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How to Get Out of an Upside Down Car Loan with Negative Equity

By Kevin Mercadante

upside down car crashIn the housing industry, it’s called “negative equity.” In the automotive industry it’s called being “upside down.” In both cases, it means the same thing: You owe more money on an asset than the asset itself is worth.

When you’re upside down on a car loan, you can end up in big trouble because a car doesn’t grow in value like a house often does. You can list a car as an asset on your balance sheet if you want, but in reality, it’s not an asset or an investment. It’s an expense.

If you’re in this unfortunate position, you can’t lower your payment by refinancing, and selling your property won’t cover the whole loan. How did you get here, and what can you do?

Getting Upside Down on a Car Loan

To understand how to get out of trouble, you first need to understand how you got upside down on a car loan in the first place.

  • A car depreciates in value very quickly, especially in your first three years of owning it. When you buy a car with a low down payment – or no down payment at all – you immediately owe nearly the entire purchase price, but it’s already worth less. For example, if you buy a $20,000 car and only put a thousand dollars down, you’ll be upside down as soon as you drive the car off the lot. You owe $19,000, but the car is only worth $16,000.
  • It’s easy to overpay if you don’t do your research before buying a car. Your overpayment doesn’t make the car worth any more in the fair market, so if you pay $24,000 for a car that’s now worth $16,000 you’re upside down and already facing a big problem.
  • It’s not always your fault. When an unscrupulous car dealer takes advantage of you, you can end up owing more than you should.
  • When you add too many frivolous options to your car, you increase your final total, but not the value of the car. That’s a recipe for being upside down even faster.
  • If you’re already upside down on one car loan and you try to get a new loan, dealers will often roll the shortfall from the old car to the new car without even telling you.

Unless you’re on high alert when buying a new or used car, it’s easy to fall into these traps. In fact, it’s almost certain that you’re going to be upside down at some point. That’s why many people don’t even know when it happens to them. At first, it’s not necessarily a problem.

When Being Upside Down Becomes a Problem

Being upside down on your car loan doesn’t always require immediate attention. Sure, it’s not good news, especially if it means you overpaid. But as long as you got a fair deal on your loan, and you make your payments on time, the expense of your loan and the value of your car eventually even out, usually in no more than five years. The imbalance might only be temporary.

The trouble comes when you can no longer comfortably afford your monthly car payment, whether it’s due to unemployment or job loss, income reduction, or another major negative change in your overall financial situation. When you’re upside down and can’t cover your loan payment, you’re in a tough financial place.

car money stack

How to Get Out of an Upside Down Car Loan

The only real way to fix the problem of being upside down is by paying down the excess debt. You’ll have to go through a few steps and make some sacrifices to manage the loan or raise the cash, but the process is worth your time. You can get out from under a payment you can no longer afford.

1. Move the Excess Car Debt to a Credit Line.
Although many people would rail against using credit cards, moving the debt to a credit line might be the best option. If you’re having trouble with a $600 monthly payment, moving to a more manageable rate on a $5,000 line can save you cash and buy you some time.

The key is to avoid more trouble. This plan only works if you can commit to the lower regular payments on a credit line. If you can, get a line with a low introductory APR, and pay as much as you can before the introductory period ends (i.e. 0% APR balance transfer credit cards). Consider using peer-to-peer lending networks like Lending Club or Prosper. A local credit union can also provide a personal loan at a reasonable rate.

2. Sell Some Stuff.
If the credit line idea doesn’t sit well with you, then you’ll need to raise some cash. This means that you may need to sacrifice something else in order to cover the car payment. Selling major items like extra furniture or jewelry might help, or sell smaller items on eBay to raise money.

Don’t count out the idea of selling the car, even though it won’t cover your entire overage. If you owe $10,000 and you can sell the car for $7,500, the $2,500 will be much more manageable than paying your full loan. Keep in mind that your car will only continue to depreciate in value, so get as much out of the sale as you can.

3. Get a Part-time Job.
When you need more income, the only answer is often to get a second job. It doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement, just a temporary fix until the car loan shortage is corrected. This situation might even be the push you need to start your own small business or find ways to make extra cash on the side.

Avoiding the Problem

Lets face it: Cars will always depreciate rapidly. As long as they have engines inside them, they’re going to drop like a rock in price. Car dealers know it, and they almost always make more money when you finance. When you’re ready for your next car, keep a few tips in mind so you can avoid being upside down on a car loan ever again.

1. Don’t Finance the Purchase.
The easiest way to avoid being upside down is to not have a loan at all. You might have to settle for an older car, but try to save enough cash to buy the vehicle without taking out a loan.

Someday, I hope to be in a position where I can save up enough money to buy a new car without it being any kind of strain on my finances. Wealthy people don’t finance cars. They pay cash for them and drive them for a long time. Make it your goal to stop the cycle of going from one car payment to another. If you break that cycle, you’ll be one step closer to achieving independent wealth.

2. Pretend You’re Buying a House.
Whether you’re shopping for a new luxury vehicle or an old car with low mileage, take the time to save the way you would for a mortgage. Try to have at least 20% of the purchase price available in cash. This down payment will be your best defense against the horrendous depreciation that your new car will experience over the next two years.

3. Pay More than the Specified Monthly Payment.
If you’re going to finance, try to get a five-year loan so your monthly payment will be small. Then, if you can, pay up to double the minimum payment. You’ll pay off more of the principal earlier, which means you’ll build up less interest. The faster you pay off the loan, the better.

4. Keep Up with Car Maintenance.
Don’t rack up mileage. Stay on schedule with oil changes and engine maintenance, and take care of the paint job with frequent car washes and cleanings. If the “check engine” light comes on, address it quickly so a bigger problem doesn’t arise. Keep the interior clean. The better you treat the car, the higher the resale value will be. Make sure you can check off “excellent condition” when you look up the value.

Final Word

Being upside down on your car loan can be an extremely difficult and challenging prospect, but there is hope. By staying organized, disciplined, and employing some unique strategies, you can work your way out of this debt.

Are you upside down on your car, or have you ever been? How did you get in that position, and what did you do to get out and make things right? I’d love to hear about your experiences and insights!

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Kevin Mercadante
With backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry, Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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  • beloml

    I’m not so sure about the “car problem.” Having a $30,000 car that will last 250,000 miles is a lot cheaper than having a $20,000 car that will only last 100,000 miles.

  • Russell

    These guys are totally narrow minded. It makes sense to by something that is not a bigger pain down the road (i.e. car repairs that suprise you-transmission $2500). How much money will you loose when you can not get to work? I guess none of the people actually giving advice truely cares about the people they are giving it to. That would explain the parent relationship to child. This system is not set-up for everyone to be financially secure and free. It is built for prices to rise as more wealth is gathered therefore offsetting any wealth gain. Learn to tell the real truth and we will not have to look forward to a future of conflict.

    • AE

      Are you paid to say that? Honestly. Debt is not the road to go if you cant afford it. If you can afford a nice Audi then why not buy it. The point is car loans are worthless. Also your argument is invalid. Have a nice day.


      • Car loan victim

        U nailed it!

    • s stapp

      good for you i agree totally!

  • chris lee

    I actually busted out laughing reading this. I made 32k a year when I bought my first car for 21k dollars. I loved my new car and enjoyed driving it. It was not just a means to get from point A to point B to me. It was something I was proud of. I was easily able to afford rent, and bills with that “$425″ car payment. I saved up for the $25,000 down payment on my house and bought a house. I still drive that same car 7 years later. IMO it was a great purchase and one of the best buys of my life. Everyone has a different situation and enjoys different things in life. To say I had a “car problem” is a joke and very inaccurate. I normally don’t reply to any of the crap I read on the web, but this one just took the cake. When I bought my car my buddy bought a 6k used car. After having about 5k in repairs done to it he sold it. He went on to buy a 10k used car only to have many expensive repairs pop up. We work most of our lives and I see no problem with spending some of that money I earn to enjoy some of the luxuries in life. I still have money in the bank, I have my house and my family is doing just fine. The rules you set for having “car problems” are a joke and spoken like someone who is trying to justify why they are still driving the car they drove in High School. I do not work all day to watch how much money I have in my bank account. I keep a safe amount in the bank and have fun with the rest.

