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Car purchasing question for you ladies.....

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007: Car purchasing question for you ladies.....
By Mom2three1968 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 04:19 pm:

Hope everyone is having a better day than me, work was a pain in the butt today! Then... driving home I get this call from my son asking for his dad and I to help him refinance his car. Let me give alittle background here, my son is in the Marines married with two children, two year old boy and a new 2 week old girl. Back in July they traded in a 2005 Ford Focus to buy a 2007 Ford Fusion, this was kept a secret from us, until today that is, well not sure if it's a secret but it was just never mentioned...The kicker here was the Focus would've been almost paid off within two years or so, and they decide to do this. Anyway they went from a 280.00 payment to a 500 and something payment. My mother had cosigned for them and put a hefty down payment on the car making the payment reasonable for them, this occurred before he was in the Marine Corp. Then they missed payments and my mom made the payments for them to save her credit. Fast forward two years and they decide to go and get this Fusion, with no cosigner, finally if you are still reading this my question is can they go back to the dealer, or a dealer and tell them the senerio and see if they can turn it in for a used car with an affordable payment? My mother seems to think that they aren't going to get away with this one. I just can't believe that they would go and make this deal knowing that the new baby was coming and their bills were only going to increase!! His goal was to get us to cosign so that his payment would be cheaper and there would be more income in the household. Appreciate any input that any of you may have!

By Dawnk777 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 05:27 pm:

Well, it can't hurt to try. What were they thinking? I'm guessing that their was nothing wrong with the Focus, and that they just got new-car lust really bad. At my house, the Saturn was bought in 1999, so it's 8 years old, and my Taurus was bought used in 2003, so it's 4 years old to us, but is really a 1998. What were they thinking?

I wouldn't be co-signing any loans for them. They should have just stuck with the 2-year-old car.

When we bought the first Saturn (1992), I think, my dad was a little concerned, because we weren't exactly rolling in money at the time, but we never missed a payment.

By Vicki on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 05:37 pm:

I agree that it can't hurt to try. But I wouldn't be co-signing anything at all for them. I doubt your mother would again either. He is grown with a family of his own. Honestly, it sounds like it is time for some tough love so they learn to live within their means!

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 05:44 pm:

It's quite likely that they will be able to find a dealer who will do a trade in for them, since I am always seeing commercials on TV saying "Bad credit or no credit" but they won't get what they still owe on it. They will still have to pay the remainder of the loan principle on the Ford Fusion.

By Unschoolmom on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 05:49 pm:

I think they should be left to figure this out on their own. They're showing a serious lack of thinking and planning skills and those don't get developed without exercise.

Suggested response, "No dear, of course I'm not goign to cosign. And I don't know what you need to do at this point but I trust that you'll find out. Good Luck. Bye!"

What they've gotten themselves into isn't a life or death matter...Yes, it may well have ugly concequences but they'll be reasonable and should have been forseeable. And it's sounds like they may need to suffer those consequences to figure out how to manage their family.

If I sound a little harsh, I once lacked those planning and thinking skills and it wasn't until there was no one to rescue me that I got my act together. Let them figure this out on their own.

By Yjja123 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 05:50 pm:

They WILL be upside down on their loan. The dealer will not give them what they paid for the car, so the remaining balance will be added to the cost of the loan for the used vehicle. This could make the payment close to what they are currently paying.

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 06:06 pm:

Ditto, Unschoolmom . Things may be tight for them until they get their car loan paid off.

They are adults and it isn't up to you or your mom to rescue them. They used poor judgment. They will have consequences. That's how we learn. If you or your mom take away those consequences, they won't learn better judgment. They made this mess on their own now they have to figure out how to clean it up on their own. (Do I sound like the mother of a 10 year old boy, or what?)

Thank goodness your mom doesn't have to worry about her credit anymore since they were able to get the Fusion on their own. Don't take that risk with your own credit. You have been working for too long to be able to provide for your future. Please don't risk that.

If you want to provide support, you could buy diapers or formula once in a while. Or babysit if his wife has a job.

Having said all that, I am so thankful that your son volunteered to fight for our country.

