It's true, I bought my 2007 Prius back on October 17th, 2006, and yesterday, the payoff check cleared my account, in less than half the time of the original loan.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have bought a brand new car, and I may never do that again. For certain however, I won't ever buy another car just on credit, it was fully financed, all $26k of it.
I started with a 6 year, 7.99% interest loan, put paid well over the minimum and eventually refied it last October with a remaining balance of $16k to a 5.24% loan with my credit union. Again, I paid well over the minimum, but somewhat less than before because I was about to buy my first home as well.
I sent my regular $500 per month this month, along with another $10200 from some matured savings certificates (where at 4.25% and I just didn't want to cash it out early and take the 3 month penalty).
I can't believe it's mine now, oh how great that feels.
It's got quite a big of miles on it, about 70k, I need to travel a lot for work, but I think I can get at least 150k out of it, and by then I should easily have saved up enough to buy another car, outright this time. Maybe if gas goes back to $4/gallon I may even get another offer like I did last year, from the dealer that sold it to me, offering me what I had paid for it new.
If anyone cares, I've averaged about 48MPG (tracked via spreadsheet) and spent $3800 on gas for it so far (like I said, about 70k miles). Maintenance was very marginal as well, after 35k and the factory warranty expiring, I've maintained it myself, spending $30-$40 each time on oil and filters every 5k miles and doing the work myself. Other than a new set of quality tires at 38k miles for $450 from CostCo, I've not had any major maintenance expenses.
Next project will be to pay of my remaining student loan balance (about $7.5k), work on my better half's auto loan ($15.5k to go, at least she bought it used, low miles at less than half the original price), and then we'll start looking at saving for a free standing home, my condo is very nice, but I'd really like some property as a buffer zone from other people around me.
Just wanted to share, very excited.
Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.
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