What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Car Payment?

What happens if you don’t pay your car payment

Let’s face it. Anyone who’s seen Operation Repo knows ultimately what happens if you don’t pay your car payment, but of course your car doesn’t get repossessed immediately. So what happens in between your first missed payment and the time they send someone out to get your car?

That’s what we’ll explain below.

But first, if you’re looking here are the steps you should take before you miss a payment…

What To Do If You Can’t Make a Car Payment

Believe it or not, the best thing to do first (if you believe you’ll be able to keep making payments in the future) is see if you can find a better loan (here are ReadyForZero’s recommended auto loans) or contact your lender and ask if you can modify your repayment plan. When you get them on the phone you can tell them the following:

1. You won’t be able to make a payment this month. (If you’ve never been late before, be sure to tell them that)
2. You will be able to make a payment soon, but need a modified repayment plan.
3. Ask if they can let you go one month without a payment or possibly reduce the payment amount for a few months.
4. Ask if they can waive your late fee.

Some lenders may be willing to let you pay less for a few months or even skip a payment (known as deferment) – but the amount you defer will be added onto your loan balance, meaning you’ll pay more interest in the long run. That’s certainly better than losing your car entirely and damaging your credit score (which is what happens when a car is repossessed).

Another option might be to refinance your loan. Refinancing can help to lower the monthly payment you’re expected to make. However, you’ll probably need a relatively good credit score to make that happen.

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But what if you can’t pay the payments anymore – not now and not in the future? This is a common situation when people lose their jobs or have their income reduced. In that case, your best choice may be to sell your car entirely. And if you have an alternate means of transportation, selling the car should ease your stress and give you a way out of a difficult financial situation.

A final option, which may be quite unpleasant, is to “turn your keys in” – which means giving the car back to the dealer voluntarily. Keep in mind, even if you do this, you will still owe the difference between what the car is worth and what you still owe on the car loan.

What Happens If You Miss One Car Payment

Okay, let’s say you’ve missed one car payment already. Now what? Well, if you’ve never missed a payment before, the first thing that will probably happen is your lender will call you and ask why you didn’t make the payment. They will want to find out if you expect to be able to make the payment in the near future. If you can assure them that you will make the payment soon, they may be able to help you modify your payment plan as discussed above.

There is also a high likelihood that you’ll be charged a late fee or penalty.

Is there an impact to your credit score? Well, not right away. Usually, the lender will not report your missed payment to the credit bureaus immediately. So there may still be time to get the situation resolved before your credit is hurt. But that window only lasts for a short time…

What Happens If You’re 30 Days Late On a Car Payment?

Once you’re 30 days late on your car payment, the consequences get more serious. For one thing, the lender may report you as delinquent to the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – and you will get several calls from your lender to persuade you to pay the amount you owe.

In many cases, these calls will increase as time goes on until you are more than 90 days late.

After 90 days without paying your car loan, your lender may declare you to be in default on the loan. After your loan is in default, it will be sold to a debt collection agency for a fraction of the total balance of your loan. At this time, the repossession process will also begin, which means the lender will send out someone to reclaim your vehicle.

If your car is repossessed, keep in mind that you have a right to save all your belongings inside the car. Even if the car is taken when you’re not around, you have the right to ask the lender how to get back any of your property that was in the car at the time it was repossessed.

So what should you do if your car is repossessed and you can’t pay the remaining balance on the loan? There are several options for getting out of debt that you should research. Depending on how much total debt you have, it might make sense to work out a repayment plan (ReadyForZero can help with this!), or try to save up enough money for a lump sum settlement, or file for bankruptcy. You can talk to a reputable credit counselor for advice on how to proceed.


So… what happens if you don’t pay your car loan payment? As you can see, the answer depends on whether you can make the payment in the near future. Hopefully the information above can help you avoid the worst outcomes, like having your car or truck repossessed. The most important thing to keep in mind is if you feel you cannot continue making payments, take action immediately to try to resolve the situation rather than simply waiting or ignoring the problem.

Remember that you can find the best auto loans on ReadyForZero’s Auto Loans page.

And as always, if you have any specific questions, just let us know in the comments below!

Image credit: Stradablog

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  • chacha

    what happens when you buy a car and request your payment to be on a particular day of the month and the agree, then sell the loan to another lender an they don’t accept the original payment date? Then they start calling everyday all day long even when your not 30 days late.

    • That sounds like a frustrating situation. I don’t have any experience with a situation like that, so I’m not sure exactly what I could recommend. However, it sounds like the lender thinks you are late on a payment so it might be worth checking in with them to see if you can get on the same page and make sure they see that you are up to date on your payments.

      • Manny

        I bought a car about two months ago, and i called to make my first payment, and the original dealership had sent my contract to a new finance company and they shredded my file, the new finance company has no record of me or my vehicle. No one has called me for payment. What do i do?

        • Hi Manny, wow, that is a very strange situation. I’ve never heard of that happening before. One thing you could do is get your free annual credit report from annualcreditreport.com and see if the loan is listed on your credit report. If it is, then you can see who the lender is and contact them for more information.

          It seems that whoever has your loan should be obligated to send you a bill so you know where to send payments. If you don’t hear from the lender and don’t pay, then either you’ll get a free car (which seems unlikely) or you will be tracked down at a later date by the lender and they’ll demand all your back payments.

          • Manny

            I have not heard fro the lender in a month, so im really confused..

          • Were you able to pull your credit report using annualcreditreport.com? That may provide some answers. If you find any more information about this type of situation, let us know!

  • r.dodduk

    What happens if my car is taken and sold I know I repay the differnce but does that include all the interest I would have had to pay? They quote they have given me is a total repayment quote but when asked how much ir would cost to early repay its a totally different figure.

    • I’m not sure of the answer to this, but I think the amount owed is usually called a “deficiency balance.” If you have time, you might find some more information online if you Google that term. Best of luck to you.

    • Hi there, I don’t think it would include the interest, but you should ask the lender to be completely sure.

  • Alicia

    how do I find out who my lending company is?

    • The name of the company and their contact information should be on the billing statements you receive. If you are having trouble finding it, or if you have another question, just let us know and we’ll try to help answer it.

  • island girl

    I have not made a car payment in over three months and can no longer afford it due to my change in circumstances. I obviously know that I am in default, but they have stopped calling me and I have not received any info in the mail as to what their plans are. What should I do, just wait to the repo man shows up or should I call them? This is very stressful. Please help

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your situation and I wish you the best of luck. That must be very difficult. It’s hard for me to say exactly what should be done in your specific situation since I don’t know all the details, but it is usually a good idea to call the lender and see if you can work out some kind of modified payment plan. Or even see if there is a way to sell the car back while reducing the amount you owe. By talking directly to them you may find the solution that is best for your finances. Best of luck!

  • One Million Dreams

    If you are unable to make payments on the car for extended period of time can the bank make it so that you can not renew your registration? Also, can they make it so you can not renew inspection?

    • I don’t think so – I believe the only way you could be prevented from registering your car is if you owed taxes on it. But you might want to double check by calling your local DMV.

  • Random Passerby

    If you “turn in your keys” voluntarily and owe more than the vehicle is worth, how do you pay that? Do you still own that money to the lender like the original loan? I ask because I just got approved through USAA for a suitable loan with a better interest rate(and overall better payment,) but would still owe the difference on my current loan. Also, if I took advantage of the newest loan offer, and then dealt with the current vehicle loan, would they affect each other?

    • Hi, I’m not sure I understood the last part of your question, but to answer the first part I’m pretty sure that if you turn in your keys while still owing more than the vehicle is worth then you’d still have a loan amount equal to the outstanding balance (probably with the same terms as before, too). In your case, if you have two loans, then I think you’d have two monthly payments to make. If you could pay one off quickly, then you’d just have the remaining one to focus on, which would be great! Let us know if you have further questions.

  • alvin

    what happen i i just bought a car this year and i cant afford it no longer what should i do??? im planning or voluntary to put it
    back to dealer thanks

    • Hi Alvin, I don’t know the specific terms of your contract, but I think you should be able to return the car to the dealer. After you do that, you’ll be in better shape, but you may still have some debt remaining from the car loan that was not paid yet. If so, continue making the payments on that until you have no further payments due.

  • richard

    i paid for this month just in time but when i got home i saw on my receipt that they just charged my account $450 and it supposed to be $465.56 will they charge me a penalty for the $15.56? since its weekend and labor day i will have to wait till the bank open on tuesday, i have always paid in time, just curious 🙂

    • If the mistake is theirs, you should be able to call their customer service line and ask them to fix the error. If you can provide them with proof that you paid the full amount on time, this will help your case. Good luck!

  • Jasmine

    Is there any way you can refinance your auto loan if your more then 90 days late ???

    • I’m not sure. The best approach will be to contact your lender or an alternative lender and ask what options they can offer you.

  • Lyle

    What happens if my car loan goes to collections nd I still have the car, r they still looking for it

    • Yes, I believe if your loan is in collections they can repossess it. I’d recommend doing a little research (start by searching for information on car repossessions) and also make a plan for how to pay off this debt. If you can save up a lump sum then you might be able to offer that in return for having the remainder of your debt forgiven.

  • terri k

    my loan is with collections& Ive made arrangements and have been paying them however i can no long make those payments and need them to repossess the vehicle; I’m working on building my credit will this now ruin what im trying to build once again

    • Hi Terri, my understanding is that a vehicle repossession will hurt your credit score. You might want to call your lender and explain the situation. At least that way, they can arrange to repossess the vehicle quickly and painlessly and you can move on and start repairing your credit. You might want to check out our credit score resource center: http://readyforzero.wpengine.com/resources/credit-score

      • terri k

        Hi Ben

        Thanks for your prompt response but the lender already sent it to collections and I’ve been paying the collection agency; so my question is if I ask the collections agency to repossess the vehicle if this will hurt my credit?
        Subject: Re: New comment posted on What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Car Payment?

  • brandon

    I am going to miss a payment but I will be able to pay in with in the next 2 weeks should I be worried

    • Well, you can’t know for sure whether this will be reported to the credit bureaus. But in most cases it would not be reported if you’re only 2 weeks late (unless you already have a history of late or missed payments). Good luck!

  • tracy

    i have a car i am making a payment on which i am late with the payment due to the fact i had a fender bender no one else my own accident my insurance lasped so i had the car at the shop they told me not worth fixing small damage but electrically problems airbag not deployed and caught on fire two weeks after i had it what can i do

    • Hi Tracy, sorry to hear about these challenges. It must be very frustrating. It sounds like your car has some major mechanical issues that will need to be fixed before you can drive it safely. And I’m sure it’s hard to deal with that and the late payment at the same time. Without knowing the specific details of your situation, it’s hard for me to say what you should do, but in most cases it helps to call the lender and see if you can work out an arrangement that works for both sides. Best of luck to you.

  • ormy69

    surly if ive paid 9o% off my car I have some rights before they reposess…ive asked if they will reduce the payments and they said no

    • My understanding is that they can repossess the car if you are not keeping your end of the contract, even if you’ve paid off 90% of the loan. Have you considered getting a short term loan from someone in order to get current on your payments so you can avoid losing the car?

  • Margareta

    Hi Ben,
    Two questions so I bought my car 42days ago and in the meantime I’ve been to the hospital 5times, with that said I haven’t been making $ and I can’t afford the 1st payment! Although I’m 13days late in actuality the company (dealer) told me at signing its not actually due till sep 14 either can’t pay it…and on top of that I wnt to go and register my car the other day and they didn’t all it cause they said I purchased the car 35days ago but it hasn’t been smoged in 90. So I have to pay $10 a day to basically to stretch the 30 day on my car so that’s there responsibility right? And they have to pay me bc for the $10 a day extension???
    Have a great day Ben

    • Hi Margareta, thanks for your question! I’m really sorry to hear about your hospital visits and I hope you get well soon. With regard to the car, it sounds like these payments are adding stress to your financial situation. With that in mind, you might want to consider returning the car (if possible) and getting a more affordable vehicle (perhaps a used vehicle from an individual selling their car on Craigslist). Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to call your lender and tell them the challenges you’re facing and see if they can help you work out a solution. Best of luck!

  • jcextra

    Hi I have a 73 month car loan that I purchased brand spanking new back in 2010 and the original car payment (to pay off) was 19,230.87…well now I’ve gotten that down to 11,875.73 I purchased the car in May 2010 and they set my car payments up to 443.15. Well I have a job where the pay scale used to go up and down where one month we would be making 1900 dollars a month and another month we would be making 1600 dollars a month which translates into 400 dollars a week or 460 dollars a week. Well now my payscale is set at 360 dollars a week and i still have three years left to pay on my vehicle. I have not missed a car payment in three years since I’ve owned the vehicle. I have however made the payment sometimes on the 12th which is the due date, and sometimes i have been as late as the 26th, no biggie. What can you suggest i do to make the payments easier on me so i can go ahead and pay this car off as scheduled without any interruptions? And can I actually qualify to get my payment lowered from the 443.15 a month that i am paying now? NOTE: Keep in mind everytime i pay the 443.15, its only knocking 200-250 dollars off the principal balance. They are charging me a TON Of interest What can I do to get this lowered. Does it sound like i will qualify for a re finance and will this be the best way to do it?

    • Hi there, sorry to hear about this challenging situation. What I would recommend is calling your lender and seeing if they are willing to work out an alternate payment plan that will work better for you. Unfortunately, this is basically up to their discretion, and there is a chance they won’t want to do it. If you start to feel like you cannot make the payments anymore and the lender won’t help you out, then you might want to consider trying to sell the car and get something with a lower monthly payment. Either way, good luck!

  • Manny

    I bought a car about two months ago. The original dealership (In house financing) sent my contract to a different in house finance company (never heard of this happening) I have not made my first payment because when i called the new finance company they had no record of my vehicle or me. and the old dealer had shredded my file. What do i do? The original dealer is on my title as a lessor, and i am listed as lessee, but im Owner #1 and they are owner #2. Can i take them off of the title since no one has record of my contract? No one has contacted me for the payment either. @BenFeld:disqus

    • Hey Manny, I responded to your other comment below, but I also wanted to mention that you could seek legal counsel if you’re unsure of what your options are under the law. Let us know what you find out!

  • miss tlb

    *waves hand* I have a question. When a deferment is granted, and lets day the car note is $500. My auto lender would grant a deferment (skipping a payment, added 30 days to the end of my contract) Lets say its Sept and I have a payment due and not enough money. I’m granted a deferment. That month (Sept) I would pay only the finance charges (part 1). (200) and the next month (Oct.) I would pay the principle portion (300).
    So should they take additional finance charges out of my Oct payment (part 2 of deferment/principle) ?

    • miss tlb

      part one and part two would equal a full month payment*

      • Hi, I think if I’m understanding your question correctly they should only charge you the normal finance charge for your October payment. In other words, your October payment would be $200+$300, as usual. Then you have to pay the extra $300 you deferred at the end of your contract, which means your loan lasts 30 days longer (and this might change your interest amount slightly, but I’m not sure how those calculations would work – you may have to ask the lender about that).

        • miss tlb

          That’s what I thought. My Auto lender granted us 6 deferments over six years. those 2nd part payments (principle ) had interest taken out as well as part 1 payment of deferment. They refuse to fix this mistake. We owed they repossessed my car for the last payment, actually it was only part of the last payment that was past due ($130), Hopefully the CFPB will make them do something =)

          • So they repossessed your car when you owed only $130 on it? That seems a little suspicious. And it was because of an error on their part? Yes, if that’s the case I really hope the CFPB can help you!

          • miss tlb

            CFPB started investigating them in March for inflating (sub prime?) auto loans. They also applied a payment to my account, removed it the same day and re-applied it the next. Costing me $5 in extra interest (and $5 less on my principle payment ) they are trying to tell me that didn’t make a difference.
            Do you know if this is true? I read this while reviewing complaints on other websites about my auto lender: If more than half the car is paid, auto lenders are required to offer re-financing BEFORE they repossess. This is suppose to be enforced my the FTC?

          • I don’t know if that is true, unfortunately. But it’s probably worth researching more. By the way, which lender is it? That would be helpful for us to know if we run into a similar problem in the future with others.

          • miss tlb

            Ally Financial. The will steal your car and your soul. NEVER use them! Customer service is horrible!(outsourced). They tried to tell me my first two payments don’t count, told me this TWICE! (2nd time I recorded it)

          • Oh wow, thanks for the heads up! I can’t believe they’ve treated you so badly. I hope you’re able to get the situation resolved. Best of luck!

          • miss tlb

            Thank you

  • tenisha lamar

    Waves Hand, Yes I have a question my account goes into to default today after 3pm and my question is after it goes into defalut and sent to a collection do my car company come pick my car right away and with the collection agency how would that go, would they ask me to pay what I owe or would I have to pay double the money. I really need my car I am a single mother. This car has already been giving me problems since I first got it but I really need it.

    • tenisha lamar

      also they said I am 3 payments behind when I had already told them I get paid bi-weekly and I also informed them that my payday is in 5 days and they’re not willing to take my money.

      • Hi Tenisha, I’m sorry to hear about these challenges! Most likely what will happen is they will sell your debt to a debt collections agency. This could happen immediately or after a month or two. To learn more about how to deal with a debt collector, see this post:

        Usually, with debt collection you are asked to either make monthly payments or pay an up front sum equal to some fraction of the total debt owed.

        As for your car, they may eventually repossess it. I can’t say for sure if that would be immediate or not, though. Best of luck to you.

  • dominic

    Hey Benjamin, i have made perfect payments on my car for 2 years, i still owe 20k on it. however my financial situation has changed and i cant afford it anymore. i was wondering since i already have terrible credit, if i tell my bank to stop the payments, pocket the money and put it towards a beater car. im just worried that the car will be repossesed before i can save enough for a cheap car. (only need about 2 months since my payments are 250 bi-weekly.

    • Hi Dominic, sorry to hear about your predicament! I think you’ve got the beginnings of a good idea — if you can get out from under your car payment and drive an old beat up car for a little while, it will give you the breathing room necessary to get your financial life back on track.

      Can you start saving now (while still making your car payments) and wait until you get a big enough amount to buy an old car? And then call the lender on your current auto loan and see if you can give back the car or sign over the payments to another customer? That way, you won’t get behind on payments and your credit score won’t be affected. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

  • iris

    I have a brother who can not drive due to illnesses..His girl friend of 23 years has drove him everywhere. she now has passed away they have a truck in both there names and he can not afford to finish making the payments on it..He draws ssa disability. What shoul he do?

    • Hi Iris, I’m really sorry to hear that. It must be very difficult. It sounds like he may need to get rid of the truck and look for alternate forms of transportation. If he were to stop making payments, the truck could be repossessed – or it might not. That depends to some extent on what type of truck it is and its current value. He could call the lender and ask to return the truck so that he can stop making the payments without hurting his credit score. But then he’ll still need to find an alternate method of transportation. Perhaps there is a local community group that would be willing to pitch in to give him rides every week? It’s worth a try!

  • seahorse

    live in florida, my car was part of chapter 7 one and a half years ago, can non longer pay, should I call them 2 months behind now

    • Yes, I think it is usually a good idea to call them and see if they are willing to arrange a modified repayment schedule. For example, maybe they can give you a deferment or reduce your monthly payments a little bit. Or perhaps they’ll want to repossess the car. But at least you’ll know your options if you call.

  • steven

    I had a car and it had my and someone elses name on it but she wanted it cause i got married and told her she could have it the repo man called me and i gave him the information to get it and then the security national people called me saying i owe 12000 on it but he could get it reduced. what happens if you never pay it

    • That’s an interesting question, Steven. Since your name was on it, most likely the delinquent payment has already hurt your credit score. If you want to try to improve your credit score, you could talk to the debt collector to see if they will be willing to accept a reduced payment (if you can afford it, that is). If you simply do nothing, you’ll continue owing the $1,200 and your credit score will be affected negatively for about 7 years. But since you don’t have the car, there is no threat of repossession. Most debt has a statute of limitations on it. You can learn more about that here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/state-statutes-of-limitations-for-old-debts-1.aspx.

  • Jasmine

    I’ve recently bought a brand new car in April. Just two days ago, I was terminated from my job. By the grace of God, I’ve got a new job lined up (tomorrow’s my second interview, fingers crossed). My car payment is also due tomorrow. I can pay it this month but I’m definitely going to be a week or two late. Do you think that is going to be an issue? I typically always make my payments on time, give or take a day or two

    • Sorry to hear about the job loss, but congrats on getting the new job so quickly! I think if you make your payment this month within the first two weeks after the due date you should be okay. You might want to call your lender to let them know what is happening ahead of time.

  • Chrissy

    I unfortunately have been chronically late with my car payments but I always pay the late fee. This month I was 8 days late and went to pay with the automated service and they would not accept my payment with late fees. They want the full loan amount. Is there anything I can do. This is our only vehicle, I have 3 children and if we loose this car both my husband and I will lose our jobs. Obviously if we had the full amt the car would be paid off or have a second car. Help!!!

    • Hi Chrissy, sorry to hear that! It must be so frustrating. I would recommend calling up your lender (they should have a 1-800 customer service number) and when you get a real human on the phone, ask them if they can help you set up a new payment plan. They should be able to help you figure out how to get your payments restarted. If not, they may be trying to repossess the car back from you. If you feel you’re being illegally prevented from making your payments, you could contact the CFPB or your local law enforcement. Let us know how it goes. And good luck.

  • lewis schneider

    I have an 84 year old friend. He has a 3 yer old car with a 6 year loan. He lost his job injuries and cannot return to work anymore. There is no way he can make any more payments now or ever. He gets social security and can barely pay his food and rent bills. He has about a thousand in savings. When they repo his car can the bank take his savings? What should he do.

