Why You Should Never Charge Your Down Payment to Your Credit Card
When you find that perfect deal on a car, you want it now. And, even though you might have the down payment available in your checking account, you decide to whip out your credit card because it just seems easier. Or, maybe you have visions of thousands of airline miles dancing in your head. Besides, you plan to just transfer the balance from your checking when you get the chance. Halt! That’s what nearly 80% of car buyers thought when they charged their down payment only to wind up keeping the balance on their credit cards. Something comes up, or you decide the monthly payments on the card aren’t so bad.
Here’s the deal. Unless you absolutely, positively plan on paying it off immediately, putting a car down payment or even a mortgage down payment on a credit card completely goes against the purpose of the down payment, which is to increase your equity your asset. With a car, it’s a depreciating asset, so you are likely to be upside-down in your equity the minute you drive off the lot.
And, if you don’t have the down payment available in cash, it’s just being foolish to charge it. The car will wind up costing you much more than you anticipated, putting you deeper in a hole, which is why you didn’t have the down payment to begin with. Pass on the deal, and wait until you can save for a down payment.