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Lost your job? Some auto companies help with payments

Lawton_Companies are doing anything they can these days to keep business coming in - including the auto industry.  Some dealerships actually are paying for consumers' cars.  It may sound crazy, but it's true.  While they're not doing it for everyone, they are assisting some folks who have lost their jobs.  They say that it's hard enough just paying bills after losing your job, so some of them are helping consumers with their new car payments in the tough economy. 

Lots are full of shiny new cars - perhaps too full.  For some it's not the right time to buy a new vehicle, but if you bought a new car before the economy tanked, there is help.  "If you don't replace your income, and still can't afford your car, you can still return it and walk away," said Lawton car salesperson Natalie Traut. 

The new policy has been in effect at the Hyundai dealership since January, and now GM and Ford have followed suit.  Their program was introduced on March 31.  "If a customer were to lose their job, Ford would make the payments for up to 12 months, up to $700 a month," said Lawton car Sales Manager Ricky High.

It may seem like a risk for the car companies that already are struggling, but they say their customers come first.  "They really care about the average customer, and they understand that in some places employment might not be the most stable thing," said High.

The programs of the three companies differ somewhat, but all help the customer to keep his or her car.  At Hyundai, Traut says consumers also get to keep their good credit.  "You walk away with a paid loan on your account," she said.  "You don't even have to worry about it hitting your credit as a repo, involuntary possession - anything.  It is just going to show as a paid loan."

Currently, Hyundai, Ford and GM are the only automotive companies offering these incentives, but High says that if the programs work out, he thinks more companies will follow.  For more information, please visit http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=30097 or http://www.hyundaiusa.com/financing/specialoffers/assuranceplus/assuranceplus.aspx.

 

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