    • Erik Folgate

      Chris, with a $32k salary, Your take home pay is about $2,200 a month, and $425 of that was going towards your car. that’s about 20%. You must have been living pretty cheaply with rent, food, utilities, car insurance, and health insurance, gas, etc. Even if your rent was about $600 a month (maybe you had roommates so it was cheaper), then you’d have about $1k to pay for all of your other expenses. If you made that happen, that’s awesome, but I would never advise the “average” person to get a $425 car loan making $32k a year. That’s ludicrous.

      • AE


      • Craig

        I agree with Erik, I make a little over 31k and I struggle. My car payment is $340.00 and I still struggle to make ends meet. And I live very simply. I don’t think Chris is telling the truth.

  • DG

    luckily for me I didn’t end up purchasing a car

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    I’m with ya. Too much car is a drain, ESPECIALLY if it is a brand new car. The price just drops like a rock within the 1st year. After buying a brand new 2005 Toyota Prius (in 2005), and having to sell it 1.5 years later due to the high monthly payment, I will never buy new again. Yes, I loved the car & the mpg, but $580/month for 5 years (all options were purchased, of course) was too much. Instead, I just finished paying off a 2006 Sonata after only 3 years at about $250/month. No car debt here! :)

  • Sal

    I agree with chris lee. I bought mine for 28k two years ago, and make roughly 70k. It’s a great car, and I plan to keep it for many years. Plus I know the history, maintenance patterns, get the full warranty, and how the miles were put on. I still have my savings, no credit card debt and about to purchase a house.

    Can’t get that piece of mind from a used car, no matter how much research you do.

    Certified pre-owned is probably the exception, but you do pay more for the “certification”. I would rather buy a new car for just a few thou more, especially with all the incentives available today.

    • Mike

      Sal, How can you agree with Chris if you are in a completely different pay class. You make 70K with a 28K vehicle which is roughly 40%. Chris makes 32K and spent 21K on a car which is about 65.5 – 66% using mental math. Do you see how you are still under the 50% guide set by the original poster? You are just wishing to flash your pay but you look kinda foolish in the process

  • http://stockinvesting101.net/ Neal

    I think your 50% rule is a little high, 20% might be more appropriate. If you make 50k a year, your car shouldn’t cost you more than 10k. But then again, I’m extremely frugal and I’m a used car type of guy

    • Erik Folgate

      Neal, good point, my point was that 50% is the point where it’s obvious that your car is the problem for why you can’t pay your bills or struggle to save money/pay off debt.

  • http://financialsecrets101.com Alexis

    I am sitting in this boat right now! It stinks! Anything extra from my budget, I have been glad to turnover into a principle only payment to help those numbers decrease.

  • Sandra

    We are having a BIG problem in this area. We have a 2008 Kia Sorento that we owe over 20K on and it’s probably only worth about 13K. Our credit is so bad that our credit union will not re-fi or give us a loan to pay the difference if we sell it. Would it be better to let it go back to the bank? What should we do?

    • JS

      If you let your car go back to the bank, the bank will sell it for whatever they can get and will still expect you to pay the difference. If you refuse, the bank will probably be able to get a judgment against you and garnish your wages. You could try credit counseling (I do not work for a credit counseling firm) who would set up a plan to pay your creditors and a budget for you to live on. (This plan is similar to a wage earners’ plan in bankruptcy court.) You could file bankruptcy (this will stay on your credit report for about 7 years) and you may or may not lose your car. You need to speak to an attorney in your area who provides free consultation. In any event, if you already have a bad credit score, why continue to scrape to make ends meet!!

      • http://www.helpwithcarpayments.com Kenneth Long

        Unaffordable car loans are the biggest financial problem that I see. It starts a downward spiral of negative equity that many people never recover from. Most of these owners stay current on their car loan, but they use credit cards to pay for the gas, tires and repairs. They might be an extra $10k in debt by the time they are ready to buy their next car.

        • Lisa

          you are right, Kenneth. That happened to me..I paid $300X60 on a 04 Honda element..where thankfully it is paid off now….but i had to charge the gas and another 1k for tires,,that i charged over a year ago, and still can’t pay that off..
          We all have to see where our money is going on a daily basis,,ie ,,coffees, the food court, etc to come up with the money for these car payments,,or get a p/t job also like the other commenter posted. Having a large car payment is a huge burden..i have a friend who leases cars for a 36 month term, but every 2 years, turns them in..he now pays 500 X36 for his current lease, and then says he can’t afford a gym membership..
          If you see a car with 14″ tire or 16″ tire options,,remember that it’s going to be more expensive to replace the 16″..sounds trivial I know, but people’s eyes(i am guilty too) are bigger than their wallet.

      • Mike

        Wrong, though volunteer repo will look horrible on your credit. You are not completely responsible for the remaining balance. In signing the contract for the car you acquired “Secured” debt with the car as Collateral. If the car is return to the bank then the loan becomes unsecured. The bank is asking you to pay for an item which is in their possession. This is where you can get interest rates slashed remaining balances reduced by up to 80%. Key words being “up to”.
        After a repo, most people use a credit consultant(me) or a debt management agency to contact the debtor for a fee to reduce overall debt.

      • Cathy

        I had the same problem,I bought a 2003 santafe new I refinanced it to pay some debr off,now I ow
        about 5000 more than what the truck is worth,plus the last 2 months I have put 1200 in repairs now I need
        another 1100 .00 worth of repairs more,the truck had 98000 miles on it,I would have had another 2 yrs to pay on it not knowing if anything else will go wrong,i dont make alot of money and my car payment was
        425.00 a month 3/4 of every 2 weeks salary.I turned it back to the bank,

  • http://www.autorefinancereview.com Rick Bob

    Great post and I agree that being upside down on a loan is fairly common. A car’s depreciation schedule is quite accelerated in the early years, evidenced from the conventional wisdom that a new car’s value drops 10% when you drive it off the lot.

    If consumers want to help this situation, then they might consider auto refinance. Anyone who took dealer financing (which is marked up) or is paying more than 8% interest should try to refi their vehicle. Rates are at historical lows.

    Many banks will do 120%+ LTV refinancing. These lender understand that the consumer will be upside-down on the loan. These banks, like up2drive, are really “buying” the consumer’s ability to make steady payments not necessarily the worth of the asset.

    Applying is fast and can be done online in 15 minutes. There are no costs to apply and no costs to close (unlike with a mortgage refinance). Many lenders advertise that you can save $70/mo or more. There really is no downside in trying, except that your credit score will drop a few points.

  • s stapp

    how do i get out of my vehicle when i am up side down on it?

  • s stapp

    well these are all great pieces of advise however none of them answered my question…..how do i get out of an up side down loan??????? man i just realized how much people are really into their selfs these days.

    • http://myblog.livingfinanciallyfreeministries.com Greg

      @s stapp – As the original poster explains, the way to get out of an upside down loan is to find the money to pay it off. There are several ways to do this, but the best way is to find someone that wants to buy your car. Since you are upside down, you won’t be able to sell the car for the full value, so you will need to secure the remaining amount either through a credit union, a bank or possibly a credit card. Once you have the money from the sale of the car and the credit union loan, you can pay off the car loan and get the title. Obviously, the buyer will have to wait for the title, so you need to be completely upfront with him/her during the entire process.

  • ChrisM702

    You know why I’m upside down on my car? I’m an idiot. I’m impatient and I like to trade in cars too much. Biggest mistake I ever made? My 2001 Volvo S40 was paid off through a refinance (so technically I’m still paying on it and will for the the next 30 years. I wanted the new Avalanche, so I traded in the Volvo and 3 months later, DUH, I had to trade in the Av becuase I could not afford the payments or gas. Got another car I didn’t like, traded it in, and now I have an Audi with 115K miles and owe $14 grand on. Please, someone, learn from my mistake. I just assumed I’d be in a much better position making much more money by now, and tee hee I’m still making the same lame ass money I did 4 years ago. Who was to blame? Me, Me, Me, and only me.

