Senior year of high school is usually an interesting time for most people, as they are trying to create the image they want people to remember them by. I was no exception. Trucks were a big deal to my friends and I, especially ones that could go off road, and we were just starting to come into a diesel era. So I said "I want a diesel monster truck." At this point in my life I knew absolutely nothing about buying a vehicle, working with a bank, or getting auto insurance; all important things that they don't teach in school. They almost preach that issues regarding financial success aren't anything you need to worry about untill after graduating college.
I had a friend that was a few years older then me and I knew that he had just gotten a loan for a truck, so I started asking questions and doing research. I was already doing monthly training with the US Army National Guard, so I knew what my monthly income was. When I learned that I met the criteria to take out a loan, my mind started rushing with the possible opportunities. But there was one criteria I did not meet... I had no credit score. So I either had to get a credit card to start building my credit, or I had to convince one of my parents to co-sign the loan for me. The second option seeming faster then the first. My mom thought I was absolutely insane and refused to even talk to me about it. So it was onto my dad to help me prove my mom wrong. After a few weeks of persuading him, he finally agreed. I talked to the bank and found a loan plan that was right for me, I started doing research on the best truck that I could afford. In no time at all, on craigslist I found the exact truck that I was visioning and I got the process started. As an 18 year old senior in high school, I now had a 1997 Ford f350 Powerstroke Diesel with tons of aftermarket additions. But I also had a $10,000 loan to be paid back in 5 years. It was paid in three.
I took a year off after high school to work, and then got an associates degree in diesel technology. Now it was time to upgrade to a truck that was a little more practical and faster. So it was time to go through the loan process again. This time I had established credit so I no longer needed my father to co-sign. By now I was able to afford a $20,000 loan but in order to justify to myself spending that much money, I would not settle for a truck unless it had exactly what I wanted. Searching for a few months on Autotrader led me half way across the country to Iowa. I was now driving home my dream truck; 2012 Ford f250 Powerstroke with no aftermarket modifications. With arguably the best diesel motor on the market, this is a great base line for my passion of building a race truck. I have had plenty of people a long the way tell me that what I wanted was not possible, making me want it that much more. I hope my success story is able to motivate others with a goal to find a way to make it happen, and then go get it done.