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Old 02-02-2008, 01:29 PM   #11
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What car is it?

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Old 02-03-2008, 12:11 AM   #12
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Yeah, I have a '96 Jetta that I've been driving for (paid for quite a while). Time to save for a truck!

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Old 02-03-2008, 12:40 AM   #13
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I'd never buy a car on a loan. I can't believe how normal it seems to most people to just accept that $400+ car payment. It's one of the fastest depreciating piece of junk we ever buy and people let the bank take money on top of that.

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Old 02-03-2008, 01:38 AM   #14
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My wife and I live completely debt free (except our mortgage). We carry a large mortgage so that we could use all of the payoff money to place into investments. Interest can be written off, and our interest rate is really low... couple that with what we generally return on our investments, compounding... it is much better than having a home paid off and nothing in the market.

I too agree though, I would not get a loan for a car... I pay $7k max for a car and drive them til they are dead... and we have a household income of approx. $100k. My neighbors who are barely employed own the same size house as we do, and own cars worth about $60k... That seems to be the American way

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Old 02-03-2008, 01:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I'd never buy a car on a loan. I can't believe how normal it seems to most people to just accept that $400+ car payment. It's one of the fastest depreciating piece of junk we ever buy and people let the bank take money on top of that.
One loan is at 1.9%, the other's not too much higher. That's free money as far as I'm concerned.

My last car, as soon as it was paid off, the thing basically died. Could have been fixed, but in the process of figuring out what was wrong they found about a dozen other things that I'd need to deal with before long. On the positive side, the garage taught me how to reset the check-engine light...

Current car, though, I plan to drive a LONG time after it's paid off, but the wife's will need to be upgraded to a minivan if "other" plans work out. But, we intentionally bought cars (both Hondas) that we knew would hold their value better than anything else out there.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:46 PM   #16
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Yeah, at 1.5% or even anything less than 3% is worth financing if you have an investment return that beats it. Even with the rates crashing down, I'm getting 4.07% in the money market acct.

Of course, I'm talking about having enough liquid cash to pay it off immediately if the investments start going bad.

It seems though that most people financing cars they can't afford to pay cash for also can't qualify for the promotional low rate so they're overstepping their means twice.

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Old 02-03-2008, 12:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Dean
Today, I'm done! Paid off the remaining balance and it's MINE!
Excellent! We just sent in our last payment on Monday. Bought a Mazda Protege for my wife back in 02'. Got 0% financing. This has been a great car. Just replaced the original battery after 67 months of service. Nothing but brakes, fluids, air filters, for this one. When we were looking at different cars I told my wife about someone I knew who was still driving the Mazda they had in high school 15 years earlier. Hope we get that kinda longevity. +1 on putting at least half of the new $ back. We were looking forward to the "raise" as well but decided to build a maintenance/down-payment fund instead. I'm still pretty lit up about our good news. Congrats to you again.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:53 PM   #18
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Incidentally, it was a Protege that basically died on me after I had it paid off....

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Old 02-03-2008, 02:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort
Feels good, no car payment. Now, start sticking half of that payment away in a fund for maintence and repairs. It will come in very handy when you have a $1,500 repair bill in the next year or so.
You're right about that. My car is in the shop right now and you can't get anything except oil change for less than $300. I lease a Honda Accord for SWMBO, after 3 years get another one. Only thing you change is oil. I figured out all the costs and is actually cheaper than doing anything else. And you know what feels better than no car payment? No house payment, paid last payment yesterday.
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
What car is it?
A 2003 Chevy Malibu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I'd never buy a car on a loan. I can't believe how normal it seems to most people to just accept that $400+ car payment.
I was a starving college student at the time I got this car and it was all I could do to pull together a down payment. When you have a certain amount of income and an immediate need that risk assesment swings quite a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol
and we have a household income of approx. $100k. My neighbors who are barely employed own the same size house as we do, and own cars worth about $60k... That seems to be the American way
I'm not a fan of rampant consumerism either. That said, the main reason I hate my car is because it's "nothing special". My wife and I are really shifting into that "cheap car" mentality though we're making the added switch that the car we buy has to be "fun" for us (we've each got different criteria on that one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Yeah, at 1.5% or even anything less than 3% is worth financing if you have an investment return that beats it.
My grandparents co-signed on this (it was supposed to be a guarantor but the dealer filled it out incorrectly) and I managed to get 2.5 APR on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joejaz
My car is in the shop right now and you can't get anything except oil change for less than $300.
Radiator flushes shouldn't be that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joejaz
I lease a Honda Accord for SWMBO, after 3 years get another one. Only thing you change is oil. I figured out all the costs and is actually cheaper than doing anything else.
The idea of taking out a car loan is abhorant to Bobby_M and the idea of leasing is even worse to me! He thinks in terms of "asset" and I don't, I consider it a very expensive consumer good so depreciation doesn't really matter much to me and I don't ever plan to sell it unless my goal is to get it off my hands. that said, the idea of paying to use, but not own, the car really doesn't sit right with me.

For everyone who suggests putting the car loan into a fund, I agree... Sort of. Several months ago we started moving towards living debt-free (not an easy thing) and managed to pay off all of our credit cards. The money from that went into an emergency fund which grew at a very decent rate. I feel confidant at this point that I can manage any severe auto failure or any combination on several smaller ones.

Paying off this car is a mixed blessing. We didn't just send in our last payment, it was an early payoff. The money from this, however, is rolling right back into a new vehicle. Say what you will, I've been a Honda Element fanatic for a while. (See, my Honda Element Photo Gallery) In a search for "cars for big guys" I test drove a TON of them but fell in love with the Element. (For all ye big guys out there, the results of my test drives blew me away...) My wife hasn't had a car in almost a year, and while I actually do enjoy driving her to and from work every morning, it really sucks for her not to be able to take a lunch break unless she can borrow someone's car. We've spent the last few months searching and searching for a car for her and didn't find it. Having finally given up, or at least been worn down, she said 'Get your Element" since I knew what I wanted and would have little issue getting it. The decision to pay off the Malibu allows her to have that car, and since we own it she's welcome to trade it or sell it to get a car she likes better, but eliminates the (dangerous) desire to have a car quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joejaz
And you know what feels better than no car payment? No house payment, paid last payment yesterday.
Have to have one first. It's on my list.
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Last edited by Kevin Dean; 02-03-2008 at 02:46 PM.
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