By Mom2three1968 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 06:28 pm:

Thank you all for responding! We are not going to sign for them, I told him that things have a way of "happening" and then we would be stuck... I talked to dil after I had wrote this and she said that they are fine with money, that he may not be able to buy everything he wants and sees all the time but they are alright, I can believe this because my ds is having a hard time coming to terms with his responsibilities, but that is something that he is going to have to deal with!

Lisa, Yvonne, and unschoolmom: thank you for the explanation about what most likely would happen if they were to turn the car in, it wouldn't be worth it at all in that case. I will explain to him what I've learned here.

I already send boxes periodically with clothes, snack items, small toys, etc, about once a month. I enjoy doing that for my small grandson and know that they could use it.

Thanks all, aren't kids just wonderful sometimes?!

Dawn: I have no idea what they were thinking! That's what I kept repeating over and over to him, I said that car was two years old...

Vicki: I agree it is time for tough love! I are more than ready for that!

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 07:10 pm:

So it sounds like she is the one with a good head on her shoulders. That's good that at least one of them at this point does. Was your son deployed? Is he having a hard time adjusting to regular life again? (Sorry, you may have already told us all of this, but I haven't been paying attention.)

Hang in there and feel free to come here and vent or cry when you need to. You sound like a good mom and gramma. :)

By Dawnk777 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 08:57 pm:

She sounds level-headed and he might be a bit impulsive. Maybe they balance each other out!

There's too much cute baby and kid stuff out there to not be sending them stuff once in a while! LOL!

By Mom2three1968 on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 09:18 pm:

Ds has been in 17 months, so far no deployments, he works at the transportation management office, basically working with household goods and other things that the Marines ship and move. They are both 21 years old, their history happened in this order, their son was born, he graduated high school, then they were married all within a months time. This was two years ago. Last April he joined the Marines. She graduated a year before he did.

Dawn, I am hoping they balance each other out, that's what I'm hoping! I'll be back I'm sure with other tales to vent, thanks again!!

By Amecmom on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 10:49 pm:

Their other option is to try to sell the car to a third party for at least the price of their buy out - more if possible.
We leased our car and the buyout will be less than the market value whenit's time to turn it in, so we will buy out the lease and either keep it or sell it.
For your son, if it's to expensive, a private sale may be the way to go.
When I was younger, I bought a car that was beyond my budget = more than 300 a payment in 94, but I loved it. I payed it off, and enjoyed it payment free untill I sold it just few months ago. I miss that car :).
Anyway, jus wanted to throw in that a private party sale might be an option.
Parents are always between a rock and a hard place. The times my parents have baled me out have been monumental and great learning experiences for me. I hope to be there in the same way for my children.
Hope they can solve the problem

By Crystal915 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 12:07 am:

Ok, I'm going to be the one to disagree here. Many dealerships offer big rebates and military bonuses that could end up covering the portion of the loan that they are upside down. The other alternative is a used car, so no rebates, but if a dealer bought it for way below book, they have more room to sell it at a price that can cover the upside down on the current car. It can be done, with a SMART buyer who does the research helping them. I actually would consider the co-sign if it were my child, because someone co-signing with good credit can help the loan amount tremendously. Set up an allotment for the car loan, and you cannot default. The military can punish a soldier for not paying their bills, so he's in a sticky situation. Another option is to call his lender, and ask for a military finance rate, some companies will go to the special rate usually only offered during a deployment, and it's usually around 6%. A final option for him, if no one co-signs, is the MILES (search US MILES) program, which has a high interest rate, but helps the soldier get a loan, and requires the dealer to meet strict critera such as only selling the car for <$500 over book value. I worked as a car dealer, and we saw situations like this all the time, but there are ways he can help himself.

By Karen~admin on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:56 am:

Didn't read all the responses, but just want to add this about co-signing:

DH and I (foolishly) co-signed for a number of student loans for DS a few years ago for college. Freshman year he could not get loans without a co-signer, so we made a huge one in our name only, which we agreed to pay. After that, we co-signed loans for him because the interest rate was cheaper - he could have gotten them without a co-signer, but he was going to Loyola and we figured the lower interest rate would help him out. Of course, we did this, naturally assuming he would graduate with a degree and would be in a position that paid a *nice* salary, so no problem paying off the loans.

