So, the shopper in me got a little rowdy. A little out of hand. The word spendthrift comes to mind, though sadly, it’s an understatement. Not surprisingly, and as is true for many American shoppers, the money going out soon overtook the money coming in, and before too long credit card debt became the financial baseline, with which I continually wrestled. And more often than not, I got pinned. I lost. Bills went unpaid, while late fees racked up, and in what seemed like a blink, my credit score plummeted like a stone. As is the case with Murphy’s Law, my credit tanked just as my car soiled the bed, as they say. Trying to secure new wheels – or even new-to-me wheels, was proving impossible, thanks to the credit muck I had mired myself in.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, but still I hesitated to approach a buy here, pay here auto dealership. Why? Well, for starters, I had no desire to make my already crappy credit situation any worse. Historically, buy here, pay here dealers have been plagued by a reputation of unreliable beaters and shade-city sales associates. Still, thinking that everyone deserves a second chance, a shot at redemption (hello, Miss No Credit speaking), rather than wait any longer to right my own ship, I reconsidered my stance on buy here, pay here dealerships.
And I’m so happy I did. Now, though certainly nowhere near perfect, my credit score is steadily strengthening and all due to the plan that buy here, pay here dealers put in place when you purchase a vehicle from them. Allow me to explain…
Unlike the car shopping scenarios you’re more likely acquainted with, particularly those of you goody two-shoes with kick ass credit, shopping at a buy here, pay here dealership flips the script on how the deal is done. Rather than shop and then seek financing, the buy here, pay here dealer will consider your financing first and then present you with the amount that he or she feels comfortably directly lending you for your car purchase.
Because the buy here, pay here dealer directly lends you the funds, as opposed to seeking approval from a bank or credit union, you’re automatically guaranteed approval – a much-needed boost of consumer confidence, I must say, and can then determine the payments of that loan with the dealer, who will be accepting them.
Ah, payments. My traditional pitfall. But, messing up payments with a buy here, pay here dealer would actually require some effort. Although it seemed like a major inconvenience at first, buy here, pay here dealers insist that you make your payments directly to them, physically with cash in hand, up to twice a month. Again, paying online or over the phone is super convenient, but being forced to carve out time and cash to make those payments in person is truly the most effective way to stay honest and maintain a relationship with the dealership.
After you’ve successfully re-written your credit history to reflect a new chapter of on-time car payments, you, too, will see your credit score climb and will turn the page on a brighter financial future.