There are several different ways to acquire a vehicle for personal use. The conventional way is to buy the vehicle from an owner or dealer. An alternative method is to take over payments on the owner’s existing loan. This process is called assuming a loan. Assuming a loan involves more than a simple agreement between the buyer and seller. Merely making truck payments on behalf of a seller could have legal ramifications if the seller’s lender refuses to turn over the truck title once the loan is paid off or if the truck is repossessed in conjunction with bankruptcy proceedings.
Obtain a copy of the seller’s financing agreement with the lender. Read the finance agreement carefully. This document will contain information regarding whether the lender will permit assumption of the loan and other conditions pertaining to the loan such as the length of repayment.
Contact the seller’s lender and ask to set up a meeting to discuss the loan assumption with the seller and the lender. The lender will advise you as to whether a loan assumption is possible and the specific process they use for the assumption. If formal loan assumption is not available through the seller’s lender, you should consider applying for a new loan to purchase the vehicle from the seller outright rather than merely making loan payments to the seller.
Read, sign and submit any documentation provided by the seller’s lender for purposes of the loan assumption. You will most likely need to undergo a credit check and sign a promissory note to assume the seller’s loan. Additionally, read all documents carefully. The seller’s lender may impose a higher interest rate or change the terms of the loan depending upon your credit score. If you do not agree with these terms, do not sign the assumption documents.
Begin making monthly payments to the seller’s lender. The seller’s loan is now your responsibility.