Monday, July 7, 2008

Honor Thy Father

My father has always been interested in me looking the social level I should. He felt that by now I should own a couple of cars and a house. About two years ago this month i finally caved in into his wishes of me getting a new(er) car.
I have a very old car. it's a 80's car and the only original parts on it are the chassis and the body I think. So I really did think back then that I should get a newer car. He even said he would help me with the loan. And I was about to finish paying an extrafinancing on my main credit card so I told him my limit of about $6000 for a car and he went off to search for one. He's retired so he has a lot of time every day.
During that month he showed me about 6 cars, he would tell me that this or that car was ok but not good enough. Finally he showed me one that I really liked, he liked, and my wife liked too.
So when it came to money I had no money available, I was going to use my extrafinancing credit line on my credit card to buy the car and pay it in 3 years. But it wasn't enough with my part so he "chipped" in. He got an extrafinancing on his card and just told me to pay it as I would pay mine. That was his help.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's fair but he had given me the impresion that he would give me part of the money. I was already liking the car and my family too. Plus it was "only" $75 a month extra on top of my other expenses and debts and payments. So I said yes.
I got the car, and soon enough my wife learned to drive it since it's an automatic. The old one is manual. Now I rarely get to use the newer car but it's the family car and it's in ok condition.
it's 2 years now and I'm having trouble paying my extrafinancing (that will be another post), and more importantly i'm having trouble paying my dad's extra financing!
Right now I should have made payment #24, and last week I just made payment #22. My dad payed one month several months ago and he reminded me this week that I still need to make another payment soon. I'm also paying any interests that run up when I miss a payment. It's a small thing usually but 2 months ago I payed $99 instead of $75 to clear it up.
So, right now I owe my dad (actually I owe my dad's credit card) 14 payments of $75 each. That's $1050 right there and we have just scratched the surface of my debts.
In hindsight, I still like having a new car. I just think that I should've been better with money BEFORE getting a new car to the point of having some money for a down payment rather than financing the whole car.
Aditionally the upkeep is not terrible but it all comes at the worst times. Like a ripped tire or an air conditioner that doesn't cool anymore. It's like if the car would hear when i'm money-less and decides to break then. I think it also has to do with the driver (wife).
I really don't want to leave my dad hanging with this debt. He's a retired man who got professionally and personally frustrated at the peak of his carrer. So I would really feel bad for him to see that his son is "failing" too. It's one of the debts that worries me on a different level than the others. I know my dad could pay it off, but I could never look at him in the face again if I let that happen, or I wonder if he would ever look at me again the same way.
Anyhow.. that's another little debt that I have to pay for 14 months. Let's tally it on the right side.


La Gringa said...

Wow. This was a surprise. Hopefully your dad didn't know about your financial situation before encouraging you to buy a new car. Very bad advice!

Have you considered selling it to pay down some of your debts? Yes, I know that sounds tough, but it really seems like you are drowning in debt. Maybe that would let you breathe a little.

La Gringa said...

One other thought: If your dad is able to pay "his" part of the loan and could grant you a reprieve of a year or two before you resume paying him back, you could put that $200 per month on one of your credit cards and help to reduce that huge amount of interest that you are paying each month.

I know it would be hard to ask him, but I keep thinking about that 60% interest on those credit cards!

AJ said...

About selling the car, i have considered it. But my dad would feel it is a setback of what he wanted me to acomplish. Also I just moved to a place that is almost outside of the city so the car is almost a necessity.In the end if creditors do ask it will go up for sale as I have few other valuable assets.

Thanks for the idea about having my dad pay for a while and I will keep it in mind. It's $75/month not $200. I just made payment #23 and have 13 payments to go. It will be hard to ask him. I will tell you more about how this develops in a future post.