As a hopefully retired bank hopper, I have spoken to many a branch manager. And as such, only one time have I opened an account in person and not been told about all their wonderful debt products. That was when I went to the local community bank, in case you wanted to know. It could be that they don’t do that kind of thing there. It could be because I look like a teenager to some people. Whatever the case, it didn’t happen there.
This last time I changed banks was especially unique because I both opened it online AND had to go into the branch the next business day to deposit money into the account because the account funding part of the online application malfunctioned, as I was up doing this at 3 a.m like an insane person. This was a great opportunity though for me to pick out a custom check card and checks. 😀
I didn’t have long to talk to the branch manager as I had to get to work, but even in that small amount of time, I got pitched on their mortgages, their CDs, their credit cards, and their car loans – in addition to getting my checks and check card ordered.
She told me if I had less than two credit cards that they would automatically deny my car loan application, so she really recommended I get one of their credit cards. I just smiled and nodded. There’s no point in getting into a conversation with people I will probably only talk to once or twice that I don’t do car loans. I know from experience that they’re going to go through their spiel anyway. I know because the last time I told someone at a bank that I don’t do car loans, the guy opening my account told me about how many “points” I’d get off the car loan for being an account holder anyway.
People in my family don’t do car payments, so as I graduated from college and mingled in the real world, I was surprised by the number of leases and car payments being carried by my friends and peers. Just about everyone.
It kind of makes sense then that people in the banks are always “letting me know” about their loans. After all, who besides Bill Gates actually pays for a car outright?
When I’m listening to podcasts, it’s amazing how many people don’t even consider their car payment to be debt. They call and write into Dave Ramsey and say they’re debt free except their house so why are they still so broke, only for Dave to find out upon further inspection that they also have a car payment to the tune of $400 a month. To which Dave says, “Your car payment is debt.” And the person on the other end of the line hesitates before haltingly replying, “Yes…right.”
It’s complete madness. There are people who make $35k a year driving cars that cost $40k just because they can squeeze the payment into their bloated non-budgets.
Sometimes people defend themselves by saying, “It’s just money – I can’t take it with me.” Yeah, it’s just money that’s being wasted while you stress out about how long it’s going to take you to save up for the vacation you want to go on this summer. Guess how much easier and faster this would go if you didn’t have a car payment!
No, you can’t take money with you when you die. But you can leave it to your children. You can give to charities you care about. And you can use it for experiences and things that are meaningful to you while you’re here. No one on their death bed ever says that they wish they had more debt. They always wish that they had spent more time with their family, and you can spend a lot more time with loved ones when you’re not shackled to debt payments and working more to keep your head above water.
There’s an old saying, “Tell a lie loud enough and often enough and people will start to believe it’s true.” Car dealerships and banks make SO MUCH money off of car loans, that it’s worth it for them to spend thousands of dollars a month convincing you that it’s good idea. They have people convinced that the only way to get into the car they want is to take out a loan for it. You have to fight to find the real price of a car at a lot of places these days.
People say, “It’s not fair only rich people get to drive new cars.” Yeah, it IS fair, Tommy. It’s fair because they can afford it. And you know what, when Mr. Billionaire wants another new car in two or three years, you can buy his old, immaculate car for a third of the price. Someone has to drive the used car. If you don’t take it, someone who isn’t broke will. 🙂