Triad Financial aka RoadLoans  » Finance  »
2.0
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http://www.roadloans.com
  • Eventually I found a dealership I liked and chose my car -- a 2002 wagon with 69,000 miles
  • I did manage to negotiate the best possible price relative to the book value
  • The sales staff at the car dealership were actually very impressed and intend to suggest the Road Loans option to buyers who were unable to qualify for Ford financing

    • by InfoShorts
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      Two years ago my car died with 250,000 miles on the odometer. I was newly single, without much credit of my own, and if the truth be told, I was afraid of being rejected face-to-face if I applied for a loan at my bank or at a car dealership. I came across a web site which offered to find you a loan online. Skeptically, I filled out the form, and two days later received a call from Triad Financial offering me a loan up to $8200 at 6.9%. I was surprised both at the amount I qualified for, and at the relatively reasonable (for that time) interest rate. It was about 1.5% more than the loans shown in car dealer newspaper ads, which generally require top credit. The payment was a reasonable $132 per month.

      I went online and checked out the RoadLoans.com web site. They are legitimate — essentially Triad is to car loans as HSBC is to credit cards or Nationwide is to mortgages — the biggest subprime lender in the field. Like several competing companies, they send you a check payable for up to the specified amount. When you find a car, you have the car dealer fill in their name and the price of the car, which may include tax and license. You are under


      no obligation until the check is written out. I accepted these terms, and an envelope arrived a couple of days later containing the check and a sheaf of additional paperwork.

      Shopping for a car was trickier than I had expected. The parameters were strict — the car had to be no more than 5 years old with fewer than 70,000 miles and had to be purchased from a name-brand dealership. Dealerships only keep the cream of the crop from among their tradeins and you pay the full blue book value, so the loan amount placed me at the low end of the market. Some dealers almost laughed when I told them the parameters. Because we live in an area with long winters and lots of snow, I had wanted a Subaru with AWD, but Subarus with the required age and mileage go for a minimum of $10,000 from a dealership. Other small high quality imports with gas mileage over 30 mpg and excellent reviews from Consumer Reports were similarly out of my price range. I finally decided on a Ford Focus, a car with acceptable reviews and mileage just under 30 mpg.

      Eventually I found a dealership I liked and chose my car — a 2002 wagon with 69,000 miles. I did manage to negotiate the best possible price relative ...


      • to the book value. The closing process was very easy and straightforward and I picked up my car the next day after I had arranged for the required insurance. The sales staff at the car dealership were actually very impressed and intend to suggest the Road Loans option to buyers who were unable to qualify for Ford financing.

        I’m struggling to make ends meet, and twice over the past two years I have gotten two months behind on my payments. I would have to say that when I have mastered my fear and actually made the call to the company, they have been uniformly courteous and helpful. The first time they arranged to move the two delinquent payments to the end of my loan term so that I could catch up by paying just the current payment. Although this is a one time offer, the second time I got behind they were again courteous, helpful, and allowed me to set up a catchup plan I could make work.

        The downside about my loan from Triad — and this is serious — is that it is a 72 month loan. I didn’t think this through carefully enough when I accepted the loan. I drive a lot of miles each year, and our winters are rough on a car, so the car will probably be gone

        long before it’s paid for. Two years into the loan, I have very little equity because the lion’s share of each early payment goes to interest rather than to principle. I am technically “underwater,” with the payoff being far higher than the current book value of the car. The interest paid over a 72 month loan term is also pretty staggering.

        There is a fix for this, but it won’t work til I have enough additional income to pay a little extra every month. There is no penalty for prepayment of the loan. I went online and used a payment calculator to figure out that paying an extra $30 per month would be the equivalent of converting my 6 year loan to a 3 year loan. As long as the loan is current, the extra goes directly to principle. I’ve been able to do this a few times, and I’m hoping that as life levels out I’ll be able to be more consistent about adding to each payment, because the alternative is finding myself still owing money on the car after it’s gone to the cruncher. In hindsight, I probably would have been better off to pay cash for a junker than to get myself into this hole, but at the time it seemed that this was the only way to get reliable transportation.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 421201565861131/k2311a0112/1.12.09
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