    • Hi Lewis, fortunately, I don’t think the lender would be able to take his savings. They can repossess the car and if they wanted to sue him for debt owed they could do that, but the likelihood of that is not particularly high.

      • James Woodall

        Legally the lender most likely could get the $1000. But probably would not go to the trouble. Move it.

    • adam

      R u kidding me? Can you imagine a loan co trying to take an ,84 yr old last 1000 bucks? Not only won’t they try to take his money unless he volunteered it but for being such greedy a holes they should pay him for emotional distress I’m sure your friend has been under a lot of stress due to this. No offense to your friend but anyone who would make a loan to an 80 something yr old deserves what they get. Do me a favor, if they try to collect contact me I would love to have a talk with the loan company. I wouldn’t let him pay a Penney, no way no how once he starts they will never stop bothering him but that’s up to the two of you.

    • James woodall

      Move the savings. To a trusted family member or friend. Assuming your friend has no other assets of value like real estate or investments lenders most often will not spend more money in legal fees when the money does not exist. Best advice go in to the lender and demonstrate that there are no assets and turn in the vehicle. Probably the worst is an occasional collection
      call. Tell the simple truth. Leaves em flat footed.

  • eddie

    Hi there I was financing a car and decided I could not make any more payments after 8 months it’s been about a month now since I haven’t made a payment and the finance company asked me to sign a contract that states I will owe them 3000$ if I give the car back what should I do should I even sign this contract

    • Hi Eddie, that is a tough question to answer without knowing more details. If you prefer to have a $3,000 debt without the car (rather than keeping the car and being responsible for the entire loan amount), and if you think you’ll be able to pay off that amount, then that may be the best option. If that doesn’t sound good to you, then you’ll have to ask them what other options there are.

  • chris

    Hey been i just found out im being medically dischsrged from the army jan 1 2014 I have a 508 car note 2 kids and a wife my disabilty ratings is 20percent or 255 a month what should I do I sent a lrtter of hardship yester day and nothing yet what should I do give the keys to the dealer

    • tlb

      don’t turn your car over yet. You should have options, esp having been in the military. I think you can call the CFPB and ask questions like this. There are laws that protect military people from being taken advantage of by lenders. Whatever deal your lender works out with you be sire to get it in writing!

    • The previous comment by “tlb” is good advice. It doesn’t hurt to call your lender and explain your situation (including the military medical discharge) and see what they can work out with you. Ideally, they can work out a payment plan that you agree to, but definitely don’t hesitate to contact Military organizations or the CFPB for more info and advice.

  • CAM2286

    My auto loan was sent to collections recently but has not been repossessed but have asked for my location to come pick it up.i was 3 months behind and gave them two months payment to start catching up.ny question is,as long as I pay what I can to catch up,can they still repo my truck?the lady almost refused to take the 2 payments I had bc she wanted all 3.she was pretty brutal towards me.absolutely zero sympathy without hearing my side and why I was in that situation.

    • tlb

      u have a loan with Ally ? If you made those two payments I would make another one as soon as you can. I would secure my car in a safe location. ESP if you have a loan with ally

    • My understanding is that they can repossess the car as long as you are not up to date on your payments. Sometimes the lender will be willing to work out a modified payment plan with you, but in this case it seems your lender is not being very helpful. It might be a good idea to call them again and see if you can get a different person on the phone (who might be more helpful). Other than that, if you can get current on the payments, that should protect you from having the car repossessed.

  • Bianca

    Hi Ben,
    I have made perfect payments on my car for almost two years now. But recently, for the month of November, I’ve missed that payment and security national called me today saying that they need Novembers payment sometime this month and that they cannot wait another month. They are telling me that the collections department will be contacting me shortly if I don’t make a payment very soon. I just started a new job, got off of unemployment and the transition right now is hard because my check isn’t lining up to my bills just yet. My question is, I really cannot afford my car anymore, it’s also been wrecked due to a drunk driver, badly. I am thinking of just giving the car back to them, because I really cannot afford the 451 dollars plus 154 in insurance, plus my rent and utilities all in one month anymore. Should I just give the car back? Would I owe the balance still? I still owe $13,000 on what started at $15,000 a year and a half ago. I’m thinking that saving up for a beater might be what I will have to settle with. thanks

    • Hi Bianca, it sounds like you’re on the right track in planning to get a cheap used car in order to allow you to get control of your finances and start saving up some money. In some cases you can give the car back and not owe any more, but I think it depends on the current value of the car and how much you’ve paid already. What I’d recommend is Google the term “voluntary repossession” and then call your lender to ask if you can give them back the car. Good luck and let us know if you have further questions.

  • Petra Smith

    Hi my name is Allan and I got a car for a friend under my name but she is paying on it if she misses a payment how can I get the car back in a leagel matter need help

    • Hi, my understanding is if the car is in your name (and the loan is in your name) then you are responsible for the car and all finances associated with it. That means if the payments don’t get made, they can repossess the vehicle. Now, if you’re asking how to get the car back from your friend if she misses a payment, that is a harder question and one for which I’m not sure of an answer. You might need to enlist help in that case.

      • Petra Smith

        Thank you

  • Rafa

    My contract was over a month a go but I’m still getting late charge I might have missed a car payment or 2 but can they still add late charge if the contract was suppose to be over and not to mention that the dealer has 2 contracts for me how is at possible?

    • Hi Rafa, I’m not sure about the 2 contracts – that is something you should definitely resolve with the dealer in case it leads to further complications for you later on. As for the contract continuing past the original end date, that is not too uncommon if you missed a car payment (or a few). And I believe they are within their rights to do that if you still owe them the money. It might be worth calling the company to clarify with them how much you still owe. Hope that helps!

  • adon

    my car was towed. I dont want it anymore but there is property of mine in it that is important to me. what rights do I have.

  • alico

    I got a personal loan from a bank to buy a car and this was since
    one year and a half .

    now I lost my job and I can not afford paying my loan at least for the next three coming months

    my question is the bank able to repossession my car or not ?

    the car is registered on my name


    • Your best bet will be to call the lender and and tell them the situation. You might be able to work out a modified payment plan or a voluntary repossession. Hope this helps!

  • David

    Hi Benjamin,

    I’m a 19 year old, who got a new car a year ago and put it in my fathers name. I’ve paid all the car payments through my bank account for the past year, is there anyway to transfer the title of the car under my name, so that I may recieve all this great credit?

    • Hi David, I think that should be possible but I’m not familiar with the exact steps you’d need to take. I would recommend you start by calling your lender and tell them what you’d like to do. Hopefully they can help you to make it happen.

  • Geoff Jackson

    Im late on my payments. Can my finance prevent me from re-registering my car?

    • Hi Geoff, no I don’t think it would prevent you from being able to register the vehicle. But I would ask your department of motor vehicles to be sure.

  • Talon

    Hi benjamin this is off topic but when buying my car i bought it from a used dealership i financed it thru my credit union so for the down payment i signed a promissary note to pay 2000$ I gave 800 cash that day an within the following month i paid the balance in full, this was over a year an a half ago today i get a call saying they started going thru there records an told me i still owe 675.00$ ive moved since then an only have the contract of buying my car no reciepts of payin the down payment part how do i prove i payed it? this place is known for ripping people off

    • Wow, that is too bad. Maybe you should start by explaining to the credit union that you already paid them in full and ask them to update their records. Unfortunately, other than that I’m not sure what you can do besides talk with a lawyer. Best of luck to you.

  • big baby

    hello to you all i have a friend we are co on ownership of a car i second on it not able to make this months payment. want to keep the car just don’t know how to tell them with out being whinny or scared that they would say. I’m taking it. been out of work 3 weeks car payment coming up. Just some words to give to 1st on the car to let them know i can’t but will the beginning of the year when back to work

    • I would recommend being honest and explaining the situation while assuring them you will get back on time with the payments once you are back to work.

  • Samuel

    I have some question ? I can’t make a payment a car and I still own a car for $50,000. If I retune a car i still own $20.000.what should I do? If I retune a car. How is my credit gonna be? Possible I can buy to car on future ?


    • Hi Samuel, it really depends on the situation, but in many cases you can work out an agreement with your lender to return the car and it might lessen the impact on your credit score. I’d suggest doing some research on the term “voluntary repossession.”

  • Sally Welborn Switzer Lasby

    I have had a loan thru drive time for almost 14 months. Do you know if they would defer my payment this month to the end of the loan.

    • I think there’s a good chance that they would. I’d recommend calling them and asking if they’re willing to do that.

  • Ronin

    Hi Ben, I have a difficult situation, last August I went down to Mexico in my car then flew backto usa and left it with my aunt then my boyfriend who’s mexican drove it up to Phoenix where I live, but before he could get to the Phoenix the mexican police detained him with my car and although i showed up and showed that Iwas the legal owner they kept my car. So my question is if I stop paying my loan of 15k that I still owe on my car and the bank has no car to repossess what will they likely do? I can’t keep paying for a car that I don’t have. I don’t know what to do.

    • Hi Ronin, I’m sorry to hear about this challenging situation. I’m not sure what the lender would do in a situation like this, but we can assume your credit score will take a hit. Beyond that, the lender could potentially sue you to recoup more money from you – however, I don’t know if that will happen or not. I’d suggest calling them and telling them what happened. Then ask for their advice on how to proceed. You could also contact U.S. authorities about your car that was taken.

  • Lauren

    Hi. My boyfriends car was just repossessed this morning and he is at the place right now getting his things out of the car. In February will be one year that he has had the car. My question is if he paid one payment late in August, talked to the bank to push back a payment in October paid that, then missed a payment last month and was to make Decembers payment today would they reposes his car? Or has he not been paying it like he says he is? It’s been a very rough couple of months financially for us so I want to make sure things are okay and he’s just not acting like it. Thanks!

    • Hi Lauren, my understanding is a lender can repossess a car even after only one missed payment. However, it usually depends on that specific situation, so you might want to call the lender directly and see if they can help answer your questions. Good luck!

  • MsSmiles

    If u have made a payment in 6 months or more can they send the sheriff to your home?

    • They could repossess your car, but that would not involve the sheriff, as far as I know. Your best bet might be to call the lender and work out an agreement with them. I’d also suggest researching “voluntary repossession.”

  • jc

    Im two weeks behind on my car payment and the lender called me and said that he was giving me 24 hours to make my payment I cant pay until the day after the 24 hours can they take my car

    • I doubt they would take your car in that case (assuming you make the payment) but I would suggest reiterating to them that you will make the payment on that day. Good luck!

      • autiger123

        I called on a Fri to inform them that I had been approved for a loan to pay the full amount owed at a lower interest rate. I would be signing the papers on Mon. He got very nasty, stated he should just come get the car & i needed to get a payment in with all the late interest within 24 hrs. I pleaded with him to not come get the car as this would prevent me from signing the loan. The new lender needed to see the car, etc. & by him taking the car it would prevent me from getting the loan. Even called him later in the day, he said he was busy & I asked him to call me back before he closed with the amount I needed to bring in. The next morning I go to town, come out of drug store to find my car hooked to a tow truck. He didn’t even sell the car he returned it. Is this legal?

        • autiger1234

          The issue now is days afterwards I was rushed to ER & hospitalized for 8 days due to internal bleeding. My credit also went upside down during this time where the original new lender had to redo paperwork since it had been past 30 days. At this time when reapplying I no longer qualified for the new loan. Nor do I now qualify for a new loan anywhere.

  • canadian

    I bought a car in canada over 3 years ago and was paying on time even though i moved to us. the problem is that since august i haven’t been able to pay anymore, and even left the country in search of a job. now that i’m back i found that the loan it’s being sold to a collector in 3 days, tried to negotiate with the lender but they want a lump sum for the amount i’m behind, which i can’t do. i need to keep the car because is my only mean of transportation. can i try to refinance here in the us? negotiate with the collector? what would you recommend? thanks

    • It depends on a few factors. If the car still has a lot of value, they may try to repossess it. If that’s the case, there may not be much you can do besides plan ahead for the day it happens. On the other hand, you might be able to negotiate with the debt collector – it’s always worth a try. Good luck!

  • hurtandcantwork

    If you get disability and had to stop working but still can’t afford payments what happens? Is it best to turn in car?

    • That might be your best option, but first you should call the lender and tell them the situation. It’s possible they’d be willing to work out a modified payment plan with you. If not, you can ask them about voluntary repossession.

  • Bianca

    Hi, if I am more than 90 days late but want to sell the car and possibly get another vehicle, what would my options be? This situation concerns me about my credit score and it being affected.

    • Hi Bianca, that depends. Can you find a buyer to cover the cost of your outstanding loan balance? If so, then you could sell the car and get out from under the loan. Then you’d be free to find another (cheaper) car to purchase. If you need to give back the car without paying the loan in full, then things will get a little more complicated. Your credit score would likely be negatively affected unless you could work out some kind of deal with the lender.

  • nic

    Hey ben, I currently am switching jobs and will not be able to make my next payment . Im nervous to call and ask them to let me miss one month or push the payment to another date….they dont repo it if u miss one payment do they?
    i dont want to lose it cuz then I will have no credit.after this month id be fine its just the current situation that money got tight.

    • If you think you’ll be able to make the payment relatively soon then you could call and tell them you are switching jobs and will need to submit the next payment a little late. They sometimes will agree to accept a payment late if you call in advance and explain the situation. In most cases, they would not repossess the vehicle after one missed payment, but if the payment goes unpaid for a long time with no communication from you, then they might take action. Good luck!

  • I hate Nissans

    Hi ready for zero! I have a question….my 2012 Nissan rouge is 64,000 miles and is out of warranty. I need a new transmission that will cost me 3000+ dollars. I’m already two months behind, I was thinking of letting them repo the Nissan. It’s a crappy car that will have future problems as well….do you have any suggestions or think this is a good plan?

  • carlos

    I have a 2013 Toyota camry i just have 1 payment and somebody crash me.the insurance say it can be fix.i was hopping they say is total.now when they fix it my new car is wort a lot less.i was thinking turning the car to the bank .and buy another before.but i am undecided .i don’t want this car anymore.

    • Hi Carlos, if the other person’s insurance is going to pay to have your car fixed, perhaps you can closely monitor the repairs and make sure they do a good job. When it’s all done, it should be almost as good as new. In that case, maybe you’ll be happy to keep driving the car? If not, you’ll need to sell the car or work out a deal with the lender to return the car (you’d have to call and ask them if this is even a possibility). Either way, I wish you the best of luck.

  • GT


    My situation is complicated. I refinanced my wife’s car under my name and was initially advised she could gift me the car to save tax. The new bank refinanced the car and sent me the clear title with no lien and my wife’s name on it so i could transfer it to my name and add them as lien holder. unfortunately when i contacted the dmv to follow thru with paper work they stated i will have to pay tax on the amount loaned even though my wife gave me the car. I didn’t have the money to pay for tax title as it was almost $2000. I contacted the bank and they refused to pay the $2000 as well and stated that ill have to come out of pocket and if i don’t do that within 60 days they will increase my auto loan rate to unsecured rate until the title is perfected. I paid them the agreed monthly payments but when the increased the rate I couldn’t afford the payments. I have lost my job and currently unemployed and cannot afford the ridiculous high monthly payments. I am about 60 days late and what are my options. I have the title with no lien under my wife’s name and cannot afford to make payments. Can bank still repossess the car without any lien or whatever my options are please let me know ASAP. Thank you


    • Hi GT, that is a tough situation – sorry to hear about that. My understanding is that they can still repossess the car even without a lien, but I’d recommend you do some more research to get a definitive answer.

  • titou

    hi i just purchased a new car 3 weeks ago and i want to return it to the dealer after i signed a sale contract. is that can be bad for my credit? what i have to do?

    • Hi there, I’m not sure if that is allowed by the dealer. You’d have to call them and see if they will accept a return of the vehicle. If not, an alternative might be to sell the car for as close to the amount you paid as possible. And then you would need to still pay any remainder on the loan. If you simply stop making payments, then yes, that will be bad for your credit.

  • megan

    what happens if you cant pay your car payment anymore and no longer have the car?

    • Hi Megan, the loan is still valid even if you no longer have the car, so your lender will expect you to continue making payments as agreed upon in the contract. If you’re having any problems, you can always call the lender and see if you can modify the agreement to make the payments more affordable (or to get a deferment).

      • megan

        what if you no longer can even make payments and havent for about 5 months now. I just am wondering legaly what will be done to me if i stop making payments and cant return the car.

        • In that case, the lender could potentially sue you for the remaining balance.

  • mike

    If you have 2 cars with one lender and one of the is totaled and the insurance church does not cover the balance of th totaled car.and I stop paying on the totaled car but stay current on the other car can the lender take both cars?

    • I don’t think so. My understanding is that the loans and cars are separate, so they can only repossess the car that’s attached to the late or non-paid loan. Of course, they could potentially take you to court to recoup the remainder of the balance from you, but that’s a different story.

  • Jerry G

    I turned in a 2013 car that I had less than 6 months due to losing a job and I knew I couldn’t pay for it. I still owe $8,000 after they sold it for $16,000. The car was priced at $19,000.Taxes and interest I guess. I only make SS of less than $1,000 a month and $180.00 from a property management company. Can they take any of this money? I’m trying to work out something but no good. I really don’t know what to do. They want the whole sum. If I had that I would have kept making payments.

    • Hi Jerry, my understanding is they cannot garnish wages or social security checks. The one exception would be if they sued you and got a judgement against you then they might be able to recoup some money from your monthly income. But it would be worth researching a little more to find out exactly what the possible outcomes are.

  • Popcorn

    Heres an interesting situation. I buy a car, the first deal gets messed up because i didn’t finish the “welcome call” in time. I go in and sign a new deal, waiting for the “welcome call” and it doesnt come. I drive the car halfway across the country because I am going back to school. I was prepared to make payments. No one ever calls me, the dealership never calls to get it back. The title got sent to my new lender, but that lender has no record of me. Right now I have this car and no one asking for payments. I tried contacting dealership early but then stopped. Its been almost 5 months now and I have yet to make a payment. I am just waiting for someone to contact me because I am tired of calling around and getting nowhere. Have you ever seen anything like this? Its just crazy, and I pretty much just staying quiet until my first bill is due or the dealership wants their car back. Until then I’m just gonna enjoy it while it lasts, lol. Maybe a little unethical but i’ve tried and if there is a problem it is one of their responsibilities to fix it. I could care less if I had to give the car back or make the payments but at this point, I might as well ride it out. Funnier thing is the DMV sent me a confirmation of ownership on the car. Bizarre situation.

    • That’s really interesting. I think someone else on this thread mentioned a similar situation. One thing you could do immediately is check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com and see if the loan is listed on your credit report. If it is, then you’ll know who the lender is and you should contact them to find out why you haven’t received any bills yet. Your credit report should also show you whether any late payments have been recorded yet. Let us know how it goes!

    • Tyler

      Is your car a 2012 Mitsubishi outlander?

  • Holly

    I missed a car payment in November but paid as usual in December. This month I am struggling to be able to afford to pay the monthly payment. What is the likelihood of repossession? I don’t want the car to be repossessed as I use it for work but there is no way I can afford to pay this month. What can I do to stop this?

    • Hi Holly, usually the best option is to call your lender and see if you can work out an agreement with them to defer those payments. Sometimes lenders will agree to add your payments onto the end of the loan (in other words, you will have to pay the payment at the end of the loan term instead of right now). If you don’t make your payments then the lender can repossess the car, although they will often wait a little while before going that route.

  • Quintel

    hi Benjamin i got a car in november i was paying my car notes on time but lost my job and havent payed my car not for December or January can i just drop off the car and keys and just left or what would happen next

  • Kyle

    Hi Ben,

    Several years ago, I co-signed a car for my lil sis, (yep stupid me). Anyways, she couldn’t keep up with the payments so I took the car from her and tried to get caught up on the payments. At the time, I’m also making payments on a car that I just bought not too long after she bought hers. Total payments on both cars was upwards of $600, for someone barely bringing home $2,000 a month, its very tough with rent and insurance and all other bills.

    Anyways, I decided to give back both cars to the lenders and now I’m stuck with a $4,500+ bill with no car. I’ve been receiving collection notice that the lenders are willing to cut the bill down to about 1/3 of what I owe. My question is, if I somehow can manage to pay off that bill would that clear everything up and I’ll never hear from them again?


    • Kyle, yes, that should clear everything up – HOWEVER, please be sure to get the entire agreement in writing and signed by the lender before you fork over any cash. We’ve heard of instances where a lender or collections agency made a verbal commitment to settle a debt for a fraction of the balance and then, after receiving the payment, said the person still owed the rest of the money. You should also know that settling a debt in this manner will likely affect your credit score (though you could try to negotiate that part with them too). For more information on your credit score, see this resource center: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/credit-score.

  • Ali

    I bought a car from private sealer, I did not know the car is finance, just wondering , what will happene if the previous owner stopped the payment,?
    The car is already transfered under my name.

    • Since you bought the car and are the new owner, the payments of the previous owner should not affect you (in theory). That is, unless you signed a contract agreeing to take over the payments. Either way, make sure you have the vehicle title and registration in your name and in your possession. If someone tries to contact you about the previous owner’s payments, refer them to that person. And it might not hurt to check up on your credit report while you’re at it: annualcreditreport.com.

      • pagan

        How can you possibly tag, register, & title a car in your name that has a lien on it without you taking over payments. Not likely that any lender will allow the transfer without signature from you taking over payments. The MVA will never allow a lien to be removed from the title or give s title to someone without stating it has a lien and who the lien holder is. The car is legally not your’s, it is the property of the lender & he can repo it at any time after the loan is in default. Contact an atty or go get your money back.