    • Tim

      I can beat that for “stupd me, me, me!” I acquired a decent sedan in my divorce and re-financed. I now have four more years to pay on it. I decided I wanted a smaller, sportier, better-mileage car. I found one from a personal seller. Here’s where it all went wrong: I didn’t sell the sedan first. Also, my Credit Union rep graciously made an arrangement to give me the money for the sporty car and “tack it on the end of the the current loan as a balloon. Then, when I sell the sedan, we’ll apply that to the balloon and re-write the loan.” Guess what? I tried and tried to sell that sedan and there were no takers. So I put them BOTH up for sale to see which would go first. Another YEAR LATER, I get a buyer for the sporty car. Well now it has depreciated even more. I apply that to the loan and refinance. To make up for the year and a half I didn’t pay for the second car, I now still owe around $8,000 and am paying $400.00 a month for the original sedan that is MAYBE worth $1,500. TWO MORE YEARS of a payment befitting a luxury car. What do I do?? Just keep biting it every month for another 2 years and hope the sucker keeps running. :(

  • msjanuary1957

    I am a mom who co-signed for a car loan for my daughter about 3.5 years ago. She has made scattered payments on the loan for the last 2 years which means I have received about 20 calls a day from the finance company to get me to pay. They are relentless. Since my daughter isn’t compelled to find other options, I am going to see what my options are and I will take over physical possession of the car. No worries about my credit–what credit?

    Mike’s post really helped me with information I can use when I contact the finance company. Thanks. PS I also co-signed for a car loan for my son and he paid it off ahead of time. Still, I won’t be a co-signer ever again.

  • Lisa

    I need serious advice! I had a car that was banged up and I couldn’t afford to get it fixed. I was financing that car. I was so embarassed to drive it that I decided to take in and finance another car. I didn’t have any money to put down on a car. I went by myself (I had NO one to go with me!) and now three years later realized what a huge mistake I made. Bascially the car was 18,000 and I ended up paying about 23,000 for it. Not only that my interest rate is sky high beause I don’t have the best credit. My payments are now 500 dollars a month. And to make matters worse it got banged up some more. (I know, i shouldn’t even be driving!)

    I already know all the bad decisions I have made. Please don’t tell me how stupid I am. If i could take it all back i would. Now- I just want to get rid of this crazy car payment. I don’t think there is anything I can do. ( I also was laid off in April from my job.) If anyone has any kind of advice as to what I can do about this situation, I’d be glad to hear it,

  • Ryan

    I agree that buying new cars is a waste of money compared to used cars. But, your advice doesn’t make sense either. We bought a 2009 Corolla and still owe 13k. The value is down to 11k. So your advice is for us to sell our car and then pay out the debt? How does this make sense? Then we wouldn’t have a car anymore and I’d have to go buy another car plus pay off the 2k. The best thing to do is to keep the car and pay for it. It’s completely affordable. I don’t understand your advice to go ahead a sell your car if you owe more than you can get for it. I think better advice is to just pay for what you buy. No need to get rid of something just because the value changed. We didn’t buy our car as an investment. It’s for transportation.

    • Jan

      His point was that IF you CANNOT afford the car payment and also eat and have shelter, you should try to get out from under it.

      If you can make the payments and still eat and live, kudos. Keep driving. IF you can, pay it down more with extra funds to get out of debt faster.

      I really didn’t think his advice was that difficult to get.

  • Amy

    What’s particularly draining is if you have a high car payment and then you have repairs that need to be done. I work at a steel mill and am constantly driving over washboard roads, bumpy ground, and railroad tracks. My struts are completely shot. I also own my house, and though I’m paying just a little more than I would pay for rent, fixing it up myself is causing a drain on my pocketbook, so for those who think they are sitting pretty with an expensive car and about to buy a house, don’t forget to figure in your expected and unexpected maintenance costs. I did not expect expensive vet bills. I did not expect to lose my roommate because she could no longer pay me. We don’t expect a lot of things when we go out and buy something. I know several people who bought more sensible, used cars, and they are doing just fine. You can wind up with transmission problems just as easily in a newer car. Once the warranty runs out, that’s when things start to break.

  • Dchef

    I agree strongly with Ryan, if you have the car and can make the payments, then keep going until you pay off the loan, then guess what… You still have the car and no car payment.

    Of course if you’re struggling to pay bills then I can see how taking out a personal loan to sell the car and get out of the car payment can be a good idea. Then all you’re doing is making a much smaller payment for the loan and can probably pay it off in a very short amount of time.



    • Allie

      It’s rude to type in all caps.

      • Tim

        Yep…didn’t even read one word of it!

      • MrW

        Get a life, Allie . We’re talking about finacial situations here and you talkin about typin in caps. Is this person sending a personal message to someone ? NO. Quit being sensitive.

    • Jsanchoman

      If he defaults then she is responsible as well… Being a co-signer is a two edged sword. so her credit will be messed up if she doesn’t pay for the vehicle.

  • http://www.frugalrevolution.com FrugalGuy

    Sell the car and get a small loan to cover the amount remaining. Then buy a car you can afford with cash. As you save additional money, upgrade and within a few years you will have a relatively new car. What is better than having a paid off car and zero car debt? Remember it is just a car.

  • Marie

    I just bought a brand new Dodge Nitro. I got it by trading in my 2004 Scion which I owed $7741 on and the dealer gave me credit for $5000 and rolled over $2741 to the new car. I got a 1.9% interest rate for 72 months @ $407/monthly. The total came to $29,329 becuase of the negative equity. The new car is worth $25,000. The old car needed a new clutch which was $900 and the check engine light was coming on and off. The interest rate on the old car was 14.75% and I had 2 year left on the loan. I’m wondering if I made the right decision to sell my old car and buy this new one.

    • Hendo19gngg

      i bought a ferrari enzo on a loan car cost £220,000,000 car repayments were £19000,00 a month after the 3rd month drove car to car company i bought it from and set car on fire the ended up taking blame for car damage and my injuries and i got money of 369,999,440 lovely

  • S_D_Jack

    wow.. Do I feel better about my situation now. After reading about all those people who are way more up sidedown than I am on my car loan I have more choices than I originally thought. I have a 04 Nissan Altima thats in pretty good shape except for some suspension problems. I owe 13,000.00 and blue book is around 8,500.00. We bought the car to begin rebuilding our credit after a bankruptcy due to a 70,000.00 law suit that wasnt my wife’s fault in my eyes but that’s another story. We have been paying on it already for about 2.5 years and of course we got nailed with a high interest rate. I would suggest you talk to the bank and let them know your struggling with the interest. If your payment history has been good you might find they will work with the interest rather than lose your monthly payments. “Believe ME they Don’t want that.”

    • Dew

      there is no reason for that. the interest is only 5%. i found that out but the loan is like 28,000 because another car they had is attached to the payment. what do you do about that? there has to be a way without losing your butt cause you cant aford the high payment the bank gave. he split with the co-signer and she left him in a mess. the jeep probably is worth maybe 15,000 book price now. even if he sold it he would still have a magnifisant loan wouldn’t he?where does he go from here if he cannot pay for this vehicle?


    i bought a 2004 toyota corolla from the dealership at the age of 19, both my parents did not want to escort me to protect me from getting taken for a ride which i figured out too late… the sticker price on the car was maybe 13000, if i remember correctly, they took 2000 off (i guess to act as if they were doing me a favor) i figured id pay the car off in two years…i was making less than 25,000 a year and going to school so a car was essential and since my time was precious a hooptie was out of the question…anyway, toyota slapped a bunch of bells and whistles on my car…100000 mi or 7 yr warranty…the car was already 3 years old when i got it at 71000…a lo jack…gap insurance…not to mention 11000 in financing charges and a 22% interest rate, because of my age my non existant credit and lack of a willing co signer…yea im an idiot…but i have been dealing with it…car has never broke down on me yet (knock on wood)… i lost my job over a year and a half ago though i need a car to go to school fulltime and possibly seek parttime work, i just wish i wasnt paying a new car price for an old car…the pay off amount is about 11,000 may be about ten by now, and the car may be only worth about 7-8,000…talk about being taken for a ride huh?

    • Dew

      yea well there is got to be a way to get out of this without repo. these car dealers should never be allowed to let people do these kind of things. they just want to make exstra money for themselves. please if any one can make a comment on how to get out of this loan, please comment to me. there is child support that he must pay and chidren come first. remember guys and girls, watch the partners you take up with. they get you in debt then walk off and live high on the hog. you get stuck in a financial bind that ruins everything for you. every dog has their day and god hope she gets hers. not to mention names. thanks for any information to help this matter. if we could hear from a financial adviser i would be delited.

