People change cities, plans, jobs, cars, friends; life is ever-changing. In my case, almost all of those things changed in 2014. But let’s flashback to 2013, for a moment, when a significantly less mature version of myself thought it would be an acceptable idea to have the rims and side mirrors on my car painted pink. And don’t think I stopped there; I also considered it crucial to re-fabric the interior roof with a black and white print. Needless to say I looked a bit ridiculous. At that time, I was living on Long Island where a car is a necessity and others will define you in part by the car you drive. Not long thereafter I realized that I needed to upgrade from the “pink mutant” to something more socially acceptable. So I bought a brand new car.
I continued working and driving on Long Island for about a year and a half until my plans and life changed…. Shortly after pursuing a career in line with my college degree (geology), I realized it wasn’t for me. So I started a new job search, and finally landed an amazing opportunity in Manhattan. No longer did I need my car, but I still owed around $4,000 on the loan. After a few failed attempts of trying to sell it, still with the lien, I realized I needed to pay off the remainder of the loan in full. Of course I could have dipped into my bank account, but selling the car came at a time when I was just moving into my new apartment without any furniture or kitchenware - not even a single fork or plate to eat take out chinese food on. So what (little) money I did have, had to go towards funding my day to day life. I had no idea what to do, so for two months I kept making payments on a car that was just collecting pollen in my parents driveway. Then I started thinking about ways to get $4,000 and here’s what I came up with:
I chose the last option and Googled “Marketplace Lending,” sought advice from a few trusted sources, and came to the conclusion that I should give it a shot. It’s laughably simple to use, and if you aren’t familiar with the topic I suggest reading up on it. Basically, you apply for a loan online from lenders that want to give you money at interest rates starting at around 5.99%. The interest rate you get depends on a host of variables, credit score being one of them. Using EVEN Financial’s software, I found the best personalized option, offered to me through their relationships with many different loan providers which each have their own rates and specialties. Once you choose an offer, the instructions on the website are clear and easy to follow. Name, address, social security number, etc. Did I mention this entire process is only completed digitally? The online form (singular) took me all of 5 minutes to complete. Over the following two days the lender asked me to submit two forms of proof - my utility bill and bank statement. Done and done. And then I waited for the money to be deposited into my account, which occurred several days later. Overall the experience was extremely positive.I did have some feedback about the specific company I used for the loan, for example I didn’t feel like they communicated enough with me about the status of my loan through the process, and I actually thought based on what I’d read that I would have the money even faster than I did. That said, I much preferred doing everything online and still would not have gone to a physical bank or haggled with my dad for the cash. So even with the few areas that could have been improved, I would definitely still use this process again in the event I needed cash in the future. The biggest take away is that I would likely still be paying a $400/month car payment (+ insurance) for a car that I don’t drive if marketplace lending didn’t exist. My loan was a $5,000 loan at a 7.36% interest rate. That is considerably higher than my current car loan (0.9%), but a great feature of Marketplace Lending loans - there is no prepayment penalty. When I sell my car, I pay off my loan (in full) and I can prepare for the next big change in my life, whatever that might be. Plus, I also have furniture in my apartment. And one last piece of advice - don’t ever do this to your car.
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