Personal Finance Basics

Ways to finance car repairs

February 17th, 2023 Feb 17, 2023 • Read time: 5 min

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Exploring options for financing car repairs

Let’s face it, there’s never a convenient time for car repairs. They’re usually unexpected, expensive, and never seem to be covered by your car’s warranty or insurance. And, unfortunately, they’re almost always necessary because you need your vehicle to get around every day. That said, you should be able to get money quickly to cover your auto repair expenses. We’ll take a look at seven different auto repair financing options:

  1. Personal loans for auto repairs
  2. Credit card financing
  3. Warranties
  4. Mechanic financing plans
  5. Emergency funds
  6. Nonprofits and assistance programs
  7. Borrowing money

1. Take out a personal loan quickly and conveniently…or same day

When you apply and are approved for a personal loan, you receive the cash you need upfront to pay the mechanic for your car’s repairs. And the great thing about a personal loan is that you can pay the loan back over time, allowing you to manage your budget effectively and comfortably repay the loan while addressing your car repair needs. With personal loans and auto repair loans up to $10,000 (amount varies by state) and same-day approval, Sun Loan makes it easy for you to move past car troubles and get back on the road.

2. Use a credit card

A credit card can be a reliable option for emergency expenses like car repairs. Simply pay with your credit card, then pay off the balance on a monthly basis. Looking to use a brand new credit card for auto repair financing? When you apply, make sure you find one with a low Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR calculates what percentage of the principal you’ll pay each year by taking monthly payments and fees into account. The lower the APR on your credit card, the less money in interest and fees you’ll be charged for the unpaid balance on the credit card. With consistent payments, you may be able to eventually take advantage of any rewards or benefits offered by your credit card provider.

3. Double-check if your car is under warranty

A car warranty is a contract between the vehicle manufacturer or dealer and the car owner, providing coverage for certain repairs or parts of the vehicle for a specified period of time. Warranties can be tricky–if you purchased your car new, it is/was likely under warranty for anywhere between three and 10 years (depending on the manufacturer). However, warranties usually only cover certain repairs or parts of the vehicle–and some parts/repairs may be covered for less time than others. Also, if you purchased a used car, there may be some of the original warranty left (or perhaps there was a new warranty provided by the seller). In any case, make sure to check whether your car is still under warranty by contacting the dealership where you purchased your vehicle. It’s always smart to read the warranty’s fine print, just to make sure the repairs you need are covered.

4. Check whether a mechanic offers a financing plan

Mechanics and auto repair shops know that repairs are costly. That’s why some car repair shops partner with outside lenders or credit card issuers to offer auto repair financing options or auto repair loans. This can be convenient but, according to CardRates.com, you should watch out for:

  • Short promotional terms: Many credit card companies and lenders that partner with mechanics offer short interest-free periods for your purchase. So, you may only have six months or less to repay what you owe before interest rates begin. And that can become expensive because of…
  • High APRs: On the plus side, if you have bad or no credit, you may still be able to open a car repair credit card. The downside? While you may be approved, these types of credit cards generally have very high interest rates that begin once the promotional period ends. That means, if you don’t pay off the balance before the promotional period concludes, it’s going to cost a lot more once interest rates kick in.

If you think you can pay the loan off during the short promotional period, you should be fine. If not, you might be better off using another method of payment.

5. Tap into your emergency fund

If you’ve been wise enough to stash a little bit of money here and there into an emergency fund, you’ll be glad you did when an emergency arises. Car repairs are usually an emergency, so you can put your emergency fund to good use. Even if you don’t have enough to cover the entire expense, putting some money toward your auto repairs can significantly lower the amount you wind up owing.

6. Visit a local nonprofit with an assistance program

Many local–and even national–nonprofit organizations offer programs that can help you finance your car repair emergency. For example, Modest Needs or some local charities may be able to help you with free or reduced-price car repairs in your area. The government also offers a free car repair program to those in need. Check with nonprofits in your area to see whether they provide assistance with car repair expenses.

7. Borrow from family or friends

This is an option very few people prefer–but sometimes you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do. Generous family members or friends may have the funds to lend you for emergency car repairs–in most cases, all you need to do is just ask. Easier said than done, yes. But if you need your vehicle, this may be the fastest solution. Just be sure to clarify whether this is a loan or gift; if it’s a loan, make firm plans to pay the money back so as to not cause any fights with friends or family feuds.

Sun Loan is here to help

As you can see, there are plenty of options available when it comes to financing an auto repairs, whether you decide to dip into your emergency savings, use a credit card, ask for assistance, or take out a personal loan. At Sun Loan, we are ready to help you with a personal loan that can cover all of your car repair expenses. With an auto repair loan from Sun Loan, you can receive up to $10,000 (amount varies by state) to pay for your repairs. And because our personal installment loans do not have any limits attached as far as how you use the money, they’re perfect for not only unexpected auto repairs but also for preventative maintenance and even for paying off your auto loan.

Stop by one of our local branches or give us a call at (800) SUN-LOAN for more information on our loan options. Financing your car repairs may be easier than you think!

Author – Jamie Lewton

Jamie Lewton is a consumer finance specialist who has built her career with the Sun Loan team. Jamie’s decade plus in the finance sector began with a role as a Consumer Loan Specialist at Sun Loan. ... Read more »

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