      • Jan

        You need to talk to a credit counselor. You can check the Better Business Bureau for recommendations, I would ask around, get suggestions. Do not let anyone tell you that you have to pay consultation fees up front or anything like that. Quite frankly, if she co-signed, she is legally liable, no matter the state of their relationship. Consult a lawyer – the first consult is free, no matter how many you talk to. Her wages could be garnished. Your son may need to consider voluntary repossession – it will really hurt his credit, but talk to a credit counselor and see what they say. You need to find someone local you can talk to, maybe at a credit union or something. Make some calls.

    • John

      At least you got the GAP insurance, that is a very good thing to have, it means that if something were to happen to your car the insurance will pay off your car loan, no matter the value of it. I would never suggest that you do something illegal like fraud, but that is a good thing that alot of people dont know about.

  • Doran

    For the most part those of you that are upside down, but can make the car payments and are satisfied with your car should just stay with it.
    For those that have to get out cause they are having trouble making the paymets should get a personal loan to get themselves out of the loan and deal with the small loan payments.
    For those that have stacked an extra 10,000-15,000 on to thier loan because they kept trading in thier cars to get out of one that had problems are probably contributors to why the economy is why it is today and are probably better off loosing the car; it’ll stop them from getting themselves into that sitution for a very long time. Kinda like you doing something illegal, you go to jail. If you are stupid with finances then you should go to the economic jail.

  • Vytas

    If car is not an investment and it usually is not, then having a cheaper car is much better than having an expensive one and a huge debt on the shoulders. It’s better to buy a cheap one and think where to invest extra amount of money. Maybe one day you will not have to take any loans to buy an expensive car.

  • Rob G.

    Here’s the long story short. I bought a brand new 2009 Chevy Malibu LT in January of this year. I have put about 15,000 miles on it this year. I currently live in North Dakota but have just accepted a job in Bermuda. With the duty at 22.25% it would make little since to have my car shipped overseas to the island. My new company suggested I sell it and buy a second hand car when I get to the island. I still owe about $17,000 for the car and have 5 more years of payments. My hometown and family is in New Jersey and I will visit them for a week before a fly out of Philly to Bermuda on Dec. 21. What should I do that will cost me the least amount of money? Sell the car to a dealer? Would they take over the payments? Eliminating a monthly car payment would be nice but does it make any sense to “store” it in NJ and keep making the payments? Anyone who has good knowledge on this please chime in. Thanks!

  • SaNrArArA

    i use to have a 2001 mustang however back in 2004 i stopped makeing the payments on it. I believe that I till owed around $2000 to $3000 left. I left an abussive relationship & my car . Recently I ran into the sister of the guy I used to be with. She mentioned to me that she believed they still had the car but never finished paying it off. Im intrested in hopefully takeing the car off their hands. I just dont know where to start the process in finding out whom to pay off. Any sugg?

    • Lisa

      Look at your old records if you have them from your old checks to see who the financial institution was, ie it would probably be Ford Financial, unless you bought the car used from another dealer. If it is Ford, walk into your local dealer for help.

  • Chad

    So.. based off the article with my vehicle being worth 13K but I owe 14.5K It would be in my best interest to try and sell the vehicle take a loan out for the difference, seeing as i only make 30K a year..??

    • Erik Folgate

      Chad, yes definitely. Think of it this way, you’ll be trading 13k in debt for 1.5k in debt. You can go to a local credit union and get an unsecured personal loan for 3k, and use another 1.5k to get a beater car that’s just temporary until you can save up some cash and buy a better car.

  • Kay Newman

    Hi Erik. I’m in a terrible situation with my car right now. I made a stupid decision in 2006 to purchase a vw jetta at an ungodly % rate. Here it is the beginning of 2011 and I still owe $10k on the car. It’s only valued at $5k. I lost my job at the beginning of November 2010 and we’re drowning. My credit is horrible, so I can’t go get a loan. Any suggestions (other than don’t do stupid things)? How do I get out of this thing? I’m thinking bankruptcy, let the car go along with all the darn interest – at least I wouldn’t owe on it anymore. thinking BK because we had some major surgeries last year and had lost our insurance. Not in a good situation. Thanks for any insight.

    • Peter K


      If you can find someone with Dave Ramsey’s material, it is made for situations like yours. It’s not easy to get out of what you’re in, but at least Dave makes it straightforward.
      Specifically, what I’ve learned is that you don’t want to let a car go – they can still recover their loss from you (once you have income). I don’t know how bankrupcy influences this – I know people who have declared bankrupcy but still have to pay their car loan. The other thing is keep paying on things that are a necessity: food, shelter, and maybe transportation, while any other debt/expense should be considered secondary, and they get paid with any leftover money. Dave explains it 100 timex better, and can hook you up with someone that can speak more specifically to your situation. Not that I like the idea, but the hospital should be the last to get paid (well, other than the cable / internet guys, and other non-necessities that should be cancelled immediately).

      • Janet Lingel Aldrich

        If someone still pays their car loan, they have either decided to keep it and filed a reaffirmation, or they make too much to take it down in Chapter 7 and had to file Chapter 13.

    • Erik Folgate

      Hello Kay, I think you should definitely seek the counsel of a financial counselor such as one of Dave Ramsey’s certified counselors. http://www.daveramsey.com/coaching/find-coach?ictid=hometnt

      I don’t know your entire financial situation, but usually bankruptcy isn’t a good option unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. As far as the car goes, you owe $10k and it’s worth $5k, so honestly, I would just try to pay it off as quickly as possible, instead of trying to sell and get a loan for the difference. That means that ANY extra money you get, like a bonus or a gift, put it towards the car loan. You’ll also just need to get creative to increase your monthly income by selling a lot of stuff, and doing odd jobs and starting a small service business like house cleaning, garage organizing, etc

    • Cathy

      If you go bankrupt,they will not let you do the car just credit cards and personal loans

      • Janet Lingel Aldrich

        That’s not true. There are car dealers who will finance post-bankruptcy — but you’ll pay for it in interest. And if you mean you can’t discharge a car in bankruptcy, you’re wrong about that, too. You can get a reaffirmation to keep a car or you can include it in the bankruptcy and surrender it to the lienholder. ALL consumer pre-petition debt is dischargable.

    • Pat

      You can do a volunteer repo. You turn your car back into the dealer and walk away. Of course, it kills your credit for 7 years but it absolutely gets you out of the purchase.

    • Caitlin

      Cathy is wrong. I was in a situation similar to yours. Except I had totaled my car. So i was upside down almost 5,000 on this car but couldnt even drive it. My insurance refused to cover it so I got stuck with the remaining balance. Long story short… I also had some medical issues that racked up money then got a new car, but the previous loan company was about to garnish my wages.. to avoid this i filed bankruptcy. there is a chapter 7 bankruptcy and a chapter 13 bankruptcy. CH 7, includes everything except student loans, the balance of whatever you owe goes away, you do not repay any of it. Basically a clean slate. Except for you will have bad credit for 7-10 years. However if your credit already sucks, what do you have to lose. A CH 13 bankruptcy also includes everything except for student loans, the difference is with a CH 13 every thing gets consolidated so you end up paying everything back with one monthly payment. The balance however must be paid backed within 3-5 years. They also decide the monthly amount. To get a CH 7 you must make under a certain amount per year. Check with a local bankruptcy firm. It was the best thing I ever did. I’m not struggling anymore and since my credit was already awful I didnt have anything to lose. So my point was anything can go into bankruptcy except for student loans. I also had the option of adding my current car loan into my bankruptcy which I opted out of since I needed the vehicle. Good Luck!

  • rick

    Okay so this is my dilemma. I purchased a car last year (2010 mazda3) for 30k. I put 2k down. I’m currently making payments of 509 a month for 5 years to pay off. I’m not paying any interest at all through-out the term. Sounds like a good idea, but I only make about half its worth in a year. It was not fully thought out on my part, and now i’ve come to realize I clearly could never afford it, and i can’t. On top of this I am needing to go to school, and living with my parents in the progress is not an option. So i need to come up with a solution where I can live and go to school and be able to transit to school or get a student loan, but not have to worry about the car. Rather confusing, but I can’t handle the stress of 2 jobs, and being stuck at dead end jobs just to make ends meet. I want to persue a career. (and I know I should have done this before buying the car)
    Any help or suggestions would be very appreciated!

