I knew I was coming close to the end of my car loan. If I hadn't known it consciously, I would have known it because I just topped 90,000 miles on the odometer and my eye has taken to window shopping on the highway. (Ever since gas went to almost $3 a gallon, I've been contemplating a Smart Car, but have you actually seen one on the highway yet?)
I've been making my payments through my bank's online payment program for some time now and every month for over a year I've been logging in the details for the car payment. So I was surprised to receive a past due notice in the mail last Friday. We may report your late payment to our credit bureau, and other dire warnings. I was sure I had made the payment, checked my checkbook, where I always log my electronic payments, and there it was. A second, less irritated perusal of the notice revealed that I was a whole one cent in arrears. I had mistyped the amount by one cent and they spent $.41 cents and paper and processing costs to ream me out about it.
I had to laugh because I'm in the collection business myself and I know how these things go. I also know that due to the exact ridiculous scenario I just mentioned, we have a $5 minimum amount due policy before a notice of collection is generated.
A couple of weeks back I had noticed that this particular credit union has a branch office not far from my office, so I set out today to rectify this gross error on my part. My first thought was to just walk up to the teller and hand her the slip and one penny, but I decided that I should just go ahead and pay off the note and be done with it altogether. Which I did, so I'm one less institution indebted to. For the moment, anyway. I know the new car fever is bound to hit in full force now.
But it's nice to know that for a little while, it's all mine.