Well, DS threw us a curve ball, dropped out in his junior year, and defaulted on the loans. Since both our names were on them as co-signers, OUR credit rating was in jeopardy. So, since March of 2006, we have been paying *his* student loans every month, simply because the only way to get OUR names off the loans was for the payments to be made ON TIME, EVERY MONTH for a period of 24 months, then we can get our names off the loans. It's going to be a hardship here real soon, and I am very upset with DS for doing this to us. So, next March or April, we can hopefully get our names off the loans and then DS can deal with the consequences if he doesn't pay them on time.

Just our experience.................go figure, try to help someone and it bites you in the butt.........

He did the same thing to my X, his dad, who co-signed for him to buy a car, and DS defaulted on THAT loan too. X has been paying the car note, took the car from DS, and now DD is driving it.

A lesson learned the hard way..............

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 10:49 am:

Yikes, Karen! I took out my own student loans, when I was in college. One I got through a bank and the other one I got through financial aid, but it had a really low interest rate! I paid off all my loans on time! My first car was a hand-me-down from my parents, so it wasn't a loan, but there would have been hell to pay, if I hadn't made my payments, so I did.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 11:15 am:

I absolutely would not co-sign. He already has a history of missing payments on the loan your mother co-signed, and from what you say he has behaved very irresponsibly in this car purchase. And, from what your dil says, if you co-sign and it frees up more money for them every month, he is liable to continue buying what he wants when he wants it instead of starting to behave sensibly. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your child is let him take the consequences of irresponsible behavior and (one hopes) learn from the experience.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 02:54 pm:

When we bought the Taurus, we did ask Gary's dad for an advance on our tax refund, because we'd found the right car NOW and the tax refund wouldn't be coming for a few weeks. We paid that money back, as soon as we got our refund, though.

By Mrsheidi on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 06:25 pm:

Has he tried Carmax? Sometimes they'll take the car off your hands and maybe they'll break even. ANd, it's true, the military gets in trouble with their boss if they are behind on payments or not paying child support, etc.
I can't even imagine have a $500 car payment at that age...ugh. :(

By Mom2three1968 on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:17 pm:

Tell me about it Heidi, I almost had a fit when I found out!!! I am not co-signing for him, my ds has some hard lessons to learn. My dil mother just sent them 300 dollars for the heck of it, I guess that according to her (dil) she is always calling to ask if they need money.( Dil would rather not ask for money) But then this makes me look bad because I'm not sending money like that) I send stuff when I can with the boxes for my grandkids but I can't afford to send 300 a pop just because. If they need money for diapers then I could see that, does that sound bad? And I've never heard of Carmax, I will have to look that one up. Thanks everyone.

By Dandjmom on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 12:34 pm:

First let em say , yeas i feel that they did make a mistake in tsellign the first car for a newer one ( especially wtih a higher note) , but iI can also say that at that age young /early 20't I bought a brand new car right after i got my license, kept it for 9 months got another brand new car and the difference that was not paifd off on ym first car was rolled over onto my new car loan. This made the paymetns extremly high but they wnated to ge me in that car, so theywhere able to lower my car not by 100+ per month, by offerign em a balon paymetn at the end of my contract, I went for it becuae they todl me oh you can refinance the car again by then , and or you will probaley be have done moved on to something else. They got me, yes i wnet for ti , I had help all I had to fdo was worka dn pay my car not e and car insurance, my moher took care of everything else. If i didnt' have the money for my car note guess what she took car of that too, I had a 4 3 yeahr old daughter by theis time, let me cut to the chase two years later my mother passed at the age of 47. I was let with out her . left alone to take car of my daughter and myself. Oh did I mention there was nto a sotre ( not even home depot) that I didnt' have a ccredit card for.

But as soemoen mentioned earlier until tahts support system is gone and they are forced to do it all on there own and not have anyoen to bail them or him or her out then they will continue to if i see it if I wnat it I'm going to get it without thinking of down the line.