    • Erik Folgate


      First of all, realize that your mistake is a common one, and all you can do now is go forward and figure out how to get rid of this car and this HUGE payment. $500 a month for a Mazda is insaneeeeeee, that’s like a rent payment! But you already know this, and you’ve already take the first step of realizing that you made a mistake and you need to do something now to stop the bleeding.

      There’s no easy answer for this. I always recommend to people that you put the car up or sale and see how much you can get for it. If you owe $25 and all you can get is $19, and you may consider looking to a credit union and apply for a personal loan for $8k. then, you can pay off the different of the loan ($6k) and go buy yourself a $2,000 car to get you from point A to point B which is what you should have done in the first place :)

      I am sure the numbers I used aren’t accurate, but you get the general idea of what I am saying. I hope that helps a little! .

      • rick

        Is this a common mistake for people? Like is that the only way of getting out of a car loan, even if your financing the car?
        I appreciate your help, and i have had ads for my car for quite some time, but still no luck:(

        • Xavier

          Hey Rick, I’m somewhat in the same dilemma you’re in, in that I bought a new 2010 Mazda 3. 21 grand, 72 months, $390 / month. What makes this very upsetting and 3 months later, I’m still kicking myself and resenting the vehicle *every single day i drive it* is…I traded a 2005 Infiniti G35 that I was right way up on in that I owed 9 grand and it was worth 14 (but I only got 10 from the dealer for it.)

          After trying to trade it in for an older vehicle with no money down (NO bank will accept that: basically, the car was worth $15k to the dealer meaning tacking on 5grand to whatever vehicle you wanted to get.) I decided to hold off. Autotrader has a trade-in option and depending on your market, you can get a decent price. Take the Erik’s advice and get a loan to pay off the balance because as much as you may try to justify that a new car with a warranty is better, it..sometimes isn’t. I’m ditching mine with some new found cash to cover the negative equity and going back to a $12k 2005 g35 that I can work on myself and I actually like and can payoff quickly and keep for at least 5 years.

  • Xavier

    I’ll add that 2010 Mazda 3s are so freaking common, it can’t hold its value…not to mention insurance is actually much higher than other vehicles in the same class.

  • Broken Down

    I have an ’02 Highlander that admittedly was very stupid to buy. I guess I’m a sucker, what can I say.
    Actually I do love the car and have always had Toyotas in my family which were very dependable, but I shouldn’t have bought it alone, used. My problem now is that the tranny has blown up so I am looking at at least $3,000 to get that fixed. With the tranny being blown up it’s no where near its KBB of $9,000 and I owe $13,000 on it still. I have no other transportation and live 13 miles from town. Luckily I have a job where I can work over the computer from home or else I would be completely screwed.
    I have never had good luck with used vehicles… so I’m considering a lease (new & under warranty and lower payments) on a new vehicle, but I wouldn’t be able to afford both a lease and loan payment together.
    I may not need transportation for work but I DO need to get groceries… I could get a cab but I’d be looking at $100 round trip any time I needed to go to town. If I did that twice a month it would cost me only a tiny bit less than a lease payment…
    I don’t know what to do, any advice (not shoulda, woulda, couldas) would be appreciated.

    • washington d.c.

      Hey Broken Down-
      I am in the same boat my 04 caddy tranny is going out. The mechanic said he could fix it to drive it but I am sure my tranny can and will go at any time. I am still making payments of $400 a mo (not that this is anyone prob but I am a single mom, this is my 1st car payment) I still owe like 10K…I dunno what to do.

  • tom

    i just signed dealer contract on a 2008 tundra sr5, 2w-rwd-4.0-v6,single cab. dealer said everything went through with a cosigner as i don’t have bad credit, just NO credit. they gave me a car pyment price of $463/mnth-73 payments. the sticker was $18,700 plus i bought the 3k-72k mile full dealer warranty and the gap coverage. the loan is for 35k. i know i got killed on interest but plan to refi after paying for 6 months. i clear $2,300/mnth so after rent, car payment, truck insurance ($99/mnth), cable, power, food(includes all assundries) , gas and some extras, i still have $5-800 left. by the way, get this, i’ve been driving the truck for 3 weeks and the dealer is having trouble getting financing? WHAT? i thought it was a done deal, which it’s supposed to go through this week, but still??? i’ve allready tinted windows and bought floor mats before discovering this. is this common? do you think i’m doing the right thing? by the way it is a very nice truck and i have a very nice aprtment and enjoy both. the truck has 42k miles and know i can get 200k plus over the lifetime. i’m in need of feedback please! thanks.

    • Andrew

      This is actually very common. For the future do not leave the dealership with there car until your contract has a banks name at the bottom!!!! I learned the hard way too.

  • Mr.smith jerry

    Do you need a loan to pay off your bills? Email us via
    [email protected]
    Information needed
    (2)Amount needed as loan:
    (3)Phone number:
    Mr.smith jerry

  • Steve

    For the last year and a half, I’ve been driving a 2003 Dodge Neon. No real trouble for the first year. Had some transmission work and the tie rod ends replaced last fall.

    Two weeks ago, I had to have the rack and pinion replaced (that and 2 tires cost $1,040). For the last few days, it’s been running kind of rough. This morning, the engine light went on. There was also a grinding noise when I stepped on the accelerator. I took it to my mechanic and he pulled the codes for the engine light. He said it had something to do with the transmission and I might possibly need a new one.

    I can’t afford a new transmission. I also still have 2 1/2 years left on the car’s loan.
    If the cost of the repairs is prohibitive, might I have any options, any way to get out of the loan and get another car?

    • washington d.c.

      Hey Steve-
      I have a 04 SRX caddy…I had the same problem – mechanic saying transmission needs to be replaced and the work it needs is more than the car is worth….I am still paying on the car too. I am a single mom and cannot afford a new transmission (which is 5 or 6K to fix), and $400 monthly payments. I am in the same boat Steve…I dunno what to do, I am considering giving the car back to the bank and filing bankruptcy…Like Allan said in his post above. Geeze what crooks…

      • Carman01

        A possibility is to get a used trans from a salvage yard. If you make enough phone calls you prob can find one with low miles. Sometimes they carry a limited warranty. HOWEVER, the risk is that the labor is prob 50% of the total job cost. So, if it fails you are out the labor cost, even if the tranny was free. But still…

        You may also find a “shade tree” mechanic hanging at the salvage yard who would do the job for far less money. More risk, of course, but sometimes you have little choice. I once bought a side window for a truck at a salvage yard, and on the way out asked a greasy clothed guy if he knew how to change it. For $15 he did it right then in the parking lot! You never know.

    • Jsanchoman

      I found Dodge Neon transmissions online for around $600 and you can always find a mechanic on craigslist or a friend with tools. A couple of six packs and a few pizzas and you can get it done in a couple of days. I helped my brother change his.

  • Dustin

    Interesting ideas. If your objective is to avoid being stuck upside down on a car loan, why not just lease a car? Drive it within the stated mileage requirements and return it for a new car after 3 years. Or if you’re one who wants to buy a new car and drive it to its death, dump the money you would have used to buy the car into a whole life policy to build cash value, then immediately borrow it out to buy the car outright. That way you would have multiples of the money you put in as death benefit, you’re borrowing from yourself at a marginal rate, and if you don’t pay it back the money is just taken off your death benefit when you die (at which time you obviously don’t need it). Technically, this is how you should be financing all big purchases in life. Just a few thoughts.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Interesting ideas, but I don’t agree. One could lease a car, but you’ll still be paying interest on it for the 3 years you own it as the dealer will ensure that you as the driver will be paying the full depreciated amount each year. Buying a new car with cash is a much better option, but I’m not rich either. The better option is to buy that leased car after it’s been on the road for 3 years! Much more affordable, the depreciation is slowing down, and it’s usually still under manufacturer warranty.

    And the point of life insurance is to help your family after your death. If you’re taking all the money out beforehand, why get the policy at all? However, I don’t know much about such policies, so correct me if I’m wrong. It just doesn’t sound like the right way to go.

