It’s been a few months since Covid-19 forced itself into our lives. We’ve had a few months to adjust to this new augmented lifestyle. We wear a mask; we wash our hands at least 20 seconds, and we stand at least six feet apart. Even though we’ve learned to assimilate, there’s no real way to get used to the emotional and financial devastation. Your car payment may feel like another meal on an already stacked plate. If you have financed your vehicle and find yourself stressing about the next payment, here are a few suggestions for you:
- Defer Monthly Payment - If you’re struggling to pay your monthly car note due to Covid-19, the first thing to do is contact your bank to see if they have any options. Many banks have payment relief for customers who need a bit of help. Some vehicle manufacturers like Volkswagen, Subaru, and Ford encourage drivers to reach out for loan deferment options. The quicker way to get help is through your lender’s website or by calling them directly.
- Trade your vehicle In - This may be an excellent time to trade your car for a more affordable option. The idea is to trade the vehicle in for a used vehicle or certified pre-owned. This may help drastically cut down on payments. Some manufacturers have good deals and low-interest rates if you decide to trade a car for a different model. If you are interested in purchasing new, some manufacturers have specials and incentives for medical staff and first responders. This could save you a ton on a replacement vehicle.
- Sell your car - If you can’t afford the car payment, you can sell your vehicle. If you need a car, you may want to consider using some of the money you received from selling it to get a cheaper vehicle. While this vehicle may be older, it should still get you from point A to point B.
Covid-19 has been financially difficult for many people. If you find your car payments are leaving you in between a rock and a hard place, always contact your lender first. It’s crucial to communicate, explain what your situation is, and ask how they can help. They usually have the most resources available. Also, check with your vehicle’s manufacturer and dealership for programs to help those affected by the pandemic. If you need to sell your car, you may be able to set money aside to get an older vehicle. Also, talk to your employer and discuss a work from home option. They may be able to help.