by Matt B

I used to know a guy named Dan. Dan wasn’t really a friend, but what I would consider an acquaintance. I never had Dan’s phone number, but we always ended up at the same parties, functions and events. It didn’t hurt that he lived with a close friend of mine for a couple of years.

Dan had a great credit score, and was constantly getting credit card offers. He ended up getting a few credit cards and used them wisely for a few years. He also had a very good paying job. He made more than most of the people that I knew around the same age group. The problem was that his money management skills were awful. He never saved any money, and never bought anything worthwhile. After a few years of excellent credit history, Dan had no debt and because of his salary, he thought he was sitting pretty. As I said, he used his cards wisely and paid the balances every month, but did not ever save any money.

Dan wanted a new car. He did not necessarily need a new car, but peer pressure and social status apparently were too much for him to handle. After receiving a new credit card with a $40,000 limit, he decided that he would use this card to buy a vehicle. Some people may have the capacity to buy a little junker for a couple thousand on a credit card, pay it off in no time and be done with it. Not Dan. This is when he did the stupidest thing that I have ever heard of anyone with an inkling of common sense doing. He bought a BRAND NEW CADILLAC. With his credit card!!!!!

I’m not sure exactly what the total purchase price of the car was, but I do know that it was over $30,000. Thirty Thousand Dollars! When he told us this, everyone’s jaws were dropping. Honestly, who would do such a thing? But Dan had a plan. He would pay about $1,500 per month for 3 years, and the full balance would be gone. Unfortunately, as Murphy’s law took effect, Dan lost his job. I know, it is so predictable, right? What would he do?

I wish I could offer up a great finish for this story that doesn’t end in bankruptcy or repossession of the vehicle. Truth be told, I honestly do not know what happened to Dan and his magic Caddy. I was only in touch with him for a year or so before we lost touch. In that year, I saw him miss a payment or two and struggle to find a decent job. He could not even make HALF of what he was making when he purchased the car.

I can not tell you how much regret and remorse I heard from Dan, following the idiotic purchase. Occasionally, I do wonder what happened with the car. Mostly I just hope that he didn’t get himself into too much of a crunch. I would hate for anyone to learn a lesson too severe to come out of cleanly.

Have you ever had to learn a tough lesson like this?


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