Have you found yourself in need of car repairs but don’t have the money for them? You have options. Read on to learn about emergency car repair loans.
You’ve maintained your vehicle perfectly, yet one day you attempt to start it before leaving for work and it simply will not crank. You know that the car is getting old but you also realize you can’t afford a new one.
Unfortunately, the car is your lifeline to work, school, and taking care of your family. Money is tight, but you have to have it repaired. The struggle can be overwhelming and unplanned expenses always create anxiety.
Luckily, there are emergency car repair loans available. We’re going to tell you a bit more about them and how to ensure you find the best option for your situation. Keep reading for more information!
Before Finding a Loan
Before you find an emergency car repair loan, you will need to speak with a mechanic to gather information on the amount of money needed. Ideally, you should speak with at least two or three professionals to find the best deal.
If you have a car-savvy friend, ask them to go with you to help distinguish the truth from any white lies or overestimates the mechanic gives. Also, keep in mind that some repairs are more urgent than others.
You may be tempted to tell the mechanic to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get the car running, but this may not be in your best interest. Ask for a complete breakdown of each problem and take some time to research which ones can be saved for a later date and which issues need to be fixed immediately.
Check for Deals
Depending on the issue at hand, your car insurance may be able to direct you to a cost-efficient mechanic. Once again, compare the pricing of other local shops, but this may give you a starting point.
Also, local vocational schools may allow their mechanics in training to make certain repairs at reduced rates. This can sound scary, but their trainees are carefully observed by long-time professionals.
Depending on when and where you purchased the vehicle, it may still be under warranty or have a recall you haven’t heard about. Call the dealership to find out if your warranty is intact or if there are known issues that they will repair at a reduced rate.
Although certain mechanic shops are certified for warranty and recall work, many prefer to avoid this because they do not make as much money. Some shops that are less honest will sometimes claim that the repairs are not covered and attempt to charge you out of pocket.
Asking for Help
Not everyone has the ability or budget to have a rainy day savings fund. However, sometimes friends and family are willing to step up and loan part or all of the money needed to make car repairs.
Although it can be a tough conversation, it is important to ask for help when you need it–you may be surprised at the answers.
Should a friend or family member agree to loan or give you the money needed for repairs, it is wise to get the terms and conditions in writing. This protects both parties from potential misunderstandings and may save the relationship if questions arise.
Cash advances are another option that people frequently turn to but these can quickly turn into endless debt. Until you have exhausted every other option, this should be your last consideration.
Emergency Car Repair Loans
Believe it or not, there are actual loans that are designed specifically for emergency situations. Most banks no longer allow small personal loans and as mentioned, cash advances aren’t always the best idea but do have some advantages and can help you out of a rough spot.
However, there is the option of online installment loans. These loans are relatively simple to acquire and sometimes require little or no credit–just a United States bank account.
You should know that not all online loans are created equally. Some have extremely high interest rates, others can offer confusing terms, and some even have penalties for early repayment.
The key to choosing an online loan will be plenty of research. Read reviews of the lender, consider all conditions, and try to borrow as little as possible. Ask your friends and family if they have experience in this area, and why they would return to a lender or avoid them completely.
As usual, your credit history will have a huge bearing on the amount of money you can borrow as well as the interest rate. Some online lenders will allow for co-signers to help offset the risk if you have little or no credit which can help lower the interest rate or make you eligible for a bigger loan.
Spotting a Predatory Lender
When you are in a rough spot and need money quickly, it can be easy to fall into a predatory lender’s trap. These lenders will attempt to convince you that you need a bigger loan than necessary and typically at exorbitant rates.
These lenders often target people that are in dire need of funds, may not have the means to repay the loan, and are usually deceptive in their practices.
The loans offered typically have a short repayment period, require an automatic bank draft for payments, and aren’t clear about the total cost of the loan. Be wary of these signs and complaints of other borrowers as these may spell trouble.
Weighing Your Options
Finding emergency car repair loans may not always be an option. Before you stress out, realize that sometimes it may be better to simply replace the vehicle and sell the old one for parts.
You may not believe you have the funds for a new car or that you can afford the payments, yet old, reliable cars are sold online every day. Although this can be a hassle and may leave you without transportation for a few days, it can definitely be viable. If you’d like to find out more about how to purchase a vehicle online, check out our guide!