If you lose your job, Ford ( F) and GM ( GM) are there to help with your car payment.

Going a step further than the helping hand extended by the Korean automaker Hyundai, Ford and GM announced Tuesday that they would cover up to 12 and nine payments, respectively, for new-car buyers who lose their jobs.

Ford will pay up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury if consumers lose their jobs. The program runs until June 1.

GM will make up to nine car payments of $500 apiece for customers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Customers must qualify for state unemployment to be eligible. GM's program starts April 1 and runs until April 30.

In January, Hyundai launched a program that allows buyers to return a vehicle within a year if they can't make the payments due to a job loss or disability. The company said the program helped it avoid a double-digit sales decline last month, when it reported a 2% job.

GM and Chrysler have received billions of dollars in funding from the federal government and still face the prospect of bankruptcy. GM's CEO resigned this week as the Obama administration auto task force decided that GM's and Chrysler's restructuring plans weren't viable.

Ford has not sought nor received any U.S. aid. The automakers report their monthly sales figures Wednesday.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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