Are you tired of feeling like you’re behind? You’re making enough money to be able to afford a decent luxury vehicle, but you have debt from bad decisions of the past.

Do they have to continue to haunt you?

The truth is that you can buy a luxury vehicle even with prior debts. But there are a few conditions and some things you should know.

Evaluate your debts

All types of debt are not created equal. For example, a mortgage is a better debt to have than a personal loan or a credit card. If you have a lot of credit card debt, you may want to pay that off before you take on another large loan. Cutting your credit card debt will lower your debt-to-income ratio and allow you to afford a more expensive luxury vehicle.

Check your credit

If you want to finance or lease your car, you should first check your credit. If it’s below 610, you may want to consider waiting until you can improve your credit before you buy a new luxury car. Prior debt will factor into your credit decision, but credit score is going to be the largest indicator of your creditworthiness.

If your score is below 610, you may still qualify, but you’re going to pay higher interest rates. And it’s worth a reminder that the extra money you’re paying in interest would be better served to go towards debt.

Consider a used luxury vehicle

It’s no secret that cars depreciate quickly as soon as you drive them off the lot. And that’s essentially lost money that you’re also going to pay interest on if you finance. So if you have prior debt, buying a new luxury vehicle may not be the wisest decision.

debts

Again, the money you’d lose on depreciation would be better served to pay off your debt. And on a luxury vehicle, the cost of depreciation in the first two years is enough to make a significant impact on that debt. Look for a car that’s two years older than the current model year. It’s new enough that it should still run like a new car, but you’ll save a lot on the sticker price.

Take a second job

If you really want that new car, there’s a way to separate it from your prior debts: Pay cash. This can feel overwhelming, but if you take on a side gig, you can accumulate cash faster than you might think.

And with a cash payment, you can save money in a couple of different ways. First, you have more negotiating power on the price of the car. And second, you won’t have to pay any financing charges.

There are more side gigs available now than ever. Check out Upwork.com for freelance work, or you can put yourself to work delivering food or groceries with any number of delivery services, including Posmates, UberEats, and Favor.

Consider affordable luxury

You may have your sights set on a Lexus LS, but spending $75k on a car at this point probably isn’t the best move for you. At least, not until you can pay off your prior debts.

While you can buy a luxury vehicle with prior debt, you should always stay within your means. Consider a lower-priced luxury vehicle like the Genesis G80 instead. In most cases, you’ll get all the bells and whistles with a lower-priced luxury vehicle without the added cost.

Everyone wants to ride around in style, and the good news is that you can — as long as you’re aware of what you have to spend and find the perfect match!

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