...began today when I went to a bank (not my bank of the past 30 years) and requested a car loan.
Until now (and I'm 50), since the age of 16, my cars have always been given to me by my parents. My father passed down my very first car (a '79 Ford Pinto), which I drove in my early college years. After this, the order of my cars gets blurred in my mind: My mother first gave me her old Mazda 323; later she helped me buy a Dodge Shadow from a San Antonio dealership, then she helped me buy a Ford Contour from the same dealership. (The Contour is the one I sold when I went to live in NYC in 2007. I haven't had a car since.)
Earlier this year, after being without a car since 2007 (when I sold my car to move to NYC; and after having been without a car in Texas since 2010, when I returned from NYC), I vowed to get a car on my own, sans my mother's help. Because I finally wanted to be an adult who is capable of getting her own car! (But also because I have a yearning to place my "The Donald 2016" bumpersticker on a car before the Republican convention in a couple of weeks.)
The bank process was very interesting and very polite. My former bank of 30 years had turned me down, online, within 20 seconds. When various co-workers recommended a Credit Union, I checked out that option. The Credit Union folks were actually thoughtful about the whole process. My longtime bank turned me down without any human thinking, but the Credit Union approved me for $8000, based on my monthly income and the amount I was ready to put down.
I've never done this before. I've been scared about beginning the whole process all summer. Now, I realize it can be done. I've passed an adult test by trying. (Good lord, what's next --- a home and family?)