6 Organizations That Can Help You Pay For Your Vehicular Repairs

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Owning a car is rather expensive, even if the car that you bought outright wasn’t expensive in the first place. You’ll need to not only buy the car, which could involve paying for a vehicle over months or years if you finance it but pay for car insurance. Car insurance is not something that Americans simply go without; on average, this will cost you an additional $92 a month, though the price could easily be much higher if you add on elements like emergency roadside assistance. Then you’ll of course need to pay for things like gas, washings, and cleanings. Regular maintenance like oil changes is necessary, as are yearly inspections. But perhaps what can be most devastating for an individual already struggling to maintain paying for their car is a simple unexpected repair.

There are a lot of issues that come with paying for car repairs. But if you also have a family to take care of, it can be difficult to decide what to prioritize. You can’t get to work or ensure that your children are able to attend school without a working vehicle. However, paying for unexpected repairs can force you to forgo other necessities like groceries or regular bills for the month. What do many Americans do? They put off their car repairs for as long as possible, attempting to save money while driving an unsafe vehicle. This can lead to you not only breaking down on the side of the road but potentially getting into a dangerous accident. It’s vital that you have your car repaired in a timely manner. Putting off repairs could result in the issue growing much more expensive to repair in the first place, or could even cause you to have to replace your car entirely. Fortunately, there are options in terms of car repair assistance for low income families.

The unfortunate thing is that many families aren’t aware of the fact that car repair assistance for low income families exists. We assume that we must all pay for car repairs in full, up front, and that there isn’t any help available. Furthermore, we don’t know how to access the organizations that can assist us. That’s why we’re looking into what is available for families that struggle to pay for their car repairs. We all need to be able to own cars, and we need to be able to repair them too. It’s simply difficult to live and work in the United States without a working vehicle, and while you can save money through buying a used car over a brand new one, finding assistance for your car repairs can be somewhat more complex. Let’s explore some of the options that may be available for you.

1. United Methodist Church

Understandably, those that are seeking car repair assistance for low income families live across the country. So while some of the organizations we discuss may be available in specific areas, it’s important that you’re aware of more widespread organizations as well. The United Methodist Church has a presence across the United States, and believe it or not, the church does indeed offer auto body repair assistance in many of its locations. A Christian ministry, the United Methodist Church is aware of the fact that a working, safe vehicle is necessary to keep your family taken care of in much of the nation. While some Christian ministries focus more on soup kitchens, the United Methodist Church has chosen to make car repairs a part of its charitable giving efforts. In fact, it’s quite possible to get entirely free car repairs from the church.

Often, this ministry effort comes in the form of a church-backed garage staffed with volunteers. You’ll probably need to work around the church’s schedule in order to get free repairs, but this is very much preferable to paying in full for your repairs, right? For that matter, some of the churches also offer not only car repair assistance for income families but also donated cars outright. Volunteers will usually repair damaged or older vehicles and offer them to families that otherwise would not be able to afford cars. This is obviously preferable to working with used car dealers, and furthermore a good way to ensure sustainability. A lot of these cars would otherwise end up in a junk yard, but are being repurposed in a positive way. If you have a United Methodist Church in your area, you should reach out to it and see if there are car repair assistance programs offered. Even if you need to travel a bit further to have your car repaired, it could very well be worth it, especially if you can get towing assistance through your insurance policy should your car be difficult to transport.

2. The Veteran’s Administration

If you or a family member are a veteran with a service-related injury, you could possibly seek out car repair assistance for low income families through the Veteran’s Administration. These repairs and types of assistance are very specifically meant for veterans with service-related injuries for a reason, however. The V.A. is responsible for aiding veterans as they transition to civilian life. If veterans were injured during their service, that transition can be all the more difficult. Therefore, the V.A. specifically offers services to either provide a vehicle that accommodates service-related injuries or disabilities or adapt an existing vehicle in order to make it drivable. This can be incredibly helpful for veterans that need to attend their civilian jobs, but have disabilities and injuries that prevent them from driving their cars as-is.

Often, this will come in the form of a grant valued at up to $21,488.29. Usually, the injuries that are accommodated through this grant will include the loss of one or both feet or legs, the loss of one or both hands, permanent decreased vision in one or both eyes, ankylosis in one or both knees or hips, a severe burn injury, or ALS. Veterans need to file claims for disabilities and receive approval from the V.A. But if you think this assistance could apply to you, it’s a good idea to explore the option before asking an automotive repair shop if they can help you make adaptations within your car.

