The Coronavirus is now impacting almost every aspect of American society. With millions of people at risk for infection, many areas of the country are closing schools and businesses to minimize the spread. The economic impact of the virus is likely to hit a lot of people and some automakers are offering financing programs for those in need.
With millions of Americans staying home, many of whom are not being paid, some folks will start to prioritize how they handle their bills. According to Reuters, a number of automakers have begun offering deferred loan payment plans for new or currently active auto loans.
From the story -
Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Monday said its credit unit is offering customers purchasing new vehicles the option to delay their first payment by 90 days. A U.S. spokesman for Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) said the automaker will launch a similar program.
Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) on Friday said it would defer payments for select new cars by 90 days and provide up to six months of payment relief for customers who lose their job.
Ford, Nissan, General Motors Co (GM.N) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) also said they will provide payment relief options to customers affected by the virus, including extensions and deferred lease payments.
In addition to deferred payment programs, other brands like GM and FCA are offering zero-percent financing for up to 84 months on some models. Though buyers should be aware that longer loan terms, even with zero interest, can still put them at risk of being under-water if they are not using a substantial downpayment.
These finance offers combined with some hefty incentives and discounts can make for some pretty good car deals. However, financial experts are predicting that the economic situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. If you are unsure about your own finances, now is not the time to make a large purchase even if the loans are cheap and you can put off the payments for a few months.
For those of you actively in the market for a car and are concerned about exposure to the virus either due to visiting dealerships or on the vehicle itself, our friends at Cars.com have some very helpful information. Essentially, the risk of contamination from a car is very low, and disinfecting all surfaces lowers the risk further still. Of course, you will want to take the normal precautions you’d want to take when going into any public place.
Stay safe everyone!