Tell them to call me. I sturggled for years to try to do it to keep it going, there was even oen year that me and my daughter didnt' have anythign for thanksgiving( nto that it really matters to have turkey) but we didnt'have anythign becaue I was behnd on the car note tso that I could pay the rent and I was behignd on the rnet ofr payign the car note, and along iwh everything else. Things got so bad that I would ge paid pay what bills I could and have 35 dollars to grocery shop with for the next two weeks. what really broke my heart and really made me releize that I have to do something to get my slef otu of this and get it aqnd keep it together, In the middle of the Safeway grocery store in the forn of the line my then 5 year ol dpicked up a pack of 25 cents chewing gum adn asked mommy when you get soem more money can we coem back and get this for me? And she was loufd at the fromnt of the line. the cashier took it from her put it in the bag and said here honey you can have it. I felt so bad 25 cents.

So at the age of 28 I have to do somethign , I decie dto do what I never wnated to od and vowed that I never would, But to get my little girl out of this hole that I had dug, she deserved better she deserved a desent winter coat wihish nether of us had.

I had to file bankruptcy.

So please tell if they need to hear it form the horses mouth to plese give me a call, I've been there it ain't pretty.

talk abotu 300 I wish I had some oen to send me diapers, toys, clothes, what ever else.

So no trust me you are more then gererost wih your thoughfulness of your grandkids. If dil mother is able to send 300 just because and she wnats too , then let her send it. tke it form me, you dotn' worry abotu what anyone else is nothign. you do what you can' something is better then nothing, you keegp up wtih you nowt the Jones.

But I hope that your sds and dil both relieze an drelieze soon that all that glitters is not gold. I hope everything works out for them.

Oh and I dont' knwo who said it but they are correct ont he car thing, a dealer will let them trade to a used car, but its' nto going to be worth it, the payments can turn otu to be more or exactly what they are paying for right now , sSo if your going to pay for somethign you might as well put it to use and keep it.

I'll keep them all in my prayers.

By Tarable on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 12:50 pm:

I have not read all the responses but most and your DS sounds a LOT like my ex, when we were first married and he was in the military. He had a VERY hard time coming to terms with being a family and taking care of all of our needs and not just his wants.

I would suggest to you that if they do come on really hard times and you want to help them out, don't send them money send them diapers and things that he can't spend on him. I know that sounds bad but even when I was the one with a good head on my shoulders it was really hard to say no to my ex because I was so in love with him. So when my mom would send money it always ended up being spent on something for him or whatever he wanted...
BTW.. I am not saying your DS is as bad as my ex was but it can't ever hurt to be careful.

Good luck!

By Hol on Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 12:42 pm:

I would not co-sign either. At some point, they need to grow up and learn to live on a budget. I do agree, tho, not to trade the car. They are better off trying to somehow pay for it. If they make payments on time, it will improve their credit rating. Also, I agree that trading it for a used car is a bad move. Not only, as has already been mentioned, could they end up with a car that is not as reliable, but the payments could be as much or more than for the new one. At least a car payment can be budgeted for. Unexpected car repairs cannot (on top of having to pay car payments). At least they will have a maintenence-free car for several years.

We saw a lot of financial irresponsibility in the military. I don't know why. We had neighbours in base housing in the 70's that couldn't hold onto a dime. He was E-4 but he drove a brand new Chevy Malibu SS with all the "bells and whistles" (for it's day). Yet, they didn't even have food in the house the second week of the pay period. They would only eat well the first few days after the 15th and 30th of the month. We would smell steak grilling and my DH would say "You can tell it's payday. The ***** are cooking". It was really sad.

I agree with the others who have said that you have to practice "tough love" if they are ever going to learn to stand on their own two feet. You won't always be around to bail them out. Your DIL's mother may think that she is being loving, but she is enabling them to be irresponsible. And don't worry about competing with her. In the long run, you are helping them more.

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 04:56 pm:

Yet, they didn't even have food in the house the second week of the pay period. They would only eat well the first few days after the 15th and 30th of the month. We would smell steak grilling and my DH would say "You can tell it's payday. The ***** are cooking"

So, why would they spend their limited funds on steak, which has got to be the most expensive cut of meat out there, when they could have been buying ground beef and chicken and made meals that would last longer, like soup or chili? They apparently never learned, huh? Did they have kids?

By Hol on Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 11:58 pm:

Dawn- I agree with you, but that was just another example of their skewed priorities. At the time, they only had an infant daughter. We lost track of them when they got transferred.

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 07:32 am:

One can only hope that they got their heads screwed on straight, after a while. Yikes.

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