Moments ago, after submitting my pay-off amount of $282.67 (almost all of which I made this weekend in tips), I paid off my car!!
This car was purchased with an ill-advised, expensive five year loan with then-bad credit that made a car that cost me $12,900 to start with cost way, way more. She and I have been through a lot. In December 2002, I hit a curb obscured after a snowstorm, causing both airbags to deflate, and then when I reported it I found out that Geico had, without informing me, switched my insurance from the maximum to collision only, so it wouldn't cover it. (This is why I hate Geico.) Airbags cost over $2000 each to fix, and, thus, they've never been fixed. In the summer of 2003, I came within an inch of repossession at least twice. Later that summer, I made an attempt at insurance fraud against Geico after legal avenues were attempted that, thankfully, didn't go far because I realized the error of my ways. Around that same time, the car was booted by the city for excessive (and I mean excessive, as in unethically excessive) parking fines on five (just five) parking tickets. I got the car back. Later, I was rear-ended by some bitchy lady who had the gall to blame me for the accident, which tore off my side-view mirror. Later, I was side-swiped one rainy summer morning in front of my house, something that caused over $2000 in damage (thank god for Erie Insurance, which has been good, on that one). Just three weeks ago, my window busted in just three weeks ago in front of the same house.
Still, I have to say, the car - an electric blue 2000 Pontiac Grand Am - has been awesome for me overall. I've never had a problem with the way it runs. It's been nothing but reliable, whether in Baltimore or on trips to North Carolina or Michigan. It still looks beautiful; its electric blue color (what made me buy it in the first place) has not faded at all. It's still sporty (with a spoiler and a sunroof) but sensible (with four doors). And now it's all mine. Due to my Michigan roots and several family members employed by the car industry in Detroit, I'll probably never buy a foreign vehicle. Luckily, this GM product that is my car has been a superb purchase, in everything except that dreaded loan.
This car loan has been an albatross around my neck for a long time. I'd said quite some time ago that I would quit my second job once I got the car paid off. I'm not going to. I know, I know. Being enrolled in grad school has changed my financial picture in a way where I just couldn't give up the job until I finish up with that. This summer has a good chance of being brutal financially; I have four classes left and would like to get three - or even all four - of them done this summer. I've got a lot of saving to do before then.
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