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Written by on December 12, 2006 in your Money with 4 Comments

pinto.jpgI remember when I graduated from college, nearly 20 years ago, I wanted to buy a car before I started my new job.  I had had enough.  I refused to be seen any longer riding around in a 1980 Ford Pinto.  Some may recall that the Pinto had a slight design defect.  Its fuel tank was in the rear where all gas tanks belong, however it was exposed.  Let’s just say, Pintos’ didn’t handle rear-end collisions very well.  Come to think of it, that’s probably why I got such a good deal when I bought it.

I really don’t know what I was thinking.  I wasn’t going to start working for a couple of months.  If I did buy the car how was I going to pay for it?  That wasn’t important.  I just wanted a new car.  So, I went down to the dealer – test drove a brand new Nissan and told the salesman I wanted it.

The salesman said that he had to run a credit check.  I said go ahead that shouldn’t be a problem.  He said that if there were going to be any surprises – just tell him now and we could try to work through them.  I said that there wouldn’t be any problems just go forward.  Why did I say that?  Back then, financial responsibility was the last thing on my mind.   Sometimes I had money to pay my bills, but most times I didn’t.  When I walked off that lot that day, I knew unless there was some divine intervention; I wouldn’t be getting that car.

The next day I went to the dealership and the salesman just shook his head.  I didn’t say a word.  I just turned around a left.  I said all of that to say save yourself some embarrassment. As of September 2005, you are entitled to a free copy from each of the three credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union) every year thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.  Free report  If you don’t want to request your report over the Web, you can also call 1-877-322-8228 or complete and mail in the “Annual Credit Report Request Form” available at www.ftc.gov 

About six months later, I bought myself a new car.  Let’s just say the Pinto wasn’t cut-out for New England winters.

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