The Best Ways to Deal with Automobile Debt and Avoid Repossession

Most people buying a car are initially able to make the payments. However, problems can occur later. An unforeseen reduction in disposable income may put them behind on payments and leave them seeking consumer automobile debt help.

Effects of a Reduction in Disposable Income

Even when the economy appears strong, individual circumstances can change for the worse. An employer facing financial hardship may cut hours or lay off staff, causing employees their own financial hardships. In difficult financial times, automobile repossessions increase. While some lenders offer assistance, not all lenders are so accommodating and understanding when even a good customer faces hard times.

How to Get out of a Car Loan I Can’t Afford?

As soon as you realize you will be unable to make your car loan payment, take appropriate steps. The first three things to do are:

  • Contact the lender before you miss the first payment. Inquire about available options. Before you hang up with the lender, ask for the information in writing.
  • Run the numbers before you decide the best option for your circumstances. Find out how much you owe on the car and research the Kelly Blue Book for your car’s value. Sign up for a free Experian account to keep tabs on your credit score.
  • Conduct an analysis of all your financial resources. Will refinancing the loan or getting a deferral result in payments that fit your budget? Are your present circumstances temporary or recurring? If the latter, you may want to consider selling your car.

How to Get Rid of My Car Debt Fast?

The easiest way to get rid of car debt quickly is to make extra payments. Follow this process to pay off your loan as quickly as possible.

  • Arrange to pay extra payments on your loan whenever financially possible.
  • Make lump sum payments using tax refunds, bonuses from work, or gifts you receive as cash.
  • If you receive a raise at work or acquire a second source of income, use the extra money to pay off your loan.
  • Consider selling your car and using the proceeds to purchase a cheaper but reliable car. This is not an option if you are upside down in your loan or the proceeds from a sale would leave you too little to purchase a reliable vehicle.

What Can I Do If I Owe More on My Car Than It’s Worth?

If you are upside down on your car loan (owe more than what it’s worth), think about how you can reverse the negative equity. You can do this several ways.

  • Pay more than you are required each month based on what your budget allows.
  • Keep your current vehicle until you reach positive equity. Trade it in when you are no longer upside down.
  • Convert the negative equity into the cost of a new vehicle. This may result in higher monthly payments, but the negative balance will be paid in full.

In some cases, it may be more feasible to sell the vehicle. If your negative equity is high or you have missed payments, you might take a financial loss, but sometimes selling is best solution.

Can I Give My Car Back to the Lender?

If you are unable to afford your car payments, you can return it to the lender. Think very carefully before doing this because you could still owe money on the loan. Do not make the mistake of thinking the lender will write off any deficiency balance—they will not. If the lender is unable to sell the car and cover the entire balance of the loan, you will still be responsible for any difference.

Avoiding Repossession

You will be able to work something out if you have a good lender. Unfortunately, many don’t have the necessary compassion to work with customers facing financial hardship.Not all lenders will reinstate the contract after repossession without payment in full of the entire balance.

Unfortunately, when you are unable to make your car payments, automobile debt help may not be possible. Getting a lender to stop the foreclosure process is easier than working to avoid automobile repossession. Quite often the time between repossession and sale is too short for the owner to make the arrangements to reclaim the vehicle. In fact, the consumer may never even receive notice his vehicle is in danger of repossession.

 Automobile Debt Statistics

Changes in the prices of vehicles have had major effects on both financing terms and payment. Some of the effects noted are shown below.

Vehicle loans have longer terms. More consumers financed car loans for terms of 73-84 months, up 24.9 percent from the same period in 2014. Terms for loans on used vehicles have similarly expanded. The average loan for a new vehicle increased from $27,612 to $28,711 during the first quarter of 2015. Monthly payments followed suit, rising from $474 to $485 in the same period. The percentage of leases in the new vehicle market also rose over the previous year.

Finding a Solution to Repossession

The economy has caused an increase in the number of people with vehicle loans and monthly payments. The higher price of a new vehicle is often burdensome. For many who live in areas without public transportation, a vehicle is a necessity, not a luxury. Contact the lender immediately—don’t wait until you are in danger of repossession. Credit Yogi may be able to help you work out a compromise with the lender.


If you would like a free consultation from a non-profit credit counseling agency, Credit Yogi can help you. Call 866-964-9644 now. You’ll be happy you did. Our database includes over 160,000 professionals operating in every zip code in the United States. It’s 100% FREE and you never have to hire anyone. Ever.

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