Can Your Car Be Repossessed If You Make Partial Payments? Answered

One partial payment is unlikely to result in repossession, but if you have an extended history of partial payments, your lender may choose to repossess your vehicle. While vehicle repossession is always a possibility, but it is often the last resort for lenders. More often than not, lenders are willing to renegotiate loan terms and alter payment schedules to help you finish paying off your car.

If you are in good standing with your lender and have a solid payment history, it may be possible to get a one-time courtesy pass to help with extenuating circumstances. Other times the company may offer some sort of grace period. In all cases, a total lack of communication and failure to pay the balance in full for several months in a row will result in repossession.

Below, we cover the repossession policies of several major lenders. To gather this information, we contacted each company’s customer service department.

Ally Auto Finance

Note: See our related research for more details on Ally’s late payment policy.

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies based on account[1]
  • Steps before repossession: Ally will charge a fee and a finance charge, and there will be a 30-day grace period after which your credit will be impacted.[1]
  • How long before repossession? Varies case-by-case; 30-day grace period before credit is impacted and repossession becomes possible[1]
  • Contact: Send an email (must log in) or call customer service at (888) 919-2559

Bank of America

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[2]
  • Steps before repossession: Bank of America issues a warning after 10 days, and provides an additional 30-day grace period before sending the account to collections.[2]
  • How long before repossession? 40 days[2]
  • Contact: (800) 215-6195

BMW Financial Services

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[3]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies by state[3]; see our related research for information on the repossession process by state
  • How long before repossession? Varies by state[3]
  • Contact: Sign on to chat or call (800) 576-5000

Bridgecrest Acceptance Corp

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies by dealership[4]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies by dealership[4]
  • How long before repossession? Varies by dealership[4]
  • Contact: Send a message or call (800) 967-8526

Capital One Auto Finance

Note: Our related research has the details on Capital One’s auto repossession policy.

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[5]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis; no specific repossession policy[5]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[5]
  • Contact: (800) 946-0332

Carmax Auto Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[6]
  • Steps before repossession: Grace period is offered, but varies by state (e.g., Texas has a 15-day grace period)[6]
  • How long before repossession? Varies by state[6]; see our related research on state repossession laws
  • Contact: (800) 759-4091

Chase Auto Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[7]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[7]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[7]
  • Contact: Send an email or call (800) 223-5050

Chrysler Capital

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[8]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[8]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[8]
  • Contact: Log in to chat or call (855) 563-5635

Fifth Third Bank

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[9]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[9]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[9]
  • Contact: Send a message or call (800) 972-3030

Ford Credit

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[10]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[10]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[10]
  • Contact: Send an email or call (800) 727-7000

GM Financial

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[11]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis; partial payments may also affect credit history[11]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[11]
  • Contact: Log in to send a message or call (800) 284-2271

Honda Auto Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies based on contract[12]
  • Steps before repossession: Notices will be sent before the repossession process begins.[12]
  • How long before repossession? Varies by contract and case-by-case[12]
  • Contact: (800) 448-9307

Hyundai Motor Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[13]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[13]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[13]
  • Contact: Log in to send a message or call (800) 523-4030

Nissan Infiniti Financial Services

Note: Our previous research features the details on Nissan’s late payment grace period.

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[14]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis; Nissan has a department that specializes in collections that will work with you on a plan.[14]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[14]
  • Contact: (800) 456-6622

JSC Federal Credit Union

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[15]
  • Steps before repossession: No standard policy, but partial payments are treated the same way as late payments and will affect your credit history.[15]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[15]
  • Contact: Send a message or call (281) 488-7070

Lexus Financial Services

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[16]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[16]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[16]
  • Contact: (800) 874-7050

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[17]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[17]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis; you’re more likely to get a grace period if your account is in good standing.[17]
  • Contact: Log in to send an email or call (800) 654-6222

Navy Federal Credit Union

Note: Our related research features the details on Navy Federal Credit Union’s auto repossession policy.

