How to Defer a Car Loan

by Cynthia Measom
Lenders may require you to be current on your loan to qualify for a deferral.

No matter how well you manage your money, you can't control unexpected expenses. When you find yourself owing more than the amount you have in your checking account, the option of deferring your car loan is a possible solution. However, before a lender will agree to defer your car loan, he may look at factors such as your past payment history, the reasons you need the deferral and your credit score.

Call your lender as soon as you realize you won't be able to make your car loan payment. Explain that you're unable to make your car payment and ask about deferring your car loan.

Offer the lender specific facts and details about your financial situation. A lender needs justification to grant you a deferral. For example, if you had an unexpected emergency expense due to the repair or replacement of a major appliance in your home, and it caused you to go over your budget, tell the lender.

Ask the lender's representative questions about how long the deferral will last -- typically 30 days -- when your next payment is due -- likely the following month, depending on your payment schedule -- and if you'll have to pay any fees as a result of the deferral. Note that fees for deferment -- if applicable -- can vary, according to the lender's specific policies.

Write down all of the information -- representative's name, phone number, extension, date and time of call, fees and deferral details -- for future reference. While the lender may mail you a copy of the agreement to defer your car loan, it's helpful to have a record of the phone call and what you discussed.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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