Good idea

Some car companies will make your car payments if you lose your job:

DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. are offering payment protection plans to help reassure consumers who may be putting off buying a new car because of worries about losing their job.

The offers come as auto sales have been battered by the recession and tight credit, reaching their lowest levels in 27 years.

Ford said Tuesday it will cover payments of up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if consumers lose their jobs. The program runs until June 1.

Hours later, GM said it will make a similar offer. GM’s new CEO, Fritz Henderson, said the company will make up to nine car payments of $500 each for customers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.