Author Topic: Car changing strategy  (Read 3321 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Car changing strategy
« on: July 14, 2015, 07:48:12 AM »
I owe ~$5300 on my 2011 Subaru Legacy. KBB says it can sell for $15k (29k miles, very good condition). I do not have a bike (yet).

My problem: I want out of this stupid hair-on-fire debt but to buy a MMM-type car, I think I need to be able to negotiate from a position of strength; ie: cash in hand, ok to walk away & find another. I do not have cash in hand and will not..until I sell the Subaru.

Possible plans:

--tap the credit union for $5-6K loan (personal or car) to fund the new car, then pay it & the Subaru off when Subaru sells, funneling extra funds from the sale into my other stupid debt (credit card).

--tap my 401(k) for a loan EXCEPT I don't think I can just pay that off as previous (stupid) loans from that plan had to be paid over time out of payroll deduction, otherwise, same as above.

--other scenario I don't have the knowledge/imagination to perceive yet

Being without any form of motorized transport is untenable as I am on-call for work and have to be on site in a timely fashion any hour of day or night.

What am I missing? When I feel trapped like this it's usually because I've not considered something glaringly obvious because...I feel trapped and my brain fails.

Thanks for any input. :)

neo von retorch

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Re: Car changing strategy
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 08:43:02 AM »
If you've vetted the cars value (i.e. scoured Craigslist,, for similar cars to get an idea of what everyone is asking) and you're confident in the plan, and the minor temporary credit score ding of a new loan wouldn't hurt, and they'll approve you... I don't see anything wrong with taking out a loan to buy the MMM-approved car and then selling the Subaru. The main thing with "getting the most money for a car you're selling" is that you likely have to be patient, but also make sure the car is visible in as many places as possible to get the right eyes on it. (i.e. you might find lots of eager buyers at $13k but it might take a few months until a motivated buyer comes along wanting to pay $15k for your specific vehicle.)

Take lots of very, very nice photos and keep the car looking as nice as possible so it seems likes a true diamond to anyone shopping.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Car changing strategy
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 11:17:09 AM »
I understand what you are trying to do. If your area has lots of MMM type cars that won't cost you a bundle to buy or maintain, that is a good move.

BUT I did a search for cars this weekend (my eye is always roving...) within 200 miles, under 10k. This includes two metro areas (STL and CHI). I found nothing that seemed worthwhile. Many cars over 100k. Many that seemed price 2x what they should be. Many of these were dealers but I have been perusing Craigslist as well.

The on-call day or night thing is definitely a factor. No time to line up a backup ride (whereas if my car breaks, I work from home).

I guess what I am saying is what you have is not the worst thing in the world and to make sure you have a good understanding of the alternate car options before committing. But if you can come up with something dead reliable for $5k-ish, cashing out 8-10k may be worthwhile to go towards other debts.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Car changing strategy
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 12:42:26 PM »
I almost did this very change... then Carmax tried to do a number on me, so I walked away from the decision for a few days.  I thought deeply about what kind of car I'd be trading down to, and I ended up keeping my car for now.  I say for now, I'll revisit the idea in a year or so, but having a newer more reliable car means more to me at the moment.  The $10K cars out there right now are a bit older than I'd like to bother with... they have made huge strides in car manufacturing in the last 5 years, so I am going to wait until the trade is a more comfortable one.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Car changing strategy
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 06:02:14 PM »
@deltaBond you hit the biggest points for me, too! Quality MMM rides in that range are often way over 100k miles and I am quite enamored with the higher tech on newer models.

I think this is going to the back burner while I mull through it more. Thanks to all for the input!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Car changing strategy
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 06:14:35 PM »
It's not that bad of a car, it has somewhat decent fuel efficiency. I'm not sure I would bother taking the risk in your already precarious situation if you can't afford to have plans go haywire.