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Old 04-01-2010, 11:14 AM
660 posts, read 1,320,822 times
Reputation: 386



I have created a thread in the Massachusetts forum about my experience in trying to find a used vehicle (with a small down payment of $500) with a poor credit rating. So far I have been to "JD ByRider", "Chris Auto" and "Drive USA". Drive USA was the second one I went to (yesterday) and at least the salesman gave me a ride home. Both dealerships I spent $25+ on a taxi just to get there (money I could have used toward taxes, other fees and registration). JD ByRider had me sitting there for THREE HOURS without ever telling me whether I had qualified for financing (I know they are a ripoff, but I'm desperate for a number of reasons), and had the nerve to ask me to sit around for 2-3 more hours while they "verify references" before they could even determine whether (and how much) I would qualify for.

Yesterday, the salesman at Drive USA claimed that "we are nothing like JD ByRider. He told me over the phone "this is the end of the month, so you may get lucky, bla bla bla"....... yet......I was there for 2-3 hours waiting to hear something good, when I could just as well have been getting some sleep at home in preparation for work last night. Finally, the salesman told me "when you get home give me a call with the landlord's number so we can get that verified". I tried calling him but got hung up on twice.

Also, yesterday when I tried to give him the phone number to my employer for verification he insisted that the "bank is going to try to contact your employer's HR department". When I explained to him that they will have a hard time finding the correct number he refused my information.

He told me this morning "we lost our power three times yesterday, so we were having problems transferring calls". I tried giving him the landlord's number, but he claimed that he had "found it online using a reverse lookup" which is baloney because I searched for hours yesterday using the same process and all the sites just want you to pay for simple information such as phone number, etc. So, he refused the landlord's number, saying "the one we have is probably the right one" (what an idiot). He said that he was in teh middle of meeting another client and adamantly refused to even write down my landlord's number. He abrasively told me that he would call me later (I will be sleeping) with an update.

That other dealership, Chris Auto Sales, the salesman claimed that he used to work for Drive USA and that his dealership was NOTHING like Drive USA. And, he told me that $500 down would be good enough for me to get financing. He said "I just need 15 minutes of your time". Later on, after not calling me back like he promised (and me calling and letting his office know that I had not heard back from him), he calls me back and says "We just don't have anything on the lot that will fit your down payment". Huh? Then, WHY did he tell me earlier that my down payment would work??? He then said that maybe in a couple of weeks when they update their inventory they will have something more appropriate for my down payment and that he will give me a call then.

Are these dealerships jerking my chain or something? Why can't they just be honest and say "you won't qualify for financing with us or our bank"? Are they HARVESTING INFORMATION (like temporary employment agencies do when they don't really have any "clients"), in hopes of making a buck off me in some other way? I'm just confused with the way I have been treated, and I am blowing money on taxis to get to these dealerships, only to be given some bull**** line about "we'll give you a call".
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:41 AM
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,321,366 times
Reputation: 5137
hmm if your desperate for a car and can't really afford one my question is should you be getting one because cars are expensive to own and operate if I were you I would try to build up some better credit pay off some bills and save some more money for a bigger down payment that way you can qualify for a better loan and lower intrest rates.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:50 AM
660 posts, read 1,320,822 times
Reputation: 386
GREAT advice, but it is not applicable to me. Here's why. I am an hour from my son and it is VERY expensive to go visit him (I'm in a custody battle), so much so that with just three visits I could be making a car payment. And, to take a taxi to work is expensive. I can't even do normal things like go grocery shopping without having to take a taxi. I can't even get to see the area around me without having to take a taxi. I have no other choice, and if I want to move FORWARD (as in getting a second job so that I CAN pay off some bills) then I need a vehicle. If I were younger, if I did not have a child, if my work situation were different, if I lived at home with my parents, etc. etc. I would definitely do what you're suggesting.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:03 PM
3,698 posts, read 9,982,342 times
Reputation: 2593
If you get a car that has a $500 down payment at a buy here-get screwed here dealership, then you're pretty much buying a $500 car.

