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Old 03-22-2007, 12:01 PM   #1
Letalis
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Sad Payment difficulties

I have a 2004 Ion2 Sport Edition
(pw, pl, 5 spd w/cruise, 16"alloys w/center cap instead of cross, p.sunroof, spoiler, 6disc MP3)

I still owe about $7,500 on it (original price being $17,500 b/f incentive, $16,700 after)

I got it at no interest over 60 months with no down payment, so I am paying for JUST the car.

Thing is I am in a different situation than i was when i bought the car, and my bills are high, as is my insurance.
I am having trouble paying my $277.49 a month car payment, in addition to my $200/month insurance payment.

I have trouble selling the car b/c there is slight cosmetic damage (scratch) in the passenger side, and some damage to 1 rim. (fifth wheel trailer scraped me on the highway.

I have thought about refinancing the remaining balance to lower my payments, but in the end i pay more. (would drop my payments $100/month)
Or trading it to someone for another car + cash (i.e. car + $6000) and just getting a loan for the remainder of the payment.

I was wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and has any suggestions.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

You have a couple of options. Of course none of them seem ideal.

You owe about what the car is worth. You could maybe sell it for payoff. Then you are left with no car and no money. You would then need to finance a car purchase. The only way this might help would be if you then got a cheap car, which you would have to finance. Your payments would be low, but the interest on cheap cars isn't that good. Many banks won't finance cheap older cars. Your insurance would probably go down. You are then left with a car that might need more repairs or maintenance than your ION in the near future.

Refinance the car. You'll lose your 0%, but it's a given that no matter what, you'll have to lose it.

Shop around for cheaper insurance.

I would investigate all options. First, shop for cheaper insurance. Then talk to your bank. Ask them about refinancing. In the meantime see what good cheap cars are in your area, ask the bank if they will finance one, and see what insurance will cost. Remember that selling your ION could take a long time.

Don't trade your ION at a dealer. You can't afford to lose equity you don't have with trade-in values.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Agreed, shop for cheaper insurance. I've had GEICO for about 2 years now and every renewal my rate has gone down. Consider raising your collision and comprehensive deductibles to 500 if you haven't already. Drop PIP and medical payments, rental, towing, and labor coverages as well. They're too expensive for most people compared to a good health plan and a AAA membership or cell phone roadside assistance fees.

As for finding a cheaper car, there are few 2003 Ions for sale in the 5000-6000 price range so keeping your 2004 would be better. You can always put up ads on free classified sites at say, $9000, then you'd have $1500 left over to put down or pay cash for a cheaper car. If you find a cheap cash car, there's no point in carrying full coverage so you save there too. $1500 should buy you a decent 2nd gen S-Series with around 100K. I'm looking at three 98-99 sedan models now for $1200-$1500 and all of them are decent enough to get a few years' use out of.

Another cheap insurance company would be AMICA, but only if your driving record is spotless. An ex-girlfriend of mine is paying about $85 a month for full coverage on a 2004 Cavalier through them, spotless driving record, age 29.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

I doubt you'll be able to get any real reduction in monthly cost by refinancing. You already have a VERY good interest rate. If you re-fi, the interest rate will go up significantly. Also, a bank will only loan you the whole sale value of the car and they won't want to stretch out the payments longer than a year or two unless you have some other collateral you can put up.

Another option is to reduce the cost of other parts of your life. My grown (20-something) son thinks he is poor, but, he eats out 3 or 4 times a week with his girl friend. I make much moor than he does and the wife and I might eat out 4 time a month. It is not as convenient, but, he could save most of $100 a week if he bought groceries and cooked. That would go a long way. You might have similar places where you could change some behavior and save some cash.

It appears you may be paying for internet access. If so, how much? Is it a necessity? Could you live without for a while? I don't know.... but you see what I mean.
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Old 03-24-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letalis View Post
Thing is I am in a different situation than i was when i bought the car, and my bills are high, as is my insurance.
I am having trouble paying my $277.49 a month car payment, in addition to my $200/month insurance payment.
How is your situation different from 3 years ago? $277/month is such a cheap car payment, but $200/mo is higher than average for insurance. How is it that it was easy before, but not now? Only by examining the entire situation can I suggest a resolution.
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

It really doesn't make much sense to refi - that's a pretty low note, AND you've got 0% which isn't going to happen again on a refi.

Definitely look at reducing your insurance costs. Raise your deductibles to as high as GMAC will allow if they aren't there already. Trim out extras like roadside hazard, rental reimbursement, or whatever you don't necessarily have to have, to get your insurance cost down until your situation improves. Shop around for different insurance companies. It's crazy to be paying $200/mo on insurance, you should be able to find it for less than that.

GoBoating has some excellent suggestions - look for other places to trim out expenses, rather than sacrificing your 0%. Any extra money you come up with can also go towards paying down your principle and maybe even paying off your car a couple months (maybe even a year!) early. Look at taking up a part-time job, even. It's not fun to live stretched out beyond your means, so looking for ways to improve your financial situation will do a lot more than just help you pay for your car - it'll take a lot of stress off of you in many other areas too!
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

My bills and debts are higher than they were when i got the car, I had some dead beat roommates that put me in a pretty big hole.

as far as food, i shop at Costco and make my meals for the week.

I do have internet but I am not paying for it.

I cannot really lower my bills anywhere else.

I don't go out

My rent includes:
Electric
Internet
Water
Cable
Sewage
Trash

$490/month.

Its mostly the surprise bills that get me, stuff i wasnt expecting.
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Get rid of the cable. I'm cable free for 4 years now and don't miss it one bit.

Don't use a/c except when you absolutely have to and turn off those lights.

