Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feeling Down

I'm having a bit of a bad night. In the beginning of the year, Jason and I were rendered carless. An opportunity arose in March to get a car, but that fell through horribly and we lost $1200 in the deal. (Believe me when I say that is a rant for another day... And it's a long one. So we'll skip it.) When we lost the opportunity to have a car right before Kairi was born, along with all that money, it set us back an entire year on our 5 year plan. (I don't even know if I would call it a 5 year plan as much as a 2-4 year plan - 5 year just sounds better.) Our plan required a car, because our plan required me to finish school, which involves a commute to a neighboring town.

So, since January we have been without reliable transportation. That might explain why I literally jumped for joy when last week my mother offered to borrow $3k from a close friend to help us get a car. The offer was for her to borrow the money and we would pay it back out of our tax money. Since I didn't work this year, I was not certain we would get that much money in our taxes, so I used Jason's income information from last year to estimate what we will be getting this February. The results surprised me, although I should have guessed. We will be getting much more than I had anticipated - close to $10k - due to Earned Income Credit and having a second child claimed this year.

So I began my search for cars on Immediately I found a car that I really wanted: it was the least expensive one on the site as well as a model that I have been wanting for a long time, a Ford Focus. It's an '06 and was running right at $7k. I called and spoke to a sales rep who got Jason's information from me and put in a finance application. Our application was denied. The bank wanted us to finance at least $6k through them (with our $3k down payment it would only be about $4k financed) and they wanted us to get a car that had less than 60k miles, whereas the Focus had 92k. The bank also said that we had to get a car that was at least an '04 model, but that didn't really apply here, because like I said before this was an '06.

The next day I looked again. I found an '04 Kia Optima that had 54k miles and was $8500. Add the tax, tag and title to the price and we would be financing right at $6k on it. Just in case we fell short of the $6k I asked Demarcus, the sales rep, to find out what the minimum down payment would be to reach that $6k would be. He put in a new application for financing. We were denied again. The bank this time said that they wanted us to get a car that was at least an '06 model and had less than 50k miles. And $3k was the minimum down with our credit. I scoured the site and didn't find a single car that met the criteria the bank gave as well as our price range. I want to get something that we can pay off completely with our taxes but they just didn't have anything within the scope.

I spoke with Demarcus again and asked if they had anything that wasn't on the site that met our needs. He said that they didn't, but that if we had a co-signer it would open more options to us. We could get either the Focus or the Optima if we wanted.

I emailed my mother and told her what Demarcus had said. I didn't ask her to co-sign because she's already doing so much for us. I was merely updating her on the situation. I also asked her to call me when she got off work. This was two days ago, and I didn't hear anything. I called her tonight and was talking with her about the situation. She told me that she doesn't feel comfortable borrowing the whole $3k and would feel better about it if it were closer to $1500 or $2000. With that amount, even with a co-signer, financing would not be feasible for us because the monthly payment between now and tax time is more than we can afford. Even the payment with a $3k down payment was pushing it. She suggested I look in the paper for something instead. I told her to forget it. I don't want to put a Band-Aid on the situation with a piece of crap clunker from some random guy off the street when in a few months I can get something from a dealer that will be likely more reliable and closer to what we need.

So now we are back to where we started. No car, and no plans to get one until tax time. Great. I'm incredibly frustrated. I don't understand why my mom would offer to borrow $3k in the first place and then back out of it. I feel like I got my hopes up for nothing. I'm not mad at my mom, because she is still generously offering the $1500-2000, but I can't help but be disappointed at the situation. I wish she hadn't offered in the first place if she wasn't comfortable with it. It's not like I asked her to do this.

It's also frustrating that everyone I call to try to talk this out with has to let me go for one reason or another. Again, I'm not angry at anyone, I am just feeling sorry for myself and I would like to talk to someone about it - but no one is available.

I realize that I am probably acting childish about this whole thing. I am sure that I likely sound like a spoiled brat. And I apologize if it comes off that way. I just don't feel like it would be appropriate to accept help that is not going to be the kind of help we need. And I feel like if my mom isn't comfortable with her original price after a week, she will likely not feel comfortable with her secondary offer either. I just don't want to feel guilty for accepting her help if she's not comfortable with it. In most cases the old "any help will do" thing comes into play but here I feel like it would be more burden than benefit.

I think I might go lay down. It's early, but it might just be time to end my day.


Anonymous said...

no i actually relate..
hhmm..may be i am also a soiled brat...sigh..

Anonymous said...

I can completely understand. I think you are smart for not putting yourself in a situation where you wouldn't be able to afford the monthly payment. And I would be upset about the rescinded(sp) offer too. If your mom wasn't comfortable, she shouldn't have offered in the first place. And you know, I'm always around on the LT to talk to if you need it. Kristin

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