Cars are an excellent means for people to travel, commute, or perform other tasks. Yet, unexpected car-related costs may put you under pressure when you are short on cash. At this point, you probably wonder how to pay for car repairs or urgent maintenance with no money.
Luckily, you have more options to get your car fixed than you thought. Often, your car may be still under warranty with free roadside assistance. Viable alternatives also include payday and personal loans for auto repair. Plus, there may be non-profit help available, or, at the very least, you can pay for car repairs in installments. Review all of your financing options by checking out our suggestions below.
Ways to Pay for Car Repairs When You Don’t Have Money
If you need to cover unexpected car repair costs, it may take thousands of dollars before you’re back on the road. According to the AAA repair cost estimator, to replace an air conditioner compressor on a 2015 Ford Escape, for example, costs an average of between $448 and $740 in Jersey City. Many other parts and labor repairs are equally expensive or even more.
Owning a car is already a hefty expense considering gas, insurance, and maintenance. If the idea of fixing your car when having no money causes you nightmares, bear these quick cash options in mind.
Are You Covered with a Manufacturer’s Warranty or Extended Warranty?
Under the manufacturer’s warranty, owners of cars shouldn’t be paying out of pocket for covered services. So, if you have a new car, you may be in luck. Most vehicle manufacturers offer a warranty against any breakdowns that may come along your way.
Car manufacturers’ warranties are usually five years or 60,000 miles. Sometimes, exceptions may exceed this threshold. If the car is under warranty, check with the mechanic if the needed repairs qualify. Your car’s policy will break down the difference between covered work and an exclusion.
Call up your warranty company before authorizing any repair services and inform them about the case. The warrantor will then negotiate the payment with the repair shop, and you’ll be back on the road with no resources spent.
Those with an extended warranty needn’t worry about paying for expensive car repairs. An extended warranty is insurance for the costliest car parts and roadside assistance. If your car breaks down, they’ll step in to negotiate and pay for the repairs.
Borrow From Family or a Friend to Pay for Your Car Repair Costs
If possible, approach a friend or relative you have a good relationship with about a loan. However, you may not prefer this option if you feel uncomfortable asking. Those who decide to borrow from a friend should provide a clear payback plan with terms, installments, and interest.
If you don’t have a family member or friend you can borrow from, and you can’t fix the car yourself, you still have options. The good news is that some car repair shops offer financing, and you can pay for the repair in installments.
Find Free Money for Car Repairs with Non-Profits or Churches
There’s always help for those who know where to look. The Federal Transit Administration and local charities may be able to offer assistance if you’re a low-income or welfare recipient. More specifically, FTA has a program called Job Access and Reverse Commute. JARC disburses funds to local nonprofits who must supply these funds as grants to low-income members of their communities.
Such grants can come in the form of car repair financial assistance or low-interest loans. Yet, since JARC has minimal funding, it’s best to call the United Way Hotline by dialing 211. United Way can connect you to local solutions that include non-profits and other resources to assist with the repair. These United Way giving resources depend on the community and your financial needs.
Credit Cards for Auto Repairs
Consider using a 0% APR credit card for car repairs if you qualify and the maintenance is urgent. You can use an existing credit card to pay for the repairs provided you have the available credit. Remember that maxing out your credit card comes with risks and can limit your ability to pay for future purchases.
Opening a new credit card means you’ll have to look for a card with a lower APR. This way, you’ll have a lower monthly payment and pay less in interest. Avoid exploiting the card for more than the needed auto repairs. Otherwise, you might get in a debt cycle with no precise payoff date in sight.
Apply for a Payday Loan to Fix Your Car
Payday loans or cash advances represent another type of short-term financing. The average amount is about $500, but it can reach $1,000 in some states. Funding is fast, typically within a day, while repayment—including interest—is usually due on your next payday.
Failing to repay the loan on time can urge the lender to roll it into a new term with extra fees. However, legit payday loans beat title loans because they’re unsecured and don’t need collateral. Still, they can be hard to pay off in time because of the high cost and interest.
