Upside Down on Car Loan

Financial difficulty often arises from auto financing. The happy car buyer drives their new vehicle off the lot financed nearly 100%. As the saying goes, almost immediately thereafter, the new vehicle depreciates in value several thousand dollars before it is even hits the highway.

Automobile transportation costs $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 annually including auto loan payments, liability and collision insurance, repairs and maintenance and gasoline.

Havoc begins when an unexpected car repair not covered by warranty, or a motor vehicle accident, unexpectedly and substantially decreases the value of the vehicle far below the outstanding loan balance owed to the bank. Or, perhaps more harmlessly, on a trade- in for a new vehicle where eager car salespersons and lenders agree to take in your old vehicle on trade, and throw the remaining outstanding balance from your old car loan (for a little higher payment) on the back-end of your new auto loan leaving the new car buyer considerably ‘upside-down’ on the new vehicle purchase.

These situations leave the borrower in a predicament where sizable portions of income are devoted towards covering an unsecured auto debt obligation that is of no use towards sustaining modest costs of necessities for family living.