Can't Make Your Final Car Loan Payment?

Dear Driving for Dollars,

My car loan payoff date was about a month ago. I owe about $600, but I don't have the money to pay it. What will happen?

-- Mary

Dear Mary,

Making your car payment late or skipping it altogether has the same consequences, regardless of whether that car loan payment is your first, somewhere in the middle or your very last.

Ignore the payment for long enough and it will affect your credit score. You'll be sent off to collections and eventually have your car repossessed. If you can, find a friend or a family member to give you a temporary loan to make the final payment and any fees you've been assessed. Then you can work out an agreement to pay your relative back in full when you get back on your feet. If that's not possible, call your lender right away, explain your financial situation and see if the loan people can work with you.

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