Steer clear of advertisements that offer to help you with high car payments or assume your car loan.

Such programs could cost you your car and good credit.Several Utahns have been ripped off by programs offering to sublease their cars to others who will assume the payments, said Bill Beadle, director of the Better Business Bureau.

They offer to find someone who will take your car off your hands. You give the business power of attorney to lease out your car.

But what the business doesn't tell you is that the ownership of the car and the responsibility for making car payments stays with you.

The business that has your car then turns around and advertises cars for sale with bait such as "bad credit no problem," Beadle said. "They attract people who want a vehicle but can't afford or qualify for a loan to buy one."

These people claim to assume your car loan, but you are still liable for payments. If payments aren't made and the car is repossessed, it goes on your credit rating.

Because subleasing your car is prohibited by most banks and credit unions, the institution holding your loan can sue you for subleasing your car.

If the person who has your car is involved in a hit-and-run accident or receives parking tickets, you are liable for those problems.

"One woman had to pay $104 to clear a parking ticket in her name because the person who had her vehicle didn't pay the ticket," Beadle said.