        • Heartwood

          Sounds like a case of fraud to me.

      • Heartwood

        Answer pagan’s question, please.

    • James woodall

      Do you have in hand the title to the car? If so and if the title is properly signed and transferred you are fine. If not you could have a serious problem. That type transaction is frowned upon. The original lender maintains rights and could take the car back. You need to check out and know all the facts.

  • Josh

    i need a solution. i borrowed 5000 from Quality Auto Sale to buy a car. when i didnt pay the loan or return the car, Quality wants to transfer the rights to the payment to Rapid collection agency. rapid agress to pay Quality for this right, but for a price that is less than the amount owed. can Quality transfer this right to rapid without my consent? what can i do next can refues to pay Rapid too ? whats gonna happen?

  • sadgirl

    I lost my job as well. My car has already been reposessed. When I receive my tax return can it be garnished from me by the loaners?

    • Hi, my understanding is they cannot garnish wages or tax returns. The one exception would be if they sued you and got a judgement against you. But that process would take a lot of time and effort on their part. So they might not do it. Ultimately, it will be worth you researching a little more to find out exactly what the possible outcomes are. Good luck! And let us know if you have other questions.

  • Patrickatrick

    Ok so I bought a truck from a buy here, pay here car lot. About 4 years ago I quit making the payment cause I couldn’t afford it no more and was just gonna let them repo it. Well they never called, never sent a letter, never came and tried to repo it. They have my number, it hasn’t changed, they knew were I lived and I never tried to hide the vehicle. The registration is still sent to the court house every year and I go pick it up from there no problem. I have been pulled over in the truck since then and it didn’t come back stolen or anything like that. What do I do?

    • Hi Patrick, in this case you might get to keep the vehicle. Sometimes lenders do not bother to repossess a vehicle if they do not feel it will be worth their time. The only thing that may get hurt is your credit report/credit score. But this is something you can build back up over time. To see your credit report go to annualcreditreport.com, and also check our credit score resource center: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/credit-score.

      • Patrick flowersPatrick

        How can I go about getting a title for it?

        • I’m not sure if you’d be able to get the title, to be honest. But it may be worth doing some more research on this. Is there a particular reason you need the title?

          • Patrick flowers

            I’m wanting to sell the truck.

          • If the lender still has the title, it will be hard to get it back. I’m not sure how that would work.

  • Tyler

    Hi I have a loan out in my name on a car that I don’t even have I was scammed into thinking it was a win – win situation and when the guy I did it for told me the vehicle was returned to the dealer and it will be taken out of my name all contact was lost and it turns out he had quit payment two months prior and the bank has called for a repossession order on a car I don’t have nor do I even know exists I thought it might be a scam when his numbers changed but I’m afraid to go to the police for fear I might be in trouble and I figure I will be stuck with the debt anyway. I made such a huge mistake and I’m scared to death should I let the repo action take course because both that and bankruptcy will destroy the credit I worked so hard for but I’m only twenty two and I have time to build it back up but even with bankruptcy I have to pay everything back eventually anyways don’t I?

    • Tyler

      Also the title of the vehicle must not be in my name because I didn’t get the paperwork to pay the taxes and tag fees when they came for my other cars.. the mans name is Jason Tywana Carter for anyone reading this please don’t make the same mistake I did.. I can’t even sleep at night

      • Hi Tyler, I’m really sorry to hear about this situation. Your best bet may be to talk directly with the dealer or the lender (or both) and tell them what happened. They should help you figure out your options. It doesn’t seem like you should be legally liable for a car that was never yours. However, I don’t know all the details. I’d suggest making those calls and doing some research – and maybe even getting a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer. Stay positive and be proactive and maybe you can find a resolution to this mess! Good luck to you.

  • Tony Castro

    So my car got repoed for 2 late payment went to the lenders office gave them the money and fees and proof of work and address they said it takes 2 days does it really or are they adding more fees can they change their mind and make me pay more or the whole loan

    • Hi Tony, I don’t know what the rules are in that case, but I’d recommend waiting 2 days and then see if they will release the vehicle to you. Hopefully it all goes smoothly. If you have any follow-up questions, just let us know.

  • Summer

    I have a car the transmission is not working… I still owe 10,000 dollars.. I have not been able to work due to health isues.. And cant pay and anyways it doesnt work.. If i call and tell them to come and get it can the take me to court or suspend my license??

    • As far as I know, they cannot suspend your license for an unpaid debt. However, they usually would have the right to sue you to attempt to reclaim the unpaid debt. They don’t always decide to sue, though. I’d recommend researching the term “voluntary repossession” and then call the lender and try to work out the best possible outcome. Good luck!

  • Jen

    I bought a car the beginning of November. I never recieved a bill for the car but knew a payment was due on the 21st of December. So I called the company in December wondering where the bill was….they told me since we were in the middle of a bankruptcy they couldn’t legally send us a bill. Anyways, we decided to cancel the bankruptcy cause it was doing more harm then good, but yet we still never received a bill. Today, Feb 11, I got a call saying that we have to make the payments current or they will begin the process of repossessing it. Can a bank legally repossess a car if you never recieved a bill?

    • Hi Jen, I’m not entirely sure what the laws are in that case. However, I would recommend getting current on your payments if possible. If not, maybe try calling the lender and see if they can work out a revised payment plan with you.

  • rose

    Hello! I bought a car 2 months ago and my dad is the co-owner, we had to do it that way because I was a 1st time car buyer and my credit was just building since i haven’t even been 2 years in this country, it was good but i didn’t qualify completely. I love and trust my dad completely of course by i had my doubts since my dad has a lot of debts, he got those years ago. Before I put him as a co-owner of the car I ask the dealership if there’s any way that any of the banks my dad has a debt with could take my car because of his debts, they told me NO. Is that true? or there’s a possibility that they might ended up doing that? I ask this because today I woke up and my car was gone, i thought somebody stole it, inmediately call the police and they told me that actually..the reason my car was missing is because the bank repossesed, I was shoked, the cop told me that it was because i was late on my montly payments, I couldn’t believe it because of the fact that I just made my first montly payment by the end of january! and my 2nd montly payment is due by the end of february (28 of this month)..and it’s only the 14!! so it’s not even due yet!!! Is there anyway they could make a mistake??!!! I can not believe it.


    • Hi Rose, I’m sorry to hear about this situation – it sounds very frustrating. First of all, if you have made all your payments on time then the lender is not allowed to repossess the car. So I would recommend calling the lender and trying to figure out exactly what happened and why they took the car. If they seem to be operating in an illegal manner then you may need to pursue legal action to try to reclaim your vehicle. However, hopefully it won’t come to that. I would try to remain optimistic for now and see if you can sort things out with the lender. If you have further questions, feel free to ask us. And good luck!

  • Chris

    Hi, I’m currently 30 days late on my payments due to lack of work at the beginning of the year. Since then I’m back at work and am catching up on my bills. I am able to bring my note up to date on Saturday but I feel like I have exhausted all of my help from my lender. Please advise.

    • Hi Chris, I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. It sounds like you are going to be able to get current on your loan this Saturday, which is great. But I’m not sure what you mean about the help from the lender. If you could rephrase your question I’ll do my best to answer it! Sorry about that.

  • Chawntae

    I bought a car from a buy here pay here place. I asked the dealer point blank if anything was wrong with the car when I seen the service engine light on. He said no, just a faulty sensor with the light. Stupidity set in and I bought the car on payment plans. I find out now, 8 months later that the light is on due the catalytic converter, thermostat, cam and crank shaft are bad. It took them 6 months to replace the heater core that went out in the car, and I found when my tire went flat they didn’t give me a spare or doughnut. I’ve been told it’s illegal for them to sell me a car that had no extra tire, and im not sure how they legally got this passed with safety and emissions with those issues. Every time I call they tell me they’ll tack on the cost to the back of my (29%) loan. I can’t afford that. I can barely make the payments. What should I do?

    • Hi Chawntae, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. It sounds like the dealer may have been engaged in fraudulent practices, especially if he knowingly sold you a car with mechanical defects while telling you the car was fine. You could see a lawyer and find out if you might have a legal case against him and his business. That would be one way to get back your money and get out of the loan. Other than that, you will probably have to deal with paying off the loan on your own – unless you want to give the car back, in which case you should research “voluntary repossession.” It might also be helpful to call the lender and see if you can work out a different payment plan.

  • Liz

    My boyfriend financed his car a few months ago. His parents, who have perfect credit, co-signed, because he just graduated college and is still building his credit.
    Unfortunately, since his computer broke, he has been making payments over the phone. Apparently his last payment did not go through, and he did not find out until two weeks later. He immediately made the payment, but has been freaking out because he thinks he ruined his parents credit as well as his own.
    Is this so? Based on your article, I doubt it. His lendor is through Chase. I told him to try to speak to a Chase representative, let them know he had tried to make a payment but it did not go through, etc.
    What can I tell him to ease his mind?

    • If it was only two weeks, then there’s a good chance this incident has not damaged his credit score. However, I think your idea to call the lender and double check with them is a good one. They should be able to confirm that they received the payment and tell you if it will affect the credit score. You can also explain the situation and ask them not to report the late payment to the credit agencies. Good luck!

      • Bokshy

        How many days of you have to be behind in payments before they repossess your car?

        • It’s up to the lender, but they are usually allowed to repossess as soon as you’ve missed one payment. However, that doesn’t mean they will repossess it immediately. If you are late on a payment it’s usually a good idea to call the lender and let them know what the situation is. You may be able to get an agreement to push one month’s payment onto the end of your loan term. Or you may be able to postpone repossession long enough to get current on your payments. Good luck!

  • jonny dingle

    I wondering if any one could help me I lost my job in December and I bought a car in June last year on finance and cant afford my full payments. I have contact my lender and I have told them my situation, I am now on jobseekers allowance but I also have a house to run and a credit card to pay. I offered to pay the half amount of my payments for my car until I was back on my feet but they refused and told my they could only accept the full amount that I agreed to pay when I bought the car. I am struggling as it is to pay any off my bills. I have had made many phone calls to them time and time again but I am not getting any where with them. I have now received a letter say that they are taking further action against me. could any one give me some advice thank you

    • Hi Jonny, one option in these kinds of situations is to do a “voluntary repossession” in which case you give the car back to the lender. This type of move can work but it’s not always the right path for everyone, so I’d recommend researching all the rules before you do something like this. If you decide not to do a voluntary repossession (or if you can’t) then your options are (1) to do your best to pay the loan and understand they may repossess the car anyway, (2) to keep trying to call and work out a different repayment plan with them, or (3) to find some other way to pay the loan such as getting a consolidation loan (if you have good credit) or looking for side jobs to make more money to pay the loan. Our resource centers might be helpful: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/. Best of luck to you!

    • pagan

      By now your car has probably been repossessed for non payment, but in case it hasn’t you can do the following. You can send them any amount, any month to keep the amount owed down and to ward off a repo, but you must catch your payments up. If they are not willing to defer the payment it may be in your best interest to return the car and get one within your budget, or take a loan and pay off the car. If you are attempting to make even 1/2 the monthly payment it will keep buying you some time until you return to work. Once they know you can’t pay, they will be waiting for the 91st day and your car will disappear. All newer car’s have automatic gps built into them so there is no purpose to hide it anywhere. They will find it no matter where you park or try to keep it. Best of luck.


        They have repossed my car and they are asking me to pay the money or they will sell my car
        What happen if i m not able to pay the money and they sell they car
        Is there is any criminal record on me .

  • djd

    I have a question I got a car load out only had it for about 6 months only made three car payments and decided it was to much car payment cannot afford the bank would send letter in the mail letting me know if I did not pay it they were going to pick it up then they call me asking where the car was so I tould them then they pick it up I was thinking it was over I was just going to have a repo on my credit now I got a letter in the mail saying they are taking me to count to sue me can I do jail time for this all the info you can give me will help very much
    thanks allot

  • Krish

    Hi there,
    I bought my car on March 2012 with 5years monthly payments agreement. Unfortunately I lost my that job where I was getting good pay, & now I start to work some where with very less salary that I even have problems for my rent sometime. What should I do? Is that ok to tell my dealer that I couldn’t afford your monthly payment anymore?Need you advice please,

    • Hi Krish, if you feel that you can’t pay your monthly payments anymore then you should contact your lender and see if you can do a voluntary repossession. Keep in mind that even if you do that, there will still likely be some amount of debt leftover that you’ll need to take care of. But call them up and see what is the best option for you.

  • Name

    Hello. We bought a van in 2008, defaulted on the loan in 2011. We still have possession of the van. We wanted to sell the van, of course needing the title – and in a better place financially. While looking over our credit report, the van is showing a $0 balance, and in the status column shows PD w/120+days. What does this all mean? And how can we settle the balance if it shows $0? How can we get a title? thank you for your response.

    • Hi, that’s a very interesting question. I don’t know what that code means (“PD w/120+days”), but it seems to indicate the amount was more than 120 days late. However, I can’t fathom why it would show a zero balance on the account if it was never paid. You might need to call the lender to try to sort this out. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  • justin frederick

    Hi me and my fiance just bought a car. From a used car lot. On my receipt it says that we have a grace period for the payment and if we pass the grace period we pay 5% interest on the payment amount. But when I called the dealer the guy said we couldn’t pay late and there was no late fees . they sold us a car witha possible bad tranny, a gas leak , gas meter is broken. We are trying to find a lawyer. But what do we do mean while? We got the car on 02/14/2014 and our payment isn’t do till 03/14/2014 but I won’t have it till 04/01/2014 thank you for your time

  • snuss

    Mother died just about one year ago and she had gotten a vechicle for me in her name so the loan was in her name. And the plates are in mine and there is no way I could get the loan into my name. She didn’t have no insurance or a will and I have made every payment on it even after she passed and the dealer told me to make payments still because I was always making them every month. But now they are saying that they are coming to get it if I don’t see a lawyer so told them to come for it and I want me payments back that came out of my account every month. Now what else could I do?

    • Hi, I’m really sorry to hear about your loss and about this difficult situation. I think if you have been making the payments as agreed upon in the contract, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why they should take the car. But I am not a lawyer, so I can’t really say for sure how to approach a situation like this. If you can find a lawyer or someone with experience in these kinds of cases, they can probably give you the best advice on how to proceed in order to keep the car. Good luck!

  • kyle mile

    wondering: i have a poop tonne of repayment on my transunion and assuming its on others yet it lists payments as lets say 50 (close but not revealing for all my specifics) and they say my total debt. but they dont say my total paid, isnt that a more valid comparison?
    Also, i paid back auto loan i think perfectly, and only owe 5000 in student loans and a couple hundo in misc from one lender. is there a specific lender or course of action that i would benefit from in terms of GETTING a car loan?

    • Hi Kyle, the credit report should list your on-time payments that you’ve made, since those are part of your credit history. I’m not sure I understand your second question. If you’re wondering about which type of loan to get in order to buy a car, I would recommend looking for one with the lowest interest rates and without any hidden fees. Let us know if we can help further. And good luck.

  • Josh

    I was wondering if anyone would help me out with this situation. I bought a jeep feb 2013 and have always stayed punctual making the payments. December 2013 I lost my job due to personal reasons and was forced to move. its now March and i have missed every payment, December to present. i have not communicated with, and have ignored my lender since December. my old roommate told me they have a repossession order for the jeep and have hired a private investigator to find where it is parked. i know that is the worst thing i could have done but im this deep into it now. i was wondering what options i have, also is there anyway i would be able to keep the jeep?
    Sorry i forgot to say i am now back to work with a stable income, able to pay all my bills. even my auto loan. Am i too late to make any kind of different outcome on this repossession order? Another thing, while away from work i was in jail with no kind of income. will saying that help my case any, or just the obvious? “Damage my character” worse than i already have, pushing the lenders farther away from trusting the payments would ever be on time again? I love the jeep and want to keep it. Please, someone tell me there is a way it is possible. Thanks Josh

    • Hi Josh, sorry to hear about this difficult situation – it must be very frustrating. I can’t give out specific advice, but here is what I would say in general: whenever you are behind on your payments the lender has the right to repossess the car and often will do exactly that. One exception is when an agreement is made between the lender and borrower to postpone some payments until the end of the lease term (i.e. to be paid later). In a case where there has been no contact between the borrower and the lender and many payments have been missed, there is not a lot of hope for resolving the situation unless the loan can be made current. In other words, if the borrower pays everything that is owed (including all the missed payments) then the loan status could be changed back to “current” and the borrower could keep the vehicle. I hope this helps! And let us know if you have further questions.

  • Denise Rembert

    I am paying a car note but the car is not even good as a trade in because it will have negative equity. I can not afford to get it fixed and pay the car note so I would like to turn it back in to the bank. Is it possible?

    • Hi Denise, I would recommend doing some research on “Voluntary Repossession” which basically refers to what you were talking about. Hopefully you’ll find some good resources online for how to go about doing that. Good luck!

  • rx8unknown

    If my account is charged off and my car is up for repossession. Am I still legal owner of the car as long as I am in possession of it?

    • I’m not sure about this. I’d recommend doing a little sleuthing on Google. Also, if there is a more general question you have, feel free to reply here and I’ll do my best to answer it!

  • claudio

    i bought a car but i am not going to pay anymore i am on dissabily

  • Christina

    Hello, my parents are in their 60’s they sold their house and financed a motor home ( bus type) they have had it for 4yrs and have traveled to Alaska and other states(across the US). They filed for bankruptcy 3yrs ago but was able to keep the bus some how. Well now they can’t afford to travel (diesel is insane) so they were force to rent a house this winter. They can’t afford to keep the bus but still owe way more then it’s worth so no one will buy it. They have choose to just stop making payments on it so they can live. I’m wondering what will happen to them? And is it better if they tell the bank they can’t make the payment any more? It isn’t parked where they are living now…it’s actually in my side yard. So can I be held liable for it? Thank you for your time 🙂

  • jasmine

    hey my friend bought a car , at a buy here pay here dealership no credit check i put the car in my name cause she working on getting her lienses , can that harm me in anyway !

    • Was there a loan attached the car purchase? If your name is on a loan, then yes, that can affect your credit report/score. However, if the car alone is in your name that shouldn’t affect your credit.

  • mischevious

    If I already have a financed car, can I finance another car and if the payments get to be to much can I take one of the cars back to the dealer?

    • Not as far as I know – unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences, which might include a lot of damage to your credit score and having to pay the difference between your outstanding loan balance and the value of the car you return to the dealer.

  • Fluffer Buttons, Jr.

    Hi there. I know someone that has not made a parent in 4 months, if not a little more… They most certainly will not be able to make full payments anymore. However, they are willing to make payments of a lesser amount – maybe 50%. 1st) Can I get in trouble if I let them park on my property? 2nd) Also, what is their best option at this point? Should they just cut their loses and go as long as possible till repossession? Or is there a way to work something out? They’re VERY hesitant about calling, obviously because they’re afraid of GPS/other forms of finding him. Thank you for the help!!

    • Hi there, I’m not sure about the GPS thing so I can’t speak to that. However, the only way to find out whether there are any alternative repayment plans would be to call the lender, but if he/she is unwilling to do that then they won’t be able to find out about any such options. At the same time, I haven’t heard of any case where someone was allowed to pay 50% of their loan. It seems unlikely. But again, I can’t say for sure. Good luck!

  • esther m v

    I have a loan with this one company down south of California and I’m late just 10 days so now they are calling me threatening and harassing me saying that they are going to repo my car the next day if my payment is not in. My question is can they really do that?

    • It really depends on the contract, but in many cases if you are in breach of contract (i.e. not paying as agreed) they have the right to take the car back. You could ask them for another option, such as moving the payment to the end of your loan term or asking for a deferment period.

      • esther m v

        They are not reasonable they are very rude but thanks for the heads up..

        • Oh man, I’m sorry to hear that! We’ve heard from other people with similar situations. Best of luck! If you have a chance, take a look at our resource centers. They might help: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/.

    • Hi Esther, in most cases they just want you to make the payment as quickly as possible. However, depending on the contract you signed with them they may be able to repossess the vehicle after only 10 days. If you know that you’ll have the money soon, you can always call them and explain that to them. Also, here is an article about your rights with debt collectors:


  • Klee

    i just bought a car and it is a lemon and this my second month behind but is going to give them 800 the third month will i be in repossess

  • Maggie Thompson

    My husband bought a car from a dealer who financed through wells Fargo dealer services. He had no cosigner, and we didn’t make the payment on march 22. My sister in law got a call saying they were trying to find the car to repossess it. When I tried to call them back 10 minutes after she called me they didn’t answer and turns out their office is closed today. I’m freaking out, if I can get a payment to them will they still try to take it?

    • Hi Maggie, if you can make all the payments and get current on the loan, then they would have no reason to repossess the vehicle. Best of luck to you!

  • betty

    Hi i just got a title loan through loanmax i lost my job right after and was put out of my home so i had to move I’m not able to make a payment this month and won’t be for another month I’m scated they will jail me i have a 1 year old baby to take care of. will i be jailed if i don’t make a payment or return there call??? Please help ease my mind.

  • Brittany

    I have a car that I got behind on. But the dealership has never gotten in contact with me . It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been behind. Have they forgotten about it?

    • That’s interesting. They may have just decided that pursuing it is not worth their time. You should also double check to make sure you have not been missing any correspondence from them (i.e. letters going to the wrong address or something like that). If you’re curious, you can check your credit report to find out whether the unpaid debt is being reported. You can check it for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

  • megan

    hi I’m having trouble paying my car payment and it seems as though my only option is to give the car back and get out from under it. what is the standard procedure when paying back the difference the the bank? I know they would sue me for the difference but what after that?

