13 June 2009

Things That Make Luaphacim Cringe: Car Title Loans

There I am, working on my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, when I hear the following on the TV in the background: "You can turn the equity in your car into cash! Checksmart will help!"

Very little annoys me more than making payments on things. I buy everything with cash if I can swing it, and if I can't swing it, I don't buy it unless it is, like, food, fuel, or utility bills. Paying cash gives me a feeling of security and keeps me from sliding toward that miry pit of slow-crushing minimum payments from which escape is so difficult. I dread arriving at the place where I am forced to live month-to-month, with little or no hope of ever getting ahead financially.

So the very idea of taking a paid-for automobile and signing a note for every cent it's worth (or, in the case of most car-title loans, more), seems like a recipe for disaster to this particular Luaphacim. I know it's probably just a personality quirk of mine, and I know there are probably people who genuinely need the services provided by title-loan places, but it just rubs me the wrong way all over. (Especially when the title-loan place has abusively high interest rates for past-due payments.)

What do YOU think, dear reader(s)? Is Luaphacim just a cranky (prematurely) old man, or is there something to his crankiness?


Rachel said...

You are certainly a cranky old man...but I happen to agree with you on this one (though it pains me to say it).

Jessie said...

I agree-we try to use cash and ALWAYS pay the balance off in full. Makes you feel better.

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luaphacim said...

Hi, I robot. I likez teh carloan. Plz link, k?

LQ said...

[*snicker* Oh, spammers...]

At this rate, I personally feel like I'm going to be in debt for the rest of my life (though in actuality it'll probably just be into my 40s), and I'm strangely at peace about it. It's not ideal, clearly, but it is, and until I get a better paying job, so it will be. So it goes.

At the same time, though, title loan places and Check into Cash and places that do payday advances drive me up the freaking wall, because they're just such scams, and they prey on the people who genuinely need their services (as you alluded to), effectively keeping them in the debt-accruing, month-to-month-managing cycle -- if not worse. It was so frustrating to see the glut of those storefronts in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque, which is inhabited by the poorer folks as well as those linked to the military base. So disgustingly predatory. [And my heart, she bleeds. But you knew that.]

Also, can I rant about the jingles for a sec? I HATE THEM WITH THE FIERY HEAT OF A THOUSAND SUNS. The commercials in general, too, but the jingles get stuck in my head, with the end result being that I know them by heart now -- I'd misplace my head if it weren't attached, which means it's a good day when I've left the house with both my keys and my phone, but I can tell you all about Check into Cash. AAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

LQ said...

*gasps at her own wording* Okay, so I started to write that I personally am in debt for life. Then I wanted to amend that to say that in reality it just feels like I'm in debt for life. This resulted in the construction "I personally feel," which horrifies me. It reminds me of nothing so much as poor Miss South Carolina, who will forever be remembered as the girl who gave us "I personally believe that U.S. Americans..."

Anyway. Just wanted to cop to that. ;)

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