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Study shows more consumers are focusing on car payments

There was once a time when New Jersey residents, and people all across America, would put paying off home loans as a priority in their debt management. In fact, out of the three most typical types of loan payments -- car loans, credit cards and mortgage loans -- American's are placing more priority on car loans than anything else. While these loans are certainly important, disregard for other payments may lead to worse debt hardships that sometime require bankruptcy protection to solve.

A recent TransUnion study examined the patterns among four million people who held at least one credit card payment, one car loan and a home mortgage. Out of those who made late payments last year, 39 percent were late on mortgages and 17 percent were late on credit card payments, while both groups were consistently on time with their car loan payments. Only 10 percent were late on their car loan while being up to date on the other two loans.

This trend makes some sense; in order to maintain a job in most places, some sort of transportation is required to get to and from work or even to find a job in the first place. Being late on a car loan payment might result in the loss of the car, much like being late on mortgage payments could result in the loss of the house. In fact, one man who was surveyed commented that he would rather be late on his credit card payments as he claimed they couldn't take anything away, and are easier to bargain with.

Regardless of which payment may be easier to be defer, most New Jersey residents would agree that it is preferable to not be late on any of these important payments. However, in today's economic climate, that is not always an option. When debt becomes too much to handle, bankruptcy is often a viable option.

Source: StarTribune.com, "Americans put a priority on staying current on the car loan, a study finds," Pallavi Gogoi, March 29, 2012

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