Hello, my name is Alexis and I am a current Honors student at Austin Community College and a former active participant in the Gaining Momentum program. Gaining Momentum is an educational and capability-building program designed by the Student Money Management Office. The program reaches program goals, including reducing debt, supporting credit building and creating a pathway to financial empowerment and asset accumulation for Black students, a crucial step in reducing the racial wealth gap.
I purchased my first car three months before the pandemic officially hit. A 2020 Chevrolet Malibu-Premier Trim with all the bells and whistles, heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof were all features that attracted me to the car. Shortly after my big purchase, I lost my second source of income due to the pandemic and was stuck with a new car loan. Now understanding debt and the importance of credit scores through the webinars provided by the Gaining Momentum program, I was fearful of repossession or late payments hurting my credit score.
As part of the program, I attended a free coaching session where after breaking down my monthly costs and income I realized I was paying way too much for my car. After reevaluating my work and school situation being both from home, I knew it was time to get rid of my car because I thankfully did not need to commute to work or class. While my situation may differ from others, ACC offers students a Green Pass for free transportation access to buses and trains! With this helpful information in mind, I made an appointment with the dealership and sold my car back to them and surprisingly made a profit.
With the profit I made from selling my car I was able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the Gaining Momentum program to put the money to good use and pay off other debt. And surprisingly, I had a boost to my credit score! The process of thinking about and acting on selling my car has left me feeling financially unburdened by my car loan and prepared to make more wise decisions with my next car purchase. Car dealerships have higher interest rates and I plan on financing my next car through a credit union and possibly finding a car equipped with fewer bells and whistles to cut costs! With the information I‘ve learned and the tools I’ve received to better manage my money through the Gaining Momentum Program, my money confidence has improved and I feel that I’m now on the pathway to financial empowerment.
You aren’t what you drive -Thomas J. Stanley