3. The CARpenter’s Garage

Much like the United Methodist Church, the CARPenter’s Garage offers car repair assistance for low income families through a faith-based initiation. The goal of the CARpenter’s Garage is to spread their beliefs regarding the love of Christ through charitable giving, in this case by offering car repairs at an extremely reduced rate. Even the title of The CARpente’rs Garage references their Christian faith, as Jesus Christ was a carpenter by trade in the Bible. Supported by the community and volunteers, The CARpenter’s Garage is located in Vancouver, Washington, and is a federally registered nonprofit organization.

A quote cannot be provided in terms of exactly how much repairs offered by The CARpenter’s Garage will cost, as they are offered based on a sliding scale. Those in need of their services need only submit an application, after which they will receive a response from the organization in a timely manner. The organization has a particular focus on single-parent families, as well as families with disabled veterans, seniors, and others that are unable to easily pay for car repairs. While the car repair assistance for low income families provided by The CARpenter’s Garage is partially funded through donations, the organization also accepts donated cars or boats. Donors are able to donate these types of vehicles to the organization and actually benefit from the donation in that it’s tax-deductible. Not only is the organization potentially able to use such donations to fund their efforts; if a donated car cannot be repaired, it could be used for replacement parts that will help make repairs for low income families even more feasible.

4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Sometimes, a car repair is needed not because of anything that you did, or in general due to any problems with the car that occurred due to regular use. At times, the car is damaged outright due to product liability issues. A car could have been mass-produced with an inherent manufacturer issue that you only become aware of later. It can be incredibly difficult for low income families to cope with the vehicle issues caused by these flaws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is very aware of this problem, which is why they’ve stepped in under certain circumstances. You can actually check in with the NHTSA to see if the problem with your car is related to a recall issued on the car.

It can be difficult for you to know whether or not a recall has been issued related to your vehicle until you check in with the NHTSA. But the process for making that check can be remarkably simple. Before going to see an auto shop or even looking into other programs that offer car repair assistance for low income families, you should visit the NHTSA website and click on “recalls”. Afterward, you’ll enter your vehicle’s VIN number. If there have been any recalls related to your car, you can actually return to your dealership and have the car fixed for free. This is one reason why it’s so important to buy your car from a reputable seller like a dealership rather than visiting a private seller. You may very well be unable to get assistance if you bought your car from a private seller.

5. Workforce

A lot of the programs that offer car repair assistance for low income families are focused on getting people back to work, understanding that it is difficult for people to return to the workforce without a reliable vehicle. Workforce is a county program, which means that it is widely available to people across the United States. They can offer you resources regarding individual grants and discounts that can help you pay for issues that are making it difficult for you to drive your car. An aesthetic problem like the need for a dent removal may not be addressed through these types of programs.

Different areas will offer more car repair assistance for low income families than others, of course. For example, Pennsylvania will offer people grants of $8,000 in order to assist them in buying cars or $1,000 to assist in car repairs. Usually, workforce programs will offer assistance in the form of grants. This is in comparison to programs like those offered by the United Methodist Church, which will offer car repairs in-house. Again, these grants are usually offered to those who are specifically attempted to get back to work, and many people appreciate grants as they can use them as they specifically, whether they need to pay for new auto glass or a new engine. Some of them are specifically meant for women, who often in single-parent families are the ones that need to shoulder the burden of not only caring for the family in terms of nurturing but in terms of financial support.

6. Career Connection

Career Connection functions similarly to the programs mentioned above, in that clearly they provide car repair assistance for low income families specifically for the purpose of helping people get back to work. This program, however, operates only in New Jersey. They offer not only grants for auto repairs or costs related to car repairs like those of towing services, but also in some cases discounted car insurance. This can be enormously helpful to those attempting to keep up with their car-related expenses.

Career Connection does not solely operate in New Jersey. But it’s possible that your state’s Career Connection location may be able to help you in this matter as well; get in contact with them to verify whether or not car repair assistance is an option at your location. These services are offered on a case by case basis to those in need.

Such programs also offer the ability for those who wish to work on cars professionally to train; it could be great welder training for young mechanics attempting to build their skills and resumes, for example. They’re not only helping people but helping themselves. Don’t let yourself drive a dangerous car. Explore how you can gain car repair assistance for low income families as soon as possible.

December 2020
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