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Do Parents Owe Their Kid A Car?



Crazy the amount of relative stories I have, ugh. It was just after my parents got divorced and my father got remarried to Cruella deSkank. Awful awful person. My mother and I moved to Atlanta to be near my brother and sister. Well since I’m only 21 my car is still in his name. This doesn’t settle well with Cruella. She must have driven him mad because he calls me and demands I put the car in my name. I have no credit , not bad credit just no credit. I try for months to do this. He finally calls and SCREAMS at me to put that f&@$$ing car in my name or he’s calling the cops on me. Ummm what??? I’m his daughter wtf???? I’m so hurt and confused. I went to the most understanding lender, she seemed very nice and literally cried my heart out to this woman. She was truly sad for me and the bank did everything they could to make it happen. Fast forward to Christmas Day and my father calls. I immediately hang up on him and didn’t speak to him for two years. We eventually spoke but it was never the same. Family sometimes, ugh. The silver lining was I ended up with 765 credit because of the loan in my name that I paid off early. 1211-18

My response isn’t likely to be one you were expecting. I don’t believe children are owed a vehicle provided by a parent or parents. Particularly children who have reached the age of 18. In this story you are 21 at the time and while you had no credit history, you were quite able to pay off the car loan earlier than scheduled.

A young friend of mine had a nearly similar situation. She was driving a car that was owned by her father and he was the one making the car payments. At age 19, the father insisted she take over the title to the car and make the car payments. She did but she promptly sold the car, used the sale money to pay off the car loan and then she bought a used car she could afford.

Instead of being grateful for the use of a car from age 16 to 21, a blessing that many of us did not have btw, you see it as an entitlement that when removed from you results in a deterioration of your relationship with your father. Seriously, how long did you think he was going to continue paying for your car? Until 22? Maybe 25? Daddy had to compel you to grow up and take ownership of your car with all the rights, benefits and responsibilities associated with that kind of ownership.

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  • Iris January 7, 2019, 2:50 am

    While I agree that children are not entitled to cars bought by their parents (mine certainly won’t be getting them), I do think that allowing your child to assume that you are going to continue to pay for the car and then pulling the rug out from underneath them is unfair. If Dad had said from the outset “I will buy this car and make payments on it until you are 21” that’s one thing, but “I’ll buy you a car, oops not really” is another entirely. It’s his prerogative to do so, of course, but as a general rule one tries not to put one’s child into a sticky situation like that.

    At the very least good communication during the time when she was seeking a loan could have prevented some of the drama.

    • Kat January 7, 2019, 5:24 pm

      As well as some understanding and patience on the part of the father that seeking a loan with no credit history is likely to take a while; every loan application will be a hard pull on her credit file, making each subsequent application that much harder to get. Some recommend waiting six months after a hard pull to try again, so as to avoid the appearance of being desperate for credit and therefore a high risk.

      He also could have helped expedite the process by co-signing on a loan in her name for, say, a year, so she has some credit history with which to get herself a solo loan after that. I mean, if he was in such a great hurry to get it done. I can see why he might not want to do that, but then we’re back to being patient and accepting that this process is going to take a good long while.

      I think this is less about someone feeling entitled to a free car, and more about someone yelling and swearing at someone for her honest attempts within circumstances beyond her control.

  • Jenny D January 7, 2019, 4:17 am

    I don’t see where it says that the father was the one *paying* for the car, only that his name was on the loan and the title.

    • stampysmom January 7, 2019, 4:19 pm

      I agree. When I was 19 with no credit I needed a co-signer. My father did this for me but I paid every cent, on time, on my own. When I paid off my loan (early like the OP) my father commented that any time I needed another co-signer he would be happy to do it since I was so responsible. Luckily by the time I bought a home I didn’t need to go back to him.

    • Secret Sauce January 7, 2019, 7:49 pm

      I wondered that as well. Perhaps the Admin did not include all the information from the original submission? But I guess since Cruella deSkank was crazed about it, it seems to follow that the dad was paying for it. But is also seems he may have handled it poorly.

    • Jane January 7, 2019, 11:03 pm

      Came here to say the same. I had a car in my parents name when I was young, but made the payments every month myself.

  • Cerys January 7, 2019, 5:44 am

    Well done, OP. You wrecked your relationship with your father by being an entitled idiot. He has my sympathy.

    • Secret Sauce January 7, 2019, 7:51 pm

      When did it become OK to call people idiots? Sadly we do not have both sides of the story so jumping to conclusions seems ill advised.

    • InTheEther January 7, 2019, 8:46 pm

      Because cussing out your child and threatening to call the police on them is the appropriate response to them not being quick enough in giving into your demands. They don’t have any right to be upset with you for that type of sensible behavior.

  • Pep January 7, 2019, 6:47 am

    Surely Dad could have tried to compel her without the profanity and threats. I see that as the etiquette issue here, not whether kids are owed a car.

  • flora January 7, 2019, 7:19 am

    This story is incredibly one sided, without much detail so I’m going to give to OP as much benefit of the doubt as I can.
    I don’t think parents owe their kids a car any more then they owe their kids a cell phone. Yes, you can and maybe one should (depending on where you live) get by without one but it’s likely having an extra driver with a car benefits everyone. That said, I think dad was in the wrong by buying a car he can’t afford for his kid then shouldering that burden on the kid unexpectedly. If dad told kid in writing “I expect you to take over payments and put car in your name by xx/yy ” Or, by getting remarried had to rethink his finances and told that to kid and gave a decent deadline, I’d side with father. I don’t believe there’s any reason to scream obscenities.
    Also this is the perspective of someone who has had issues with family over money and miscommunication. Also I neither drive nor have children.

  • lkb January 7, 2019, 7:38 am

    I can’t speak to the issue at hand, except to say that the issue of whether parents owe their children cars does not seem to be an etiquette issue.

    However, as this is an etiquette site, I felt compelled to say that the OP’s post hardly qualifies as good manners: Name calling (plus, there is nothing in the post that shows that dad’s new wife had anything to do with the car’s title), allusions to two f-bombs, hanging up on one’s father on Christmas Day (seemingly without hearing what he had to say — could it have been an attempt to mend fences?).

    I realize children are often caught in the middle of divorces and that it is hard for everyone involved but the crudeness of the post doesn’t exactly help the OP’s case. I hope she and the rest of the family can find peace.

  • A January 7, 2019, 7:49 am

    Just based on the information that we have here, I think the dad could have phrased it better and given the adult child a little more notice.

  • Alda January 7, 2019, 8:11 am

    Parents don’t owe kids cars, but when a parent does buy their child a car at a young age and then due to marital issues decides to cut the child off it is the wrong way to do it. Because – first of all say this car was bought when the kid was 16. What 16 year old knows enough about finances to endeavor this on their own? They most likely don’t. Honestly, at 21 I couldn’t have either. If the father needed to get out of the payments, he should help with every step of it from the trade in to finding a used and cheaper car (if any) that the 21 year old could afford (if she could afford any). The issue imo is setting up a young person in a certain way of life and then yanking the rug out. 21 might seem to be grown up, but it usually isn’t. An older person knows and realizes that cars will have to be paid for over years and years, so what was his original plan there?

  • DGS January 7, 2019, 8:24 am

    What Admin and the PP said, and also, OP needs to grow up. “Cruella DeSkank?” No matter how awful the stepmother was (and we have been given no evidence that she was), calling her names is uncalled for, uncouth and immature.

  • Abby January 7, 2019, 8:28 am

    I am so confused…so the loan always was in her name, just the car title wasn’t? Strange. The OP comes across as very immature. That said, I don’t think Dad handled himself too well either.

    • admin January 7, 2019, 3:53 pm

      NO, the original car loan was not in the OP’s name.

      • LizaJane January 7, 2019, 8:22 pm

        I can’t imagine any lender loaning money to someone whose name wasn’t on the vehicle title. Even with their lien registered on the title, it would make repossession very difficult, if not impossible.

  • Devin January 7, 2019, 8:42 am

    I don’t see where OP was demanding of the car, just that she didn’t have the ability to put the title in her name. It also sounds like there was no discussion of how car ownership was to occur between OP and her father. If he had been paying in her car for several years, say bought it when she was 18, and then changed his mind without warning, that would be difficult to handle. A good teachable moment would be to co-sign with OP to help her build credit and also make her primarily responsible for the payments. Why her mother couldn’t help out, I don’t know?
    The name calling is uncalled for, but it sounds like there are many more facets to this story. In general I agree with the Admin that cars are a luxury that no parents owes to their children. My parents helped me save up for my first car and helped with insurance till I was out of college, and then co-signed on my first new car so I could get a better interest rate. I never missed a payment, paid it off early, and also ended up with a good credit score because of it.

    • ErindV January 7, 2019, 1:47 pm

      I’m pretty confused by this as well. Were there parts of the letter that Admin edited out? (Admin references OP as having use of a car from 16-21, but there’s no mention in the letter of when she first got the car that I can see). Perhaps the confusion stems from a regional variance in language used regarding car loans/ownership, but my initial read on the situation was that the OP was paying for the car all along, but it was leased/financed in her father’s name because OP did not have any credit history at the time of the car purchase to qualify for the loan. If her dad demands she transfer the car to her name (ie. transfer the loans to her name), she has to find a lender willing to extend her credit with no credit history. I had a similar situation with my first car – I did not qualify for my car loan because I was very young and had limited credit history (and I had even made a point of getting a low limit CC at 18 to start building a credit history!), so my car was in my father’s name, but I paid all of the costs. Once I’d paid off the entire car we transferred the ownership to myself, but that would have been rather difficult to do in the middle of the financing period.

      • Rinme January 8, 2019, 12:29 am

        That could very well be the case, as OP never directly complains about the expense, nor says anything about dad paying for the car; she only writes about the hardship of securing that loan.

  • Mizz Etiquette January 7, 2019, 8:43 am

    I absolutely agree with admin.
    More than likely, the Dad felt guilt over the divorce and when the Stepmom told him, “Hey, your kid is 21 – time to give her independence and responsibility”, he probably balked at that.

    Stepmom more than likely did push (and there’s nothing wrong with pushing a kid to stand on their own two feet once they reach adulthood) and the Dad resisted because he was afraid of kid being upset with him. When in actuality, this should have been done YEARS before Stepmom came into the picture.

    The OP sounds like a spoiled brat in this scenario. She’s the one who ruined the relationship with her Dad, not the Stepmom.

    But as we know, the Stepmom is usually the easiest target.

    • Rinme January 8, 2019, 12:39 am

      Your entirely speculative scenario does paint the stepmom as the bad guy. Her actions are driving a wedge between father and daughter (moreso if daughter was the one paying for that car all along, which is unclear)

    • SadieMae January 9, 2019, 1:14 am

      Stepmothers often get a bad rap in situations like these. We’re always hearing “Dad can’t visit anymore because Stepmom won’t let him,” “Dad won’t pay for my car anymore because Stepmom told him not to.” But the thing is: unless Dad has some sort of cognitive decline, he’s making his own decisions. Stepmom may say “You shouldn’t pay for your daughter’s car anymore,” but Dad will decide for himself what to do with his money (or his part of their shared money). He may agree with Stepmom just to placate her, but again, that’s his choice. If he doesn’t come to visit the kids, unless Stepmom has him tied up in the basement or something, it’s because he’s choosing not to visit. Maybe Stepmom is putting pressure on him, but he could choose to leave her or ignore her if he wanted to. He is making his choice.

      It just seems a bit sexist, this trope of “Stepmom ruined my relationship with Dad!” or “Jane stole my boyfriend!” or whatever. Men, like all people, have free will, and (again, assuming they are compos mentis) their decisions are on them, not the women in their lives – however “Cruella”-like.

  • Charliesmum January 7, 2019, 8:49 am

    Was the OP paying for the car, but it was under the father’s name, since he bought it? And it did sound like the OP tried to get the car switched. And wouldn’t the father have to give the car to the OP (or sell it)? It sounds like he would have had to be involved in some portion of the transaction. I don’t know exactly how that sort of thing works. I’m glad the OP was able to make the change, and pay off the car.

    • JxB January 7, 2019, 10:46 am

      That’s the way I interpreted it – that she was already paying for the car but the loan wasn’t in her name. To me this message wasn’t about the car at all but about the relationship with her father. Perhaps OP could have been nicer, but responses seem rather harsh.

      • admin January 7, 2019, 3:47 pm

        If she had been paying off the car loan as you speculate, she would not have had a difficult time finding a lender to take her as a creditor.

        • Sweet Pea January 7, 2019, 3:55 pm

          Admin, that’s not strictly true. If the car loan was under her fathers name, but she’s making the payments, the credit history would be her fathers, not hers.

          But even if it wasn’t true, and she really did just have a car her father gave her, the bait and switch is cruel. I wasn’t given a car either, and I won’t give one to my kids, but if they have been told that it’s a gift, only to have the gift removed…. surely that’s not good manners either.

        • KenderJ January 7, 2019, 4:08 pm

          If the loan was in her father’s name any payments made by the OP would go on her father’s credit history, not hers. She would still have a difficult time getting a loan she could afford because she has no credit history.

        • ErindV January 7, 2019, 4:08 pm

          I can personally attest to the fact that this scenario is possible and even likely! I mention in my comment above that I had a similar issue with the financing on my first car. In fact, when I was 18 and fresh out of highschool I had a very hard time getting a credit card with even a minimal limit on it. If you’re wondering why an 18 year old wants a credit card, it was because my older sibling had had a similar issue with a lack of credit history preventing them from qualifying for a car loan, even though they could well afford the car. I thought I would be proactive and start my credit history ASAP by signing up for a low limit card and paying it off every month. I was working full time to save up for post-secondary education, so I had the money necessary, but an 18 year old with a full time job is sort of like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole at the major banks/credit card companies. (nevermind that credit card companies *love* to give credit cards to students who have no stable income!) Eventually my parents brought me to their local credit union (where they could still make decisions like that at a branch level), explained what I was trying to do and I was issued my own credit card, in my own name, with a very small limit. And even with a year of having had that credit card, I could not qualify for the loan on my first car on my own (again, despite working full time and being well able to afford it).

