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I am new to purchasing vehicles and handling financial matters in general. I am trying to improve my financial literacy but still have a ways to go. My father is currently trying to purchase a vehicle for use as a yellow cab in New York City. We recently went to a Toyota dealership and are almost near closing. A few problems have arisen since then. I checked my father's credit score on Equifax prior to the dealership asking him for his details. However, a few days later the dealership reported a score 116 points lower than what I had seen myself. He stated that those websites are often inaccurate but my father would still be able to finance if I were to co-sign. I, of course, agreed to this. Recently when we went to sign the documents only I signed. I was a bit confused about this and when I asked what I was signing, all he said was "for the loan"

Afterward, the car should have been released but the dealer demanded the car be registered first. The car will be yellow within a week however he wanted the car to be registered as black (the condition in which they are releasing the vehicle). I asked for communication to be through email after this - the next day the salesperson yelled at me. He said he felt that I bullied and pressured him into giving me his email. What...?

Something very shady appears to be happening here and I want to know what documents etc I should check. I told my father to close the deal with him but due to the vehicle shortage and his urgent need to begin work, he is a bit hesitant. Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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    You're likely being conned into paying for something other than what you wanted/needed. Never sign things you don't understand, always read everything carefully.
    – littleadv
    Feb 1 at 18:59
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    This is an interesting question. As a matter of financial literacy - You should always read and understand what you are signing. You should be provided a copy of anything you sign after you sign it for your own records.
    – Freiheit
    Feb 1 at 19:32
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    For credit scores - A discrepancy between Experian and a different credit bureau or calculation is normal but 116 points is not. What credit score did the dealer pull? Again, you are entitled to a copy of the credit report that the dealer pulled.
    – Freiheit
    Feb 1 at 19:33
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    For NYC and taxis specifically - I think NYC requires a "taxi medallion" which is a special permit allowing someone to operate a real taxicab in NYC. Does your father also have that medallion already?
    – Freiheit
    Feb 1 at 19:33
  • I am posting multiple comments to break up topics. Please EDIT your original question with any extra details you have. I am concerned your father is at risk for being exploited for the costs of a taxi medallion and a sketchy car loan.
    – Freiheit
    Feb 1 at 19:34

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The only thing that I would consider a "scam" is cosigning. You can search this site for cosign/co-owner and find that this is commonly misrepresented by car finance people. You are not the cosigner. You are either the owner, or the a co-owner. As far as car dealerships go there really is no such thing as cosigning. They are lying about that.

Here is one example.

Either way, you are fully responsible for this loan. What if this business idea does not work out for your dad and fails to produce sufficient income? How will the loan be paid? Are you able and willing to make payments?

A common scenario is that the driver (dad) stops making payments, and the co-owner (you) either has to a credit hit or make the payments. In many cases this can destroy relationships.

Additionally getting a loan from a car dealership is just a bad idea. You should either go to an outside bank or credit union. You will get a better deal and it may be likely that your father can be approved on his own. The dealership gets a commission for selling the loan, you can avoid this "middle man" by simply obtaining a loan on your own. It is pretty easy to do. Also bank car loan officers tend to be honest about the actual ownership of the loan/vehicle.

If the car is black the registration should be black. I am not sure what the confusion is here. When it changes to yellow, the registration can be updated. Being that we are dealing with state legal documents they should be accurate. This is not a scam and they are behaving properly by registering it as black.

Similarly, I wanted to buy a car with the wrong color on the registration. It said "blue" but could be classified as "red" or "brown", but certainly not blue. I insisted that it be changed. One employee refused, another granted our request.

Dealing with irrational employees is part of car buying.

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  • Co-signer is a real thing for finance people, and lots of car dealers are also finance people. Feb 2 at 14:30

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