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The Little Box That Disables Your Car if You Miss a Payment

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I saw this story on Yahoo today about a little box that some subprime borrowers are getting installed on used cars that they purchase:

When the light starts to flash, you had better have the cash.

That’s the reality for millions of subprime borrowers whose used car purchase is contingent upon having an unusual option: a little box mounted underneath the dashboard that forces them to make their payments on time.

[Via Yahoo.com]

If you don’t pay…your car gets shut off and won’t start. The only way to get it back is to make your payment and receive a special code. If you don’t pay, then the repo man comes for a visit.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. When my husband and I bought our first vehicle together, our credit wasn’t that great at the time but we did end up getting a loan with the help of a co-signer. If we had the option of having one of those boxes instead of having a co-signer, I would have gone for the box.

What about you? What do you think of the boxes?


18 Comments

  • Reply twiggers |

    Well that is definitely interesting! Our first car required a co-signer too, and I would have rather had the box! I wonder if it also includes a GPS system so they can track the vehicle too!

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    It’s an interesting idea. If the box doesn’t malfunction it might be a good idea.

    What I’m wondering: Is it good to make lenders more comfortable with high-risk loans? Or is that a bad thing?

    On the other hand, it brings home the consequences of not paying very nicely.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Twiggers – I’m not so hot on the GPS tracking idea on cars, but I bet these boxes have them. That way the repo man can find the car, if needed.

    Mrs. Micah – Good point about the high-risk loans. I guess coming from my perspective, I look at it as a chance for a borrower to prove that they are trustworthy.

  • Reply Christa |

    I can comment on experience with this! I think they are excellent and do the job they’re intended for. Here’s our history, so decide for yourself 🙂 My husband and I have had marginal credit throughout our 13+ years of being together. I bought a brand new car in 2003 and financed it through Chrysler- I couldn’t make the payments on time but I still got to use the car to go to and from work so there was no “motivation” to make those payments- on time or at all. After that car got repossesed (three months after my last payment was made), my husband financed a car through a dealership that had a program with a subprime finance company. The payments were taken out for us every Friday and we knew that if it was returned that by Wednesday the car was shut off. We only missed two payments and in total the car was only shut off for 9 days. So now the car has been paid for and my husband has a good car reference on his credit report! People who have a history of bad credit will keep repeating what they’ve done until they don’t have a choice in the matter- we’re proof of that.

    The box has been on for over 3 years and hasn’t malfunctioned but once and that was a computer error due to our payoff of the car. The dealership will take the box off for free, we just have to take it in. Not sure if it does have a GPS or not. Sorry for the novel, just thought you’d want a first hand report

  • Reply Christy |

    These boxes are more common than you think. I used to be the office manager @ a buy here pay here car lot and we used them. The computer program would turn the cars off if the payment was more than 3 days late… the light on the box would start blinking to let the customer know what was about to happen then the borrower would call we were given 3 codes for the entire term of the loan to work with the borrower after that we/borrower had to pay a turn on fee if they were late to get additional codes which of course was passed on to the consumer. When we were repoing a car all we had to do is call the support for the box and they could tell within a mile where the car was… I’m so glad I don’t work there anymore.. the horror stories I could tell.

  • Reply HerMoney |

    I think would be a great opportunity for someone to prove their credit to a lender. If you don’t pay then you don’t get to drive. That seems pretty fair. It may enable someone who wouldn’t other wise get a car loan to qualify and be able to have a car to get to work and back

  • Reply twiggers |

    Tricia:
    I agree about the GPS….kind of a Big Brother thing! However, I have family members who have evaded the repo man and gave us as a reference and we had the repo man calling us! So I would have appreciated the car having GPS so they weren’t calling us LOL

  • Reply Early Retirement Extreme |

    I think it’s a great idea. They should put them on the front door locks of mortgaged houses as well. I’m semi-serious. This would lower the interest rate for those that pay their debt on time.

  • Reply P |

    Sounds a little like 1984 to me. Maybe we should put micro chips in people so we can track them too. Maybe we should install cameras in people’s houses so the police could watch them and there would never be a crime committed again. Come on sheeple…… don’t let this crap happen.

  • Reply Llama Money |

    Definitely a fantastic idea. If I was a lender ( one of my dreams ) I would require this on any subprime / shaky credit loan. And ERE has a great idea re: subprime mortgages too! Of course, if one never leaves home then it wouldn’t work too well…

  • Reply Chris Le |

    A “Faraday Cage” is all that is needed to shut-off the shut-off device

    How To:
    1. Locate Sekurus vehicle shut-off device and antenna (if there is one)
    2. Wrap a “Faraday Cage” around device and its antenna.

    A Faraday Cage is usually a bag with metal impregnated into the plastic material. It blocks frequencies from being received or transmitted to a device. They are used in the electronics industry to protect sensitive electronic devices and components from rapid electric discharges that can damage those devices. They’re easily obtained (often for free) either when they’re included as protection of mother boards, video cards, etc. Or you can find them online for literally pennies.

    If you are concerned with the ability of anyone having the ability to remotely disable or take control of your vehicle and the progressive intrusion of control devices into consumer goods, simply disable their device as described in steps 1 and 2.

  • Reply Cathy |

    Hey Christy,
    How are they connected to the car in order to stop them from starting.

  • Reply Rico |

    Lol that stupid box doesn’t stop the car from being started, it runs through a simple box that cuts power to the engine, you could put a jump wire in the back of it with the right combo it’d start. They’d still know where you went but ill be damned if im gonna get stuck without a ride after the outrageous interest they charge on that crap, not to mention the THREE emergency codes you get for a 4 year term. Pft whatever lol

So, what do you think ?