Consider a Car Title Loan
Borrowers can take an auto title loan over a short period, usually 30 days, and receive money reasonably fast. Most importantly, you must own your car or have equity in it to get the loan. You transfer the title to your vehicle to the lender in exchange for money until you fully service the loan.
Paying for car repairs with a title loan can prove convenient if you can’t finance elsewhere. Yet, it’s an expensive credit type as lenders charge an average APR of about 300%. Plus, you may lose your vehicle if you miss the due date. So, if you’re considering pledging your car, learn more about its pros and cons.
Take Out a Personal Loan for Car Repairs
The upside of using a personal loan to pay for car repairs or accident damage is instant funding. With a fixed rate, you can expect equal amounts each month, making it easier to budget. Besides, you can spread payments over a more extended period.
When considering personal loans, go for a lender that deposits money fast and is open about the terms. You want to be clear about how much money you get, the number of your monthly payments, and your loan term. At this point, always check the extra charges, such as NSF and prepayment fees.
Get a Pawnshop Loan
Sometimes, the solution to your car repair problem may be in the house. Finding unused or antique items to pawn or sell can give you quick access to significant cash. So, search your place for anything you no longer use and may be of great value, take the assets to a trusted pawnshop, and strike a deal.
It’s ideal to have a sale price in mind beforehand so you don’t take less than the fair value of the valuables. The creditor will offer you money in return for the item with a deadline to pay it back. Like title loans, if you don’t pay on time, your assets will get repossessed.
Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage
Your auto insurance coverage may have different components that come in handy in case of an accident. Optional policies can include collision, comprehensive, liability, medical, and custom equipment coverage. It’s always worth reviewing your contracts to see if any of the damage you suffered can get covered by the insurer.
Moreover, people arrange mechanical breakdown insurance for specific mechanical breakdowns. MBIs cover damage resulting from incidents that regular auto insurance doesn’t offer. In short, if you get into an accident, car insurance will take care of the repairs, but if your engine lights up on your way to work, MBI will be there to repair and replace it.
Watch Out for Bad Lending Practices
Although you have several options to fix your vehicle on short notice, predatory loan companies are always lurking. So, if you notice something fishy about a creditor or come across negative reviews and dissatisfied customers, consider it a red flag.
Agree Upon a Payment Plan with the Repair Shop
Mechanics tend to partner with creditors to offer access to financing. Such options usually come as a payment plan in the form of personal funding from the lending partner. The best approach is to get interest-free financing for a set period and pay off the loan before the grace period expires. However, if you don’t repay on time, rates can sky-rocket, and you will pay the accumulated interest since the original loan date.
Get Several Estimates Before Committing
Always take time to shop around for affordable rates. Some mechanics charge by the hour, while others give a rough estimate based on the extent of repairs pending to get done. Request quotes from at least three different mechanic shops and tell them you’re open to negotiation. You can only make an informed decision when you have several options available.
Only Deal with Reputable Lenders
Go for a trusted loan company that does its homework. DirectLoanTransfer is always transparent about its rates and guarantees fast processing and funding. We’ll ensure you never get roped into a car repair loan you could not afford to repay.
It’s also advisable to choose a lender that performs financial underwriting. Reliable lenders look at your income, collateral, and credit score to verify your capacity to repay.
Double Check the Loan Lenders
Dealing with creditors that offer emergency car repair loans doesn’t have to be tricky. You can always check their lending practices online. Customer reviews and BBB ratings are some of the viable ways to ensure you’re borrowing with a legit lender. Verifying that the lender has valid contact information by calling them is another wise step to take. DirectLoanTransfer is a licensed network of direct lenders. We ensure you get access to auto repair financing loans within minutes.
Quick and Simple Financing Options from DirectLoanTransfer
Whether you need a minor car repair or a complete overhaul is on the horizon, DirectLoanTransfer can help. We make the application and funding process easy and offer top value for your money. Even better, we provide cash deposits within 24 hours at favorable rates. Fill out a loan application today, and find out how we can help.
If you have a payment date approaching or there is an urgent payment due now, then it’s better to consider an emergency car repair loan. Applicants with bad credit can also apply since we work with anyone who can prove reliable income.