    • Hi Megan, if you do a voluntary repossession the lender will probably work out the details with you for how to pay off the remainder of the loan. I’d suggest calling them up and talking to them so you can figure out the details. Good luck!

  • Renee

    I am curious if a bank would repo a car that only has an outstanding loan balance of $600 and the client has not been behind more than 30 days? I called to tell them I did make a payment online(29 days late) and she started asking me address, who drives the car, if it is usually parked at said address. It worries me now since I only have 2 payments left and the loan is paid in full that they would try to scare me now. I gave them the confirmation number I received and then called back to tell them the date of the next payment(but, it is past the due date as well). The 3rd agent I spoke to was much nicer and said that he saw I only had 2 payments left and would put a note in my acct. I am trying to get back on track with all the bills and once this is paid off I can breath easier. I have not had the best record paying but, have never gone 30 days as I am careful to try to avoid notification to the credit bureaus.

    • Hi Renee, I think technically they can repossess the car if you have broken the contract (i.e. not paid the amount as agreed). Usually they would not repossess if you are less than 30 days late, but since you are so close to paying off the loan in full, I’d do whatever you can to make sure you are up to date on your payments.

  • diana

    Hi I would like ti make a settlement with the dealer but don’t have the money now and won’t have it for awhile can they wait a some time while I stack the money

    • Hi Diana, you would have to call them up and ask. I don’t know how they handle situations like that. Sorry! Best of luck.

  • 915

    I bought a car from a dealer and got in house financing. Car broke down from transmission within 4months after purchase .my payment is 390 a month. Its going to cost me 1800 to fix which I don’t have money for it. I am still paying for it but haven’t used vehicle for over a month. I contact dealer to see if they can help me trade in for something else and they refuse to help me and said I bought car used what do I expect. I currently lost my job due to lack of transportation and was always late finding ride. what do I do?? the car is at the dealers and I don’t know what to do they already told me I have to pay for it even if I dont us it…..

  • johnson chris

    i had a car loan for 8300 that i did not pay but my car was never repossesed because it was in mexico in the border stuck anyway it has been 6 years i tried to pay the debt but they wanted the full amount or the car, so now whats gonna happen if i dont pay the money and just wait i mean is not on my credit report anymore? but now i have a collections agency trying to collect the money again. do i pay for it ?

  • That me 123

    If you bought a car from a in hiuse financing place you know good credit bad credit place and you have had the car for 2 years and they have never reported to the credit bureaus if I give car back could they start reporting?. They didnt even do a credit inquiry when I bought it. Could I give the car back ?

    • Hi there, unfortunately, it’s hard to say for sure. It really just depends on the lender. It’s possible they would not report it, but you couldn’t know for sure. One option is to contact them and ask about giving the car back. Good luck!

  • Josh Clark

    My wife and i bought a 2007 GMC Acadia about 4 months before our son was born and since he has come along we can no longer make the payment on the vehicle which is financed through Capital One Auto Finance. We are currently approaching 90 days past due and i was wondering what we should do?

    • Hi Josh, one option would be to sit tight and wait and see what happens. If you do that, there is a chance the lender will repossess the vehicle. A second option is to call the lender to find out if they’re willing to help you. Sometimes they’ll allow you to do a ‘voluntary repossession’ in which you simply give the car back, while still owing whatever balance on the loan was not covered by the sale of the vehicle. Another option is they might be willing to adjust your payments terms so you have a lower monthly payment. However, you’d have to call to know for sure. Best of luck!

  • az

    Hi I have a question. I bought a car month ago from dealer. After i registered car i received Title for my name and i still have payment to the bank. Question is if i stop do my payment can bank repossess my car or not?

    • Hi, I’m sorry but I don’t understand your question. If you could rephrase it, then I’ll do my best to answer it!

    • P.S. I think what you may be asking is whether the bank still has some claim on your car. The answer is probably “Yes” if they gave you the loan to buy the car. Usually the lender will have a lien on the title which means they can repossess the vehicle if you fail to pay your loan.

  • Badger Badgerism

    what will they do if you are late on the load but they don’t know where to find the vehicle so they have no chance of repo…how long can you ride that situation?

    • It really depends. I wouldn’t be able to necessarily predict what they will do in any particular case. But they do have the option of tracking down your vehicle and repossessing it. Also, if you don’t pay the loan your credit score will eventually be damaged.

  • Randa

    Hi my car is a seventeen thousand dollar loan. I have Eveven thousand dollars owing only had the loan for six months what I like to know can I miss a few months of payments with out reprocession, I’m with westPac.

    • Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question because it really depends entirely on the loan, the value of the vehicle, and most importantly your lender and what they choose to do. Best of luck to you.

  • sen

    My parents are 65 and have come to the end of their interest only mortgage…they have not taken care of things and their shortfall is 155k. Can the bank repossess the house…they can afford to keep paying the mortgage plus some but can not afford a lump some 155.

    • Hi there, unfortunately I’m not familiar enough with the details of these loans to offer any good advice. If you could describe the loan a little more then I might be able to point you to some general resources.

  • Thoughts4Thots

    So im having an argument with my friend about car payments. If a car hasnt been paid in say 2 months when you finally pay them and they ask you why you havent paid or answered their phone calls, if you lost your job can you tell the truth and say you lost your job? Hes saying you cant say that because at that point you break your contract and the contract says you have to maintain a job unil the car is paid off. Ever heard of this?

    • No, I’ve never heard of a contract for a car loan that requires you to have a job! However, just because I haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! It does seem unlikely to me, though.

  • unfortunate adult

    Hi there,

    What happens if the car is involved in an accident, becomes no longer drivable, and dont have the proper insurance to fix it. Will the dealer ship hold the car while still making payments. can the car be scrapped for parts to pay the remaining loan?

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about that situation. It sounds frustrating. My guess is the dealership would probably have no interest in the car if it is not in working order. However, it wouldn’t hurt to ask them. On the other hand, maybe you can find a buyer on your own who would want the car for parts.

  • Ashley

    Hello, I have heard that if you voluntarily surrender a vehicle (or just have it repossessed) and the dealership sells the vehicle, they must give you the difference in the sale, assuming your debt wasn’t sky-high.
    Like if I had already paid $4,000 and still owed $1,000 and surrendered the vehicle and the dealership resold it for $2,000, do they have to, by law, pay me the difference between the sale and the debt owed?
    I ask this because I recently heard a judge mentioning that keeping all the proceeds from selling the same vehicle to someone else was some form of ‘unjust enrichment’. This was awhile back so my memory is fuzzy.
    Assuming this is true, how many dealerships are actually in compliance with this? By the way, I reside in Louisiana.

  • Marc_Hop

    I have a 2006 Ford Mustang. It was financed Oct. 2007. I haven’t made payments since Jan. 2011. That makes it almost 3 1/2 years without payment. The car isn’t reported on either my wife’s or my credit report. I purchased a new vehicle last year and the Mustang didn’t show on any credit report from the dealer. Also, my information hasn’t changed. No one has contacted me.

    My question is this. Why isn’t it reported to the credit bureau? What should I do? Is this my free vehicle? I know the obvious answer. I contacted the lien holder (Sandtander) and they have “no” account of the vehicle.

    • Domi

      I haven’t paid for my car in over a year I owe about seven thousand and put five thousand down i also financed with Santander and no one has contacted me all but once I wonder the same is this my free car ???

      • Very strange that this happened to both of you! Let us know if you find out anything more. And good luck.

      • Me

        I also have a similar issue with Santander! Calls stopped and no repo, going on 6 months! What’s going on!!!???

        • Wow, it seems like a pattern. If anyone finds out more about why this is happening, please leave a comment so others can know too. Thanks!

  • smith

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  • questions

    I have had a car note for 2 years now. I have never been late past the thirty days. I can’t pay until three days after the thirty days. What should i do to not have that effect my credit?

    • Well, there are no guarantees that it will not affect your credit. What you could do is call to explain the situation to your lender and ask them to excuse this one slip up. But there’s no telling how they will respond.

  • Maddie

    How long does it take an unpaid car loan to go to collections?

    • Hi Maddie, it really depends. The number we often hear is somewhere between 60 to 180 days. But there are no guarantees. In some cases, it can help to talk to your lender and see if you can work out a revised payment plan. Good luck!

  • neressa sharkey

    I have a charger finace at a pay here buy here dealer. Long story short car was horrible. Dealer did insurance claim to fix it. N it still didnt wirk.. I havent paid the note in a year n 6 months. And now theres a new owner of the dealership.. So can they repo my car? Or take it back if i go up there?

  • gino

    I’m 4 months behind and they wanna repo the car. They say we can’t pay wat we are behind and if we don’t give then the car. They will press charges. Is this true? And wat can they do?

    • I don’t know exactly what they mean by “pressing charges” but it’s possible they could sue you in court for the remaining balance. Keep in mind that sometimes these collections agents will use intimidation tactics and/or threats to try to persuade you to make a payment. Read this article for more info on your rights and what you can do: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection.

  • lala

    No sooner then 90 days they will repo the car? So as long as I pay it before that I should be ok as far as repossession goes?

    • That is a definite possibility. However, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees. As soon as you miss a payment, you can be at risk of repossession. It’s just not very often that the lender would repossess a car if only one payment has been missed.

    • Ann

      Help I was 30 days late on my car payment my second payment was due on June 16 the next day they repod my car can they do that I was literally on my way to pay last and this months which was only one day late when I noticed my car was gone what can I do I live in California by the way

  • robert

    I had a car I was paying payments on and the motor blew I put a new motor and continued for 6 months to pay I lost my job and stopped paying payments on it I soon found out it was going to get reposed I took out my motor I purchased and left on street tow company came days later and called finance company and said it was non running and it was “stripped” they said in exact words “leave it let cops see it it looks stolen and its abandoned vehicle” they then told me to face youll get tickets on it and city will bill you for it good luck, I called finance company to pick up it was on street up to 3 weeks so I put in my garage. months passed and time went on I get a pakage in mail stating I was sued and never went to court. I didn’t understand I never got no letters stating I had to go to court I called finance company they said it isn’t there problem its in collections now lady on phone said now your credits screwd I said I still have car can I have title they said no it isn’t are problem anymore I asked what do I do they said pay loan and court fees will send it well collections will send it.. that was it 4 years later I have car sitting in my garage same way it was left that day on street motor is long gone sold what steps do I do now can I put a lien on it??????please help!!!!!

  • Bad choice

    Okay…will make this short…I have not made a payment on my vehicle in over 5 years…lost business…house…ect…anyways it is in collections but no one has come to get it and after it being this long…do they give up after a certain amount of time?

    • They might give up – I’m not sure, to be honest. It seems like if they wanted it, they would have already come to get it. But who knows!

  • Carl Rivers

    Ben – good post! Quick question (well, maybe not as “quick” as
    I’d like, but here it goes). I was approved for a 5 year car loan thru my
    local credit union on January 2008. Loan amount $6488 (for a 2002 Honda
    Accord). I authorized the bank to debit my checking account automatically
    on a bi-weekly basis to pay off the loan – $87.27/bi-weekly. At some
    point in 2009, the credit union admits making a mistake and instead of debiting
    my checking account every two weeks, they debited my checking account ONCE a
    month $87.27, so they were taking only half what they were supposed to get
    every month. After a little more than a year, they caught up to their
    mistake, and started debiting my checking account $189.00 once a month to pay
    off the loan. I have never missed a payment, and to date (June 7, 2014) I
    have a balance owing of just over $3,000. Keep in mind this is well past
    my SIXTH year making payments. This loan was supposed to mature March
    2013, but now it won’t mature until November 2015. My beloved Accord is
    getting old, and frankly, I wonder if it is worth the $3,000 owing! I am
    concerned I am overpaying thru no fault of my own (perhaps in interest!?!?).
    For some weeks now, I have requested the credit union to provide a complete
    schedule of ALL the loan payments made since I took out the loan on 2008, but
    they seem to be stalling on me! Not even the branch manager seems to be able
    to get a hold of the complete schedule of all payments made on the loan!
    What are my rights in this situation??

    • Hi Carl, that’s a tough question. Can you look back at your bank statements/checkbook to tally up all your payments? That would give you a good sense of how much you’ve paid so far, right? If you find that you’ve paid more than originally was agreed upon, then you can really complain to your lender and ask for redress. I wish I could offer you a more specific answer!

      • raquel

        i want to ask if i already give the key to the dealer.are they going to give me a notice that i return the car?

        • Hi Raquel, I’m not sure I understand your question. If they already have the car, then they would usually not send you further notices about returning it, but perhaps I misunderstood something?

  • kapildev

    Dear sir,

    My father has taken Home loan & Car Loan From SBI but due to some financial Problen he dint pay the EMI but bank manager seized the car & sold out But defernce amt of the car still that amt on our head only But now my father is no more even though home loan also Overdue but am getting the Notice that both laons should have to pay other wise we ll put the home on auction. & recover the amt. there is any way is there that i can get waiving of car loan amt.

    • Hi, I’m not aware of any way you could get the car loan amount waived, unfortunately. However, it might be worth doing some more research online and maybe you’ll find more information on other sites. Good luck!

  • samantha

    i am currently behind 30 days on my car loan, they sent me a default letter and i emailed her asking her how much i owe including late fees so i could make a payment. she emailed me back saying she wouldnt tell me unless i called her. i emalied her back telling her i live in a dead zone so my cell doesnt work out here. can she legally do this?

    • That’s very strange. There may be some reason why she only wants to talk with you on the phone (perhaps a legal reason), but I don’t know what it would be. I would try calling her when you get a chance and find out more information.

      • Jana

        im having this same problem. Except my loan company just flat out refuses to send me receipts or anything giving me my balance. and i just spoke with a lawyer who said this is perfectly legal. Sounds fishy to me.

        • They should tell you your balance and confirm when payments are received. If you continue having problem with them, you could file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:


          • Tony

            I have been paying for a year now a 2400 dollar balance, I contacted American finance and asked them why they don’t extend the favor and send me a receipt and balance monthly. They said they don’t do that, at the start of the repossession they told me if I agree to keep paying the balance off they in turn would not report me to the credit company, they LIED, I stopped payment from my bank because they are very rude and belittling, I’m sick of it. I tried.

      • Maria

        if their email system is not encrypted, they may not be able to send any account specific information via email.

  • Eddie Sepulveda

    I was financed for five years on a $11,000 van, got down to the last 6 or 7 months of paying off the van and I missed a few months payments. At this point I’ve already paid just over $18,000 for the van. I get with the bank to try to work things out and for about 2 months I make double payments then I miss another payment, with the late fees and interest they were charging me which is what all I was paying I still had just under $600 to pay, bank sends to collection agency. My question is if I pay the collection agency where is the title? How do I get it? The collection agency just wants the money and doesn’e know anything about the title. Thank you.

  • Deb

    I always see this advice in these blogs: just call your lender and ask for a modified plan – when does this ever work? I have called many lenders asking for some kind of different terms – anything, and have always been flatly denied. I’m so annoyed with seeing this advice, and taking the time and effort to try it and always being rejected – which just happened again right now. Why do you offer this as advice – when is a bank actually willing to agree to accept lower payments or a different plan – it has never happened for me – and based on this misleading advice again in this article, I just wasted another 20 minutes on the phone trying to get through to someone to talk to and then asking for a modified payment plan (on a car loan). Don’t say things that aren’t true just to fill out the space in your article.

    • Hi Deb, I totally understand your frustration and I’m sorry this didn’t work for you. I know how frustrating it is to go through the automated phone trees only to find out that it was for nothing. However, I do still believe in listing this as a possible action for others. The reason is that in some cases it does actually work. We’ve heard from people who had positive results come out of this. It depends a lot on the lender and the borrower and other factors (loan amount, credit score, balance, payment history, etc.). Anyway, I wish you all the best and hope we can help you in the future. If you don’t mind sharing more details about your situation, I can try to find other resources that might be helpful to you.

  • Kristen

    If I am only 2 weeks late can my lender change the terms of my financing, such as the interest rate, as a penalty?

    • Hi Kristen, I believe it depends on your initial contract that you signed with them. In most cases, I think the answer would be “No,” but I’d suggest checking the fine print to make sure.

  • PBAL

    Just leased a car, used old car as down payment, the dealer mentioned in the beginning that we would also need to pay $1,400 in addition. We told the dealer that we could not afford the extra $1,400. Approximately 1 1/2 hours later we signed all the papers. There was no mention of the additional $1,400 which we forgot since we told the dealer that we could not afford. We left the dealership as happy as could be. It was late, past store closing time. Then approximately 5 days later the finance dept. called us saying that we owed them $1,400.
    We looked at the papers(hard to read) that we signs and in our rush we discovered that we signed a paper that we agreed to pay $1,400. Any suggestions out their?

  • parker james

    hi im 24 year old. im having a problem with the money right now, and the bill payment of my car is coming this june 28 its $272.15 every month. i cannot pay them this month,but i can pay them next month,what i want is just dont charge me a late or penalty.this is the first time it will gonna happen. my apr is 28%. i can pay the june and the july so its gonna be 544.30. i dont like to get late charges and penalty.

    • Hi Parker, I’d recommend calling up the lender and see if you can reach an agreement with them. Good luck!

  • Azzam

    Hi I brought a car 3 months ago and there wasn’t a problem until now I was paying my payment until I noticed the price which was 500$ more than the price I was suppose to pay so I called the dealer and they said it was late fees and when I thought I was suppose to pay it on the 25th when I was suppose to pay it on the 20th what do I do it was never mentioned that I would pay late fees if I forgot when the payment was due I also have deslexia

    • Hi Azzam, did they put anything about the late fees into the contract? If so, then you will probably have a hard time avoiding them. However, if you feel you’ve been misled then it may be worth reporting the behavior to the authorities. Or at least ask if they can waive the late fee this time since you were not aware of the correct due date. You can also file a complaint with the CFPB: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.

  • Jimetta

    I have a car loan with someone and my son. that gets ssi for his dad being deceased and I’m the only one working. He has been trying to get a job but it seems like he won’t have one until later on this year but his birthday is in July and this will be the last month he gets his check. If I gave the car back to the lender, could they garnish my wagers because I have a reduced in income. Someone who knows more about this, please let me know. Thank you.

    • The lender cannot automatically garnish your wages. Usually they would have to sue you for the debt first, and then only if the judge rules in their favor would there be a possibility of them garnishing your wages. Hope that helps.

      • Jimetta

        Thank you so much.

  • Frustrated Parent

    I co-signed (or so I thought I did…I am the primary) on a car loan for my youngest son in 2011. Over the 2 years he has not made many payments on time. When this happens I do not find out the payments are behind until 2-3 mo. down the road or until I get a nasty gram or phone call from the bank. After many attempts to talk with him about the WHY he isn’t and if he is going to make the payment it usually turns into a yelling match. What are my legal rights in repossessing the car from him and trying to sell it to recover not only my credit score but also peace of mind it is finally over? I have made most of the payments but refuse to keep doing it as long as he is driving it and not being responsible enough to talk to me as to why he can’t pay or refuses to pay it. FYI: this young man (magic words) is in the ARMY and gets a pay check every 2-weeks. I also discussed the ability to pay prior to my signing.
    TY very much for your advice.

  • Ashley Taylor

    Hello Everyone, I’m Ashley Taylor a resident/citizen of the United States of America.I am 52 years of age an entrepreneur/businesswoman. I once had difficulties in financing my project/business.If not for a good friend of mine who introduced me to Mr. Zack Arnold who is a money lender to get a loan worth $250,000 USD from his company. When i contacted them it took just 48 hours to get my loan approved and transfer to my account after meeting all their modalities a set forth in their loan agreement/terms and conditions. Even if you have bad credit they still offer there service to you. They also offer all kinds of loan such as Business loan,Home loan,Personal loan,Car loan,Loan for Business start up and Business Expansion.If you need an urgent financial assistance you can contact them today via this email (zackloancompany@yahoo.com) i don’t know how to thank them for what they have done for me but God will reward Mr Zack Arnold mightily.


  • Krissel

    Hi my husband and i recently separated I found out that our car payment have been 3 months behind I started working and get paid every Friday but the loan company is demanding for their payments today and I cant pay until pay day. My friends and family are all tight with money to lend me. How can I tell them I will pay by friday

    • Hi Krissel, sorry to hear about that! It must be very difficult. Often, the lender just wants to know that they will be getting their money. Sometimes, if you call them and politely tell them what the situation is (and that you will be able to pay on Friday) they might accept that. Also, if you are going to have trouble every month you could ask them about adjusting your payment plan so you can make the payments every month. Good luck!

      • Mr henry

        Hi Benjamin I’m kinda in the same boat I’ve had my car since 2011 and loss my job bit got anther one got about 40 days behind they said they could repo my car after 30 days late and it told them I could make one payment on wed then anther the following week to make current they won’t accept is that wrong

        • Hi, I’m sorry to hear you’re having a similar problem with your lender. In most cases, they do have the right to take action after 30 days. However, often it doesn’t benefit them to immediately repossess the vehicle. If you can make the payment soon or work out a revised payment plan with them, then hopefully you’ll be able to keep the vehicle. Good luck!

  • Jay axe

    Ive only had my car less than 30 days nd I’m.not happy with it. lost my job nd missed my payment. is there any 30 day laws for returning a car ur not happy w nd or can’t make the payment?

    • Hi Jay, I’m sorry to hear that. It must be very frustrating. There are lemon laws that apply in some states but that only covers defective vehicles (you can read more about this if you do a search for “Lemon Laws”). Other than that, you can try calling your lender and telling them the situation, or try transferring the loan and car to someone else. Good luck!

