Articles, Borrow, Car

Should You Go Into Debt to Pay for Unexpected Auto Repairs

Written By: Eric Williams
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated March 29, 2022

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someone pouring oil in to the car

You know that feeling of dread when something goes wrong with your car. Auto repairs can be expensive, whether a flat tire, a dead battery, or something more serious. And if you’re not prepared for them, they can put you in a tough spot financially. So what do you do when facing an unexpected repair bill? Should you go into debt to pay for it? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Should You Go into Debt Trying to Fix Your Car?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to take out a loan for car repairs. First, how much money do you need? If the repair bill is more than you can afford to pay outright, taking out a loan may be your only option. Second, what’s the interest rate on the loan? If it’s higher than the rate you’re currently paying on your car, it may not be worth it. Finally, how long will it take you to pay off the loan? If you’re going to be paying for the repairs for a few years, it might make more sense just to bite the bullet and pay for them upfront.

One way to help you deal with the unexpected expenses of car repair is to secure an extended car warranty. An extended warranty is a service contract that helps cover the cost of repairs after your manufacturer’s warranty expires. This can give you some peace of mind knowing that you won’t be left footing the entire bill if something goes wrong. There are plenty of companies that offer this, but one of the more renowned is CarShield. If you want to learn more about the company and the experiences of previous clients, read numerous CarShield reviews online.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to go into debt to pay for car repairs. If you have the money to pay upfront, that’s always the best option. But if you’re short on cash and an extended warranty isn’t an option, taking out a loan may be your only choice. Just be sure to do your research and compare interest rates before deciding.

How to Pay for Car Repairs Without Going into Debt

Of course, there are other ways to pay for car repairs besides going into debt. Here are seven options.

1. Set Aside Money in an Emergency Fund

One of the best ways to cover unexpected expenses like car repairs is to have an emergency fund. This is a savings account that you’ve been setting aside money for a rainy day. Ideally, you should have enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses. If something happens, you won’t have to resort to taking out a loan.

2. Check with Local Nonprofit Organizations

There are likely several nonprofit organizations in your area that offer help to people who are struggling financially. Many of these organizations offer grants to help pay for car repairs. So before you go into debt, be sure to reach out and see if there’s any assistance available.

3. Pay in Cash

You also can pay for the repairs upfront if you have the cash. This is the best option if you’re able to do it, as it will save you from incurring any interest charges. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the repairs are paid for, and you won’t have any debt to worry about.

4. Prepay for Your Repairs

A prepaid repair plan is another option that can help you avoid going into debt. With this type of plan, you pay a monthly fee to a provider. In exchange, they agree to cover the cost of certain repairs. This can be a great way to budget for unexpected expenses and avoid being caught off-guard by a large repair bill. A prepaid plan usually covers routine maintenance tasks such as oil changes, tune-ups, and brake replacements. However, not all prepaid plans are made equal, and you must carefully inspect the conditions before signing up for one.

5. Ask for Help From a Mechanically Inclined Friend or Family Member

If you have a friend or family member who’s good with cars, they may be able to help you out. They may be able to diagnose the problem and even fix it for you, which can save you a lot of money. Just be sure to offer to pay them what you can for their time and services.

6. Sell Some of Your Things

Another way to come up with the money for car repairs is to sell some of your things. This could include clothes, furniture, electronics, or anything else that you no longer need. You can hold a garage sale, sell items online, or take them to a consignment shop. Whatever you do, be sure to get enough money to cover the cost of the repairs.

7. Learn How to Fix Your Car Yourself

If you’re mechanically inclined, you may want to learn how to fix your car yourself. This can be a great way to save money on repairs. Of course, it’s not for everyone, and you’ll need to have the right tools and know-how before attempting any repairs. Or else, you may end up doing more harm than good. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a great way to save money in the long run.

The Bottom Line

Deciding to go into debt is never an easy one. But if you find yourself faced with unexpected car repairs, it’s important to weigh all of your options before making a decision. Be sure to consider the interest rate, repayment terms, and overall cost of the loan before making a final decision. And remember, there are other ways to pay for car repairs besides taking out a loan. So be sure to explore all of your options before making a decision.

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