Whatever happened to cash and carry?

Sep 3, 2013 | 4 comments

Piggy BankI know that the goal in our current scheme of things is to get rid of using cash money.  After all, I don’t live in a vacuum.  At every juncture we are encouraged to take out another credit card, buy on time (which of course doesn’t mean in a timely manner but with periodic payments over months and years) or to pay our bills ‘the paperless way’ online.

We (Nyel and I) do all of those things to some degree, but mostly we like the pay-as-you-go plan.  We feel that is the responsible way to do business.  So why are we being punished for that?

Against our better judgment but out of pure necessity, we had to finance a goodly portion of our new car.  We didn’t think that would be a problem, although I must admit that we had no idea what our credit rating might be.  We simply don’t buy on credit.  And therein, apparently,Broken Bank lay the problem.

The financial wizard at the car dealership did all the number crunching and paperwork and, after some negotiating, we signed on the dotted line.  A month has gone by and we have even received information about making the first of our gazillion payments.  But then in Saturday’s mail, we received two “unable to approve your request” notices from Chrysler.  Yes, two.  One for each of us.

They include our credit ratings – different for each of us which is mysterious in itself  – and quite high.  At least it seems to me that 814 (my number) out of 900 is high.  But there were “key factors” adversely affecting our credit:  “insufficient auto trade experience” (we had our last car for 12 years); “insufficient installment trade experience” (in other words, cash-and-carry is a bad thing); “no recently reported open mortgage trades” (how dare we own our home outright!); and here is the kicker: “no recently discharged bankruptcy.”

So, what I get from this is that we are living in a society in which declaring bankruptcy is a good thing.  What is wrong with this picture?   Today is my first opportunity to call that financial guru at the dealership and ask him whatthehell.  I can’t imagine what gobbledygook I’ll hear but, if I had any, I think I’d take a tranquilizer before dialing.  I can’t think that the conversation is going to go well.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Back when I wrote for the In Your Neighborhood blog at the TNT I exhorted thrift and received some scathing remarks that included calling my notion un-American and that I was attempting to undermine capitalism. Apparently the American Dream is living beyond our means. It is sad that credit cards will nark on you for NOT using them. I recently paid off one that I am going to cancel it partially because it is from that hateful Bank of America. We only use American Express because we get rebates and then we pay off the balance monthly. I am sure that when it comes time to replace any of our three high-mileage vehicles we will run into the same problem and you and Nyel did. I wonder what Ben Franklin would think of how we’ve abandoned his “penny saved is a penny earned” philosophy?

  2. Betsy

    I would be wary of those notices – if they didn’t approve your credit you would not have driven off with the car! They might be trying to sell you something else or get your information for some other purpose. I know that you’ll get to the bottom of it!

  3. Laura Killingsworth

    I work for an automobile dealer and have seen these notices before. You received those notices because the dealer attempted to finance you through several lenders and in several ways in order to get you the best deal (hence you and Nyel receiving separate notices) and by law each lender must notify you if they have refused credit.
    All this means is that your vehicle was not financed through Chrysler, rest assured you would have heard from them by now if they had been unable to get you financed.
    Unfortunately, I am unable to explain the murky ways of the credit industry!

    • sydney

      Yes, you are pretty close to what the dealer told me: Since they sell Dodge products, any of their loan applications go by default to Chrysler as well as to several others. If Chrysler is not the lending institution they choose, then after a few weeks Chrysler sends this inane letter to the customers. Our dealer has had so much flack from unhappy customers (like us) that they have found a way to override that process so that Chrysler does not get notified of their sales anymore. The override happened the week after we got our Prius there. It doesn’t exactly make sense to me but the person I talked to confirmed that our credit is excellent and the entire communication is bogus. Waste of paper, waste of time, mismanaged PR if you ask me…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *