Auto Loan Lemon
Posted: 2011-06-16. Categories: Big Ticket, California

2011 Subaru TribecaI can’t prove it but I’d all but swear on a Bible that something is very fishy and downright wrong at the major financial company who is financing our new Subaru Tribeca. We were just charged a $15.00 late fee because our car payment didn’t go through our credit union account.

Guess why?

The last digit of our checking account number was missing, so the requested transaction was refused by our credit union. Could this have been done by mistake or maliciously? Simple technical incompetence or database error? I don’t know yet but I intend to find out. My husband is meticulous and is rarely wrong about anything. His IQ falls in the high end of the genius range well above Einstein’s. His mind is amazing. I refuse to believe that he could have remotely left if off. Especially, since the data was stored within the “remember account information” option.

So, either their system had a programming error or the institution is intentionally causing late payments to earn extra money. They gave a great deal at 4% interest. It’s higher than we wanted but much better than the 26.99% we paid when we bought our last vehicle.

This $15.00 ‘late payment fee’, will put a ding on our credit rating causing our interest rates to remain high. We were promised a reduced rate on our credit cards next month — we have been good stewards. I would hate to think the auto lender would commit such an act.

I have purposely left the name of our automobile lender blank for two reasons.

  1. We received an email back today from our inquiry with this corporation, stating that our payment was not processed, though we couldn’t tell from their website. I don’t want to go public with what could well be a crime, until I’ve spoken with someone tomorrow. It’s only fair to give them a chance to respond.
  2. I want to see if this has happened to anyone else. Please post a comment if anything similar to this has happened to you.

We try to pay extra each month on our car payment, so that we have a little cushion, just in case of an emergency. It’s not a lot but every little bit helps, right? Their system wouldn’t accept the payment today, including a $15.00 late fee that I’m mad as a hornet about. He tried submitting the original amount we had sent three times. It wouldn’t go through. I suggested he try sending the exact amount and it was allowed to go through — after the seventh attempt to pay with their online bill payment system.

This is why I have to think it’s a programming error in their system. In which case, the late fee should be backed out and our credit repaired. It’s only fair. It was their mistake. The $15.00 late fee I could live with but a ding on our credit could literally end up costing us thousands of dollars. That isn’t right.

In these rough financial times, everyone is struggling to make ends meet. Everyone is stressed out, you can feel it in the air. I manage to keep my sanity by remembering to read at least one scripture verse daily, more if I can. I take the time to pray whenever I have a few minutes.

I’ve created a sort of oasis at our home. I asked for and received bird feeders from Freecycle to help draw in the birds. Their sounds are relaxing and help calm my mind.

My husband and I both work from home, so we have our separate spaces, which helps us to keep our home a peaceful one. We both go that extra mile to be supportive when one of us loses it. We are secure in our love enough that most of the time we don’t react immediately to harsh words, we are slow to take offense. I try to remember that I’ve made it through hard times before and I know that it is through the hard times and struggles when we grow the most, both spiritually and emotionally.

It’s not the end of the world. We are resilient people. Give your loved ones a hug and reassure them that family sticks together. Pull together and unite, it will create a stronger bond than you ever knew was possible.

Lastly, be sure to fight back. Never allow anyone to get away with wronging you. I’m going to present my case to the financial institute tomorrow. We’ve worked hard for what we have achieved and deserve to be treated fairly – everyone deserves to be treated fairly.

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