How to Recover After a Car Repossession

Losing your car to repossession can create a lot of discord in your life, but coming to terms with the aftermath can help put you back on the right financial track.

Loss of Transportation

The most immediate impact of car repossession is the lack of transportation you’re now facing. It can also be difficult to buy another car because potential lenders will look at your credit report and see that you failed to pay on your last auto loan. As an immediate fix, find public transportation to and from work or school, or look for ride-sharing options. If you have to get your kids to school, check out the school district’s transportation schedule or seek the help of classmates whose parents live nearby.


  • Find a friend or family member willing to loan you a vehicle now and then, or take you out occasionally so you can run errands, get groceries and take care of other necessities. Offer to pay for gas, if possible.

Rent a Car

If having a vehicle is vital to your ability to earn a living, consider renting a car for a short period of time. While the costs will be higher than car ownership, it can help keep you employed. In time, you might be able to set aside some money to buy a used car outright or to make a sizeable down payment on a vehicle you can afford. Keep in mind that getting a new car loan will likely require a cosigner and will carry a higher-than-average interest rate, if you qualify at all.


  • Beware of bad credit lenders. Their loans often have highly unfavorable terms and conditions that could keep you mired in financial trouble. Check out prospective lenders with your local Better Business Bureau.

Explore Telecommuting Options

If you can't find an alternative means of transportation, approach your employer about telecommuting options, at least on a temporary basis. If you’re a post-secondary education student, consider online or distance education courses as an alternative to driving to class.

Emotional Trauma

Having a car repossessed can create a lot of stress and turmoil in your life. You may be facing other financial difficulties in addition to not having transportation, compounding the situation. Talk with a qualified credit counselor to help you get your financial life back on track. A good counselor can help you identify financial missteps, give you tips on budgeting and managing your money, and help you regain solid financial footing.


  • Rebuilding your credit is an important element of post-repo recovery. Pay all your other bills on time and explore options like secured credited cards or passbook bank accounts that can help you start building a solid credit history.