  • ImpulseBuyer

    It’s not as easy as stated above, after being divorced I decided to purchase a vehicle and purchase a vehicle I did “Impulse Buy of my life” I traded all three of my cars on one vehicle and with the trades ended up with $16K down on a 71K vehicle….long story short its been 3 years and I still owe 40K on a vehicle worth 30K and at 990.19 per month I desperately want out of it. Any real ideas?

    • kakika

      Yeah….grow a brain!

      • Buffyrocz

        ^ HAHA!

    • floss

      if u had 3 cars u were good already and why wouldnt u just sell the 3 cars to get 1 for the money you got for the 3 which was $16k?

  • Luckyrabbitears

    Ok so I got my 03 chevy avalanche back i’n 08 and my grandmother was the co-signer… She just basically signed her name as well as I did not looking through the paperwork and % I ended up putting $500 down and ended up with a $571 payment for 69 months, it was 23,000 off the lot and with the interest added on it came out to like $18,000 OMG I didn’t realize this till a year later that half my payments throughout the year was going toward interest. I love my truck but please people don’t make dumb decision when making a deal that takes longer then 2 years because this has been rough for the last year I have been making late payments to where now I owe an extra 100 a month because I can never make my payment on time now. Its best for me to just pay te rest off and have a truck for the rest of my life, if you think about it that way it’s kinda of worth it, rather ten getting i’n and out of loans and never owning anything, right?

    • Blkgtp

      Yea Look at it how ever you want!! But in the end your paying way too much for something that will never be worth it in the end!! Good luck buddy!!

  • Luckyrabbitears

    Oh my bad after the $18000 of interest was added on it came out to like $41,000 yikes I could of had a benz lol talk about getting f*****

  • Whaswell

    i had 10k on a gas sucking explorer and loaded it on a 2.3 fusion and it came to 16k with added long term care and gap insurance. this is the better motor and tranny and i feel it will run many years and at 275 a month i could not lease one for that! the difference in mpg will make up for what i traded off for as the car books at 8200 so i am satisfied as best as a person could be. i really do not mind with the low miles on the auto and the better mileage plus always have GAP insurance. it will save you a bundle

  • Whaswell

    i had 10k on a gas sucking explorer and loaded it on a 2.3 fusion and it came to 16k with added long term care and gap insurance. this is the better motor and tranny and i feel it will run many years and at 275 a month i could not lease one for that! the difference in mpg will make up for what i traded off for as the car books at 8200 so i am satisfied as best as a person could be. i really do not mind with the low miles on the auto and the better mileage plus always have GAP insurance. it will save you a bundle

    • asdf

      i dont think you made a very good decision. only owing 16k on that fusion means that the GAP coverage you bought is worthless. The only reason you should buy gap insurance is if the total value of your loan on a vehicle is more than what the vehicle is worth. If you wouldn’t have bought gap you’d probably be looking at a balance to finance of 14,500 instead of 16k. do a little research about what coverage does before you buy it. don’t let a car dealer talk you into an extended warranty or GAP if you don’t need it. if you take out a 3 year loan, don’t buy an extended warranty. if you put 10k down on a vehicle, you’d be stupid to buy GAP insurance.

  • GHED


    • Bob

      Insurance fraud is a felony…just saying…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UBQMZH2R6YP624N7C4P55YTWCE J Edgar

      can you help with politicians? great!

    • Jenny

      I like the way you think!!! ;)

  • Allan Carter

    You can just give the car back to the Bank. Do it before it gets behind, just tell them you don’t want it any more , period. Make you have bad credit, I don’t think so, If they report it to the credit Agencies, you request a letter and contest it in writing, they aren’t going to spend much time on this.
    As far as I’n concern they are all crooks anyway. I deal with them on a daily bases, I’m a debt mediator, I do it for free for people, and I see how the Banks and Loan Companies steal on a regular bases from everyone, so don’t give me this bull about credit, its all controlled by the Banks and goverment. If you are poor you pay way more than your share. I see people who thought they had a 15 year loan, after 15 years they still owe more than they took the loan out for.
    We need to close all the banks, not give them billions of loan free money, If the goverment was giving all the money they gave the banks to small business people and to people who wanted to start a business, we would already be on to the road to recovery. Of course the Banks officers would not get the millions of dollars in bonus and than quit their jobs.
    Our system is total unfair to the poor working people. They pay all the high Interest, high bank fees,check fees,late fees,etc.
    Allan Carter
    Private Mediator

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Carter/1663159141 Allan Carter

    You can just give the car back to the Bank. Do it before it gets behind, just tell them you don’t want it any more , period. Make you have bad credit, I don’t think so, If they report it to the credit Agencies, you request a letter and contest it in writing, they aren’t going to spend much time on this.
    As far as I’n concern they are all crooks anyway. I deal with them on a daily bases, I’m a debt mediator, I do it for free for people, and I see how the Banks and Loan Companies steal on a regular bases from everyone, so don’t give me this bull about credit, its all controlled by the Banks and goverment. If you are poor you pay way more than your share. I see people who thought they had a 15 year loan, after 15 years they still owe more than they took the loan out for.
    We need to close all the banks, not give them billions of loan free money, If the goverment was giving all the money they gave the banks to small business people and to people who wanted to start a business, we would already be on to the road to recovery. Of course the Banks officers would not get the millions of dollars in bonus and than quit their jobs.
    Our system is total unfair to the poor working people. They pay all the high Interest, high bank fees,check fees,late fees,etc.
    Allan Carter
    Private Mediator

    • washington d.c.

      Hi Allan-
      I bought a 04 Cadillac SRX 3yrs ago. Well my mechanic says there is something terribly wrong w/ the transmission and will cost betwee 5k to 6k to fix – to which he said is more than the car is worth. I am still paying for the car $400 a mo. Not that its your problem but I am a single mother and I get no support. Obv i cannot afford that type of repair bill. Do you think I should just do as you suggest and give the car back? I believe I have 9K or 10K i owe on it. I just cannot afford the repair bill on my salary (true I should have thought about that before buying, but this was my 1st car I bought-so i know i am a dummy) Let me know what you think. Thanks!
      [email protected]

    • Belababe

      I just purchased a used car and don’t want it I have been trying to get Sansone Route 1 Auto mall in NJ to take it back! I feel I was taken advantage of and am paying way to much for the car…… I don’t know how the loan went threw when I didn’t disclose any financial information I never signed for a loan only the contract. I did sign a promissory note to give a $3500.00 down payment today 2/10/12 which I didn’t give because I am trying to fight and have them take the car back! I never gave them a dime and I still did not put insurance on the car so how did the loan go through if the couldn’t register it? No car payment are due until March Can you please give me some advise I think they even left a message impersonating the police saying I need to contact Sansone because I have THEIR car and owe them $3500.00 and have no insurance on it and if I don’t contact Sansone they will put out a warrant for my arrest on Monday! Can they do that? I really don’t want this car! Supossely the loan went threw and they say they were paid so how at this point could they say it’s their car? Please help? Thanks [:(]

      • BWILLIAM60

        Listen too me, Sansone can squash the contract with one call to the bank, or you can by calling the bank. Two reasons 1. Sansone cashed the contract and on the contract it says you gave them a 3500 down payment, if in fact you didn’t its a bad contract (fraud). the bank will make Sansone buY the contract back. 2. NO PROMISSORY NOTES IN nj PERIOD

    • Bwilliam60

      Allan, you are so wrong and shouldn’t give information on subjects you don’t know about.
      Here is why: When a bank gives you a loan for something anything, you are signing a promise to pay also known as a contract. The bank is lending YOU the money with a promise to pat back the $$$$$, not the car, so if you turn the collateral into the bank it means nothing but problems for you because they will then sue you (and win) for the balance of the money you owe them. You will also have bad credit after that.

  • Belababe

    Hi can someone please help me? I just purchased a used car and don’t want it I have been trying to get Sansone Route 1 Auto mall in NJ to take it back! I feel I was taken advantage of and am paying way to much for the car…… I don’t know how the loan went threw when I didn’t disclose any financial information I never signed for a loan only the contract. I did sign a promissory note to give a 3500.00 down payment today 2/10/12 which I didn’t give because I am trying to fight and have them take the car back! I never gave them a dime and I still did not put insurance on the car so how did the loan go through if the couldn’t register it? Can someone please help me I think they even left a message impersonating the police saying I need to contact Sansone because I have THEIR car and owe $3500.00 and have no insurance on it and if I don’t contact Sansone the police will put out a warrant for my arrest! Can they do that? I really don’t want this car! Supossely the loan went threw and they say they were paid so how at this point could they say it’s their car? Please anyone help? Thanks :(

    • Jsanchoman

      Have you received a phone call from your new Lien holder? If the loan went through then you should have gotten a courtesy call to get all the details straight. Your loan probably went trough based on the $3500 you were going to put down. I don’t know what your credit score is but you probably got raped on the interest. Drive the car back to the Lean Holder hand them the keys then use the $3500 and buy a used car…

      I’m sure before they did anything they made you get a credit check and you did sign something… Did you read it?

      • Bwilliam60

        If Belababe drives the car back to the lien holder if will be a vol. repo. Take it back to the dealer hand them the keys and walk away.

    • Bwilliam60

      Look the bottom line is YOU singed the contract. That’s your own fault. The good news is that promissory notes are NOT LEGAL in New Jersey. Call the Bank, the State and the Attorney General if need be. THIS ONE IS SO SIMPLE YOU DON’T EVEN NEED AN ATTORNEY. BTW I am a car Dealer and most of us are good people

  • Phill450r

    Talk about being takein for a ride bought a 2010 malibu almost 2 years ago for 23k 525 a month for 7 years want to trade it in but its only worth 13k still owe 21 never buy chevy thought I would give them a chance and look what happens!!!

    • Koryfry8

      Your saying you paid over 10,000 in payments and still owe
      21,000 on a 23,000 purchase.
      Either your credit realy sucks or your really gulable.(stupid)
      And you bought a fuckin Malibu. If there $50,000 cars are cheap
      What are you going to expect out of there cheapest car they can possibly make?

      • Xentek

        The reason you owe so much on a loan only a few years in is because you pay almost purely interest for the first few years. As you go on, a higher percentage of your payment goes toward principle, which is the actual money lent to you…

    • Isaz28

      I bought a 2012 malibu 3lt new for 27000. Sticker said 29250 and I have 13k on it Had it for six months and its worth 20k. Ill never buy chevy again!

  • Jsanchoman

    I’ve been reading a lot of these comments and one thing I notice is that most of us have paid way to much for our vehicles. I bought 3 new cars in the past and will never buy new again considering what it’s worth once I drive it off the lot. I now buy used and I look at the Kelly Blue Book (KBB) trade in value of the car I want so I know how much the dealer profit is (a guesstimate but very helpful). So say they want $20K for the car and KBB says trade in is $15K, well you know the dealer is making around $5K on it if not more on it, so deal on the price. I had a trade in that i was upside down on (owed 7600, worth 4500-6000), dealer wanted to give me $2200 for it, but I stood my ground and we went back and forth for almost an hour… I got $4500 for my trade. Get ready to walk away a few times… If you don’t need the car right away then don’t purchase it until you feel comfortable with what you’re getting.

    The truck I purchased is $17300 on KBB for the “trade in value” and I got it for $17000 plus my upside down, but I believe I got the best of them because my old truck had way too many problems… I know the dealer still made money (they never lose).

    So I got a lower payment than what I was paying and the new truck has only 29k miles and it looks brand new, no money down and my payments are $420.05. I even got the GAP, and like someone else said… if it comes to it throw it in the gutter and go buy another lol.

    So the bottom line is please do some research, even I get sucked into the new car enthusiasm blindness.

  • Shuckapeafarms

    What folks need to realize most is the fact dealers have a 320% mark-up on those vehicles! They use the old line………….we’re only making a couple hundred……………well, if that were the case, then you wouldn’t be sitting in a multi-million dollar dealership building buying you car!
    Another point, don’t fall for all the after-sale garbage…………extended warranty, under-coating, and all the other shams they offer! You can buy anyone of those items on your own at significantly less!!
    Don’t take your vehicle to a dealer for repairs if your original manufacturers warranty has expired. Find a private mechanic or if you have the skills, do it yourself! Dealers in general (not all) will charge you for BOGUS repairs………..repairs not performed, repairs that were unnecesary, and a slew of other deceitful shams!! That shop advisor standing at the front of the shop gets paid to sell repairs………………most of them can’t tie their own shoes but they can FAST TALK like nobodys business………………BEWARE!!!

    • Cedvmd215

      I love the way everyone thinks they know it all about car sales and buying. When buying a new or used car if you have bad credit there is a bank fee the the dealers must pay th at comes off any profit that may be in the deal. So 5000 markup – 3000 bank fees which are never printed in the paperwork leaves 2000 – any cost it took to get the car repaired to sell when its traded in. so the profit could be down to as low as 1000 per car. but you wouldn’t know anything about that.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WUZFPW763VV5ZHJD7R3UHHJI7A Sharon

    Hello Folks,Talking about being taking “ADVANTAGE”of.I brought well financed a 2004 Olds Alero and they charged me over 12ks for it on a 36 month lease.I want to give the car back or trade it in ,PLEASE HELP ME WITH YOUR SUGGESTION.Thank You All In Advance.

  • guy

    BEST OPTION(only if you have gap insurance): Total your own car! The insurance will pay you for the totaled car, you can give this money directly to the bank, then your gap insurance will cover the rest of the total loan cost. You leave with maybe some bruises.. no car, and no debt..

    • Derptard

      That’s what Homer did in the Simpsons and it worked out great. [sarcasm]

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1157835064 Brooke N Watkins

      That is a crime and it is fraud. If you are caught not only will you still owe for the car but you will face jail time…#insurance agent

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.ireland.37 Rebecca Ireland


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/35ASV5L7LY4CBS5DKI2P3JBIJM Pestifiu

    you are an idiot!

  • Dibaby

    I work for a car dealership. I am a sales lady. Most of the time I make only $100.00 on a new vehicle sale. Its not what you think. The comments below are wrong.

    • Euhill

      Oh? Would you care to enlighten us on what it is exactly?

    • Jim

      The 100 dollars you make is what the company head decide to give you. It is not that they are not making a lot of money out of it. They call that ” flat deal” and handed u a 100 dollars. They make thousands out of it

  • Mike

    I have a dilemma that I am not sure which way to go. I have a 2005 Ford Escape with 40K miles that I owe $13,200 on . My monthly payment is $280. I also have the balance of a warranty I paid extra (part of the reason I overpaid!)I had to have $1,300 engine work fortunately paid for with the warranty. I want to get debt free,but need a SUV.I also have a Chrysler 300 with 100 K miles that is for my work commute. If I sell the Escape, I won’t get what I owe, but would settle for less car with higher miles. Any suggestions?!

  • Lisa

    I bought a car July 25 th this year it was used 2003 pt cruise I have never even heard of gap insurance I got my normal full coverage insurance from Allstate. Less than a month of having the car I got into a wreck and it was deemed a total loss. I am a female and don’t have the best credit went thru 2 divorces and I just needed a reliable car to get me to point a to point b. well end up not even paying my first payment on the car before the wreck now because I didn’t have this gap insurance I knew nothing about I’m going to be paying on a car note which I have no car & around $5000 in payments I have to pay aftter my insurance pays them. The car I bought was a 3 yr note with the right payments I needed per/ mo well I guess I should have done more research I thought that’s what full coverage insurance was for! What can I do next time to avoid this situation AGAIN. Thank you


  • Murraysl

    I bought a car last July, a 2005 Jeep Liberty Sport that they had researched to be worth around 11k. I shouldnt have believed the dealer because now that I’ve got the payments from just under 14k down to 10k, I kelly blue booked the vehicle to be worth only around 5-6k. I’m a college student, its a reliable vehicle dont get me wrong and I really had to coerce them to fix soo much with it right off the bat, but I would like to upgrade at some point.

  • Nece

    Is there not a law to protect people from these crocks? Who protects the first time buyers?

    • MTindependent406

      Nobody, a vehicle is a major purchase and the consumer should educate themselves before signing anything. I recently purchased my first new vehicle, I knew what my trade in was worth, approximately what the dealers invoice on the vehicle I wanted to purchase was and armed my self with a financing calculator and my credit score. I negotiated a deal within my budget at the appropriate interest rate, and the overall experience was a good one. Your comment is what is wrong with our society, no one takes personal responsibility for their actions anymore, and expects some government agency to protect them from making bad decisions. If you are upside down on a vehicle, odds are you didn’t put enough money down, and purchased a vehicle out of your price range. If you feel you were “hustled” by a dealer, that’s your fault as the whole transaction is spelled out in front of you when you make the purchase and you had the opportunity to walk away.

