Illinois Low Income Programs for Car Ownership


A car can make a difference to a busy family. Owning a car makes it easier to commute longer distances for work, opening up a wider area during a job search. It’s also easier to shop for groceries and run other errands.

C.A.R.S. Ministry

  • The C.A.R.S. Ministry program of Willow Creek Community Church is geared toward single mothers and others in need of transportation. The program provides cars and auto repair. Vehicles are donated to the ministry and repaired and cleaned by some of the program’s 90 to 100 volunteers.

The Ways to Work program

  • Poor credit history? No credit history? The Ways to Work program helps low-to-middle income families in the Quad Cities area who are having trouble receiving a car loan from their bank or credit union. The program helps applicants reassess their finances, then develops a monthly budget. Approved applicants can borrow up to $4,000 for a two-year payment term at an interest rate of no more than 8 percent.

Car Sharing Programs

  • Only need a car once in awhile for shopping or other errands? Car sharing programs are available in many cities such as Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Naperville. It’s less expensive than paying insurance and maintenance for a car that’s used infrequently. Users may pay an annual fee, usually between $35 and $50, plus an hourly reservation or usage fee.

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