About three weeks ago, my old junker Toyota experienced yet another breakdown. This time it was the radiator. I had been filling it with only water (which, apparently you are not supposed to do) causing a slow rusting of the cooling system. I took it to the mechanic and was told that it would cost $600 to fix. On top of that, there were other parts that were so old, they were bound to break any minute. They quoted me another $600 to get those issues fixed. So it was either borrow a car from someone else (who wanted montly payments), inconvenience everyone else to take me to work for who knows how long, or put more money into a car that was not worth saving. I could also take the bus, but it's kinda dangerous doing that when I would be coming home after dark at times. I decided to borrow the car that was available to me. At least if it was for a little while, then I wouldn't be asked for money.
Two days later, I go to check the mail at our office. For the first time ever, we received a Penny Saver with some ads inside. I was about to throw them away, when I felt I should take a look. To my surprise, I found the most awesome deal on a new car. Even though my credit was still in bad shape, I thought I would give it a try. The deal was, that if you traded in your junker, they would credit you with $6,000 towards a NEW 2009 car. WOW. My car was barely worth $100 to the junk yards. I call the dealer and they run a credit application on me over the phone. They call me back 20 minutes later only to inform me that I need a co-signer. Damn! My parents could not help me. They had been denied on co-signing loans for my sister already. My boyfriend couldn't help me. His credit is high, but he has little credit history. We asked his mom, I asked my aunt and one of my grandparents, but no one qualifies. By this time, I am frustrated and decide to quit. The sales ends in 3 days.
The week passes by and I am still pissed off. If only I hadn't screwed with my credit!! I pretty much mope around thinking "how the hell am I going to accomplish this??". Ultimately, I felt weird trying to change my situation for the better. I guess all I knew were my mistakes. The middle of the week comes and there in the mail is the Penny Saver. Even though I dismissed the idea of getting a car, I check the ads out of curiosity. This time I find a car on sale for 50% off. Same place. I call and try my bf's credit app ONE MORE TIME. She calls us back and tells us she thinks she can get us the car...all we need to do is bring our paystubs. But...our boss doesn't give us paystubs..."Oh, I'm sorry, that's all the bank will accept for proof of income". Did I forget to mention that I'm impulsive? You can imagine how I was feeling after I was denied again.
So I get to the end of the road; but wait. I have another resource. The grandparents from my mother's side. I didn't think it would work because they are retired and live far away. I finally get the nerve to call and see if they would even entertain the idea of being my co-signer. I felt bad having to ask for something like that. Fortunately for me, they say yes. Now it's up to the banks to see if my grandfather qualifies. My phone rings. I answer..."Well, he qualifies. Just come on over and pick out a car". I couldn't believe it. I was getting a new car. Another step further into adulthood.
What if I had decided to forget about the whole idea? - feeling defeated, unworthy of something better and thinking myself as burdensome to my family? Then I would have been stuck. Stuck in that mindset and stuck in the same cycle of wasting money. It is hard to change your perspective when it's been nothing but negative. It takes work, faith and patience; especially when you have grown up in a culture where it's all about instant gratification...Once again, I take the time to reflect on how blessed and grateful I am.