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[18]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies; options include a new payment plan, promise-to-pay note, deferment, or loans[18]
  • How long before repossession? Three to four months past due date (if you have not made any contact with the credit union)[18]
  • Contact: Log in to chat or send a message or call (888) 842-6328

PNC Bank

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis; in some situations PNC will work around partial payments[19]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[19]
  • How long before repossession? Two or three months if you do not contact PNC[19]
  • Contact: (888) 762-2265

Santander Consumer USA

Note: Our previous research features the details on Santander’s repossession policy.

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[20]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis; you may be able to receive a grace period depending on your account status[20]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[20]
  • Contact: (888) 222-4227

SunTrust Bank

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies on a case-by-case basis[21]
  • Steps before repossession: A billing specialist or the collections department will reach out to you before the repossession process begins.[21]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[21]
  • Contact: (888) 461-8862

TD Auto Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[22]
  • Steps before repossession: After 60 days, your credit will be impacted and the repossession process will begin.[22]
  • How long before repossession? 60 days[22]
  • Contact: Log in online or call (800) 556-8172

Toyota Financial Services

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Varies based on the terms of your contract established through your dealership[23]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies based on the terms of your contract[23]
  • How long before repossession? Varies based on the terms of your contract[23]
  • Contact: Use the contact form or call (800) 874-8822

U.S. Bank

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[24]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis[24]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[24]
  • Contact: Chat with a banker or call (800) 872-2657

Volkswagen Credit

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[25]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis, but Volkswagen will begin the repossession process after continuous partial payments if you don’t contact the company.[25]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[25]
  • Contact: Log in to send an email or call (800) 428-4034

Wells Fargo Auto Finance

  • Repossesses after partial payments? Yes[26]
  • Steps before repossession: Varies on a case-by-case basis; your account will go in past due status if partial payment is made.[26]
  • How long before repossession? Varies on a case-by-case basis[26]
  • Contact: (800) 289-8004

Avoiding Repossession

An extended track record of partial payments will negatively impact your future lines of credit, as well as putting you at risk for repossession. The best way to avoid repossession is to stay in contact with your lender to communicate your financial situation and renegotiate your payment schedule. Most lenders offer a grace period or adjustment in monthly costs. Some also allow you to defer car payments (as previously reported). See our related research for more information on how repossession works and how to avoid it.

  1. Ally customer service (888) 919-2559[][][]
  2. Bank of America customer service (800) 215-6195[][][]
  3. BMW customer service (800) 576-5000[][][]
  4. Bridgecrest Acceptance Corp customer service (800) 967-8526[][][]
  5. Capital One customer service (800) 946-0332[][][]
  6. Carmax customer service (800) 759-4091[][][]
  7. Chase customer service (800) 223-5050[][][]
  8. Chrysler Capital customer service (855) 563-5635[][][]
  9. Fifth Third Bank customer service (800) 972-3030[][][]
  10. Ford Credit customer service (800) 727-7000[][][]
  11. GM Financial customer service (800) 284-2271[][][]
  12. Honda Auto Finance customer service (800) 448-9307[][][]
  13. Hyundai Motor Finance customer service (800) 523-4030[][][]
  14. Nissan Inifiti customer service (800) 456-6622[][][]
  15. JSC Federal Credit Union customer service (281) 488-7070[][][]
  16. Lexus Financial Services customer service (800) 874-7050[][][]
  17. Mercedes-Benz customer service (800) 654-6222[][][]
  18. Navy Federal Credit Union customer service (888) 842-6328[][][]
  19. PNC Bank customer service (888) 762-2265[][][]
  20. Santandar Consumer USA customer service (888) 222-4227[][][]
  21. SunTrust customer service (888) 461-8862[][][]
  22. TD customer service (800) 556-8172[][][]
  23. Toyota customer service (800) 874-8822[][][]
  24. U.S. Bank customer service (800) 872-2657[][][]
  25. Volkswagen Credit customer service (800) 428-4034[][][]
  26. Wells Fargo customer service (800) 289-8004[][][]