I recently posted some questions regarding financial strategy involving car loan debt, student loand debt, mortgage debt and cash for new acquisitions.
There is a strong contingency of folks that claim you should never borrow money for a car and that if you owe money on a car, you should pay it off. Because a car depreciates.
I actually don't think having a car loan is necessarily bad if you are financing it at below 4 percent. The argument of "it depreciates" doesn't change my opinion because it will still depreciate even if it's paid off. If you plan on keeping the car for 5 to 6 years, the costs for maintenance and depreciation will be the same no matter what.
Lets assume the car payment does not increase your DTI ratio above what will allow you to qualify for a mortgage. Now assume you have 15K. Let's assume that you also need a new car and also want to buy a house. Why not buy the car with a loan at 3% and use the rest of the money to pay for DP and closing costs on a house? In my mind, there is no difference in doing this and doing an 80/20 split on a mortgage (100% financing that so many investors regard as the holy grail). Except it is better because although the car will depreciate, it could be sold in a pinch if you had a couple thousand to cover the deficiency.
So, what I am saying is, in the right scenario, financing your vehicle, rather than paying cash, does not need to be considered any differently than any other form of raising borrowed money. Thoughts on this?
For the sake of a comparative discussion, lets discard the argument that you buy a 2000 beater as an alternative.