Buying a Car You Can’t Afford

Dear Mary,

I bought a car I can no longer afford. Thanks to I have made changes in my life and finances, but I still have some problems because of my car. I have put it up for sale but I owe more than it’s worth. How do you sell a car when you don’t have the title? And how do you get out from under a car loan you can’t afford? Kelly, Washington

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Dear Kelly,

First, call your lender to find out your exact payoff and the procedure for transferring the title to a new buyer. Next, go to a site like or to determine a realistic amount you can expect to get for the car. Check local listings to see if that number squares with what similar cars are going for in your area.

Now determine about how much you will need to pay off the loan once you secure a buyer. Go to your credit union or bank and tell them your plan to sell the car and why you need a short-term unsecured signature loan to make up the difference between what you owe and the sale price you expect to get. I know this represents new debt, but it will be required for you to finally get out of this.  Read more