Car Loans: The Good, The Bad, The Better

by Lindy on April 17, 2012

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First, the good news.

We killed one of our debts! Husband’s car loan is officially outta heeeerre.

Auto Loan 1 Finito

Now for the bad news.

Four days after paying off A-Rob’s car loan, we replaced it with another one.

Yep. After announcing on Friday that I was shopping for cars, I found one that very afternoon.

We knew we’d need to replace my car eventually, but we weren’t expecting it to be so soon. My car was showing signs it wouldn’t make it through the long hot summer though, so we made the decision to trade it in while it still had some value.

But never fear, there’s a silver lining. The new car loan has a much lower interest rate than the last, and the payment is $200/month less than what we were paying for A-Rob’s loan.

So I’d like to introduce you to the newest, shiniest member of our family, Auto Loan #2. He’s such an agreeable little guy, I think we’ll keep him around for awhile while we pound down his higher interest siblings, Student Loan and Home Equity Loan.

Auto Loan #2

In the next few posts I’ll tell you all about what I learned while shopping for a car, including how I avoided being eaten alive by car salesmen, how the numbers can contradict traditional car-buying wisdom, and how I ultimately got the best deal on my new-to-me ride.

Until then, I wanted to share with you some of the articles I read in preparation for my big purchase. If you’re thinking of buying a car, these offer some great advice.


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  • Congrats on paying off the car loan. Interested to hear about your car buying adventures as well!

  • Congrats on both the new car and paying off your loan! I was terrible when I bought a new car and did very little reading up – I just bought the car. I lucked out because I got a great car, though.

  • Oh, totally looking forward to those posts, as I get my mind around the whole car-shopping experience. Will we get pics of the new shiny family member? Or perhaps a name?

    • Lindy

      Oh, good point. I need to think of a good name for the new addition.

  • Congrats on getting a new car and killing the other loan! Awesome! Can’t wait to hear more about your purchase. Ever since I bought mine, I’ve become fascinated by what people choose for themselves.

    Thanks for the link love!

  • It was probably a good idea to trade in your existing car before it broke down on you. That would have added all kinds of other expenses and might’ve made you rush your car buying decision. Congrats on both the new car and for paying off the other loan.

    • Lindy

      That’s what we felt too. I did a little hypothetical spreadsheet calculating and it made the most sense to buy now, even though we didn’t have quite as much saved up as we’d hoped.

  • Congrats on paying off the car loan! I’m more than halfway to paying mine off!

  • Timely post — we’ll be buying a new to us car next month. I’m not sure yet if we’re going to buy new or used. I’m leaning towards used but you never know!

    • Lindy

      There are some good deals on new cars these days. :)

  • Great job paying off the car loan! Sounds like the new loan is a much better deal!

  • Congrats! And lol. I feel like that’s the way it’s going to work out with ours, too. The loans seem to take just a little shorter to pay off than the life of the vehicle. That’s awesome that you’ll be saving so much, even with a new loan, though!

  • I tell ya, it PAYS to have good credit! The best credit rating = the best car loan deal. We’re in the same situation as you, sorta, in that we really need to get a new car and upgrade. Hubby’s pushin’ a ’99 Nissan Maxima and I’ve got an ’06 Honda Accord. We have 3 kids, and yeah–we strap those babies in there like sardines. But if it means not having another car payment, which we haven’t had since 2010, then I’m willing to stay squeezed.

    But yeah, sooner or later, we’re going to have to upgrade. And all the links you posted are awesome.

    P.S. And all those personal finance blogs that get on their soap boxes and say, “Hey! Pay cash for your next car!” — um… do they know the price of a nice minivan that is going to last 10 years?? At least $23,000, I’m sure of it! Hogwash. Get a good rate and be done with it. :) LOL

    Thrift Diving

  • YEAH! It feels so good to get rid of a debt! We are looking at needing to replace one of our cars and will start that fund in the coming months. The idea is to keep driving the car until it dies (we have another car that is very reliable) and then buy another hunk of junk.
    My preference is to drive a newer car but my husband likes small old ones that have get a million miles to the gallon. They typically need to have a strange smell in them too when he buys it. I don’t know why :?

  • Congrats on paying off the loan! We need to look for a new car in the next two or three years, and I am not looking forward to the entire process. I wish a new car would just magically show up in my driveway. :)

    • Lindy

      Seriously, that would be the best. Car shopping can be the pits.

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