Just buy a $500 car. Save up your payments for your next car. The nice thing with a $500 car is that you can almost always sell it for $500 when you're ready to move up.

boston cars & trucks - all classifieds - craigslist
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:04 PM
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,245 posts, read 3,331,568 times
Reputation: 1319
Sorry to hear about the run around. I went to Eastern's not too long ago and waited forever for them to tell me if I was approved. Since then, I've gotten multiple letters from various lenders that Eastern's submitted my information to to get financing. Some of these places are not "Buy here, pay here." They still submit your information for financing to outside lenders. I think the waiting is partially due to them waiting for a response from lenders. Its funny, but while I was there, their power went out and they couldn't access the computers. When he did tell me I was approved, it was at 21% interest with $3,000 down!! Needless to say, I left after being there for 2 hours.

However, I just purchased a car from a true "Buy here, pay here." I only had to show him two pay stubs and give a down payment. No references, no credit checks, no calls to my employer. Quick and painless. I got a pretty good deal on a good looking, good running car (2002 ZXE for $3800). Because I thought I would have to pay so much more for a car in good shape, I had $2,500 to put down but he asked me if I had $500 to put down before I told him I had more. The remaining $1,300 I am paying off in 4 payments of $325 so he is not actually financing it because there is no interest involved.

I did this at another dealer years ago and was going to go there again, but the cars were more expensive (like a 2002 Accord for $10,000). However, other than the high prices, he worked the same way as the dealer I just used.

I don't think the dealers were harvesting your information but these larger "bad credit" dealerships with multiple locations seem to operate in a funny way and also seem to be a little pushy.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:06 PM
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,321,366 times
Reputation: 5137
hmm have you considered buying a cheap beater and put the min amount of insurance on it that may be the way to go for the time being until you get you self in a better financial position to buy a nicer car or truck. pick up a used 90's basic model honda civic it's cheap on gas easy to find parts for and fix and 1000 bucks could get you one in good running condition but it may have a few dent's and dings but it gets you to point A and to point B and if you are a bit mechanically inclined it is cheap to own and operate and in a year or so when you get your finances more under control you can use the car as a trade-in or sell it pretty much what you paid for it...
anyways good luck hope things work out for ya

Last edited by GTOlover; 04-01-2010 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:19 PM
660 posts, read 1,320,822 times
Reputation: 386
The cheapest vehicles I have found in Craigslist.org for the western part of Massachusetts ALL seem to say something like "new tires, but no motor" or "runs good, but needs to be towed to your place" or "just rebuilt motor, but car is missing the right tires". You may think I'm exaggerating quite a bit, but I'm not.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:22 PM
Location: PHX, AZ
210 posts, read 523,518 times
Reputation: 188
I agree with the guys suggesting finding a $500-$1000 car on Craigslist to get you by.

Don't go deeper into debt on a car note. Search Craigslist - in as many neighboring areas as you could realistically get to. Keep an eye out for old Volvos. If a $1000 Volvo with 200,000+ miles on it still starts and moves under its own power, it will continue to do so. They are built like tanks, parts are cheap, and they are very easy to work on yourself. BONUS: Online communities like turbobricks.com usually have members everywhere, so if you DO need help with the car, you can very likely find knowledgeable people willing to help you out if you're willing to learn and maybe buy them lunch.

Keep your head up.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:29 PM
660 posts, read 1,320,822 times
Reputation: 386
In this part of the state there is only the "western Massachusetts" section on craigslist. I am not going to pay a taxi to take me to some other town just to look at a vehicle. If the thing runs, the seller should have no problem bringing it my way. All of the neighboring towns out here are listed in the above mentioned section of CL, so those are my choices.

But, thanks for the words of encouragement. I do think that Drive USA is jerking my chain. The guy hasn't bothered to call back today, and I just KNOW that if he is going to call back it will be tomorrow or next week with something like "we need the correct number for your landlord" (AFTER I have offered the thing to him, but he refused it)

I should say that I was looking at buying a $500 1988 Festiva today, but found that the insurance, taxes, fees and registration would cost MORE than the Festiva itself.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:29 PM
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,303,189 times
Reputation: 1957
Can't you find a local tote the note car dealership? All you need with those is a paycheck stub, the down payment and you're out the door. Look in your local Greensheet or Pennysaver type papers. I don't know where you live but in the Dallas area you can get a decent car for $500 down no hassles.
Good Luck.
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