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When are late fees charged on a car loan?

Late fees for car payments – including when they’re charged and the amount – are generally determined by your lender, what’s in your contract, and what your state law says.

If you’re not able to make your loan payment by its due date, it generally results in a late fee. Some contracts, though, will provide a grace period of several days before you’re charged a fee, and the amount of the fee should be listed in your contract. Your state law may also set a limit on how much a company can charge as well as how long of a grace period you have before you’re charged a late fee.

If you’re having financial difficulties and know that you won’t be able to make your monthly payment on time, contact your auto loan lender or servicer as soon as possible. They should be able to help you understand your options, including changing the due date to better align with when you’re paid, or temporarily pausing or reducing your payments through forbearance, though you’ll need to make up these payments later.

Keep in mind that if your auto loan payments are late, it could negatively impact your credit reports and scores. Missed payments or defaulting on your auto loan could also result in your car being repossessed.

Your lender should be able work with you if you’re having issues or if there are errors on your account. However, if you’re having difficulty reaching someone or resolving your issues, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB.