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Coronavirus: What to do if you can’t afford your car repayments

Reach out to your lender directly to discuss alternate payment options.

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Lenders are facing the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus head on. There are multiple options, including payment deferment, that can help when your budget is tight.

What should I do if I can’t pay my car loan because of the coronavirus?

If you’re unable to make your normal car payments, consider these four options:

  • Reach out to your lender. Your lender may offer a deferment or forbearance program if you’re facing financial difficulty. Even if this isn’t a normal option, many lenders are willing to work with customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak on a case-by-case basis.
  • Apply for public assistance. It won’t lower your car payment, but it can make your other bills easier to handle. Our guide on handling your finances during the coronavirus outbreak has details about what programs are available.
  • Refinance your loan. If you still have a steady source of income, you may want to check out your refinancing options. While it may cost more over the long run, you can also extend your loan term to lower your monthly repayment. You may also be able to lower your interest rate, which could help keep the amount you pay the same.
  • Consider a downgrade. Selling or trading in your car won’t necessarily be easy, but it can help reduce the amount you pay each month. You can shop for a car online and get in touch with dealerships to see if they’re willing to give you a quote on your current vehicle — and set up a test drive that maintains social-distancing rules.

Should I defer my car loan payment?

Many of the lenders and manufacturers below offer up to three months of deferred payments on their loans — but this may not be the right choice. When you defer a payment, interest will continue to accrue and be added to your loan. Your loan term is also extended, which gives even more time for interest to add up.

Overall, deferring a payment should be a last-resort option to avoid overpaying on your loan. Instead, you might want to carefully look at your budget and exhaust your other options before signing up for deferment.

Which lenders are offering repayment assistance?

LenderAssistance optionsCustomer service
Ally Bank
  • Existing customers: Defer payments up to 120 days
  • New customers: Defer payments up to 90 days
  • Phone number: 1-888-925-2559
  • Email:BorrowerSupport.Lending@ally.com
Ameris BankNo deferment fees for postponing payments due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus
  • Phone number: 866-616-6020
  • Email: CallCenter@amerisbank.com
Bank of AmericaPayment deferral available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number:800-215-6195
  • Email: Site contact form only
Capital OneContact Capital One to discuss alternate payment options
  • Phone number:1-800-946-0332
  • Email: Site contact form only
CarMaxContact CarMax to discuss alternate payment options
  • Phone number: (800) 925-3612
  • Email: Site contact form only
Chase
  • Payment assistance available for borrowers facing financial difficulty
  • Automatic lease-end extension up to six months
  • Phone number: 1-800-935-9935
  • Email: Site contact form only
Digital Federal Credit UnionAssistance plans available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: 800-328-8797
  • Email:Site contact form only
Fifth Third BankContact Fifth Third Bank to discuss alternate payment options
  • Phone number: 1-866-671-5353
  • Email:Site contact form only
KeyBankDefer auto loan payments for up to three months with no late fees
  • Phone number:1-800-539-2968
  • Email:Site contact form only
LightStreamPayment deferral available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: 800.447.8994
  • Email:customerservice@lightstream.com
LendingClubPayment deferral available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: 888-845-0010
  • Email: auto@lendingclub.com
M&T Bank
  • Payment plan options
  • Potential loan extensions or lower monthly payments
  • Phone number: 1-800-724-2440
  • Email: Site contact form only
Navy Federal Credit UnionPayment deferral available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: 1-888-842-6328
  • Email: Site contact form only
PenFed Credit UnionSkip one payment during the coronavirus national emergency
  • Phone number: 1-800-247-5626
  • Email: Site contact form only
PNC BankContact PNC to discuss alternate payment options
  • Phone number: 1-888-(762-2265)
  • Email: Site contact form only
Regions BankContact Regions for payment assistance options
  • Phone number: 1-800-231-7493
  • Email: Site contact form only
TruistPayment deferral available for auto loans originated by BB&T or SunTrust
  • Phone number: 1 800-788-72835
  • Email: Site contact form only
USAAPayment extension up to 60 days
  • Phone number: 1 800-531-8722
  • Email: Site contact form only
U.S. BankLoan extensions may be available for borrowers affected by the coronavirus
  • Phone number: 1 800-934-9555
  • Email: Site contact form only
Umpqua BankFinancial assistance may be available for borrowers affected by the coronavirus
  • Phone number: 1 (866) 486-7782
  • Email: Site contact form only
Wells Fargo
  • Suspension of involuntary car repossessions
  • Payment deferral up to three months available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: 1-800-559-3557
  • Email: Site contact form only

Which manufacturers are offering repayment assistance?

These major manufacturers have assistance available for those affected by the coronavirus.

ManufacturerAssistance optionsCustomer service
Chrysler
  • Payment extensions
  • Lease deferments
  • Lease-end extensions
  • Phone number: (855) 563-5635
  • Email: Site contact form only
Ford
  • Assistance options may include changing a due date or delaying a payment
  • Eligible customers who lease or purchase a new or used vehicle through Ford Credit can return their vehicle if they lose their job within a year
  • Phone number: 1-800-723-4016
  • Email: Site contact form only
GM
  • Payment extensions
  • Lease deferments
  • Lease-end extensions
  • Phone number: 1-800-284-2271
  • Email: Site contact form only
Honda
  • Payment extensions available
  • Late fee waivers available
  • First payment deferred for 90 days on recently purchased vehicles
  • Phone number: 1-800-708-6555
  • Email: Site contact form only
Hyundai
  • Payment deferral up to three months with proof of job loss
  • 0% APR and payment deferral up to four months on select new Hyundai models
  • Phone number: (800) 633-5151
  • Email: Site contact form only
Kia
  • Payment deferral up to 90 days
  • 0% APR and payment deferral up to four months on most new Kia purchases
  • Phone number:800-333-4(4542)
  • Email: Site contact form only
Mercedes-BenzPayment deferral requests available
  • Phone number: (800) 654-6222
  • Email:Site contact form only
NissanPayment deferral requests available
  • Phone number:1-800-456-6622
  • Email:Site contact form only
ToyotaPayment relief available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number:(800) 874-8822
  • Email:Site contact form only
VolkswagenPayment deferral and lease-end extensions available on a case-by-case basis
  • Phone number: (800) 428-4034
  • Email: Site contact form only

What if my car loan provider doesn’t have a COVID-19 relief plan?

Even if your lender doesn’t have specific options in place for those affected by the coronavirus, it may still have options for those who are experiencing financial difficulty. Contact customer service by phone or email to discuss your options and determine the best plan for your situation.

Compare car loan refinancing options

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
Carvana
No minimum credit score
3.9% - 27.9%
1 to 6 years
18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies
car.Loan.com Car Loans
300
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
SuperMoney Auto Purchase Loans Marketplace
600
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Fair to excellent credit, an income source, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Find an offer and get rates from competing lenders without affecting your credit score.
CarsDirect auto loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by network lender
Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
300
Varies
Varies
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While deferring a payment and refinancing your loan may be good options when money is tight, you’ll want to take a holistic look at your budget first. Find places to cut, and don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss its full program so you can make a well-informed decision about your next steps during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay informed on the latest updates by bookmarking our coronavirus news hub.

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