Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 6
whafa: Out of curiosity, how'd you get stuck with 3 car loans?

Oy, yeah, that's a sore spot with me, something that I wish hadn't happened.

Four years ago my son turned sixteen and was active enough to need his own car. He had saved allowance money ($1500) and "bought" my Toyota Corolla, and I took his money for a down payment on a Hyundai Tuscon for my wife. (Car Loan #2). I drove a 1995 Suburban (paid for) that ran relatively well but guzzled gas.

A year later my son was in a car accident. Good-bye Toyota Corolla. The insurance gave us $8K for it, and I used that to buy a 2008 Volkswagon Jetta free and clear from the local Toyota dealer. That car turned out to be a lemon. Over the next year it needed $2500 worth of work and would periodically strand my son on the side of the road. One shop told me that the transmission was going to need to be replaced and soon, which gave me an idea why the previous owner had gotten rid of it.

I decided my son needed a reliable car before he went off to college out-of-state, so we took it to CarMax and traded it for a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt (Car Loan #3.) CarMax took one look at the Jetta and offered $1700 for it. So yeah, I turned $10,500 ($8K purchase plus $2.5K repairs) into $1700 in one year. (Ask me for investment advice!)

Six months ago the Suburban's transmission left me stranded on the side of the road. I needed to drive it just one more year until the Tuscon's loan was paid off when I planned to trade it in, but the Suburban had other plans. The estimate was going to $3500 for the repair, for a vehicle with a street value of about $1000 that I was planning on owning for less than a year. So with a heavy heart I let the Suburban go to charity and bought a 2008 Hyundai Sonata (Car Loan #1).

For those keeping track at home, that's four car purchases in four years. I'm currently dumping everything I can into a "Tuscon Payoff" fund that doubles as an emergency fund, and I hope to have it paid off in First Quarter 2016.
Print the post  

Announcements

UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.