How Did I Get Here? – Eric’s Car Buying Adventure Pt 1

Auto Loans at a credit union Madison, Wisconsin
I can’t wait to get a new car!

There is no greater way to throw a nice, balanced lifestyle off course than with a sudden, unexpected expense. And a LARGE expense at that. Maybe it’s unexpected medical costs, or your furnace dying in the middle of winter. In my current situation, it’s a new vehicle purchase. You never think you’re going to get rear-ended on the Beltline driving to work in the morning. You never think your car will be completely totaled; never to be driven again. I pass accidents on the Beltline many days. “That’ll never be me,” I think. Well, apparently we can all be that someone else someday. And on that particular May day, it was me.

Up until then my financial life was totally in check. I had my rent, utilities, insurance, food, and leisure costs completely covered, within the scope of my monthly income. And now, I need to find a way to add a car loan payment to my list of monthly expenses. Do you ever look back at a time before you got a pay raise, and say, “How did I manage? How did I LIVE on that income?” This is about to become one of these instances. Let’s get one thing straight, I NEED a new car sooner than later. I (thankfully) have the luxury of borrowing my mom’s truck in the interim, but it’s an older vehicle, and it just destroys my wallet on the gas expenses. I need to get back and forth from my job at DCCU, and I also travel way too much to be without a reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle for much longer.

So now, I begin a new quest: To find a new car that will suit my needs, and meet my budget. But this brings up a series of new questions: What type of vehicle do I want? What is my budget and how do I get a car loan? Where do I even start to look? Thankfully, Dane County Credit Union has a full online Auto Resource Center to help me find information and narrow down my search for a new vehicle. For now, I’ll start there.

Read about my plan of action in Part 2.


Published by

Eric E.

Eric was an asset to DCCU until 2019, when he moved away and on to another career opportunity.