          • admin January 8, 2019, 12:24 am

            And yet somehow all of my kids managed to buy their own vehicles without any parent co-signing a car loan. Decades earlier I managed to buy my own vehicles without any parent co-signing a car loan. At issue in this story is that the car in question is owned by the father and likely paid for by the father. OP has moved out of state away from him so the vehicle is no longer near the father so that he can take possession of what he owns if necessary. So Dad insists that the OP get the title changed to her name and take over the car payments. An alternative choice is that she could have driven the car back to her father, handed him the keys and gone on her merry way purchasing her own car THAT SHE CAN AFFORD.

        • Kat January 7, 2019, 6:03 pm

          Why do you assume that? Lots of parents put the car loan in their name and require their children to make the payments. Mine did, and I was even well over 21 when she did it, simply because my mom could get a better interest rate, the loan was relatively small, and (important point) she trusted me to write her a valid check every month until the loan was paid off. I got absolutely no “credit” for that loan on my own credit history since legally-speaking my payments were to my mom, not the lender (HER payments were to the lender), but it was the best solution for our circumstances at the time.

        • Blueberry January 7, 2019, 7:34 pm

          If you pay off a loan that is not in your name it does your credit no good.

        • LizaJane January 7, 2019, 8:32 pm

          Not necessarily. She could have been a student with little income and she states that she had no credit history.

          Our daughter had an easier time getting her first car loan than either of our sons even though she had far less income and more expenses because she was already living in an apartment and paying rent. The boys had better jobs and fewer expenses because they tried to buy when they were still living at home.

        • InTheEther January 7, 2019, 9:02 pm

          Not really.

          Loan availability and rates are based off credit history. Without said history you practically have to be able to just pay for it outright to have any hope of getting a loan. Even if OP was the one making the payments, on paper it is dad who is keeping up on his payments. Credit history only cares that the payments are made, not who’s bank account it’s being drawn from.

          So, say by putting it in Dad’s name the loan company was willing to set the payments at $250 a month. OP can cover that and proceeds to do so. Now, suddenly it has to be in their name and now they can’t find a company willing to let them have anything under $600 a month, which OP can’t do. Now there’s a problem.
          And these numbers aren’t ridiculous. I’m almost 30 and I recently had to get my dad to consign for a used care with over 200,000 miles on it. The best payment plant I could get under just me was 3x what the consigned one is. And I don’t have bad credit. Like OP, I just haven’t paid off any huge purchases yet.

        • Ergala January 7, 2019, 10:23 pm

          Unless the loan was in the father’s name. Then all payments would be on his credit report not on hers.

        • Lerah99 January 7, 2019, 10:39 pm

          That’s not true.
          Ability to pay does NOT equal credit, especially as a young adult.
          If she had zero credit history, that can make it VERY difficult to get a car loan without a co-signer EVEN with the ability to pay.

          This is one of the issues that foster kids run into constantly when they age out of the system.
          They have no credit and no family willing to co-sign on leases, car loans, student loans, etc…

          So they are put in this catch 22 where they’re told they need to borrow money in order to build credit but they cannot borrow any money because they don’t have any established credit.

        • Jane January 7, 2019, 11:08 pm

          Not necessarily, Many young people have cars in a parents names and then make a payment to the parent directly, or use their own bank information to make payments on a website. If one of these were the case for OP it wouldn’t show up on their credit in any way since the loan itself was not in their name.

  • Blueberry January 7, 2019, 8:58 am

    From reading the letter it was my impression the car was only in her fathers name and she was paying the loan. Since she had no credit the loan was probably in his name too, with the OP paying the bill. Instead of demanding she get the car and loan in her name, he should have stepped up and taught her how to accomplish this. A good parent teaches.

  • Queen of Putrescence January 7, 2019, 9:04 am

    My issue with this is that it sounded like the father took out a loan to pay for this car and just assumed that the child would take over the payments? The father took out the loan and therefore he is responsible for paying off that loan. Now he could have warned the child stating that “hey, I’m making these payments on the car. You have a choice. You can transfer the loan to your name and start making payments. Or you can start looking for your own car and in three months, I’m going to be taking this car back and selling it.”

    It sounds like the situation was handled poorly on both sides, father and child.

  • pennywit January 7, 2019, 9:15 am

    I have no idea where to start with this note. But I’ll offer my two cents on the car issue.
    I don’t think that parents owe their offspring a car as a general concept. However, if the parents have promised to purchase a car for a child, or have promised to give a car to the child, then it seems to me the parents ought to follow through on that promise unless it becomes impossible to fulfill.

    • admin January 7, 2019, 3:51 pm

      There is no mention in the OP’s story that the car was a gift or that she was promised the car.

      • pennywit January 7, 2019, 5:07 pm

        Acknowledged. To be honest, I had trouble making out exactly what happened.

  • A different Tracy January 7, 2019, 9:22 am

    I don’t think expecting to keep a car that was given to you is the same thing as demanding a car. If paying off the car herself wasn’t part of the original agreement, it was unfair to demand it later (unless, of course, a change in finances made it necessary, and there is no indication of that being an issue here). The fact that the LW may sound rude doesn’t mean she’s wrong.

  • Cat2 January 7, 2019, 9:58 am

    Alternatively, if you intend for the car to be completely the child’s responsibility by the time they are 18 or 21, you don’t buy them a car without that information as part of the understanding. You especially don’t buy them a car that’s not possible for them to do without hassle. That’s a form of taking back a gift and it’s not okay. Buy them a used car to begin with and be done.

    I quibble with the concept of making the car payments as an “entitlement” when there were other choices available at the time and the parent made this one.

  • ladyv21454 January 7, 2019, 10:05 am

    There MAY be fault on both sides of this story. Yes, it’s pretty immature for OP to call her father’s second wife names – you’d expect that from a kid, not an alleged adult. (I was not especially fond of my Dad’s second wife, but I did my best to be civil to her for my dad’s sake.) However, if her father actually did scream, curse, and threaten to call the cops, that’s an unpleasant way to behave to anyone, let alone your daughter.

    Here’s why I put “MAY” in that first sentence: OP seems like something of a drama queen, so I wonder if she’s exaggerating her father’s actions so she can seem like the victim. I don’t find it at all unreasonable that her father wanted her to put the car in her name – especially since they would no longer be living in the same area. I suspect Dad might have brought this up several times because OP was dragging her feet – but I really wonder if it was as bad as she makes it out to be.

    • staceyizme January 7, 2019, 8:11 pm

      I agree that her letter is more dramatic than the situation warrants. 1) evil step-mom who is supposedly so bad that she merits being styled as both cruel and immoral, 2) abusive dad who screams profanities and calls on Christmas day, 3) a break in the relationship lasting two years, 4) a scene of sobbing before a sympathetic banker who miraculously effected the necessary financing…. it just doesn’t add up to reality. Either the details are grossly exaggerated (because the narrative is full of every conceivable trope) or the whole anecdote was made up out of whole cloth as some sort of “revenge porn” and submitted to the site for publication. Hmmm, one does wonder….

