There are over 250 million cars covering roads in the United States right now. That makes the USA the second largest car market on the planet.
Some people own cars and drive regularly because they sincerely love the feeling of freedom getting out on the road provides. For others, car ownership is more of a necessity.
Getting to work. Dropping kids off at school. Getting groceries…
Having a vehicle makes all of those things simple and possible.
So how then are you going to manage if your car breaks down and you can’t afford the cost of repairs?
For many, the answer is to find a way to make payments on car repairs as opposed to paying the whole bill up front.
There are a number of ways you can pursue that arrangement, a few of which our team will outline for you below.
1. Talk To Your Mechanic
The easiest way to make payments on car repairs is by asking your mechanic if they offer financing. Financing, for the uninitiated, is when consumers make payments on goods and services in installments but receive the goods and services up-front.
Many reputable mechanics have financing programs in place. Others that don’t may be open to an informal arrangement if you have a pre-existing relationship with them.
Be sure to inquire about the interest rate you’ll be expected to pay when pursuing financing with your mechanic.
Interest rates could be as low as 0% or as high as 20% and over.
If the interest rate your mechanic is offering you seems excessive, you may want to hold off and weigh your options.
2. Shop Around
Is your mechanic not open to financing your repairs? Is the interest rate they’re offering you too high?
If either of the above two points is true of your situation, your next best bet will be to shop around. Chances are there is a local mechanic who is willing to offer you financing and who can beat your current mechanic’s rates.
To save yourself legwork, call around. Tell local mechanics what your previous mechanic diagnosed your issue as, what they’re charging and what their financing policies are. Ask the mechanic on the phone if they can beat that offer.
If they can’t, keep calling.
3. Ask Family and Friends
While mixing money and family can be a dicey proposition, sometimes it’s the best way to build a bridge out of a tough financial situation.
If you can get a family member or friend to pay for your auto repair expenses up front and then offer to pay them back in installments, that would be the equivalent to getting 0% interest financing.
Just be sure to hold true to your word and always be proactive when communicating with the person you’re indebted to.
If you miss payments and try to sweep your debt under the rug, you’ll run into problems.
4. Use Your Credit Card
If you have a credit card you can use for your auto repair bill, use it. If you don’t have a credit card but think you could qualify for one, apply online.
If approved, many credit cards will get you your card in as quick as 3 business days.
When using credit cards to make payments on auto repairs, be wary of the interest rate they charge the same way you would be with financing through your mechanic. A high-interest rate can quickly lead to your repair costs spiraling out of control.
5. Get a Personal Loan
There are a lot of personal loan providers out there that specialize in getting people money so they can make payments on car repairs.
These lenders can be found at your local bank, credit union, or even online.
Do you have bad credit and aren’t sure if you can qualify for a personal loan? Generally speaking, you still have options.
There are bad credit personal loans offered online that you could try applying for. Some of them may even be unsecured loans (no collateral required).
Just do your diligence when applying for online personal loans to ensure that you don’t end up in a predatory lending situation.
6. Barter With a Handy Friend and Save
If no matter what you do you can’t come up with the credit you need to make payments on auto repairs, our recommendation would be to see if you can patch fix the problem and start saving.
Ask around your friends and family and see if anybody has auto repair experience. Maybe that person would be willing to band-aid fix your problem free of charge or in exchange for a mutual favor.
If a band-aid fix gets your car back on the road, your next step will be to start cutting back on expenses wherever else you can to start saving money to get your car the real attention it needs.
Remember, while it can be tempting to lean on a band-aid fixes since your car is moving again, doing so can create a dangerous situation for yourself and your passengers.
Always aim to get your car professional, quality care as soon as possible.
Wrapping Up How to Make Payments on Car Repairs
Whether you lean on credit or pursue a mechanic’s financing offers, there is no shortage of ways to make payments on car repairs as opposed to covering costs up front.
Our advice is to take as much time as you can to compare interest rates on financing and, if possible, have a family member or friend step in to loan you the money you need so you don’t get stuck smothered under the weight of interest accruing debt.
For more insight on everything vehicle related, check out more of our content on Auto-Facts today!