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Ok, I've probably already messed up since I've already purchased the car, but here goes. I had an '03 Volkswagen Passat with 32,000 miles and some change on it. I really liked it, but I'd had some little problems here and there. My main problem was keeping the darned thing gassed up! It was a turbo, so buying premium was a drag! Anyway, back in July I developed some back problems. The Passat was pretty low so that made it hard to get in and out of the car. So.... I decided to look for a van. I reaaalllllly liked the Toyota Sienna because I've driven one before, but I felt that it was a little out of my price range. Also, I had a pretty big ding on my credit, so my credit union wouldn't even touch me. Well, I ended up going to a friend of mine's brother, and this is what was offered. I ended up with a Kia Sedona. It started out at $26,040. Kia has a $3,000 rebate right now. Because I was so upside down in my car (I still owed over $13,000), they applied the $3,000 to my trade-in. The cost of the vehicle was $22,000+ and+ the $11,000 that I was upside down. My finance rate is 7.79%, which I didn't think was too bad, considering the credit union is offering car loans at 5.49%. I have ended up paying about $19 more a month than I was paying for my Passat. I guess what I want to know is... what do you think of that deal? Was it pretty fair? Considering the big ding on my credit and this is a brand new vehicle. I tried to do as much research as possible, but I am so clueless when it comes to car buying! I went to CarMax first to get them to value my car, and they appraised it for less than $1,000 more than the dealership I know this was long, and I'm sorry! I just want to end this questioning of my sanity for once and for all! Thanks! Michelle

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Heather Conary, Founding Partner  at ID Communications, a division of Illumination Design Hi Michelle,I am not a finance expert, but I don’t think you messed up at all! For $19 more a month, you’re getting a fair interest rate, a brand new vehicle that’s easier to get in and out of, and a chance to build your credit back up. After checking out Kia’s warranty and the crash test ratings on the Sedona specifically, there’s no question in my mind that you made the right choice for yourself.If you are up on your payments, and depending on your terms, you may even be able to refinance it in the future and end up with an even better deal than it is now. Enjoy your new wheels! Heather

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