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Should I pay down the negative equity on my old car or save up for a down payment?

I currently have a lot of money invested in my old car (2013 dodge dart with 107,000 miles) and I just put $2,500 into transmission work. The car is worth about $4,000, but I owe about $10,000. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation, but as I get my car back I want to be looking into getting something else right away so this car does not cost me any more money. Would it be smarter to pay down the negative equity on my car, or should I try and save up a couple thousand dollars for a down payment? I made the mistake of purchasing this car when I was a freshman in college, with no guidance or help from my parents.

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November 2017

If you don't pay down your $10,000 loan it's not going to go away by itself.  You're going to have to pay that loan off some day, and sooner is better than later.  (You don't want to default on this loan because that will wreck your credit rating for years.) 

If you buy a new car, how much will you pay each year?  If (as I suspect) the payments plus (modest) maintenance expenses will be more than you have to pay to keep the Dart running, then keep the Dart running.  Endure.  Look on the bright side -- your auto insurance is probably really low compared to what it would be on a new car.  Buying this car was an expensive mistake and you know that now.  Don't make any more mistakes.

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