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4 min read . Published April 19 2022.

Written by Dan Miller 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 home equity, loans as well as debt-management in his writing. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We are constantly striving to provide our readers with the professional advice and tools required to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate adheres to strict standards standard of conduct, so you can rest assured that our content is truthful and reliable. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors provide honest and trustworthy content to help you make the best financial decisions. The content created by our editorial team is honest, truthful and uninfluenced through our sponsors. We’re honest about the ways we’re able to bring quality content, competitive rates and useful tools to you , by describing how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated for placement of sponsored products or services, or when you click on certain links posted on our site. This compensation could affect the way, location and in what order products are listed, except where prohibited by law. We also offer mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether a product is offered in your region or within your personal credit score can also impact the manner in which products appear on this site. While we strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include details about each financial or credit item or service. An important part of a successful budget is fitting every single expense within your budget. As part of your ongoing review of your budget, you may find yourself in a situation where you feel like you can’t afford your car expenses. If that’s the case you’ve got a few options to find relief. Each of these options has its particular pros and cons, and it is important to study them carefully to see which option could be the most suitable for your needs. Contact the dealership and request a trade The first step to take is to call your dealer to see if they can swap your car to a less expensive model. This could be easier to determine if you originally bought your car through the dealership and your loan is funded through it. This might make the dealership more receptive to working things out with you. But even if that isn’t the case it’s worth calling the dealership to inquire about what options might be at your disposal. Based on the cost difference between your current and new vehicles, as well as the terms and the length of time, you might be capable of saving a substantial sum of cash by switching choosing purchase a cheaper vehicle. Be aware that current prices may make trading your car slightly more difficult. The cost of used cars has climbed significantly over the last few years ago. Also, depending on the type of vehicle you’re trading in and what kind of car you’re planning to buy this could prove more difficult than you anticipated. Request a loan modification Another option that is available if you’re unable to afford your car payment is to ask for the loan modification . With the option of a loan change, you work together with your lender to modify the conditions of the loan. It could mean decreasing your interest rate, deferring payments for a time or altering the due date so that it is better with your schedule. A loan modification could also extend the time frame of your existing loan. This usually reduces the monthly payment, however you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan. You’ll want to proceed carefully and ensure that the numbers are in your favor you prior to committing to any modifications. Refinance your car loan If your lender is not willing to alter your loan You also have the option to . It is possible to shop for a prequalification with several lenders to get the best rates and conditions. If you are a member of the local credit union or bank, you might be able to obtain better rates since you have a long-standing relationship with them. Before refinancing your auto loan determine if you are eligible. Even even if you have a low credit rating, you might be eligible to if you have the ability to pay off your car loan quickly or have improved the credit rating of your. Also, make sure to determine whether there are any charges that are associated with refinancing your auto loan. There are fees that include an early termination fee and transaction fee, state registration fees, auto insurance cost and late payment charges. Consider this as a possible method to refinance your vehicle Consider refinancing as the best option for you financially. Review the current loan. Review your credit score. Estimate the value of your car. Compare refinancing rates. Calculate how much you’d save when refinancing. Make sure you have your paperwork in order. Sell privately and purchase within your budget. If aren’t able to pay for your car in the present, a different option to think about is to sell your car privately and then purchase a different car which is more in line with your budget. There are additional steps to take with this, but it’s nevertheless feasible. It is particularly good for selling a used vehicle, with prices substantially more expensive than they were in the past which means you might get a great price. Of course, the other aspect of a booming used car market is that it may be more challenging to find a replacement car that fits your budget. Make sure to research the market and understand the price to buy a new car. That will give you an idea of the amount you’ll save by switching cars , and whether it’ll be worth it to you. Get help from your family and friends assistance A last resort may be to ask relatives and friends for assistance. This may or may not be the right choice for you based on the relationship you have with your relatives and friends, as well as their own financial situations. If you’re in an extremely difficult situation where you can’t afford the cost of your car, speaking to those who are close to you could be an option to think about. Be aware that the help of relatives and friends doesn’t necessarily require a financial commitment. Although it would be wonderful if you had a rich uncle who could take care of your loan quickly, the majority of us aren’t in that kind of situation. However, in addition to financial aid the family members and friends of yours might also be looking to sell a used car or know someone that has. Those kinds of connections might aid you in saving money. If you’re in a position in which you’re unable to make car payment, acknowledging and taking a look at your finances is the most crucial step. In the event of ignoring the issue, or even worse, missing payments for your vehicle loan can cause serious problems with your financial health overall. If you’ve discovered the issue you should look into your options. Call your lender first, to see whether they’re willing to modify your loan. They don’t want to modify existing loans however, they don’t like repossessing cars. Make your case as to why it is important to modify your loan for you to keep making payments. Based on your circumstances and your score on credit, you may be able to refinance a loan and potentially save money. Be sure to study the fees related to refinancing and understand the conditions of your loan agreement prior to taking any action. Commonly asked questions What should I do if I’m not able to afford my car payment? If you’re not able to make payments on your car loan and you are in a position to pay it, now is the best time to take action. Consider the following options: Reach out to your lender and consider deferring payments, consider the possibility of obtaining another loan or sell your car, or let it go or sell your car voluntarily. What are the costs associated with refinancing an auto loan? Costs for refinancing an auto loan could include an early termination fee and transaction fees including state registration fees, auto insurance cost late payment fees, as well as an upfront cash payment. Can you refinance a car loan even if you have a low credit score? You may be eligible for a refinance loan even if you have a low credit score. Find out more


Authored by Points and Miles Expert Contributor Dan Miller is a former contributor to Bankrate. Dan was a writer for Bankrate who covered loans home equity, loans and managing debt in his writing. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers feel confident to manage their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-documented information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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