      • Rinme January 8, 2019, 1:21 am

        It’s too poorly written and has next to nothing to do with etiquette. I’m voting “genuine”.

  • Meegs January 7, 2019, 10:38 am

    Where in the world did you get that the OP’s father was paying for the car? She only said that it was in his name, not that he was paying for it.

    • admin January 7, 2019, 3:48 pm

      She wasn’t paying for it while she had use of it. Who do you think was?

    • admin January 7, 2019, 3:50 pm

      She’s driving a car she does not own. The car is registered in the father’s name. Who precisely do you think has paid for or was currently paying the car loan since it obviously was not the OP?

      • Ergala January 7, 2019, 10:26 pm

        Well I have seen many people pay for cars they did not finance. Usually they pay the bank or give the person who is on the loan the money and it gets paid that way. I see it in my line of work and it can get very tricky tax wise.

      • Lerah99 January 7, 2019, 10:45 pm

        It doesn’t have to be your name on the loan in order to make payments.

        Most of the college kids I know have cars with loans in their parent’s name, because their parent’s established credit means they received a MUCH more favorable interest rate on the loan.

        But the loan payments are being made by the college kids because it’s really their car in everything but name.

        I’m assuming that is the same sort of situation the OP had when suddenly her dad demanded she refinance the car in her own name, interest rate be damned.

      • Meegs January 8, 2019, 4:34 pm

        How is it obvious that the OP was not paying? Did you edit parts of the story where that info was included?
        When I was 20 I had a car that was in my father’s name because I had no credit history with which to apply for a loan. I made every one of the car payments.

        Not sure why this is such a difficult idea to comprehend.

  • NicoleK January 7, 2019, 11:04 am

    Except… he had already given her the car. He had given it to her and they had needed to put it in his name for legal reasons, so she COULDN’T just sell it and buy a new one.

    He gave it to her and then reneged on the agreement.

    That’s a different situation than her demanding a car.

    She tried to put it in her name and finally managed to, but that last lender could have said no, and then what?

  • Lisa January 7, 2019, 11:04 am

    It’s an interesting assumption that Daddy was making the car payments. Nowhere did the OP say that.

  • Michelle January 7, 2019, 11:15 am

    So, I’m confused. What does the car issue have to do with the new wife? And how does OP know that the new wife “drove him mad” about the car? If the car was paid off, all that had to be done is the father sign the car (title) over to you and you get insurance, registration and tags (I live in GA, so I know those are the steps). If the car was not paid for and the father was paying, then asking you to take responsibility and pay for you own car seems reasonable.

    Calling your stepmother names is uncalled for. I can understand if you don’t like her, but calling her names and assuming she is behind the car issue is childish. My son didn’t get his first car until he was 23 and could make the payment, get insurance, registration and tags. I also had to buy/pay and register my first car in my name. I was 16 and had no credit, so I had to find something I could afford on my own.

    • WV Lady January 7, 2019, 11:50 am

      OP believes that her stepmother talked dad into turning responsibility of the car to OP.

    • Rinme January 8, 2019, 1:26 am

      It’s safe to assume that OP knows more about the situation than we do. She says dad’s wife is behind the car drama; she must have reasons for thinkng that.

  • AS January 7, 2019, 11:49 am

    I’m quite confused by the story. I’m assuming that LW’s father wanted LW to buy the car from him and transfer the title to her name, and quoted a certain cost. The OP probably needed a loan to cover that cost. To get a loan for the car without a credit history, you can get a co-signee. Did you try talking to your dad or mom about co-signing the loan? If you already have a job, you can get a secured credit card through the bank your salary is getting deposited into (that’s how I had started my credit history when I first moved to the USA), and use it for 6 months or more. There are banks that can give loans, like the OP finally managed to get.

    In all these, why was the step-mother relevant in any way?

  • annon January 7, 2019, 11:59 am

    A few things:
    1. She never said the father gave her the car, so we can’t assume he did and she was entitled.
    2. She shouldn’t call the Step-mom names, but we aren’t in the situation.
    3. The father said he would call the cops ON HER if she didn’t transfer title.
    4. Not many 21 year olds have credit, and from what I know of cars, if you are transferring a title and there is one owner on it and you are not them, there is paperwork on their end needed if there is a still a debt on the car.
    5. With #4, if there was a balance, there would have had to be a “sale” of some sort from the father to the daughter.
    6. If my father threatened to call the cops on my for a car that we both know was mine, but in his name, I would have been upset with him too. Sounds like their relationship was fractured when the parents divorced and he remarried.
    7. As previously pointed out, this really isn’t an etiquette issue, but haven’t we all had family drama? And maybe she needed to vent.

    It’s funny how so many people jump to the conclusion that she was “entitled to the car” yet, no where does it say that she wasn’t paying for it, that the father paid for it, or that she was paying him for it and he was making payments b/c she was 21 and without much credit.

  • JD January 7, 2019, 12:02 pm

    If he “gave” her a car with the understanding that he would pay for it, then suddenly insisted that OP had to take on the loan, that would have put the OP in an awkward spot, I’ll agree. However, it’s not clear to me that there was much communication about the fact that she was turned down by banks to take over the loan — did he perhaps think OP just ignored his request? If OP did let him know of the difficulty, was there any attempt to find another way to re-finance this car? In fact, a lot is not clear here to me. Why does OP feel that the step-mother insisted OP take on the loan? Did Dad say so? Regardless of how awful the step-mother was, I can’t imagine my own father calling and screaming profanities at me and threatening to call the police on me. It sounds like all the drama isn’t necessarily because of “Ms. DeSkank.” Then OP hangs up on him and doesn’t speak to him for two years? I think the whole family might have anger issues, at least during this particular period, when the feelings about the divorce are probably still raw. Hopefully, it’s better now?

    I was never given a car by my parents, who didn’t have any money. My husband’s parents were better off, but had him pay for half of a car as a teen, since he worked summers and weekends and made decent money. Our own two kids were given used vehicles as teens, starting with a very used little truck, because they had jobs after school but those jobs would not pay for a car. There is no public transportation here, my husband worked out of town and I worked full-time 10 miles from town, so to have them able to drive benefited all of us. They never took it for granted, and thanked us many times for giving them a vehicle. We didn’t have a lot of money and they knew it. My kids happily ran errands, took the pets to the vet, picked up and dropped off neighbors’ kids, etc., with their vehicle, paying for the gas themselves, to thank us for the gift of a vehicle, and have been generous to us now that they are grown.

