There are certain negative side effects of being a student on financial aid.
I'm not referring to the extra pressure one feels to ensure one stays on financial aid. Or the filling out of applications entreating the government or other entities to please continue funding my education. Or the ever-impending specter of what student loans might do to me once I stop getting educated.
There's this whole matter of what counts as income. Especially when it comes to things like getting credit for a car.
LOML and I found this out at the first car dealer we stopped at. After talking to the super-friendly salespeople, surrounded by big shiny worth-my-financial-aid-packet cars and finding out that I have a decent credit score, we discovered that the vast majority of lenders do not consider financial aid or grants to be a "steady source of income," so for all practical purposes my income is solely what I get from working in the library.
Which would not be enough to pay for my rent each month, by itself. The salespeople regretfully ushered us out the door with business cards and the recommendation to see this other place that would accept funky sources of income.
After going to this other place that packed 976 billion cars to the square foot and partially filling out the application, we were shown three different cars. Two of them looked a little scruffy around the entire body but I was immediately attracted to the third car. It was shiny. Gold. We look it for a spin. I decided I liked it.
Spent the rest of the afternoon calling friends and relatives to get their addresses for the application. Signing papers. Paid a down payment (that was less than it would take to repair the old car)
Drove away with this:
What can I say? 11 days later it's still working, but that Service Engine Soon light hasn't turned off in spite of changing the battery and the oil. I've been reading online you can reset it by disconnecting the battery but that would require me actually tampering under the hood of my car, which I'd rather not do.
Incidentally, the other car was sold for $100. Just enough for my first car payment.