It wasn’t too long ago that my car just up and died. It was expected, but it didn’t have to have such bad timing. I had already been late for work one morning that week due to my daughter having a temper tantrum about going to school and two days later, going down the road, my car sputtered, coughed, and never started again.
Here I was, divorced, not making much money and now without a car. I really didn’t need the extra bill of a car payment or the added cost of full-coverage insurance. I was already paying almost six-hundred a month for rent and utilities and then add on the expense of electric, telephone, and food, and well, most of my money was already gone. But, knowing I needed a car to get to work, I had no other choice.
I took a cab to the local Ford dealership and looked at the less expensive used cars. No matter that they were used, I felt they were still too expensive for what I could afford. Then the smooth-talking salesman came out and said he had exactly what I was looking for. It was silver, 1998 Dodge Neon and wasn’t a bad looking car. The price was still a little higher than what I wanted, but after test driving the car, I liked it a lot. The next thing you know, I was filling out the credit application and he’d sent the car off to get ready to take home. He told me it would only take about twenty-minutes for approval and then I could take my new car home.
However, things never work out as planned and within minutes he came out and told me my credit application was denied. They stated it was due to my debt-credit ratio. On top of that, I was still on my ex-husband’s mortgage which was perpetually over thirty-days late. Combine these two items and they didn’t think that I would have enough money left over after everything else to pay my car payment. I argued and told him that I could cut down on expenses, such as cable television and even electric and heat. At that point, I think the salesman thought I was crazy. I wasn’t. I just needed a car. Instead of taking the car home, I took my hurt pride home.
I eventually got a car, however, I paid. Due to having my name still on my husband’s mortgage and paying high rent, I couldn’t finance a car the normal way. Instead, I went to one of these small places that don’t care about your credit. They simply charge a very, high interest and make you pay by the week. It’s funny, though-the finance companies didn’t think I’d have enough money to pay a car payment, and yet, I paid $89.00 a week for a full year. Add that up and you’ll see that I could have afforded their $180.00 a month payment. I did learn a lesson, however. I had my ex-husband take my name off his mortgage and I learned to save my pennies. Next time, I plan to pay cash for a car or at least have enough for a large down payment.