Drive like grampa, pump up those tires to 40psi and see a couple extra MPG

Call your insurance company and ask why so much $ for an economy car which is the cheapest in it's class to repair, reduce the rates or switch companies.

Costco isn't always the best deal on food, but here at least they are $0.20 cheaper per gallon than most stations so use them to fill up.

IF you habitually smoke or drink alcohol, stop it or switch to cheaper stuff if you must.

Get a better paying job, or ask for a raise. Nobody gets fired for asking for a raise.

Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete93SL1M View Post
Get rid of the cable. I'm cable free for 4 years now and don't miss it one bit.

Don't use a/c except when you absolutely have to and turn off those lights.

Drive like grampa, pump up those tires to 40psi and see a couple extra MPG

Call your insurance company and ask why so much $ for an economy car which is the cheapest in it's class to repair, reduce the rates or switch companies.

Costco isn't always the best deal on food, but here at least they are $0.20 cheaper per gallon than most stations so use them to fill up.

IF you habitually smoke or drink alcohol, stop it or switch to cheaper stuff if you must.

Get a better paying job, or ask for a raise. Nobody gets fired for asking for a raise.

Good luck!
Get a second job. Like delivering pizzas, it can add a hundred dollars a week to your income.
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete93SL1M View Post
Get rid of the cable. I'm cable free for 4 years now and don't miss it one bit.
It's included in his rent.

I would second the suggestion of getting a part-time job.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Call your creditors (other than your car loan) and see if you can work something out. Tell them that you are willing to pay them the money, but have a hard time keeping up. Ask for more time or a monthly repayment agreement. If you are nice and willing to pay, then they will be more likely to help.

Talk to an independent insurance agent. They might can get you lower insurance. In my case, my agent was unable to get a better deal than I am currently with Progressive.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

I also went through and independent agent and they found Myself and my wife both age 28, a great deal with Ohio Casualty ins. I pay 110 a month for a 2003 ion QC, and a 2003 Ford Windstar SEL, and that's for both of us, they just lowered my bill a couple months ago about 10%.

As said many times before, don't refinance, I actually did this to pay off something with a higher monthly pmt. but in the end the other loan was cheaper monthly, but much more costly overall, I had to make alot of extra payments (after I had the resources) just knock it down faster, and now I will pay off a 5 year loan in 3 years saving me about 4 grand in interest!!!
...
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

If your former deadmate roomates contributed to the situation, you may want to get some cheap legal info (check into your local legal aid folks) and go after the turkeys. YOu might get lucky and be able to get away with a letter saying pay-up you fools, or you may need to take them to small claims court (which may be another option).

Just my two cents worth.

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Old 03-27-2007, 07:09 AM   #14
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

I dont have much time for a part time job.

I have rescue technician classes at night usually, and I'm starting to volunteer at EMS.

I thought about delivering pizzas though, but i was told that as long as GMAC owns my car, I cannot use it for deliveries.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

You have a Costco membership, so check your car insurance rates through them. I was able to save alot of money by switching to them, it is underwritten by Ameriprise and I bet it will save you some money.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

And,... .keep the chin up. I'm 43 with grown kids and am doing reasonably well now. But, there have been times when my wife and I were making just the kind of decisions you're making now. You'll get through it. Austerity hurts, but, it is usually temporary. In my early married life, I cut grass as a second job for about 3 yrs. 'Hot work, but, the pay is pretty good for a part time gig and the grass grows in SC about 9 months out of 12.

I hate to say it, but, if volunteering w/ EMS is keeping you from meeting your previously acquired obligations, you might want to think about postponing the volunteer work.... unless it is very likely to lead to a job=increase in income in the near future. You can always go back to it once you are in a more financially stable position.
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:42 AM   #17
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Arrow Re: Payment difficulties

If you only owe $7500, a refinance wouldn't incur that much interest in the end. Make sure you do the math before you rule out a refi. At least research it.

I would be shopping insurance AND refinance rates aggressively. Volunteering with EMS is great, but I'm sure they would understand if you cut down volunteer time and got something that pays. For that matter, if you brought up the subject with whoever you report to, they might manage to find you something that pays in EMS or a related field. [ME's office / Coroner]

As far as not using your ION to deliver pizza, I'm fairly sure nobody would notice [ask for forgiveness, not permission] ... but maybe a family member could lend you a clunker? Some [rare] pizza joints have fleet cars for delivery use. Once again ... research will reveal your options.

Go after those deadbeats, too. Talk to them politely first, and if they don't cough up what they owe [or at least part of it], see if they get motivated by mention of small claims court.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

The Volunteer EMS could lead to a full time paying position @ about $40,000 starting.
Also, if i stop volunteering, they take me off their insurance, and if they do that, i cannot finish the courses I am taking for it.

I didnt know Costco had insurance, I'll have to check them out.

The main deadbeat is impossible to find, he disappears all the time and now pretty much stays clear of my area due to owing too many people, I'm not even getting into the story behind ending up living with him.

It's still looking like a good idea to refinance unless i can get someone to do the car + cash trade.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Payment difficulties

Hardly the best option, but can you borrow money from a friend or family member? If you can/do, be sure to put it all in writing.

Shop insurance! I had GEICO for years and kept it when I moved from NY to NE. While talking to my agent about homeowner's insurance, they asked about my auto policy. Long story short, I switched companies and saved about $25 a month with BETTER coverage. I could save even more if I upped deductibles.

As for a second job, if you're nervous of pizza delivery, check into waiting tables or bartending. Volunteering is noble, but remember: the only person who looks out for #1 is #1. Don't mortgage your future, but don't dig yourself a deeper hole.
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