The Coronavirus has caused a major disruption to businesses both big and small. Many employees are impacted, but the hospitality industry is taking the hardest hit. As shops and restaurants lock their doors, employees are out of work indefinitely, and the uncertainty of the situation is starting to take its toll. While the federal government is deciding what actions to take in order to help the economy and individuals during this trying time, the bills still need to be paid. Without a steady source of income, car payments can become difficult (if not impossible). Luckily, several manufacturers and lenders are offering case-by-case assistance and car payment deferrals for their customers.
Automaker Financial Services
The financial arms of some major automakers, also known as "captive lenders," are stepping up to offer hotlines and assistance for borrowers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, GM, and Nissan have all posted special alerts on their homepages. Some lenders offer payment deferments outright, while others encourage customers to reach out and discuss flexible payment options.
Hyundai Motor Finance
Hyundai first launched 'Hyundai Assurance' in 2009 during the economic downturn and now brought it back in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The job loss protection program is a reprieve for borrowers who bought or leased a Hyundai or Genesis car and lost their source of income during the COVID-19 crisis. Hyundai is covering up to 6 months of car payments for those that bought or leased their vehicle between March 14th and April 30th. For prospective buyers, Hyundai is offering deferred payments up to 90 days on selected vehicles.
Toyota Financial Services
Toyota Financial is offering Toyota and Lexus customers a hotline to discuss their payment options. Toyota is promoting flexible payment arrangements and extensions on a discretionary basis for Toyota and Lexus leasees and owners.
Ford Credit Financing
Ford Credit Financing also has a hotline for customers impacted by the Coronavirus in order to discuss payment options. This applies to both Ford and Lincoln owners. Ford Credit is also offering a program giving customers who buy new vehicles the option to delay their first payment for 90 days. In addition to helping customers in trouble, Ford has committed to donating over $500,000 to nonprofits in order to help with crisis relief.
GM Financial which includes Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac under its umbrella, is offering a customer hotline to address concerns and payment deferment needs that arise from the Coronavirus disruptions. For prospective buyers, General Motors is offering 0% interest on 84-month loans and 120-day deferred payments on new vehicles for shoppers with good credit. More details can be found on the Chevy Cares page.
Like many other auto lenders, Nissan Finance (NMAC) doesn't specify the details of payment options which means inquiries are handled on a case-by-case basis. Customers are encouraged to contact a special NMAC hotline to discuss flexible payment options.
Banks and Financial Institutions
Even if you didn't finance your vehicle through your automaker's lending division, you may be able to get assistance through your own bank or lender. Several major banks are taking quick action to help their customers during the crisis. Wells Fargo, Ally Financial and Capital One are some of the largest auto lenders that have created hotlines for their customers to address concerns.
If you are temporarily out of work and can't make your car payments due to the coronavirus, don't ignore the problem. Reach out to your lender immediately, even if there is no explicit crisis hotline. Many banks and lenders understand this is a difficult time and are willing to work with you to create a flexible payment plan.