  • Cynthia

    I have a first time problem I got my car last December. image initially my sister and I were going on the car together I was the cosigner. in January of this year my sister got really sick she also decided she didn’t want to have anything else to do the car, that included the monthly payment as well as the remainder of the downpayment.I have been paying every note from my Direct Express card since. the company is aware of these facts. my current problem is shut up dont my car note is no I now have to get my tags which is in 179 and pick three hundred for my place that I am moving into. I have a $50 court fine $51.00 insurance as well as a 40 dollar phone bill and a $50 deductible for my car needing work.like current income is SSI only, when we first got the car my sister and I combine our incomes. my question is do you think they will give me one month without a note so that I can move and get the tags for the car

    • Hi Cynthia, they might be willing to give you a deferment for one month. You would need to call the lender and explain the situation and ask for them. I hope it works out for you!

  • Abby Gabby

    Hi! I bought a second hand car from a car company last December 2013 with 16% APR and made a down payment for the car loan.I was very diligent with my monthly payments after then .I’m in dilemma right now because I’ll be leaving the country for good. Can I just turn the key with them without anything more to pay?Thank you,

    • Hi Abby, I can’t really give you specific advice, but in general when you return a car to the dealership you can still be liable for the difference between what you currently owe and the current value of the car. If you were to leave that debt unpaid it would negatively affect your credit score.

  • jay


    • Well, their credit scores will take a hit. And then it’s up to the lender whether they want to try to sue them to recoup some of the debt that is owed. Also, the car might be repossessed if it hasn’t been already.

  • sergio

    Hey i had a question? I co-signed for my cousin on getting a street bike. He recently crashed it and stoped making payments on it. Is there anyway i can take my name of the loan or anything i can do?

  • Michelle Morris

    My car payment is late, someone hacked into my account, now I’m disputing charges, it might take a month, do I call my loan company and make payment arrangements?

    • Hi Michelle, it’s usually a good idea to see if you can work something out with the lender, yes. If you are disputing charges, they should give you at least a little time to find a resolution to that before taking further action. But communication with them will likely be helpful.

  • Lynn

    What if you are under repossesion, but aren’t fully aware, and keep the vehicle?

    • Hi Lynn, I’m not sure I understand your question. If the lender decides to repossess the vehicle, they will make their best effort to get it. I’d suggest researching the effects of repossession, etc.

  • Desire Kat

    I have a question what can happen if your 3 months behind on a vehicle but their unable to trace you because you moved….what can possibly happen if they can not repo the vehicle

    • Well, one result is that your credit score will take a hit. However, beyond that, I’m not sure exactly what other repercussions there might be. I’d suggest doing some research on repossession and what options are available to the lender if they cannot find the car.

  • Laura Billey

    Hello everyone, My name is Laura Billey, am 37 years of age , I want to inform you all about the goodness of the lord for finally leading me to a really and genuine loan lender named Mr Mason Diego, the managing director of Diego Loan Company after been scammed by other fake lenders, i was hopeless and didn’t know who to trust while he came and put a great smile on my face at my greatest surprise. Anyone of you that have also be a victim of scam, you should bother no more cos, i have bring you good news and the only lender you can trust, just contact them now via: diegoloancompany@yahoo.com for more info on how to get your loan. AND ONCE AGAIN. THANKS BE TO Mr Mason Diego OF diegoloancompany@yahoo.com for giving me a loan of 96,000.00USD.

  • Penny

    My Husband died and I am not on the title, the blue book is at least $10,000 less than the amount owed. Can I return the car to the dealer and not have to pay the difference? Will my credit be ruined since I’m not on the loan? Will they come after me for the difference?

  • anna

    Can the lender extend the loan , witjout telling you, due to finance charges? I recieved a 90 day extension to be paid at the last part of my loan…but they are tacking on an extra 6payments plus the 90days. They said it was due to finance charges?

    • Hi Anna, it would depend on the contract agreement and what amount of finance charges were listed there. I would recommend reviewing the contract and if the charges seem exorbitant then complain and ask for some redress. However, in general it is allowed for companies to add finance charges if you ask for an extension. Good luck!

  • anthony

    Hi I have a car that I got from a car lot that provided me in house financing and the car broke down a year ago on me I asked them to fix it and they gave me the runaround and didn’t call me back . at first I didn’t notice everything that was wrong with it the car sunroof was rigged up I found out by driving one day and it flew off the car and shattered behind me it never worked and the right back window was pride up with a 2×4 .there was 4 different tires on the car. the dipstick was broken and lodged in the hole there was so many problems …The car cost $ 4000 after the financing it came out to almost $7,000. Ive paid $ 2400….it’s been a year and they have not tried to contact me and now they called my mother in law to reach me. I have yet to talk with them I’m worried if I give them the car back and continue not paying if I’ll be sued?

    • Hi Anthony, I’m sorry to hear about this situation – it must be very frustrating. You could try researching the “Lemon Laws” in your state, because it sounds like they may have sold you a lemon. Beyond that, I can’t necessarily give you specific advice on how to proceed. One thing to keep in mind is that if it has been a year since you made a payment, they might have sold the debt to a collections agency. That could be why your mom received a phone call. If that’s the case, then this post might be helpful: blog.readyforzero.com/how-to-deal-with-debt-collectors-legally-law/.

  • Katie

    I have a car loan in Florida that I have made 71 payments on and getting ready to make the 72nd payment. I financed 20256.65 and my payments have been making 415.00 payments. I signed for 72 payments however the finance company says I still owe 5074.22 the original rate was 13.62. I am not going to try and say I didn’t make late payments because I made plenty and they charged me a late fee each time. I read that there is a max amount that the finance company can charge in Florida and according to what I figured out it should be paid off with this payment, but I am getting letters that they are going to repo my car? What should I do or do you know someone I could contact in the Jacksonville area?

    • Hi Katie, sorry to hear about that! Sometimes, if a borrower misses a payment the lender will add that payment onto the end of the loan. In other words, instead of paying for 72 months, you might pay for 73 months (or 74 months for 2 missed payments, etc.).

      That may be what happened in your case. If so, then you may still have more payments to make. However, it’s also possible that they added a bunch of fees on, so you should check on that too. I’d suggest asking them for a breakdown of where the extra $5,000 came from. Good luck!

      • Katie

        Hi Benjamin, thank you so much for your reply back. I made a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about my finance company and a few days later I got a email that the CFPB had sent the complaint to the lender. The next day the finance company had taken 2538.00 off what I owed, after I made my 72nd payment online I see I still owe 2100. I read the reply from the lender that said they took it off to help me! I have never heard of any finance company taking money off to help anyone. Anyway from my calculations they should have taken off 1300 more, and the rest of that should be late fees and I will admit I owe that. I do feel like I won some of the battle though. It wasn’t the entire thing but some of it. I do think they should take off 1300 more because I just don’t owe it to them, do you think I should talk to them directly or go back through the CFPB? Or do you think that would be pushing my luck. Thank you again

        • Hi Katie, wow that’s great news! I’m amazed that you achieved so much progress in such a short time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it has something to do with the CFPB. As for the other $1,300, it’s hard for me to say. I don’t know all the details of your credit agreement and the past payment history. But if you feel you are being taken advantage of, then it wouldn’t hurt to file another complaint.

          I think your story so far would make for an interesting blog post (as part of our reader perspective series). Would you be open to that? If so, I can send you a few questions that we can turn into a blog post!

  • clarisa steve

    i am Clarisa Steve from Florida USA,when i was in need of a loan of $230,000 to transit a business my friend introduced Mark Oscar loan firm to me because she got a loan from them sometime ago, so I was so scared because of the scams in the internet but my friend encouraged me to give them a try and i gave them a try and i got my loan within 4hrs and their ways was very easy no credit check,no cosigner,no collateral and their interest rate is just 2%, so i will advice anyone out there that need a loan to contact them via their Email:(oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com).

  • David Arcos

    Hi bengamin thanks to god to have people like you who likes to help people out. We’ll I will try to be specific in details
    I bought a nissan maxima 2011 and I was behind on my first payment ever. I told them I Needed 3 weeks more to make the payment. And they said yes ok. But now what happend was the bank don’t want nothing to do with me. So I’m guessing it’s the dealerships car. Where I first got it from. That being said called the dealership. And they told me they are to refinance my car. They said are to help I don’t know if to believe them or not. Luckily I spotted one of the drivers following me from my house to a store but went back home. The thing is I believe they have a gps in my car. Because they know where I’m at and I see the same SUV. they want me to bring in the car so they can refinance and check the odometer at this point why are they sneaking up on me to get the car . When knowing its their car and they have every right to take it away. Please help.

    • Hi David, I’m sorry to hear about that. It sounds like it must be very frustrating! If you do plan to make the payments, and if you want to lower the monthly payment amount, then you could talk to the lender and see about the refinance, as well as ask them about hardship programs. On the other hand, if you don’t plan to make the payments, then you may want to do something called a “voluntary repossession” which would leave you without the car but with a lower outstanding balance. I guess the bottom line is that it really depends on what your goals are. Good luck!

  • tiat

    Dear Benjamin, I bought a car from a car dealer that turned out to be worthless. At the time I did not know about the lemon law. When I returned the car, the salesman told me I had no choice but to refinance the car loan that was barely 3 weeks old! He then sold me a 2011 Nissan Murano with very high mileage at the cost of almost what I could have paid for a new car. It was a very bad experience. Both loans were financed by BankUnited on recommendation of the car dealer. I have only paid the loan for six months when I found out yesterday that BankUnited sold my loan to another company that immediately sent the loan to a collection agency! I have never missed any payment except being 3 days late in March because I had relocated out of the country on duty and had to set up auto payments with a new address. I informed the bank of this and immediately paid made the payment. Since then, my account has been up to date. When I called the financial institution that bought my loan so that I could set up the monthly payments with them, they informed me that i needed to get in touch with the collection agency. I was shocked and expressed as much. My last payment on the loan was last month before BankUnited sold the loan at the end of June. I sought an explanation from the new creditor but they insisted I needed to deal with the collection agency. I told them because I have not defaulted on the loan and they are forcing me to deal with a collection agency I will voluntarily give up possession as I will not be forced to deal with a collection agency when I am capable and willing to pay for the loan. My question is, can the new creditor send a loan that has not been defaulted to a collection agent and what should I do in this case? I am currently abroad and making international calls to both BankUnited and the new creditor has so far cost me so much money trying to resolve the matter.

    • Hi, this sounds like a very frustrating situation. It also sounds like some of these entities you’re dealing with may not be acting ethically. I would definitely recommend trying to get more information from the new lender, but also consider reporting them if you think they are not acting within the law. (You can file a complaint with the CFPB here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/)

      Unfortunately, you can’t simply give the car back and wash your hands of the whole situation, because they will still expect you to pay back the rest of the loan regardless. Definitely check on all the details before making any decision here. If it helps, we just created a new Auto Loans resource center that will have some relevant information for you: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/auto-loan/.

      • tiat

        Thank you Benjamin. I will gather all the necessary information and if I find reason to, then I will certainly file a complaint witn CFPB.

  • Junior Tolbert

    Hey I have a question I purchased a used vehicle back in April 2014 and was on time with every payment. Dealership gave me full time warranty. Now my vehicle is having many problems..Window issues, engine problem , & electric problems. I contacted the Dealership about the issues & there answer was you didn’t extend your in service warranty which was never brung to my attention when I purchased the vehicle. I contacted the dealership and left a numberous of voicemails about issue and notify them that I can’t afford to pay my payments and pay to get my car fixed. I don’t want to continue paying for a broken down car that’s going to breakdown on me & get stuck with car payments. What steps should I take? If I don’t continue to pay for my payments would they take money from my bank account and how bad would it hurt my credit?

    • Hi Junior, one thing you can do is research the Lemon Law and see if it applies to you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_law.

      As for what happens if you don’t pay – they cannot take money from your bank account unless they sue you and get a court judgment against you. However, the unpaid account will definitely hurt your credit score once they report it to the credit bureaus. Good luck!

  • dallas

    Hi, I have problem that is really frustrating I financed a tahoe then I lost my job so instead of taking the tahoe back to the dealer I passed the car note to somebody else he made one payment and haven’t heard from him since it’s been 2 months now and don’t know what to do please help me

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about you losing your job. That is never easy! As for the car loan, there are a couple factors that could determine how you respond. Is the car still in your name? In other words, did you sign the car title over to the other person or did you keep it in your name? If it is still in your name, then you are still the legal owner of the vehicle and you can use that to get the car back. I’m not sure exactly what steps you’d take but in general if someone has taken your car and disappeared that would be a case for the authorities.

      On the other hand, if you signed over the car title to someone with the understanding they would make the payments on your loan and they stopped paying, then I’m not sure exactly what your best option would be. It might be worthwhile to talk to a qualified financial adviser or bankruptcy attorney to get a better sense of your options.

      Also, our Auto Loan Resource Center might be helpful to you: blog.readyforzero.com/resources/auto-loan/.

  • guest

    I have a car and i pay financing company my car payment and i have lost my job and it no way i can make them payment but i called them and told them they can come and get the car the car is paid with no late fee but when i do find another job can they garnish my check

    • Hi, sorry to hear about this difficult situation. If the car payments are up to date, then they cannot garnish your wages. In order to do that, they would have to get a court judgment against you for monies owed to them.

  • Greg

    I finance a car yesterday and I am waiting for the bank give the green light so I can take the car how long is going to take for the bank say yes he can take the car?

    • Hi Greg, that really depends on the lender and the particular situation. However, I’d be surprised if it took more than a week.

  • just wondering

    What Happens If You Are Not Paying On Your Car Loan & They Can’t Find The Car To Repossess?

    • They will mark your debt as unpaid, which will hurt your credit score. And they might decide to sue you in order to get a judgment against you. However, that doesn’t always happen. Another possibility is that they might sell your debt to a debt collector.

  • ken

    I am seven months behind on my car payment. What can my lender do to me?

    • Well, they will report your debt as unpaid to the credit bureaus, which will hurt your score. After that, it depends on how much trouble they want to go to – if they want, they can sue you and try to get a judgment against you for the amount you owe. Or they can sell the debt to a collections agency.

  • Amy

    I was sent a letter by the bank saying if I did not pay the back payments I owe by Aug 5th I would either have to return the car or it would be repo’d. I took the car to the bank last night after I got off work but the bank had already closed, so I took my plates off of it and left the keys inside. I was not able to tell them the car is in the parking lot. Can I get in trouble for leaving it like that? I feel really bad for the whole situation and I am scared to call the loan officer.

    • Hi Amy, generally the lender will contact you about repossessing the car and usually you would want to turn the car over to a representative of the lender after discussing the situation with them. Without them knowing your car is in the parking lot, they will likely assume you still have it. The fact that the keys are in the vehicle also seems a bit worrisome. A worst case scenario would be someone stealing the car before you can officially turn it over to the lender, in which case they wouldn’t be able to repossess it and you’d remain in debt for the full amount of your current balance. I hope you will contact the lender to sort this out, even though I’m sure it is intimidating to call them up. Good luck and let us know if you have more questions!

  • t.massey

    hi i had a car that was owing only 3500 on it, ok its my sister car i put in my name and she paid over 80% of the bal, and lost her job. i could not make her payments and therefore the car was repoed 05/13/14 and the leader decided to sell it at privet sell 5/23/14. i pulled my credit report 8/04/14 and seen the car on my report with a pass due of 4200. called the car place they sate they have not sold the car yet. i want to know can they put the car on my report as me owing 4200 and they have the car and have not sold it. what if i pay it off and they resell it on their lot for more money. i need to know if they are allowed to mess my report up when the car has not been sold as of 05/23/14

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. It must be very frustrating! The dealer has to notify you when they’ve sold the car and either let you know how much you still owe or give you any extra proceeds from the sale. See this webpage for more info:


      That article also has some information about what the dealer must do if the car sells for more than your outstanding loan balance.

      With that said, it does seem strange that they haven’t sold the car yet. I haven’t been able to find any information online about how long the dealer can wait before selling your car. It doesn’t seem fair since you are waiting. If this goes on longer, you might want to file a complaint with the CFPB:


  • Vanessa

    Hello I have a question . my husband got a car from a buy here pay here dealer and we are past due not even 2 weeks and he called is today saying if we don’t pay tomorrow he is going to send the tow Truck . can he do that?

  • HP

    i co signed a loan with someone and they have dissappeared the car is registered and titled in their name and they can not make the payments is there any way for me to get the bank to transfer the lien to me so I can reposess the car myself?

  • ejay

    My girlfriend want’s to take over my car loan,Is that gonna affect my credit score?

    • If you go through the official paperwork to put the loan in her name instead of yours, then anything that happens after that will not affect your credit score.

      However, if you simply give her the car and she starts making the payments, your lender will still hold you accountable as the borrower and that means any missed payments would affect your credit score.

      If you have further questions, just let us know!

  • James

    Ben, I want to sell my call because I have just retired and I am moving to Ecuador where I can afford to live off my Social security. I have a 2 year old car I would like to sell but I owe $2000 more than it is worth. I tried to negotiate the with the bank to either reduce the balance so I could sell it or to let me sell it a book value and pay them the difference in payments. They say things like, get a loan or borrow from a friend. Neither are an option. I have considered turning in the car but I know once they sell the car at auction I will be responsible for the difference. To me that way we all lose. I don’t want to be out of the country and have a problem I can not take care of. What do you suggest?
    Thanks, James

    • Hi James, it’s tough because depending on the contract agreement you have with them they may not be obligated to let you turn over the loan to someone else. That means in order to get rid of it you would have to pay it off, either by getting another loan from somewhere (to make up the difference between the car’s value and your loan) or wait until you have enough money to pay the whole thing off. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!

  • Jaz Crawford

    My car payment is 30 days late and this is my first car payment. first time buying a car. my car has been reposessed. If I have the money that is due to the lender, will they let me pay them that money and give me my car back? will they charge me more than what is already due. I know that theres a late fee, but after that will they charge me more to get the car back? I REALLY need that car.

    • Hi Jaz, I’m sorry to hear about this situation – it must be very frustrating for you. The lender generally has some flexibility in how they choose to handle situations like this. However, I found this on the FTC’s website:

      ” In any of these circumstances, you may be entitled to “redeem” — or buy back — the vehicle by paying the full amount you owe (usually, that includes your past due payments and the entire remaining debt), in addition to the expenses connected with the repossession, like storage, preparation for sale, and attorney fees. Or you could try to buy back the vehicle by bidding on it at the repossession sale. ”

      Hope that helps! Also, you can see that page here:


  • CC

    If i haven’t made payments in 6 months but I still have car. I want to make a lump sum payment to cover 4 payments. They won’t take my money? They want me to turn in my vehicle. Can they do this? I lost my job, I lost my house, I just recently am back working and I am now in the position to try and work it out. I just don’t want to have to turn the car in. The car is worth more than I owe on it.

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about this – it must be quite frustrating. Depending on the contract agreement they have with you, the lender generally has the right to repossess a vehicle if payments aren’t made (or are over 30 days late). If you have enough money to pay the entire outstanding balance you owe, then you would be allowed to keep the car. If not, they may repossess it. However, if you can gather enough money before they repossess it then you should be able to keep the car. Good luck, and let us know if you have any other questions.

      • M

        I’m in the same position as cc but they want me to get a co signer. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find one. Any suggestions.. I can’t afford to loose the car but want to give them a lump sum to get back in track.

        • Keep in mind that having a co-signer means their credit score can be negatively affected if you make any late payments or miss payments in the future. That’s a lot of responsibility! If you can accumulate enough money to pay the late payments and fees then you could avoid having the car repossessed.

  • Tammie

    A friend bought her car about 3 weeks ago in Kentucky. She is not going to be able to make the payments, because she needs to file for divorce. The loan is in both of their names. Can she take it back to the dealer without penalties because of the short amount of time that she has had the car? What happens to the down payment?

    • Hi Tammie, this depends on the contract agreement that is signed. Unfortunately, in many cases the dealer is not obligated to take back a car after it’s been sold. However, your friend could contact them and explain the situation and see if they’ll be able to help her. If you have further questions, feel free to ask us. Good luck!

  • Angie

    I just bought a new van and I’m having so many problems with it and the dealer won’t fix them I took out extra warranty. And everything my breaks are so bad it won’t stop the van I just want to give it back I’m so frustrated but my husband is the correct buyer will the bank go after him for the loan. I am no longer working and can not afford to fix all the issues and can’t even drive it at this time I need help

    • Hi Angie, I’m sorry to hear about that! It sounds like a really frustrating situation. If the dealer sold you a lemon car you can take action against them using the Lemon Law:


      Or if the dealer is not honoring their warranty, you may need to take legal action against them and/or report them to the CFPB:


      As for the loan itself, if you stop paying it, then the lender will see the loan as delinquent and will start contacting you and any co-signers for payment.

      You could try doing a voluntary repossession, but you’d have to work with the dealer on that. For more information, you can read this:


      Hope that helps! Let us know if you have other questions.

  • pinky

    hi benamin i have a car loan i hve to pay weekly im late this week for the first time my payment are evry monday.. can they repo my car?

    • Hi, usually they would not repossess a car immediately after a missed payment – especially if you have not missed a payment previously. My recommendation is to just try to get current on the loan as soon as possible, and if so you will probably be okay. For more information you can check out our Auto Loan resource center:


      • pinky

        they say because its the end of the month they can pick up the car anytime.. my payments are weekly and every monday.. this is my first monday ever as late.. thank you so much for replying and the info benjamin

        • Hi, you’re welcome! They may technically be able to repossess the car but in most cases I’ve heard of, the lender will wait at least a little while to see if you make your payment. I hope that’s the case for you too. If you can get current with the loan next Monday, then I think you will be back on track. Best of luck.

