I spent most of my Saturday at a car dealership. I've done this a few times before having bought 3 brand new cars in the past; prior to my financial awakening.
Fortunately, even though I spent most of the day at the car dealership, the new car was not for me. My Uncle called me up on Friday advising he was ready to buy a new truck and wanted me to go along to help him out. For some reason, when my family has financial questions, they seem to call me. I'm glad to help out when I can.
I was going to write a post about the entire experience but it would be an extremely long. I've decided to take a different direction and just highlight three main points from this experience:
- It's financially beneficial to have a good credit score.
- Know the full details of your financial situation.
- Never co-sign for a car loan.
Know the full details of your financial situation. Again, for the same reason as posted above. Not only that, he was not sure how much money he made or who his creditors were. This can save you time and embarrassment (if you have a poor credit score).
Never co-sign for a car loan. With my uncle's low credit score, he had very limited options for purchasing his new truck. I purchased my car from the same salesperson and same dealership so the salesperson knew that I had a good credit score and stable income. The salesperson is a distant relative so she pulled me aside and asked if I would co-sign on the loan. I do appreciate the fact that she did not ask me in front of him. That would have been extremely awkward!!
As much as I wanted to help him out, I had to decline. I did not want to risk him not making the payments and having this car loan on my credit report for the next 6 years. Luckily, his wife had a high enough credit score to co-sign on the loan.
After spending about 6 hours at the dealership, my uncle drove away in a brand new 2008 Nissan Titan. I drove it and I have to admit it is a nice truck but I think financially it is not going to work out. The payment is a bit much for their income and gas will be a killer. I tried to talk him out of it and explain the cons of purchasing a new vehicle but in the end, my words fell on deaf ears. I know the feeling as I had been there before. You want something and you will not stop until you get it; whether it makes financial sense or not.
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