Mind you, Kader doesn’t have a learner’s permit or a driver’s license yet, but she has plans to do both next month. However, she wants a car to get around in this winter when it’s cold, and we thought it best that Mark go with her now so that he could check the car out for her and make sure it was good.
She has been dreaming about this for the last several weeks. She has looked on Google Marketplace and I checked Craigslist for her. A friend of hers took her to look at a Volvo, but even she knew it was in really bad shape when she looked at it. Yesterday, Mark took her to the bank to see if she could qualify for a loan. The nice thing about banking up here is that you often know the person you’re doing business with. In this case, the loan officer at the bank worked with her last summer and knows what a hard worker she is. They were talking about something in the $2000-$3000 range.
Last night, Kader found a car in that price range being sold by an individual woman in Green Bay. Kader made an appointment to see it this afternoon. In the meantime, we took Kader to Green Bay early in the morning (we’d already checked the car lots in Sturgeon Bay) and decided to look at other cars at the dealerships. Kader insisted that she wanted a Jeep, and it would be even better if it was red. Our first stop was at a big dealership that sells jeeps, but when we told the salesman what Kader’s price range was, he shook his head and said they would never sell anything that was in such poor condition they’d have to sell it that low. He even called a smaller dealership he knew of, but they didn’t have anything that low either. The salesman suggested we go to Velp street in Green Bay that had a series of small dealerships along it.
We took his suggestion and headed in that direction, but we did make a stop at a dealership before we got to Velp and we saw a car that might work. We wanted to check the other places out first though. Most of the other dealerships were still too expensive, and the one that was cheaper on Velp was very sleazy. We stopped and had lunch and assessed the situation. Looking on Mark’s tablet, I found a dealership thirty-five miles away that was selling a car like one I had when I first met Mark. I loved that car. I talked so enthusiastically about my old Suburu that Kader said she wanted to go look at the one in Algoma, but first, we decided we’d go back and look at the car on the first lot we’d come across on our way to Velp.
After lunch, we drove back to Affordable Auto and got out and looked at the red car, but Mark found some rust on it. However, we decided to look at the other cars in the lot before leaving. Mark and I were looking at the boxy cars because that was what Kader had said she wanted, but she called us over to look at a silver Chevrolet Malibu. She said, “I like this one.” Mark said, “But it’s not a jeep and it’s not red.” She said, “It doesn’t matter. This one is good.” I was afraid she was settling because she wanted so badly to get a car today. Mark went in to ask for the keys so that he could start the engine. I checked the tires with a penny. Kader looked inside and saw how clean the car was and liked it even more. Mark made arrangements with the dealer for us to take it on a test drive.
Mark drove and Kader sat up front. Mark listened to the engine carefully. He put the car through several maneuvers such as speeding up and stepping on the brakes. It sounded really good and Kader said, “I love this car! I want this one!”
We returned to the dealer and told him that we were interested in the car. It was a little more than the $2000-$3000 range Mark and Kader had talked with the loan officer about, so I called the loan officer and asked her how much of a loan Kader could actually qualify for. Kader has no credit history, but she also has no debt. Her employer is providing housing rent-free and her school in Turkey is free. The loan officer did some figuring and said that Kader could currently afford a loan of $25,000, but Mark and I and Kader agreed it would be better to go as low as we could just in case Kader’s work hours were reduced or something. The Malibu was $4,450. The loan officer said that she would work with her underwriter to see about giving Kader a loan, but she suggested we should look into the financing the dealer might have to offer. She said that they often shop around and get better loan rates, and they might be able to push the loan through more quickly. We talked with the dealer and decided to try both Kader’s loan officer and the dealer’s financer. This began the longest part of the whole process.
By now, it was getting to be late afternoon. The dealer said that he would wait for us to get back from the financier’s office even if the dealership was closed. Things went smoothly at the financier’s office. Kader and I had a lot of papers to sign and initial, but it went quickly. We got back to the dealership before their closing time.
We had dinner in Green Bay and then she made the two-hour drive back to her house following Mark. It was a long, stressful day for her and she was tired when she got home, but at the same time, so very excited!
Tomorrow, I will go with her down to Sturgeon Bay to get insurance for her “baby”. Mark showed us where the insurance agency is. He’s going to stay home and work on our RV. We are so happy to know she’ll have a good, reliable car after we leave!