  • Brad

    I have cosigned on a note for a truck with my neices boy friend. Turns out he split town and no one knows where he is at. He is not making any payments and is approaching the 90 point to have the vehicle reporssed. What can I do as the cosigner of the note??? Should I pay the note to save my credit even though I don’t have the vehicle or judt let it get repossed and ruin my flawless credit???

    • Hi Brad, unfortunately there is no easy option in this case. When you co-sign a loan, you are essentially agreeing to make the loan payments if the primary borrower cannot. With your niece’s boyfriend having apparently reneged on any responsibility for the loan, your options are to either pay it (a frustrating option since you don’t get to use the vehicle) or not pay it (but as you’ve noted, this will hurt your credit score). It might help to contact the lender and explain the situation, but as far as I know, they will not be obligated to help you. You could also try to get the vehicle back from the boyfriend, but judging by your comment above it seems that may prove too difficult. Sorry I can’t offer more help! Good luck to you.

      • Brad

        If the vehcile gets reposessed by the 30th of this month, am I relieved of the note?

        • What would happen is they would sell the vehicle and the proceeds of the sale would be put towards your outstanding loan balance. So depending on how high that remaining balance is, you might still owe some money after the vehicle repossession and sale. Hope that helps!

  • Mary

    I let a friend use my other car that I still own on, and I told her as long as she made the payments she can use it and the insurance, Well I need my car back and told her and she refuses to return. What are my options?

    • That’s an interesting situation. As far as I know, if the car title is still in your name, then the car belongs to you. Maybe you can tell her that you’re prepared to follow the proper steps to retrieve your property, including talking with the police. Hopefully she will return it to you, but if not you can bring it to the attention of the authorities.

  • Kenny Johnson

    I was trying to be a nice friend to a friend trying to help them they didn’t have a car and i have two so they talk me in letting them take over the car payment they did real good until about 4 going on 5 months ago i am still paying insurance on the car now they have disappear the bank got the repo people out looking for them and so am i looking for them because the car is in my name. We made an agreement that they will pay the car payment and they have broke the agreement. I am on ssi and didn’t have the money to keep the payment up. Now the bank is getting redy to sue me I would like to know by me being on ssi what can they take from me ssi is my only income?

  • kammy

    I bought a car 8 months ago and realized it was very overpriced. I really needed the car for a new job with strict attendance rules and no one could help me at the time so I just jumped out there and bought it. I’m paying $450 a month for a 2009 Chevy aveo and have 21% interest on the loan. I feel stuck and cant keep paying this much for that little car. I want to get rid of it as soon as possible and maybe go back to looking for a cash car, but not sure if voluntary repossession will still make me pay for it later. My mom suggested I trade it for a new car, or finance a really cheap used one, but then I’ll be paying more anyway right?…Sigghhh.. Any advice?

    • Hi Kammy, I’m sorry to hear about that situation – it must be very frustrating! It sounds like your preferred solution would be to get rid of the car and buy a more affordable car instead. It’s tricky, but if you could find a buyer for your car who would be willing to pay in cash then that would allow you to pay off your loan entirely.

      If that’s not possible, then a voluntary repossession may be your only way to get rid of the car. However, that option is not the cleanest because the dealer will then sell the car to someone else and if they don’t get a good price on it then you’ll still owe the difference on your loan (your current balance minus however much they sell the car for). This could still be an improvement over your current situation, of course.

      Just keep in mind that depending on how you handle this, your credit score could be damaged. Hopefully someone at the dealership or the bank can help you find the best solution. Good luck!

  • Karen

    Here is a good one.. i have a car that i barely drive and would like to scrap it or if i can sell it however i havent made a payment since 2007. To the best of my memory i still owed around 4200.00. This debt does not show on my credit report… what are my options?

    • Hi Karen, that is a tough one. In order to sell a car you will usually need to have a car title that shows you as the owner of the vehicle (with no liens). If you’re content with scrapping the car, then the title may not be important. However, I don’t have enough experience with that kind of thing to tell you one way or the other. Just keep in mind the statute of limitations on debt: blog.readyforzero.com/what-is-the-statute-of-limitations-on-debt/.

  • Kris

    So today while I was watching TV, I got a knock on the door from 2 guys saying they have hooked my van (Toyota Sienna) on their towing truck because of the 3 late payment with Toyota. Now Im wondering why they hooked it up before even knocking on my door?? So I called Toyota to make things clear and I told the guys who hooked my van to wait until I settle this with Toyota or before I take my things inside the van. In the middle of my conversation with Toyota, I heard the towing truck leaving my driveway and no way for me to stop them. So I was told by Toyota that I have to call that recovery towers and I was quoted to pay $30 to get my things back plus $10 storage daily and if I dont do it soon, then the $10 daily adds up everyday until I take my things back. First, I dont know why Toyota would let that happen, that the guys hooked up the van BEFORE even knocking and why is there a fee to get my things back. Why?

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about that – it must have been pretty aggravating! I don’t know exactly why they would have handled the situation that way, but I do know that you have the right to get your personal items back no matter what. Here is an article that explains more about it:


      Let us know if you have any further questions!

  • miguel e.v.

    I bought a car three years ago, with a 6 year loan. my hours got cut and I only work full time, my wife is disable, and I can’t keep up with the payments, I am two payments late. to make everything worse the car broke down and the value is nothing to compare what I still owed. what can I do.

    • Hi Miguel, I’m sorry to hear about this situation. It must be very frustrating for you. Unfortunately, once you take out a loan, you are pretty much committed to it. If you could somehow sell the car, that might help, but if it’s not working then that will be difficult. You may also want to talk to a financial counselor or bankruptcy attorney to find out what options you have. I wish I had some other answer for you – best of luck!

  • sarah

    Hello im from ohio and my carpayment was due on on the 17th of last month and Im not 30 days late until the 17th of this month.They just repossessed my car today is this legal? Cars almost paid off and I was told before that this buy here pay here likes to keep a close eye on cars that are almost paided off and try and get them back anyway they can.

    • Hi Sarah, it sounds like you may be dealing with a predatory dealer/lender. I would recommend taking action. You can start by reporting them to the CFPB here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#vehicle.
      Then you’ll need to think about contacting the police or contacting a lawyer. If you do, be sure to mention to them that this place has a history of predatory behavior. Good luck! (and let us know how it goes)

  • Bree

    Hi Ben,
    My husband and I purchased a vehicle in July. We were told to wait 30-45 days & that we would receive a letter from the bank. By August both my husband and I received 26 declination letters – total and no letter from the approved bank. I went to the dealership showing all the letters, they informed me we where approved. I ask the dealer to call the bank & the bank says they don’t have our paper work. My husband and I have called on numerous occasions to the dealership with no answer from the manager to follow-up regarding the missing paper work. To date we have not received an approved letter, no word from the dealership regarding our financing. Its been nearly 60 days since our purchase
    Is there something we can do so we can make payments on our vehicle? How can i be protected? Can the car be repossessed? we’ve made many attempts to contact the dealer, we know nothing regarding the approved bank… should i get a lawyer?

    • Hi Bree, that’s a very strange situation. You might want to go check your credit report at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. If you see the loan on your credit report, then you’ll know who the lender is and you’ll have more information. If you don’t see the loan on your report, then you’ll need to figure out what is happening. Let us know if you have more questions at that point!

  • chey

    My car stopped running, I stopped paying the payments after I told them to come. And get i, they never did. They took it to court and I just looked and saw the case was closed. They don’t get a hold of me anymore. Am I able to get the title for it?

    • I think you’ll need to get some form of proof of ownership that you can take to the DMV to get the title changed. Perhaps the documentation from the court case would work? Good luck!

  • MrNeedshelp

    Hello, I bought a car almost 1 year ago and only made payments for 2 months. After those two months my mother got really sick and passed away. I then moved for work and just recently was able to cover all the expenses that took place after my moms passsing. I can currently get caught up on my loan but I’m unsure about how I should approach my loan company.

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear about all that you’ve gone through. I’m glad you have the resources to get caught up on the loan now. What you might want to do first is check your credit report(s) at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. That should tell you if your original lender still has the loan or if they sold it to a collections agency. Once you know who holds the loan, you can contact them and see about paying back the loan. You can also ask them about getting the the bad mark removed from your credit report if possible.

      • MrNeedshelp

        Awesome! Thank you

      • MrNeedshelp

        Hello again! I checked my credit score but it doesn’t show anything about my loan being transferred. It just says charged off as bad credit. Profit and loss write off

        • Hmm, that is interesting. You could contact the lender and see if they sold the debt to another company, but keep in mind that your actions can affect the obligation. For example, in some cases, acknowledging a debt is yours (or making a payment on it) can restart the clock on the statute of limitations. So do some research before you take action. Good luck!

  • JPP

    Hi, before we were married, my husband (who had bad credit) bought a used car with a high interest rate on the loan 3 years ago. Last year he refinanced, but still owes about 7k on the loan to date. The car died last week, and we found that it needs a new engine and other work, totalling about 4k with parts and labor. The car has bad reviews and I don’t think if we put 4k into it to get fixed that we could even get 7k out of it to pay off the loan. We need to get him a working car, but we want to avoid a new car payment and a payment for a car that’s useless. We just can’t afford both. What are our options? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi JPP, that’s a pretty tough situation. Does your warranty cover any of the repairs? If not, you’re right that you probably don’t want to pay $4,000 for repairs if you’re going to have to get a new car soon anyway. Looking at the options, it might make more sense to buy a reliable used car with cash for $4,000. If you go that route, you may want to use Consumer Reports’ reliability rankings: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/types/used-a-to-z.htm.

      Of course, that still leaves the problem of your current car payments. You’ll have to decide what to do with them. Stopping payment would put the loan into collections and would eventually hurt your credit score quite a bit. It is possible to recover from a low credit score, but it’s not easy and in the meantime you’d pay higher interest rates on any loans or credit you used.

      Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

  • Mike

    Question. My company offered me a deferment when I was 3 mo late. It was defer 1 mo pay 1 mo so I’d be due for 1 with another due in 2 weeks. So now I’m at 2 and they want the payment right on the due date or they said they will reverse the deferment making me due for 3 again and release some kind of hold the y have. Not sure what the hold is, but can they take away the deferment like that?

    • Hi Mike, I can’t really say for sure without knowing the details, but it would depend on what is written in your agreement. If they offered the deferment as a courtesy based on certain payment behavior, then it’s possible they could take it away like that.

  • Kelly

    If I have not paid on my car loan for over a year, still have it but need to get a new car, will capital one work with me? I lost my job but have been working now for a year. If I call them will they redo a loan for a new car? The car’s transmission is shot.

  • Kalona

    I recently was confused on an insurance policy that was provided to me by my lender since I didn’t have insurance, but a month later I got insurance on the vehicle and they still charged me with a premium of $1500. In the past I utilized their insurance, but once I got back on my feet, I reported it and instantly I was paying my regular monthly payment at the time I purchased. However this time around they told me that since they changed insurance providers that they changed the process. I was told that I was going to be refunded, however I lost my job during this process and my home. I explained to them about my situation and would be unable to make payments, therefore it would be critical to get that refund of a $1000 so that I could apply it to 3 months of payment which would give me enough time to find another job. But now they are sending out the repo man since they told me that the refund cannot be applied to my payment but towards my loan. I though this made no sense, since if I knew that I wouldn’t have paid my regular monthly payment plus insurance premium, I would have just paid my monthly. Now she said I owed $1700 which includes the repo, other charges and future month payment. I am receiving that money in 2 weeks, but she refuses to give me that extension, if I pay it off in 2 weeks will my car still be repossessed?

    • Hi Kalona, sorry to hear about this situation! My hope would be that if you make the payment in two weeks then they will not repossess your car. However, I can’t really say for sure without knowing all the details of the situation. Keep in mind, if you think the company is engaging in predatory practices, you can report them to the CFPB here: https://help.consumerfinance.gov/app/vehicleconsumerloan/ask. Good luck!

  • Jackie

    My mother financed her car and still owes $2,000. Her car broke down today and the mechanic told her it would cost her $3000 to fix it and that she should look to buy a new one instead. She is stressed out with her situation and does not know what she should do. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Jackie, that’s a tough situation. If she doesn’t pay the remainder of the car loan, it will damage her credit score. (She can check her credit report at http://www.annualcreditreport.com). There is also the possibility that the company would sue for the remaining balance or that they would turn over the account to a debt collector. I’d recommend researching your options and talking to an expert before making a decision. Good luck!

  • Penny

    My daughter-in-law bought a car just as she turned 18 for more than the car was worth and could not make the payment so she “turned her key in” that was almost a year ago and they are now suing her for the full payment on the car. I believe that they have resold the car. What should she do?

    • Hi Penny, that is a tough situation. You might need to talk to a lawyer or an expert who has had some experience dealing with cases like this. Good luck!

  • Yaneth Ventura

    i bought a car form the company dealership just about over a year. i recently got sick and wasn’t able to work and therefore i cant make my next payment. what are my options? i don’t want my car reposes or affect my credit.

    • Hi Yaneth, you could try calling the lender and explain the situation and ask for a deferment or perhaps a renegotiation of your monthly payment. Good luck!

  • Novah

    My car has been repossessed after 4 late payments, (Lost my job) I bought my car at a private dealer, and for some odd reason the SSN on file has a 16 instead of 60, which means that isn’t my SSN, but the rest of the info is correct. Can that affect me in anyway?

    • Hi Novah, yes, this would most likely still be reflected on your credit report. You can check your credit report for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

    • Ace Rothstein

      If there’s a demographic that should have never been allowed to buy a car it’s those posting in this thread. God God, people.

  • akjones

    My husband totaled the new car and the insurance said that he was a secluded driver so we are not covered, he isn’t working because he was injured and the loan company wants us to continue making payments, which we cannot do what are my options at this point?

    • Hi, that’s a tough situation. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s injury. In general, people in such situations have a few options, including (1) contacting the lender to work out a deferment or hardship agreement, (2) talking to a bankruptcy lawyer, or (3) stopping payments on the car and taking the hit to their credit score (plus possible debt collections action and/or legal action by the lender).

      No matter what you decide, it will help to be as informed as possible. You might want to check out our resource centers on auto loans and getting out of debt for more information:



  • nwebstwr

    I am one month behind but have still been paying my monthly payment, just a month behind, started a new job a d trying to get caught up. Do you think they will repo my car? I have a credit union.

    • Hi there, it’s not as common for them to repossess a car when you’re only 30 days late. But it’s still possible. If you can get current on the payments, that would be the best way to ensure it doesn’t get repossessed. Good luck!

      • nwebstwr

        Ok ty I did contact them

  • Alex

    I just bought a new car during that time I was going abroad when I came back the bank told me I owe two month payment I have already given this month payment but they just call me tomorrow I have to pay off the two month debt otherwise they gonna towed away my car the problem is I can pay the monthly payment but I cant afford those two month payment can I told them skip these two month payment ?

    • Hi Alex, I’m not sure I understand your question. It sounds like you bought a new car and then went abroad for two months and did not make payments during that time. When you got back, you made the payment for this month, but since you still haven’t paid for the previous two months the bank is threatening to repossess your car. Is that right? If that is the case, then you’ll need to either make the payments you missed or work out some kind of agreement with the lender. You could call and ask for a hardship deferment, which would allow you some extra time to make the owed payments. If not, then the lender might decide to repossess the car, which they’re allowed to do. But hopefully it won’t come to that. Good luck!

  • jon

    Hi my friend recently lease a car and received the tags and registration . It been a month and still haven’t got an payment statement. He called the dealership and they said it was the financial company who was suppose to send something. He called the financial company and they didn’t find him in the system , what should he do

    • Hi Jon, that’s a good question. If no one has a record of the contract, it will be hard to make a payment. One thing you can do is check your credit report at http://www.annualcreditreport.com and see if the lease is listed on the credit report. If it is, then it will say who is the lender and that’s who you should contact. Good luck!

  • Hi Beka, if you are over 40 days late then the lender usually has the right to repossess the car. If you can talk to them and ask for a deferment or hardship program, that might give you some breathing room. Especially if you know that you’ll be able to make the payments soon. Best of luck!

  • Danielle

    I have a car loan that I am behind 3 months I wanted to know if they could come and take my car and what steps can I take

    • Hi Danielle, yes, in most cases the lender can repossess your car if you’re 3 months behind on the payments. You could try calling the lender and see if they would be willing to enroll you in a hardship program or give you a deferment, but those are not very common. In case it might help, you can take a look at our Auto Loan resource center: http://readyforzero.wpengine.com/resources/auto-loan/. Best of luck!

      • Danielle

        Hi againi, I have another question I was thinking about turning my car into one of those dealership that state they will take over my car payment and see if I could be put into another car with lower payment do u think that would be a good option also do they have dealerships that could put you in a vehicle if you have bad credit

  • jackie

    What if you purchase a car an you have a disability and you find out later couple months later you can’t get in an out cause it’s hard…can you trade in for bigger so you can

    • Hi Jackie, that’s a good question. To be honest, I’m not sure of the answer. I’d suggest contacting the dealership or contacting a lawyer to get some more answers. Good luck!

  • Nagui

    I’ve never been late on my payments, ever… I have been extremely busy all weekend til today I made my payment. Its due on the 19th which is today but when i logged in to make the payment it said it was past due. I’m assuming because of the hour difference. How will this affect me? I have a cosigner on this loan, will it affect her credit?

    • Hi Nagui, most likely as long as you make the payment immediately there will be no negative impact on your credit. This is because most creditors do not immediately report a late payment to the credit bureaus. Usually they will wait at least 30 days before reporting it. Of course, that’s no guarantee. So if you want to be completely sure, you can call your lender/creditor and ask them directly. Good luck!

  • WickedQ

    Hi got a few questions I have a car that i sold to my cousin but the car is still financed under me. However there was a balance owed on the car an the the car was behind on payments which i told him this before he took over the payments now because he hasnt paid extra the balance is even higher an the repossesion company called me an was out looking for it but after 3 weeks they couldnt find it. I was told from the repo company that they had concluded there report but now the finance company was going to put in an insurance claim an that an investigator was gonna be assigned the case. Now i tried to reason with them to give a couple more days that the person will knock out half the balance but i was told that it was out of the repossesion company hands. Now its gonna go the next route which is investigator from their insurance company an more phone calls. My question is what happens if this car never gets returned an my cousin saves up most of the loan $ to decide to pay it off in the future? Or what if they never find it what will happen to me?

    • Hi, one thing that will definitely happen is your credit score will be affected either way. You can check your credit report for free at http://www.annnualcreditreport.com to see what is being shown on it. As for what happens if the car is never returned, it will get marked as an unpaid loan on your credit report. Any other actions would be up to the lender to pursue or not (such as suing you for the outstanding balance or sending the loan to a collections company). For more information, see our resource center here:


  • mike

    My stepmom dad co signed for me on this overpriced truck in September. The contract reads hes the buyer and I’m the co buyer.the first payment was Oct 23 2014 which I pay’d. I got it financed and I owe $17’000. I went to my bank to see if I can refinance it so the loan could be in my name. My bank told me the truck is worth $10’500. I made a huge mistake when I signed for this truck. I’m 25 and live with my dad and I really want to move out. After I calculated it will take me 2 years to finish paying this truck as fast as possible. What will happen if I don’t make the payments anymore? Can my stepmom dad sue me? What can I do because I really don’t want to pay on the truck anymore? Also when the statement comes the bill is in his name not mine.

    • Hi Mike, that sounds like a tough situation. When lenders require a co-signer, it’s usually because the one borrower could not get the loan on their own. The fact that your step mom’s dad co-signed the loan means his credit will be directly impacted by anything that happens to the loan. For example, if you stop paying the monthly payments, it is going to hurt his credit score. I’m not sure if he could sue you – you’d have to talk to a lawyer about that. But either way, you are in a tough position. I would try to find a way to either make the payments or get out of the loan if you can. Let us know if you have more questions. Good luck!

      • Mike

        I can make the payments i just don’t want to anymore. My name is on the contract but not sure about the loan. I was thinking about buying a cheap car on craigslist. If i do can the bank take the car from me?

        • Hi Mike, it really all depends on what the lender decides to do. For example, they could decide to sue you to get a judgment against you, which would allow them to recoup some of their losses. If you’re able to make the payments, that could be your best option. You can also talk to a lawyer or other expert to get some direct one-on-one advice.

        • pagan

          You’re a worthless pile of crap and people like you don’t make it far in life without having the crap kicked out of them repeatedly. I doubt you have two nickels to rub together and can’t pay for it, let alone 25 still living at home so you can’t be much of anything any way.

    • pagan

      Wow, what an ungrateful child, bam, screw you dad for helping my worthless ass out and co signing so I could have wheels to work, to go where I need and want too. You should have checked the kelley blue book before ever purchasing s vehicle and honestly you don’t deserve to have a parent that helps you. Go ahead and not pay and see what happens when it does end up in court. Judges love getting trash like you in front of them to use for an example. I do hope your dad files charges on you and proceeds with kicking your sorry ass out on the streets. No one will ever sign for you again, and you’ll never own anything in your miserable life, and don’t deserve too. I hope someone who knows you sees this and saves it for your poor father to have as evidence against you. I would love to be a fly on the wall in your court room, hahah.

  • justice

    My husband and I purchased a vehicle. Before the first payment was due he disappeared with the car. He has failed to make any payments. The car is over 90 days past due. The car is in both our names. Im not going to pay for a car that I dont even know were it is? What should I do and and what are my options?

