Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Car Loans versus CC debt

Okay so over at LLNOE, I asked the question why do people seem to think that car loans are not as bad a debt as Credit Card Debt? It had come up on another board that people can easily classify CC debt as bad, but car loan debt is justified. Yet car loan debt is 3x as much national average (approximately $24k) versus the average CC debt of $8k. This to me seems to say that people are buying way more cars than spending it on foolish things.

Does buying a new/used expensive drive CC debt? Is it having the expensive car that causes someone to use CC and fall into a vicious cycle of debt? Or is it the rolling over of car loan into car loan that you are "upside" down the real reason? It's a tough call.

But consider this, it's a lot easier to hide your CC debt in the stuff you buy, yet people will probably wonder how does this guy afford a BMW on his salary? The explanation he leased or took out a car loan. But how many people really have car loans versus having CC?

It has been stated 25% of people out there do not have CC, 30% pay it off in full every month so 55% of the population do not carry CC interest. The remaining 45% have an average of $8k in debt. However when looking at the statistics of car loans 3 out of 10 are upside down in their vehicles, average car loan is $25k, and 40% of buyers have loans greater than 60 months.

So where does this put us as a society? I have no idea if we'll have a car loan again, we had one initially when DH bought a car, 3 years 0% to build credit after arriving in the states with no credit. He decided to pocket the money and build credit, and keep more cash on hand. Turns out a better deal all around. But now we're not so sure, but of course it really depends on when we need a new car.

However this was eye opening enough for me to determine I have to really plan for the future of my cars.

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