Roger Schlesinger

Before I begin this column I must admit that I was born without the car "gene". That is the one that makes people feel they must show their status, personality, worthiness, sexuality, snobbishness, political correctness, extraordinary mechanical ability or life style by the car they choose. I, on the other hand, believe a car is for transportation.

When I told my wife what I was going to write about and that I was born without the gene she readily informed me, as if I didn't know, they she was born with it. One noted talk show host said to me after leaving the restaurant and seeing my car in the parking lot, why was I driving that?

I believe not only in an ordinary, functional car, but one that runs on the lowest octane so I can spend less at the pump. Needless to say we have the other kind as well and if I wish to ride in “said car” belonging to my spouse, a professional with her own business, I must refrain from my lack of car gene comments. I will give her points on having a much faster car.

So why all the drivel about cars? People know way too much about their cars and way too little about their homes and mortgages. How do I know? Every time I have a speaking engagement, I first do a survey about cars and car financing. Nearly everyone has all the answers including how many months left on their loan.

When it comes to their house, though, no one has any idea of how many years, let alone months, they have left on their mortgage. They also do not know their monthly payment. Some, albeit very few, know their interest rate and the type of loan they have. It is certainly easy to see that why people have more problems related to their home loan than to their automotive financing.

The last statement is really only partially correct, even though I wrote it. While the overwhelming majority of people get the automotive financing correct, the problem is that it doesn't fit within their financial plan, (even if they don't have one). Automotive financing is hazardous to one’s cash flow. Typical payments are anywhere from $300 to $1000 dollars or more a month which few people can really afford and make progress on the road to financial freedom.

Roger Schlesinger

Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.