    • Hi there, I’m really sorry to hear about that. It sounds so frustrating and is definitely not something anyone should have to deal with. One option that comes to mind is if the car is in your name you could report it as a stolen vehicle to the police. However, I’m not sure how that works if the car is also in his name. The other thing you could try to do is see if the lender will take your name off the loan given the unusual circumstances, but that might be a longshot. No matter what, it’s worth checking your credit report. You can do it for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. It will show you the status of your loan and how it’s affecting your credit. Good luck!

  • gee whiz

    I lost my job in may, and have 264$ car note that I haven’t paid since then just started working last week and now I’m in collection’s trying to pay on the car but they want the whole balance. What can I do

    • You’ll need to either try to get them to agree to a revised payment plan (and explain that you just got a new job) or try to save up enough money to settle the debt. Take a look at our resource centers for some more information:



  • Justin

    I have a friend who hasn’t paid for a year and a half, lost his job and lives in a different state, finance company has not contacted him, at some point does it become illegal to have the car

    • Hi Justin, I don’t think it becomes illegal to have the car, but the company would still have the right to repossess it if they find it.

  • Andrea Pirlo

    Hi there. 3 months ago I purchased brend new car,but the gas milaege disappointed me,therefore I want to give the car back. But I have 2 more cars and job. I am wondering that can the render company give me to court and can they take the things that I own or can they deduct from my salary?I don’t care damage my credit score. Thank you so much

    • Hi Andrea, the lender could sue you in order to recoup the debt. If their lawsuit is successful then they could get a judgment against you which would require you to pay them in some way (i.e. through wage garnishment or sale of assets). It all depends on what they choose to do and how everything plays out. Hope that helps!

    • pagan

      If you don’t want the car go take it back to the dealer and have them put you in something else more affordable and better on mileage. Either repossessed or voluntarily forfeit shows as a repossession on your credit report and should be avoided unless you have it in an alias name, social security number, an illegal or not thinking clearly on your credit report being damaged.

  • Anissa

    I went to a buy here pay here, and have 390 left on a 3600 dollar car. I put 1700 down! Didn’t go thru a bank etc .. And they repossed it! What are the next steps?

  • john

    my son has terminal brain cancer and has not been able to pay his car for over 4 months. They refused to repossess it. is there anything I can do

    • Hi John, I’m really sorry to hear about that. It must be incredibly difficult. My best wishes to you and your son.

      Regarding the car, if the loan is in his name then I don’t think you need to be concerned unless the lender tries to take the car, in which case you could call and ask them for help given the situation you’re in.

      If the car is in your name, then it may be worth calling and explaining the situation to them to see if they can help you by giving you a deferment, a hardship program, or some kind of revised payment plan.

      Best of luck to you.

  • Yolanda Richburg

    What do I do….I started my car payments in May 2007 with a predatory loan. I relocated and due to unemployment I have not be able to pay on my car note since Feb of 2013. I relocated again and just started back to work as of a week ago. I need to register my car, but I still owe 3,000 dollars on it. What do I do?

    • Hi Yolanda, if you still have the title then you should be able to go to the DMV and register the car. The only complication I can see is if the lender has put some kind of lien on the title, but I’m not sure what happens in that case.

  • syed

    hi i was 90 days behind for my car car payment they took my car what i have to do

    • Hi Syed, I’m sorry to here about that! What you need to do is get the money to cover those late payments and contact the lender so you can pay the amount you owe and get your car back. Otherwise they will sell it and you won’t be able to get it back. Good luck!

  • Bobs Burgers

    I have had a car for 6 years no payment made on it got it with 17000 miles now has 200,000 I have had no trouble insuring it and registering the vehicle . No repo just bad mark on my credit what are my options with this ? I plan on filing bankruptcy ..in the new year . whats the options of keeping the car ? the bank has no records of the vehicle .

  • jcextra

    I bought a car back in 2010. It was a Mitsubishi Lancer. I initially owed $19,182 dollars on it. I financed it through Capital One Auto Finance. When i financed it through them they said that I owed 443.15 a month. I made these payments for 44 months straight without missing one payment. Now this year around summertime, I got fired from my job and someone conned me out of $10,000.00 dollars and im left in the hole and im close to two months behind on my car payment. I owe 886.00 which is past due. I contacted Capital One and told them I could make 443.15 payment before the end of December. I also told them I could make another payment in January for 443.15. And I also told them that I could make the remaining balance payable in February after I get my income tax refund check. Do you think this will save my car from being repossessed. I know I am almost two months behind, but i have worked out a payment plan with them but it still doesn’t bring me current in the 90 day window. Is it likely now or less likely they can come get my vehicle?

  • co-signer

    Hi. I found out yesterday that a co-signer on the loan cannot be removed, rather the main person has to re-apply for the loan again. That being the case, if the main person lost his/her job, there is no chance the lender will approve of the loan. Co-signer is pushing to be removed from the loan altogether due to a separation/divorce taking place. What would be best course of action to take in this case? What would be the worst? Thank you for your time.

  • Co-signer

    Hi. I found out yesterday that a co-signer on the loan cannot just be removed, rather the main person has to re apply for the loan again. That being the case, if the main person lost his/her job, there is no chance the lender will approve of this new loan. So-signer is pushing to be removed from the loan altogether due to a separation/divorce taking place. What would be the best course of action to take in this case? What would be the worst? Thank you for your time.

  • liya williams

    My friend bought a new car and he hit a tree. The damage was bad but he didn’t report a police. It cost about $5000 to fix. what is going to happen if he stop loan payment.

  • ben

    I voluntarily repossessed my car over a year ago I couldn’t pay insurance or the bank loan. I took it to a dealership and thought the bank would pick it up the car is in florida the bank is in Michigan the car is still in my name. I can now afford to pay insurance I don’t want to pay the payments. Can I pick it up and put insurance on it?

  • nancy stover

    Have a car thats not working well, and its financed,as well as a lien on it i wants to turn it in to the finance company whar will happen.

  • kyco

    Hello – what if… car is over 90 days behind, (just over) but now we have money. any way to save the vehicle?? terrified to call them.

    • Just Me

      Send the money in via money gram or western union….you’ll need the account number and the code city and state. It’ll post to your account in 24 hours.

  • Briona

    Once your Car has been tooken is it legal for them to charge you to get your Personal items out of the car??

  • Yuri

    Hi there.
    Here is my situation.
    I cannot afford my car payments anymore. I went to the bank and they gave me a month without payment. This is awesome and give me some space to breath, but the plain truth is: I need to get rid of this car.
    Selling would be nice, but the market value is around $10.000 and my loan is still around $13.000. Obviously I don’t have the money to pay the difference, assuming I could sell it by a good price.
    So, I guess my last option is to ask the bank to collect it, right?
    I know this is bad, but how bad?
    How ruined will be my credit record? And will I be free from this debt once the bank collect it?
    Thank you very much!

  • Bobby Mcdonald

    My grandma finaced a truck for me the loan is only in her name she passed away a year ago. I was the only person driving the truck she never drove or went inside the truck. The bank and dealer told us I could keep making payments on the truck if she passed but know they want to repo my truck. I traded in my other truck to get this truck. Is there anything I can do to remain making the payments to keep my truck. The dealer knew the truck was for me. My Gma was sick and the sales man came to my gmas house for her to sign the loan and told her to tell the banks the truck was for her which they knew it was for me. I can’t get a loan to pay off the truck. What are my options? Or I am out on the money I’ve paid.



    • Just Me

      It always sucks when you’re still paying for a car that breaks down. Unfortunately, you’re still required to keep up the payments. They won’t stop calling until you do.

  • lou

    What happens if you go in to reposition and you don’t give the car back?

  • lou

    What happens if the car go’s in to repo but you don’t give the bank or loner the car back

    • Just Me

      They will repo it if they know where you live, work OR if you provided addresses for the people you listed on your loan application as references. Meanwhile, it will be reported to the credit bureaus & will cause your credit score to plummet. They can also sue you & the judge could order your wages to be garnished.

  • Atnel

    Hello I have about 9000 to pay on my loan that I was backed up two payments and they repossess my car after I pay the money to catch up on the payments and the fees for the towing company will things return back to normal as far as just paying my monthly payment and when I finish with the car Will it be mine?

  • Sasha

    Hi, my car was just repossessed on a Friday the place is closed can I do to get it back.

    • Just Me

      They usually give 10 days for you to come up with the money & get it back. Either way, you’ll still be responsible for paying it off in full even though they will sell it to someone else. It can be on your credit for 7-10 years even after its paid off….

  • Sasha

    Hi, how much damage can a repossession do to my credit and how long will it stay their.

  • Regina Gonzales

    My parents had went to Kia and they let them drive away 0 down so a month later before there payment Kia told them sorry we have to take the vehicle back because they had no one to finance them why even give them the car this long and they got insurence to drive it off the lot so do they get compasadid for that they took the car back all the personal paperwork can they do that I just don’t understand it thank u Regina

  • Regina Gonzales

    I’m having the same situation with Car mart me and my France bought two cars pryer to the one we have now I ran I a financial crisis ok so they worked with me and I thought we were good I have been paying 220$ monthly they wanted 260 every two weeks I couldn’t so months in paying 220$ so I made that payment and they told my well Regina ur payment is 400.00 so u owe 180$ I told then I can’t and they r very rude people she tells me well u have no choice or we will come get the car after taking the 220$ so here I go stressing she had gave me 3 days to come up with it It is very painful to have been such good past costumers well they came for the car we only owned 3,000 left it was 10,000 Cadillac 2004 the disrespect on how they talk to u is unbelievable this is America Car Mart in Tulsa ok please don’t deal with then

  • brittany

    Hi, my grandfather is 69. He and my grandmother live off of their SSI. Repo ceased his car. His house and car is in his name, will they try and take it in the State of Louisiana.

  • James woodall

    Now retired but a veteran of many years in lending. I can tell you that immediate and open communication with the lender will gain more positive results than anything else you can do. Regardless of how your situation evolves,good or bad,continue to communicate. Also know that your lender has heard every story in the book and during my years there is one that worked every time. The simple truth.

    I would like to comment on the alternative of selling your car. Most car loans are set up on terms from 48 months to 72 months with minimum equity investment. A relatively high percent of those loans have extra costs included in the note such as life insurance , health insurance, and or extended warranty insurance. During my lending years a sound estimate was that owner equity did not occur until about 42 months into a 60 month plan. Because of lower interest rates that may have improved somewhat. The point is that most buyers are “upside down” and can’t sell the car. Consider this when you purchase. Cudos for the published article.

  • Googled

    Hi, if someone can’t pay a car loan and the car is repossessed to be auctioned. What happens after that? The money will be used to cover the loan amount? If it is not enough to cover, then will the car owner still be made to pay the balance?

  • Christina

    If i am 90 days late but pay off my full late fees up to date a week later, will they still repossess my car? Or will everything be fine

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  • Aj

    My car was stolen and the ins company denied my claim. I don’t have money to hire a lawyer and fight back. There was $17,000 left to pay on the car the loan was under my grandmothers name. I don’t have the money to pay the loan since I know need to buy another car. What will happen the lender was advised that the car was stolen.

  • Susie Johnson

    Hi. My cousin was making payments on a car, she stopped paying it about a year and a half ago because she lost her job and couldn’t find another good paying job. She still has the car but she knows it’s up for repo. She wants to keep the car and make all the payments but now she’s in collection. Or she would like to give it back but she doesnt know where because the finance company that had her account told her that they don’t have her account anymore. What can she do?

  • Amanda

    I live in burnaby bc I am 14 days late making my car loan payment I told them I will pay them in 7 more days now they are threating repo I have been late in the past. However I always pay. I have never been two payments behind just late.

  • Lore

    Hi I have a friend who took out a used nissian murano year 2003 car from a small dealer. His payments are 349 each month and doesn’t wants to pay anymore because his job is not good as it was before and he has to pay rent, food and his wife dnt work . How will his credit affect him and his wife because he put her on the financial auto credit in where he pays his payments so her wife is berly building credit and if he stops payingthe car both there credit how is it goin to affect each one . What can he do

  • ramonia burris

    I recently put a down payment on a car and was told until I get insurance the car will be at the dealership…I’ve tried to get insurance through several different companies but have been unsuccessful… can I get my down payment back?

  • James

    Hi I just have a Quinston if some got and care for u in there name and u got behind on the payments can that person report the care stolen

  • Timothy Kemp

    I am in the military and my spouse didn’t make any car payments on our car for the 4 years I was overseas when I finally returned the bank we had the loan through went bankrupt or was bought by a new company or both. Any way…. We haven’t made a payment on it for over 10 years and still have the car. We are trying to get our credit under control and move forward. What would be the best way to go about this now probably about $15,000 problem?

  • fyrfytr1032@sympatico.ca

    My name is Ed
    Hi ,
    I am a co-signer for a pickup truck for my son because of his credit rating.
    He is not making the payments on the truck as he is out of work, which has fallen back on my wife and I. We cannot afford to pay the installments anymore as we are pensioners and are on a fixed income. Can you please tell us what our options are and the consequenses if we stop making payments on the vehicle. We live in Canada

  • bb king

    Dear Ben, I have a very unique problem, maybe you have advise. Early November 2014, i purchased a car for my wife through AVIS sales program but faciltated by AutoNation. It is a 2014 ford fusion. We traded in a 2007 ford edge, which we negotiated about $6500 for. We used AUTONATIONS financing to secure a very low rate. Again, very different buying expierience here. After a couple of weeks of having the car, finally a Notary came over my house to FINALIZE the paperwork. It was all there. The terms we agreed to. They even took the rental tags off and took them, at which time AUTONATION never sent my replacement tags.

    After multiple phone calls, they finally had the dmv send me my new tags. That was December 2014. I never received any oayment stubs or information so i could begin paying my new loan. I called in mid january and again in Febuary. The bank i originally got approved with and signed with had no record of my loan. Early Febuary I was assured by AutoNation the paper work for the loan was on its way. Its now March 3, 2015……still nothing. They took my car on trade-in and I have been driving this nice 2014 Ford.

    Heres my question. WHAT IF THEY NEVER SEND PAYMENT INFORMATION. WHAT IF THEY NEVER ASK TO GET PAID. I have purchased many cars in my life, although never through a channel as this. I dont know what to do. I have called several times. Nothing. HELP!!

  • sammykay

    I bought a car from a buy here pay here lot, almost had it paid off. Had 1000 left to pay, the repo the car can I go back now and use the money I had paid on a different car since they sold the one I had.

  • Tommy

    If your car gets repoed and they sell it at auction . Are you responsible for the difference? what happens if you cant or don’t pay it back ? I mean I cant make a car payment how do they expect me to pay the difference? What can happen you cant get blood from a stone. I own nothing . Any help would be great

  • Zay Siles

    Current situation….my mother had just purchased a brand new car, she’s had it for about 6 months or so. Just 3 days ago she was diagnosed with Jacobs disease and has 3 to 6 months to live, she traded her truck in for this new vehicle and they gave her 7 for it so she’s paid a good 11k to 12k on a 28k dollar vehicle. So my question is would they repossess the car if payments can’t be made on it?

  • Dippidydodumbass

    So my bike got stolen while my insurance wasn’t in effect and I still owe on the account. Now I don’t have a job because I don’t have a way to get there and I can’t pay my bike loan. What are they gonna do if they can’t repossess a bike I don’t have?

  • oldster

    I am selling my house and will have enough to pay off my car but not my credit cards. I owe $22,000, on the cards. Can they take my car? I’m 73 yrs old, have ss 578 mon and retirement 368 mon.

  • Mary Ann

    I cosigned for car loan for my son (mistake). Ultimately, neither of us we able to pay and the car was repossessed. I arranged a monthly payment with them but they are continuing with the late fees, which are actually higher than the payments I’m making! I’m getting nowhere! Can they do that?

  • financiallyilliterate

    I’m so confused after reading this blog. I financed an ATV, I have bounced 1 pymnt in 3 yrs, 8 yr term loan. However, in January my bank account got com primed, and resulted in all my pymnts being missed. I immediately changed my account and advised all my creditors of the change. Unfortunately, my Disability Benefit didn’t change my info for Direct Deposit purposes, and my payments for February then bounced. I incurred 6 NSF’S, at $48@. I explained to the National Bank, what happened, because now in their eyes, I’ve missed 2 payments. I was advised, to place a stop pymnt on the account, and to phone back after my bank posted the returned item. I had an out of town wedding to attend, turns out there was no wifi, no cell, no way of contacting. In early February, I applied for a debt consolidation loan, and was denied. Early March, I forget to take the stop pymnt off, and the scheduled pymnt to replace the missed one, gets returned. Mid March is now my birthday, get unexpected company, and have no contact with any representatives for 2 days. I receive a letter, stating I’m defaulted, I call, a few times, while waiting for a rep, handsets died. With in days I end up in emergency with shattered toes, and within 5 days of that my vehicle gets written off. That same day, I finally am able to speak with someone, turns out from collections, the day before my regular payment is due too. They demand a full payment, I state I am willing to make a double payment tomorrow, and the 3rd pymnt at the end of the month, then would like to continue regular payment schedule.
    I was threatened that they would repo, no payments other than the amount in full will be accepted. I was told I had a choice, 1. Give the quad back, 2. Sell for as much as I can, give to them, and we can negotiate the remainder of the balance, 3. I’m not sure, what it was. So when i asked if there was someone else i could speak with, I was given to a supervisor, she said I had till “1:30 pm Friday E.S.T.” to give them an answer. I did some research, and when i called the agency to ask for an email address i could correspond with, i ended up back at this woman, i recognized her voice, and condescending manner, and ended up hanging up. She phoned back, someone picked it up, and said hang on, I’ll get her. I promptly hung the phine up again. She phoned again, and left a message.
    I served a “contact only via correspondence from now on” letter that Friday morning. It’s now Monday, and I’m prepared to call them and ask again about making those arrangements. Do I call the bank? And negotiate with them? Or am I stuck working with these waffles?

  • matt

    My title loan company stated that they were goin to repo my car back in febuary.They have still not gotten it. Is there a time limit gor them to repossess it.

  • andrewglynn

    We have not made a payment on our car since December (it’s now the middle of April. Since we don’t actually need the car we’ve asked the lender to repossess it, but they refused and keep asking us to make the regular payments. Since we also moved, we can’t register the car since it’s in their name and they have the title, nor can we insure it outside the state in which we lease/purchased it. We can’t even voluntarily return the car because we can’t ship it without the title.

    I’ve suggested a revised loan agreement (the lease/purchase option isn’t valid in the jurisdiction we moved to) where we make the payments in trust with a lawyer, they register a proper legal lien on the vehicle (they have no legally enforceable lien since you can’t put a lien on what you legally own) and they give us the title so that the lien is valid and we can register/insure the car, however they are refusing anything other than that we resume the regular payments.

    I’ve thought about reporting the car as abandoned to the DMV in that state, and letting them contact the lender/owner to pick it up. Aside from that I can’t think of anything to do other than see if they charge-off the car as a loss or eventually decide to repossess it.

  • eli ferrarie

    I bought a car from this dealer and I can’t make the first payments I tried return it back but they won’t take it back and they said if they take it back they will sell it to an auction and then take me to court to pay the difference . Also I don’t have any credit . Even tho I have no credit will it damage the credit I start making in the future ?

  • Amanda

    I am late by only 8 days with one payment this month and I am getting non stop phone calls. I had to block them because even when I tell them I am going to pay them within a week, they will not stop calling. Isn’t there a 10 day grace period like other bills to make the payment? I was told when I bought the car there was. This is a national accredited finance company and can’t believe the treatment I am receiving. Also, I had some payments deferred before with all the proper paperwork through them and they put it on my credit which has stopped me from getting a newer car and has brought my credit score down. How do I fix that issue?

  • brand snith

    If I’m paying a note on my car and put it in the shop and the bill comes out to be to high for me to get it out ,can I get my finance company to get it back for me

  • kristen

    If I buy a car and have a cobuyer although I am the only one on the title at this time who has rights to the car as he is primary on the financial account but im soly on the title?

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  • Angie Jowers Bentley

    I have a 2013 Ford Fusion. I bought it while I was a teacher. Soon after buying the car, I was diagnosed with cancer. The chemo damaged my heart and I am unable to work. I was denied disability. I leased my home to someone and moved into a camper. Now I cannot keep the car either. I just have too many doctor bills. I haven’t had any luck selling it, so can I turn it back in to the dealership? It has less than 20 thousand miles. Will I still be sued for the difference? I have nothing left for them to take.

  • T Hall

    I was working 2jobs when I purchased my vehicle I quit one for health reasons and lost the other for missing to much time due to the issues. I recently returned to work but I am not making no where near the money I was. I can’t afford the $480 a month note. Being that the loan was in my wife’s name I don’t want to ruin her credit what can I do

  • Janaya Troupe

    I recently purchased a car and I owed 11,000 in loans for it. I got into a bad car accident and the car was declared totaled. The car was only worth 2500 so the insurance from the man that hit me paid them that 2500 but I still owe around 8500. I lost one job and got another but my husband lost his job after the accident due to no transportation. Could they possibly go into collections and take money from my check since I work for the state?

  • Rasmus

    My friend got car with financing from Toyota after using it for a while he left back home and is not going to come back to US. More than one year I am using his car and making payments. But i am tired of paying for that car. The issue is I moved from East cost to West cost. I would like to know if I stop paying for the car how long it will take before Toyota would start searching for the car. They dont have any my information and i am just making payments online on his account. If they will find the car how they will find it since they dont have my info and how long it would take before they might confiscate it?

  • jj

    im at a total loss here, idk what to do anymore. and i cant afford to lose my car. although i dont know what else could happen.. my husband nd i split up. i became a single mom of 4 and lost my job havent paid a dime on my car in 8 months. they have not repossesed my car yet but im scard it could be any day. im terrified to go to the store or doc office, i could come out to no car and 4 kids… my husband and i recently got back together and i think we can start making payments again but the account is closed on my credit….. what do i do from here??