  • Bernadette January 7, 2019, 12:12 pm

    When I was 18, I bought my first car for $850. My dad co-signed my $1,000 loan – but the car went into my name and I had to buy my own car insurance. I paid every loan payment and insurance premium myself. I’ve never understood people who expect their parents to buy them a car and carry the insurance for them. The only help I needed was a co-signer as I didn’t have a credit history yet – but I had a full time job. My parents taught us the value of working hard and earning the things we wanted in life. 30+ years later I still thank them for it.
    I think the OP’s point was that until her father remarried – he was happy to help her out. And then went to the opposite extreme by demanding she get the car out of his name and threatening to call the police on her. I don’t think her post has ANYTHING to do w/the car – but with her father marrying a witch and turning on his own daughter. And I have seen that happen, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt that she’s not an entitled brat, but a devastated daughter.

    • rings90 January 9, 2019, 11:19 pm

      I work for an insurance agency, for some of out insureds it makes more sense to put the policy in the kids name & in mind or dad’s name, because the policy rate is better. The kid still pays for it tho.

      On the flip side we also have a few that mom & dad still pay their premiums and the kids are 30+ I don’t understand that at all.

  • Yolanda January 7, 2019, 12:36 pm

    There is obviously a lot of dysfunction in the family that OP has not detailed, so, it is quite possible that the stepmother was a major factor in OP’s father’s decision and behavior. The car issue is most likely one of many problems between OP and her father and stepmother and is a symptom of significant underlying issues in their relationship.

  • BMS2000 January 7, 2019, 12:55 pm

    I never was given a car, and neither will my kids. We have 2 cars in the family. I take public transit to work, husband drives. The boys need to work out who gets the second car when between them. They have to pay for gas and get it washed. When they go to college, the car stays.

  • Anon January 7, 2019, 1:09 pm

    I don’t think it’s all as cut and dry as that. When parents help buy their teenager a car, they’re often benefitting at least a small amount themselves. Parent no longer has to chaffeur the child around, and can send kid to the grocery store or have them pick up and drop off their younger siblings. And who is to say no if they want to give their kid an expensive gift? My parents bought a used car for me to drive to college (I lived at home and college was 45 minutes away) so I would be able to focus on my studies full time and not have to work. My dad wanted the cheapest thing he could find, but my mom made him buy a little bit better one because she didn’t want to worry about me breaking down somewhere, (I’m female) and also because when their cars were in the shop, they’d drive it.

    And I like to think it eventually evens out in most families. Parent buys kid a car, kid takes care of parents in retirement and helps them with expenses. My dad and his siblings paid their mom’s rent. My mom passed away but I’m here for my dad and have no issues helping him out if he needs it.

  • Leigh January 7, 2019, 1:10 pm

    I, as well, am confused. The OP never specified whether or not the father was making the payments, only that the loan was in his name & he (rather rudely) wanted it removed at the behest of his new wife. If the OP had been making payments all along, on time, then I see why there was animosity after being cursed out by one’s own father.
    My father was a banker, so I had a bit of insight into what lenders will/won’t do or can’t/won’t do. It is difficult to establish credit without assistance when one is that young, and it’s entirely possible that the OP was making all of the payments, but could not get any lenders to sign off on the loan in the OP’s name alone without an established payment history. And if the car had been in the father’s name, the payment history made by the OP would belong to the father, not the OP. I didn’t see where the OP thought it was the father’s responsibility to obtain & pay for a car, only that he became increasingly rude and demeaning (and demanding) when pushed by his new wife, whereas before she entered the picture, the situation was entirely different.
    I’m glad it worked out of the OP, but the father’s lack of a spine and willingness to verbally abuse his own child to appease his wife is appalling.

  • lnelson1218 January 7, 2019, 1:19 pm

    The over all question, no parent do not owe their kids cars and if they decide to cosign anything (or loan their kids money for a car), they are being generous.
    Was their some kind of agreement for the car? In his name, but OP was supposed to sent money for payments? I can understand it being hard if there is no credit history to get a loan for the car. But as others have suggested their can be other options.
    As far as the stepmother is concerned. I can believe that the stepmother has her own expectations of how the father is supposed to handle his adult children, whether any of these expectations were ever made clear to the children is unclear form the OP. If the kids aren’t becoming fast enough in the parents’ mind a sudden change can be confusing and easier to blame someone else.
    I had issues with my own father (divorced parents), money and expectations and major let downs some of which might have been avoided if communication had been better.

  • Gena January 7, 2019, 1:36 pm

    I think it’s important to know who is actually paying for the car However, it sounds as if Dad no longer wanted his name on either the loan or the title (as well as the insurance), and I understand that. I do think the call of the police was a little extreme, if that actually happened. Because I doubt the police would get involved in something like this. Either way, no one owes you a car, and it shouldn’t have taken months to get financing After all, the car should have been collateral.

    • Devin January 7, 2019, 4:13 pm

      If you get caught Driving a car that has someone’s name on the title and registration when it’s been reported stolen, you will definitely get arrested. Granted most lawyers can probably get you out of jail fairly easy once a judge hears the case, especially of the driver has valid insurance on the car in question (doubly if the person claiming the car is stolen is the person paying for the insurance)!
      Getting financing for a used car can definitely be tricky if you have zero credit history, and OPs father would know that as an adult who apparently built up his own credit history. It also makes a big difference if this was a 3 year old purchased new luxury car vs a used car bought 3 years ago that is only worth a few thousand. Too many details not included to really know?

  • staceyizme January 7, 2019, 2:22 pm

    ON seems overly entitled, to be sure. However, the details of any arrangement to drive a car into adulthood should be worked out beforehand. If a parent’s Alexa car for a young adult and retains the title and financial responsibility for it, they should have the right to take custody of the car and sell it at their discretion. I don’t believe, however, that they should force someone to take over the payments unless the matter had already been discussed in advance. Sometimes there is some disagreement as to what kind of vehicle constitutes a practical, useful car.

    Most adolescents of my acquaintance worked summer during their high school years in order to have transportation for college. Their parents might have offered some assistance with the down payment, but they were responsible for ongoing payments and for insurance.
    OP definitely sounds like she overstayed her welcome in adolescence, at least from her father’s perspective. If her moniker for his second wife is indicative of her general immaturity, it’s understandable that a parent might lose patience.

  • staceyizme January 7, 2019, 2:25 pm

    Oh, dear… “OP”, “if a parent provides a car”, “summers”…

  • Deb January 7, 2019, 3:39 pm

    Wow. I particularly enjoyed how the OP said “Since I’m only 21 my car is still in his name.”

    Only 21 !?!?! That’s an adult in every aspect here in the US. Legally responsible for your actions and liable for damage caused by them. With the OP being “only 21”, the dad was smart in getting his name off the car if for no other reason than limiting his own liability for OP’s actions.

  • Bea January 7, 2019, 4:39 pm

    Hmmmm…there is so much missing from this story.

    You’re 21, your dad doesn’t need to be paying for anything for you, you need to be taking care of yourself. You even moved away from where he is. So this is how it plays out, a car, in his name, is a considerable amount of distance from him. He’s responsible for a car he’s paying for!

