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Tips for those struggling with car payments during COVID-19 crisis

Tips for those struggling with car payments during COVID-19 crisis
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 18:20:52-04

We want to show you ways America can rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

For those having issues with car payments, some automakers are offering deferments. However, some people are having trouble doing that.

“Leasing has all the headaches of car ownership with none of the benefits,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of Consumer Federation of America. “And that's never been truer now that folks are faced with challenges with the COVID crisis.”

The Consumer Federation of America says lease forbearance isn't that simple. If your lease is over, turning your car in could be hard if the dealership isn't open. If you can't afford to turn the car in early, Gillis says “good luck.”

“We’ve had a long history of problems with consumers trying to get out of leases, where say for example their parents had died and had a leased car and they still couldn't get out of the lease,” said Gillis.

Gillis says buying a lease at the end of a term can be a good option. He says beware of extending a lease. It could have even more fees, like another year of vehicle registration.

You can try to negotiate a lower payment. Call your lender to work something out and document your conversations with them.

Gillis says COVID-19 is why you should reconsider leasing all together. The Car Book found buying instead of leasing could save you almost $1,400 over three years. Over six years, it’s more than $11,000.