Will lender extend car loan period?
Dear Driving for Dollars,
Is there any chance our auto finance company will renegotiate the terms of a car loan to extend the loan period? We have about 45 months remaining on the loan and would like to extend this to 72 months.
It depends on your situation and your lender. I'm guessing you want to extend the loan period to lower your car payment. If that's because of a job loss or other unforeseeable issue that is affecting your finances then your lender may be willing to work with you to restructure your car loan to make the payments more affordable, particularly if you have paid consistently on time thus far. It's best to contact your lender as soon as you realize you'll have difficulty with the payments so you can begin negotiating an alternative. If you wait and get behind on your payments, the lender will be less likely to work with you. Your credit score also will become tarnished, making it harder to qualify for a low interest rate on a refinance or a future loan.
Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Tara Baukus Mello is a freelance writer who has written about automotive topics of interest to consumers since 1995. If you have a car question, e-mail it to us at Driving for Dollars.
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