    You’re old enough to drive a car but not old enough to be fully responsible, including paying for it? No. My mother allowed me to borrow her car until I bought my own, that was kind of her and I appreciate that she was willing to go above and beyond for me. She was kind and willing to even pay the insurance until I was out of high school, then I paid insurance on it so I could have the privilege of driving it. I also started paying her rent as soon as I got a job as well because your parents owe you nothing as an adult, you owe them the respect and appreciation when they still do things for you at that age! You were taking advantage of him and his new wife apparently got him to address that. He shouldn’t have cussed at you. My dad would have come down and got the car personally and just took it back. Then what are you going to do?

    Credit scores don’t just happen, you have to have a loan of some kind. I’m glad you were able to build one at a young adult.

    Getting a loan at that age is hard but it means you’re going to get socked with a bigger interest rate. Car loans are literally the easiest loans to get. I got one before they’d even give me a high interest credit card in my 20s!

  • Lynne January 7, 2019, 5:17 pm

    This story is vague and confusing, and I find it impossible to form an opinion about.

  • Marozia January 7, 2019, 6:54 pm

    Gee whiz…all he needed to do was say “Ok, this car is yours now, let’s organise a change of ownership and payments.”
    I’m not sure this is about entitlement or selfishness, more of a communication breakdown.

  • Kay_L January 7, 2019, 7:05 pm

    The telling thing is that she really didn’t try very hard to get it in her name until her dad yelled at her.

    So, while it may not have been “polite,” it got the job done. Perhaps she should have accomplished the task months before. Because the next step was going to be either taking her to court or repossessing the car.

    I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. There were likely other reasons that dad didn’t want to be responsible for a car his daughter was driving.

  • Catherine St Clair January 7, 2019, 7:22 pm

    It truly depends on your parents and how they view things. I think that what you were upset about was that your father was caught between you and his new wife and he chose her. The car’s title was just a tangible symbol of the reality that you felt abandoned by your father. That he threatened you with the police was the final straw. Now that eighteen has been legal age in most states since the early 1970’s, we have become accustomed to seeing twenty-one as being well into adulthood and we forget just how young some people are at that age. We all have to establish ourselves as independent adults at some stage of our lives. I realized in the last semester of my senior year of college that I had to make rules for my parents or I would never be an adult in their eyes. They were shocked and angry. It is still a painful memory.

  • Rinme January 7, 2019, 8:33 pm

    For me, the story lacks detail to understand what really happened there.

    What was the initial arrangement between father and daughter? Was the car a gift? Did they discuss beforehand, how the car would be financed?

    I don’t necessarily think OP is in the wrong, if the car was a gift, or if dad had a similar arrangement with his other kids, and did pay off their cars.

    No, parents don’t owe their adult kids a car. But if there was an arrangement, it has to be respected, just like any other contract would.

  • LizaJane January 7, 2019, 8:40 pm

    Not necessarily. She could have been a student with little income and she states that she had no credit history.

    Our daughter had an easier time getting her first car loan than either of our sons even though she had far less income and more expenses because she was already living in an apartment and paying rent. The boys had better jobs and fewer expenses because they tried to buy when they were still living at home.

  • InTheEther January 7, 2019, 9:44 pm

    I’m going to state a dissenting opinion here.

    In answer to the admin’s question: Yeah, kinda.

    Let’s be real here. You’re a legal adult at 18 but absolutely no 18-year-old is capable of living independently in this economic situation. Or at least without resorting to really terrible options. Maybe you can do without a car if you live somewhere with good public transportation. Otherwise you need a car to get to a job. And you need a job to pay for said car. And before anyone says anything about getting a used car, even a half decent used car will cost somewhere upwards of four grand. Any less than that and you have a glorified lawn ornament, because that’s going to break down really quickly and cost far more to fix than it was originally worth. And good luck saving up four grand with a sucky minimum wage job, which is the only type of job you can get without years of job experience, specialized training, or a degree. Heck, even with those you may be stuck with a sucky minimum wage job.

    And you can’t get loans without a good credit history. And that’s getting harder and harder to get. Just not having any huge credit mistakes and avoiding doing anything stupid isn’t good enough. You basically have to have already paid off a large loan in order to qualify for one. I’m almost 30 and I still have to get my dad to consign things for me. I do all the payments, and I’ve never abused my credit or defaulted on anything and I’m making okay money, but that’s not good enough for creditors.

    I’m not saying you owe your kid a BMW. But you do owe your kid a decent chance, which kinda requires transportation. Depending on your situation that may mean consigning on the loan and/or helping out on the down payment. Or you could just let them co-opt your ride until they can get it on their own.
    Go to almost any article written by an economic analyst. The large necessities are getting more and more expensive. The days of having a good job, good car, and white picket fence in your early twenties is essentially gone. Either you depend on some form of help from your parents, or you resort to rooming with whoever replied on Craigslist and hope they don’t smoke crack in your slum apartment while you drive your lemon that’s held together largely by hope and prayer and get rides from coworkers when the hope and prayer fails.
    In any case, dropping a several thousand dollar dept in their lap and saying “here, this is your problem now” is a pretty terrible thing to do.

    Just pointing out, the OP was attempting to bow to dad’s demands. They just were having trouble because of all the issues I’ve already stated involved in getting on a loan. It was dad who started throwing around threats after putting the OP in a difficult situation.

    • FelFly January 8, 2019, 10:47 am

      > You’re a legal adult at 18 but absolutely no 18-year-old is capable of living independently in this economic situation. Or at least without resorting to really terrible options. Maybe you can do without a car if you live somewhere with good public transportation. Otherwise you need a car to get to a job. And you need a job to pay for said car.

      This is a very good point. I borrowed my parents’ truck when I worked my minimum-wage high school job because I grew up in the country and there was no public transportation, and my job was 15 minutes away by highway. I paid for gas, but everything about it was in my parents’ names. I continued to borrow it in college until I transferred someplace that had public transportation. It wasn’t until I graduated college that I bought a car with almost all my savings. Even then when I was used-car shopping, I’d regularly see used cars with 200,000+ miles listed for $8k on Emunds, which was my maximum budget! I ultimately ended up buying a used rental car (subcompact) for about the same price, but by the time I finally reached 160,000 miles on the car 8 years later, I had to put in $4k of repairs (so half it’s value), so realistically an 18-year-old who buys a junker they can afford is going to get saddled with expensive repairs immediately after.

    • Bea January 8, 2019, 4:56 pm

      I’m cringing so hard. You need to speak with a financial advisor and build your credit. Yes, this means a high interest loan of some kind, usually a car loan. You prove you can make the payments and you’re done.

      My partner has bad credit due to some issues in his youth. He got a car payment without a co-signer. It’s credit-card high interest rates. My first car was not quite as bad but without credit, I got just shy of 15% interest rates. Yes. It was rough. It took visiting a few different banks.

      What a parent owes you is to teach you how the credit system works, which is where your parents failed. You can’t just have co-signers your entire life.

