COVID-19: Insurance And Auto Lenders Offer Special Programs To Current Members And Buyers Of New Vehicles

As the impact of the coronavirus hit the U.S. economy, mandatory business shutdowns and reductions in consumer demand are also causing massive job cuts. Some car owners may find it difficult to make car payments and others may put off buying a new vehicle. So far, there are 35,179 coronavirus cases in the United States with 473 reported deaths and 178 have recovered.

Don’t be afraid to contact your lender and tell them you don’t have a job. There is special forbearance available to help borrowers during this time. Not doing anything or hiding your job loss from your lender may only make matters worse. Missing payments can affect your credit for the years to come and that’s not a good thing.

Credit unions have programs in place to temporarily protect their members. In other words, you may be allowed to temporarily skip your payments, get emergency low-interest loans and lower your interest credit cards. Keep in mind, lenders don’t want to see you default on your loan or face repossession. They want you to get back on their feet, make payments in the future, and ultimately pay off your loan.

Special Programs From Lenders

Major lenders such as Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and General Motors are offering first payment deferrals to help buyers of new vehicles. Also, some banks are offering payment deferrals for up to 90-120 days. While interest will still accrue on the balance, the lender won’t be charged late fees.  They are also suspending new repossession actions for the next 60 days.

If You Are Going To Miss A Payment

If you lost your job, had your hours reduced or suffered a loss that makes it possible to make your payments in a timely manner, there are some things you can do before your payment is due. First, make sure you know your vehicle’s value and the balance on your loan. Your options will be limited if you owe more than your car is worth. However, if your vehicle is worth more than your loan balance, you may be able to deal with the issue and come out of it unharmed.

Speak To Your Lender

Make sure you talk to your lender if you think you are going to miss a payment. The good news is lenders have created special programs or are more flexible to work with you. The unemployment situation should be temporary.  This is why lenders are willing to defer payments or have your payments reduced. You can also refinance and lower your interest rate or perhaps stretch the loan so that you can lower your monthly payments. Whatever you do, talk to your lender.

Don’t Neglect Your Auto Insurance

It’s tempting to skip paying your car insurance premiums but don’t. It’s risky and you may be exposed to serious financial liability. If you are looking to update your auto insurance policy or need to ensure your vehicle, speak to one of our licensed insurance agents today.