Last week my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe died after many years of good service limping into my driveway at 4am after a long bar shift. Of course, this was “my” car and it safely got me home one last time. That car had never let me down, never broke down, had an amazing warranty, barely nickled and dimed me on repairs at the end, and was the sole car in our family for many years. It was the first new car my husband and I ever owned which was so completely exciting at the time. When we bought the SUV we planned to camp a ton and never have kids. We camped a ton, then had kids and the car transported both of my babies home from the hospital. We survived with it being the only vehicle in our home, due to the great public transportation nearby, for eight years.
Today my husband and I went car shopping. I have been having anxiety about it and not sleeping for days. As they went to gather a financing package for us my husband and I we nearly got divorced in the dealership. Why you ask? We have credit PTSD. We have had punk rock credit for years. We paid our bills but we had spotty work histories and missed payments here and there. When you live off the grid, credit is hard to come by. Our first house had a 12% mortgage!! My husband and I had some dings especially eight years ago when he was unemployed for a long time and again in 2008 when money became very tight as we were paying over half of his paycheck biweekly for healthcare plus co-pays for the boys which were drowning us in debt.
When the financing came back we were ecstatic to discover our credit is excellent not just good as we thought, after checking our credit earlier this year. The worry was for naught and we got a mega low financing rate, paid less than the blue book value on the car, and have crazy long warranties which includes inspections and oil changes for four years. We have worked with this smaller dealership twice now and every time they have done right by us.
We bought a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe with 20,000 miles on it. They certified the car for us and we got approved for a crazy low interest rate, paid thousands under the blue book value, worked with a VERY low pressure sweet salesman, and they actually gave us down payment money for the car that did not run. Even though the car is five years old we will have 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty that starts today and goes until the car is 10 years old or we hit 60,000 miles and a 100,000 mile power train warranty. I have to say I am a fan of the Hyundai’s.
The car drives like a dream and it is home with us tonight. I had absolutely no reason to get this worked up over the credit part of this but I did. It comes from years of not being able to rent a house and buy anything on credit because we had jobs off the grid. Writing “rockstar” on the credit application when they ask for occupation does not lend itself to people wanting to hand you money and I have been turned down many times. Although I wanted a car that sat more kids for carpooling opportunities this will do for us for now. We have worked hard and responsibly to get where we are and at times I forget that.
I can’t wait for a real road trip since my car has less miles than my husbands car which was new in 2011. HA.