      • Alx21txs

        You make no sense? Some people are actually swindled without knowing and it is in fact our governments job to protect us from money hungry corporations. Your way of thinking doesn’t justify ENRON’s theft because the investors where not “educated” in proper investment procedures? Your no help and come across as ignorant.

        • MTindependent406

          I’m not justifying theft, however I am saying people should be aware of the implications of their actions. If you sign a legally binding document without properly understanding what you are agreeing to and it comes back to bite you then you have no one to blame but yourself. If the dealer broke some sort of law during the sale then we have a court system for you to argue your case. For most people a vehicle will be one of the biggest purchases they make , and instead of giving it proper attention they make a purchase based on emotion rather than the realities of their situation.

      • arliicchiiae

        Wow…Alot of people don’t even know about this crap. They trust the car dealers, because, after all…it’s their job. If you are upside down on a vehicle, odds are, the beloved dealer sold you a piece of crap, which SHOULD NOT be allowed. Person below is right, you come off as ignorant AND arrogant. Just because YOU did something, doesn’t make it right, and doesn’t mean everyone else should do it too.

  • Lolasage1969

    I am upside down and can’t get refinanced or trade for a used car was thinking of filing bankruptcy is this an option

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.ireland.37 Rebecca Ireland

      Bad idea, you’ll get worse loans due to bankruptcy. Do what the article says and sell off some stuff to pay the overage and get out of it and then get into something more affordable.

      • Janet Lingel Aldrich

        And if you don’t own anything as it is? Hello, real world speaking!

  • Tammie

    I purchased a 2007 M35 Infiniti a year ago. My monthly payments are $599.24 for 72 months. I don’t have excellent credit. Monthly income is$3200 before taxes. I want to trade but upside down on loan. I owe approximately $25000 and vehicle is worth $18650. It is in excellent condition. What would u do if in this position?

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.ireland.37 Rebecca Ireland

      DON’T DO IT. Unless you have the extra cash to pay down the overage you’ll end up even more upside down, your best bet is to get into a lease with money down that way the lease eats up your overage.

      • Nelson

        Judging by his monthly payments and term of contract it seems like a lease wont apply to him as his credit might be the reason for such high payments and interest. His interest is easily around 16%. Do the numbers….

        $599.24 X 72 = $43145.28

        You sir, got nailed.

  • Mel

    I laughed my a** off when reading this article! Yeah… if you crappy credit now..can’t refinance your loan,or don’t have anything to sell either..Hmmm? Part time job when you’re already working over 60 hours a week,or even better MAYBE the U.S. should just changes the State laws to accomodate these dealers from doing illegal practice???? Cause that’s called “stealing”!

    Yes.. stealing is when these dealership’s use our loans for their personal gain! Not just their commission! When lenders often ask these dealers to only use their/certain lender/company’s to run loans through….BUT….. these lenders in return give them ( sales dealer) a bonus of a % from your loan/sale going through these horrible companies (ie:Santadner)!….. They raise your interest rate up a lil by {1%-8% aka their additonal bonus!} Had a friend who worked many years as a Dealer and knows this business and he doesn’t comply with it either!..He told me this after my loan with a dealership (Pinebelt Chevy in Freehold, NJ ) Unforntately!…

    I know we signed & we take responsibilty for our mistake and neglience , YET I believe would the dealerships charge more IF they ONLY received an HOURLY WAGE??? Hmm? NOPE! No haggle way !… Believe that the dealership,or sales person should be held accountable for this as well for fraud!

    My Husband & I have been screwed over royally from our account being sold to another lender after our purchase. The state interest caps are NOT enough either! .. like NJ. 30% APR and now we live in Florida which is 16%-17% cap for a loan and still can add some more interest on even when you may have good credit.. WE should haven’t that high rates as it is!…. More ppl wouldn’t default in their loans if this were the case too! We got taken and stupid for signing this loan! We were told Drive Financial was the ONLY lender offering us a loan for our car.. Yea.. found out later during an investigation that the dealership actually had five lender offers for us and the least amount was @ 8% and most 12%, besides what we were offered and stupid us for accepting,cause the after our account was sold our contract was changed! APR went up.. one year of paying $545 monthly & NOTHING applied to the prinicpal???! Hmmm? My Husband was laid off two year after this loan and we’ve now been struggling worse to make thing even better with this situation.. Upside down and we owe $2,ooo less than what originally purchased car for at $20,ooo…..and have already paid $19,ooo on this loan total for 3 years!!! Yup… How can this be,right?! So… we’re hiring an Attirney cuurently adn going after them.. If these dealers weren’t so damn greedy,then good ppl wouldn’t be going through hardships! Wish the government would make stricter laws! Sometimes you can’t avoid a repo when times are rough… things in life sometimes happen unexpectedly than wehn you originally signed…and there has to be another way for people,as myslef with many others to avoid a repo..or worse credit yet these companies choose not to help,if they do modify then nothing goes towards the prinicpal and you’re basocally paying JUST for interest,which we found out after a 6 month modify!

    Plus ,Santander tried taking UNauthorized $730 from our checking when our payments are $545.oo….we stopped that payment thankfully! Ugg.. wish we weren’t upside down and unable to trade in either withour getting a junker with four kids to fit in! and can’t sell cause value has gone way down!

    • Mel

      Sorry about my spelling.. I’m frustratred ! ty!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.ireland.37 Rebecca Ireland

      And with that being said buyers should be equally responsible for their own stupidity or lack of due diligence. Sadly it’s not a crime to sell something for more than what it’s worth you just have to do your research before buying, it doesn’t make what they do right, it just makes you a savvy shopper who can look out for themselves.

  • Brandon Brenda Ibarra

    We found out yesterday we are upside down and that our finance company hasn’t been reporting our payments so my question is why? What would be the purpose?

  • Anderson

    I have a 2012 Mazda 3, 5 speed with 34k miles i owe 17,950.09 on it but KBB has it for 12,000.00 I’m really upsidedown. My payments are 447 and I still have about 56 payments to go. Me and my mom made a joint contract, would it be a good idea to try to trade it in for a cheaper ca with 1500.00 dollars down?

  • http://www.facebook.com/perry.neheum Perry Neheum

    An elderly friend of mine owes more than $23,000 on a 2012 Toyota
    Yaris that he and his elderly wife bought new in August 2012. The
    dealer, Lustine Toyota of Woodbridge, VA , said the couple would be
    financing $19,000 for the car. But after a stressful high-pressure
    sales session, the total contract came to more than $28,000! The dealer
    tacked-on several high-cost “service” agreements that the couple thought
    were included in the $19,000 sale cost.

    In short, the couple was swindled, due, in part, to their being perceived as naive by Lustine’s sales people.

    After reviewing the signed contract, I advised the couple to have
    four of the agreements cancelled, to reduce by nearly $5,000 the
    principal on the car loan. However, the financing group, known as
    Toyota Financial Services (TFS) of Simi Valley, Calif., told the couple
    via e-mail the contract could not be restructured or refinanced to
    reflect a revised balance. Something about TFS not being able to
    refinance a loan it approved!

    The dealer’s general manager, a Mr. Gittings, also refused to reduce
    the cost of the Yaris, recommending the couple refinance the car
    through a bank. But what bank would refinance a car worth $13,600 for a
    balance of $24,000, which is what the couple still owes?

    So now the couple’s monthly payments remain $395.00, which they can’t afford to pay unless they begin to eat cat food.

    A complaint filed with the federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
    and a local Better Business Bureau office have resulted in no

    Some acquaintances have suggested the couple return the Yaris to the
    dealer along with a note stating no more installments will be paid
    unless or until the car is refinanced to reflect its current Blue Book
    value, $13,648.

    Does this seem like a possible option for the couple?

  • Helpme

    I bought a car the bank financed it I have been making payments on the car on time .I just found out that the payments I was making did not include all the payment it was just the interest .The bank did not tell me till now now that I owe 2000 dollars what can I do ?

    • Cbake

      How did you find out that you were making payments to the interest only?

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    Olatade Damilola sandami

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