My current car (Saturn Vue 2008) has 190,000 miles on it so I’m trying to get a newer car within the next year or two.
Last winter I was laid off from a job and incurred some debt paying bills on a credit card. I was hired a month later at higher pay, putting me in the $35,000/annually bracket. However my budget is tight due to the debt I’m trying to pay down, so I’m wondering what some good, safe financing options are out there. My credit score is still good at 700 even.
How little can I hope to pay? I can’t be miserly but I’m in kind of a tight spot right now–with slightly more money–but I don’t want to buy an upgraded car that will last less than five years or suddenly cost thousands in repairs.
And where should I search for cars? I had a friend recommend buying secondhand from Enterprise. Another that I go through a bank to pay for a car from the dealership. I went to a Toyota dealership and a reliable, safe-sounding 2018 Corolla LE was about $16,500 (yikes.) On the other end, I see cars on Craigslist for $5,000 but their odometers are at 190,000+ which is the same as the car I have right now, so that seems kind of pointless.
Summary: I want to buy newer so it lasts longer, I’m semi-broke (but becoming less so) and I don’t want to push my luck with my current car.