  • Charles Young

    I have 3 payments remaining on a car lease through Honda. When I turn it in (November 1st.) I am going to owe a lot of money on excess mileage charges. ( Somewhere between $9,000-$10,000) I wanted to know when I turned it in, would they be willing to settle for a percentage of that debt. For example 1/3. If they did, they could send me a 1099-R for the remaining debt. Is this possible? I’d hate to have to declare bankruptcy over this, but I am NOT going to nor am I willing to pay 9k-10k for the car.
    Thank you.

  • Lyssa

    Okay, i have had my car for 7 months, paid early every month, husband switch to a local job, we didnt make enough money he switched back to his old OTR job within 2 months, were in the transition period, i made hlf of junes car payment a week early, life happened and i was borrowing from my mother to pay the rest she gets her money the 1st of july, well they told me i HAD to pay today (june 30th) that i could NOT pay tomorrow (july 1st) i asked what would happen if i didnt pay till tomorrow and she said well they would just take my loan away from me and that id no longer have a loan through them! I went over my contract, and it says NOTHING about them being able to take my loan, it said they could take my car and that theyd hold it for about 2 weeks to give me a chance to get it back, but nothing about them taking back my loan… is that true? Or were they trying to scare me?

  • Lyssa

    Oh also, i KNOW that woman wasnt listening bcuz halfway thru the conversation she actually said to me “you cant pay that on friday, your next months payment is due saturday” and i told for for the um-teenth time wednesday the 1st! But anyways can they willy nilly take my loan away from me? I mean its 3rd party finance so they already paid the dealer for the car..

  • Dawn

    What if someone hasn’t made payments and car not repo are you just breaching a contract you will oee or can it be any type of theft?

  • anonymous

    My husbands ex has a vehicle they owned he was the primary he had been making the payments even after they separated. Once they stopped communicating she was no where to be found. And he stopped making payments because she took it. This happened roughly 2 years ago I am assuming she still has the car unless it has been repossessed. We haven’t heard anything from lenders/creditors etc what can we do so he doesn’t get completely screwed or at least help the situation.

  • virgen

    Hi Ben… Well I talk to the boss of the dealership..am 5 days late on my payment and what is worst is that this was my first payment…I try to explain them that I got arrested and I had to pay 1000$ of bail and court fees and attorney in order to be released .well the other guy I spoke with over the phone told me I was going to get repo once the boss got back from vacation..which is tomorrow..how ever I know that what hapends to the boss is that the guy was trying to get it with me n I rejected him so now he’s bitter .. What can I do? Am willing to pay on the 27 and I told him that but he never got back to me …

  • Ciara Lee

    I bought a brand new truck in late 2007 stopped making payments in early 2008 I tried to give it back they refused to repo it now its mid 2015 and 140,000 miles later and has come off my credit how do I get the title?

  • rizza hernandez

    what will happen if your co signer on your car loan quit? is car repossesion applicable only when you missed your car payment for consecutive months? thanks

  • Gregory

    I have a question what can I do to get my name off a title when I’m breaking up with my friend she took both set of keys and don’t pay the car note and I’m moving out of her hoyse

  • Angela Wyatt

    what if I can pay 100 of the 400 I owe? will they take my car back?

  • Elton

    I went through a separation and I left the car with her thinking she could make the payments. Well she went 2 months with out payment, so I explained what had happened and that I was going to get the car. They said they understood and would work with me. I was able to make a payment but by then another payment came up so I was still behind 2 payments. I know I could make the monthly payments, I was trying to play catch up and having a hard time. It was only 51 days out and I was going to make another payment the next day that would have made it 30 days out. But the finance company repoed my car and I need it to go to work. Now I need like $2500- $3000 to get it back. I need help, is there anything or anyone that can help

  • Emzkie

    I just bought a car and not happy with it after i tool it home, i payed a down payment of 2k and not happy with the car, the car is financed, will i still be able to return the car without any trouble? Is it going to affect my credit score? What will i loose?

  • jose jauregui

    Hi i have a 04 sentra financed and they have been ripping us of for a while now and we just noticed! They have been charging us insurance when we already had insurance and we showed them. The problem is that the car is not worth the 6k dollars that we owe but they also have another one of our cars tittle in there possession. We cannot make the payment anymore and in all reality we just dont want the car sinsce its not worth the amount we owe not even both cars together are worth that much.. Also the loan is under my moms name and shes wrried about bankruptcy because she has a house under her name thats all paid of. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.. Thank you

  • Roger

    I just recently purchased a vehicle from a dealership, it was used, and now my job has been very slow and I am not getting much work. I have no title and it is financed for another 5 years. Can I give the vehicle to someone who is willing to take over the payments?

  • Linda

    have a car that is past 90 days late on payments due to divorce proceedings that cost me thousands of dollars to settle with lawyers and court. They said I couldn’t get a break anymore and would kill my title if I didn’t pay. The car has not been repossessed yet but is on the list to be. What does it mean when they said it will be a dead title? And I now have the money to pay. Can I get my car back on the road. I have not been driving it?

  • sarab singh

    I’m missing payments on my car for more than a year now I’m not in Canada for more than 6 months now and have the car parked in my garage.. What’s gonna happen when I take my car out

  • Policarpio Rodriguez

    I have a car with a lien holder (capital 1) they wont release the lien do to late fees and other the principle of the loan was paid off. so now I want to sell my car and cant due to lien holder and in with a 3rd party collections I ask for them to repo the car they do not want to.. capital one nor 3rd party collections and they do not want to do a release of lien….what I want to do is sell car negotiate the dept (as I was told I can) what can I do

  • Cole Treat

    I have a balance of 200$ on car, before I got sick. The finance company sent last payment back to dealer whom payed off the remaining balance. Finance co . stated dealership payed 343. So are their extra fees that are charged or because car was payed off.

    2nd question: does that hurt my credit? This was last year of July. So it’s been over a year since I was able to realize that I had no title in old mail.

  • shane

    Hello, I very very very behind on payment, but I promised to make a payment this week(seriously). I owe 2000, plus and interest of 248. I’m suppose to making a 500 a month payment but the insurance and bills have taking most of what I wanted to put on the car. The car is looks good but I also believe it’s a lemon , my hubby put so much in to make sure the car is running I believe over 2000 in expenses that could of went to the loan portion. I have put that much into the insurance of the vehicle. the vehicl engine light has been coming on since we got the car and so many other problems. my question is if I put as much I can on the car loan like 400, Until I can catch up more , will they still try to reposess it? I feel like I’m still dupped because the car orginally cost 11 grand.We put down 3000 and they stuck use with a 20,000 grand loan. Our warranty doesnt even cover like they said it should which is 3 grand. Because my hubby put out alot of money on this car and still is.

  • Buddy

    So need some advide…cancelled my car insurance in late August and the company that I got the loan from just sent me a letter today saying I need to show them proof of insurance. How long until they repossess my car?

  • kid

    I purchased my vevicle in Texas, I have lived in minnesota for 2 years. I am now behind on my payments and the bank has said in the past that after 3 payments that would put me in reposession. Will a bank travel from Texas To Minnesota for a 2010 cobalt wirh almost 100k miles. I still owe $7,00.00. I dont know if its worth that. But now there is a block on my account. I make my payments through a shared location/ credit union. I can only deposit money into my savings, not pay on the auto loan. Will they try to take my vehicle from 1250 miles away?

  • james


  • james

    I have a friend who hasn’t mad a car payment since April of this year. It’s obvious that it’s due for repo but for some reason he hasn’t turned it on and the haven’t found it. He lost his job back in March and got about 2k behind. And his reason for not giving it up yet is because he wouldn’t be able to find any work and not have a way to make any money at all at least to help his family with as much in as possible. And now that he has found more steady work he’s just to far behind to catch up and pay the loan which now is about $18k. I know once they get the vehicle and sell it at auction he will have to pay the remaining balance. And he said he was told after a while they will just send that balance of what he owe to a credit company if they not able to get the vehicle. Question is, is that true? And if so would they just send him the title and he keep the vehicle?

  • Sarah Kwan Even

    Hi, so I got a car last year and took a loan from credit acceptance. It was my first time getting a car….so I lost my job and was not able to make payments and they ended up taking my car (repo) and sold it at an auction and told me what the amount of the loan is after….I finally got a job recently 7 months after and was informed that if I don’t make an agreement and make a 250 payment with 150 a month after until it’s paid off it will go to the legal department and I’ll owe them the full amount. I’ve never done any of this before and have been trying to get myself in a good spot. I don’t have anyone who can loan me the money to start the agreement and I don’t know what the legal department will do to get the money from me. I’m not sure what they are capable of doing…I don’t know if they can take me to jail or something like that which would stop me from making money….I just need some help on figuring out what to do and what will happen if it goes that route and if they would work with me or what. I have been in a really tough situation and I’m trying to make things right but I just don’t make enough now to be able to do this…I need answers please

  • Honey Conaway

    My 2016 car was hit by na unlicensed driver on 10/28 @ 4:08 pm and Progressive Insurance will not honor the new policy which was to start on 10/28 because an automatic payment was in tranferred on that date. I followed the law and called in the report. All State the unlicensed drivers company reported that their coverage was revolked several months before. I can afford to may car payments, insurance payments and payments for repair. The two law companies I phoned replate the Progressive is within their rights in Virginia. I am a special education teacher who doesn’t make enough to pay for a vehicle that I can’t use to get to work with. Where should I turn?

  • Honey Conaway

    Ops An unlicensed driver and can’t afford!

  • tino

    Will i be charged late fees for paying my car payment 8 days late?

  • disgruntled vw

    Hi, I have a good job and am ten years into my mortgage (never mind that it is still underwater).. but I have a 2014 VW TDI. I am really pissed about paying the several thousand dollars above value for comparably performing cars that I thought was clean and lean on gas. Now it has a diminished resale value and after the recall it will have crappy gas mileage and no pep. I’m seriously considering just stopping payments (the loan is through VW) and wait for the repo guy. How bad of an idea is that? It sounds scummy (and I am responsible in every sense of the word)- but I feel like it is the just thing to do.

  • CandyPerfumeGirl

    can my interest rate be increased when i am 30 days late? The article doesnt answer that question at all. I understand late fees but that is not the same as higher interest rate. Any clarification would appreciated.

  • Chris Austin

    If a car loan is paid off do the late payments over the course of the loan go away ? Off the credit report?

  • Gg

    Help!!!!! I got in a car accident im a full time student and with part time job I totaled my car and stopped making payments for half a year I haven’t received any calls nor any bills what is going on????

  • Leah Masterson

    After 2 years, my car engine blew, and I cannot afford to pay $4000 to fix the car. I now have no reason to pay my car payment. What are my options? I feel I shouldn’t have to pay for a car that doesn’t work. I owe $11K still, and this thing doesn’t even run. I can pay my car payment, but now I cannot trade it in, since it doesn’t work, and I am completely upside down on my loan. My car is only worth $5K in GOOD condition, so without it running, is probably only worth $1K. Is this a reason to get a lawyer? Or am I just screwed all over?

  • Jessica De La Torre-Sauceda

    We bought a car in May 2007 on a 72-month term. We had some late payments and a repo that we were able to get the car back from back a few years ago. At this point we have made 87 total payments in addition to other fee payments over the course of the last 8 1/2 years and our lender says we still owe them an additional 5 payments! Their claim is we are paying interest on late fees and the fees from the one repo from several years ago. At this point we’ve already paid over $7500 more than the 72 monthly payments we contracted for and are being told we have over $2500 yet to go. Can this be right??? My biggest concern is that when our repo occurred in mid-2011 we were told we must pay ALL back payments and ALL fees associated in order to obtain our vehicle. So, how is it that we are still looking at regular payments that will exceed our contracted term by more than $10,000?

  • Blue

    I did a very stupid thing and bought a car without first checking the insurance. The car payment itself is very manageable, but the insurance is almost 3 times my car payment. What can I do at this point?

  • DC

    Is it legal for your whole car payment to go towards interest and none to principal? I have been late a few times but the credit union has been the whole payments
    towards interest.

  • Liz

    ok i have Gateway financial, im 7 days late on my car payment they keep calling me so i can pay the full amount. i tried to make arrangement but they wont let me. they said they can come and get my car if they want. my question is , can they come get it if im 30 days late?

  • TracieMichele

    If you have a lease and each payment is due say the 13th of each month and depending on your pay day you pay a day early or 4 days late but always within the 10 day grace period will that negatively affect you when you try to get a new lease?

  • jimmy

    I stopped making my payments and told them to come get this pile of junk. But it’s been a year and I haven’t heard from them. Can they file charges on me?

  • Lenexa

    I had a vehicle almost15 years ago that is still on my credit report, it was not repoed, the dealership folded a few months after I defaulted on the loan. I was in a class action lawsuit against the dealership, fraudulent activity was discovered on the dealerships behalf . Am I still responsible for its debt. Isn’t aged out and there were legal issues????

  • Courtney

    I owe gateway finance 3500 for remainder of loan that was not covered from car accident insurance. They have threatened to take up to 25% of my paycheck. Is this true? I figured they would lein against my taxes but not my weekly pay?

  • QTIP

    I have a van (’03 Ford Winstar) it’s a lemon. 3 x they tried fixing it. We took them to court in ’10 . The court agreed, & paid a couple K, but I’m still stuck with the van which was never fixed properly. Now it sits inoperable taking space where I should be parking my new car. They reported me to the credit bureaus & now I’m stuck with the van, the IRS is saying I owe them $300 in reg fees, but won’t let me register it inoperable & $20K credit debt!

    At this point, can I drop the van off at the dealer with the key?

    Crazy in California!

  • Melinda

    I’m not sure if this thread is still active but I’ve hit a wall and I’m desperate! I currently have an outrageous payment on a vehicle I can not afford anymore due to a loss of my job. I’m about two months behind and I’m scared they’ll repo it. I’ve already tried to work out something with my finance company but they won’t bugde. I’ve tried to refinance but no one will work with me, not even my bank! Can I see about trading it in with $1500 down? I can’t afford the payments and the high interest on it (I had zero credit so my interest is at nearly 25%!) I financed two years ago at $17,000 and still owe $14,000! What should I do? I had decent credit before but now it’s terrible. The whole reason of getting a car was to build my credit 🙁

    • Maria

      A trade will be difficult unless you are in an equity position. It won’t hurt to talk with a dealer and explain that you want to get into a less expensive model. Some dealers will purchase outright, or you can try selling the vehicle, though you need to prepare any buyer for a potential delay in receiving the title because you have to pay the finance company, they send you the title, then you sign off. Some financers will allow a third party to pay off the vehicle with your approval and they will send the title to them directly.

  • Carrissa Missher

    My friend hasn’t paid car insurance in 4 years and wants to start now how much will he have to pay?

  • mr walka

    Soy el Sr. Walker por su nombre. Yo
    vivo en EE.UU., quiero utilizar este medio para alertar a todos los
    solicitantes de préstamos que tener mucho cuidado porque hay estafadores
    everywhere.Few meses atrás yo era tensa financieramente, y debido a mi
    desesperación me estafado por varios prestamistas en línea. Casi
    había perdido la esperanza hasta que un amigo me refirió a un
    prestamista muy fiable llamada Sra Born gancho que me presta un préstamo
    sin garantía de $ 85.000 en virtud de 2 horas y sin ningún tipo de
    estrés. Si
    usted está en necesidad de cualquier tipo de préstamo sólo en contacto
    con él ahora a través de: chillwellfinancialhome@gmail.com estoy usando
    este medio para alertar a todos los solicitantes de préstamos debido a
    demonios pasaba a través de las manos de los prestamistas fraudulentos. Y
    no me gustaría incluso mi enemigo para pasar a través de un infierno
    que pasé a través de las manos de los prestamistas en línea
    fraudulentos, yo también quiero que me ayude a pasar esta información a
    otras personas que también están en necesidad de un préstamo una vez que
    se también
    tenemos recibir su préstamo del Sr. enfriar bien, te pido que Dios le
    dé larga vida, en contacto con él ahora en
    chillwellfinancialhome@gmail.com y dar préstamos para la tasa de interés
    de sólo el 6%.

  • lisa

    My husbandf financed a car & is backed up on 4 payments, he doesn’t want to lose his car, whatt are his options?

  • Annelise Busey

    What about car taxes? I have a leased car and owe car taxes from feb. I have tried to pay them twice, but it just goes to my next months payment and not the taxes. They are not open until Monday, but so anxious it is going to get repoed between now and then! I just got August’s bill for car taxes and have almost enough saved to pay it out in full. I am short like $200, but start getting paychecks in 3 weeks.

    • Maria

      generally the finance company pays the taxes to the taxing agency and recoups the funds from you. Some have different payment requirements (like a different address) in order to pay taxes, so check your statement for instructions.

  • Jess

    What happens when you have a car in your possession that the bank no longer wants? We are a year behind in payments however still have possession of the vehicle. The bank has already reported the debt to our credit & are no longer looking for us to pay them directly. What can we do with this vehicle now?

  • Joseph Champigny

    Can a financial company cancel a registration for being 30 days late?

  • Loops

    Hi, im am currently 30 days late on my car payment, but ive been making weekly payments to keep the balance low. Now the next car pmt was due yesterday and the remaining balance for this current month still hasn’t been paid off to its entirety ,it’s currently only $ 70.00 left to pay. Do you think the repossession stage is near?

  • Andrea

    My car was stolen, it was total lost I had gap insurance however apparently I still owed 2 payments it has been 2 years and it is still on my credit, is there anything I can do to make this look favorable on my credit report. can I offer to pay it off in a few payments to have it say something else instead of delinquent?

  • Deanna Burbank

    i bought a 2013 car from dealership 40 days ago and power steering has had complete failure twice and been towed back to dealer first time was 9 days after i bought it dealership says rodants are eating away at wires ..i do not feel safe in car and would not of purchased a car that had rodents dealership says its safe to drive till it happens again i have not picked car back up from dealership they refuse to buy back car .i have not even made first car payment .should i do a vulantary reposession back to bank?

  • Terry

    What if I forgot to write the account number on a motorcycle that was under my friends name? I sent payments with my name so the payments never got applied

  • Derek Willis

    k i have a lincoln navigator had it lil over 3 years ive made maybe few payments then car lot closed and moved then the bank in town closed and relocated then they relocated from there. well back when i stopped paying i had moved to georgia told them where truck was and whats all wrong with truck they said they didnt want truck back so how do i go by getting title could use it now please contact me 8502915173

    • Derek Willis

      still have lincoln never been repo just was recent wrecked and possibly total how do i come across getting my title this only vehicle we have for our family


    I am currently not working so I gave my car over to a trusted family member to take over the payments. Can she have the car loan direct debited out of her bank account if I am not on the account with her?

  • Vicky

    Great to know! I’m in a similar situation, I have a car under my name (for my cousin) she was involved in a collision and the vehicle was left in the Towing Lot, they now have ownership. I can no longer turn in the vehicle because It’s not in my possession. The loan is currently more than 90 days behind on payments and they have yet to send it to collections. Do you know if there’s a max (Time frame) that they can hold off on sending it? I would like to just settle the amount, rather than to continue payments.

  • James

    I have a finance to my car.if i sell and dont pay what worst can happen for me

  • Lori Ann Matthews

    Question. I am late on a payment. 60 days actually and they have not repo yet. They said to turn in the car or figure out what I can pay. Well we did not return the car and still have it. She left me a message that she had called Tallahassee to stop from me getting any registration on any car that is in my name or my ex husbands. Can they do that and what do I do.

  • Marie e Surpris

    My name is Marie, I finance a car for 4 years through credit acceptance only $2300 left to finish the loan I felt into some hardship and they end up repossessing the car What should I do? will my credit score be affected. The car was giving me problem throughout the 4 years.I have spent countless money fixing it while I was paying I felt that I have been taking advantage on cause at the time of purchase from the lot I was not told the car had any problem nor I was giving any test drive

  • Alicia Jones

    I can assure you of globaltechnologies46@gmail.com, he is to good in
    repairing credit he helped me repair my credit and i was able to buy my
    first house, thanks to this professional credit repairer

  • Ricky R Banks

    I have a truck an I paid 200 this month but im behind…. Is it true i can wait 90days

  • Devin Polite

    Good morming i a question if you think they will not repossess my car. I fell behind 5 payments I believe I’m three or four behind now I’ve always had the money in my bank account just haven’t paid it for a few reasons like changing Banks and debit cards getting changed by Banks and also forgetting log on to my loan website this morning and it says to contact them so I feel like ass to talk about repossess my car just wondering if I do tell them I have the money and I pay back what I was behind and have them do automatic payments do you think they will accept it and not repossess my car? Also on a side note I do have another loan with them for furniture which was about $3,500 I’ve never missed a payment on it and I only have about 700 left so that’s your so that I do make my payments what are your thoughts?

  • Elyon Summers

    I was once in a mess of medical bill debts, tax lien, student loan debts, many accounts in collection, inquiries and late payments on my credit report. I found my way out of this with the help of realcreditscore@tutanota.com who performed his trick repair on my credit report. I can’t mention all he has done to effect my life for good. I can entrust this realcreditscore@tutanota.com to anyone out here looking for credit score points upgrade/deletions of unwanted items affecting credit report. He also renders various hacking services worth life changing.,,

  • Ruby veliz

    i have a friend that made her first car payment and a conformation number was given then with out any notice the company returned her money and didn’t tell her so a few days ago she calls them and they say they don’t take card. and a letter saying she can make both payments on January 3 but they repossessed her car and now they are telling her to get it back she has to pay 6000 or loose her car. can they do that???