the first steps to take is to reach out to your dealer to see if they can trade your car in for a more affordable version. This could be easier to figure out in the event that you bought your vehicle through a dealership and your loan is funded through it. That might make the dealership more receptive to discussing the details with you. Even if this isn’t the case it’s worth calling the dealer to find out what options might be available to you. Based on the difference in price between the two cars, and also the time and , you may be able to save a significant amount of money by choosing buy a lower-cost vehicle. Be aware that the current may make trading your car a bit more difficult. Prices of used cars have dramatically increased from the last few years ago. Also, depending on the kind of car you are trading in and what kind of vehicle you’re hoping to buy it could be more challenging than expected. Request loan change Another possibility that is available if you’re unable to pay for your car is to apply for the loan modification . Through the option of a loan modification, you collaborate in conjunction with your lender to change the terms of your loan. It could mean lowering your interest rate, delaying payments for a period or altering your due date so that it is more closely with your timetable. A loan modification may also prolong the time frame of your existing loan. It will typically lower the monthly payment, however you’ll pay more interest over the course of the loan. You should be careful and ensure that the numbers work for you before agreeing to any modifications. Refinance your car loan If your lender is not willing to modify your loan You also have the option to . You can shop around and prequalify with several lenders to find the best rates and conditions. If you have accounts with the local bank or credit union, you might be able to get better rates as you have a long-standing relationship with them. Before refinancing your auto loan, find out if you are eligible. Even if you have a poor rating on your credit report, you could be eligible if have the ability to pay off your auto loan in a short time or have made improvements to you credit scores. Also, check to see if there are any fees related to refinancing an auto loan. Some fees include the early termination fee as well as transaction fees and state registration fees. auto insurance cost and late payment charges. Consider the following as a suitable method to refinance your vehicle: Decide if refinancing is the best option for you financially. Examine your existing loan. Check your score on credit. Determine the worth of your vehicle. Compare refinancing rates. Determine how much you’d save when refinancing. Make sure you have your paperwork in order. Sell privately and buy within your budget. If you can’t afford your car payments at the moment, another option to consider is to sell your vehicle privately, and later purchase a different car that is more within your current budget. There are a few more steps in , but it is nevertheless feasible. This market has been ideal for selling an older vehicle, with prices substantially more expensive than they were in the past and you could be able to get an excellent price. Of course, the other downside to a highly-priced used car market is that it may be harder to find the right replacement car to fit your budget. Make sure to research the market and find out how much it will cost to buy a new car. That will provide you with an idea of the amount you’ll save when you switch vehicles and if it will be worth it to you. Get help from your family and friends assistance. The last option could be to contact friends and family for assistance. This may or may be the best option for you depending on your relationship with relatives and friends, as well as their own financial situations. However, if you’re in a circumstance where you’re unable to pay your car payment, talking with those that are closest to you could be a viable option to consider. Remember, too, that the help of family and friends doesn’t have to have to be financial. While it’s great if you had a rich uncle who could take care of your loan in a matter of minutes, the majority of us aren’t in that kind of situation. In addition to financial aid Your family and friends may also be trying to sell their used vehicle or have a friend who has. These connections could aid you in saving money. Next steps When you’re in a situation where you can’t afford your car payment, acknowledging and taking a look at your financial situation is the most crucial step. If you ignore the situation, or more importantly, not paying for your vehicle loan could cause major issues in your financial standing. After you identify the problem, it’s time to explore the alternatives. Talk to your lender first, and ask whether they’re willing to amend your loan. Lenders don’t like modifying existing loans However, they do not like repossessing vehicles. You must convince them of why a modification is necessary to ensure you continue to make payments. Depending on your situation and credit score, you might be eligible to refinance your loan and potentially save cash. Be sure to research the costs associated with refinancing and read the conditions of the loan agreement prior to making any decision. Most frequently asked questions What should I do if I can’t pay for my car? If you’re unable to pay your car loan, now is the time to take action. Explore the following options: Reach for your lender and determine if you are able to defer payments, think about the possibility of obtaining an alternative loan, trade in your car or let it go or sell your car in exchange for a fee. What are the charges associated with refinancing an auto loan? Costs for refinancing an existing auto loan could include an early termination fee as well as transactions fees and state registration fees. They also include insurance for autos late payment fees, and an up front cash payment. Are there ways to refinance a car loan even if you have a low credit score? Yes, you could be eligible for a refinance loan even if you have a low credit score. Learn more


The article was written by Points and Miles Expert Contributor Dan Miller is a former contributing writer for Bankrate. Dan was a writer for Bankrate who covered loans as well as home equity as well as debt-management in his work. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-documented details that cut otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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