Buying a used car is not for the faint of heart. You can read all about my frustrating experiences with some car dealerships right HERE and about how my mom got really mad but tried to be polite HERE when a lying grandpa tried to take advantage of me…
So now that you are caught up on my ‘trying to buy a car’ saga, here is how I finally and actually bought a car!
As most of you know 121 Financial Credit Union sponsors this site and has been a wonderful partner in helping me get the word out about how teens are capable of learning about and handling their own money. I occasionally write about how helpful credit unions can be to teens (and adults) and am always looking for opportunities to tell everyone about how they can benefit from credit union membership.
My mom and I heard about a program that 121 Financial offers to it’s members and we decided to attend the event so that I could find out more and be able to write about it here on TeensGotCents.
Once or twice a year the credit union clears out their parking lot at their corporate headquarters and turns it into a used car lot. One or two car dealers bring in all of their used cars and they have a huge car sale right at the credit union. The credit union is open and ready to help any member who wants to apply for a car loan. They work directly with the car dealerships to make the process of buying the car as easy and streamlined as possible.
On our way over we talked about questions that I needed to ask and everything and mom mentioned that we could take a look at the cars while we were there. I didn’t think much of it because I just didn’t think (after all our difficult experiences, with the notable exception of CarMax) we would find anything.
When we arrived we walked around for a little bit and looked at all the cars. Many of them were way out of my price range and not the type of vehicle I was looking for at all. We noticed that all the cars had two prices, the credit union price and the dealership price. We found out later that the credit union actually negotiates the price of the cars with the dealerships IN ADVANCE so you don’t have to haggle on the prices!
Then I saw her. She was beautiful. A deep blue and in beautiful shape. Much nicer than most of the cars I had looked at before. Sunroof, leather seats, a GPS system and everything! It was a Honda Civic, 2008, with only 37,000 miles! This was the exact type of car we had been looking at and was a $1,000 less than anywhere else we had shopped!
I took her for a test drive and fell in love with this car. I sat down and talked with Thaddeus, the salesman that had been helping us. I had been all geared up for negotiating price but they explained to me how the better price was already available to me as a credit union member. There were a couple of items that needed repair on the car and they agreed to take care of all those things – and then took a $100 off the price just to make me feel like a master negotiator.
She was a little bit above my budget, but my incredibly generous grandparents gave me what I needed. Between what my dad and grandparents gave me we were able to buy the car outright – so NO PAYMENTS! Thaddeus Bruce of Tom Bush Used Cars made the purchase quick and easy. We took Paisley in the next week and Tom Bush did an amazing job fixing up the driver’s side visor and a problem with the paint on one of the doors!
It is still hard for me to believe that I am driving such a nice car. I truly never expected to have something so fancy – much less with a sunroof! My family is so good to me and I am very blessed. In case you wondered, her name is Paisley. Yes. I named my car Paisley…
Apparently, there are many credit unions that offer this type of program to their members – so be sure to check out your local credit union if you are planning on buying a car anytime soon. A few of the perks from 121 Financial’s sale were:
* Negotiated the price for you – so you know it’s a good deal.
* Having the sale at the credit union makes it simple to get the loan you need if you are financing and the rates are the best!
* Extended warranty – rather than a 5 or 30 day warranty that I found other places we got a 6 month warranty on the car!
If you are looking for a used car I would recommend checking with your local credit union to see if they offer a program like this. You might be pleasantly surprised! Thanks 121 Financial!
You can connect with 121 Financial on Facebook!