      My dad used to be a “pay for everything in cash” guy. He did so with cars and trailer. Then he wanted a mortgage and they were like “Yeah, we cannot because that’s so much and you have no credit.” “But I’ve bought like 4 cars in 15 years and I have this job and make all this money!” “Cool story but did you put anything on a credit card or establish credit through the credit system? It appears not…”

      No no no. You need to get a high interest credit card and put just your gas on it. Then you pay that off with each statement. Then boom, credit.

      Blaming the economy? Please. I bought my first car in 2009, spare me.

      • InTheEther January 9, 2019, 3:44 am

        To clarify, I can get loans under just myself. I can essentially lose thousands of dollars due to the high interest rate.
        Or I can get a cosigner, save a rediculouse amount of money, and in about a year when I have the loan paid off I reap the same benefits to my credit score that I would have had it been solely under my name.
        This is admittedly predicated on me being trustworthy and my cosigner knowing they’ll never get a call saying I haven’t paid.

        Really though, how is what you’ve said not kinda messed up? That you should just resign yourself to willfully going into bad dept as it’s the only way you’ll ever qualify for a loan that isn’t exploitative. Good for you on buying your car, but are you really saying your situation was a good one? Or is it just no one should complain since it’s still just on this side of possible?

        • admin January 9, 2019, 7:25 am

          There is a third option….save diligently. The young man who installed a ceiling fan for me this past summer has already paid off the mortgage on one house by age 30 and is living in his second house while renting out the first. And that was done being married with 3 small children while he was working at Home Depot. The 21 year old I hire to do yard work and muck out the barn once a week already owns his own extended cab pick up truck (bought with cash) while going to college. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he owned property by age 25.

          Some people have been taught to not expect to be given things, to work hard, and how to manage their finances well and they succeed where others claim to not be able to survive.

          • InTheEther January 9, 2019, 1:12 pm

            And we’re again back to the issue of HAVING to spend money to make money. Transportation and housing are not these grand extravagances you should just do without if you can’t afford them.
            Did that kid who bought his extended cab walk the however many miles to your house every week? Or did he have to depend on borrowing his parent’s ride? But that can’t be right, he’s being used as an example of someone who pulled himself up with no help from anyone.

            You said the first guy “paid off his mortgage”, so clearly he did take a loan. Do you know he didn’t get a cosigner? Because in your early twenties a cosigner is the difference between a reasonable interest and a ‘maybe I can sell a kidney’ interest rate. And he’s already looking to move after just paying off the house? How bad is that house or that neighborhood? But he bought what he could afford, it doesn’t signify if he and his family were unsafe since he was fiscally responsible.

            Look, I’m here arguing because this attitude of ‘hey, it’s just this side of possible and other people have managed it so you have no right to complain’ is what keeps people in abusive and exploitative situations.
            “Look, you just have to accept scrapping by with the bare minimum when it comes to a car or house and taking a loan with a horribl interest rate. Other people manage it, so you’re just being selfish if you complain.”
            “Why are you complaining about the 60 hour work week with no overtime pay? Everyone else is managing. That’s just what you have to do to work in this company. Be a team player.”
            “I’m tired of hearing about me coming into your apartment all the time. I’m the complex manager. No one else has a problem with it. You just have to deal with it if you’re going to live here. And you signed a rental agreement so you’re shafted if you leave early.”
            “Yeah, Bob’s a little inappropriate with women, but don’t complain. It happens to everyone and is just one of those things you have to deal with if you want a job in this field. In fact, it’s kinda your fault for choosing this field.”

            I don’t think it’s selfish or entitled to expect to be able to get two pretty basic necessities without going into a cycle of dept that will take you way too long to get out of and loose way too much money through bad rates. We’re not talking cable here. We’re talking not being homeless and being capable of commuting to a workplace.
            Actual analysts are pointing out this is a problem. Loans are actually arranged with the assumption that you will have some form of aid from your parents, which means your really screwed if you don’t. You may be ineligible for school loans if your parents make to much. This isn’t just young people being lazy and entitled. But if you stand by the ‘young people are just lazy and entitled’ then you don’t have to do anything to fix the issue.

          • admin January 9, 2019, 2:33 pm

            You appear to be advocating, quite repeatedly and strenuously, that young adults cannot possibly save, work hard, get loans, purchase their own vehicles and property and be debt free. In effect, what you are advocating is that the burden of acquiring those items falls not to the person who would benefit the most by the ownership of those items but rather parents have the burden of providing 21+ year old adults a vehicle. After age 21, no one owes you diddly squat. You want it? You earn it.

            You appear to have no idea what a FHA mortgage loan is. And had you read for comprehension, you’d know that the young man paid off his mortgage in record time, and is renting the house to tenants which is a financially brilliant move because he owes no money on the first house and his renters are paying the mortgage for his second house. In your world, he’s a freak of nature because young people cannot possibly do what he and many others have done. Hard work and frugal living leads to a debt free life. Try reading https://www.daveramsey.com/

  • Tanz January 8, 2019, 1:44 am

    I’m confused as to why anyone would buy their child a new, or new-ish car! (If it was being paid off then it was obviously pretty expensive). Honestly, the letter writer is entitled and has no idea how good she had it.

    • InTheEther January 8, 2019, 10:01 pm

      I recently bought a used cargo van that’s over a decade old with almost 300,000 miles on it. It cost me $7000. Aka, more than most people can just whip out.

      Any vehicle that’s in better shape than Good for Parts Only is going to require a loan unless you’re just rolling in it.

      • admin January 9, 2019, 12:42 am

        Or you save money diligently over a period of time so that you can pay cash upon purchase. People who are “rolling in it” have sacrificed, scrimped and saved for those big ticket items.

      • Tanz January 9, 2019, 2:54 am

        This may be regional, but where I come from a decade old is ‘new’ for a vehicle. As a first time driver I’d expect a) my car to be at least 20 years old (or even older) and b) to have paid for it myself. Again, maybe regional, but when I went for a loan to help buy a car at age 21 the bank only wanted to see that I had a job and once expenses were paid, could make the payments. So it’s not hard to fund it oneself, even if you don’t save up first.

        • admin January 9, 2019, 7:38 am

          Exactly. I know many 20-somethings who all own their vehicles themselves either by having saved for years or acquiring a car loan quite easily.

  • Tweety January 8, 2019, 1:49 pm

    When you’ve got a bunch of politicians telling you it’s perfectly fine to stay on Mom an Dad’s insurance till you’re twenty-freaking-six years old, don’t be surprised when the “kids” feel more and more entitled to whatever they want.

    • EchoGirl January 10, 2019, 12:30 am

      That has nothing to do with anything. All of the ACA rules have to do with insurance companies, and I think most people in their twenties understand the difference between insurance company regulations and what they get from Mom and Dad.

      I know many people who benefited from this policy (myself included) and in none of those cases did it have anything to do with mooching or being “entitled” and everything to do with the employment situation we found ourselves in. Many were paying their own premiums and/or co-pays. This seems like shoehorning in a political policy you don’t like to take a dig at a certain generation.

