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I Learned How to Pay for a Car Today

December 11th, 2012 at 01:06 am

My friends were slackjawed to learn yesterday that we drove our car off the lot before presenting the complete payment for the automobile. "I can't believe they let you pay just $8800 before taking it home," said a friend who bought from that very dealer.
Her remark made me wonder if maybe we should have gone to the credit union last week to officially apply for a loan.

"So how then do you buy cars when you haven't yet applied formally for a car loan, and you buy at a date or time when the dealer cannot directly and immediately contact your lender?" I did not ASK to take the vehicle home: I was fine with picking it up in a few days.

I figured we would apply for the loan formally at some point, after the inspection and insurance, and the credit union would mail payment to the dealer. We visited the credit union today to get the loan and experienced a delay due to the "new"/"not new" status of the car, where we saw a cheque drawn for the balance of the vehicle. We borrowed 25% of what we were approved to borrow, so we knew acceptance was a foregone conclusion. We were to bring the remaining payment to the dealer.

"New" - present year model of vehicle.
"Not new" - previous title, 9500 miles on car.

So today I did drive to the dealer to bring in the cheque and a thank-you note for not sending the cops or repo men after us. To be hilarious (they have BMWs, Audis, Mercedes and Lincolns in the showroom) I showed up in my furs. I am relieved we were not reminded by the credit union or the dealership in a "what is wrong with you you car thieves" kind of way.
I feel this car purchase has just begun to change our lives.

I may even call the insurer today to remove the old car from our policy. I have to fax the insurer some documents anyway. But we have eleven minutes left on our phone for the month (family health emergency, car sales, car purchase, regular phone call home for DH), so I will download, install and run Google Voice.

Feeling poor but not broke: I bought a luxury down pillow from Pacific Coast, it has an outlet ten miles south of us, for 15% off, plus getting shipping free for ordering today. I am not sleeping, and I think the limpness of the pillows may be contributing to that.

Menu for the Week
Baked Chicken, from Nourishing Traditions
Chicken Noodle Soup, La Fourchette Cookbook
Spaghetti Sauce from Nourishing Traditions served on buckwheat noodles
Gourmet Succotash, from Nourishing Traditions
Foiled Pot Roast Eat Better for Less Money, with leftovers served with ratatouille for a casserole, perhaps with a winter root medley.
Red Bean & Quinoa Chili, from Feeding the Whole Family

Gratitude List
1. Learning new ways to protect my privacy, identity and anonymity online. Considering the lengths US and Canadian politicians are going to to transform the Internet to be that less of an open, unrestricted space, finding and using these options will be key for me.
2. The Portlandia crossover with The Simpsons, so I can view through Homer and Marge's eyes how we must appear to my relatives. My extended family is not hip at all. My immediate family is "punk in the head" without external signifiers like neon hair, leather, metal, ripped clothes, or tattoos -- it is all inside. DH's family is brainy and quietly subversive so we are at least 67% normal in their eyes. The hipsterish Springfield is not that far-removed from Seattle, especially when Homer remarks about how it's cloudier and cooler. At that point we doubled over. We saw these clips online, as we do not own a television.
3. The credit union representative and the dealership associate did not blink or yell at me for showing up a week later with the remaining car payment.

6 Responses to “I Learned How to Pay for a Car Today”

  1. aevans1206 Says:

    The hotel we stayed at in San Fran had bedding from there. It was divine and I have never forgotten the brand. Lucky you!

  2. snafu Says:

    Hope you're enjoying your 'new-to-you' Prius. What are it's best features?
    Are the rates, terms and conditions at CU significantly different than banks?

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    @snafu I am enjoying the new-to-us Prius, or is it the Pre-us Prius?

    Making a sixteen-year technology jump from a combustible engine vehicle, driving it is like operating a personal spaceship. For instance, I did not have three manuals for the Saturn, but I have three manuals for the Prius.

    We like the backup camera: it helps our angle-in and parallel parking, and we now back into the driveway, if only to reduce the chance of frost on the front windshield. We like the HD radio, the USB audio input, the button that converts between miles per hour and kilometres per hour. We like the secret storage compartment, and us being old we like that we sit higher up than we did in the Saturn. We learn daily some new feature of the automobile. For instance, I was all ready to yell at my spouse for leaving the doors unlocked when I gripped the handle of the driver door, but it was the key's RFID technology that unlocked the door! It also took me seven minutes to figure out how to get the car to move when it is parked on an incline. Mechanically-minded I am not.

  4. PauletteGoddard Says:

    @aevans1206 The Pacific Coast Sleep Experience is now on sale so you can relive your San Francisco hotel sleep experience at home https : // www.pacificcoast.com / hotel / all-collections / hotel-suites

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    @snafu forgot to answer your second question. The CU rates are slightly higher, I think. 1.9% was quoted by Wells Fargo, 2.5% by USAA, but I read somewhere that only the exceptionally well-qualified get those rates. Bankrate.com for November 2012 quotes the following rates for 48-month loans for new vehicles:
    Pentagon Federal Credit Union 1.49%
    Bank of America 2.84%
    US Bank 3.25%
    Wells Fargo (excluding special arrangement with current dealer) 4.99%

    I have 2.74% APR from my credit union and I can live with that. I will pay it off when we move or when I go back to work.

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    I love the backing camera on our Sienna. It really helps when you are backing up in dangerous places (like the high school parking lot!). It's my second favorite feature, after the heated seats.

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