I'm looking to buy my first car and I have no idea how any of this works! I'm looking to buy a used car around 14k and have readied a 3.5k down payment, but here is my problem: my FICO is only 597 and three years ago I opened a credit card with a 300$ limit and because I lost my job, it was closed and sent into collections about 4 years ago. I've been working but I haven't made enough money to do anything to fix it until now, but every time I get a hold of the collection agency they give me the run around, refuse to send me anything in writing that says if i pay the debt off that they'll update my report, and insist I pay with a card. (I have an aqauintance who payed a collector this way and they helped themselves to 3x the amount thatthey requested.)
Nevertheless, I need a car and do not have one and I have learned from my mistakes and would like to get my credit back on track now that I'm in a better position to do so. I just am completely new to this and I don't want to get screwed at the dealership! Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!