  • BagLady January 8, 2019, 10:32 pm

    My partner sold his daughter a paid-for car for a nominal sum when she was in college. It stayed in his name for practical reasons. It was cheaper to keep it on his insurance because car insurance in the U.S. is frightfully expensive when one is under 25 years old. Also, it made sense logistically to keep the car registered to him since she moved around a lot after college and during law school — she had jobs and internships in many different states.

    I realize OP’s situation is different since the car was apparently not paid for. But if OP was making the payments herself, or Dad was making them and she was reimbursing him, the only thing Dad would be on the hook for would be the additional insurance.

    We don’t know if that’s the case, though. Whatever it was, Dad could have been kinder and gentler about it, instead of screaming at her and threatening to call the cops. His turning on her like this, without warning, leads me to believe that stepmom put him up to it, for reasons we can’t discern from the OP.

  • InTheEther January 8, 2019, 10:57 pm

    I decided to have some fun and look up averages, since so many people are saying that you should be able to get your own car with no help at 21.

    According to the government census (Find young adults then and now) young adults (aka under 35) are actually making LESS on average than than they did in 1990. $37000 ish in 1990 compared to a touch under $34000 ish around 2010.

    Now moving on to thepeoplehistory.com (find 70 years of price change)
    The average cost of a car in 1990 was $16,950 and went up to $27958 in 2008. So that’s an increase of about 65% in less than two decades.
    And just for funzies, the average cost of a house was $123,000 in 1990 and went up to $238,880 in 2008, a grand 94% increase in less than two decades. Aka, almost double.
    Now keep in mind the housing bubble popping and how skittish loan companies have since become (except student loan companies which are predatory as heck and so conveniently don’t go away unless you kick the bucket). Young people have less money to spend on necessities that cost at least half again what they did 3 decades ago.

    Unless you’re under thirty, going ‘well I was able to get a car without help or a cosigner or anything at that age’ really doesn’t mean anything in context. The situation has changed.

    • EchoGirl January 10, 2019, 12:37 am

      The “skittish” thing is really important. It’s not just about how much is being borrowed, it’s about the bank’s willingness to lend and how high they set the bar. The younger the person, the more skittish they often are.

      When I was in college, I remember that all of us basically HAD to have co-signers to rent an apartment. It didn’t matter what our financial situation was or how good our credit was (mine was already above 700), they didn’t even check, they just insisted on a co-signer. Luckily I had parents who were willing to do that for me; they made it clear I was responsible for the payments, but they were willing to put their name on a form so that the rental companies would be willing to sign a contract with me. I was 23 before I was allowed to rent an apartment solely on my own authority; that was my *fourth* apartment.

      Funny thing is, I’d probably be considered one of those “success stories” of young people who managed great things, as I’m 26 and just got a <5% rate on a mortgage loan with my (27YO) fiance. But I'm fully aware of the factors that set us up for this, and I'm not ashamed to say that we DIDN'T do it on our own, even if it might look to outsiders like we did. Both sets of parents played a role.

      • InTheEther January 10, 2019, 2:38 am

        Exactly.
        A lot of people are saying they know plenty of twenty year olds who got their own car with no issues saving up or getting a loan. In reality, they know these people somehow got a car, the rest is an assumption. And I believe making assumptions about one’s finances has been frowned upon here.

        You don’t know that they didn’t get a parent to consign, as it’s not like most people will add that little asterisk when announcing they got a car. You don’t know if the car is actually under a parent’s name since that can half the insurance payments. (Especially for young men. Auto insurance companies seem to just assume that men under 25 ARE going to go on drunken bender or something.). Because most people aren’t going to go into that level of detail on their finances with people who aren’t involved. You don’t know that person went without health insurance for a year because it was insurance or car payments, you need a car to get to your job and you might not get sick.
        That’s making a lot of assumptions just so you can try to keep up the story that anyone who makes a complaint or points out issues is just being whiny.

        There were some times I was struggling , especially right at the tail end of grad school ( admittedly that was mostly stress rather than not being able to stretch my finances). But other than talking with my dad some, I didn’t air it out to everyone. As far as anyone outside is concerned, I had everything together and facing no problems. Because that’s what you do. Half because a lot of us just don’t feel comfortable airing our problems, and half because then everyone pops up to tell you how your not having real problems or that they’re really your fault because you didn’t follow the easy 100% success guaranteed formula.

        Just for fun, look up any article titled ‘Millinials are ruining [insert market]’. They spend a lot time ragging on the kids today and usually at the tail end admit it comes down to ‘young people are broke and don’t have the spare money to give to the market to keep it afloat’. Apparently the baby boomers and up just aren’t enough to maintain the market (can’t remember what’s between baby boomers and gen x (who’re usually rolled in with Millinials)). Cable’s being ruined because they’re just plain passing on it as an unneeded expense. Housing’s ruined because they’re renting with as many roommates as possible, or living with parents, or just getting really cheap places like the whole tiny house trend. Auto industry’s ruined because they’re buying used. The whole economy is apparently going to crash because young people are too broke to keep it afloat, if you follow all these articles.

  • CW January 11, 2019, 9:46 pm

    I moved out of my parent’s house at 18 (for the sake of timeline and to indicate that I’m in the generation all the Boomers like to blame and shake their fist at for being lazy, this was in 2003). My home environment was toxic and was setting me up to fail spectacularly.

    My mother could not stick to a budget if her life depended on it. She was still financially dependent on her parents and to this day has not purchased a vehicle in her own name (even with a cosigner). I had zero guidance on how to become a responsible adult and had terrible credit courtesy of my mother’s poor decisions.

    I lived paycheck to paycheck working 30+ hrs a week at a minimum wage retail job while going to college full time. On student loans. Money went to necessities and spending money on something small for fun made me panic for days. What if I need gas? What if something breaks? What if? Saving money was near impossible, unless you count the change jar I would cash in occasionally for gas money.

    At 20, I bought a car with my grandfather as a cosigner to get his discount (he worked at a dealership) and a better rate. I made the payments myself with the exception of one when I was laid off and had to take a hit to my pride to ask for help. I still rarely spent significant money on fun things for myself. Everything was “do I NEED this?” I had to figure out how to rebuild credit on my own. My savings were gone courtesy of being laid off and trying to finish college. (We’re now in 2009)

    It took me until I was 30 to be able to get a car loan on my own. I actually have the payment on auto draft from a checking account, which is something 21 year old me could never have done. 21 year old me had to hand over every check payment on just the right day to make sure it wouldn’t bounce.

    My point being, some people can work hard and want to do better for themselves and have nice things, but life doesn’t give everyone the chance to do that at 21. Or 25. Or 40. Some people don’t have the privilege of a family that sets them up for success. Some people have to do what makes sense for them to live and hopefully succeed and be financially stable. “Working hard and saving money” sounds great on paper, but it’s not 1950 anymore and a part time job doesn’t buy a nice car or a house.

  • Kitty January 12, 2019, 7:32 pm

    If you, or your parent, cannot afford a car, I don’t think you should have one. I know that being able to drive is a very big deal in the US – and depending on where you live, likely a necessity because public transport isn’t that big there. But if money is an issue, and you have a money-sink like a car that may not be that necessary to own… get rid of the car.

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