A young professional recently learned he had one of the worst car loan deals in history when he found out some extensions on his loan pushed the loan maturity date farther into the future than he expected.
The companies who make loans when others might decline the buyer
When people have struggling credit, or are financing a vehicle with considerable negative equity (they owe more than their trade is worth) there might be fewer options for conventional financing. Alternatively, there are companies who will make the loans to people who otherwise might not be approved. Unfortunately for the buyer, the companies who make the higher risk loans are not always the most honest and ethical.
The fine print and details in the terms of car loans is confusing, especially the information about how interest is calculated and how much of the payments are applied to the principal balance of the loan. Too often people need the new vehicle so bad that they are willing to sign just about anything to get the deal done and the keys in their hands.
Here’s what to watch out for if you have a high-risk car loan:
- When do you make your payments?
Your car loan servicing company to whom you make payments can tell you exactly when you are supposed to make your payment. If you make it early, you could run into fines if that makes the next payment not made early occur more than 30 days after the first payment. Sounds confusing? There are all kinds of deadlines and time frames to watch out for to make sure your payment is made and received on time and the most amount of money possible, if any, is applied to the principal loan balance.
- Allowed payment skips adding payments later:
Beware of the option to skip a payment this month and add it to the end of the loan. When you do this, you may be paying fees and interest that totals to a large amount of money many times more than your monthly payment. People who found out the hard way expected their loan payoff date to be very different than what the loan servicer was then saying. The way they calculate interest when you extend your payments is what can cost you so much more money.
- Dealing with foreign-owned loan companies:
Many people believe they will be able to contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Better Business Bureau or a local attorney to help them with a problem they are having on a difficult car loan. If the company is foreign and not based in the U.S. you may have fewer options as to who can do something to help you. In some cases, you may be at the mercy of the foreign company who owns your car loan.
The young professional we mention at the beginning of this article encountered all the problems listed above and wonders if he is stuck paying a $20,000 car off to the point it becomes more than $40,000 worth of payments? How is that possible? It happens too often.
Bankruptcy may be an option if he wants to consider the impact of the bad car loan considering his entire financial picture. The bad deal might be an inconvenience, or it might be a deal breaker to the point a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy looks rather appealing.
About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.
Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start.