Let's say, that one morning, you wake up and your ride is gone. You knew that that you were behind, or maybe the insurance lapsed. Whatever the reason; medical bills, furnace or air-conditioner went out, crime, death in the family, whatever. I'm not here to judge. So you go to bank and they tell you that unless you can pay off the entire balance, you are not getting the car. After paying the repossession company to get your stuff back, you're in the unenviable position of having to find another set of wheels. This is going to be difficult with now battered credit.
Even after eight years since the global financial crisis, people are still having difficulties. With the average car payment at $480 a month, it's very easy to get behind and find yourself in a lot of trouble.
I'm not here to school you in consumer education, as you have already learned an inkling of what society is capable of. It may not seem fair that the repo man took your ride, or that the loan officer treated you like a scumbag. However, they have jobs to do, bills to pay and probably a home to maintain too. It gives someone no pleasure to have to carry this stuff out any more than it pleasures me to tell a customer they need to replace an appliance. Repo men are stabbed, shot, and maimed every day doing their job. Loan officers get a fair amount of flak for sure; even if it is from the comfort of their office chair.
This article is going to assume that you are NOT going to try and obtain credit for another ride. Paying time payments on an older vehicle is very risky considering the average vehicle repair is close to $500. Even if you can fix these yourself, you might still find that these coupled with a car payment are going to bust the budget. While paying cash for a car might seem counterproductive, I've had lots of experience in selecting, driving and maintaining cash paid vehicles. You can usually fix these with used parts and you can also be a lot more creative in repairing them, to a point. These alone will save you in the repair department. A vehicle between ten and twenty years old is also going to have a greater availability of aftermarket parts, making this more cost effective as well.
Once you get your stuff back from the repo man, take inventory and put everything that stayed in your vehicle in one place. This is going to save you money buying cell phone chargers, a GPS, and whatnot yet again. A GPS is particularly helpful if your replacement ride has a speedometer or odometer that doesn't work and you won't be able to fix it right away. Save your license plate as well, especially if this is current unless you live in a state that requires it stay with the car. In my home state, you can transfer the plate to your 'new' wheels for a nominal fee. This is about a tenth of the cost of a new registration and plate, so why pay for this twice.
Saving up for a ride may seem impossible, but it shouldn't be. If you didn't make the payment, and were going to, put that money aside first. I saved $20 to $30 a week as a teenager for a year to get my first car. At that rate I had about $1200 saved up. Since most of us don't have a year, this is going to require saving more. Forego eating out for lunch and bring one. Maybe sell some stuff you don't need or offer to work some overtime. While this might be enough to make you want to go to those buy here, pay here places. I assure you these guys will repossess your even older ride without hesitation. You will pay three times what the ride is worth even if you manage to pay it off. In the next chapter, I'm going to give you some ideas and try a few myself as this is going to be an active project that I'm participating in. Maranatha!