updated 8/30/2005 2:31:26 PM ET 2005-08-30T18:31:26

The finance arms of the two biggest U.S. automakers, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., said Tuesday they are allowing customers affected by Hurricane Katrina to defer their car loan payments.

GMAC spokeswoman Joanne Krell said customers should contact local GMAC offices for an extension of up to 90 days. The company also will waive late charges for people who have been affected by the hurricane.

"We take a very commonsense approach to this," Krell said. She added that GM and GMAC plan to donate at least $500,000 to the relief effort.

Ford's program is open to customers living in counties that have been declared disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The offer includes customers of Ford Motor Credit Co., Jaguar Credit, Land Rover Capital Group, Mazda American Credit, PRIMUS Financial Services and Volvo Car Finance.

Eligible Ford customers should receive a letter within a week and must register within 60 days to qualify. Customers also may contact the companies if they believe they're eligible but haven't been notified.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
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