Coronavirus auto loan payment and debt relief: What some auto lenders are doing to help

Truck hauling coin to represent coronavirus auto loan relief Image: Truck hauling coin to represent coronavirus auto loan relief

In a Nutshell

If your finances have been affected by COVID-19, your auto loan lender may offer payment or debt relief, such as deferred payments or waived late fees. We’ve collected information from many major lenders so you can find out what help they may be offering and how to get it.

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As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, a number of auto loan lenders are stepping in to help support customers in this unprecedented time.

Many lenders are offering auto loan relief programs to help their customers alleviate some of their financial burden.

If you need relief, we’ve compiled a list of major auto lenders and detailed what help they’re offering — if any — along with related eligibility requirements where that information is available. If you’re facing auto loan default, be sure to reach out to your lender as soon as possible to discuss any options you might have.



Ally Financial

What it’s offering: Auto loan customers may defer payments without being charged late fees.  When you defer, the lender will extend your next due date to give you more time to make your payment. After the extension period ends, you resume making your regularly scheduled auto payments, and your contract or agreement will be extended by the number of payments you deferred. Ally Financial has also posted a list of FAQs about its auto payment deferral program.

Eligibility: Ally’s FAQs about its auto payment deferral program make no mention of eligibility requirements.

Chase Auto

What it’s offering: Chase is offering relief if you’re having trouble making auto loan payments. For payment assistance, you can enroll online. And if your lease is about to end, Chase Auto is allowing customers to extend their lease agreements for up to six months by continuing to make monthly lease payments. Chase Auto is offering this assistance to bank customers as well as Aston Martin Financial Services, Jaguar Financial Group, Land Rover Financial Group, Maserati Capital USA, Mazda Capital Services, Subaru Motors Finance and Vroom Financial Services customers.

Eligibility: Chase will handle requests for payment relief because of coronavirus-related financial hardship on an individual basis. With heavier-than-normal call volume, the bank encourages customers to contact the company through its mobile app or website if they need assistance. If you need to call, you’re encouraged to use the number on your monthly statement.

Chrysler Capital

What it’s offering: Chrysler Capital has deferment and extension programs to help customers who have been affected by the coronavirus and are struggling to make payments. If you’re unable to make your payments, Chrysler Capital asks that you call 1-855-563-5635 to discuss potential relief options and asks for your patience if you have to hold longer than usual to connect with someone. Customers may also request assistance online by signing into their account.

Eligibility: Chrysler Capital doesn’t provide details about who might be eligible for payment relief.

Ford Motor Credit

What it’s offering: If you’re having difficulty making your payments because of the coronavirus, Ford is offering payment extensions and may waive late charges upon request. You’re encouraged to log in to your Account Manager to view options. You may also call 1-800-727-7000 for support.

Eligibility: Ford Motor Credit says it will make special payment arrangements on a case-by-case basis to help those negatively impacted by the coronavirus. Note that Ford’s website does not list detailed eligibility requirements for its offer to defer payments for 90 days for new vehicle purchases — so make sure to confirm details with the dealer.

Honda Financial Services

What it’s offering: Honda Financial Services is offering payment extensions, deferrals and late-fee waivers. But keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue during deferral periods. Due to unusually high call volume, Honda recommends logging into your account and making a request online. If you are a lease customer, they recommend you wait until you are within 30 days of your maturity date to contact the Lease Maturity Center.

Eligibility: Honda Financial Services doesn’t provide details about eligibility for assistance. New-car buyers who get a car loan through Honda Financial Services may be eligible for the 90-day payment deferral, though this option isn’t available in Florida.

Hyundai Motor Finance

What it’s offering: Hyundai Motor Finance will make up to six months of payments for Hyundai owners who purchased or leased a Hyundai vehicle between March 14, 2020 and May 17, 2020, if they lose their job because of COVID-19 through Dec. 31, 2020.

Eligibility: To qualify for payment deferrals, you must be no more than 90 days behind on your payments and you must show unemployment insurance documentation to prove job loss. There’s no limit to the monthly payment amount you can defer. The up to six-month Payment Relief Plan is only available to those who purchase new Hyundai vehicles financed or leased through Hyundai Motor Finance.

Lightstream

What it’s offering: LightStream is offering monthly payment deferrals for those experiencing financial hardship because of an interruption in income. To start that process — or to discuss your auto loan or a loan application — email customerservice@ligthstream.com.

Eligibility: Beyond hardship because of interrupted income, Lightstream doesn’t specify eligibility requirements for payment deferrals.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

What it’s offering: For payment deferral requests, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is directing customers to log in to their account and to follow the instructions on the account home page. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services will be waiving late fees from March 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020. For other needs or questions, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services encourages people to call 1-800-654-6222. The company also notes that hold times are longer than usual because of higher-than-normal call volume.

Eligibility: Mercedes-Benz Financial Services doesn’t specify who is eligible to receive coronavirus-related payment assistance.

Nissan Motor Acceptance

What it’s offering: Nissan Motor Acceptance has a message on its website saying it may offer payment extensions that allow customers who are experiencing coronavirus-related financial difficulty to defer payments. If you need to discuss payment arrangements or have other questions about your account, Nissan is asking that you call customer service at 1-800-456-6622 but warns that hold times may be longer than usual.

Eligibility: The company says it will evaluate each customer’s situation and make decisions about deferred payments on a case-by-case basis.

Santander Consumer USA

What it’s offering: Santander Consumer USA has programs to help customers experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. Customers may qualify for an extension, which allows for a delay of one payment by extending the term of the loan and moving that payment to the end of the loan. If you need financial assistance, call 1-888-222-4227. Customers may also log into their online account to contact support and see if they qualify for assistance.

Eligibility: Members of the company’s customer service team will review accounts and explore relief options on a case-by-case basis.

Wells Fargo Bank

What it’s offering: Wells Fargo is offering late-fee waivers and three-month payment deferments. If you need help, you’re encouraged to contact customer service, but be prepared for longer-than-normal wait times.

Eligibility: Wells Fargo is offering assistance options based on each customer’s unique situation.

Other lenders

This list does not cover every auto loan lender, and yours might not be included. If you need assistance making auto loan payments and aren’t sure what your lender is doing to help, we recommend checking your lender’s website or calling its customer service number to discuss the relief it may be able to offer you, such as late-fee waivers, deferred payments or loan extensions.