I saw an infomercial today for Crazy 88, a company that promises that it can get you a new car for $88 down and $88 per month. Bad credit? No credit? Multiple reposessions? Not a US citizen? Do you owe $15,000 more than your current car is worth? No problem! Crazy 88 can get a car loan for literally anyone, according to its infomercial. One guy said he had credit card bills, medical bills, an empty bank account and he had lost his house -- but Crazy 88 got him a new car for $88 down and $88 per month.

That all sounded too good to be true, so I went to the company's website to try to read the fine print. Crazy 88 is one of many, many similar companies that over-promise and under-deliver. The infomercial doesn't provide anything resembling the whole story, so here are a few of the myths propogated in the infomercial, contrasted with the reality that you'll find in the fine print on the company's website:

"$88 down, $88 per month." Crazy 88 is not a dealership or even a lender. According to the disclaimer on its website, Crazy 88 is a "registered marketing agent" and not a finance company. So "Qualification for the Crazy 88 offer is subject to dealer designated lender approval." But if it's subject to dealer designated lender approval, what exactly does Crazy 88 do? It claims to have "access to literally hundreds of lenders who specialize in helping customers with less than perfect credit." Newsflash: So do a lot of car dealers, and you can always shop around for different loan offers online. There's really no reason to get involved with a "market agent" like this company.

If you read the disclaimer, you'll see this gem: "$88 a month for up to 3 months at dealer discretion." Up to 3 months while interest is accruing and then you're back with high car payments that you can't afford. That is not a good deal!

"We can and will get you out of that trade-in you owe way too much on because we'll pay off your trade no matter what you owe." The next line, which is not mentioned in the infomercial, is "We simply apply your negative equity to a new loan balance." Right: So instead of being $15,000 in the hole on your current car, you can be $15,000 in the hole on your new one, with interest accruing daily (and it won't be 0% or even 15% if you have bad credit). And because you'll be upside down in your new car, you'll end up with even more negative equity as that car depreciates.

It's no secret that the car financing world is full of crooks and charlatans. But even by the low standard that the industry has set for ethics, the Crazy 88 commercial is incredibly misleading. Do yourself a favor: Before you buy your next car, read Remar Sutton's book Don't Get Taken Every Time: The Ultimate Guide to Buying or Leasing a Car, in the Showroom or on the Internet.

Read more WalletPop tips on buying a car


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Charles H Alaniz Sr.

TRIED IT ITS FRAUD...........FRAUD................FRAUD..................FRAUD..................FRAUD.................FRAUD

February 22 2014 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jayson Hersch

I had no problem payed the 88.00 for 6 months then went up to 140.00 but its better then not having a car and yes they pay your old car loan off if I would of gone somewhere else I would of not of got approved so im driving a 2010 mazda 36,000 miles not to shabby and cars in great shape havent had any problems so yes credit 88 is real going through the montrose auto group who are very fair and honest

February 21 2014 at 3:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ace Piper

Itryed the 88 deal but I got truned down bc I have no credit

January 21 2014 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ethel.reid

so tis 88 thing is fake thy dont have it whats the thing about the book im going along with all thepeople who have left comments about thi 88 place i had got laid off my job after 9 years so i had to give up an voluntary repo on my 99 saturn and ask a friend who owned a car dealership in largo on missouri ave his nme was billy wich the car was worth 15,000 but h ship the car and put slash tires on all 4 aook parts out ofthe engine an a biig key scratch along the whole side and the place came an go the car an sld itat the auction an got 7,000 an he go locked up for stealing the money fom th pol that were paying him there car payments then his grlfriend tried it an got caught too so i;ve been without a car for years so i move to mass my hometown an just came back dec 4th an left mybrother an his family a he passaway dec 13th i still cant get over his death a now there is a scam artist letting you think there is agreat way to buy a new car im gonna check into this B.B.B. SEE what they say an have them investigate this crazy 88

January 14 2014 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rita_carey

is there anyone with a good thing to say bout this crazy 88!

December 30 2013 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rita_carey's comment
dwhitehead042

I do! I talked to one of the saleslmen personally and the way he explained it to me is that the 88 dollars is simply to help you to get what you probably would get otherwise with any other competitor but only that the 88 dollars down and the 88 dollars a month apply just to the down payment and the first months payment. Get the Idea? Then the loan will revert back to a standard loan. You will of course know before hand the interest rates, and payments long term or short etc. So it's no big deal they are helping people get into cars who just don't have great credit, who have a good stable job that meet the're criteria for taking a chance on in getting in a good car who don't have hundreds of dollars but need a car like NOW!, You know hassel free! i think it's cool and not so sinister
DC

February 08 2014 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rita_carey

so this is not true!

December 30 2013 at 6:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lola.finders

check here for more about this company, which has a rating of "F" with the better business bureau. http://www.bbb.org/west-florida/business-reviews/used-car-dealerships/crazy-88-in-tampa-fl-90037032#

December 23 2013 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jesse

this is a fraud my credit score drop 14 points once you get to the dealership they will have you sign a paper not telling that it is a release to run your credit- i asked you not going to run my credit are the salesman straight told me no, i check my credit report...he lied...i am working hard to get my credit right and these scam artist are making my life a living hell you just cant trust no one these days

December 17 2013 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wkrissmanzebra.com

How do I see the vehicles you have available for the 88 down and 88 a month?

November 29 2013 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pretty Blaque

This is fraud they just feed you a bunch of lies and attempt to send you to different dealerships and what happens they get paid to set appointments and of you go once they find out you made it to the dealrship they no lonnger answer any of your calls

September 30 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply