I got an email saying that my husband had been approved for an auto loan. Both his credit score, and mine, are in the low 500s. I was amazed and thrilled, but a little skeptical, and I called the number. The young lady, Christina, I spoke to at NLS Financial, out of Hagerstown, MD, said that he had indeed been approved for a loan amount of $32, 500, and even went so far as to give me a confirmation number/approval number. She said that I need to meet with the loan officer that same evening at a KIA dealership in Manassas, VA to finalize the loan. The loan officer, Taylor Green, called me to confirm the appointment, at which time I questioned her on the validity of the loan. She assured me that we had been approved and that they worked with most of the "reputable" dealers in the area, choose whatever car you want to purchase within that amount and she would cut us a check that evening when we finalized the loan. I told her that I was concerned that we were meeting at the KIA dealership, as I had no intention of purchasing a KIA. She assured me that they just allowed her to use the space and that I could buy from whomever I chose.
I spent the day negotiating the price on my car, sticker price of almost $30K, the dealer knew I was shopping and gave me the price of $25K. I told them that I had the financing in place and simply had to finalize the paperwork that night and would drop the check by. I took the car and left the decent dealership to show my husband our new car. When I arrived home, a friend, who like us, has a poor credit rating and could use a new car, was there waiting for me. When I explained the situation to her, she called the same company and applied, to be approved for a $26K car loan. She asked all of the pertinent questions and was given the same information I was, and was in fact, advised to accompany me and my husband to the dealership to finalize her loan as well. Even those the bells were going off in our heads, we all went to Manassas to meet with Taylor Green from NLS Financial.
When we arrived at the dealership, the KIA dealership with hardly any signage and was a hovel on the side of the road, I called Taylor to let her know we were there. She cheerfully assured me she would be right out to meet with us. We were directed by the incredibly shady looking salesperson to wait for her at a table. A couple of minutes later the same guy came out, Tim Williams, and said that she was running a couple of hours behind and he would go ahead and enter the information into the system. I hesitated but, given the fact that our kids were home with a sitter and it was already 7:15 pm, we went ahead to start the process with Tim. Tim was telling the three of us how, since we had been approved for $32, 500 for the loan and the car was less that $27K after taxes and fees, we could get $5, 500 in cash, the remaining approved amount on the loan. I was surprised by this, as the loan would not be collateralized for that amount, and asked him why the bank would be willing to do that since there was already the depreciation factor on the car, even though the price had been reduced so much. He said he didn't know, it was the craziest thing he'd ever seen but it was happening on a regular basis with this lender. I asked Tim if I should have the buyers order faxed over so that they could cut the check, and he said, "yeah, have him fax it to me so I can put it in our inventory". I was surprised by what I thought I heard and asked him why he would put it in to his inventory, an Acura TSX, and he said "what, no, I said I will get that for you". My husband and friend both agreed that they heard him say that and I had misunderstood. I asked when Taylor would be coming and he said "she may not even come, but we can handle it without her." At this point, I told him that I didn't understand how the loan could be finalized without the loan officer and I was not comfortable with the situation. He told me to wait a minute and walked away.
Another salesperson came and sat down and started asking for our information, as he had pulled our credit, which we had not signed a release for ANYONE to pull credit, and there was a vehicle that needed to be traded. I told him that we weren't trading, we would be selling the other vehicle to Carmax, as we could get a better offer from them and that Taylor had assured me that we could do that the next day. He said told us that in this case, I would have to be on the auto loan too so we could qualify for the loan, as NO ONE would approve a third auto loan for us. The only way to make it work without trading my husband's truck to them would be for me to be on the loan. I, like an idiot, gave him my social and said fine. He came back a few minutes later and started pressing the trade in issue again and at that point I asked him about Taylor and said that I needed to work with her, she had assured me that we simply needed to close on the loan and she would give us the check. He laughed and said, "nobody is going to GIVE you a check!" I was shocked and told him what I had been told by Christina, at NLS, and Taylor Green, the supposed loan officer. He said, "no, you misunderstood. We buy the car from the dealer, put it in our inventory and sell it to you." I asked him what would happen with the salesperson at Acura that had worked with me all day on the price and he said "he doesn't matter, we don't worry about him, this is how it works".
At this point, we all three were livid and I told him to give me our information back and we would be leaving. He asked if I wanted to just reschedule with Taylor and I told him no, I was not going to deal with them. He laughed and said, "you already have the car, you want it, we can make it work, its just going to take a little more work". I told him absolutely not, we would not deal with them based on the principal and I didn't NEED the car, it was just something I wanted and there was no way we would deal with them.
After leaving the dealership, I tried several times to reach NLS and Taylor Green and got no answers from either. I returned the car to the Acura dealer and gave him our credit information to see if he could get it approved through their banks. He said it was possible and he would call me today. I told him about the experience we had with the other group and he shook his head and said he had never heard anything like it!!
More than me being angry about a WASTED DAY and not having the beautiful luxury car that I do not need, there were a lot of people sitting in that dealership waiting for the same service we had just gotten. These people looked as if they had no other choice, many of them did not even speak English. We overheard one of the sales people so "no espanol" and shake his head at a customer and continue to speak, only louder. I can assure you, the second gentleman that came out to "deal" with us spoke Spanish. He had an accent and he was clearly of Latin decent, he could have easily assisted those people with understanding the terms of the deal that they were about to get swindled into.