Monday, September 28, 2009

My "new" car.

On Saturday, Dee dragged me to our local dealership for a little browsing. We were immediately set upon by a pleasant man named Juan (these guys do NOT waste time, they should make an Olympic sport out of this). He showed us the 2010 Ford Fusion, and I asked if they had any 2007s or 2008s. He showed me a few, including a 2008 that was a lovely shade of red, but the one that caught my eye was a 2007 SE with a price tag under $14K. Dark blue with less than 28K miles on it, I was intrigued. I explained to him what I was looking for in a car: safety, fuel efficiency, and a low price. It already met two out of three, so he explained the safety features to me. I like what I was hearing.

After making a few ominous references to the middle-of-nowhere dealership from hell that I had recently visited (okay, I'm exaggerating, but they still suck), he finally asked me, looking a little surprised and confused at my hints, where I had gone. "Reiss Ford," said the Dread Pirate Davi. Juan's reaction was to roll his eyes. That spoke volumes right there about Sucky Dealership's reputation. I explained to him my confusion over what I thought to be my decent credit score. We sat down, go to talking, went over some options, etc etc. They came up with a figure for the trade-in value of my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS, which was $1K ovver blue book value (and, conveniently, a hundred dollars over the payoff price for the loan...sweeeeeet). After coming up with guestimated monthly payment, I decided to go home and sleep on it.

After class the next day, I went back. I was told that my credit score was not what I thought it to be (thanks for nothing,, and the obstacles standing in the way of my taking home the car that day. Without going into boring details, we managed to clear them. These people were really working hard to get me the best deal possible. The bank they were working with (who, according to the finance officer, is a bad subprime lender...I'll have to look up the exact meaning of that) would not seal the deal without a $1600 down payment. So they gave me another grand for the trade-in value, which would go towards the down payment, and I just needed to give them $600. I could live with that. Finally the finance officer sat me down, told me my actual credit score (so appalling that I will not share it with you), and even explained to me why it was that low and why the bank they were working with was going with an APR of...take a deep breath, sit down, grab the nearest bottle of liquor...19.9%.

(I can see Laggin having a stroke as she reads this. Breathe, Laggin, breathe!!)

I felt so defeated. My payments would be around $370. I wouldn't be able to afford extending the warranty. But I took the deal. Why?? As I spelled it out for Fiance (necessary, because I die of swine flu, the poor man will inherit all my ghastly debt):

1- Even with taxes and what have you figured in, I was getting the car for less than blue book value.
2- The dealership was giving me the payoff amount for my car and more ($2K more than it's worth), and I don't see anyone anywhere giving me that kinda deal; Reiss Ford was only giving me $2200 for it. The Santa Fe will be paid off, and I have a down payment.
3- The Santa Fe has 111,000 miles on it. And I'm still making payments towards it?? No thank you.
4- It's a simple loan, which means I can pay extra towards the principle without incurring penalties.
5- I plan on refinancing in six months to get my interest rate down.

I signed the paperwork, but the finance officer said he might be able to get a better deal come Monday. I did not hold out hope for this. But at least I had a "new" car.

I missed a call from his this afternoon, and listened to the voicemail later. He told me that he had indeed gotten a better deal, and that my payments were now $327 with the warranty. Happy dance, anyone?? I just needed one document, and the deal was done.

I obtained said document, and headed over there with Dee. Juan was waiting, and he brought us in to see Anthony, the finance officer. He said he had found a better bank to go through, and showed me what the numbers were now like. He ripped up the old forms, and brought out the new ones for me to sign. I asked what my APR was now, expecting something between 10 - 15%.

"Seven point seven-five," says he.

My jaw dropped, and I turned to Dee who mirrored the expression on my face. I was in shock, and I was so thrilled!! I could afford the warranty now!! My payments would only be $18 more than before!!

Juan put my new plates on my car, and even did a favor me (beyond what he had already achieved for me!!). When I was in Puerto Rico last summer, my dad bought me a car decal. It has the American flag, and next to it the Puerto Rican flag. Beneath it, in Spanish, it says "Orgulloso de las dos." It means, "Proud of the both." Which I am. When my dad bought it, I said I would not use it until I had a new car to put it on. And now I did. So Juan, being of Puerto Rican himself, was happy to put it on for me - - oh, I just realized something. I had him put it right above the break light at the bottom of my back window. My poor car has a tramp stamp!! Ha ha...Now, to come up with a name for her...One that isn't too prissy for her "tramp stamp"...I've got it. I shall name her Bella, short for Isabella. And it has nothing to do with Twilight. I liked that name long before Stephanie Meyers was writing.

As I have denounched Reiss Ford of Marissa, Illinois, so shall I praise Auffenberg Ford North of O'Fallon, Illinois. I want to thank Juan Cruz, Kim Robison, and Anthony Brinker for all their help in putting me into a new car. They were friendly and helpful beyond belief. Thank you.

2007 Ford Fusion SE 4D.
Front-wheel drive.
< 27,000 miles.
Between 25 and 31 mpg.
ABS and MP3 multi CD changer.
Dark blue.
Tramp stamp on the rear window.
Named "Bella".

PS...Juan told me to blog about this, but he might not have thought I'd actually do it. So, if you go there, and you deal with him, tell him about this post.

1 comment:

Monica said...

You are lucky to find such an awsome sales person. I always have to worse luck in dealing with sales people. I hate haggeling and that is what they make you do. Your guy went to bat for you, and O'fallon IL is just an hour away from me so maybe when I have to buy another car for hubby we will visit Juan. And Tell him you sent us.