The College Student Car Loan: My Sad Story
You’ve seen ads for a college student car loan, right? I want to tell you a quick story of how this can work if you aren’t careful.
Yeah, it’s a story of a screw-up. A mistake. Getting, as it were, shafted. Sort of taken to the cleaners…
So if you are thinking that you want to buy a car with bad credit, or on a cool special college student car loan arrangement, or you are going to get an awesome car, take a couple of minutes and check out this article.
And yes, sadly, it is my story!
I get it – you need wheels. You want to get around. Understood. I needed a car, too, and I had no money, and I was in college.
All my money was going to tuition and rent. I was broke. Life sucked.
But there were a couple of bright spots! I had just gotten married, and I only had 2 years to go…okay, so my bright spot needs work.
No Wheels Times 2!
I think you see now, I have an even bigger problem – I don’t have a car, and my new, beautiful wife doesn’t either. And she’s not happy.
You can see the problem, right?
There’s an old saying, when mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy!
And I felt that pain. We didn’t live on campus, and we were using a bike to get around. We had classes, work, and so on. Yeah, I lived close enough to walk, but on cold days, it wasn’t close enough.
My Solution – Get a Car and Fix It Up
It turns out that I have some experience repairing cars, working on cars, that kind of thing.
Naturally, I figure I can handle this. I look for a used car to buy in the classifieds. And I can save some money by buying a great used car. The only money I had at the time was through a cash advance on a credit card.
What a fantastic solution, right?
But in my mind, I figure I’ll have a car in no time, my wife will be happy, and I’ll get to drive to campus.
That should be the model of the car:
I start looking at used cars to buy, and went to see a few. I’m still thinking this will be easy. I don’t need a fancy college student car loan, I’ll just pay with my credit card.
And voila, we find a car. It’s a few years old, but it runs, and has auto windows and locks, and it’s even an automatic which my wife prefers.
I’m all set, right?
Yeah, I’m all set – I’ve made a mistake and I don’t even know it yet.
This car ran, but not very well. I was able to tow a small trailer across a couple of states with it, but it’s getting worse by the day.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, it didn’t have a catalytic converter! These are required for registering your car – the converter cleans the exhaust as it leaves the engine. I had no idea that it was missing when I bought the car!
And a converter is expensive. But it turns out that is just the icing on the cake.
We left school for the summer to work, which means I am now hundreds of miles from college, my car can’t be registered, and I am still not flush with money. And the transmission goes out.
I was able to sell it to a junk yard for parts. Ouch.
And now, I am back in the same situation I was in before, but now I’ve been burned.
I think you can see where this used car story is going. I went to a dealership and got a used car, with what the dealer said was a college student car loan, and supposedly a good deal.
The Moral of The Story
Anyone can get burned buying a car. First I bought a lousy car, then I spent too much getting a good one.
The loan had too high an interest rate, and I didn’t know what I was doing.
Be careful buying a car while in college. Yes, get a better car than I did the first time. You want a reliable one that doesn’t guzzle gas, but you don’t need a high end car, just a basic one. And if at all possible, you will want to avoid the loan. No one needs more financial pressure while in college.
Get what you need, but don’t overdo it. You’ll have to pay that college student car loan for a long time.