Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mismanaged Auto Loan

As if I needed another reason not to want to do business with loan companies, my wife's auto loan has been misapplied this month. I have vowed never to take another loan or finance a car again. When you pay in cash, you aren't dependent on some guy in an office somewhere entering your information into their computer. The more businesses you work with, the more problems you will inevitably have. You will always have human error.

Since I hate my debt and I distrust companies, I always double check my payments and make sure the companies are doing their jobs. Since I started to handle my wife's auto loan, I began checking the deposits made each month. The payment I just made has a problem, a big problem. Out of a $300 payment, only $175 was applied to principle with a $30 interest payment. $95 vanished.

So I went back and looked at all the payments all the way back to the origination of the loan. No other problems. However, I noticed another huge issue.

2 months after she signed her loan, the finance company increased her balance by over $2,200, then credited the $2,200 back 2 months later. For 2 solid months (59 calendar days to be precise) she was being charged interest for an artificially inflated balance. I ran the numbers and determined that during that time, they overcharged her around $25 in interest!

We are calling them this afternoon to try to get this straightened out. Certainly people make mistakes, but knowingly collecting interest that isn't owed without informing the customer of the mistake? That sounds negligent to me. And disappearing money? The numbers don't look like they could be a simple typo, and its quite possible an employee somewhere pocketed it.

Always scrutinize your payments to be sure they've been properly applied. You can't trust other people with your money.

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