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Stories from my Past: How much per month?

I like cars and enjoy driving them. Often I will go for test drives because it is fun imaging what it would be like to have the car, and one day my ship might come in. Once a decade ago I went to a Mercedes dealer in Chicago and this is what happened.

I had test driven one of the cars and I liked it. I had great credit so I asked how much it would be for dealer provided financing. Sometimes dealers will beat bank prices if you come in there with pre-approved loans from banks.

“So how much am I looking at with the best offer from the bank per month,” I asked.

“Oh about $900.” he said casually.

I laughed thinking it was a joke. For that car the max that could be charged would be $500 a month. It was one of the entry-level cars.

“Your kidding right?” I said.

“No completely serious. Someone with your limited credit history isn’t going to get a better rate.”, he said.

I had 8 years of credit history that was perfect, and plenty of evidence that I was a good risk. I got up and shook his hand and left.

I have never gone back to Mercedes or considered them as a buy. Sometimes you can lose a customer for life on the first transaction.